Source: Brian Daboll 'clearly the favorite' as next Giants head coach

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Brian Daboll Bills polo close shot
Brian Daboll Bills polo close shot

When Brian Daboll arrives for his second interview for the Giants on Tuesday, he will do so as the man to beat.

The 46-year-old Bills offensive coordinator is “clearly the favorite” to become the next Giants head coach, according to someone familiar with the process. He has been the favorite to many all along, given his relationship with new Giants GM Joe Schoen and the fact that Daboll has other supporters inside the organization, too.

As SNY previously reported, Daboll was “very high” on Schoen’s shortlist even before he got the Giants’ GM job, thanks to the four successful seasons they’ve had together in Buffalo. Many people around the league have long assumed Schoen would bring Daboll with him wherever he ended up.

And the fact the Giants rushed to interview Daboll virtually on Friday, just hours after Schoen was officially hired, and then brought him to New Jersey less than 24 hours after the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs, clearly signals their interest is strong. It also shows they know Daboll might have options since he’s also interviewed with the Dolphins and Bears and is believed to be high on the Dolphins’ coaching list.

That doesn’t mean Daboll is a lock to get the job, though. There is still strong support for former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who many believe is the top choice of co-owner John Mara. Flores and Schoen don’t have a history together, though they have spoken in the last few weeks, according to sources. So Flores still has his chance to stake his claim to the job.

But Daboll had what one source called an “outstanding” first interview with the Giants last Friday, and they expect more of the same when gets his second interview in person.

The other candidates – Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, and Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham – all appear to be longer shots for the job, at least behind Daboll and Flores as this week begins.

The Giants’ search will still likely stretch out until the end of this week, at least. Though Daboll is already on interview No. 2, the Giants still haven’t held their first interviews with Flores or Graham. They are required to hold at least one in-person interview with an external minority candidate in order to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which they have not done yet. Once Flores has his interview later this week, though, that requirement will have been met.

Daboll would be a popular choice, even though he’s a first-time head coach. He had a huge part in turning the Bills into one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL, and developing quarterback Josh Allen into a star. He certainly didn’t hurt his case with the offensive show the Bills put on Sunday night in their 42-36, overtime playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, in which Allen threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns.

The Giants, of course, had one of the most anemic offenses in football last season. They scored a total of 26 points over the final four games of the season – one more than the Bills and Chiefs combined to score in the final two minutes on Sunday night.