The New York Giants are expected to retain Patrick Graham as their defensive coordinator if he isn’t hired by the Minnesota Vikings.
New head coach Brian Daboll confirmed reports of that Monday at his introductory press conference.
“Yeah, that’s accurate,” Daboll said.
“I’ve had a good relationship with Pat for some time in this league. Very diligent. He’s smart. I think the players respect him. He understands different defenses, and I have a good working relationship with him.
“Certainly we hope that he has an opportunity to become a head coach. I thing that’s everybody’s dream, but selfishly I would love for him to be here.”
New GM Joe Schoen is also happy that the Giants will be able to retain Graham if he doesn’t get the Vikings job.
“I’ll tell you what, I didn’t know, Patrick Graham, and we interviewed him for this head coaching job. And yeah, I did my research on him and there’s a lot of positive feedback throughout the league, not only in the building but around the league on Patrick,” Schoen said. “He’s passionate, very high football acumen. He got me fired up in the interview. If he gets that Minnesota job that’s great for him. Selfishly, I would love to keep him here because I’m fired up to work with him. I think he’s a good ball coach.”
This was always the easiest answer when it comes to the defensive side of the ball for the Giants.
While the Giants’ defensive performance in the final two minutes of the first half was a definite black eye, Graham’s unit performed about as well as could be expected overall. Indeed, they largely played well enough for the team to win games had the offense carried its own weight.
Graham has roots in the Bill Belichick coaching tree, as does new Head Coach Brian Daboll. Likewise, Graham’s defensive scheme is similar to the one run by Alabama, where Daboll was the offensive coordinator in 2017. The two men are likely familiar with each other personally and philosophically, which should make this a relatively easy fit.
Of course, New York can’t stop Graham from accepting an offer to be the Minnesota head coach. As Rapoport notes, Graham interviewed for the position, and he has reportedly built a good relationship with new Vikings’ GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.