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5 candidates to replace Dave DeGuglielmo as Giants’ offensive line coach

The Giants’ search might lead to one of these coaches

Cleveland Browns Mandatory Mini Camp
James Campen

Dave DeGuglielmo, an assistant coach who seems to carry being a vagabond to an extreme in a profession filled instability, apparently won’t be back with the New York Giants in 2021.

We learned on Wednesday that DeGuglielmo’s contract expired at the end of the 2020 season and that he and the Giants have not been able to come to terms. This seems like the same thing that happened with DeGuglielmo and the Miami Dolphins the year prior, where DeGuglielmo took over the offensive line early in training camp, served out the year and then priced himself out of a job with the Dolphins.

A report Thursday morning indicated a return by DeGuglielmo has not been “entirely ruled out.” Still, here are five potential replacements for the man known as Guge.

Jeff Stoutland

Stoutland is currently offensive line coach and run game coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, though, do not have a head coach. That makes it possible that Stoutland will be looking for work once they get one. There has even been speculation that DeGuglielmo, hired by Josh McDaniels for his Indianapolis Colts staff before McDaniels bolted, could land in Philly if McDaniels gets that gig.

Stoutland, 62, is a Staten Island native who has been with the Eagles since 2013. He was offensive line coach at Alabama from 2009-2011 and has a connection to Giants head coach Joe Judge, who was a special teams assistant at Alabama from 2009-2011.

Chris Morgan

Morgan was just let go as offensive line coach of the Atlanta Falcons by the team’s new head coach, Arthur Smith. Morgan had been Falcons’ offensive line coach since 2015. Prior to that, he had served stints as assistant offensive line coach with the Oakland Raiders, Washington and the Seattle Seahawks from 2009-2014.

Albert Breer of SI tweeted that Kyle Shanahan originally brought Morgan to Atlanta.

Harry Hiestand

Hiestand, 62, has been coaching offensive line play since 1983. Most of his stops have been in the collegiate ranks, including being Notre Dame offensive line coach from 2012-2017. Hiestand served two stints as offensive line coach of the Chicago Bears, first from 2005-2009 and then in 2018 and 2019. He was out of the NFL in 2020.

Here is a list of some of the offensive linemen Hiestand worked with at Notre Dame:

Here is a little bit of background on what Hiestand taught with the Fighting Irish, via former Notre Dame All-American offensive lineman Aaron Taylor:

“Harry was multiple, and they ran a lot of G-scheme,” Taylor said, “particularly on the goal line. You don’t see it very often, but it’s old school, big boy, blue collar football.

“They ran duo, which is a play that’s taken the NFL by storm over the past six or seven years. That’s basically power without pulling anybody. They ran a fair amount of it, and why wouldn’t you with Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey and the rest of the crew they had there?”

But it wasn’t just what schemes Hiestand used but how he taught them.

“What really stood out to me about Harry was the reach block in the outside zone technique that he taught,” Taylor said. “There was never a practice I saw over his time there — and I saw 20-plus practices — where they didn’t practice reach-blocking on the down lineman.

“The reason that’s significant is that most people take four or five steps and stop. And when you watch tape, that’s what would happen. What was notable about Harry was when you put the tape on, you also saw Quenton Nelson blocking for 25-plus yards. There was a direct translation from the practice field to the games.”

James Campen

Like Morgan, Campen is a victim of a change at head coach. He was let go by the Los Angeles Chargers after the hiring of Brandon Staley to replace Anthony Lynn as Chargers head coach.

Campen has been an NFL coach since 2004, though 2020 was his only season with the Chargers. Campen was with the Green Bay Packers from 2004-2018, serving 11 seasons as offensive line coach.

The year that gets your attention from a Giants perspective, though, is 2019. Campen was offensive line coach and associate head coach for Freddie Kitchens with the Cleveland Browns. Kitchens, of course, is currently tight ends coach for the Giants.

Ben Wilkerson

Wilkerson is a former NFL player who has been assistant offensive line coach for the Giants since 2018, serving first for Pat Shurmur and now for Judge. Wilkerson spent three seasons in the same capacity with the Chicago Bears before joining the Giants.

When DeGuglielmo missed a game at the end of the season due to COVID-19, Wilkerson ran the line and received praise from Judge.

“I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Ben. He’s a good coach. He’s a good, young coach. Draws from a knowledge of playing the game. He’s a very good communicator. He has a very good passion for the game. The players respond to him very well. He’s great on the field with technique instruction, and he’s very good in terms of communicating and forming relationships off the field,” Judge said. “Look, this is a guy, to be honest with you, when I got here last year, Ben was down at the East-West Shrine Game coaching. We had more requests put in for Ben Wilkerson last year while he was down there. This is a deal where I talked to him before he went down there, I said, ‘I won’t make any moves on the staff without talking to you first.’ Then we agreed when he got back that I would like him to stay, he wanted to stay, we made some arrangements with the contract, and I’m glad to have him on our staff going forward. This is a guy that obviously we want in the program. He’s going to help us going forward.”