Giants Urged to ‘Lure’ Hall of Fame OL for New Coaching Vacancy

Giants urged to hire Mike Munchak as new offensive line coach after firing Bobby Johnson.

Getty The New York Giants were pushed to contact Mike Munchak for the OL coaching position after firing Bobby Johnson.

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen kicked off their end of year press conference by announcing that the organization would be moving on from special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.

That leaves two key vacancies for Daboll and Schoen to fill as of now, and the next several weeks to do it. The Athletic’s NYG media member Dan Duggan had an immediate suggestion for the offensive line position on January 8, voicing that “the Giants’ OL coach search has to start with finding out how much it would take to lure Mike Munchak.”

The older readers might remember Munchak more as a player. The long-time Houston Oiler was an All-Pro guard that was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Of course, Munchak also has quite the long resume as a coach, transitioning immediately from player to coaching assistant upon retiring in 1994. The OL expert stuck with the Oilers franchise — which became the Tennessee Titans in 1999 — for part two of his NFL career.

Before the shift to the Titans era, Munchak was promoted to offensive line coach of the Tennessee Oilers in 1997. He retained that position for 14 years and earned the head coaching job from 2011 through 2013. From there, he spent another eight seasons as an OL coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos. Munchak has not coached in the NFL since 2021.

Although he was unsuccessful as a head coach, Munchak is still well-respected as an OL savant to this day. If he has any interest in making an NFL return at age 64 in March, the Giants would be hard-pressed to find a more experienced and knowledgeable candidate.

Giants HC Brian Daboll Notes ‘Plan’ Is to Retain OC Mike Kafka, DC Wink Martindale Resigns After More Firings

The other key reveal from Daboll was that the expectation is offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will both be back in 2024. That narrative quickly changed on the latter as the day went on (more on that below).

Daboll did add that he had not spoken to Kafka or Martindale before the end of year press conference but made it clear that his “plan” is for them to remain with the coaching staff.

“I think they’re good coaches,” he stated. “So, it’d be good to have some continuity.” Daboll also expressed his appreciation for Kafka and Martindale’s “commitment to the team.”

Toward the end of the Q&A, Daboll did confirm that no other teams have reached out to them about requesting interviews with any staff members thus far, including Kakfa or Martindale. Both were head coaching candidates in 2023 but in the early goings of this hiring cycle, it appears that has changed.

For now, expect Kafka to return in 2024, but a breaking news development resulted in Martindale’s resignation from the Giants organization around 3:26 p.m. EST (per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport among others). The tide began to shift regarding the veteran DC after Daboll reportedly parted ways with coaching assistants Drew and Kevin Wilkins.

The Athletic’s Charlotte Carroll first reported those firings at 2:18 p.m. EST. Drew Wilkins was the Giants outside linebackers coach, while Kevin was a defensive assistant. Both were known to be “right-hand men” of Martindale going back to his time in Baltimore.

So, Daboll started January 8 with a supposed “plan” to retain Martindale. Clearly, that plan was not agreed upon by both parties.

Giants Looking for OL Coach With ‘History of Developing Players’

During the end of year presser, Schoen did note that a “history of developing players” will be important as the organization searches for a new offensive line coach. On that topic, a couple more experienced names have already been thrown out there on social media.

“If I’m a team looking to make a splash hiring an OL coach, I’m going after Dwayne Ledford immediately!” Prominent OL scout and trainer Duke Manyweather campaigned on X. “Throw the bag at him!”

Ledford has been the Atlanta Falcons offensive line coach since 2021 — a franchise that has had a recent track record developing blockers. With Falcons head coach Arthur Smith fired following Week 18, it’s possible that Ledford could become available in the coming weeks.

Duggan also suggested Dave DeGuglielmo for the job based on his NYG ties. “He’s already done two stints with the Giants (assistant OL 2004-08/OL coach second half of 2020),” the media insider explained, adding: “Worked with Daboll in Miami and New England.”

Expect several candidates to pop up throughout January as the Giants look to fill this key role with someone that can fix the various issues on the offensive line.

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