The epic and breathtaking Bills loss in Kansas City in a classic playoff game Sunday opened the door for the Giants to pounce on Brian Daboll, and they are doing exactly that.
The Giants on Monday will interview Daboll, the Bills’ offensive coordinator, for a second time — this time in person, at the Giants’ facility — as the movement and momentum continues to connect him with the Giants’ vacant head coaching position.
If the Bills had advanced to the AFC championship game, the Giants could not have met with Daboll a second time until a week before the Super Bowl, which is Feb. 13. Daboll and his quarterback, Josh Allen, were brilliant in Sunday’s divisional playoff battle, but Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs got the ball last and captured a 42-36 overtime thriller that goes down as one of the best postseason games in NFL history.
That massive disappointment for Daboll immediately pivots into a huge opportunity for him.
One game does not change opinions, but there is no doubt Daboll as the Bills’ play-caller in the scoring-fest, filled with sensational highlights from Allen, enhanced his chances to land a head coaching job. He has already interviewed with the Dolphins and a source said it is likely Daboll will have options, as far as picking and choosing from more than one offer.
The Giants fired Joe Judge two days after a 4-13 season and Daboll’s name immediately surfaced as a candidate. Joe Schoen, the former Bills assistant general manager, was hired by the Giants on Friday and the new general manager immediately reached out and secured an interview that night, via teleconference, with Daboll. A day later, Schoen and co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch met via teleconference with Leslie Frazier, the Bills’ defensive coordinator.
On Sunday, the Giants held a teleconference interview with Lou Anarumo, the Bengals’ defensive coordinator — and, in 2018, the Giants’ defensive backs coach, working on Pat Shurmur’s staff. On Monday, the Giants will meet in-person at their facility with Dan Quinn, the Cowboys defensive coordinator and former Falcons head coach.
Patrick Graham, still under contract as the Giants’ defensive coordinator, is expected to interview for the head coach job. The Giants are also expected to bring in Brian Flores, fired after the season by the Dolphins, for an interview.
The Schoen-Daboll link is a strong one from their four years together in Buffalo. That Daboll is an offensive play-caller and considered to work well with quarterbacks is a plus, considering the sad state of the Giants’ offense and the need for Daniel Jones to develop into a more capable starter. Daboll, 46, has Bill Belichick/Patriots roots and has also been an offensive coordinator for the Browns, Dolphins and Chiefs in the NFL and for one year working for Nick Saban at Alabama.
There cannot be any rush into anything for the Giants, who, in accordance with the Rooney Rule, must have at least one in-person interview with a minority candidate. Daboll is the only one of the six identified candidates with a background on offense, which is surprising. He is also the first known finalist, the first to be called back for a second interview. It is premature to call it Daboll’s job to lose, but all signs point to him as the frontrunner, at this point, before he sits down and makes his pitch in-person.