Giants Coaching Updates: Giants Reportedly Add Several New Assistant Coaches

Patricia Traina

In between Senior Bowl practices, new Giants head coach Joe Judge continued to fill out his assistant coaching staff, reportedly adding four new members to his staff while also retaining one assistant coach from Pat Shurmur's staff.

Here is a look at the new assistants reportedly hired by Judge.

Jerome Henderson, Defensive Backs

Field Yates of ESPN reports that Henderson will coach the Giants defensive backs.

Henderson is a former NFL cornerback whose career began in 1991 with the Patriots. He also made stops with the Bills, Eagles, and Jets, retiring after the 1998 season having appeared in 98 games with 32 starts, and having recorded one sack and nine interceptions for 118 yards among his career totals.

Henderson later resurfaced in the league with the Jets as their director of player development in 2006. The following year he added the assistant defensive backs role to his duties and then was promoted to the full defensive backs coach role in 2008.

Henderson, a career-long defensive backs coach, spent the 2009-11 seasons with Cleveland and the 2012-15 seasons with Dallas, where he worked under head coach now Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

In 2016 he went to the Falcons as their defensive passing game coordinator, a role he held through this past season.

Henderson has played on two Super Bowl teams, one with the Bills (XXVIII and one with the Patriots (XXXI). As a coach, he helped the Falcons reach Super Bowl LI, where they lost to the Patriots in overtime.

Freddie Kitchens, Role to Be Determined

Matt Zenitz of has reported that Freddie Kitchens, whom the Browns fired after the 2019 season following one year as head coach, will join the Giants in a capacity to be determined.

The 45-year-old Kitchens is well versed in coaching the offensive side of the ball, having coached every unit except the receivers and offensive line. A college quarterback for Alabama during the 1993-98 seasons, Kitchens led the Crimson Tide to a 22-13 record in three years as a starter.

Kitchens went right into coaching after finishing college, spending the 1999-2005 seasons for various programs, including LSU and Mississippi State.

Kitchens' first NFL coaching assignment came in 2006 as a member of the Cowboys staff as their tight ends coach, where he just missed crossing paths with Garett, who joined the Cowboys staff the following year.

In 2007, Kitchen went to the Cardinals, where he coached the tight ends until 2012. In 2013, he changed roles, becoming Arizona's quarterbacks coach until 2016. He changed roles for a final time with Bruce Arians' staff in 2017 when he coached the running backs.

Kitchens went to Cleveland in 2018 as the associate head coach and running backs coach before being promoted that season to offensive coordinator amidst the Browns' coaching shakeup. Last season, he was the team's head coach, the Browns finishing with a 6-10 record.

Jody Wright, Role to Be Determined

Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports/FS1 and The Athletic - College Football reported that Jody Wright, who served on Kitchens' staff as an offensive assistant, will be joining the Giants coaching staff in a still to be determined role.

Before making the jump to the NFL and the Browns in 2019, Wright was the offensive line and assistant head coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2018.

He was also the running backs coach at UAB in 2014. A two-time all-state running back at Pickens Academy in high school (Carrollton, Ala.), Wright attended Jacksonville State, graduating in 2004 and then completing his master's degree at Mississippi State in 2009.

Wright's coaching experience includes a stint at Mississippi State, where he was a graduate assistant/coordinator of football operations from 2005-09, the same period when Judge was part of the Mississippi State program.

From 2010-12, Wright served as a graduate assistant/offensive analyst for Nick Saban at Alabama before leaving for a year to serve as the passing game coordinator/tight ends coach at Jacksonville State.

Wright returned to the Crimson Tide program in 2015, serving as the director of player personnel until 2017.

Bret Bielema, Role to Be Determined

Defensive assistant Bret Bielema, whom NFL Network Ian Rapoport reported will be joining Judge in New York, is the fourth name to emerge Tuesday night for Judge's growing assistant staff.

The 50-year-old Bielema had a brief stint as a player for the Milwaukee Mustangs of the Arena Football League in 1994 before moving toward a career in coaching. He spent the 1994-2017 seasons in the college ranks, making stops as a linebackers coach for Iowa and defensive coordinator for Wisconsin.

Bielema also has head coaching experience at the college level. He was the Badgers head coach in 2006–12 and held the same role at Arkansas (2013-17), going 97-58 in his two head coaching stints. Bielema has also been a part of three Big Ten Championship teams and was named as the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2006.

Bielema was hired by Bill Belichick as a consultant in 2018, where he crossed paths with Judge. While with the Patriots, Bielema helped New England win Super Bowl LIII. The following year, he served as the team's defensive line coach.

His new role on Judge's staff is not currently known. 

Anthony Blevins, Role to Be Determined

Blevins, who served as the team's assistant special teams coach the last two years, is being retained by Judge, per a source, though it's unknown in what capacity. 

Blevins, who along with Thomas McGaughey and Tom Quinn, both of whom are also being retained by Judge, helped the Giants special teams finish in the top five include punt returns (10.5 yards avg, 3rd place) and kickoff coverage (18.8 yards/return allowed, 2nd place) last year. 

The Giants Assistant Coaching Staff: What We Know

Offensive Coordinator: Jason Garrett (announced by the team)
Quarterbacks: Jerry Schuplinski  (reported & confirmed by a source)
Running Backs: Burton Burns (reported & confirmed by a source)
Tight Ends: TBA
Receivers: Tyke Tolbert (reported & confirmed by a source)
Offensive Line: TBA
Offensive Assistants (Roles to Be Determined): Freddie Kitchens, Jody Wright  (both reported hires)

Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach: Patrick Graham (announced by the team)
Defensive Line: TBA
Linebackers: TBA
Defensive Backs: Jerome Henderson (reported)
Defensive Assistants (Roles to Be Determined): Bret Bielema

Special Teams Coordinator: Thomas McGaughey (announced by the team)
Special Teams Assistant: Tom Quinn (implied by the team)

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

Outside of Coordinators, two of the important hires are the DB coach and OL coach. Both units at times were a mess. Giants still need 1 additional top CB and at least 1 or two OL along with a pass rusher. Henderson could be what they are looking for at DB coach hopefully. Still don't think they have the OL coach yet, from this group, hope not. At this point have to trust that Judge is a keen "judge" of character and teaching ability.


This is an exciting group of men! Cant wait til next season.