Giants could bring Patrick Graham back to lead defense

Imagine if the Giants could add an exciting offensive spirit and also keep their defensive leader and seemingly be better prepared for the 2022 season to score more points and remain stingy to give them up?

That could happen. Friday night’s hire of Brian Daboll as their head coach gives the Giants what they’ve been craving: a proven NFL offensive coordinator capable of improving his quarterback’s performance. Daboll needs to find a defensive coordinator and a top man is already in the building. The deal is far from over, but Daboll could decide to keep Patrick Graham, a move that would immediately popularize Daboll in the locker room he will soon be controlling.

“My immediate goal is to build a coaching staff – a strong staff that emphasizes teaching and collaboration and ensures that our players are positioned to be at their best and ultimately win matches.” Daboll said, “That’s why we’re all doing this. To teach, be successful, develop talent and win.”

Brian Daboll and Patrick Graham
Getty Images and Corey Sipkin

According to sources, Daboll could be tempted to keep several defensive assistants from Joe Judge’s coaching staff. Graham would be a major coup, although his availability is far from guaranteed. He interviewed for the Steelers defensive coordinator position and is scheduled for an interview for the open Vikings head coach position.

Daboll’s main appointment will be his defensive coordinator, and he may prefer to go outside of the Giants’ organization. Other options for experienced defensive coordinators include Mike Zimmer, Vic Fangio and Don “Wink” Martindale. Zimmer (Vikings) and Fangio (Broncos) were fired as head coaches after last season. Martindale was recently fired as defensive coordinator from the Ravens. Martindale impressed the Giants two years ago when he met them for the head coach job going to Judge. There are indications that Daboll is interested in Martindale.

In a strange twist, Judge wanted to hire Daboll as his offensive coordinator two years ago, but the Bills blocked the move. Judge went with Jason Garrett, the former Cowboys head coach, and Garrett was fired midway through his sophomore season.

New head coaches often try to bring in assistants they’ve worked with at previous stops and Daboll could try to raid the Bills’ staff. His Buffalo quarterbacks coach, Ken Dorsey, would be an attractive hire, but there’s a good chance Dorsey could get promoted to offensive coordinator with the Bills.

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