McGaughey, 48, was in charge of the units that performed better than the Giants’ offense (which was not difficult to achieve) or defense in 2021. The Bears, Panthers and Chargers all expressed interest in him, but so did Daboll, who ended up keeping a fixture in the Giants coaching family. McGaughey came to the Giants in 2007 as a special teams assistant on Tom Coughlin’s staff. He served as special teams coordinator the past four years, for Pat Shurmur then Joe Judge. Daboll will be the fourth Giants head coach McGaughey has worked under.
The details of the job brought new Giants general manager Joe Schoen here for a few days of scouting and recruiting at the Senior Bowl. The details of the job kept Brian Daboll, the newly hired head coach, back in his new office at the Giants’ facility, putting together his first coaching staff.
While Schoen embarked Tuesday on his first on-site scouting for the Giants, watching some of the prospects who will be available in the first NFL draft he leads as the man in charge, Daboll was busy making key decisions. He has opted to retain Thomas McGaughey as the special teams coordinator, and he is mulling the hiring of his offensive coordinator after one option — bringing Ken Dorsey with him from Buffalo — was busted when the Bills promoted Dorsey to offensive coordinator.
Daboll is sorting through Pep Hamilton, Mike Kafka and Chad O’Shea, according to sources and reports, to run his offense. Daboll has decided to keep Patrick Graham as the defensive coordinator, which appears will happen with the news Jim Harbaugh is expected to be the Vikings’ next coach — a job Graham was in the running for.
Schoen made the rounds within Hancock Whitney Stadium, where he kept on the move and under the radar while wearing a long-sleeve white shirt and black vest, not showing off any Giants blue. There is little doubt the Giants will evaluate and eventually select a few players in the upcoming draft who engaged in Senior Bowl workouts this week. The top-rated offensive linemen are not at this event, but Schoen and the Giants’ contingent did get a look at Boston College guard Zion Johnson, probably the best offensive line prospect on the field. Johnson was impressive in the practice then stayed afterward, taking snaps at center. He is considered a late first round, early second round pick.
Daboll’s immediate task is finding someone to direct the offense he carries with him from Buffalo. He has worked previously with O’Shea, 49, on Bill Belichick’s staff with the Patriots. O’Shea went to Miami in 2019 as offensive coordinator for Brian Flores, but was fired after that season. For the past two years, O’Shea was the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Browns.
Hamilton, 47, was the quarterback coach and passing game coordinator for the Texans last season. The well-traveled Hamilton, in 2020, was the head coach and general manager of the DC Defenders of the XFL. That same year, he helped develop rookie Justin Herbert as the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach. Hamilton got his NFL start in 2003 with the Jets.
Kafka, 34, is considered a riser. The former Northwestern quarterback was the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator the past two years.
Daboll said whether or not he calls the plays on offense in his first year as head coach will depend on whom he brings in for offensive coordinator. Schoen said he would prefer that Daboll not call the plays. Daboll said, “We’ll see how it goes,’’ and pointed out the two head coaches in Super Bowl LVI — Zac Taylor of the Bengals and Sean McVay of the Rams — both call their teams’ plays on offense.
“We’ve done a lot of interviews for that spot,” Daboll said. “We’ll find the right guy and we’ll work together, if he can call the plays and if we feel comfortable with that, I’m fine with that. We’ve got to make sure we do everything we can to help our offense, help our team, I’ve got to help our team the best I can.”