Former Giants coaches deem Brian Daboll’s outbursts as problematic

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll argues with a referee during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium

2024 will be the third season for New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who will also become the longest-tenured head coach of the franchise since the legendary Tom Coughlin. However, this season will look different than others, with a revamped group both on the depth chart and in the coaching staff following a disappointing 2023 season.

Brian Daboll’s temper reportedly led to internal turmoil

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll reacts during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium

In Daboll’s time as the Giants’ head coach, he has been known for his aggressive coaching style that sometimes would include fiery outbursts. One of the most widely recognized examples of such is the feud between him and former Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale — a feud which led to an awkward departure from Martindale to coach for the NCAA’s Michigan Wolverines.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan detailed more of the tensions from last season, which he reported stretched beyond him and Martindale.

“Sources close to the situation said that Martindale, along with several other coaches on both sides of the ball, had grown tired of Daboll’s frequent outbursts. Daboll’s staff felt he’d stopped listening and there was constant ‘finger-pointing,’ multiple team sources told ESPN,” Raanan wrote (h/t GiantsWire).

The Giants made sweeping changes to the coaching staff this season

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, right, and defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale on the sideline
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, right, and defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale on the sideline. The Giants defeat the Bengals, 25-22, in a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 21, 2022, in East Rutherford. Nfl Ny Giants Preseason Game Vs Bengals Bengals At Giants

Martindale’s departure (and the subsequent departures of his top assistants Kevin and Drew Wilkins) was a predecessor to a number of changes in New York’s coaching staff. Offensive line coach Bobby Johnson was let go at the start of the offseason, and so was special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. New York allowed 85 sacks last season, the most in the NFL, and had the second-lowest field goal percentage at 71%.

They have since been replaced by Shane Bowen (defensive coordinator), Carmen Bricillo (offensive line coach) and Michael Ghobrial (special teams coordinator). The hope is that the new group can lead to more successful results on the football field, as they went 6-11 and ranked near the bottom in a surplus of major offensive categories last season.

Daboll’s aggression led to bad football decisions

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll walks on the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Daboll had always been one to exhibit a fairly short temper towards his players and fellow coaches, often having spells of anger on the field following a poor series of plays. He would often get in the face of the officials if there was a call he disagreed with, which in turn would lead to a frustration challenge flag thrown. Daboll was 4-for-7 (57.1%) on challenges last season after being a perfect 3-for-3 on them in 2022.

Another example occurred earlier in the season, when Daboll was seemingly fed up with the consistently poor play from his quarterback, Daniel Jones, and threw a video tablet in disgust on the sidelines.

As the season progressed, Giants general manager Joe Schoen listened in to the in-game communications from his coaching staff, though there is no indication that his reasoning behind doing so had anything to do with brewing tensions in the locker room. Nevertheless, Raanan added in his report that former coaches noticed a completely different version of Daboll when he knew Schoen was listening versus when he wasn’t, and that the complexity of the situation overall became too much for them to want to continue.

“We were all trying to get out of there,” one anonymous coach told Raanan.

Some could view Daboll’s intensity as a form of passion and merely a competitive edge to winning games. However, it’s now clear that past coaches were not receiving that sentiment. As the new season approaches, maybe Daboll has a change in demeanor that could lead to an improved football team.

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