If Joe Judge was looking for a defensive coordinator with knowledge of the Patriots' philosophies he is hoping to bring to the Giants as well as the infrastructures and traditions of the Giants themselves, he found his guy.
Judge will hire Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator in 2020, according to the NFL Network. The Giants have not made any staff decisions official.
Graham, 40, most recently served as the defensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 2019, but he has a history with both Judge and the Giants. He was the defensive line coach for the Giants from 2016-17 under Ben McAdoo, and he also coached linebackers and defensive linemen for the Patriots during Judge’s time there as a special teams coach and coordinator.
The Giants requested permission from the Dolphins to interview Graham for a lateral move. Dolphins coach Brian Flores could have blocked that from happening, but granted the interview. The Dolphins' defense ranked 30th in the NFL in 2019.
The Giants had never met Judge before his interview with the team last Monday, but so far three confirmed members of his coaching staff have a history with them. Besides Graham, Judge will also keep special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert.
Graham, who played at Yale, seems to fit with Judge’s ideal of smart, flexible coaches.
The addition of Graham means James Bettcher, defensive coordinator foe the Giants the past two seasons, will not return. Bettcher, like the rest of the Giants’ staff, was not fired when the Giants decided to part ways with head coach Pat Shurmur the day after the regular season ended. In his two seasons in New York, Bettcher’s Giants ranked 24th and then 25th in yards allowed.
While there are other positions to fill, Judge has one last significant hire to make on his staff at offensive coordinator. That hire will be charged with the important job of ushering quarterback Daniel Jones into his second NFL season.
SHURMUR TO BRONCOS. NFL Network reported that Shurmur, fired as head coach of the Giants two weeks ago, will be hired as the offensive coordinator of the Broncos. Shurmur had success in that position with the Eagles and Vikings. The Broncos fired offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello on Sunday.