According to NFL Insider Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team, the New York Giants have two of the top 11 coaching candidates under 40 years old. Meirov identified young coaching candidates who have excelled and could be in line for a promotion after the 2023 season.
Unsurprisingly, Mike Kafka is one of the coaches on the list. Kafka was the second coach written about in the piece behind Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. The Giants’ current offensive coordinator is only 36 years old; he was a fourth-round pick by Andy Reid in 2010 and spent six years as a professional quarterback before becoming a graduate assistant at Northwestern in 2016.
He reunited with Reid in Kansas City and was Patrick Mahomes’ quarterback coach from 2018-2021 (he was the quality control coach for the Chiefs in 2017). Kafka helped the Giants’ offense significantly in yards, scoring, and red zone efficiency while guiding the offense to a playoff win.
Kafka was not the only Giants’ offensive coach on the list; quarterback coach Shea Tierney was also listed by Meirov. Tierney spent time with Brian Daboll at Alabama and with the Buffalo Bills. He helped Daniel Jones achieve career highs in passing yards, rushing yards, completions, and rushing touchdowns.
Both Kafka and Tierney received attention during the offseason. Kafka was aggressively pursued by the Indianapolis Colts; the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans were also exploring Kafka as a head coaching option.
Tierney received interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their offensive coordinator position. Luckily for the Giants, both coaches were retained, and competent continuity is maintained as the Giants look forward to Dallas in Week 1.
If the Giants’ offense takes another developmental jump with the upgrades they’ve acquired in the offseason, Mike Kafka will likely be a top head coaching candidate. One may surmise that Tierney would likely receive Kafka’s position as the offensive coordinator if Kafka were to accept a head coaching spot.
Nevertheless, the Giants' offense is receiving positive national attention because of the unexpected offensive success in 2022 and the expectations for the upcoming season.
Other coaches on the list include former Dallas offensive coordinator - and current Chargers OC - Kellen Moore (35), Broncos’ defensive backs coach Christian Parker (31), Dolphins’ safeties coach Joe Kasper (30), Bills’ linebacker coach Bobby Babich (40), Lions’ DBs coach Brian Duker (34), 49ers’ wide receivers coach Leonard Hankerson (34), Chargers’ offensive quality control coach Chandler Whitmer (32), and Ravens’ special teams coordinator Chris Horton (38).