New York Giants: Joe Judge thankful for Patrick Graham staying

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

The New York Giants won’t be changing defensive coordinators this season. Despite interest from other teams such as the Jets, it didn’t take long this offseason for Patrick Graham to agree to a new contract with the Giants. The extension came after the Jets asked to interview Graham, and confirmed that he’ll remain with the Giants instead of looking into the head coaching options.

One person that’s happy about the immediate move to keep Graham is Joe Judge, who was largely involved in the hiring of Graham in the first place this offseason.

“Keeping Pat here was definitely a priority for us. We know Pat’s gonna have a lot of opportunities going forward. He’s a very, very smart coach, he’s very good communicator, he has a lot of really good ideas and he’s very good getting the players to buy in and understand the concept he’s trying to do,” Judge said while speaking to WFAN on Tuesday.

The Giants defense improved quickly under Graham, with the Giants finishing in the top half of the league in terms of stopping the opponent from gaining yards. They also allowed the 9th least opponent points, and several players such as Leonard Williams and James Bradberry stepped up to have improved performances while playing under Graham.

Defense kept the Giants in several games, and they could have had more wins if it wasn’t for having one of the worst offenses in the league. So, it’s understandable that keeping Graham was a priority.

“I tell you what, that to me was huge. That was huge. Pat’s a great coach, he’s a good friend. Being able to keep him in this organization for as long as we can, that definitely was a priority. He’s a tremendous help to me, he carries that title of assistant head coach and that’s not just fluff on a sheet. He does a lot of things helping me internally,” Judge said about the coach.

Both of the Giants’ coordinators have received interest from other teams. Graham obviously turned down the chance to interview for the Jets job, but offensive coordinator Jason Garrett accepted an interview from the Chargers. It remains to be seen what the staff will look like come the 2021 season, but we do know for sure that the Giants will keep their best performing coordinator from 2020.

Should the New York Giants look to add Anthony Lynn to their coaching staff?

The New York Giants are entering a crucial offseason. The Giants made serious progress this season, winning two more games than they did last season despite transitioning to a new, rookie head coach in a pandemic-filled season. New York saw numerous key, young players develop into building blocks. But there was one serious flaw with the New York Giants in 2020: their inept offense.

The Giants’ offense, more often than not, was terrible in 2020. They finished the season averaging just 17.5 points per game, the second-worst in the NFL. New York’s defense kept them in games and even won the team some games. But the offense often held the team back and consistently failed to propel the team to victory.

Many critics have placed the blame on the Giants’ offensive coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has received a plethora of criticism. However, it seems like his job is safe unless he leaves for a head coaching job elsewhere. Interestingly enough, the Los Angeles Chargers did interview Jason Garrett for their vacant head coach position.

The Chargers parted ways with head coach Anthony Lynn this offseason after four seasons in the position. Lynn has now generated excitement from fans who are suggesting him for the Giants’ offensive coordinator position if Jason Garrett were to leave and fill Lynn’s former position. However, I suggest another role for Anthony Lynn on the Giants’ coaching staff. One that could elevate the Giants’ offense to new heights.

Proposing Anthony Lynn as passing game coordinator

It seems unlikely that Jason Garrett will leave the New York Giants’ coaching staff this offseason. There are numerous head coaching candidates out there that will be more appealing to teams that have vacancies. Additionally, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that the idea of Garrett leaving makes him “antsy,” so it seems like the team has no plans to fire Jason Garrett.

Many fans suggested Anthony Lynn would be a nice fit with the Giants as the team’s offensive coordinator if the position were to free up with Garrett’s eventual departure. But, with Garrett seemingly here to stay, Anthony Lynn cannot fulfill that offensive coordinator position. However, I think he could fill another role on Joe Judge’s coaching staff.

The New York Giants do not have a passing game or running game coordinator. These are somewhat new coaching positions that are not implemented in every coaching staff in the league, but they are present on many of the NFL’s top offenses. The Giants could add a passing game coordinator to aid Jason Garrett with that facet of the offense. New York seemed to run the ball just fine but struggled mightily in the passing game. A passing game coordinator could help fix that.

