Giants hire Craig Johnson as running backs coach

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The Giants have continued the makeover of their offensive coaching staff.

The team announced that Craig Johnson has been hired as their new running backs coach. Johnson replaces Jerald Ingram, who was let go earlier this month, and is the first outside hire to join the team since Ben McAdoo was brought on board as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Like McAdoo, Johnson is a former quarterbacks coach from the NFC North. Johnson coached the quarterbacks in Minnesota for the last three seasons, but was previously the running backs coach in Tennessee. He also spent eight years as the quarterbacks coach for the Titans and his varied experience was cited by Giants coach Tom Coughlin in a statement on Johnson’s hiring.

“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.”

The Giants finished 29th in the league in rushing last season with poor offensive line play and injuries to Andre Brown and David Wilson standing out as big reasons for the struggles. Wilson just had neck surgery and his status for 2014 is somewhat cloudy, so Johnson probably won’t be the only new face when the position group starts holding meetings this offseason.