Soon after the NY Giants concluded its 2019 season with a 34-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, team president John Mara and chairman Steve Tisch announced that they have dismissed head coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons.
The NY Giants were a combined 9-23 throughout Shurmur’s tenure as head coach, and have not won more than five games in any of the last three seasons.
The team also confirmed that Dave Gettleman will remain in his position as general manager. His job security is a different discussion for a different day, but it seems as if Gettleman’s polarizing draft selection of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has bought him another year at the helm – whether the fans like it or not.
The recent move sets New York’s ownership brass out on its third head coaching search in five years. This time around, however, the best candidate available has reportedly longed for the opportunity to lead the historic franchise for the vast majority of his coaching career, and is at the top of the team’s list.
Rhule grew up in New York City before his family moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where he walked on as a linebacker at Penn State under head coach Joe Paterno. Following his four-year playing career, Rhule bounced around to multiple collegiate coaching jobs before joining Tom Coughlin’s group in 2012 as the assistant offensive line coach.
Rhule is likely yearning at the realistic idea of his dream job, but why should Mara and Tisch be just as eager to reach a long-term deal themselves?
From New York himself, the media won’t phase Rhule.
Rhule’s most recent coaching job at Baylor was nothing short of phenomenal, as he inherited a program that was seemingly decimated by a sexual assault scandal just before he took the job.
After coming out victorious just once in his first year, Rhule led the Bears to a 7-6 record that included a standout win over Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl.
This past season, Baylor (11-2) won a share of the Big 12 title and fell just short to Oklahoma by one score in overtime of the conference championship. A win for Rhule, whose young group was competitive despite the absence of starting quarterback Charlie Brewer, would have given the Bears a spot in this year’s College Football Playoff.
Aside from Rhule reviving a practically doomed program in just two short years, along with a number of his other credentials, he fits the desired criteria that Mara and Tisch have publicly put forth.
"“I’m really looking for leadership, that’s the big thing going forward,” Mara said. “Somebody who can come in and take control of this roster, help build a culture that is gonna lead to winning. Somebody’s who’s gonna help us with our football reorganization we’re in the process of undergoing right now.”"
Rhule embodies leadership and holds his players accountable. He has experience coaching both sides of the ball and knows what it’s like to start from scratch with young teams and build from rock bottom.
The 44-year-old has shown an ability to get the most out of his young players by building significant relationships and establishing no-nonsense cultures at programs that have struggled to do so prior.
In essence, Rhule gives Gettleman the best chance to not only keep his job, but for the Giants to more importantly win on Sundays. As a result of his ability to connect with young men and motivate, Rhule will help the Giants young roster develop something that goes far beyond Xs and Os: a culture.
Rhule reportedly wants to coach the NY Giants, and Mara and Tisch should “jump at the opportunity” as well. For once, the answer to one of the Giants’ major problems is right in front of them, and there’s no time to hesitate.