Anthony Lynn would make a lot of sense as the Giants’ passing game coordinator. He might not have been the best decision-maker as head coach of the Chargers, but his passing concepts were undeniably impressive and helped Los Angeles achieve plenty of success through the air under Lynn’s tutelage.

Could Anthony Lynn take this offense to the next level?

The Giants need more playmakers on offense. It is an obvious weakness right now and the fans, coaches, and front office alike are all aware of this. Getting an elite wide receiver for Daniel Jones will help this offense tremendously. But, furthermore, having an offensive coach that specializes in creating and implementing a creative passing attack would help Daniel Jones even more.

The Los Angeles Chargers saw their offense reach new heights in 2020. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert stepped onto the scene and instantly looked like a star, shattering rookie passing records. Anthony Lynn’s poor special teams, defense, and game-management led to his demise in Los Angeles. But his offensive scheme was not even close to problematic.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense averaged 270.6 passing yards per game in 2020. Herbert racked up a rookie-record 31 passing touchdowns to go along with 4336 and only 10 interceptions. Herbert often found himself throwing to open receivers downfield, schemed open by Lynn’s offensive scheme.

Anthony Lynn’s vertical passing concepts create an aggressive, downfield approach in his offensive attack. Mixing that in with Jason Garrett’s downhill rushing scheme and short passing concepts could give the Giants the best of both worlds.

Granted, a job as a passing game coordinator might be a bit beneath Anthony Lynn. Lynn is a highly-respected NFL coach that led the Los Angeles Chargers to a 12-4 record in 2018. But, if he is willing to take a less significant role on the Giants’ coaching staff, he could create significant improvements within the Giants’ offense.

New York Giants sign defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to contract extension

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

The New York Giants have signed standout defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to a contract extension, per multiple sources. Patrick Graham will not pursue any head coaching opportunities in 2021. The New York Jets requested to interview Graham for their vacant head coaching position yesterday.

Patrick Graham earned this contract extension after a phenomenal first season with the Giants. Graham was signed to be New York’s defensive coordinator last offseason after spending the 2019 season as the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

The Giants defense allowed only 22.3 points per game this season (ninth-best in NFL). This is a huge improvement from the 28.2 points per game that New York allowed in 2019 (third-worst). Graham’s defense also allowed only 349 yards per game and forced a solid 22 turnovers on the year.

Under the toolage of Patrick Graham, the Giants saw multiple players celebrate career-years. Leonard Williams posted a career-high 11.5 sacks. Blake Martinez was phenomenal, totaling 151 combined tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. James Bradberry made his first career Pro Bowl and played at an All-Pro level in 2020. Additionally, the Giants’ main safety duo, Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers were crucial to the Giants’ success. Peppers also had a career-year while Ryan played above expectations in his first season as a safety.

The Giants also saw tremendous growth from their young defenders. Rookie Darnay Holmes was a solid starter at slot cornerback. New York had a revolving door at the second cornerback position but saw each player grow and develop until turning into capable starters at the position.

Details on the length and money of the contract have not yet been revealed. But this is a big move for the New York Giants. Signing Patrick Graham to an extension ensures the Giants continuity and the chance to build something special on the defensive side of the ball for years to come. Graham was one of the best assistant coaches in the NFL this season and has been rewarded as such.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman to remain general manager, according to reports

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are continuing with Dave Gettleman as the team’s general manager, according to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post. Schwartz notes that the decision came from ownership, as they believe the Giants are “heading in the right direction.” Paul Schwartz also says that ownership also believes “Gettleman is the right man to continue the building process alongside head coach Joe Judge.”

This will undoubtedly be a controversial decision amongst Giants fans. The New York Giants hired Dave Gettleman in 2018 and the team has not seen much success over the past three seasons. With Dave Gettleman as the general manager of the Giants, the team has gone 15-33 in three years. They have also seen two head coaches hired during the Gettleman era.

