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Will Mike Kafka be an NFL head coach in 2023?

We discuss whether an NFL team will hire Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and which opening fits him best.

Cincinnati Bengals v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The New York Giants got back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 behind a stout defense and strong running game. The ground game was largely powered by running back Saquon Barkley, but quarterback Daniel Jones also showed off his mobility and rushed for 708 yards and seven touchdowns. Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka was instrumental in the evolution and development of Jones and should draw interest as a head-coach candidate this offseason.

Who is New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka?

Kafka, a college quarterback at Northwestern, struggled to make much noise for three seasons before delivering a solid senior season with 3,430 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for eight scores. After his college career, Kafka bounced around the league for a bit as a backup quarterback and practice squad player. He joined Northwestern’s coaching staff as a graduate assistant and eventually worked his way up in the NFL ranks with the Kansas City Chiefs. This was his lone season as the Giants' offensive coordinator.

Why would he make a good head coach?

Any experience around the Chiefs seems to be good, especially when it is on the offensive side of the ball. Kafka has seen Andy Reid operate with the best quarterback in the game, and he’s definitely been able to elevate Jones without some of the weapons quarterbacks usually need to do well. Whether he has the overall vision for a football team and organization remains to be seen, but he’s got the offensive IQ to successfully groom quarterbacks. That’s the most important position in the game, and sometimes anyone who can get the most out of the quarterback can get past other shortcomings.

Which teams are interviewing him?

Houston Texans

This is not an ideal situation for a first-time head coach, with the Texans looking for their third head coach in as many years. The upside here is Kafka could get an opportunity to help hand-pick his quarterback given the Texans problems at the position. The interview could be as much him interviewing the organization given their numerous problems.

Carolina Panthers

Similar to the Texans, the Panthers will be looking for a quarterback this offseason and have a high draft pick with which to do so. Panthers owner David Tepper backed up the Brink’s Truck for Matt Rhule and it will be interesting to see how he looks to approach his second run through the hiring process. Carolina has more talent than Houston, providing a chance at a quicker turnaround.