Assessing the New York Giants 2021 NFL Coaching Staff

| August 30, 2021 2:03 pm PDT

The New York Giants had one of the best head coaches in the NFL from 2004-2015. Tom Coughlin led the team to a pair of Super Bowl titles. However, the Giants haven’t been able to find a stable head coach since Coughlin resigned in January 2016.

Bob McAdoo lasted 28 games and Pat Shurmur made it just two seasons as head coach. Now, the Giants have Joe Judge running the show.

Can Judge lead Big Blue back to title contention? Let’s assess the New York Giants coaching staff for 2021 to find out.

Joe Judge – Head Coach

Any New York Giants 2021 coaching staff preview has to start with the head coach.

A Bill Belichick disciple, Joe Judge had an extensive coaching history before receiving his first shot as a head coach.

He spent time at Mississippi State and Birmingham-Southern before joining Alabama in 2009. Judge spent three seasons with Alabama as a Special Teams Assistant. The team won a pair of National Championships during his tenure.

In 2012, Judge took the next step and joined the NFL. He joined the New England Patriots, holding the same job title until 2015. That’s when they promoted him to Special Teams Coordinator.

New England finished second in the NFL with 27.0 yards per kick return in 2018. They were also one of five teams to return a kickoff for a touchdown.

Judge kept his position while also taking on the role of Wide Receivers Coach in 2019.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman led the team with a career-high 1,117 yards.

Ahead of the 2020 season, the Giants hired Judge to become their head coach. The hope was he could provide them with a stable option.

His head coaching career didn’t get off to the best of starts. The Giants won just one time in their first eight games; even though the game they won was a one-point victory over the Washington Football Team.

From there, they went on a four-game win streak that included an upset victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Because the NFC East was so bad, the Giants led the division at 5-7.

Unfortunately, they lost three of their final four games and missed the playoffs with a 6-10 record.

On paper, the Giants look like contenders. They have one of the best running backs in the NFL in Saquon Barkley. They went out and upgraded their receiving core by signing Kenny Golladay and drafting Kadarius Toney in the first round.

Quarterback Daniel Jones is entering a make-or-break season. We’ll see if Judge can elevate Jones’ game.

Top Giants Assistants for 2021

The New York Giants haven’t exactly been the most successful franchise over the past few seasons. There’s a reason there has been a lot of turnover in the coaching staff.

Let’s check out their offensive and defensive coordinator going into the 2021 NFL season.

Jason Garrett – Offensive Coordinator

NFL fans, in particular Dallas Cowboys fans, are all too familiar with Jason Garrett.

Garrett spent eight seasons in the NFL, but he was primarily a backup quarterback, only starting nine games in his career.

Following his playing career, he joined the Miami Dolphins in 2005 as their Quarterback Coach. He spent two seasons with the team before taking over as the Offensive Coordinator of the Cowboys.

Dallas had a top-three offense in two of his three seasons as Offensive Coordinator.

He took over as head coach following the firing of Wade Phillips in 2010.

There were high expectations for Garrett and the Cowboys but they never came to fruition. Garrett wound up spending nine seasons as head coach. He led the Cowboys to three NFC East titles, but they won just two playoff games during that span.

In his later tenure, he had one of the most talented offenses in the league with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott leading the way.

Let’s check out how that offense performed from 2016-2019.

Year Yards Per Game Rank
2016 376.7 5th
2017 331.9 14th
2018 343.8 20th
2019 431.5 1st

The Cowboys chose not to renew his contract following the 2019 season.

Not long after, the New York Giants hired him as their Offensive Coordinator. He took over an offensive led by Saquon Barkley. Quarterback Daniel Jones had struggled in his NFL career but there was hope he could turn things around.

Unfortunately, Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 and Jones never turned the corner.

Their offense finished with the second-fewest yards per game at 299.6. Their 17.5 points per game also ranked second-worst in the league.

New York definitely upgraded their offense this offseason and Barkley will return from the ACL tear. However, they have arguably the worst offensive line in the NFL, and Jones is a below-average quarterback.

Another bad season could lead Garrett to unemployment.