Prior to the 2020 offseason, Giants’ co-owner John Mara made it clear that Dave Gettleman was on thin ice. Mara mentioned that Gettleman’s “batting average” needed to go up. Certainly, it did, with great signings in the 2020 free agency period like Blake Martinez and James Bradberry having a huge impact on the Giants this season.

The Giants also saw improvements week-to-week by Gettleman and company’s 2020 draft class. And, most importantly, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones showed tremendous progression through this season. Jones was Gettleman’s most important selection as general manager of the Giants and his success largely determines the success of Dave Gettleman as a general manager.

Granted, while the Giants fought for a playoff spot until the final game of the 2020 season, they still finished the year below .500 with a 6-10 record. The team is improving and this is the best record they have posted during the Gettleman era. After this season of improvements, Dave Gettleman now officially bought himself at least another year as the general manager of the New York Giants.

John Mara and Dave Gettleman will meet with the media this week to discuss the state of the New York Giants and “the factors that went into retaining Gettleman.” Schwartz’s post indicates that this was largely a John Mara decision and that Mara feels “the arrow is pointing up” towards success in the Giants’ future with Dave Gettleman.

New York Giants’ HC Joe Judge torches the Eagles over tank game in week 17

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants had an opportunity to make the post-season if the Philadelphia Eagles emerged victorious against the Washington Football Team in week 17. The Eagles had already sat most of their starting players, utilizing Jalen Hurts as their quarterback before replacing him in the second half for career back-up Nate Sudfeld.

Ultimately, the Eagles, more specifically, head coach Doug Pederson, tanked on national television in a game that was flexed to prime time given the significance. The Giants desperately needed Philadelphia to win, but instead, they compromise the integrity of the sport and laid down for their opponents, who secured a playoff spot because of it.

Talking heads around the league and team representatives, ranging from players to coaches, took to social media to express their concern and embarrassment. What Philadelphia did was nothing short of low class, given how teams around the league remained competitive despite having good chances at landing a top pick.
Take the New York Jets for example, who could have easily laid down and secured Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall. Instead, they competed and ended up winning a few games, proving that they respect the integrity of the game. What Philadelphia did was inexcusable and they will undoubtedly have a target on their back because of it. By losing, they went from ninth overall to sixth overall in the 2021 NFL draft.

The commander of the New York Giants has some stern words on the Eagles’ tank game:

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge spoke to media members on Monday, indicating his opinion on the matter. Let’s just say, it fits right in line with his disciplinary approach and respect for the sport.

“To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the HC of the Giants.”

Judge has proved that he has the right mentality toward winning in the NFL. What he expects from his players and coaches on a daily basis demands consistency and respect for the game. Because of this, free agents in the future will prefer to take their talents to New York, as culture is a major factor in these decisions. Judge’s comments tell me one thing, he was the right choice to fill the vacant head-coaching spot left by Pat Shurmur, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Where do the New York Giants stand in the 2021 NFL Draft?

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday evening, with the Washington Football Team overcoming the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys to put themselves in a position of hope, they desperately needed the Eagles to secure a victory, but not only did they lose, they did it in embarrassing fashion.

Head coach Doug Pederson unexplainably took out quarterback Jalen Hurts, inserting Nate Sudfeld, indicating after the game that he was trying to win. If the Eagles were truly trying to extract a victory from this performance, they would’ve left Huets in or at least started Carson Wentz/Sudfeld to see if he was motivated by being benched several weeks ago. Ultimately, the Eagles tanked on national television, and there’s no other way to describe it.

A lack of respect for the game and integrity was displayed on national television, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should discipline the Eagles for making a mockery of the league and disrespecting teams that fought for a chance at a playoff spot earlier on in the day.

