Giants hire former Titans coach Shane Bowen as next defensive coordinator

Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen (New York Giants candidate)
Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants have found their next defensive coordinator to replace Wink Martindale. According to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, the Giants are hiring former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen to fill the same position on head coach Brian Daboll’s staff.

The Giants are hiring Shane Bowen as their next defensive coordinator

The Giants are hiring Bowen as their next defensive coordinator, finally concluding what wound up being a lengthy search to fill the position. Bowen was the Titans’ defensive coordinator from 2021 to 2023. He’s 37 years old and has been coaching at the NFL level since 2016.

Bowen’s defense in Tennessee ranked tied for 17th in the NFL in 2023. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan shared some insight on Bowen on X following his hiring in New York:

“He’s known as a good teacher,” Raanan wrote. “Specialized in pass rush. His work with and the development of Harold Landry was notable under his watch.”

The G-Men will hope to see Bowen’s specialization in pass-rushing development pay off on EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux as he enters his third season in the NFL. Thibodeaux totaled a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2023 but saw his consistency fall as his pass-rush win rate on exactly four-man rushes (7.6%) ranked 90th in the league.

Bowen should help improve the Giants’ run defense

The Titans possessed one of the top run defenses in the league during Bowen’s tenure as their defensive coordinator:

From 2021 through 2022, opponents averaged a league-low 80.7 rushing yards per game (2,745 total) against the Titans. In that span, Bowen’s defense allowed a total of two individual 100-yard rushers—one in each season. At the same time, the defense allowed a third-down conversion rate of 35.4 percent (154 of 435), which ranked third behind the Buffalo Bills (34.1) and Baltimore Ravens (34.9). 

In 2022, the Titans led the NFL in rushing defense for the first time since 2003, surrendering a league-low average of 76.9 yards per contest (1,307 total) for the second-best finish in franchise history (73.4 in 1960). The Titans also ranked third in third-down defense in 2022, allowing a conversion rate of 34.2 percent (77 of 225). The 28 total starters used on defense was the second-highest total in the NFL, and the 40 total players used on defense led the league.

via the Tennessee Titans’ official website

The Giants’ run defense ranked 29th in the NFL this season, surrendering 132.4 yards on the ground per game. Bowen will need to improve that metric for Big Blue in 2024 as they aim to bounce back from a disappointing 6-11 season.

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