EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — This is one way to make sure the communication problems New York Giants co-owner John Mara admitted were an issue over the past few years won’t last much longer.
The Giants hired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll on Friday night to be their head coach. This comes a week after making Joe Schoen their general manager.
Schoen was the Bills’ assistant general manager for the past four years and Daboll ran their offense the past four seasons. There is a strong connection the Giants can only hope creates a dynamic duo.
New York is now aligned in plan and vision, which wasn’t the case with the Dave Gettleman-Joe Judge regime.
This is the right way to do business in today’s NFL.
“Over the last four years, I have observed firsthand Brian’s strengths as a leader — he is an excellent communicator, intelligent, innovative, and hard working,” Schoen said in a news release announcing Daboll’s hiring. “Brian’s genuine and engaging personality is refreshing. He fosters relationships with the players and coaches around him. He is progressive in his vision and values collaboration, two of the attributes we think are essential. I am thrilled to partner with Brian and welcome he and his family to this side of the state.”
Daboll, 46, makes so much sense for the Giants. It’s no wonder the texts rolled in this week from league sources ranging from general managers to executives to coaches, who all insisted Daboll would be the hire.
Daboll was ready for a head-coaching job. The Miami Dolphins had him scheduled for a second interview next week if he was still available.
Ultimately, he wasn’t. Sources had also indicated over the past week that the Giants were Daboll’s top choice. If Schoen and the Giants were to come calling, it was a done deal.
The Giants had a list of candidates filled with defensive backgrounds, except for Daboll. While not the deciding factor, it probably didn’t hurt that he can use his expertise to fix the Giants’ biggest problem, which is the offense.
And there should be stability if quarterback Daniel Jones and the Giants experience some success.
Daboll isn’t going anywhere. Mara called for greater leadership stability during Schoen’s introductory news conference this week, so Daboll and Schoen should be given time to turn this around, whether it’s with Jones this year or another quarterback in the future.
The past two seasons have really showcased Daboll’s coaching ability. The Bills have been a top-five offense and Josh Allen developed into one of the league’s best quarterbacks. Schoen and the Giants can only hope that some of that magic rubs off on Jones and their offense.
New York’s attack wasn’t just bad this past season. It became downright laughable late in the year with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at quarterback. It reached the point where the Giants decided to kneel on the ball inside their own 5-yard line rather than run a real play.
That is not supposed to happen at the NFL level. It made the Giants a laughingstock, forcing ownership to fire Judge after just two seasons.
Daboll, a friend of Judge’s who worked with him in New England from 2013 to 2016, is now tasked with fixing the NFL’s 31st-ranked offense. He apparently expressed confidence in Jones during his interviews, just as Schoen had earlier.
There is little doubt now that the Giants are moving forward with Jones, at least for the short term.
“We do feel Daniel can play,” Mara said this week. “We’ve done everything possible to screw this kid up since he’s been here. We keep changing coaches, keep changing coordinators, keep changing offensive line coaches. I take a lot of responsibility for that. But let’s bring in the right group of coaches now and give him some continuity and try to rebuild the offensive line and then be able to make an intelligent evaluation of whether he can be the franchise quarterback or not.
“I have a lot of hope in Daniel. I know how badly he wants it. I know how the players feel about him. We are certainly not giving up on him by any stretch of the imagination.”
That said, it’s not as if the new coach-GM combo is married to the young quarterback, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. They can take a year, properly assess the situation (hopefully with a healthier supporting cast and improved offensive line) and move on if necessary.
Now that they’re aligned philosophically and contractually, Daboll and Schoen have time to get it right. And after a decade of ineptitude and incongruence, the Giants might have finally got it right.