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Giants offensive coordinator candidates: Mike Kafka, Pep Hamilton, Chad O’Shea

Search moves on after Ken Dorsey chooses to remain in Buffalo

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Chad O’Shea
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The New York Giants are on to Plan B in an effort to fill their offensive coordinator position as Ken Dorsey will remain with the Buffalo Bills. Published reports indicate the three coaches being targeted by the Giants for that role are Mike Kafka of the Kansas City Chiefs, Chad O’Shea of the Cleveland Browns and Pep Hamilton of the Houston Texans.

Let’s look at all three candidates.

Mike Kafka

A one-time journeyman backup quarterback in the NFL, the 34-year-old Kafka has been on the Kansas City coaching staff since 2017. He has risen from offensive quality control coach to passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach for a team which perennially has one of the league’s best offenses.

Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride tells me that Kafka has essentially been the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in waiting for the past three seasons. Problem is, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has continually been passed over for head coaching jobs and remains stuck in place with the Chiefs.

Chiefs’ star quarterback Patrick Mahomes recently credited Kafka with helping him refine his pocket presence.

“First off I’ve gotten more familiar with the offensive line in general. Just being able to play behind those guys, go to battle with them, getting a good feel for them definitely helps out a ton. I think I’ve just continued to work on the fundamentals. Coach (Mike) Kafka has really kind of engrained that in me as the season’s gone on and I think I’ve gotten better as of late because of that,” Mahomes said. “Trying to figure out that right balance of when to scramble and run and do that stuff and when to stay in the pocket and make the throw is something I’ll always work on. Definitely think I’ve gotten better as these weeks have gone on.”

With Andy Reid calling plays, and Bieniemy (running game coordinator) and Kafka helping to orchestrate game plans, the Chiefs have been one of the league’s most creative and successful offenses.

Reid apparently blocked the Philadelphia Eagles from interviewing Kafka for an offensive coordinator post a couple of seasons ago.

Here is Kafka on what he learned from Reid and Bieniemy:

“I think the most important part is the attention to details that coach Bieniemy, coach Reid they bring to the offense,” he said. “You know, really no detail is spared as far as what we want to do on offense from up front. The receiver room, running back room, tight ends, quarterbacks, so it’s very well thought out. You know, it’s sound to the offensive mind, and we put it into where we can get the quarterback answers and allow him to play freely and give our receivers and ballcarriers answers as well, you know so we try to build that into the system and that’s one thing I’ve learned since being here over the last several years. Being able to give the quarterback answers and give our skill players answers within the offense.”

NFL: DEC 26 Chargers at Texans
Pep Hamilton
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pep Hamilton

The 47-year-old Hamilton spent the 2021 season with the Houston Texans, working with rookie Davis Mills as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020, Justin Herbert’s rookie season.

Hamilton began his NFL coaching career in 2003 with the New York Jets. He was offensive coordinator fo the Indianapolis Colts from 2013-15. Andrew Luck was the team’s quarterback at the time.

Chad O’Shea

O’Shea is wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, titles he has held for the past two seasons. The Browns’ offense, though, is orchestrated by head coach Kevin Stefanski.

O’Shea, 49, has been an NFL assistant coach since 2003. He has worked with the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Browns. He was Miami offensive coordinator in 2019, Brian Flores’ first year as Dolphins’ head coach.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll was in New England with O’Shea from 2013-16. Daboll was coaching tight ends and O’Shea wide receivers.

Chris Pokorny of SB Nation’s Dawgs By Nature, which covers, the Browns, termed O’Shea’s time in Cleveland “pretty lackluster.” With Baker Mayfield at quarterback, the Browns have struggled to be a consistent passing offense.

“Obviously the Browns WR corps drastically underperformed this season but I don’t know how much you can lay the blame at his feet. He was passing game coordinator but this is obviously Stefanski’s offense,” Pokony said. “His time as an OC in Miami was one and done but he really didn’t have much to work with in the “Tank for Tua” season and I don’t think anyone really got better under him here. So in all he’s pretty underwhelming.”