The New York Giants defied their own long-held patterns and made an excellent head coaching hire on Friday. Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is finally getting his shot to lead a team and it's long overdue. The man who has turned Josh Allen from a massive question mark into a perennial Pro Bowler is exactly who the Giants should have hired.
New Giants general manager Joe Schoen knows Daboll well as both were in Buffalo together. After odd experiments with Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge, the Giants finally landed a guy fully ready to take the next step.
This is a smart move, something rare out of the Giants. Aside from hiring that laundry list of awful NFL head coaches, they've also wasted first-round picks like crazy over the years. Names like Ereck Flowers, Eli Apple and Deandre Baker litter a list of busts that also includes wasting the No. 2 pick on Saquon Barkley and shocking everyone by taking Daniel Jones at No. 6 in 2019.
The 45-year-old Daboll has worked under legends like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, while also turning the Bills into a monster offense thanks to Allen's development. Now it's his turn to show he can run a program from the top.
Daboll's first task will be figuring out New York's quarterback situation. Jones has looked like anything but a franchise quarterback since the Giants drafted him in 2019. While Jones has prototypical size for the position at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he's done nothing to prove he can actually lead a franchise forward. Maybe Daboll can work some magic with him, but if not the Giants should plot a new course.
Maybe the move will be to stick with Jones in 2022, if he's terrible they'll basically be tanking for what should be a loaded 2023 NFL Draft. In fact, that's probably the smartest thing the franchise can do. Fall apart for a season as part of a tear down, then begin a full rebuild with Daboll's chosen quarterback.
The Giants are truly horrid offensively right now, and ranked 31st in total yards per game in 2021 (287.3), and 31st in points per game (15.2). It makes sense they went out and hired an offensive-minded head coach. The Bills ranked second and fifth in total offense over the past two seasons.
The cupboard isn't bare for Daboll, though. Left tackle Andrew Thomas looks like a star, Kenny Golladay could be a Pro Bowler with the right quarterback, rookie wideout Kadarius Toney looks like a playmakers and if Barkley could ever stay healthy he might be able to find the form he had as a rookie in 2018.
This team could be much better with improved quarterback play. Daboll should help with that, whether it's with Jones or someone else.
This won't be easy for Daboll. The Giants have had eight losing seasons in the last nine years, with 2016 being the only exception. A culture of losing has crept into the franchise. He'll need to turn that around and prove he's not just the next in a long line of coordinators who fall flat once they take over at MetLife Stadium.
No matter what happens, the Giants made the smart hire. Everything points to Daboll being the kind of guy who could turn the franchise around.