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Giants Hiring Dolphins’ Patrick Graham as Defensive Coordinator

Joe Judge has made the first official hiring for his coaching staff, and it’s a rather familiar face to the New York Giants organization.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Sunday, the Giants are hiring the Miami Dolphins’ Patrick Graham as their new defensive coordinator. Graham spent this season as Miami’s defensive coordinator.

Who is Patrick Graham?

Graham and Judge have known each other for awhile now, dating back to 2012. The two worked together on the Bill Belichick’s coaching staff with the New England Patriots. Graham joined the Patriots back in 2009, serving in a multitude of roles, including defensive line coach and linebackers coach.

After his Patriots stint, Graham joined the Giants organization in 2016, where he worked under then-head coach Ben McAdoo as the team’s defensive line coach. It was Graham who coached up New York’s dominant defensive line consisting of Olivier Vernon, Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Johnathan Hankins.

Once McAdoo was fired back in 2017, Graham was shown the door as well, not retained by incoming Pat Shurmur. He spent one season with the Green Bay Packers as their linebackers coach and run game coordinator in 2018.

Graham impressed in Green Bay, resulting in Dolphins head coach Brian Flores in hiring him as his defensive coordinator.

When looking at the Dolphins statistically this season, they ranked as one of the worst in the league. The Dolphins defense as a whole allowed 30.9 points per game (32nd in league), 397.8 total yards per game (30th), 262.4 passing yards per game (26th), and 135.4 rushing yards per game (27th).

The stats shouldn’t be taken too seriously in this case. Miami deliberately surrendered talent this season to accumulate multiple draft picks. With a lack of high-end talent, Graham couldn’t perform his job admirably. However, it’s his job to get the best out of his players, no matter who they are. That resulted in the Dolphins granting Judge permission to interview Graham with little hesitation.

What Graham Brings to Giants

Graham is the official replacement for James Bettcher. Judge is familiar with Graham’s coaching style, and obviously impressed enough in his interview to get the job.

What make Graham unique is he doesn’t follow a specific scheme. 3-4, 4-3, it doesn’t matter with him. Graham utilizes multiple fronts to get the most out of his players, a philosophy that Judge is looking to bring to the Giants in 2020. And unlike the Dolphins defense, Graham will work with a defense containing young players with high upside, such as DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, and Ryan Connelly.

Graham will now join special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert on Judge’s staff. Both McGaughey and Tolbert were retained by Judge this past week.

Just like Joe Judge, Patrick Graham is a bold hire. We’ll just have to wait and see if it pays dividends for the Giants.

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Scott Rogust
General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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