Sports

Giants Hire Brian Daboll as Coach

The Giants chose Brian Daboll, the former Bills offensive coordinator, as their next head coach, the team announced on Friday evening. Daboll will join his Buffalo colleague Joe Schoen, who earlier this week was announced as the Giants’ new general manager, in trying to match the success the Bills have had over a span in which the Giants have cratered.

“I have a pretty good idea where our fan base’s feelings are right now, and I get it,” Daboll said in a statement. “I promise we will work our tails off to put a team on the field that you will be proud to support and give us the results we all want.”

Since the Giants’ fourth Super Bowl win in February 2012, the team has made the playoffs just once, a first-round exit in 2016, and has logged only two winning seasons. The last five seasons have been particularly lean, as the team won a total of 22 games over that span and finished the 2021 season with a 4-13 record. The result has been a revolving door at the head coach position: Daboll will be the team’s fourth hire since 2016, a rate of turnover that felt especially turbulent on the heels of Tom Coughlin’s 12-year run helming the team.

In Buffalo, Schoen was part of the new regime that ended the Bills’ 17-year playoff drought in 2017. The organizational rebirth continued with Daboll’s arrival alongside quarterback Josh Allen a year later. The team has won the A.F.C. East twice since then and reached the A.F.C. championship game last season.

Five days ago, Daboll was calling a Bills offense that amassed 422 yards and 36 points and came within 13 seconds of defeating Kansas City on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs. His work over the past four years to develop Allen into one of the N.F.L.’s best young stars was a top selling point for a team that is hoping to chart a brighter future for quarterback Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall draft pick in 2019.

The Giants co-owner John Mara took responsibility for not creating an environment in which Jones had a chance to realize his potential, telling reporters earlier this week, “We’ve done everything possible to screw this kid up since he’s been here.”

Hiring an offensive-minded head coach should be a step toward offering the kind of stability that Jones, who has already played for three offensive coordinators, has lacked over his pro career. The Giants don’t know yet if Jones can be their franchise quarterback — they will decide this spring whether to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract — but the team wants to be able to make that determination without the confounding variable of organizational chaos.

Daboll began his N.F.L. coaching career in 2000 as a defensive quality control coach for Bill Belichick in New England. Nick Saban, whom he had spent the previous two seasons working under as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, recommended him for the job. Daboll later won a national championship with Saban as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2017 before joining the Bills.

Allen’s raw talent as a rookie offered in equal parts promise and a project, but over time he and Daboll produced one of the league’s most exciting offenses. While Allen is uniquely talented, Daboll’s experience with a multidimensional quarterback will no doubt be useful as he tries to build a system for Jones, who was once clocked running at more than 21 miles per hour during a game.

A head coach’s responsibilities extend far beyond working with the quarterback, but Schoen made it clear at a news conference this week that the new coaching staff would need to “build an offense around Daniel to accentuate what he does best.” Schoen’s work with Daboll in Buffalo no doubt informed the team’s assessment that Daboll was the right guy for both that task and the elusive organizational alignment the Giants sought in the hires.

One of the few constants for the Giants over the last few years has been starting over. Of all the things the Giants hope Daboll and Schoen can change, that is high on the list.

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