It was just a week ago that Tom Coughlin resigned as head coach of the New York Giants. And while it may feel as though it's been longer than that, the process of hiring Coughlin's replacement still likely has a ways to go before it's complete. They're not done interviewing candidates yet, and owner John Mara has to be in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday for the special owners' meeting that will decide on Los Angeles relocation. So while the Giants' coaching search could wrap up this week and they would prefer it did, there's no guarantee it will.
That said, here's an update on where things stand, based on the conversations I've had in the past few days with people connected with the search:
-- The Giants interviewed former Bills coach Doug Marrone on Saturday. He appears to be a strong candidate, possibly even a front-runner, as there are some involved with the search who seem focused on finding a coach with previous NFL head-coaching experience. The Giants consider Marrone a program-builder based on his work in the college ranks at Syracuse and their belief that he had the Bills on the right track before taking a $4 million buyout last year after the team was sold. Buffalo was 9-7 in 2014, Marrone's second season there. That is the only winning season the Bills have had since 2004 and just their second since the turn of the century.
-- They will interview former Falcons head coach Mike Smith on Monday. Smith was 67-51 (counting playoffs) in seven years as coach of the Falcons from 2008-14, including 13-3 records in 2010 and 2012. He is 56 years old, so only five years older than Marrone, and he's well-liked and respected around the league. Smith had a rough final two seasons in Atlanta and earned some measure of negative fame for some high-profile game management blunders, but he may look a lot like Coughlin looked to the Giants when they hired him in 2004.
-- The other candidates who have interviewed are Giants offensive and defensive coordinators Ben McAdoo and Steve Spagnuolo, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who was hired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins on Saturday and is therefore and obviously off the table. Of that group, McAdoo appears to have the best chance of landing the job, due to his work with the Giants the past two years and the success quarterback Eli Manning has had since McAdoo's been there. But McAdoo is only 38, has no head coaching experience and has only been a coordinator for these past two years. Current Giants players and coaches say positive things when asked off the record about McAdoo. He's intelligent, works hard and could be a rising star.
-- For those reasons, McAdoo appears to be a strong candidate for the Philadelphia Eagles' vacant head coaching job as well. I'm told the Eagles, who were interviewing Kansas City offensive coordinator Doug Pederson on Sunday, were impressed with McAdoo when they interviewed him last week and that he's under serious consideration there. The Giants would have to be very confident in their own choice if they were to let McAdoo go to a division rival.
-- Speaking of the Eagles, they'll be talking today with Coughlin himself. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie called Coughlin last week and asked if they could talk. Coughlin, who still wants to coach, agreed, and the Giants (who still hold Coughlin's rights because he resigned) granted the Eagles permission to talk to him. You can't rule out the possibility of Coughlin moving down the Turnpike to Philly, but the people to whom I've spoken about this believe the Eagles will go younger and more progressive at head coach and are talking to Coughlin mainly to pick his brain and ask him about McAdoo, whom they're seriously considering.
-- One intriguing name who hasn't shown up on the Giants' interview schedule yet but still could is Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. He interviewed with the Browns and 49ers on Sunday and could be snatched up before the Giants can interview him. But I have been told that the Giants are interested in speaking with Jackson. They just haven't reached out to the Bengals yet to secure permission.
At this point, I'd be surprised if the next head coach wasn't someone from this list. I'd expect the Giants to have this wrapped up within the next week. But that's just my feeling on the subject based on my reporting, and you can't rule out the idea that a new name or two will surface or that the process will take longer than they want it to take.