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Dave DeGuglielmo: What are the Giants getting?

Veteran offensive line coach is well-traveled, and there appear to be reasons for that

Miami Dolphins Training Camp Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Dave DeGuglielmo’s history is pretty clear. He’s a really good coach with an abrasive personality who can really rub people the wrong way.

NFL assistant coaches are vagabonds who bounce from team to team regularly, losing a job whenever a head coach does, or whenever he needs a sacrificial lamb to save his own job. Still, DeGuglielmo’s resume raises as many questions as it answers:

That’s eight jobs since 2012, only one for longer than a full season. I don’t know what to compare that to; speed-dating maybe. It’s like a series of temp jobs, with team after team trying DeGuglielmo out and, no matter the results, deciding to move on.

DeGuglielmo was in Indianapolis in 2018, hired by Josh McDaniels before he went slinking back to New England, leaving the Colts at the altar. Here is Chris Blystone of Stampede Blue:

“He definitely was an asset to the offensive line. His unit completely turned the Colts offensive line’s reputation around in 2018. Perhaps the biggest knock on him was that his grating style is not for everyone. He is blunt and rough, and ultimately wasn’t a long term fit with the rest of the Colts coaching staff. Additionally, the Colts wanted a coach who was more focused on fundamentals because of their youth at the position. DeGuglielmo wasn’t hired by Frank Reich, so they moved on to get a guy more in line with the staff’s philosophy of teaching. Also, this little incident with Denzelle Good could have created some internal tension.”

DeGuglielmo was with the New England Patriots in 2014 and 2015, the only place he has worked for more than a year since his first head offensive line coach job with the Miami Dolphins from 2009-2011. He, of course, crossed paths with Giants coach Joe Judge there.

Here is Bernd Buchmasser of Pats Pulpit on DeGuglielmo’s time in New England:

“When DeGuglielmo arrived in New England after the 2013 season, he took on a difficult job: replacing one of the best O-line coaches in NFL history, Dante Scarnecchia. Luckily, he had the core of Scarnecchia’s group still around to work with – even after the Patriots traded standout guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay shortly before the season, and had to incorporate rookie center Bryan Stork into the lineup. Nevertheless, DeGuglielmo did a good job considering all those circumstances. The Patriots’ offense did not skip a beat and won the Super Bowl that year, which had a lot to do with Tom Brady playing some superb football but also with an offensive line giving up just 25 sacks along the way. The line also was able to adapt to the game plan on a week-to-week basis; the postseason was a good example of that with two pass-heavy game plans being complemented by a run-heavy approach in the AFC title game.

“Things certainly looked up, and then came the 2015 season when everything fell apart. The Patriots lost starting left tackle Nate Solder in Week 5, used three rookies – center David Andrews, guards Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason – extensively, and just never found a lineup that seemed to work on a consistent basis. As a result, the team tried 39 different combination through the season (they used nine one year later) and failed to get into any rhythm before a conference championship game that saw Brady get pressured relentlessly and New England eventually lose on an unsuccessful two-point attempt. A few days later, DeGuglielmo was gone and Scarnecchia eventually returned for four more seasons and two more Super Bowl wins.

“So, what to make of all of that? I think the circumstances definitely hurt DeGuglielmo, especially in 2015. He just didn’t find any solution that year as the line continued to struggle with inexperience and inconsistency in both talent and lineup. Then again, he a) still did a good (enough) job the previous year to help win a Super Bowl, and b) helped start the careers of David Andrews and Shaq Mason, two bona fide starters in New England to this day.”

DeGuglielmo was in Miami last season. Here is Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider:

“DeGuglielmo is obviously a well-regarded coach in the league, with a lot of experience as an offensive line coach. He has held the position three different times with the Dolphins, working under Tony Sparano from 2009-2011, under Adam Gase in 2017, and last year with Brian Flores. He is a guy who should be able to develop younger offensive linemen, which is obviously an important part of the job for the Giants after the 2020 Draft. The Dolphins offensive line was rough last year, to say the least, but it also could be that DeGuglielmo did not take over as the offensive line coach until a few days into training camp. He was not really fired from the position, so much as his contract ran out and he and the Dolphins could not come to an agreement on a new contract. He is a good, solid offensive line coach who should be able to help the Giants grow into a functioning unit.”

When DeGuglielmo was with Miami last season, Joe Schad of the Florida Times-Union wrote a training camp piece in which he called DeGuglielmo “bald, bearded and boisterous.”

Dave DeGuglielmo is going to call you out when you’re doing it wrong, whether it’s in full view of teammates, media or fans.

DeGuglielmo is going to be loud and direct and if your feelings are hurt, so be it. Then, the next drill, or perhaps the next day, he’s going to show you love and lift you up.

Probably.

After the Colts fired him, the Indy Star published a piece on DeGuglielmo that included this:

DeGuglielmo’s grating style isn’t for every player, but most of the Colts’ linemen took to him. "He’s just awesome,” Ryan Kelly said midseason. “He gets the most out of guys, not by (shouting expletives) at us all game, but by giving us confidence. I love playing for him."

“Gug is great for that group,” echoed Reich. “Blunt and direct and (a) throwback — the whole deal.”

DeGuglielmo was blunt and direct, outspoken during practice and in interviews with the media. He rarely held anything back.

“I’m not changing,” DeGuglielmo said of his hard-nosed approach midseason. “If they don’t like me, they need to learn to accept it or move on. Or move me on, one of the two. I’m not changing.”

Judge was obviously not happy with what and how the now deposed Marc Colombo was teaching the offensive line, with multiple reports indicating that in recent weeks Judge had involved himself more directly in that group’s day-to-day work.

We will see if DeGuglielmo’s blunt style pays dividends, specifically for first-round pick Andrew Thomas, over the next six weeks.