Who will Giants hire to replace Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge? Here are our picks for John Mara’s next GM, coach

The Giants need a new general manager and head coach after forcing Dave Gettleman to retire and then firing Joe Judge.

So who will fill those seats?

The Giants are currently going through their GM search. They have nine known candidates. Then they’ll let the new GM lead the search for the new coach. Perhaps they will seek a global agreement, although in reality that does not happen very often.

The sooner the Giants hire a general manager, the sooner they can begin their head coaching search. One will impact the other, which makes this situation more unique than most other openings.

These are our picks (not predictions) on who those people are they should be – not who they will be to be:


General manager: Ryan Poles, Executive Director of Player Personnel for the Chiefs

Poles has been in Kansas City for 12 years, learning from the likes of Andy Reid, Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and current general manager Brett Veach. The Reid-led organizations (also known as the Eagles and Chiefs) have always focused on putting quarterbacks in position to succeed and building their roster through the offensive/defensive lines first. Dave Gettleman tried, and failed, at the last point, but the Poles, only 36, should be better prepared to fix the Giants’ weaker offensive unit. It also doesn’t hurt that the Poles played offensive line at Boston College.

He has a reputation as one of the top talent evaluators and was a surprise finalist for the Panthers job last year. He’s also vying for other GM jobs. In 2020, Poles said in an interview with Buffalo Plus that most of his “heavy lifting” at his job revolved around the draft and evaluating players before passing that information on to Reid and Veach.

The Giants have already done their initial interview with the Poles and don’t be surprised if he’s a finalist who gets a second in-person interview sometime next week. The Giants aren’t going to be players in free agency. They need a general manager capable of going in and winning their first NFL Draft.

Trainer: Nathaniel Hackett, Packers offensive coordinator

Hackett, 42, has the stamp of approval of Aaron Rodgers, who doesn’t exactly have a reputation for playing well with others. Matt LaFleur calls the plays for Green Bay, but Hackett is still heavily involved in game planning and often talks to the entire team, according to NFL.com, which described him as “creative, thoughtful, extremely energetic and a little quirky in a way that helps connect and inspire this generation of players.” Apparently, he also creates “tip sheets” for players on the game plan every day to simplify the scheme.

Ultimately, the Giants should be trying to find an offensive-minded coach who can fix what has arguably been the worst offense in the NFL the past two years. It seems that his personality could inject some life into the offensive operation, which had become dull and stale. He’s also a hot product and has interviews scheduled with the Bears, Broncos and Jaguars.


General manager: Ryan Poles, Executive Director of Player Personnel for the Chiefs

Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen could be considered the top seed, and for good reason. But don’t forget the Poles, who have helped build a consistent winner in Kansas City. Additionally, the Bears are also interested in Schoen for their GM job. (And the Vikings are also interested in the Poles). Poles was a finalist for the Panthers’ general manager job last year.

Poles he’s worked with under a wide range of GMs (and personalities) in Kansas City: Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and Brett Veach. Poles is in year 13 with the Chiefs, so he has been part of their rise from losing organization to Super Bowl champions.

Poles, 36, is on the younger side. But it’s not that Schoen is much older, at 42. And the Giants need a new outside voice and perspective, after four years of old-school Gettleman nonsense. Young general managers can do very well in today’s NFL. Jon Robinson was only 40 years old when the Titans made him their general manager in 2016, and he has built them into a thriving team.

Poles oversees the Chiefs’ college scouting, which is the foundation of how they’ve become a great team. And the NFL Draft also turns out to be the most likely and most reliable path for the Giants to become a competent franchise again. Poles has been involved in college scouting since he started with the Chiefs in 2009.

Trainer: Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator

Well, if the Giants sign the Poles, the obvious head-coaching pairing is Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. But despite getting a ton of head-coaching interviews over the past three years, including with the Giants in 2020, before Judge was hired, Bieniemy has yet to land a big job as a whistleblower. And he has yet to receive any known interest this offseason.

Obviously the Poles will be well aware of Bieniemy’s strengths and weaknesses. And the Poles, or whoever the new GM is, will essentially be able to call the shots on the new coach, though Giants ownership retains final approval rights.

The Poles and Daboll, who helped shape quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills over the past four seasons, share a background, as Daboll was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2012, a year before Andy Reid arrived.

And although Daboll is 10 years older than the Poles, they grew up within an hour and a half of each other, both in a small town in western New York: Poles in Canandaigua (near Rochester) and Daboll in Athol Springs (near Buffalo). Daboll played at the University of Rochester.

Football-wise, the Giants could clearly use a strong, offensive-minded coach like Daboll to correct their biggest weakness: offense.

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Darryl Slater can be contacted at dslater@njadvancemedia.com.

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