Giants get their defensive coordinator back, but is it a net positive?

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

After hiring Brian Daboll to fill the vacant head coach spot, the New York Giants are looking to piece together a new coaching staff. The hunt is on for an offensive coordinator, and they are currently down to three finalists, Mike Kafka, Pep Hamilton, and Chad O’Shea.

Hamilton and Kafka seem to be the most probable of the three, given their excellence in multiple categories and experience developing elite quarterbacks.

However, the defensive coordinator position is expected to be retained by Patrick Graham, who made it to the final round of interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings are expected to hire Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell to fill the HC spot left by Mike Zimmer, so Graham will make his way back to the Giants, where he will remain in command of the defense.

No more than two years ago, Graham stated that working with the Giants was his “dream job,” unfortunately, his good friend Joe Judge was unable to sustain success during his two-year tenure.

“This is my dream job, being the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants,” Graham told NJ Advance Media. “It’s a great opportunity, to be able to stay here, and the commitment they’re showing me. But the fact is, it’s the NFL. I still got a ways to go. We’ve got to perform better than this past year. That’s my goal. But I love being here.”

Unfortunately, after being a top 10 defense in 2020, the Giants witnessed a massive drop-off in efficiency, finishing with the 23rd ranked defense in points allowed per game at 24.5.

Suffering several critical injuries, including top linebacker Blake Martinez and cornerback Adoree Jackson, their potential was capped. However, we can point to the offense for poor field positioning and the lack of possession. The defense was constantly put in a state of peril, but Daboll and his new staff will look to overhaul the offensive unit and provide Graham with essential reinforcements.

Overall, Graham’s continuity will allow Daboll more time and freedom to work on the offensive scheme and develop the necessary talent. In addition, scouting free agents and draft prospects will also be at the forefront of his job requirements to start his career with Big Blue.

Graham’s familiarity with the players, coaches, and ownership will be a godsend for Daboll, a first-time head coach. Graham served as the assistant head coach under Judge, and he is expected to maintain that same role with the former Bills OC.