Observations on Brian Flores and coaching hires through the lens of the Giants – The Mercury News


The Giants called Brian Flores’ allegations in a “fictitious” interview “just plain untrue”.

But people who have known Flores for a long time from various sides of the NFL business — coaches, agents, colleagues, friends — say they always know him honestly, if nothing else.

That’s something to consider when processing one of the year’s stories into a week filled with Giants news.

– Here’s what reliable sources told me about the week before Brian Daboll was hired: New Giants general manager Joe Schoen believed early in the process that Daboll was likely to take the Dolphins job from Miami. Daboll didn’t decide until Friday, the day he received his offer, that he would take the Giants over the Dolphins.

The Giants made calls earlier in the week, also ahead of Flores’ interview on Thursday, to lay the groundwork for a potential Dan Quinn coaching staff (although the team denied it). Quinn could have been the pick but said no thanks to the Giants due to reservations I always report.

The property of the giants wanted Flores. Flores wanted the Giants job. Schoen found the Flores interview impressive but preferred Daboll because he was more confident in their ability to work together.

Plus, two hard facts: Schoen was the first of nine GM candidates to interview the Giants, and he was hired. Then Daboll was the first of six candidate coaches to interview, and he was hired.

— The fact that the Giants have never had a black head coach is a stain on the organization. The only time a black quarterback started a game for the franchise (Geno Smith in 2017), the organization fired its general manager and head coach the next day. Jerry Reese, who is black, served as the Giants’ general manager from 2007 to 2017, winning two Super Bowls. He’s only had a handful of interviews since.

– What matters most in proving or disproving Flores’ allegations against the Giants is where Bill Belichick got his information from. It would be damning if the Patriots head coach heard someone from the Giants or the front office say Daboll was the team’s pick three or more days before Flores’ interview. If that didn’t happen or can’t be proven, it will be difficult for Flores to validate that allegation.

The Giants statement on Belichick was, “Mr. Belichick does not speak and has no affiliation with the Giants. Mr. Belichick’s text exchange gives no insight into what really happened during our head coaching search.

I’m not sure I agree with the second sentence. Belichick is extremely connected. If he told Daboll he heard he was the Giants’ pick, he reliably heard it. The question is: from whom?

We know that John Mara and the Giants have pursued Belichick’s assistants as head coaches for three consecutive cycles: Matt Patricia in 2018, Joe Judge in 2020 and Daboll in 2022. Patricia chose the Lions over the Giants. Judge and Daboll took the gig from the Giants. We also know that Belichick has personally endorsed Judge to Mara, so they’re communicating.

Flores noted this dynamic in a recent NPR interview.

“I think there are back channel conversations and back channel meetings that often influence decisions,” he said. “I think [the Giants hiring process] is a clear example. Bill Belichick is a clear example. His resume speaks for it. It was clear to me that [Daboll] the decision was made under his influence. That’s part of the problem. This must change.

– Everyone should take note of Flores’ allegation that Giants co-director of player personnel Tim McDonnell, John Mara’s nephew, texted and spoke with Flores to express his interest the same day the Giants fired Joe Judge.

The Giants have reacted viscerally and vindictively in recent weeks in response to questions from the public or questioning the owning family’s interference. But if that allegation is true, it’s a clear example of ownership pulling strings long before they hire a CEO — and maybe even before they fire the judge (we don’t know what time this alleged text was released). been sent).

The lawsuit alleges that Flores and McDonnell went so far as to discuss potential candidates for general manager and coaching staff. The Giants then confirmed that Mara then contacted Flores directly on January 12 and that they spoke on Zoom on January 18. Schoen wasn’t hired until January 21.

The Maras finally let Schoen do the hiring, which is why Daboll is the coach, as far as I know. But the presumed early (premature?) opening of McDonnell and the significant involvement of Chris Mara in the hiring processes show that the influence of the owning family behind the scenes is not at all exaggerated.

– The hiring of Chiefs coach QB Mike Kafka as the Giants offensive coordinator is interesting. Browns WR coach Chad O’Shea was considered Daboll’s best candidate to start, and Texans QB coach Pep Hamilton seemed like a clear home run.

Kafka, 34, has been a rising star in the coaching ranks, so it’s intriguing to think of him and Daboll possibly mixing the Bills and Chiefs plans. But it is not yet known who will call the games. Schoen said he preferred Daboll not to call the plays, but Kafka never did. And while hiring offensive coaches from Buffalo and Kansas City is great, the Giants can’t bring Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes to New Jersey with them.

Hamilton had done a great job with Justin Herbert of the Chargers and Davis Mills of the Texans over the past two seasons, getting the best out of the two QBs. I thought, given Daniel Jones’ need to take a big step forward, that made Hamilton the guy. We’ll see if Daboll, Kafka and reported new QB coach Shea Tierney can get the job done.

–Patrick Graham’s interview for the Raiders’ defensive coordinator job on Friday bolsters the possibility that the Giants’ DC won’t return to New York. Graham has been interviewed for the Vikings and Giants head coaching jobs and for the Steelers CO job. The Giants have consistently hinted that Graham is likely to return if he doesn’t land the Minnesota head coaching job, as Daboll wants to keep it. But nothing was certain on Friday, and Graham’s decision to continue interviewing elsewhere is telling, especially with former Patriots colleague Josh McDaniels now running the Las Vegas show. If Graham leaves, keep an eye out for former DC Ravens Don “Wink” Martindale as a potential defensive coordinator for the Giants.

–The Giants announced Jan. 10 that Dave Gettleman was retiring and had informed ownership “over the past few days.” But at Schoen’s introductory press conference on January 26, Mara admitted that he started looking for GM candidates “six or eight weeks ago, maybe a little longer” – or between Nov. and December 15.

There’s no point in crying over spilled milk, but it’s just a reminder that the Giants really did fire Gettleman, and everyone knew he was out long before that propaganda press release.

– It should be noted that the Giants and General Counsel William Heller are still charged in an open lawsuit in Bergen County Superior Court – filed by former video director David Maltese – which alleges “a culture of violence on the workplace by Giants management towards subordinates.”

Evidence includes a transcript of Maltese’s September 30, 2020 call with Heller and Vice President of Human Resources Debra Agosta which quotes Heller allegedly telling Maltais, “Dave, I shouldn’t say what I’m going to say next, but I’ll say it… If he leaves this Zoom call, I will personally come… to your office and strangle you until you can’t breathe[e]Okay?”

Heller is still listed as the team’s senior vice president and general counsel on the team’s official website. It’s also the same organization that settled a lawsuit alleging memory fraud by Eli Manning and the Giants in 2018 – then took down equipment staff who were allegedly complicit.


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