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Joe Judge fired: Jim Harbaugh, Brian Daboll among potential candidates for Giants’ 2022 head coaching job

The Giants reversed course at head coach on Tuesday, dismissing Joe Judge despite reportedly ending the 2021 NFL season with the intention of retaining the former special teams coordinator. Judge’s record — 10-23 in two years — suggests the change of heart was justified. But now what? With general manager Dave Gettleman retiring, the Giants announced they will first hire a new GM, then allow him or her to lead the search for a new coach.

With that in mind, here are some early candidates to take over the sidelines in New York:

Brian Daboll

The Bills offensive coordinator is already a hot name, with the Bears and Dolphins reportedly set to interview him. For his work with Josh Allen alone, he deserves a look. Daboll is smart enough that he could probably design an offense more befitting of Daniel Jones in 2022, but he’d also be a prime candidate to rebuild the offensive foundation, complete with a new franchise QB.

Jim Harbaugh

What better way to wash away the sour taste of Judge and the slew of other recent misfires at coach than by luring one of college football’s biggest names back to the big stage? Harbaugh, remember, left the NFL a winner, posting at least 11 victories in three of his four seasons as 49ers coach from 2011-2014. His no-nonsense approach would be more organic. But would he want the job?

At 33, Moore is still green, but he’s now got three years as the Cowboys offensive coordinator under his belt. He knows the division well. He’s shown a willingness to adapt. The question is, does he have the authority to command an entire organization? Moore could surely get more out of the Giants offense, but he’d represent a bigger gamble for a team in dire need of leadership.

Jim Caldwell

The polar opposite of Kellen Moore in terms of long-term upside, Caldwell, 66, would make for a potential high-floor “bridge” coach, bringing decades of trusted guidance to a locker room that’s become so accustomed to turnover and outmatched strategy. Last seen as the Dolphins’ assistant head coach in 2019, he’d bring both a calm resolve and offensive background.

Eric Bieniemy

It’s hard to fully disentangle the sources of the Chiefs’ explosive offense, with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes headlining Kansas City’s attack for years, but Bieniemy has now served four seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator. That alone gives him invaluable experience. A former running backs coach, he might also help enliven the Giants’ ground game.

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