Giants OC Mike Kafka on Coaching Accelerator Program, New Responsibilities, and More

Giants OC Mike Kafka on Coaching Accelerator Program, New Responsibilities, and More


The NFL began its Coaching Accelerator Program in 2022 to help assistant coaches with diverse backgrounds who aspire to become NFL head coaches someday get an in-depth chance to learn more about the role and to network. Among the participants was New York Giants offensive coordinator/assistant head coach Mike Kafka, who has drawn head coaching consideration in the last two hiring cycles.


“It’s been great,” Kafka told NFL Network reporter Judy Battista of the experience aimed at helping potential NFL head coaching candidates network and grow in their knowledge of the administrative side that head coaches encounter.


“First off, just networking and meeting a lot of the coaches that are here. Then we’re breaking down into workshops and talking about media and things that come up in these interviews. So, it’s all great information–it’s all great ways to continue to improve as a coach.”


Kafka had head coaching interviews with the Titans and Seahawks this past offseason, and the year before, he drew interest from the Colts and Cardinals.


After an impressive first season in 2022 as an NFL offensive coordinator, last season was rocky for the former NFL quarterback and the team in general. The Giants won just six games because they had to cycle through three quarterbacks because of injuries.


They also never settled their offensive line and were without key skill position players like former running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Darren Waller.


Things got so bad for the Giants, who finished with the second-worst passing offense in the league that at least at one point in the season, Kafka had the play calling duties removed from his plate. There was also reported tension between Kafka and head coach Brian Daboll, which both men denied.


But last year is in the rearview mirror, and Kafka, Daboll, and the rest of the coaching staff are on the same page moving forward. Kafka is now working closer with Daboll in his expanded role as assistant head coach.


“It’s continuing to grow daily,” Kafka said of his new responsibilities. “I think initially, it was being involved in some of the interview process–we hired some support staff. Dabs has done a great job of including me and allowing me to be a part of it, listen, and learn how those things work. So, that’s one example, and I know things will start to grow as we go through the offseason and this season.”


Kafka’s in-season role is still to be determined, as Daboll has left the door open to take over the play-calling for the season. Meanwhile, Kafka is just following his boss’s lead.


“Right now, there’s not a bunch of expectations,” he said. “I’m just trying to learn from Dabs as much as I can, be around him, be a sponge, and do whatever tasks he wants to give me and whatever tasks we want to grow with. That’s what I’ll do.”


The Giants are hoping to finally get things going in the right direction. For the first time since the days of Tom Coughlin, they have continuity on offense with having the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and system in place.


Kafka said there is excitement over the potential of the Giants’ offense, which added several veteran offensive linemen to help fix arguably the team’s weakest position group.


They also made headlines in the draft with the addition of wideout Malik Nabers, who was drafted No. 6 overall. Nabers gives the offense a much-needed explosive element.


After numerous reports of the Giants trying to acquire a quarterback in the draft, the team is running it back with Daniel Jones once he’s cleared from his ACL rehab. Kafka said Jones has looked promising in what he’s been allowed to do this spring.


“I was able to watch the tape, and the first (OTA)went smoothly,” he said. “I know that guys are excited, coaches are excited to get back out on the field, and I’m eager to get back there as well.”


This is a big year for Kafka, who should again draw interest in the head coaching hiring cycle. If the Giants can get the offense on track, that will further help Kafka if his phone rings later in the season.

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