Patrick Graham – Defensive Coordinator

New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham has certainly paid his dues.

He spent time coaching college teams from 2002-2009. His positions ranged from Graduate Assistant, Defensive Line Coach, and Tight End Coach.

Graham joined the New England Patriots in 2009 as a Coaching Assistant. In his seven years with the Patriots, he served as a Linebacker Coach and Defensive Line Coach.

In 2016, Graham joined the New York Giants for the first time as a Defensive Line Coach. He spent two seasons in New York before joining the Green Bay Packers. He spent just one season in Green Bay before he finally earned a top job on a coaching staff.

The Miami Dolphins hired Graham as their Defensive Coordinator in 2019. Miami’s defense didn’t have much talent that season and it showed with their lowly numbers.

  • Yards Allowed Per Game: 397. (30th)
  • Points Allowed Per Game: 30.9 (32nd)

Following the season, the Giants hired Graham as their Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. The move reunited Graham with Joe Judge. The two spent time together with the Patriots.

Graham led a Giants defense that was one of the more underrated units last season. They allowed the 12th fewest yards per game. Their run defense and points allowed per game also ranked top 10.

Their defense has plenty of talent with Leonard Williams, James Bradberry, and Blake Martinez. Williams and Bradberry made the NFL Top 100 list, while Martinez finished third in the NFL in tackles last season.

They upgraded their defense, signing Adoree’ Jackson and spending a second-round pick on Azeez Ojulari.

In a weak NFC East, the Giants have the chance to compete for the division title. Graham has all the pieces to make this defense a top 10 unit.

If they can elevate that to top five, Graham may become a head coach candidate.

Other Giants Assistants for 2021

  • Thomas McGaughey: Special Team Coordinator
  • Burton Burns: Running Backs Coach
  • Russ Callaway: Offensive Quality Coach
  • Derek Dooley: Tight Ends Coach
  • Freddie Kitchens: Senior Offensive Assistant
  • Rob Sale: Offensive Line Coach
  • Jerry Schuplinski: Quarterbacks Coach
  • Tyke Tolbert: Wide Receivers Coach
  • Ben Wilkerson: Assistant Offensive Line Coach
  • Nick Williams: Offensive Quality Control
  • Jody Wright: Offensive Assistant
  • Ryan Anderson: Defensive Quality Control
  • Anthony Blevins: Assistant Linebackers/Special Teams Assistant
  • Carter Blount: Defensive Quality Control
  • Jerome Henderson: Defensive Backs Coach
  • Jeremy Pruitt: Senior Defensive Assistant
  • Kevin Sherrer: Linebackers Coach
  • Sean Spencer: Defensive Line Coach
  • Michael Treier: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach
  • Tom Quinn: Assistant Special Teams Coach
  • Amos Jones: Assistant Coach – Special Projects & Situations
  • Ryan Hollern: Chief of Staff

Freddie Kitchens is the one name that stands out to me when looking at the rest of the New York Giants coaches for 2021.

The former Cleveland Browns head coach lasted just one season in Cleveland before they fired him after going 6-10. He was the Giants Tight Ends Coach last season but Evan Engram failed to take a step forward.

New York still has a solid crop of coaches, and under Judge’s guidance, this could be an underrated crew marching into the 2021 NFL season.

New York Giants 2021 NFL Season Outlook

This New York Giants coaching breakdown should promote optimism going into 2021.

The 2021 NFL season is a big one for Joe Judge and the New York Giants. They made upgrades on both sides of the ball, but it’ll all depend if Daniel Jones can improve as a passer.

Jason Garrett had his issues with holding the Dallas Cowboys offense back.

We’ll see if the Giants can reach their true potential with him in charge.

I’m a fan of Patrick Graham and I believe he has the ability to lead the Giants defense to a big year. If they make the playoffs, it’ll be because of that unit.

Playing in the NFC East definitely helps their playoff chances but they’re still a step behind the Cowboys and Washington Football Team.

Will Judge be able to lead them to a playoff berth? Tune in to find out.

While you wait, check out some of our other coaching analysis.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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