Giants’ offensive coordinator quiets claims of secret play-caller change

mike kafka, giants
New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka talks to reporters before the organized team activities (OTA's) are canceled due to air quality at the Giants training center on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

This season, the New York Giants‘ offense has struggled, bringing their quarterback Daniel Jones into the spotlight. Following his substantial four-year, $160 million contract extension, much was anticipated from Jones. Despite the weight of expectations, Jones has faced challenges that have hindered his performance, with several external factors influencing his game.

Across three games, the Giants have only managed to score six first-half points. Yet, all eyes turned to the team’s spectacular second half in Week 2. In this match, Jones impressively led the Giants to score 31 points against the Arizona Cardinals – the same team that recently bested the Dallas Cowboys. But this resurgence in play led many to question: How did the Giants flip the script?

Was there a Change in Playcalling?

Post this unexpected win, rumors spread that the Giants might have switched play-callers, moving from coordinator Mike Kafka to head coach Brian Daboll. Given the noticeable change in the team’s strategy, emphasizing deeper throws and more explosive plays, these rumors seemed plausible.

Addressing these speculations, Kafka clarified in a media interaction, “No, our process has been the same. You guys are doing your job. You guys are trying to ask questions, I don’t resent that at all. Fair question but the process has been the same.” He indicated that while their strategy remained unchanged, they did tap into a deeper section of the playbook, particularly when the offensive line began offering better protection for Jones.

Jones’ Performance and the Giants’ Strategy

Jones ended the Arizona game with some remarkable stats: 321 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, 59 rushing yards, and one rushing touchdown. Contrarily, during the Giants’ face-off against the San Francisco 49ers, the team kept Jones restrained in the pocket. This was perhaps a tactic to preserve his health against a formidable defense, but this game plan proved ineffective.

Kafka’s comments suggest that any perceived change in play-calling was more about Daboll’s attempt to shield his words from on-field cameras rather than taking over the duty. With this narrative mostly settled, credit goes to Kafka for his Week 2 second-half strategies. Nonetheless, the New York Giants have more to prove, especially as they gear up to challenge the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.

“I think he was just trying to talk into the microphone without anyone reading his lips, but I don’t want to speak for Dabs,” Kafka said. “I mean, we communicate throughout every series, every drive, throughout the game, what we like, what we don’t like. Again, the process hasn’t changed from last year to this year.”

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