Now, that is not to say that the Giants couldn’t have performed better during the season, as a six-win team should never be in the playoffs, to begin with. The Giants had their opportunities to walk away with victories, especially in the first contest against the Eagles earlier on in the season when Evan Engram dropped a deep ball that would’ve secured the win.

However, Big Blue and head coach Joe Judge look ahead, as decisions have to be made on general manager Dave Gettleman and how they will utilize their draft selection 2021. Of course, decisions on Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and a bevy of players hitting the free-agent market will unfold in the coming months.

For now, we can reflect back on a season that was full of challenges due to COVID-19 and injuries to players like Saquon Barkley, Lorenzo Carter, and Oshane Ximines.

Where do the New York Giants stand in the NFL draft:

The Giants currently hold the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, putting them in a spot where they could potentially land a player like Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle, Florida tight and Kyle Pitts, or even star edge rusher Gregory Rousseau from Miami.

The Giants have weak links at multiple positions, but wide receiver remains a big one. Securing a WR1 would be a big deal for Daniel Jones, especially with Saquon Barkley preparing to make his return in 2021. However, adding an elite pass rusher like Gregory would be beneficial. It seems as if the defense is already in a good place, and a year of experience under their belt should benefit them tremendously. The offense is the unit that desperately needs assistance, so I expect the draft selection to go their way.

I do believe that the Giants are trending up, based on Judge’s influence and the change in culture. Some may not agree with the decision to hold onto Daniel Jones, but I believe that will be the reality this off-season. Nonetheless, prepare for plenty of draft breakdowns and film analysis on these fantastic prospects.

New York Giants: 3 causes of concerns against Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are facing one of their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys in week 17. The Cowboys are one game ahead of the Giants. If the Giants want to make the playoffs, they need to beat Dallas first. If they beat Dallas, they need some help from the Eagles to beat the Washington Football Team.

The Giants are facing a team that is trending in the right direction. This game against Dallas will not be easy, here are the three concerns for the Giants in Week 17.

Giants trending down, Cowboys trending up

The Giants went on a four-game win streak before losing against the Arizona Cardinals on Week 14. Since that Week 14 loss, the Giants are on a three-game losing streak. While the Giants are trending downwards the Cowboys are on the rise. The Cowboys have won their last three games and putting up points on the opponent’s defense.

The Giants had a top 10 run defense going into last week. In the last three games, the Giants have given up on average 171.3 per game on the ground. With Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard picking up steam over the last couple of weeks, the Cowboy’s run offense has significantly improved.

Giants pass defense

Whatever side James Bradberry chooses, I am not worried about. The side that has Issac Yiadom could and will likely be a weak point, especially with the weapons that Dallas has in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and rookie CeeDee Lamb.

The Cowboys went from a Dak Prescott/Zeke centric offense to a Mike McCarthy/spread centric offense with Andy Dalton at the helm. Since Dalton has come back from his concussion and Covid-19, he has gone 4-2 and brought the Cowboys all the way back to the playoff picture. Over the last three games, the Cowboys are averaging 36 points per game, and the Giants are averaging 8.6 points per game.

The Giants secondary is gonna need to create turnovers if they want a chance to play in the playoffs with home-field advantage.

Simple, Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones will be playing in the biggest game of his young career. If Jones can beat Dallas and get a little help from Philly, he could remove all the talks about him potentially getting replaced.

Jones spoke to the media this week about his previous injuries and admitted he is not a hundred percent. Jones also said that he would be a pocket passer and not use his legs until he is a hundred percent healthy. Jones technically just told Dallas that he will stay in the pocket and throw. Dallas has to prepare less now.

One thing that we love about head coach Joe Judge is that he keeps his opponents guessing. With Jones telling the media about staying in the pocket, that’s not keeping your opponents guessing.

 

New York Giants wrap up tough 2020 on Joe Judge’s birthday

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Happy birthday, Joe Judge! The New York Giants coach turned 39 on New Year’s Eve. He’s still younger than Eli Manning, however, as Manning turns 40 on Sunday. The day is not only Judge’s birthday, but also wraps up a turbulent 2020 that wasn’t easy on the Giants. Still, despite all the challenges, there’s been some improvement compared to previous seasons.

