It's back to the drawing board for New York Giants head coach Joe Judge, who has a significant coaching vacancy on his staff to fill after the team reportedly was unable to reach a contract extension with Dave DeGuglielmo.
DeGuglielmo, initially hired by Judge to serve as a consultant because the full-time offensive line coach when Judge fired Marc Colombo following a reported flare-up of tempers when Colombo had learned of Judge's plan to have DeGuglielmo serve as a consultant.
The Giants offensive line is coming off its first year with three faces, including two rookies (Andrew Thomas and Shane Lemieux) at new spots, Judge has stressed from Day 1 the importance of finding assistant coaches who are good teachers.
Here is a look at four prospective candidates with prior NFL coaching experience.
Wilkerson has been the Giants assistant offensive line coach since 2018 and was one of a small number of holdovers from Pat Shurmur's staff that Judge retained.
A former NFL player--Wilkerson played with the Bengals from 2005-06, and the Falcons from 2007-08--Wilkerson got the chance to be the main guy in New York's regular-season finale after DeGuglielmo tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss the game.
"I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Ben.He’s a good, young coach. Draws from a knowledge of playing the game. He’s a very good communicator. He has a very good passion for the game. The players respond to him very well. He’s great on the field with technique instruction, and he’s very good in terms of communicating and forming relationships off the field," Judge told reporters before the team's Week 17 regular-season finale.
Judge also revealed that in 2020 after he was first hired, teams had already begun calling to request permission to speak with Wilkerson about their openings. In the end, Wilkerson decided to stay with the organization to be a part of Judge's staff.
"I’m glad to have him on our staff going forward. This is a guy that obviously we want in the program. He’s going to help us going forward," Judge said.
Will that be as the team's main offensive line coach? Stay tuned.
Chris Morgan has been an NFL offensive line coach since 2009, when he began his career with the Raiders. He also made stops with Washington and Seattle before being hired as the Falcons’ offensive line coach in 2015.
After overseeing the Falcons’ offensive line’s improvement from bring PFF’s 26th ranked unit in 2014 to fourth the ensuing season, Morgan was named Pro Football Focus’s offensive line coach of the year in 2015, beating out candidates such as Mike Tice, then with the Raiders, and Bill Callahan, then with Washington.
Morgan was also part of a staff that helped the Atlanta offense to its 2016 record-breaking season. In 2019, he coached a unit that allowed the offense to average 379.7 yards per game, the fifth-most in the NFL, and average 294.6 passing yards per game, the third-highest average in the league.
More recently, Morgan was tasked with bringing two first-round rookies--guard Chris Lindstrom (16th) and tackle Kaleb McGary (31st)—up to speed following their selections in the 2019 draft. Lindstrom overcame an injury-filled rookie season to finish as the Falcons’ highest-graded offensive lineman this season.
Jeff Stoutland has been the Eagles offensive line coach since 2013, having had the Eagles run game coordinator duties added to his responsibilities as of 2018.
Before coming to the Eagles, Stoutland had an extensive coaching career in the college ranks dating back to 1984, where he spent two seasons as the linebackers coach for Southern Connecticut before switching to the offensive side of the ball in 1988.
Stoutland spent the 2011-12 seasons on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff after Joe Pendry retired. Stoutland helped the Crimson Tide win back-to-back consecutive BCS national championships.
Stoutland played inside linebacker at Southern Connecticut State, where his head coach was one-time Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
Stoutland has coached offensive lines that contributed to Eagles teams that set single-season franchise records in points (474), touchdowns 954), completions (290), passing yards (4,581), and first downs (356).
In 2019, the Eagles placed three offensive linemen—Jason Kelce (also a first-team All-Pro), Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson—on the Pro Bowl.
The 2020 season wasn’t kind to the Eagles offensive line as due to injuries, they fielded an NFL-record 14 difference combinations consisting of 11 different players. Despite the issues with injuries, the Eagles offensive line finished as PFF’s 19th best offensive line in 2020.
The 58-year-old Stoutland, who is still under contract in Philadelphia, has been regarded as one of the Eagles’ top assistant coaches, had reportedly been considered for Alabama’s offensive line coaching job, but that post went to former Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone.
The Eagles are currently interviewing head coaching candidates, so they probably don’t want to let any assistant coaches that are still under contract walk out the door without first giving whomever they hire a chance to pick from Pederson’s former staff.
Campen is a former NFL center who played with the Saints (1986-88) and Packers (1989-93). He spent the bulk of his NFL coaching career holding different roles for the Packers between 2004-18, including offensive line coach, quality control coach, and run game coordinator.
While with Green Bay, Campen tutored seven Pro Bowl offensive linemen, including guard Josh Sitton to three in four years. The Packers, with Campen as their offensive line coach, were the only team in the NFL to have six different offensive linemen recognized as all-stars since 2010, including Josh Sitton, Chad Clifton, David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang, Jeff Saturday, and Scott Wells).
In his 11 seasons with Green Bay, the Packers offense ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense nine times and total offense eight times.
Campen spent one season as the associate head coach and offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns in 2019 under then-head coach Freddie Kitchens, now the Giants tight ends coach. Campen joined now-former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn’s staff in 2020 but was not retained by newly hired head coach Brandon Staley.
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