Oct 162023
New York Giants Defense (October 15, 2023)

New York Giants Defense – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Q: Can you talk about the defense? The defense the last couple of weeks looks like it’s been playing a lot better. What have you seen from that unit and where have they really tightened things up to play better?

A: Yeah, they have improved. I think (inside linebacker Bobby Okereke) Bobby O has done a great job of getting the ball and getting hands on the ball. A bunch of those turnovers are a result of his play along with the rush that goes along with it but seeing the quarterback, getting hands on the ball. You know, obviously, we had some big plays last week, we limited those this week. Improving the fundamentals, they’ve done a good job, they’ve improved so we’re going to need to continue to do that.

Q: I know we asked about the specifics with (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) last night but just overall, how do you think he played?

A: I think Tyrod did a good job. Threw the ball on time, made some good throws down the sideline to (wide receiver Darius) Slayton, got the ball out of his hands even when there was some pressure so did a good job of leading his team. Obviously, the team thing of 0-for-5 in the redzone, that’s a team thing, so something we’ve go to work on but continue to do that, but I thought Tyrod acquitted himself well.

Q: I know (quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ told NBC that his goal is to play this week. I know you’re probably going to say you don’t know yet, but do you have any update?

A: I don’t. I have no update on anything. I haven’t seen the doctors; it was a late one last night, so I have nothing on any injuries.

Q: I’ve got to ask. If Daniel’s healthy, is he your starting quarterback still?

A: I have nothing on any injuries so –

Q: No, no, I’m saying if he’s healthy. There’s not quarterback controversy or is there? I’m just asking that question.

A: Yeah, no.

Q: The fourth-and-one at the 11 when you kicked the field goal, just the thought process there. Did you think about going for it and how did you end up on the kick?

A: I said it last night, two third-and-one’s where we didn’t get it. Get points. The defense was playing well so that was the decision.

Q: Because you play a team tough like you did last night and, obviously, 1-5 is not where you want to be, but do you come in, maybe not today but on Wednesday with a renewed enthusiasm that ‘hey, the schedule does soften here. We’ve still got a chance to still do things.’

A: I think you come in on Wednesdays with enthusiasm every week. It’s the National Football League, so you do the necessary things you need to try to do each week to put yourself in good position and compete and give yourself a chance and that’s what you do every week.

Q: Did you get a lot more out of your offensive line than you could’ve hoped for last night? Given that it’s not the greatest situation going in and then you lose (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu and you’re playing a guy that you alluded to last night who hadn’t played tackle in four or five years.

A: Yeah, on the left side. We talked about it, talked about it with (guard Justin) Pugh Saturday morning, just ‘hey, you might need to do this, you might need to do this.’ He’s a true pro. I’d say it all works together. I think the quarterback did a good job of getting the ball out, receivers found space, the timing was good, and those guys competed. I give them a lot of credit, they competed. We did a lot of shuffling, (offensive lineman Marcus) McKethan back in, (guard Mark Glowinski) Glo over there. We actually practiced McKethan at tackle those days that (tackle) Evan (Neal) was down, so it was a lot of shuffling, those guys were battling. I appreciate all their efforts.

Q: The trade deadline is approaching, you are a 1-5 team, you’ve been in this league a long time, you know things start to fly, rumors start to fly when a team not’s going well. Guys could be traded, I mean that’s always out there, but do you say anything to your players to say, hey, don’t let those kind of things seep into your mind?

A: Yeah, we just focus on the week and who we’re playing, the team we are playing. That’s what we are going to focus on.

Q: I also wanted to pick up on the offensive line, I just wonder for a group that seems to have had a lot shuffled at it and with it because of injuries, did they perform about as well as they could, given all of those circumstances?

A: They competed. They competed hard, but it’s all 11. So, even if there is leakage, if you get it out on time, guys are creating space in zones, which I think inside like (tight end Darren) Waller and (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) did a good job of getting open right now and Tyrod did a good job of hitting his back foot and letting it out. So, it all works together, it always does, but those guys, again, I’ll say it, they competed. For a guy like Pugh, who’s been here a week and a half, to really have to play multiple positions and then move the guards, the center, but that’s where we are at, so that’s what we try to do.

Q: I wanted to ask if you would single him out only because what he did was pretty extraordinary in my book, you know, what do I know? But it was pretty cool that he did what he did and played and everything else. I know today is not a day for levity and I am sensitive to that, but I believe when he introduced himself on the television broadcast, he said something like ‘Justin Pugh, off the couch’ or something along those lines. Again, I know that that doesn’t fall well today.

A: I mean, he’s only been here a short time as you guys know, so again, he’s been up here in the mornings getting extra time with (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and again, based on where we were at last week, it was a conversation that we had going into the game about, you’re here, but you could be here, you could be here, you good with it? He’s a true pro.

Q: Have you seen someone be able to do what he did?

A: I’ve certainly along the way, probably. Can’t give you a guy off the top of my head, but you know he’s a veteran player that has played a long time. It’s happened with receivers that have played numerous spots when I’ve coached them or when you get new guys in on a Thursday and you play them on a Sunday, but he’s been in the league for a long time and there is a reason for it.

Q: One of the things that was noticeable last night was that Tyrod, and you mentioned this, was getting rid of the ball quickly. Was that something that Daniel can do or learn by watching him do that? It seemed that the passing game clicked more when he did that.

A: I think each game is different. So, based on the routes we had, and how the defense plays it, whether it’s a softer zone like Buffalo played some, and a couple of the man shots that we had to Slayton were man that he saw and let it go on time. Those are things we always work on.

Q: There was one deep ball that (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt caught, and they ruled Evan Neal may have been downfield. It looked really close. Have you seen that play, and what do you think?

A: Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Q: Was it a bad call?

A: It’s what they called.

Q: It looked like you shortened the wide receiver rotation quite a bit last night. Was there a reason for that, and is that what we’re going to see going forward?

A: We really went with the two young guys, Hyatt and Wan’Dale, and then Slayton and (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins) mixed in. So, that’s how we approached it this game and let those guys go and play.

Q: What are you seeing from Wan’Dale and from Jalin in terms of their development and what they can bring to you going forward?

A: Yeah, they’re young. They’re young, so you’ve got to play them to develop them, too. I’d say that Hyatt made a heck of a catch in the fourth quarter on that in cut, held on to the ball, did a nice job on the scramble. Tyrod made a heck of a throw. Again, the more reps they have, the more experience they’ll get, the more developed they’ll get. Wan’Dale is obviously still working his way back. But two obviously young, young players in this league. In that position, you’ve got to play some to gain experience and to gain development.

Q: I wanted to ask you about Evan Neal. We know what he’s been through the last month or so and obviously the last couple of weeks, but it seemed like he was really gutting through last night. For a young player like that coming through last night, what’d you see from Evan, and do you think that was a step forward for him to be able to go through everything he went through? It seemed like he played a pretty clean game, other than the one play that you’d rather not talk about in terms of the illegal man downfield.

A: Again, he competed. Later in the week, he didn’t practice Friday. Was limited the day before. Got ready to play, competed, but again, there’s certain things that we all can do better. Appreciate his effort along with the other guys on the line and the communication. Those guys battled.

The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media availability to the team. The players return to practice on Wednesday.

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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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