The New York Giants head coaching search is in full swing, and early odds do appear to favor Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who comes into East Rutherford for his second interview (and first in-person) today.
While the head coach selection is probably just as important as the general manager pick in terms of importance, the offensive and defensive coordinators will also be key hires for whomever the new head coach is.
In this first of two parts, here is a look at some intriguing options for the offensive coordinator role.
Ken Dorsey, Bills QB coach/passing game coordinator
If Daboll ends up as the head coach, it might only be natural that he wants Dorsey as his offensive coordinator since both are on the same page regarding the system they ran in Buffalo. Both also had a big hand in quarterback Josh Allen’s development into a top-tier young quarterback.
But that said, it might be difficult to pry Dorsey away from the Bills as he could end up succeeding Daboll if he leaves. Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters Tuesday that if Daboll departs for a head coaching job, Allen will be in the loop regarding the next offensive coordinator, and it would be hard to imagine the quarterback not favoring Dorsey, his position coach.
Still, if the Giants were determined to lure Dorsey from Buffalo (assuming they were granted permission to speak with him and assuming he’d be willing to entertain other offers), they could try sweetening the pot by making Dorsey the associate or assistant head coach if he were indeed to pair with Daboll at the Giants.
Pep Hamilton, Texans QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator
Hamilton has a rich history as an NFL offensive assistant coach dating back to 2003 when he began his NFL coaching career with the Jets. His past responsibilities have included (at different times (offensive quality control, receivers, quarterbacks, and offensive coordinator for the Jets, 49ers, Bears, Colts, Browns, Chargers, and Texans.
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His resume also includes stints working with Andrew Luck with the Colts, where, in 2014, Hamilton guided Luck to finishing first in passing yards per game (305.9), third in total yards per game (406.6), and in setting single-season franchise records in passing yards (4,894 yards) and total net yards (6,506). Before joining the Texans staff in 2021, Hamilton spent one season with Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
Hamilton turned down a chance to interview for the Panthers offensive coordinator role that ultimately went to former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. Hamilton’s decision could be tied into the fact that Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is believed to be on shaky ground after a disappointing 10-23 record start to his tenure.
There is also a report that the Texans, who fired head coach David Culley, want Hamilton to be their new offensive coordinator, regardless of who the next head coach is, but that would seem like an even riskier proposition for the 47-year-old Hamilton.
Mike Kafka, Chiefs QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator
If Eric Bieniemy isn’t in the cards, then how about Kafka, who has had a significant role in developing quarterback Patrick Mahomes? Kafka, a former NFL quarterback for the Eagles Patriots, Jaguars, Bucs, Vikings, Titan, and Bengals, has been a part of Andy Reid’s Chiefs coaching staff since 2017, where he broke in as an offensive quality control coach after serving the 2016 season as a graduate assistant at Northwestern. Kafka was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2018 and received passing game coordinator to his list of duties in 2020.
Kafka has helped refine Mahomes’ game to record-breaking levels. In 2020, Mahomes became the seventh player in NFL history to throw for 4,500+ passing yards and 35+ passing touchdowns multiple times in his career. The Chiefs passing game also topped the league’s 2020 rankings, including passing yards per game (303.4) and net passing yards (4,85), and finished third in average gain per pass play (7.48) and tied for third in passing touchdowns (40).
In his prior role as Chiefs offensive quality control coach in 2017, Kafka also contributed to an offense that featured a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher, receiver, and tight end.
For a Giants team looking to optimize quarterback Daniel Jones’s skill set and determine once and for all if he's the answer, Kafka might just be worth the look.