What you need to know about Giants' new coordinators

Posted Feb 15, 2018

Five things you need to know about the Giants new coordinators:  

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher

1. Bettcher comes to the Giants after three successful seasons as the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator. He previously served as Arizona’s outside linebackers coach before being promoted in 2015.

2. In his three seasons as coordinator, the Cardinals finished fifth (321.7), second (305.2) and sixth (310.9) in fewest yards allowed per game. It was the first time in team history the Cardinals went consecutive seasons with one of the league’s top-five defenses.

3. The Cardinals led the NFL with 48 sacks in 2016, the third-highest total in team history. Arizona had two players (Markus Golden-12.5, Chandler Jones-11) with double-digit sacks in a single season for just the third time in team history (1983-84).

4. Over the last three seasons, the Arizona defense returned seven interceptions for touchdowns. Only Denver and Kansas City had more in that span. The Cardinals also had four fumble return touchdowns, including one against the Giants in their Week 16 meeting this past December. 

5. In 2012, Bettcher began his NFL coaching career with the Indianapolis Colts, working as the special assistant to head coach Chuck Pagano and 2012 NFL Coach of the Year Bruce Arians, who served as interim head coach for 12 games while Pagano was receiving treatment for leukemia. Bettcher worked with the Colts’ outside linebackers, helping Robert Mathis to his first Pro Bowl at OLB and his fifth selection overall. The Colts improved from 2-14 in 2011 to 11-5 in 2012, tied for the third-largest turnaround in NFL history, and earned a Wild Card berth in the AFC playoffs. Prior to joining the Colts, Bettcher spent nine years in the college coaching ranks.


Bettcher and his wife, Erica, were given the Lifesaver Award in April of 2017 from the City of Chandler Fire, Health and Medical for their quick actions to free a child trapped under a car.

Offensive coordinator Mike Shula

1. Mike Shula spent the past seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers, including five as offensive coordinator. Shula is going on 30 years in coaching, including 26 as an NFL assistant (Panthers, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Bears, Jaguars) and four as a college head coach (Alabama). He took over as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator in 2013, the year Dave Gettleman, now the Giants’ general manager, arrived in Carolina.

2. While overseeing Carolina’s offense, the Panthers produced 30 consecutive regular season games with at least 100 rushing yards from Week 6 of 2014 to Week 3 of 2016, the longest streak in the NFL since Pittsburgh tallied 43 from 1974-77.

3. In 2015, Shula directed an offense that helped Carolina set team records with an NFL-leading 500 points and 59 touchdowns en route to an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Six of Shula’s players – quarterback Cam Newton, center Ryan Kalil, running back Jonathan Stewart, tight end Greg Olsen, fullback Mike Tolbert and guard Trai Turner – were named to the Pro Bowl. Leading the way for Shula’s offense was Newton, who was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year. A first-team All-Pro, Newton threw for 35 touchdowns, produced a 99.4 quarterback rating, led the NFL with 45 total touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing) and became the first player in NFL history with at least 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in a season.

4. Before becoming offensive coordinator, Shula served as Carolina’s quarterbacks coach for two seasons. He helped shape an offense that gained 12,008 total net yards from 2011-12, the most in a two-year span in team history. Shula was at the center of Newton’s development since the quarterback was the No. 1 overall draft choice in 2011. With Shula as his position coach, Newton was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after one of the most prolific rookie seasons in league history, passing for 4,051 yards and accounting for an NFL rookie record 35 total touchdowns (21 passing, 14 rushing).

5. Prior to Carolina, Shula spent four seasons as the quarterbacks coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2007-10, helping David Garrard to a Pro Bowl in 2009. From 2003-06, Shula compiled a 26-23 record as head coach at Alabama and led the Crimson Tide to three consecutive bowl games. Before returning to his alma mater as head coach, Shula coached the Miami Dolphins' quarterbacks for three seasons from 2000-02. Shula also served as offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-99) and tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears (1993-95). He broke into coaching as an offensive assistant for Tampa Bay in 1988 and was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 1990.


He is the son of NFL legend Don Shula, the winningest coach in league history. Mike Shula was also a two-time All-Southeastern Conference choice at quarterback for Alabama from 1984-86.

Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey

1. Thomas McGaughey is coming off his second season as Carolina's special teams coordinator. In 2017, the Panthers allowed the fewest combined kick and punt return yards in the NFL. He has served as special teams coordinator for three NFL teams (Panthers, 49ers, Jets) and two colleges (LSU, Houston).

2. McGaughey was the assistant special teams coordinator with the New York Giants from 2007-10. In 2008, he helped produce the Pro Bowl battery of kicker John Carney, punter Jeff Feagles and long snapper Zak DeOssie as the Giants won the NFC East. That same year, Carney set a team record by converting 92.1 percent (35-of-38) of his field goal attempts. The Giants capped McGaughey's first season in 2007 with a victory in Super Bowl XLII.

3. From 2011-13, McGaughey served as the special teams coordinator/defensive assistant at LSU, winning the Southeastern Conference Championship in 2011. During his three seasons, the Tigers scored seven touchdowns on special teams, and he coached three All-Americans among more than 40 future NFL players. Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyrann Mathieu earned honors as returners, and Brad Wing garnered recognition as a punter.

4. Under McGaughey, the Panthers led the NFL and tied the team record with three blocked field goals in 2016. Carolina's kickoff coverage unit limited opponents to an average of 18.1 yards per return, the top mark in the NFL.

5. McGaughey joined Carolina from the San Francisco 49ers, where he was the special teams coordinator in 2015. The 49ers ranked second in the league with four blocked field goals and eighth in punt coverage, allowing an average of just 6.4 yards per return. As the New York Jets special teams coordinator in 2014, McGaughey's kickoff units excelled. The Jets' kickoff return team finished fifth in the NFL with an average drive start of the 24.1-yard line, while the kickoff coverage group led all teams in tackles inside the 20-yard line and rated seventh by limiting opponents to an average of 21.8 yards per return. Kicker Nick Folk placed third in the league with 32 made field goals.


McGaughey played safety for four seasons and was special teams captain as a senior in 1995 at Houston, where he majored in kinesiology and sports administration. He attended training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1996 and spent time on the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad later that year. McGaughey then played in NFL Europe and was a member of the Barcelona Dragons team that won the World Bowl in 1997.