HomeTrade RumorsCoaches for RBs and Special Teams, Daboll and Kafka

Coaches for RBs and Special Teams, Daboll and Kafka

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The Giants have added two coaches to their staff. The team announced that they’ve hired Joel Thomas as their new running backs coach and Aaron Wellman as their executive director of player performance.

Following a long stint in college coaching, Thomas was named the Saints running backs coach in 2015. Since then, the Saints are tied for second in the NFL with 161 rushing touchdowns, with Alvin Kamara earning five Pro Bowl selections over that span. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints didn’t block the interview despite the lateral move, with the organization “not wanting to hold a coach back.”

Thomas is set to replace Jeff Nixon, who left his role with the Giants after one season to become Syracuse’s offensive coordinator.

Wellman was previously the Giants’ strength and conditioning coach on both Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur’s staffs. He’s spent the past four years as Indiana University’s senior assistant athletic director for football performance.

More Giants coaching notes:

  • Thomas McGaughey was fired after six seasons as the Giants special teams coordinator, and the organization has started to look for his replacement. According to Rapoport, the Giants interviewed Matt Harper last weekend for the coordinator job. Harper has been with the 49ers organization since 2021, serving as the team’s assistant special teams coordinator.
  • Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Carlos Polk is also expected to be a candidate for the special teams job. The veteran coach spent the past two seasons as the Bears assistant special teams coach, and he previously held that same role with the Jaguars, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Chargers.
  • There’s more fallout from the sudden Giants/Don Martindale divorce, with much of it focused on head coach Brian Daboll and his handling of the coaching staff. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, the coaching staff’s finger pointing got so bad that GM Joe Schoen ended up tuning in to the coach’s headsets during games. This decision may have stemmed from the opinion of some coaches that Daboll’s sideline behavior was “destructive,” with Leonard noting that the coach’s input “was never proactive, always reactionary.”
  • While the Daboll/Martindale argument grabbed headlines, Daboll also didn’t have the rosiest relationship with Mike Kafka. The offensive coordinator “received the brunt of Daboll’s fury” and was constantly second-guessed. This latter point was clear in Daboll’s handling of play-calling duties, as Kafka’s in-game responsibilities were constantly changing

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