Ben McAdoo is now officially out, having been fired just 28 games into his tenure as the Giants' head coach. And the Giants now have nearly a full month's head start on other teams as they search for his replacement.

They will undoubtedly consider Steve Spagnuolo, who was named the interim head coach on Monday afternoon, but they may be more likely to search outside of the organization. And some of their decision could be based on whom they choose to replace Jerry Reese as their new GM.

So for now, it's a wide-open field. But there are hints on where the Giants might turn, based on their history and things John Mara has said in the past. He has always said that he prefers coaches he knows, who have NFL experience, and preferably ones who failed (to a point) elsewhere and come to the Giants with something to prove.

Of course, some of the six he interviewed two years ago -- McAdoo, Steve Spagnuolo, Teryl Austin, Adam Gase, Doug Marrone, and Mike Smith -- didn't fit all that criteria. So he's open to stepping out of his comfort zone, too.

So who is on Mara's short list? Only he knows for sure. But based on his history, interviews with sources around the NFL, and a few educated guesses, here's a short list of who could be on tap to be the next Giants head coach in 2018:

Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator

Expect him to be the hottest name for the Giants between now and the end of the season. An ex-Patriots tandem of Scott Pioli at GM and McDaniels as coach makes a lot of sense (especially since Pioli was more of a serious candidate for the GM job when Reese was hired in 2007 than most people remember). McDaniels might have been a candidate for the Giants coaching job in 2016, but he declined all interview requests that offseason. There's no guarantee he'll accept them this time, of course. One rumor is he wants to stay in New England and become the successor to Bill Belichick whenever he retires. But if he's available, he's a brilliant offensive mind with experience working with an old quarterback. He struggled as the Broncos coach in 2009-10, but he was only 33 and clearly not ready.

Steve Spagnuolo, Giants interim head coach

He checks absolutely all the boxes for Mara. The Giants know him well. He's been one of their most popular assistants ever since his defense powered the Giants to their Super Bowl XLII championship. He has head coaching experience, with the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11. And he definitely has something to prove after going 10-38 during his tenure. But he'd be a tough sell because, aside from 2016, his defenses have been absolutely terrible in three of his last four seasons as a defensive coordinator (with the Saints and then the Giants). Also, given that all the Giants' discipline issues this year were on defense, there's a question of how much players will listen to him -- especially on that side of the ball.

Mike Smith, Buccaneers defensive coordinator

He was the surprise runner-up to McAdoo in 2016. His Bucs defense is struggling, which doesn't help his case. Also, the Giants might want an offensive guy (again) given the immense problems they're having on that side of the ball. Smith is a good friend of Tom Coughlin and has a little Coughlin in him, so maybe he could restore some of the discipline that has recently disappeared. Also, though he was pretty successful in Atlanta, he's got something to prove after going 10-22 in his last two years with the Falcons, then watching Dan Quinn take them to the Super Bowl two years later.