The New York Jets expressed interest in naming Giants DC Patrick Graham their HC, but he opted to stay with East Rutherford’s blue squad.
It hasn’t even been a full calendar year since New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s name surfaced in the New York Jets‘ head coaching discussion. Yet, he has already been invited to play the “what if?” game.
While addressing the media after Wednesday’s practice at the Giants’ training facility, Graham was asked about the Jets’ offseason interest in having him succeed Adam Gase as Gang Green’s head coach. The Jets offered him an interview, but he opted to remain on head coach Joe Judge’s staff, continuing a collaboration that originally began in 2012 with the New England Patriots.
Graham, however, was happy with a lower case NY on his jacket rather than script encased in an oval. He hinted that his green rejection might’ve been a bit personal too, but only because wanted to continue to work with both the Giants and head coach Joe Judge. The pair’s first collaboration came back in 2012 as members of Bill Belichick’s staff in New England.
“This is my dream job, to be here as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants,” Graham said, per Matt Lombardo of Fansided. “I’m just happy to be here. I don’t know, it’s nothing against (the Jets) or anything. I’m just happy to be a New York Giant. I happen to be here working with one of my friends, Joe Judge and I’ve got a great group of guys to work with and a great group of coaches and players. I mean, these guys, our coaches on defense, these guys are top-notch. Who wouldn’t want to have that work environment? That’s why I like it.”
It’s easy to see why the Jets had Graham on their shortlist. The Giants’ defense finished 12th in total defense last season, up from 25th the year before. Graham’s return served as a spark to a defensive firestorm for the Giants this offseason. Logan Ryan re-signed with the team before the end of the year, while former Jets first-round pick Leonard Williams re-upped in March. The team also signed former Tennessee Titans defender Adoree Jackson in free agency.
The Jets eventually found their new boss in another defensive mind, former San Francisco overseer Robert Saleh. While Saleh was ready to make the move up to the top role, Graham made it clear he wasn’t ready to move on from his defensive duties. The Jets nonetheless were able to make a few defensive splashes of their own, signing front-seven standouts Carl Lawson, Jarrad Davis, and Sheldon Rankins.
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Graham will meet his would-be employers on August 14, as the Jets and Giants resume their annual preseason exhibition series at MetLife Stadium.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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