Giants Make Key Decision About Mike Kafka’s Status: Report

Giants Make Key Decision About Mike Kafka’s Status: Report

Mike Kafka looks set to be the only one of three coordinators for the New York Giants to survive an offseason purge by head coach Brian Daboll. The team plans for offensive coordinator Kafka to return in the same capacity, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.

The latter noted how “Kafka was a finalist for Seahawks head coaching job.” Perhaps missing out to Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, hired by the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, January 31, left Kakfa with few options but to return to MetLife Stadium.

Either way, the plan means the “Giants now return one coordinator after firing Thomas McGaughey (special teams) and parting ways with Wink Martindale (defense).”

Jordan Raanan

Whatever Kafka’s motivation, his desire to return is a boost for Daboll. The latter has faced tough questions about his ability to co-exist with staff after the relationship with DC Don ‘Wink’ Martindale broke down.

Having Kafka back will also provide vital continuity for Daniel Jones. Like his head coach, the quarterback faces a make-or-break season.

Kafka can help Jones get back on track, provide he’s given enough room to work by Daboll.

Mike Kafka Needs Play-Calling Freedom

Some resolution about Kafka was needed amid conflicting reports regarding his future. Raanan revealed on the “Breaking Big Blue” podcast on January 19 how Kafka was “unhappy” and several people believed he was done with the Giants.

That update conflicted with a take from Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. Schwartz reported on January 18, “the Giants have no intention of moving on from Kafka.”

The latter sentiment has proved true, but now it’s on Daboll and Kafka to move forward in lockstep. There can’t be any more of the debates about who’s calling plays that blighted parts of this season.

Daboll was forced to deny he seized control of play calling against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. It appeared that way on the broadcast, but Kafka still needed to offer similar assurances about how running the Giants’ offense is a collaborative process.

Collaboration is one thing, but “there were times when the head coach had a heavier influence on game day,” according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Kafka needs autonomy if he’s going to salvage the $160-million investment the Giants made in Jones last offseason.

Daniel Jones, Brian Daboll Need Mike Kafka

The money looked anything but well spent when Jones became a turnover machine before tearing his ACL in Week 9. Now, the Giants need to wait patiently on his recovery and use the time to craft an offense more suited to No. 8’s particular set of skills.

In 2022 that meant lots of moving pockets, bootleg passes and play-action. That trend continued in Arizona, Jones’ best game of 2023.

Raanan noted how the signal-caller “went 13-of-15 passing for 229 yards off play-action in the second half, per @ESPNStatsInfo. The 229 yards were the most he’s ever had IN A GAME off play-action.”

Jordan Raanan

The Giants want and need for Jones to develop as a more complete passer, but that won’t happen until he’s equipped with a true No. 1 receiver and a sturdier offensive line. In the meantime, Kafka and Daboll must get together on a return to basics for Jones.

It might help if Daboll softens his gameday demeanour somewhat. His fiery sideline outbursts and rants over the headset prompted general manager Joe Schoen to listen in on communication between coaches during four games this season, per Schwartz.

Creating a more comfortable working environment for Kafka would help Daboll show he can adapt his leadership style when needed. A change would be welcome after the issues that led to a messy split with Martindale.

James Dudko covers the New York Giants, Washington Commanders, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens for He has covered the NFL and world soccer since 2011, with bylines at FanSided, Prime Time Sports Talk and Bleacher Report before joining Heavy in 2021. More about James Dudk

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