Could this be Patrick Graham’s final season as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants? Perhaps, if Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports is correct that Graham is generating head-coaching buzz around the league — including with the Giants should they move on from Joe Judge.
LaCanfora wrote Sunday that “Graham is continuing to mount buzz in league circles for his fine work with a unit that is thin on individual talent. With the Mara family and many in football operations very high on Graham, some in league circles believe Graham would be a serious candidate in New York if ownership opted to move on from Joe Judge in 2022. Regardless, Graham’s coaching and leadership is opening eyes.”
Graham turned down an opportunity to interview for the New York Jets’ head-coaching job that ultimately went to Robert Saleh.
“To me, the Giants, this is is my dream job to be here as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. So I’m just happy to be here,” Graham said during the offseason. “I don’t know, it’s nothing against them or anything. I’m just happy to be a New York Giant. Goes back to my days at Notre Dame with (Giants Co-Director of Player Personnel) Tim McDonnell when I knew him, a lot of my mentors, the people that I learned football from had connection with the New York Giants. That’s important to me. I happen to be here working with one of my friends, Joe Judge and I’ve got a great group of guys to work with and a great group of coaches and players. I mean, these guys, our coaches on defense, these guys are top-notch. Who wouldn’t want to have that work environment. That’s why I like it.”
LaCanfora’s speculation about Graham as a replacement for Judge should the Giants decide to move on after two disappointing seasons is interesting. Judge and Graham have a close relationship, and you wonder if Graham would be comfortable in his friends’ former job. Then again, there are only 32 NFL head-coaching jobs.