Giants ‘Have No Intention of Moving On’ From Brian Daboll’s Top Assistant Despite Rumors

Brian Daboll

Getty The New York Giants "have no intention of moving on" from head coach Brian Daboll's top assistant.

Brian Daboll and the New York Giants have already jettisoned two coordinators, but Mike Kafka isn’t expected to follow Don “Wink” Martindale and ex-special teams boss Thomas McGaughey out the door.

The Giants “have no intention of moving on” from offensive coordinator Kafka, according to the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz. That update is part of conflicting reports about Kafka’s future.

Another option has been put forward by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, speaking on the “Breaking Big Blue” podcast.

Raanan said, “Mike Kafka, the more I hear, the less likely it is — and I know he’s still there now — even if he doesn’t get a head coaching job, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants let him out and he ends up somewhere else anyway. He’s unhappy.”

Raanan even went as far as saying he’s hearing Kafka is done with the Giants “from five, six, seven people.”

The root of the problem is Daboll’s involvement in calling plays for a sputtering offense.

Brian Daboll & Mike Kafka at Odds: Report

Daboll’s presence became “super suffocating” for Kafka, according to Raanan. “He was overly involved in the offense if that was possible — even though it’s his offense. But really, just in a way, undercutting, completely undercutting Kafka, who is the offensive coordinator.”

Play calling was an issue earlier this season, with rumors rife Daboll took the responsibility away from Kafka against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. Kafka was keen to point out he still had the headset against the Cards, and that the process remained collaborative with his head coach.

The uneasy relationship between Daboll and his top assistant was reflected in his interactions with defensive coordinator Martindale. A tense clash of personalities was reported during the season, before Martindale walked away in January, with a fractured partnership with Daboll the main cause of the split.

Kafka has the chance to make his own exit. A chance created by interviews for the head-coaching jobs with the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, per Raanan and his ESPN colleague Adam Schefter.

Significantly, Schwartz’s Post colleague Ryan Dunleavy thinks “Even if Kafka doesn’t get a head coach job from his multiple interviews, a lateral move remains in play.”

Another team needing a new OC could turn Kafka’s head by promising him a free rein. As Schwartz pointed out, “Daboll did not state unequivocally that Kafka will continue to call the plays in 2024.”

If the Giants and Kafka do decide to move on, Daboll can turn to a familiar face to assume the coordinator’s role.

Giants Have ‘Pretty Clear’ Replacement for Mike Kafka

Fortunately for Daboll, the obvious choice to replace Kafka is about to get some coordinator experience. Quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney will serve as the OC for the National Team at this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl.

It’s “pretty clear that Tierney is in line to replace” Kafka, assuming the latter leaves, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Tierney makes sense as an offensive coordinator in waiting for the Giants because of his history with Daboll. The pair worked together in 2017 “at Alabama, when Daboll was the offensive coordinator and Tierney was an offensive assistant on Nick Saban’s staff. Daboll brought Tierney with him to Buffalo in 2018 and to the Giants in 2022,” per Schwartz.

Elevating Tierney could make sense, even though his recent tour as Daniel Jones’ position coach hardly makes for the strongest endorsement. Jones regressed after signing a four-year, $160-million contract last offseason.

Poor play along the offensive line and injuries didn’t help, but Jones also struggled with decision-making and accuracy when healthy. His ongoing issues have to leave the Giants in play to select a quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft.

If so, then Tierney’s role at the Senior Bowl could prove crucial. He’ll have the chance to coach and gather information on a few intriguing prospects, including Washington star Michael Pennix Jr.

Tierney will either pass that info on to Kafka or use it to inform a new direction for his own offense with the Giants.