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Giants interview Kacy Rodgers for a senior coaching role

Kacy Rodgers is the first assistant NFL coach the New York Giants may consider adding to their staff as they prepare for year two of the Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman era.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Rodgers interviewed for a Senior position on the Giants defensive staff on Thursday. Rodgers is also under consideration for a similar position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers hired Bruce Arians as their head coach and he brought his former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (with the Arizona Cardinals) into the mix as their defensive coordinator for 2019.

Rodgers is the former defensive coordinator of the New York Jets under Bowles. His connection to the Buccaneers, Arians, and Bowles is obvious. However, he also has a connection to the Giants. Current Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher originally got his start with Arians in Indianapolis, but he also worked as an assistant coach with him in Arizona when Bowles was defensive coordinator. Eventually, Bowles took the head coach job with the Jets and added Rodgers to his staff. Bettcher took over as the Cardinals defensive coordinator before joining the Giants when Arians retired as head coach and they brought in defensive-minded head coach Steve Wilks to replace him.

Rodgers has been coaching in the NFL as an assistant defensive coach since the 2003 season with the Dallas Cowboys. After coaching the Cowboys defensive line for five years, Rodgers joined the Miami Dolphins staff as their defensive line coach for seven seasons. In 2015, Bowles hired Rodgers as his defensive coordinator with the Jets and he held that role into the former Jets head coach’s staff was dissolved this offseason.

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Rodgers helped lead the No. 4 overall defense (in total offense) during his first season as defensive coordinator in 2015. However, as the Jets continued to lose their most talented and productive defensive players (Mo Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Demario Davis) from that 2015 team, Rodgers’ defense fell. In the following season, the Jets defense was No. 11 in total defense. In 2017 and 2018, Rodgers’ Jets defense finished No. 25 overall in total defense. Rodgers and the Jets defense overall was certainly impacted in a negative way by the fact that the Jets offense never topped the 333-point mark in a single season (2016-2018) and they were held under 300 points scored in two of those three seasons.

Earlier this offseason in an interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN, head coach Shurmur hinted that no changes would be coming to his staff. Shurmur specifically shot down a rumor that he would consider hiring Kevin Stefanski, his presumed top choice for offensive coordinator in 2018 before the Minnesota Vikings blocked his interview, for the Giants offensive coordinator position in 2019. Shurmur instead chose to praise his current offensive coordinator Mike Shula before adding that he expects his entire coaching staff back.

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