Oct 172022
Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants (October 16, 2022)

Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 24-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens (the VIDEO of the press conference is also available on YouTube):

Q: You had some big contributions yesterday from rookies. How important is that to the overall development of your team and the long term future?

A: We’re focused on, obviously, this week, but those guys did a good job and they’ve done a good job preparing. (Outside linebacker Tomon) Fox was in there at the end of the game. Whatever play that (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) had. Our coaches try to do the best job they can in developing these players wherever they were selected or however they got here. They’ve been doing a good job. I think our rookie development program for off-the-field stuff with (Director of Player Engagement) Ashley Lynn. I think it’s definitely important to develop all your players but particularly young players as the season goes on. The more they gain good experience, I think that helps in the long run.

Q: Is it harder to do that when you’re winning because the winning becomes the thing more than anything? Or does it make it easier because it’s developing as part of the culture?

A: One more time on the question.

Q: Is it harder because you’re winning to train young guys or does it become part of their culture and that becomes a really good thing?

A: You mean like harder to play them?

Q: Yes.

A: No, no. We try to put the best guys out there that we think can help us win. Those guys have certainly earned the right to play. Whether you’re a rookie or a 10-year vet, what we try to do is give the opportunities to the guys that have earned them. Again, I think that obviously playing young players – that helps in the long run.

Q: Thibodeaux – you weren’t in the locker room yet, you were probably at the podium. His teammates actually gave him a big ovation in the locker room. It was kind of a cool scene when the media huddled around him. What does that say about a guy who obviously came in with a high draft status, big contract and it seems like his teammates really like him. Maybe a sense of ego-lessness or what not? What does that say about Thibodeaux?

A: I think Thibodeaux has been good since he’s been here. He’s a very humble person. He loves the game of football. He had to fight through some stuff, obviously injury-wise. He’s very attentive in meetings, he asks good questions. I think the players have a lot of respect for him. He got his first sack there at a critical time. It’s good to see the guys happy for him.

Q: The last two games you guys have given up eight scores – four field goals and four touchdowns – and the insuing drives, your offense has scored six of the eight times. So basically, when you guys are getting punched, you are punching back. I’m wondering if there’s anything to that? Is that just a coincidence or is this up to you guys having your best drives on offense after you give up a score on defense whether that’s the players, the coaches doing something different. What do you attribute that to?

A: I think good execution. Again, you can’t focus on the scoreboard or what’s happening with the other side of the ball either way or in the kicking game. You have to go out there and be prepared and ready to go and execute. Those guys, along with (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka calling the plays, have done a good job with that.

Q: Did you get out of this game without any serious injuries?

A: I think so. I’m going to meet with these guys after I do our meeting right now. But I think we should be in fairly good shape.

Q: With (wide receiver) Wan’Dale Robinson, we obviously saw he’s coming back, it was his first game back and he only played 14 snaps. How much more can he be involved in the offense and what can he give you long term here?

A: I’m just worried about this week. Hopefully we can get some more reps out of him. We’ll see where he’s at after I talk to (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and those guys. We had a plan going into this game and we’ll play him hopefully a little bit more this week.

Q: (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) obviously banged up his shoulder a little bit, it’s something he dealt with the previous week. How can you guys maybe help him moving forward? Have you thought about potentially resting him during the week, things like that and is that something that is even on your radar at this point?

A: I think, regardless of what player it is, obviously Saquon touches the ball, gets a lot of playing time and we always talk about that stuff. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to Wednesday here. We’ll have some conversations about it. Saquon, he’s a tough customer.

Q: I want to ask you a little bit about expectations. I know you don’t consider any kind of outside expectations for your team but inside, first of all, are you the kind of coach that address records, standings, division, conference with your team? I know other coaches put that up there on the board. Here’s where we are – that kind of thing. If you don’t do it now, do you think you may do it at some point later in the season?

A: I think the big thing for us is just focusing on what we can control, which is each day, get ready for the team we’re about to play – Jacksonville in this case – have a good workday, prepare the right way. That’s where our focus will always be.

Q: Expectations rise outside the building when you have a 5-1 record. Do you think that can affect players either positively or negatively? For example, ‘we are a good team and if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to be an even better team.’ As opposed to losing and wondering what’s going on?

