The New York Giants have burned through two head coaches in the last three seasons and won 12 total games in the process. If they want to turn this team around and give sports fans in New York something to celebrate, then Matt Rhule is the perfect choice to be the Giants head coach.
This isn’t your average team. It’s about more than just showing improvements and fielding a competitive club. In a city that lives and breathes sports with a fan base hungry for success and the largest media market in the U.S., the Giants need someone who can change everything.
It’s different in New York City. The city needs a head coach who not only knows how to win, but can embrace everything that comes from coaching in New York. The pressure, the spotlight and the unmatched devotion from fans can be too much for some coaches. It’s perfect for Rhule.
Bringing Rhule home: The 44-year-old coach would not just return to the Giants, he’d return to his roots and a place that holds a spot in his heart.
- Rhule grew up in New York City as a kid. He experienced the Giants going through it all during his early childhood and knows how much the fans live for this team.
- He knows the grind it takes to be a part of football. He went to Penn State and made the team as a walk-on player.
- After his playing career ended in 1997, Rhule immediately went into coaching the following season as a linebacker coach.
- Rhule returned to New York in 2012 as an assistant offensive line coach on Tom Coughlin’s staff.
There’s already an adjustment period for a coach making the transition from college to the NFL. Unlike other candidates, Rhule won’t shy away from the added pressure and adjustment that it takes to coach in New York.
Fixing the culture: Trading Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t solve the Giants’ culture issues. If it’s going to be fixed, the right voice must be brought into the locker room.
- Rhule’s first head-coaching opportunity came at Temple. He took an underwhelming AAC program and rebuilt it from a two-win team in 2013 to consecutive 10-win seasons in 2015 and ’16. Along the way, Temple upset Penn State in ’15 for the first time since 1941.
- Rhule went to Baylor in 2016, going to a program coming off one of the worst scandals of the decade, and turned a toxic culture upon his arrival into a respected program that won 11 games this past season.
As New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson said, who played for Rhule at Temple, Rhule knows how to prepare and motivate his players.
- “I texted him thanking him because there were things he did and put me through in college that I used to get mad about, but now I really understand why he was doing those things,” Anderson said, via The New York Post. “He didn’t want me to just rely on the fact that I was talented. He taught me work ethic. I always said when I got here in practice, I was like, ‘Damn, this is kind of easy compared to what he had us doing there.’
We’re not talking about a head coach who took marquee programs and did just enough to improve them. Rhule completely changed the culture at these universities, made the programs relevant nationally and saw many of his athletes go to the NFL or finish with a college degree.
A winner with a willingness to adapt: The key to sustained success in the NFL is the willingness to adapt and evolve. Rhule’s success is in part because of his flexibility.
- He coached on the defensive side from 1998-’04, before making the switch to offense. Rhule coached offensive lineman, tight ends and quarterbacks before becoming an offensive coordinator in ’08.
- After using the pro-style offense at Temple, Rhule adapted his scheme upon arriving at Baylor by meshing it with principles from the spread offense.
- Despite being a hard-nosed coach who loves the running game, Rhule adapted his offense even more this season with an RPO-style attack.
Rhule would certainly fall in love with having Saquon Barkley as his featured running back in this offense. However, he would also take advantage of Daniel Jones’ athleticism and could tailor this offense to become a balanced and innovative attack.
New York’s offense isn’t lacking talent. Barkley is an All-Pro running back, tight end Evan Engram can become a star and wide receiver Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton form a solid trio. This team simply needs the right coach at the helm to make it all work.
Rhule is everything the Giants need. He knows New York City, he knows the Giants and he’s even endorsed by Hall of Famer Bill Parcells.
New York wants a leader in the locker room and someone with experience mentoring young men and helping them reach their full potential. Ownership wants a coach that can help this team become a consistent winner and knows how to embrace the city and fan base. The fans want to watch an exciting offense that utilizes the young talent that is already on this roster.
Rhule is the perfect fit, and the Giants should do whatever it takes to land him.