NY Giants finally find new defensive coordinator after messy search

The New York Giants can finally end their messy search for a new defensive coordinator.

Nov 5, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll takes the field before
Nov 5, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll takes the field before / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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After a chaotic breakup between New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll and former defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, the team has finally found a successor to lead their defense.

The Giants plan to hire former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen to fill the same role in New York, per ESPN’s Senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler. 

Bowen, 37, spent 2018-2023 with the Titans, serving as their outside linebackers coach from 2018-20 before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021. Now, he will be tasked with filling the void left by Martindale.

New York Giants plan to hire Shane Bowen as defensive coordinator

Similar to Martindale, Bowen runs a 3-4 base defense. Per SNY’s Connor Hughes, Bowen’s ability as a “good teacher and communicator” impressed the Giants front office. 

Coming from former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who is part of a separate branch of the Bill Belichick coaching tree, he tailors his defensive approach to his opponent’s game plan and strengths in hopes of taking away what they do best.

During Bowen’s time as defensive coordinator, the Titans had one of the best red zone defenses in the NFL – leading the league in opponent red zone scoring percentage this season.

After being linked to former Baltimore Ravens defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson and Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich for their defensive coordinator position, the G-Men ultimately landed on Bowen.

Wilson, a popular name in this offseason coaching cycle, was interviewed twice by the Giants before deciding to join newly hired head coach Brian Callahan in Tennessee (which made Bowen a free agent). 

Like Wilson, Babich is also highly coveted by rival teams around the league, but the Bills promoted him to defensive coordinator.

The Giants' need for a new defensive coordinator stems from the bad blood between Daboll and Martindale, which reportedly escalated when the latter became aware that the team was firing two of his “closest lieutenants,” outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins. Martindale left the Giants facility, and the two sides agreed to part ways.

While the coaching staff overhaul was the tip of the iceberg, Daboll and Martindale hadn’t been seeing eye-to-eye throughout the 2023 campaign, with the two being in a “bad place” during the season.

All in all, the G-Men can finally put this turbulent search for a new defensive coordinator behind them after naming Bowen the heir to Martindale’s throne.

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