The New York Giants have fired special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.
The moves aren’t a surprise given the persistent issues the Giants have had on special teams over the last two years.
McGaughey was hired by the Giants in 2018, prior to which he was the ST’s coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. He replaced Tom Quinn, who was fired along with much of the 2017 coaching staff. Though, Quinn was rehired to coach special teams for the Giants while McGaughey battled cancer in 2018.
McGaughey initially found success with the Giants’ special teams, and they lead the NFL in several categories such as kick coverage, return yardage allowed, and field goal percentage. However, the unit was beset by inconsistencies and game-killing mistakes over the last two season, which ultimately lead to McGaughey’s exit.
McGaughey said last week that he had a year remaining on his contract.
The move to fire Bobby Johnson isn’t a surprise either, as the Giants have fielded one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL under his tenure.
The Giants have sunk considerable resources in the offensive line over the last two years. Most notably, they’ve used the seventh and 67th overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft (Evan Neal and Joshua Ezeudu) and the 57th pick in the 2023 draft (John Michael Schmitz) and have seen precious little return from them. Injuries have certainly played a role, but the necessary development hasn’t been there either.
“Want to thank those guys for what they’ve done the last two years,” said head coach Brian Daboll. “This is the hard part of the job. Have a lot of respect for them. Just felt we’re going to move in a different direction.
Brian Daboll confirmed Monday morning that he expects both offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to return for the 2024 season.
“There’s still conversations that are going to be had,” Daboll said, admitting he had not yet spoken directly to Kafka or Martindale on Monday.
“It’s my expectation that they’re going to come back. I think they’re good coaches. Be good to have some continuity and bring them back ... I appreciate how hard they work, their commitment to the team. So that’s my plan.”
RB coach Jeff Nixon moving on
The Giants will need a new running backs coach next season. Daboll confirmed that Jeff Nixon will leave the team to become offensive coordinator at Syracuse University.
“Jeff’s done a great job,” Daboll said. “Jeff and I go way back. It’s something, he eventually wants to become a college head football coach.”