Over the past few years, the team has been forgettable by this point in the year, but right now the Giants still have a chance to make it into the playoffs with a win on Sunday.

2020 was a year that began with intrigue for the Giants. Pat Shurmur was out and Joe Judge was hired in early January to replace him. The hire brought mixed reviews, thanks to his relative lack of experience compared to a typical new head coach. He had no track record as an offensive or defensive coordinator, but had rave reviews from both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.

And it was clear that this was a last chance for Dave Gettleman. The assumption was that he would be gone at the start of the year but he remained in place, and the Giants made a flurry of free agency moves. They added both James Bradberry and Blake Martinez in the spring, and it looks like both players have found long term spots as elite members of the defense.

When the season actually came around, the Giants were faced with a big losing streak to start the season. It looked like more of the same, and like the team would quickly be out of the playoff hunt. Just as bad was their injury situation, as they had very quickly lost top running back Saquon Barkley for the year with an ACL tear. Draft pick Xavier McKinney would also go down long term, before the season even began.

But somehow, the Giants have found themselves in the playoff mix regardless. And going into 2021, they still haven’t been eliminated. This season hasn’t exactly been a good one for the Giants by the typical standards of a good season. However, it’s undoubtedly been a big improvement on what they were.

No one thought after the first half of the season that this team would still be in contention come January. And that’s right where the Giants are right now. It remains to be seen what 2021 will bring, but for the first time in a few years, there’s reasons beyond just hopeful optimism to believe the team is going in a good direction.

New York Giants HC Joe Judge says he is all-in on injured, healing QB Daniel Jones

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are preparing to play the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday. It is still uncertain who will start at quarterback for the Giants this week, though. Typical starter Daniel Jones is still recovering from two injuries (hamstring, ankle) and missed last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

The Giants are hoping to see their starting quarterback make his return to the field this week, but they will not rush him back if he is not healthy. However, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, today’s practice saw Daniel Jones look the best he has since suffering his original hamstring injury in Week 12.

Along with that crucial information came more news surrounding the Giants’ second-year quarterback. Head coach Joe Judge spoke with the media today and discussed his quarterback’s injury and the long-term future of Daniel Jones.

Joe Judge expresses long-term confidence in Daniel Jones

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge spoke with the media today and answered questions about quarterback Daniel Jones. Joe Judge has been watching Daniel Jones carefully this season and has come away impressed. In fact, Judge went as far as to say that Daniel Jones has “earned his respect.”

When discussing the current state of the Giants and also the long-term future, Joe Judge made it clear that he is confident in Daniel Jones:

Daniel Jones is our quarterback. – Joe Judge via Giants.com

Joe Judge gave that answer when asked if he ever gets “a second and a half to think about next year,” is Daniel Jones the Giants’ quarterback? Joe Judge affirmed that Daniel Jones is the quarterback of the New York Giants this year and next year. This quote alone likely eliminates the Giants from any quarterback mock draft discussion.

Joe Judge says he has seen a “string of moments” where Daniel Jones has proven himself to be a franchise quarterback. Judge noted the “respect he has in the locker room” as well as the improvements Jones has made “throughout this season.”

I think he’s demonstrated a level of toughness and leadership and knowledge on the field that gives us confidence to put him out there and build with Daniel. – Joe Judge on Daniel Jones in 2020

Joe Judge is impressed with what he has seen in Daniel Jones during his first season as the head coach of the New York Giants. Judge and the Giants are confident they can build with Daniel as the team’s franchise quarterback.

The overwhelming majority of Giants fans have expressed great confidence and trust in head coach Joe Judge. Judge endorsing Daniel Jones as the Giants’ franchise quarterback should bring the fanbase to rally around the second-year gunslinger from Duke.

