Giants Assistant Coaches Tracker
Now that the Giants have their head coach, Joe Judge, in place, all eyes will turn to his assistant staff, which is just as crucial to ensuring that Judge's tenure as a first-time NFL head coach gets off on the right track.
Be sure to bookmark this page for updates on this process, including reports/confirmations and analysis.
Here's what we know so far about Judge's Giants staff. (Please note that the Giants have yet to confirm any of the hirings; as they do we will update each entry accordingly.)
Thomas McGaughey | Special Teams Coordinator
One of the very first reported staff decisions made by Judge was to retain special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey from Pat Shurmur's staff.
Judge, himself a special teams coordinator, knows the value and importance of this facet of the game, and no doubt is familiar with the outstanding job McGaughey has done the last two seasons in his role overseeing the Giants special teams.
Players raved about McGaughey's simple schemes that allowed them to play fast and fly around. The special teamers also had nothing but good thing to say about McGaughey as a teacher and as a leader in the room, including his approach to accountability, which encompassed everyone, including McGaughey and his assistants, Anthony Blevins and Tom Quinn.
Tyke Tolbert | Wide Receivers
In what has been the most ironic of ironic twists, Judge, who prior to being named the Giants head coach was the special teams coordinator and receivers coach, has apparently filled both of those positions on his new staff and in that order.
Tyke Tolbert, who was a member of Pat Shurmur's staff, is being retained by the 38-year-old Judge.
Tolbert's appointment on Judge's new staff comes as little surprise given the work he did with the Giants receivers last year, and in particular, with rookie Darius Slayton, whom he helped overcome an injury-filled start to his career to finish as the team leader in touchdowns scored (8) and the receiving yards leader (740).
Slayton was also far and wide the Giants' best receiver, finishing with a team-leading NFL Rating of 103.1, best among Giants receivers who had at least 30 pass targets. Slayton also recorded the most first-down receptions among the Giants receivers (32) and had a team-leading 15.4 yards per reception.
Slayton isn't Tolbert's only success story. Last season, Tolbert helped coach Sterling Shepard to career highs in receptions (66), receiving yards (872) and first down receptions (47) en route to a four-year contract extension signed before the 2019 season.
Tolbert has also worked to help polish the downfield blocking efforts of the receivers as well. In his final media conference of 2019, he spoke about that underrated, yet important part of the game, noting:
One of the things I have on the tip sheet, it’s tip number eight— the first sentence is, ‘Be the best player on the field with or without the ball.’ I’ve always been of the philosophy ... If you have 65 plays in the game, which is an average, and you have five catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns, that’s great.
But what are you doing for the other 60 plays? I obviously emphasize the other 60 plays. Because all of the guys want to catch the ball, make plays and score touchdowns, but are you helping your team win in other areas? That’s playing without the ball. You have to be as good of a player without the ball as you are with the ball.
Patrick Graham | Defensive Coordinator / Assistant Head Coach
After watching the young Giants defense struggle in 2019, the Giants, to no one's surprise, are moving on from James Bettcher.
In his place, the NFL Network reported, comes Patrick Graham. Graham is a familiar face both to the organization and to new head coach Joe Judge.
Graham and Judge worked together on Bill Belichick's Patriots staff from 2012-15. Graham then left New England to join Ben McAdoo's Giants staff where he served as the defensive line coach.
The 40-year-old Yale-educated Graham ran a 4-3 defensive front according to Pro Football Reference, but it's expected that the Giants defense will continue to be multiple.
Graham's first season as defensive coordinator in Miami didn't go any better than BeEttcher's 2019 campaign. However, those who defend Graham's plight point to Miami's seemingly year-long roster revamp in which it traded away young talent such as safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Regardless, Graham, who is regarded in NFL coaching circles as a solid teacher, fits the prototype Judge is seeking for his staff. The team is hoping that Graham finds a way to optimize the talent he has.
And for those wondering why Graham would make what appears to be a lateral move from Miami to the Giants, Adam Caplan reported that Graham will also receive the title of "assistant head coach on Judge's staff, thereby making this a promotion.
Jerry Schuplinski | Quarterbacks
According to the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Jerry Schuplinski, a seven-year NFL assistant coach who served as an offensive assistant during the 2013-15 seasons and then as the assistant quarterbacks coach from 2016-18 with the Patriots, has been hired as the Giants quarterbacks coach.
Schuplinski was most recently a member of Brian Flores's staff in Miami as their quarterbacks coach, but with the dismissal of offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea, Schuplinski was not retained to potentially oversee the development of the next Dolphins franchise quarterback the team is expected to draft in the spring.
According to a July 2018 article appearing in Sports Illustrated, Schuplinski was revealed to be more hand-on with the Patriots backup quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, both of whom were instrumental in the team's 3-1 start during Tom Brady's four-game suspension.
In addition to reuniting with Judge, Schuplinski also joins Patrick Graham, reportedly hired as the Giants defensive coordinator, on Judge's Giants staff.
Jason Garrett, Offensive Coordinator
Don't be discouraged by JasonGarrett's tenure in Dallas; the former Cowboys head coach and one-time NFL quarterback who played for the Giants from 2000-03 is a big deal because he checks off three significant boxes.
Because he's played the position before, Garrett can serve as a sounding board to Daniel Jones much in the same way Eli Manning did last year.
There's something to be said about having a coach who played the game that seems to bring out the best in players, and the hope is that Garrett will be able to help Jones take his play to the next level.
Garrett, who also has head coaching experience, can also serve as a sounding board to Judge, who is a first-time NFL head coach. Add to that Garrett's intimate knowledge of the personnel in the division which can be of a big help to the rest of the staff, and the hiring of Garrett was a no-brainer for Judge.
And what about his ability as an offensive coordinator? The Cowboys ran Garrett's offense and it wasn't too shabby, finishing 2019 with the best overall offense (431.5 yards/game); fifth in rushing (134.6 yards/game); second in passing (296.9 yards/game); tied for second in third-down conversions (47.06%); and fifth in scoring (027.1 points per game).
Burton Burns, Running Backs
Buron Burns, whom per Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio has been hired by Joe Judge to work with the running backs. Burns had been with the Crimson Tide since 2007 and had been their running backs coach and associate head coach until 2018 under Nick Saban. Last year, he served as the assistant athletic director for football
Burns has been part of five National Championship teams, was the Football Scoop Running Backs Coach of the Year following the 2008 season. He has coached three Heisman Trophy finalists in his career, including Mark Ingram (2009), the 2009 recipient Mark Ingram; Trent Richardson, a 2011 finalist; and Derrick Henry, the 2015 winner.
Prior to being hired by Alabama, Burns, who holds a bachelor's degree in education from Nebraska, was an assistant coach at Clemson for eight seasons, where his top student-athletes included 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year James Davis and 2006 freshman record-setter C.J. Spiller.
A former college fullback at Nebraska for head coach Tom Osborne (1971-75), Burns was part of three Cornhusker teams that won at least nine games, and was a participant in the Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Sugar Bowl.
Tom Quinn, Assistant Special Teams Coordinator
Based the Giants' press release hiring the three coordinators, it sounds like Quinn, who has been with the Giants since 2006, will continue in his role assisting Thomas McGaughey on special teams.
Freddie Roach Declines to Join the Giants as D-Line Coach
Ole Miss defensive line coach Freddie Roach, who was initially reported to be the new Giants defensive line coach, per Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio, is apparently planning to remain at Mississippi, the school confirmed on January 17.