Should the Giants make Mike Kafka coach on the sidelines?

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.

The New York Giants’ frustrations have begun to boil over in recent weeks. Players have expressed their discontent publicly and sideline outbursts have run rampant amidst this abysmal season.

Much of the visible frustration has come from the offensive players as their unit averages a league-worst 11.8 points per game. Fans are beginning to call into question the job security of offensive coordinator Mike Kafka as his unit sinks to the depths of the ocean this season.

As the sidelines continue to experience turmoil, Kafka’s absence from the sidelines could soon become a point of contention. The Giants’ offensive coordinator plays the “eye-in-the-sky” role, fulfilling his duties from the coaching box, rather than coaching from the sidelines.

But considering the struggles of the Giants’ offense, the unit’s frequent miscommunications, and the team’s clear frustration over their poor performance, is it time that Kafka leaves the box and joins his unit on the sidelines?

Should the Giants move Mike Kafka to the sideline?

Last season, Kafka made his debut as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. The unit exceeded expectations and was a primary component of the team’s success as Big Blue won their first playoff game in over a decade. Throughout the 2022 season, Kafka spent his gamedays in the coaching box, a change of pace from the team’s previous offensive coordinators.

But with such turmoil and tension between the players and coaches on the sidelines, it may be time for the Giants to consider moving Kafka to the sideline.

During Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, WRs Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard were captured by Fox’s broadcast arguing with position coach Mike Groh. Typically, the conversations among players and position coaches would be overseen by the unit’s coordinator, in this case, Kafka.

However, without Kafka on the sideline, head coach Brian Daboll is left to manage tense situations like this one, pulling him away from his other duties and managing the rest of the game.

The 49ers recently made a similar change and found great success

The 6-3 San Fransisco 49ers recently made a similar change with one of their coordinators after some mid-season struggles. The once-great San Fran defense had begun to falter in recent weeks before they bounced back this Sunday and dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars en route to a 34–3 victory.

The key difference in this win compared to the rest of the 49ers’ games this season was the presence of defensive coordinator Steve Wilks on the sideline. Like Kafka, Wilks is known to stay up in the coaching box on Sundays. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan decided to move him to the sideline for this week’s matchup with the Jaguars.

Wilks “revived” the 49ers’ defense this weekend with his presence on the sideline. The unit forced four turnovers and held the Jaguars to only 221 yards of total offense.

Shanahan praised Wilks for the matchup and the 49ers’ defensive players expressed appreciation for the presence of their coordinator on the sideline. Moving Wilks to the sideline seemed to make a significant difference and resonate well with the players. Considering the success of this change in San Fransisco, the Giants may want to make a similar change to their coaching staff.

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