Legendary defensive coordinator Pat Graham is creating buzz as a head coaching candidate for the second season in a row.
The 42-year-old Graham, whose defense has averaged 13 points to opponents over the past three games, said on Thursday that he is not paying any attention to the noise.
“Pat Graham’s ‘Get Fire’ talk was even starting. I don’t even think about it,” said Graham, laughing. “Again, I’m a New York Giant. I love being a New York Giant. Coming here to represent this organization for people is, again, my dream job… [with] some of my best friends. ,
Graham’s name was curiously omitted from a list of 11 minority head coaching candidates whom the NFL recently told teams it would support for the inaugural 2022. However, that doesn’t stop him from getting the job, and Graham’s name remains hot on the coaching carousel.
A recent CBS Sports report stated that “some in league circles believe Graham will be a serious candidate in New York if the ownership chooses to move on from Joe Judge in 2022.”
After seeing his defense round midseason for two consecutive years as the backbone of an aggressively challenged team, the veteran brass has a lot of respect for Graham.
However, ownership on the judge shows no signs of souring. At the same time, the suggestion that Graham would oust the judge seems to have overlooked the club’s internal dynamics, which Graham himself told on Thursday.
“The head coach is one of my best friends, [so is] Ownership,” Graham said. “The fact is, the people I learned football from are the New York Giants. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better position. I could[n’t] Care less about that stuff.”
Graham turned down an interview for the Jets’ head coaching vacancy in January due to being part of the Giants. Instead, he signed a lucrative contract extension to remain the Giants’ assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
This came in the 2020 season in which Graham’s defense finished ninth in average points (22.3) and 12th yards (349.3), a dramatic improvement in the club’s 2019 rankings from 30th (28.2) and 25th in yards (377.3). Happened.
This season did not start well. The Giants defense is only in 19th position (24.0) and 25th yards (372.4).
Still, for a second straight fall, the team is looking more competitive as November thanks to the tightening of Graham’s defense and helping him win the game.
This is more than enough reason for Graham to garner significant interest around the league in January’s hiring cycle, even if any Giants success will mean his next opportunity lies elsewhere.
BUCS DOWN WITH JPP
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians talks about Tampa Edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, a longtime giant who has been playing through a torn rotator cuff to defend Todd Bowles.
“He is the ultimate warrior,” Arian said on a conference call with New York media on Wednesday. “I’ve never been around a guy who can play injured like JPP and still play and play with a ton of energy [well], He is playing with a bad shoulder right now. He practices a little during the week and plays on Sundays.”
JPP famously blew off part of his right hand in a 2015 July 4 fireworks accident while playing for the Giants. And still last week he called the pain of his current shoulder injury “the worst of them all” in his career.
On November 9, he tweeted, “I can hardly sleep with this shoulder injury.” “I’ve had my share of injuries, but this is by far the worst of them all. I’ve already broken my promise to myself, so I’m gonna fudge it until I can!
“I am not seeking sympathy,” JPP said. “I’m just going to tell you what it feels like to deal with a torn rotator cuff, but I’ll be fine. They can’t do it like me!!!”
Graham, who coached Pierre-Paul with the Giants in 2016-17, said on Thursday: “There aren’t many humans walking around this planet who can do that and do it when they get hurt. … He’s a different person. He’s just different.”
Pierre-Paul, 32, won his second Super Bowl last season with Tampa, placing it at the top of his 2011 championship with the Giants.
The Bucs (6–3) have suffered injuries throughout their lineup and have lost two straight on the road, 36–27, and the Washington football team, 29–19, is facing 9 byes in a week.
JPP has only 2.5 sacks and 15 pressure from seven matches this season. But he has played at least 79% of the Bucks’ defensive snaps over the past two weeks, and is keen to improve on his 1-1 career record against his former team, which traded him to Florida in the spring of 2018.
“I don’t think we’ve given any team our best performance yet,” Pierre-Paul told reporters on Thursday. “Better now than ever.”
Barclay Limited, Gronk Gets Full
Running backs Saxon Barkley (ankles) and Devonte Booker (hip) were limited in Thursday’s Giants practice, the first fully padded exercise of the week. Meanwhile, Books Tight end Rob Gronkowski (behind) was a full participant. ‘The Gronk’ has missed five of the last six matches, and he played only six snaps in a Week 8 loss to the Saints.
Fullback and special teamer Cullen Glaspia (calf) was also limited for the Giants. Wideouts Sterling Shepard (quad), tight end Kaden Smith (knee), Edge Lorenzo Carter (sickness/ankle) and Nate Ebner (knee) of the special team did not practice.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas practiced but would not appear on injury reports until he was officially placed on the active roster. He is still designated to return from injured reserve.
A good sign for Thomas? Matt Peart, who has started with a left tackle in Thomas’ absence, stayed late on Thursday for the development period of practice with a backup, when Thomas walked in with the start.
Refreshingly, wide receivers Kadarius Tony and Kenny Golladay were not listed at all in the Giants’ injury report. If it holds up to Monday, it will be the first time since Week 2 that no receivers have come on the Giants’ injury report.
Pierre-Paul (shoulder/arm) was a full partner of Books. But wideouts Antonio Brown (ankle), nose tackle Vita V (knee) and corner de Delaney (ankle/concussion) did not participate. Wideout Chris Godwin (leg) was limited.