Mike Kafka will call offensive plays for the Giants in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Patriots, a responsibility that will be more of a tryout than a coronation for the first-year offensive coordinator.
Although Kafka has been on the headset radioing plays to the quarterbacks throughout the spring and summer, coach Brian Daboll — who was the play-caller for five years in Buffalo before coming to the Giants — has not committed to having Kafka in that role beyond this week.
With the regular-season opener looming just over a month away, all Daboll says about the final decision is “we’ll see.’’
That’s fine with Kafka, who likened Thursday’s play-calling debut to the men trying to make the roster with strong performances that night.
“I look at it as an opportunity,” he said on Monday. “Everyone out there is working hard to make the team and show what they can do and show that they can build themselves a role. I’m looking to go out and do my job to the best of my ability and put the guys in the best position to be successful.”
Kafka said he is still refining his cadence when communicating the plays.
“Sometimes I get excited and amped up and might be a little too high with my volume,” he said. “I’m probably just screaming it too fast, and then all of a sudden it kind of comes out a little too muddled.”
Being a former quarterback in the NFL who was on the receiving end of those calls is helpful, though.
“I definitely think [it gives me] some feel to it,” he said. “There’s some correlation. As a quarterback, you’re playing the game kind of the same way through the eyes of a coordinator. You get to understand what his intent is as a play-caller and why he’s calling a certain play. I think that helps as you get more familiar with the play- caller and the quarterback. Once they get on the same page, I think that’s where you really see things that are special.”
Kafka will get a chance to be special on Thursday. Beyond that, who knows.
Notes & quotes: The biggest winner of the fight that interrupted practice Monday may have been Daniel Jones, who had his worst performance since early in camp overshadowed. Jones had difficulty connecting with Kadarius Toney (several passes were dropped), misfired on a number of other plays, threw two interceptions and ceded a first-team rep to backup Tyrod Taylor for the first time in camp . . . The Giants released OT Matt Gono, who had left the team last week to have his surgically repaired neck re-examined and previously was on the exempt list . . . Rookie TE Andre Miller, who caught the only first-team touchdown pass in Friday’s scrimmage fractured his arm in Sunday’s practice and requires surgery.