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Giants Likely to Retain OC Mike Kafka and DC Don Martindale, Fire ST Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

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Changes have been made to the Giants’ coaching staff, but a degree of stability is set to remain in place. Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson have been fired, head coach Brian Daboll announced on Monday.

All three coordinator have been mentioned as potentially being on the hot seat, so McGaughey’s dismissal comes as little surprise. The 50-year-old’s NFL coaching career dates back to 2001, and he had a stint as an assistant with the Giants from 2007-10. He returned to New York after as the team’s coordinator in 2018 (following stints in that same role with the Jets, 49ers and Panthers), enjoying relative success early on.

In recent years, however, the Giants’ third phase performances have taken a turn for the worse. In 2023, New York finished 21st in terms of special teams DVOA, marking a continuation of the team’s underwhelming showings. Now, for the first time since Pat Shurmur‘s tenure as head coach, the Giants will need to find a replacement special teams coordinator.

Johnson followed Daboll to the Giants in 2022 after their shared time with the Bills. The O-line was a sore spot throughout the campaign, though, and New York allowed a league-leading 85 sacks. That figure is in part a result of the slew of injuries the Giants dealt with up front, but also a lack of development from certain young members of the unit. That includes right tackle Evan Neal, who struggled before missing the latter portion of the season due to an ankle injury which will require surgery.

Notably, though, Daboll added that he expects both offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Don Martindale to be retained for 2024. Both staffers were reported to be on the chopping block in November, something which came as little surprise given the team’s regression from its impressive playoff run in 2022. New York faced issues in the passing game both before and after Daniel Jones‘ ACL tear, leading to a 30th place finish in scoring (15.6 points per game).

The team’s defense did not fare much better under Martindale this season, and tensions between he and Daboll became a major talking point during the season. A November report from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer pointed to a parting of ways being likely given the Daboll-Martindale rift, something the Giants attempted to publicly downplay. Martindale himself has also stated an intention to remain with the Giants, and it now appears that will be the case.

Signficant improvement on both sides of the ball will be needed by New York if the team is to avoid a repeat of this season’s shortcomings. Plenty of signficant decisions loom, including one on the future of running back Saquon Barkley. Jones’ contract has also not quelled doubts about his Giants tenure beyond the 2024 campaign. While ownership is on board with general manager Joe Schoen‘s rebuilding efforts, Daboll appears to likewise be satisfied a largely intact coaching staff will be able to rebound in 2024.

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