The New York Giants have their sights set on a defensive coordinator and they are hoping it will be a familiar face.
On Monday, January 31, new head coach Brian Daboll confirmed a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. As Rapoport revealed earlier this morning, if Patrick Graham does not get a head coaching gig, he will be retained as the Giants’ defensive coordinator.
Graham is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Vikings‘ head coaching vacancy.
Graham has spent the past two seasons as the Giants’ defensive coordinator after Joe Judge lured him away from the Dolphins to join him in East Rutherford in 2020. Although Judge got fired following the 2021 season, Daboll and Graham were on the Patriots‘ staff together from 2013 to 2015 and have a tight relationship.
The Giants’ defense has ranked 12th and 21st in the last two years under Graham. Co-owner John Mara also said that Graham is highly respected in the Giants’ building, which is another reason that the organization wishes to keep him on as their DC. Graham drew several head coaching interview requests last offseason as well, but the Giants signed him to a hefty contract extension so that he’d stay put.
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
More Familiar Faces
According to new general manager Joe Schoen, assistant GM Kevin Abrams and director of football operations Ed Triggs will remain with the organization.
Abrams has been with the Giants since 1999, while Triggs joined the organization in 2003 in the video department, before moving into a front office role 13 years later. Both executives have done extensive work on the salary cap and personnel side.
In addition to keeping Graham, there is a strong chance that the Giants will also retain defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson under Daboll, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic.
Henderson joined the Giants’ staff with Graham following the Judge hire prior to the 2020 season.
Both Henderson and Daboll have some familiarity as well, spending two seasons together on the New York Jets‘ coaching staff from 2007 to 2008.
Now, it appears as though the Giants will look to keep some continuity on the defensive side of the ball with Graham and Henderson sticking around.
Optimism for Jones
Schoen made it clear that the Giants intend on building around quarterback Daniel Jones as he enters his fourth season in the NFL.
And their new head coach, Daboll, expressed confidence in Jones on Monday as well. According to Daboll, the plan is to put the right pieces around Jones so that he can be the best version of himself for the Giants. Daboll went onto emphasize the difficulty of developing a quarterback, and revealed the team’s goal to create some stability in order to unlock Jones’ ceiling, which will be a “group effort” by the organization.
Although Jones suffered a season-ending neck injury, which forced him to miss the final six games of the year, there is optimism that he will be ready for the start of the 2022 regular season.
As Mara revealed this morning, the Giants’ medical staff is confident that Jones will be cleared to resume full-contact football activities during the offseason.