By Scott Mandel
|EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Fifty years ago, when Joe Namath and the New York Jets won Super Bowl III, the championship coaching staff consisted of Weeb Ewbank, Walt Michaels, Clive Rush, and Buddy Ryan. |
Four coaches. That was it.
Today, the league-worst New York Giants, under their fourth head coach in the past four years, Joe Judge, announced the composition of the team’s 2020 coaching staff. There will be a few more coaches on this staff than the Jets Super Bowl four.
How about 20 coaches on one team? That’s a ratio of about 2.5:1. two and a half players for every coach. That’s a better ratio than a Manhattan private school offers.
Judge’s 20-member staff is comprised of nine coaches who arrived from other NFL teams, including two who were head coaches last season; five who spent the 2019 season coaching collegiate football; and six who were with the Giants last year.
The first-year head coach revealed his three coordinators on January 17. On offense, it is Jason Garrett, 53, who is very familiar with the NFC East after coaching the Dallas Cowboys from 2010-19. The defensive coordinator is Patrick Graham, 41, who held the same position with the Miami Dolphins last season. Graham will also serve as assistant head coach. Thomas McGaughey, 46, returns for his third season as special teams coordinator. He was previously a coordinator for three other teams and was the Giants’ assistant special teams coach from 2007-10.
Freddie Kitchens, who was the head coach last season of the Cleveland Browns and Odell Beckham, Jr., was also brought in to coach the tight ends after just one year at the helm in Cleveland.
Kitchens, 45, spent the last two years in Cleveland, the first as running backs coach/associate head coach for the first eight games and offensive coordinator for the final eight before his season as head coach. He previously coached in Dallas (tight ends, 2006) and Arizona (tight ends, 2007-12; quarterbacks, 2013-16; and running backs in 2017).
“I think any position on offense is good for Freddie,” Judge said. “He’s got a lot of experience at different positions. He’s been head coach, he’s been a coordinator, he’s been a position coach. He sees it through a lot of different perspectives. What I love about Freddie is he brings an element of toughness and discipline to his room. He brings outside the box thinking a lot of times to how he approaches the game from a game plan perspective. I think he’ll be an asset to working with our offensive coaches and developing the game plan throughout the week. But ultimately, I’ve worked with Freddie, I’ve played for Freddie, and I’ve called against Freddie, and I understand what his players are about.”
Marc Colombo, who played offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys, will be the offensive line coach under Garrett. whom he had worked with in Dallas since 2015.
Asked about the expertise Garrett and Kitchens bring as former NFL head coaches, Judge said, “Everybody brings a different type of experience to the job. I didn’t set out to hire anyone with former head coaching experience. That ended up being a plus of what different guys brought to their area.”
“The first thing I was prioritizing was good coaches who had a deep concern for the players that they were going to coach,” Judge said. “It has to start with the relationship from the coach to the player and understanding that we’re working together. Next thing I was prioritizing was good teachers. We had to find guys who can paint that mental picture for a player and find a way to tap into how they learn and get the most out of them. To me, it’s a big trust factor with the guys I have on the staff. I have a personal relationship with a lot of these guys, professional relationships with nearly all of them. Guys who I have not worked with directly, I’ve competed against, I’ve known for some time. I’ve more than done my research on everybody on this staff, including the guys I’ve worked with. No stone has been unturned. I’m very excited about the group we have in here. I know they’re going to bring a lot to this organization. I know they’re going to be a great asset to the players they’re going to coach.”