The Los Angeles Chargers have Jason Garrett on their interview list for their open head coaching position. Some find that curious, given that it doesn’t seem like Garrett, the former Dallas Cowboys head coach, did much resume-building in his one season as the New York Giants offensive coordinator.
But there is a tug-of-war going on here, with both his present employer the New York Giants and the Chargers, that centers on Garrett.
Sources say that the force working to keep Garrett safe is at the ownership level - the Mara family. They have always been Garrett fans, and just as key, down on the football side, Garrett has family support as well.
Tim McDonnell is the Giants’ assistant director of personnel. He is also a Mara. (You see, the Cowboys are not the only “family-run” NFL team; dig through the Giants' management team list and check out all the Maras and Tisches.).
McDonnell is a true, (Big Blue) F.O.G.’ (Friend of Garrett.)
Head coach Joe Judge might have his ideas of who should be hop top aides. But the Maras have theirs. That's one reason Garrett got the job.
And one reason Judge might be OK if Garrett departs? Because working under Garrett in New York is the tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens. Kitchens was an NFL head coach for a brief time, but way before that, Kitchens was an assistant coach at Mississippi State. He got himself a kid as a GA as his helper.
That kid was Joe Judge.
So yeah, Judge - and especially Kitchens - would be just fine with Garrett getting the Chargers job. We might even suggest Kitchens would prefer to shove Garrett out the door.
Meanwhile, in L.A. ...
Chargers GM Tom Telesco says he'll wait for the NFL Playoffs to proceed, if necessary, to find the right the candidate to be his head coach. Public reports suggest he's got a long list. Here, we'd suggest the list surely includes Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh ... along with Garrett.
Why Daboll and Salah? In addition to their talents, they are repped by agent Bob LaMonte, who is in the process of trying to pull a coup with the Houston Texans by placing his clients there. (So far, that means Nick Caserio is the new GM and Jack Easterby remains in power, doing whatever it is he does.)
Why does LaMonte matter to the Chargers? Because he is also the agent for none other than Telesco.
And finally, to Jason Garrett. Where does he fit in here?
Telesco has no connection to Garrett, so this interview might go nowhere. But Garrett does have a connection of sorts to the Spanos ownership family. When the Spanos family phones advisors it trusts for recommendations, as GM-turned-media guy Mike Lombardi has noted, it surely calls Jimmy Johnson and Norv Turner. Sources tell us the Spanos family also asked at least two high-placed Dallas Cowboys people for their recommendations.
They all mentioned Jason Garrett.
None of these behind-the-curtain facts mean Judge, Kitchens, McDonnell, Caserio, Easterby, Daboll, Salah, Telesco or Garrett are unqualified for their positions. What the facts do mean is that the best way to get involved in the tug-of-war is to be a part of the who-you-know.