Jan 222014
 
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Craig Johnson, Minnesota Vikings (June 11, 2013)

Craig Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Hire Craig Johnson as New Running Backs Coach: The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that they have hired a new running backs coach, Craig Johnson. Johnson replaces Jerald Ingram who the Giants fired last week.

A native of Rome, New York, the 53-year old Johnson served as the quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2011-2013. Before that he was with the Tennessee Titans, serving as assistant head coach/running backs coach (2010), quarterbacks coach (2002-2009), and offensive assistant/quality control (2000-2001).

“This is a veteran coach that has coached some great players, like Steve McNair,” said Head Coach To Coughlin. “He’s been around a while and has experience as a quarterbacks coach, as a running backs coach and he’s been a coordinator in college.”

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to join such a great franchise,” Johnson said. “I’ve always admired coach Coughlin during the many years I’ve coached against him. I’ll come here to do my part to help the Giants get to and win a Super Bowl.”

“I think (Johnson) is an excellent teacher and his versatility is going to add a lot to our staff and, of course, to the running backs room,” Coughlin said. “He’ll be an excellent contributor for the coordinator with ideas. His interview was very impressive as we put him on the board. He really did an outstanding job with protections. And he’s talked long and hard about ball security. Pass protection and ball security are both very important to me.”

“I know (Coughlin is) a stickler for (pass protection and ball security) and that’s good,” Johnson said. “He’s a coach that has a great attention to detail and I feel very comfortable being around a coach that stresses that.”

“It’s a challenge (to coach running backs again), because it’s a different spot,” said Johnson. “I broke into coaching as a running backs coach. I feel confident that I’ll be up to the task and I’ll take them where they want to go.  The key is seeing what the players do best and also make sure I am up to date on the schemes. With (new offensive coordinator) Ben (McAdoo) here we’re going to have a new style, a new terminology and a new look and I want to make sure I’m comfortable with that and I’m able to teach it correctly.”

For Johnson’s full resume, see the Coaching Staff section of the website.

Dallas Cowboys Hire Mike Pope: The Dallas Cowboys have hired 71-year old Mike Pope as their new tight ends coach. The Giants fired Pope last week after he had served as the Giants tight end coach for 22 years (1984-1991 and 2000-2013).

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Cruz: “We’re all rookies again” in new ‘O’ by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: Snee, Baas and Giants OL cap issues by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks: Giants free agents: Hakeem Nicks provided plenty of thrills by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on Cornerback Trumaine McBride: Giants free agents: Trumaine McBride played his way into a second chance by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Quotes: WR Victor Cruz on the New York Giants offense under new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: “(After talking with McAdoo) I’m truly a fan of the offense that he’s gonna put in. He wants kinda up-tempo offense, which I’m excited about, obviously, (spreading) footballs around to the receivers, all around the field. He’s an even keel guy that’s just ready to work and do some good things, and get to know his players, his personnel and put us in the right spot to succeed. So I’m excited for it and working for him as well…I think it’s going to be completely different (from Kevin Gilbride’s offense). It’s gonna be new terminology. I think it’s gonna be different plays. I think it’s gonna be a whole new philosophy. So I’m excited to get my hands around that playbook and really learn this thing inside and out. I do imagine it’s gonna be brand new for us, so it’s gonna be just like we’re rookies coming in, getting the playbook and getting right to it. It gives everyone a clean slate. We have to pick up this offense and make it happen, make it the best in the league. I think it’s definitely a wakeup call for us and a challenge we’re ready for.”

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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season. Follow Eric on Twitter @BigBlueInteract.

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