The New York Giants have assembled their coaching staff.
Offensive coordinator: Mike Shula
This will be Shula’s third go-round as an offensive coordinator (Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1996-99, Carolina Panthers: 2013-17). He will also serve the Giants’ quarterback coach, his fourth tenure in that capacity (Miami Dolphins: 2000-02, Jacksonville Jaguars: 2007-10, Panthers: 2011-12).
The Giants’ offense was ranked 21st in total offense, two spots behind Shula’s Panthers. At the same time, the Panthers had the fourth ranked rushing offense (the Giants finished 26th).
Shula will not call plays as Shurmur already said he will do so. Shula will handle many of the offensive duties during the week, including assisting in developing game plans. He will also work with Eli Manning, Davis Webb, and any quarterback the Giants could potentially bring in via the NFL Draft.
Shula worked with David Garrard in Jacksonville (who went from fourth-round pick to a Pro Bowler in 2009) and Cam Newton in Carolina (who was the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year).
Offensive line coach: Hal Hunter
Hunter brings almost four decades of coaching experience to the Giants in both the collegiate and professional ranks. He, most notably, was offensive coordinator at Indiana (2000-01) and with the then-San Diego Chargers (2012).
Hunter spent seven years (2006-12) on the Chargers’ coaching staff, where he coached eight Pro Bowl selections who made openings for three Pro Bowl running backs.
Hunter’s last professional gig was with the Cleveland Browns in 2016, where he coached 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas. He replaces Mike Solari, who accepted the offensive line coach position with the Seattle Seahawks.
Assistant offensive line coach: Ben Wilkerson
Wilkerson spent four seasons in the NFL (Cincinnati Bengals: 2005-06, Atlanta Falcons: 2007-08) before transitioning to coaching. After stops at LSU and Grambling State, Wilkerson joined the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff in 2015. He comes to the Giants after three seasons with the Bears.
Wilkerson replaces Lunda Wells, who is now the Giants’ tight ends coach.
Running backs coach: Craig Johnson
Johnson, one of the coaches remaining from the Tom Coughlin era, has been with the Giants since 2014. Orleans Darkwa had the best season of his career in 2017 with 751 yards and five touchdowns on 171 carries. Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen also had career years under Johnson.
Wide receivers coach: Tyke Tolbert
Tolbert has something in common with star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Both played collegiately at LSU, though Tolbert’s final season with the Tigers ended a little less than two years before Beckham was born.
He coached wide receivers for the Arizona Cardinals (2003), Buffalo Bills (2004-09), Panthers (2010), and Broncos (2011-17). Tolbert was on the Broncos’ coaching staff when the team reached Super Bowls XLVIII and 50.
Tolbert replaces Adam Henry, who is now the Browns’ wide receivers coach.
Tight ends coach: Lunda Wells
Wells is another holdover from the Coughlin era. He’s been with the team since 2012, previously serving as the team’s assistant offensive line coach.
Wells is well respected by the players. He helped the Giants navigate through an injury riddled 2017 campaign that saw them use 10 different starting offensive line combinations. It was the highest single-season total since the 1970 merger and third most in the NFL last season behind only the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, who each used 11.
Wells replaces Kevin Gilbride, who departed to join the Bears’ coaching staff.
Offensive assistant: Ryan Roeder
Roeder has been the team’s offensive assistant since 2013. His duties include working with offensive players at any position and game-planning. Roeder, a native of Bethlehem, Penn., played collegiately at the University of Albany.
Defensive coordinator: James Bettcher
Bettcher, 39, is considered one of the NFL’s best young defensive minds. He spent nine seasons in the collegiate ranks before breaking into the NFL as an outside linebackers coach with the Indianapolis Colts (2012). He joined the Cardinals’ coaching staff in 2013, also as an outside linebackers coach. Bettcher was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2015. The Cardinals defense never finished with a ranking lower than sixth in total defense during Bettcher’s tenure as defensive coordinator.
Bettcher will install a blitz heavy, 3-4 defense with three down linemen and four linebackers, similar to the Giants’ defense of the 1980s anchored by Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, and Leonard Marshall. Bettcher’s Cardinals defense was particularly stingy when it came to surrendering yards (310.9 yards per game in 2017) and stuffing the run (89.6 yards per game in 2017, ranked sixth).
