New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll carrying a play sheet during the second half of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, something he has not ordinarily done since becoming Giants coach, has led to speculation that Daboll took over play-calling responsibilities from offensive coordinator Mike Kafka during the Giants’ comeback.
Daboll denied that after the game with a quick “nope” when asked if he called plays.
“We always communicate like that,” Daboll said. “I always have a sheet with me. But (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) did a fantastic job. I communicate with Mike, I communicate with T- Mac (special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey), I communicate with (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale). So the offensive staff did a great job. Moved the ball, scored points. Did their job.”
On Tuesday, quarterback Daniel Jones told Kay Adams during his weekly appearance on the ‘Up & Adams Show’ that nothing had changed.
“I’m always getting the plays from Kafka,” he said.
So, what is really going on?
Daboll and Kafka have always said that the offense is collaborative, but Daboll also always said that he does not want to be in Kafka’s ear making suggestions or demands as the play clock winds down. He wants to allow Kafka to do his job.
There isn’t time between plays for Daboll to choose a play, relay it to Kafka and have Kafka give it to Jones. It did seem, though, that Daboll was more involved than he has been at other times. The speculation is natural not only because of the play sheet, but because after halftime the Giants pressed the ball down the field vertically more than they had early in the game against Arizona. Daboll got his job as Giants head coach in part because he was a highly successful offensive play caller with the Buffalo Bills.
It always the head coach’s prerogative to overrule something he hears in the headset, and the head coach will obviously always set the philosophy of how a team will attack — when to be run-heavy, when to take deep shots, things of that nature.
This will certainly be something that gets monitored on Thursday night, with amateur sleuths trying to figure out just how involved Daboll actually is.