As a disappointing 2023 season draws to a close for the New York Giants, there is a strong possibility that change is coming to head coach Brian Daboll's staff, reports NFL insider Tony Pauline.
Pauline reports that Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen are safe for the time being, but the same can't be said for some high-profile coaches on Daboll's staff. Notes Pauline:
What is expected is the release of assistant coaches and the coordinators. Few expect defensive coordinator Wink Martindale or offensive coordinator Mike Kafka to be retained. People from Kafka’s team confide in me that they don’t expect the former college quarterback to survive.
The Giants offense has been historically bad this season, partly due to injuries that have wrecked the continuity and partly due to player performance and coaching. Through ten games, they've only scored 118 points. New York also ranks at or near the bottom of the league in every offensive statistical category.
That they haven't been able to adjust to the curve balls thrown their way has been concerning, as has the apparent regression of incumbent starting quarterback Daniel Jones. All of this combined has led to the Giants heading toward a position where they will likely be drifting in the top five next spring.
If that's the case, the Giants will likely draft a quarterback. And if they do, it would not be surprising if Daboll personally takes a hands-on involvement in getting that player up to speed, as he did with Josh Allen when he was the Bills offensive coordinator.
Daboll, who has left the play calling to Kafka these two seasons, could likely take on that role next year and have a new offensive coordinator just be involved in the game planning. One name to watch if Kafka and the Giants part ways could be Ken Dorsey, who was relieved of his duties as Bills offensive coordinator. Dorsey was initially linked to the Giants and Daboll for the team's offensive coordinator role shortly after Daboll was hired as the Giants head coach, but Dorsey chose to stay in Buffalo.
If the Giants draft a quarterback to where Daboll wants to take a more hands-on role in that player's involvement, he'd probably want to have an experienced defensive coordinator he can trust to run the show.
Martindale fits that description, but there has been some question about how the two men, both of whom are alpha personalities, actually get on, something that was brought to a head after last week's game against Dallas in which Daboll was seen engaging in what looked like a terse conversation with Artindale before and after halftime.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Martindale downplayed any friction with Daboll in those discussions. While his unit hasn't played well the last couple of weeks, in the grand scheme of things, the defense, which, through ten games, has allowed 266 points, second most behind the Washington Commanders, is probably the least of the Giants' problems.
The same can't be said of the special teams unit. Coordinator Thomas McGaughey has been the Giants' special teams coordinator since 2018 and is widely respected for his work. However, the Giants' special teams have settled at or near the bottom of the league in just about every category and have not exactly benefitted the team.
According to Rick Gosslin's annual special teams rankings report, New York's unit finished 28th overall in the league last year. Perhaps the only bright spot for the Giants special teams unit this season, at least until a knee injury his left (plant) leg got in the way, has been kicker Graham Gano.
Among the position coaches, the most popular name being mentioned for replacement has been offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, whose unit currently ranks 30th in PFF's pass-blocking efficiency rating and which has allowed the most sacks league-wide.
Johnson, who has dealt with injuries to stud left tackle Andrew Thomas and rookie center John Michael Schmitz, has drawn heavy criticism for the lack of development in young players such as Evan Neal, Josh Ezeudu, and Marcus McKethan. That the Giants offensive line wasn't settled until the first week of the season is another glaring issue against the job Johnson has done this season.
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