Written by Diana Rossini, Charlotte Carroll, and Greg Rosenstein
The New York Giants are hiring Shane Bowen as their next defensive coordinator, league sources said The athlete on monday. Bowen spent the past three seasons in the same role with the Tennessee Titans, who fired coach Mike Vrabel last January.
The Giants allowed 335.5 yards per game last season, tied with the Green Bay Packers for 17th in the NFL. Tennessee's 21.6 points allowed per game ranks 16th in the league.
Before becoming defensive coordinator, Bowen spent three seasons as the Titans' outside linebackers coach and two seasons as a defensive assistant with the Houston Texans.
The Giants and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale mutually agreed to part ways in January after a fractured relationship between Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll. The decision came after Daboll fired outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and his brother, defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins, who followed Martindale from the Baltimore Ravens.
New York finished the 2023 season 6-11 while the defense ranked 26th in points allowed (23.9) and 27th in total defense.
Why did the Giants make this move?
The Giants finally ended their search for a defensive coordinator with the hiring of Bowen and immediately put an end to a month of uncertainty.
While the writing was on the wall for the majority of the second half of this season, the Giants parted ways with former defensive coordinator Martindale in a week filled with postseason drama. Martindale was among several staff changes made, but his former role was one of the last to be filled as the Giants took their time interviewing.
Giants general manager Joe Schoen spoke to reporters in Mobile last week at the Senior Bowl, saying he hoped to reach a resolution by the end of last week.
“Daboll is working on resolving this now,” Schoen said last Tuesday. “(There are) a lot of good candidates that Daboll interviewed; We're excited about some of the finalists.
But the search continued into the weekend before the Giants made their decision. Part of this is due to how the situation evolves around potential candidates. Last week, Baltimore Ravens defensive backs coach Denard Wilson ended up heading to the Titans as the new DC, while Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich was promoted to defensive coordinator. The Giants reportedly interviewed Vikings DB coach Daronte Jones in Mobile for the job. One internal name, current Giants defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, was also viewed as a potential candidate.
Schoen and Brian Daboll now have a full complement of coordinators after the team hired Michael Gabriel as its new special teams coordinator last month. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka remains after interviewing for two head coaching openings this cycle. -Charlotte Carroll, Giants beat the writer
What to expect from Bowen
Giants fans will be happy to hear about the success of Bowen's rushing defense — an area New York has struggled with. In Bowen's first year in DC in 2021, the Giants ranked second in rushing defense in the league. In 2022, the Giants led the NFL in rushing defense for the first time since 2003, surrendering a league-low average of 76.9 yards per contest. In 2023, Tennessee ranks 13th in rushing defense. New York has ranked dead last in this category over the past two seasons. — Carol
(Photo: Christopher Hanwinkel/USA Today)