Reader Mailbag: Defensive Changes, Coaching Questions and More

It’s time for another New York Giants reader mailbag.

Re the Stefanski issue: Do NFL coaches belong to a union? This situation displays reason for existence of union to represent the coaches. The man interviewed for the OC job but was not selected yet they refuse to allow him to seek that position with another team. His agent should take an aggressive posture with the Vikings by requesting salary increase, more benefits, et al. since they value him so highly. (From Joe M., via email)

Pat Says: I don’t think there is a union, but there are a couple of groups, the NFL Coaches Association and the American Football Coaches Association.  I also don’t know if the Vikings gave Stefanski any kind of raise but I do think the rules governing assistant coaches and what constitutes a promotion needs to be changed. To me,  jumping from a position coach to a coordinator’s role is one that should be considered a promotion, even though it’s still technically an assistant coaching job.

Pat Says: Thanks for the question, Tim. I’m sure the Giants will leave no stone unturned, especially when it comes to offensive line help, but what I will say is this. Coaching is a two-way street. A coach has to give the proper instruction and the player needs to keep an open mind regarding receiving and applying the coaching.

I don’t know all the particulars that led to Luke Joeckel and Greg Robinson moving on from the teams that drafted them, but that’s something I’d want to know more about before I offered a low-risk type of contract to either.


Pat Says: Thanks for the question Joe. Bettcher runs a multiple front, and I believe I saw a figure where the Cardinals were in nickel more than 60% of their defensive snaps last year, which would mean a 4-2-5 defensive alignment.

With that said, I do think we might see some pure 3-4 fronts, which would put Harrison over the center (a role he did when he was with the Jets). Really though it all depends on what gaps Bettcher asks the defensive linemen to attack. For example, they could show 3-4, but maybe instead of moving straight ahead and trying to overpower the center, Bettcher asks Harrison to attack the A gap (between the center and either guard).


Pat Says: Both.  Look, the reality is that they’re probably not going to get a young stud in free agency unless they overspend. But they ca probably get a solid contributor in the second wave of free agency who can serve as a placeholder while a rookie develops.The bottom line is the linebacker unit needs a major overhaul and not just because it has a lot of guys set to hit free agency. That unit has been an issue for years and for the life of me, I can’t understand why.

If the Giants are indeed going to a 3-4 base as all signs are indicating, you’re going to need guys who are athletic and can run.  You also need guys who can come up and fill holes against the run, which they struggled with last year (a big reason the run defense wasn’t as good as it was in 2016).  So here’s hoping the Giants dip into both free agency and the draft to fill this glaring need.