New York Giants Looking At Former Jets DC To Help Olivier Vernon

Cay North
New York Giants, Olivier Vernon
Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon (54) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets and the New York Giants are typically considered city rivals, but that doesn’t mean moves between the two can’t happen. According to NFL Network, the Giants have interviewed Kacy Rodgers, who served as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 2015 to 2018.

The move is being immediately linked to Olivier Vernon, who Rodgers has experience with because of their shared time with the Miami Dolphins. With Vernon underperforming last season and struggling both on the field and with injuries, many Giants fans have wondered if it’s worth keeping him around at a large cost at all, so an addition to the staff meant to help Vernon could potentially offer large benefits.

But the Giants already have a defensive coordinator, and there’s no signs that James Bettcher is going anywhere after one season. Supposedly, Rodgers would have a “senior” role on the defensive staff without being the actual defensive coordinator. What that role would actually be is something that remains to be seen, but Rodgers has past experience as a defensive line coach in Miami and with various other teams, as well as a stint as the defensive tackles coach in Dallas.

The Jets had the 25th ranked defense in the league based on opponent yards allowed last season, which was only one spot below the 24th ranked Giants. The Jets defense wasn’t an impressive one, and that’s probably the reason why Rodgers isn’t being looked at as a defensive coordinator. However, it seems like the Giants’ interest in him is mainly based in his defensive line coaching and his past experience working with Olivier Vernon.

Vernon only played in 11 games this season and registered 30 tackles, a far cry from his 60 tackles in 2016. Whether or not the possible hiring of one of his former coaches will help that number to improve during the 2019 season, if Vernon is even on the team at that point, remains to be seen. If it does, however, it looks like a very smart move on the part of the Giants to help an area of need.