A: I’d say our focus is really what we need to do each week. Again, it’s probably not the flashiest of answers but it’s the truth. We just focus on the things we need to do, which is to make sure we understand what we need to do as a team, first and foremost. Study our opponents, go out there, practice well, put everything you have into the week leading up to the game. If you do that, you can live with the results. If you’re doing things right during the week and putting everything you have into it, your preparation and coaching staff, support staff, players, and trainers. There’s only one game a week obviously and it’s not many of these things. So, everything we’ve got each week and that’s really where we focus.

Q: Players can gain confidence by success though, can’t they?

A: Probably, yeah. I think that’s a better question for those guys, but one week really has nothing to do with the next. Again, it’s a humbling league. You’re one week from falling off a cliff. It takes a lot of effort, preparation, and time to put into it. You have to play very well to give yourself an opportunity to win because it’s such a tough league.

Q: I was thinking in terms of player development, you’d talked about preparing for the season; kind of digging into film of Saquon where you said you guys went back to Penn State film, looked at stuff he did well there and try to coach that up and work that into your offense. Did you do that across the board with your players? Thinking of guys who returned from last year, (safety) Julian Love or (outside linebacker) Oshane Ximines, did you have your position coaches kind of dig up tape when those guys were coming out and develop plans for each individual player?

A: I’d say we looked at all the tape here. Obviously, Saquon with his talent, an unbelievable player when he was in college. You want to get a feel for what was good to use back in the day for him, what was good his rookie year, and (what’s) happened the previous couple of years. All our coaches did an extensive study on all the guys that were potentially on our roster. Going all the way back, most of these guys evaluate them coming out of school, so there’s some recollection there, and then watch them play. The best thing obviously now is with the OTA’s, the training camp, and now these games, whether they’re in your system and you see their movement skills and you understand some of their strengths and some of their weaknesses, I think that’s really the best thing for all of us. Then once you figure out what they do well in your system, if you’ve got to adjust and adapt as a coach, that’s what you do.

Q: Just curious, what did (outside linebacker) Jihad Ward not play on the last two defensive series of the game?

A: That’s the package we had in, and he was excited. He was the first one jumping up and down on the sideline, which we showed. Just our rotation.

Q: Just to get back to Saquon’s injury, he came off the field for one play and came right back in. Is that just something you’re going to have to deal with throughout this season now if he lands on it wrong or gets it twisted or whatever happens? He’s just going to have to come off to the sideline, get squared away, and then go back in?

A: If it happens, yeah. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen or not. Each week you get a little bit better. Like I said, he’s a pretty tough guy and he’ll get his treatment, and he’ll be ready to go.

Q: You look at the teams that are 5-1 and 6-0, most of them are quarterback-driven offenses. Did you come into the season believing that a running back-driven offense could succeed in this league or has this convinced you?

A: I don’t really think of it like that, I don’t understand the question. I think you just develop your team as you go and do what you need to do to try and win each week. Whether that’s hand it off a bunch, (or) whether that’s throw it a bunch. We’ve been heavy on the run side, but I don’t think about it as it’s a pass offense or run offense. I just think each week there’s things you need to try to do to win the game and that’s what we’ll try to do.

Q: You guys have had some really creative plays. I’m just curious, where do you come up with these and I’m thinking of the direct snap to Saquon, and he gives it to Daniel or the pass to (running back Matt) Breida. How do you come up with some of these and what’s the process like from you guys in the coaches offices to getting it on the field?

A: A lot of these we’ve run at some point in ti, but so are all the other coaches on the staff and I think there’s good give and take in the meetings when they’re meeting. Again, whatever personnel groups we use and the people that are active, you try to find a role for them. It might be only a few plays, it might be a little bit more, but I’d say there’s a lot of discussion. It starts after you start watching the opponent and get into the game plan here for the next few days. Just trying to do what we think we need to do to give ourselves a chance. Really no more than that.

Q: Is it a little bit fun? You can draw up inside zone, but when you come up with a play like that and see it work, is that a little bit part of the fun for you guys?

A: It’s fun if it works. If it doesn’t work, it’s not really fun.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media access to the team. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM).

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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