NY Giants poach Saints running backs coach in second big hire for Brian Daboll

Will the veteran assistant be able to make a difference for Saquon Barkley?

Jun 13, 2023; New Orleans, LA, USA;  New Orleans Saints running back coach Joel Thomas during
Jun 13, 2023; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back coach Joel Thomas during / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

While we're still waiting to see who the NY Giants hire as their new defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator, two other jobs have now been filled. First, Brian Daboll went out and poached offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo from the Raiders.

He has followed that up by finding a replacement for running backs coach Jeff Nixon. Moments ago, the Giants officially announced that they've hired Saints RBs coach Joel Thomas to the same position. Thomas recently interviewed with the G-Men and he clearly turned the heads of both Coach Dabes and Joe Schoen.

The Giants have hired Joel Thomas as their new running backs coach

The Giants were looking for a new leader for the RBs room after it was announced that Nixon would be leaving the team. Late in the season, news dropped that Nixon would be taking over as offensive coordinator for Syracuse. With that, an opening arrived for Daboll's offensive side of the staff.

This is a pretty big loss for the Saints, as Thomas had been with the team since 2015. Since then, he's been in charge of developing plenty of stud running backs, with the list of course including Alvin Kamara. Now, he'll (hopefully) have the chance to work with Saquon Barkley.

Barkley had to operate behind a terrible offensive line once again in 2023, but that didn't stop him from rushing for 962 yards and six touchdowns - Barkley did that in 14 games. Outside of Barkley, Thomas could make a big impact with 2023 fifth-round pick Eric Gray too.

Gray was a bit of a disappointment this past campaign, but he could see more action next fall if Matt Breida leaves town in free agency, which is expected. Before joining the Saints staff almost 10 years ago, Thomas earned loads of coaching experience in the college ranks. He had stops with Arkansas, Washington, Purdue and others.