Giants poach Raiders OL coach to fill Bobby Johnson's eternal void

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Chris Unger/GettyImages

Though offensive line coach Bobby Johnson was a longtime Brian Daboll associate, that didn't buy him any mercy when Black Monday arrived for the NY Giants' coaches this winter.

Johnson's line was putrid. The lot of them regressed. Say what you will about Evan Neal's current organizational standing, but a team that's spent two top-10 picks on the line should not be allowing world-historic sack totals while watching the infrastructure collapse in the wake of an unfortunate Andrew Thomas injury. Daboll had to take his medicine and fire a friend out of necessity (Wink Martindale couldn't accept this reality, but that's neither here nor there).

The news was expected, but still left the fan base wondering what the next big OL investment would be. Would the Giants splash cash in free agency? How about luring a legend like Mike Munchak out of self-imposed retirement?

The Giants took a swing on Thursday, and while it wasn't earth-quaking, they poached a coach who'd seen his unit improve in recent years and crack the top 10 in 2023: Carmen Bricillo, recently of the Raiders, who looks an awful lot like a photograph of Brian Daboll aging.

NY Giants hire offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo from Raiders

Bricillo, like Daboll, has New England blood, helping to co-captain the offensive line with the Patriots in the wake of Dante Scarnecchia's retirement. The unit regressed, but he'll be arriving in New York with a much blanker slate to work with, rather than following in an icon's footsteps.

After following Josh McDaniels to Las Vegas, he improved the unit, stating quite plainly this summer that his goal in building a line was "constant improvement". It worked; the 2023 Raiders allowed only 40 sacks (12th best in the league), and four of their five linemen ranked in the top 15 at the position in terms of pass blocking.

Philosophically, you can also expect the Giants to invest in a fullback this winter -- which comes as a welcome change of pace, in terms of preparedness. Remember when Darren Waller went down, Daniel Bellinger absorbed more responsibility in the passing game, and they were left ... without a blocking tight end? That can't, and won't, happen again, in addition to the roster's myriad other issues.

Bricillo might be the most important hire of the Giants' offseason, and might even get a shiny new draft toy, depending on how the picks fall ahead of No. 6 (spoiler alert: they won't fall well).

Here's hoping that whoever's under center in 2024 gets a far cleaner pocket than the muddled mess Johnson forced the team's QBs to work with last fall. This is a massive year for Neal and John Michael Schmitz -- if the former even makes it to training camp.