Following the hiring of Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator, the New York Giants are expected to make several other changes to their offensive coaching staff. Among the changes is the departure of tight ends coach Mike Pope.
“Mike and I coached together on the Giants staff back in the 1980s,” Coughlin said. “When I returned as the head coach, I didn’t intend to keep anyone from the previous staff. I visited with Mike and made a decision that I wanted him as a part of our new staff going forward, and it was certainly the right decision."
Of all the coaches on the New York Giants' staff, Pope would have appeared to be one of the safest behind only Tom Coughlin. He's the longest tenured coach on the team, having been hired back in 1983 by Bill Parcells (although he did also have stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins before returning in 2000). And, as recently as last year, Pope was lauded as one of the NFL's top assistants along with offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.
“He is the best tight ends coach in football,” head coach Tom Coughlin said of Pope upon his arrival in 2004.
Little has changed since 2004. Despite the early struggles of Brandon Myers in 2013, Pope is still widely considered the very best in the game. He's been credited by players such as Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard, Jeremy Shockey and Martellus Bennett for making them better overall players. And he was one of the very reasons Myers (and Bennett before him) chose to sign with the Giants in the first place.
Given McAdoo's experience as a tight end coach, and the change in offensive philosophy going forward, he may try to handle double duty. However, as of now, that's pure speculation. The only thing that's known for certain is that Pope will not be back in 2014, has no plans to retire and will almost certainly find work elsewhere in the league.
Pope is the only Giants coach to have his name on all four of their Lombardi Trophy's.
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