New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is interviewing for the team's vacant head coaching position, and if he doesn't get the job, he's reportedly interested in remaining on board as the team's DC under a new head coach, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.
According to Vacchiano, "many believe the Giants would be open to his return in the right situation."
Of note, though, the Pittsburgh Steelers have requested to interview Graham for the defensive coordinator vacancy, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Graham is interested in remaining the team's defensive coordinator. As Vacchiano writes, he was popular with the players and was well-liked by Giants owners. In addition, he declined the opportunity to interview for the New York Jets' head coaching job last year.
Graham has also made it known in the past that coaching the Giants defense is his "dream job."
He told Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media:
This is my dream job, being the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. It’s a great opportunity, to be able to stay here, and the commitment they’re showing me. But the fact is, it’s the NFL. I still got a ways to go. We’ve got to perform better than this past year. That’s my goal. But I love being here.
The Giants fired Joe Judge earlier this month after just two seasons. He went 10-23 as head coach in New York.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll are considered the early favorites to replace Judge as head coach of the Giants. If either takes over, there's a good bet Graham will stay on as the team's defensive coordinator.
Graham worked with both Flores and Daboll with the New England Patriots from 2013-16. In addition, Graham served as Flores' defensive coordinator with the Dolphins in 2019 before joining Judge's staff in New York.
If Graham doesn't remain with the Giants, there are currently only two other defensive coordinator positions available with the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. It's unclear if he'd be considered for either position.
The Giants ranked No. 21 in total defense and No. 23 in scoring defense last season. Those ranks aren't eye-popping, but New York's defense often had to make up for its subpar offense.