The Giants announced that Craig Johnson, most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings under Leslie Frazier, has been named the team’s new running backs coach.
Johnson, a 32-year coaching veteran with 15 years in the NFL, was also quarterbacks coach for the Tennessee Titans, where he worked with Steve McNair, Vince Young and Kerry Collins.
“This is a veteran coach that has coached some great players, like Steve McNair,” head coach Tom Coughlin said in a statement released by the team.
“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,” said Johnson, who replaces Jerald Ingram as the team’s running backs coach. “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 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 make sure I am up to date on the schemes. With (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.”
Coughlin, who said that Johnson interviewed well, indicated that Johnson has excelled in the past with teaching pass protection and ball security, two areas where the Giants had some issues last season.
“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.”
Johnson’s collegiate level coaching experience includes stints with Army (1985), Rutgers (1986-88), and the Virginia Military Institute (1989-91), just to name a few. He’s also been an offensive coordinator at the collegiate level, having held that role in 1997-98 at Maryland.