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For Giants’ OC Mike Kafka, preseason will also be an audition

Players not the only ones trying to earn a regular-season job

Syndication: The Record
Mike Kafka working with Daniel Jones.
Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

Thursday night’s preseason opener against the New England Patriots will be an audition for many New York Giants who are fighting for a chance to stay on the roster.

It will also be audition of sorts for offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. Kafka will call the offensive plays for the offense on Thursday and probably throughout the preseason. Head coach Brian Daboll, though, has not said whether he or Kafka will handle play-calling once the regular season starts.

“I look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity not only for myself, but for the players. Everyone out there is, those guys are, you know, everyone on there is working hard to make the team and show what they can do and show that they can build themselves a role,” Kafka said on Monday. “So, I’m looking to go out and do my job to the best of my ability and put the guys in the best position to be successful and show what they can do.”

Is Kafka’s audition handicapped by the fact that the Giants will likely not want to show too much of their revamped offense in a preseason game?

“There’s a balance,” Kafka said. “Following Dabes’ philosophy on what he wants to do on offense and put our guys in a good position to go make plays and show what they can do – we’re going to follow that. And I think that’s been the plan all along.”

Here are some other takeaways from Kafka’s media session on Monday.

On the progress of quarterback Daniel Jones ...

“I think over the last, probably, week to ten days, I think that communication really has gotten a lot better. In the meeting rooms, those guys are getting a lot more vocal. Not just the quarterbacks, but the receivers making sure that, ‘Hey Daniel. Okay if it’s – I saw it this way.’ And then vice versa. Daniel saying, ‘I think you should hit it like this, or show me this body language.’ So, I think over the last week, week and a half, things have really gotten a lot better because they’re opening up their lines of communication. That’s what we’re stressing to these guys: Let’s talk. Not just receivers and quarterbacks, but O-line. Everyone’s got to get on the same page.

“I think Daniel’s doing a phenomenal job. He’s working. He’s operating the offense. I like what he’s doing as far as being a leader and trying to get these guys up and push the tempo of the offense. So, I like where Daniel’s at.”

On the development of the team’s offensive system ...

“I think we’re right on schedule. I think we’re right where we want to be. I think we’re still continuing to figure out some schemes that we’re better at and things that we want to work on – whether it’s run or pass game. So, I say we’re right on schedule. I like where the guys are at.”

On Wan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney playing together ...

“I’m not big on comparisons, but I think they both have a unique skillset. On the perimeter in space, I think that’s where they’re the most dynamic. So, I think that’s where those guys have done a good job, again, of trying to learn the offense, where they fit in the scheme. And I think the coaches are doing a good job, too, of trying to figure out how they fit into our offense and where they fit. And that’s super important as we keep on going and moving forward.”

On practicing against Wink Martindale’s aggressive blitz schemes ...

“He brings a lot of pressure, and he’s multiple in those type of ways. But that’s been a good challenge for our offense, but again, I think there’s plays that we’ve had throughout training camp and in the scrimmage that look pretty good. We got him on one of them; they got us on one. That’s part of competing. That’s why I love about this team right now is everyone’s competing. Everyone’s trying to get better. They might get you one time. They might get us one time, but we’re all on the same team. We’re all working toward the same goal.”