Are New York Giants assistant coaches worrying about job security with questions about whether or not head coach Joe Judge will be retained for a third season? Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said on Thursday that can’t be part of the thought process.
“We coach football in the NFL. Since the moment I signed my first contract in 2009 when (Patriots Head Coach) Bill (Belichick) called me in the office and I signed my contract, I knew then ‘Not for long,’ all that stuff that coaches tell you, that’s how it is,” Graham said. “I can’t speak about this particular situation or anything like that. I just know how I operate. I operate just hoping, boom, swipe my card, I get in, cool. I’m here for another day and I just work hard for that day. Again, I think when you learn to focus on the day, you’re not worried about that stuff.”
Graham said his focus is on wide receiver Terry McLaurin and the rest of the Washington Football Team offense.
“I know there are stories written and there’s stuff, I get it. I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the question or anything like that, but in terms of how I operate, and I know how a lot of the coaches operate, it’s day-to-day,” Graham said. “I’m focused on Washington right now, figuring out a way to stop 24 (Antonio Gibson), figuring out a way to limit 17 (Terry McLaurin) on Sunday, figure out a way to keep the quarterback from scrambling all over the place and throwing these passes behind his ear and whatever he’s doing. This guy is completing a lot of balls. That’s what’s keeping me up right now.”
McGaughey, special teams coordinator for the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers and one-time assistant special teams coordinator for the Giants, said he “never” worries about job security.
“I can’t speak for the staff. I’m just telling you for me, look, I just do my job. Whatever happens after that, it happens,” McGaughey said. “I promise you and I want you to hear this clearly, I will never lay my head down on the pillow and worry about job security because I do the best I can, like I leave it all out on the table. I try and do everything I can possibly do to do my job the best I can do. I promise you I’m not worried about job security.”
Embracing one final chance
In his nine-year career, this is the first time Giants’ defensive back Logan Ryan has entered the final week of the season with no chance of his team reaching the playoffs.
“It’s my first time, so I’m kind of taking it as is. I’ve realized how fortunate I’ve been in my career that other players have to experience this, and I don’t like experiencing this honestly. I’d like to play a lot more football than this. But this is what you’re guaranteed to play if you’re healthy on your contract. It’s what you signed up for and extra, so to me, we’re just approaching it all, it’s the last week let’s make it a good one,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to go into the offseason with too much regret. There’s stuff I wish I could’ve changed. There are plays I wish I could’ve made. There’s stuff I wish I said sooner, but that’s all Monday morning quarterback. It’s after the result.
“I try to prepare my best and play and I’m going to try to prepare my best this week and go out there and let the chips fall where they may and see where that leads us. I just think it’s been great energy this week and guys have really been hanging out a lot more knowing that we don’t have another week together. Guys have really been embracing this and hanging in the building longer and putting the work in to make the last performance a good one.”
Trying to win, not save jobs
Safety Xavier McKinney was asked if there was a feeling the Giants were playing this week to save the jobs of the coaching staff.
“We’re trying to win games. I think that’s the main goal. Nobody is trying to get anybody fired, nobody is trying to help anybody keep a job. We’re all just trying to win games at the end of the day,” McKinney said. “I think as players and as coaches, we know that, the coaches, they know that. We just try to go out there and do our jobs and be able to come out victorious at the end of it.”
Kadarius Toney “working on” being a pro
Ever since he joined the Giants, coaches have talked about first-round pick Kadarius Toney needing to gain the trust of coaches and teammates. Wide receivers coach Tyke Tobert was asked on Thursday if Toney, who has played in only 10 games and had an odd rookie season, understood yet what it was to be a pro.
“I think he’s working on that. I think he’s working on it, like all rookies are. You could ask that about any rookie in the NFL, and they’ll say well they’re working on that. He’s no different than any other rookie. He’s working on it. He’s learning from some vets. He’s learning from the coaches of how to do things, from the trainers – it’s a work in progress,” Tolbert said. “You can’t come into the NFL as a rookie and say, ‘Okay, I’m a pro.’ You could say that, but it’s a process you have to go through in order to, ‘be a pro,’ and I think he’s working through that. I think he’s going in the right direction. The needle is pointing up in that situation.”