These final two games will decide a lot about the Giants going forward

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

With Christmas behind us and the new year just days away, the NFL regular season is winding down very quickly. There are two weeks left to go, and the New York Giants find themselves in a unique position.

Despite having a 5-9 record and suffering through their seventh losing season out of the last eight seasons, they are still in the race for the division title due to the futility of the 2020 NFC East.

However, with two difficult games coming up against the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys, who both have caught fire the past couple of weeks, it’s very possible that the Giants could lose out and finish 5-11, finding themselves with yet another top 10 pick in the draft.

These next two weeks will say a lot about the state of the franchise both in the short-term and potentially the long-term as well. The fate of general manager Dave Gettleman will most certainly hang in the balance, and possibly quarterback Daniel Jones as well.

Head coach Joe Judge seemed to suggest that Daniel Jones is not going anywhere in 2021 during an exchange with NFL Network’s Kim Jones on Wednesday. Judge mentioned how Daniel Jones has earned his respect throughout the course of the season, especially with all the challenges the team was faced with. Judge even went as far as to say, “Daniel Jones is our quarterback,” when asked a follow-up question about him.

Now, of course, we need to take everything with a grain of salt because what Judge said was expected, but it seems to be a safe bet that Jones will at least will be the starting quarterback at the beginning of next season, especially if Gettleman sticks around.

If Gettleman gets fired and a new general manager is brought in, however, the quarterback question definitely gets more interesting. Judge will, without a doubt, have a big say in who the next general manager is, and then the two of them will have to decide where to go at the position. It’s possible that the new general manager would want to bring in his own quarterback, and he’ll be able to convince Judge to get on board, but it’s also just as likely they’ll stick with Jones.

If Jones is healthy enough to play these final two games, his performance can help his chances of staying if he plays well and finishes the season on a high note. If he remains out, there’s also the chance that could hurt his standing a little bit. The best availability is availability, as Giants fans have been harshly reminded of.

There’s no doubt Jones is talented and had a promising rookie season, but there’s also no doubt he’s regressed badly in his second season. Now, a lot of that is due to offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and his horrible scheme that does not play to Jones’ strengths, but Jones certainly isn’t blameless. Garrett’s fate is probably already decided, and he’s the most likely person to be gone after the season, but Jones still needs to play better and prove that he’s taken the next step in his development, which he has yet to do regardless of the other factors that may play into it.

At the very least, the Giants would be wise to get themselves a backup who can give Jones some legitimate competition and give the team a better chance of winning games when he’s in. No disrespect to Colt McCoy, who’s solid and well-respected around the league, but he’s not going to cut it.

When it comes to Gettleman, he’s on much thinner ice than Jones, and the rest of the season could singlehandedly decide whether he keeps his job or not. Despite having a 14-32 record over his close to three seasons as general manager, if the Giants win the division and even go on to win a playoff game, John Mara could see that as enough evidence that the team is going in the right direction and keep Gettleman.

If the Giants go 1-1 or 0-2 and finish no better than 6-10, then it becomes more likely that Gettleman will go, and Judge will bring in his own guy. This past offseason was a successful one for the Giants in both free agency and the draft, with several key role players being added to the roster, but a lot of that is due to the coaching staff getting the most out of the players.

The fact of the matter is that this roster still lacks a lot of talent in critical areas, talent that even the best of coaching staffs need to achieve success. That’s on Gettleman, who’s had more than enough time to solve that problem by now, but his misses have just greatly overweighed his hits. Other teams that were in similar situations to us when Gettleman took over, such as Cleveland, Buffalo, and Arizona, have turned it around while the Giants have been stuck in a cycle of losing. I know that each team’s situation is different, but it should show you that rebuilds don’t have to take as long as they have for the Giants.

The point is that these final two games carry a lot of weight for the Giants. They are both very important and will have lasting implications one way or another, no matter where the team finishes. They could define what the offseason looks like for the Giants while also providing answers to some critical questions surrounding the team.