The Giants ranked 31st in yards allowed (373.2 yards per game) and 27th in rushing yards allowed (120.8 yards per game). They got to see the Cardinals defense up close and personal in a 23-0 Week 16 shutout.
Bettcher replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who also served as interim head coach after Ben McAdoo was fired. Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who retired after the 2017 season, wanted Bettcher to succeed him. Instead, the Cardinals chose former Panthers defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Steve Wilks.
Defensive line coach: Gary Emanuel
Emanuel coached primarily in the collegiate ranks. His NFL experience includes stops with the San Francisco 49ers (2005-06) and Colts (2012-17). Emanuel coached former Giant Johnathan Hankins last season. He replaces Patrick Graham, who departed for the Packers.
Linebackers coach: Bill McGovern
McGovern has been the Giants’ linebackers coach since 2016. He previously served as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach (2009-12) at Boston College where he coached two NFL linebackers: Luke Kuechly and Mark Herzlich. Last season, McGovern helped to develop B.J. Goodson and Calvin Munson, who accounted for a combined 108 tackles in spite of missing 11 games collectively.
Assistant linebackers coach: Rob Leonard
This is Leonard’s first NFL coaching stop. He previously was a graduate assistant at his alma mater, North Carolina State.
Defensive backs coach: Lou Anarumo
Anarumo is a native of New York City. He spent the past six seasons (2012-17) with the Dolphins, Anarumo was named interim Dolphins defensive coordinator after the firing of Kevin Coyle in the 2015 season before returning to his defensive backs coach position after Adam Gase was installed as head coach.
In 2017, Dolphins safety Reshad Jones led the team with 122 tackles and was named a Pro Bowl starter while cornerback Xavien Howard was one of 25 players with at least four interceptions (including a pick-six).
Anarumo also coached at Harvard (1995-2000), Marshall (2001-03) and Perdue (2004-11), where he worked with Emanuel during the 2010 season. He replaces Dave Merritt (who left for the Cardinals) and Tim Walton.
Assistant defensive backs coach: Deshea Townsend
Townsend played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2009) and Colts (2010), winning Super Bowls XL and XLIII. He is entering his fifth season as a coach with stops at Mississippi State (2013-15) as well as the Cardinals (2011-12) and Titans (2016-17).
Townsend helped the Bulldogs lead the nation in passes defended in 2014 with 89. Last season, Titans safety Kevin Byard was tied for the league-lead in interceptions with eight. He was also third on the team with 87 combined tackles (62 solo).
Defensive assistant: Bobby Blick
Blick is entering his second season with the Giants. He was previously the director of player personnel for the United States Military Academy.
Special teams coordinator: Thomas McGaughey
McGaughey is returning for his second tenure with the Giants, previously serving as assistant special teams coordinator from 2007-10.
He spent the past two seasons as Panthers special teams coordinator. In 2017, the Panthers were fifth in the NFL with a net punt average of 42.4 yards and eighth in yards allowed on punt returns with 5.9 yards. Panthers placekicker Graham Gano led the NFL with a 96.7 percent success rate on field goals (29 of 30) with 34 extra points made in 37 attempts.
McGaughey has his work cut out for him. The Giants special teams was downright pathetic in 2017, allowing a 61-yard field goal and an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Giants also had a kickoff, punt, and field goal blocked…in the same game.
McGaughey replaces Tom Quinn, who had joined the Giants in 2007.
Assistant special teams coordinator: Anthony Blevins
Blevins spent the past three seasons with the Cardinals, where he helped cornerback Justin Bethel reach three consecutive Pro Bowls. Bethel led the team in special teams tackles each season Blevins was on the coaching staff. Blevins coached collegiately at Tennessee-Martin (2008), Tennessee State (2009-11), and, his alma mater, Alabama-Birmingham (2012).
The strength and conditioning staff includes Aaron Wellman (strength and conditioning coach), Markus Paul (assistant strength and conditioning coach), Joe Danos (performance manager), and Pratik Patel (director of performance nutrition). Wellman joined the Giants in 2016 while Paul has been with the team since 2007. Danos has been with the Giants for six seasons and Patel is in his second year.
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