On Thursday, a new era began for both the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. New York promoted offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to be the team’s new head coach in replacement of the departed Tom Coughlin while San Francisco hired ex-Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly to replace Jim Tomsula.
The Giants (6-10) and 49ers (5-11) both had extremely disappointing seasons in 2015 that ended with many questions surrounding each franchise. Along with the new coaching change, the future for San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick was put in serious question following an extremely down year and his placement on IR (shoulder). With Chip Kelly’s hiring, the 49ers will likely stick with Kaepernick as their guy under center as he should fit in well with Kelly’s high-paced read-option style of offense. Kelly will also be in charge of improving an extremely young and developing defense which finished near the bottom of the league in all statistical categories. Safeties Jimmy Ward, Antoine Bethea, and linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks will be Kelly’s defensive core. It will be a tough task for Kelly to get the 49er defense back to the way it played during the Jim Harbaugh era, but the pieces are already there for his offensive scheme to have some great success.
The Giants, meanwhile, run a more conventional style of offense and were clearly not looking to hire a coach that was going to completely redo their offensive approach. The promotion of Ben McAdoo will not change a lot in terms of the offensive schemes and play calling, but it will change some the team’s approaches when it comes to game preparation and the tempo set inside the locker room. While Tom Coughlin did win two Super Bowls with the Giants, his dictator-style of coaching was often put into question by the New York media and his own players Coughlin’s unorthodox methods caused frustration and tension to build between he and former players such as Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan, and Osi Umenyiora. The tension between Coughlin and his players began to subside in recent years following two Super Bowl Championships, but the wins and playoff appearances began to diminish. Much also has to be said about the lack of control Coughlin seemed to have over his team (Jason Pierre-Paul fireworks incident, Odell Beckham Jr losing his cool against Carolina in week 15, etc). The Giants are currently on a four-year postseason drought, and with all of the scrutiny being put on Coughlin for his players being out of control and his lack of winning, it was clearly time for the franchise to make some sort of change.
Staying in-house on their coaching change should allow the Giants to compromise offensive and defensive schemes that were similar to that of Tom Coughlin’s, but with a new man in charge the franchise hopes that the new schemes, coaching style, and chemistry that is already present with McAdoo and his players will bring about more wins and success in the near future.