HEAD COACHING SEARCH UPDATE: Giants Interview Pats DC Matt Patricia

The New York Giants confirmed they have interviewed New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia for their vacant head coaching job.

Patricia met with co-owner John Mara, general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams this morning in Foxboro, Mass.. Steve Tisch, the team’s chairman and other co-owner, will meet the head coaching candidates at a later stage in the process.

MATT PATRICIA SNAPSHOT

The 43-year-old Patricia, who left aeronautical engineering to become a NFL coach, has been with the Patriots under Bill Belichick since 2004. He began his career on the offensive side of the ball before switching to defense in 2006. He has been the Patriots’ defensive coordinator for the last six seasons.

Patricia has been with the Patriots for three of their five Super Bowl victories, as well as their losses to the Giants in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.

Pros: Patricia has experience coaching linebackers and safeties, two positions where the Giants certainly can use some improvement (outside of strong safety Landon Collins).  Since switching to the defensive side of the ball, Patricia has been a part of a Patriots defense that has finished in the top 10 in fewest points allowed in 11 of his 12 seasons.

In 2016, his defense finished tops in the NFL in fewest points allowed (15.6 per game). The Patriots also allowed just six rushing touchdowns that season, the fewest in the NFL.  In 2010, his defense finished with a +28 turnover differential which ties the Patriots with the 2011 49ers for the second-highest single-season differential in the NFL since 1970.

Cons:  Would be looking to become the first coordinator from the Bill Belichick coaching tree to post a winning record as a head coach, if hired. … Doesn’t have head coaching experience at any level. Like Ben McAdoo, Patricia has primarily been in one system under one head coach during his time in the NFL. … Raised eyebrows when he was photographed wearing a T-shirt depicting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a clown, but that lapse in judgment shouldn’t be a deal breaker if the football side of things checks out. … His 2017 defense finished 29th, allowing 366.0 yards per game, but the unit also allowed the fifth fewest points per game (18.5).

Odds He Gets the Job: When he spoke to the media after the firing of Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo and then again after Dave Gettleman was introduced as the new general manager, John Mara strongly hinted that prior head coaching experience was preferred, though not necessarily a deal breaker if the right man came along.

Unlike McAdoo, who shot up the coaching ranks at a record speed, Patricia has been a coordinator for several years, having gained the seasoning necessary to potentially run an entire team. He’s widely regarded as being a bright individual.

Patricia has also drawn interest from the Cardinals and Lions, but the Giants job might end up being the most appealing to him for another reason. His wife and her family are natives of Massachusetts, and, as Mike Giardi of NBC Sports Boston points out, staying near to his wife’s parents might be an attractive option for Patricia and his family.

 ON DECK

The Giants will meet with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels Friday afternoon. Afterward, they are scheduled to visit Minneapolis to meet Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

The Giants were also reportedly interested in meeting with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, but North Jersey.com has reported that as of Friday morning, the Giants did not have an interview scheduled with Schwartz, whose team is on a bye this week.