Yes, it’s been a while.
We won’t, and shouldn’t, consider this breaking news.
But, for the Giants, it remains important.
Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale are still Giants coordinators, still calling the offensive and defensive plays. Each is still running his show.
And on Thursday, both seemed happy about it.
On a day when the smoky haze from the Canadian wildfires continued to be a factor, the Giants did not take the field — or utilize their indoor facility — for their scheduled OTA.
But the Giants did make both coordinators available to the media for the first time since each of them flirted with head-coaching opportunities in the offseason. For Kafka and Martindale, their time could still come. It’s fair to suggest that both of them will have even more impressive resumes by next offseason.
Translation: The 2023 Giants' roster is certainly more formidable than last year’s version, especially at wide receiver.
Martindale said he was pleased with the signing of linebacker Bobby Okereke and the move to secure cornerback Deonte Banks in the first round of the draft.
He was also pleased with how his offseason went.
“I think anytime you have a chance to talk to a different organization, and especially the owners, it’s eye-opening,” said Martindale, who interviewed with the Colts. “You can learn things from it: How they see the game, where they see their organization going, so that part was really fulfilling for me. But I’ve also said that this isn't a stepping-stone job [with the Giants.] This is a destination. And I believe that, or I wouldn’t say it. That’s one thing that [Colts owner] Jim Irsay and I have in common. I’m as authentic as there is, and he made that comment. He said, ‘I just love your honesty.’ Really, he's the same way. It was a fascinating conversation that we had.”
Martindale added: “I just love the fans here. I love this organization, the Mara and Tisch family, [coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen, including] the leadership and the culture that we’re building, and we’re continuing to build during these OTAs.”
What if the 60-year-old Martindale never gets an opportunity to be a head coach?
“I don’t have a problem sleeping every night,” he said. “I’m at peace. It sounds a little dramatic, being at peace, but I'm excited to be the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. And the day that I’m not is the day that they say, ‘Hey, you hear Wink retired?’ Every day I get up, I can't wait to get to the building to be around these guys. It's always better when the players are here.”
Kafka interviewed with the Colts, Cardinals, Panthers and Texans.
For Kafka, 35, his opportunities to be a head coach may be just beginning. Especially considering how many more playmakers he has on this roster compared to last year’s.
“Don't really think about it all that much outside of the experience, being fortunate enough to be a part of those discussions, those conversations, was really cool,” Kafka said. “I learned a lot about myself. Learned a lot about the league and the multiple organizations. It was a good experience overall.”
For both Kafka and Martindale, the focus is on the present. Both are respected by the players they coach.
In Daniel Jones, Kafka has a quarterback who figures to be on the ascent after his best season last year produced a four-year, $160 million contract. Sound coaching has a way of making that true, perhaps especially at the quarterback position.
It’s a similar story for the Giants’ defense. Its best player, Dexter Lawrence, now has his long-term $90 million deal and should also be better in Year 2 under Martindale.
With both coordinators back, the Giants are set up for another season of stability.