CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – Go ahead and scoff at the relative inexperience of Mike Kafka.

But know, you’d be discounting one of the great young minds in the game.

“Putting together this thing has been awesome,” Kafka said ahead of his first season as offensive coordinator for the Giants. “It’s been so much fun.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka of the New York Giants looks on during warmups of a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on August 21, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The 35-year-old has only been a coordinator for one year, but in that year, he accomplished a lot, including playing a massive part in New York reaching the NFC Divisional round.

Interestingly enough, Kafka’s journey into coaching almost didn’t happen.

After retiring from the NFL in 2015, the former Northwestern quarterback was ready to jump into the business world. But then fate, or rather his old college coach Pat Fitzgerald, called him with an opportunity to be a grad assistant with the Wildcats.

“I’ll tell you what, like three days into it, this is exactly what I want to do,” Kafka recalled in a sit-down interview with the Giants play-by-play announcer Bob Papa.

2016 was Kafka’s only season in the college game. From there, it was on to Kansas City, where he first worked as a quality control coach for the offense. The following year, he was in charge of the quarterbacks, and then in 2020, he added the responsibility of passing game coordinator.

Though he only has six years of NFL experience, Kafka has shown a wealth of knowledge on reaching the end zone. With an offense described as diverse and unpredictable, Kafka took a Giants team that finished second to last in rushing last season to second overall this season.

“We go through our process, and evaluate what our guys do best, go through our game plan, and make sure we have enough stuff for our guys to attack,” explained at a recent press conference.


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It’s an effective strategy simplified by a star on the rise.

Perhaps that star could land here in Carolina.

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