The one coach the Giants can’t afford to lose isn’t Joe Judge (Opinion)
Giants head coach Joe Judge talks the talk. He's just not good at walking the walk. Patrick Graham hardly talks at all, but his walk has made great strides with a Giants defense that continues to improve with each game.
Those strides will definitely land Graham some head coaching interviews if he wants them. The Giants should not let him out of the building, even if it means making him the man in charge.
Last year when Graham was in his second stint with the Giants (he was a defensive line coach in 2017 under Ben McAdoo), led a defense that finished 12th in yards allowed, 9th in scoring defense, and 10th in rushing yards allowed.
This year, when the Giants defense was struggling at the beginning of the season, Graham fixed the problem and made the necessary adjustments to keep the Giants in games despite all the injuries the team has suffered. Can you point to the game where Judge's coaching has made a difference?
The Giants meant well. They really tried to make a run this year. They identified needs, then went out and signed so many players to fill them that they put themselves in salary cap hell. They just deluded themselves into thinking that they fixed their greatest need, the offensive line the year before and that they would gel together this year. They couldn't be more wrong.
So they fired the offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. It's looking like they're going to fire general manager Dave Gettleman. It's possible that they may fire head coach Joe Judge, although many think his job is safe. The one coach they need to keep, even if it means firing Judge, is defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
Another reason to keep and or promote Patrick Graham is consistency. Since they're in salary cap hell, they're basically going to be keeping many of the same players. It's better to keep the guy who made chicken salad with many of these feathers and maybe promote defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who was instrumental in turning Leonard Williams into a Pro Bowl lineman, than to bring someone else in and try again with basically the same bunch.
In a perfect world, Graham would want to stay on no matter what. But with all the interest he'll generate someone is bound to make him an offer he can't refuse. If that happens, that offer should come from the Maras.
CBS's Jason La Canfora thinks it could:
"With the Mara family and many in football operations very high on Graham, some in league circles believe Graham would be a serious candidate in New York if ownership opted to move on from Joe Judge in 2022. Regardless, Graham’s coaching and leadership is opening eyes."
The Maras not only know Graham but they've seen him fix things and solve problems. That's more than we can say for Judge, who in his last glass half full press conference after the Giants were blown out 20-9 by the Miami Dolphins isn't even talking the talk that the fans want to hear anymore.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7-11 p.m. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.