Jan 262023
 
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (October 10, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

BRIAN DABOLL HONORED…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll has been named the “2022 NFL Coach of the Year” by the Pro Football Writers Association of America (PFWA). In his first season as the team’s head coach, Daboll led the Giants to a surprising 9-7-1 regular-season record and a playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Daboll is the fifth coach in New York Giants’ history to lead the team to the playoffs in his debut season, joining Allie Sherman (1961), Dan Reeves (1993), Jim Fassel (1997), and Ben McAdoo (2016). Rookie coach Earl Potteiger led the Giants to the 1927 NFL Championship in the era before playoffs.

Daboll also became the first Giants’ coach to win his playoff debut since Reeves in 1993. Others to do so included Jim Lee Howell (1956), Ray Perkins (1981), and Bill Parcells (1984).

Daboll is the fourth Giants’ coach to be honored as the PFWA “Coach of the Year,” joining Parcells (1986), Reeves (1993), and Fassel (1997).

On Wednesday, Daboll was announced as one of the finalists for the Associated Press “NFL Coach of the Year” award.

GIANTS RE-SIGN TWO MORE TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
In addition to the 12 players the Giants have already signed to reserve/future contracts, the Giants announced they have also re-signed WR David Sills and S Terrell Burgess to reserve/future contracts. Both players ended the season on the team’s Practice Squad.

Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. He did not play in a game for the Giants that year. He also missed all of 2020 with broken right foot. In 2021, Sills played in four games with one start, finishing with just two catches for 17 yards. In 2022, Sills was pressed into extended playing time due to issues at the position. He played in nine games with five starts, mostly before the bye week, and finished the year with just 11 catches for 106 yards.

The Giants signed Burgess to the Practice Squad in November 2022. He played in one game in Week 12, exclusively on special teams. Burgess was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He missed most of his rookie season with a broken ankle. Burgess has played in 31 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 29 tackles and one pass defense. He played in five games with the Rams in 2022 before they waived him in November.

Jan 232023
 
Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen, New York Giants (January 11, 2023)

Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

JOE SCHOEN AND BRIAN DABOLL ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Joe Schoen: I just want to start off by thanking the Maras and Tisches. I’ve been here about a year, and thank them for giving us all the resources we needed throughout the season since the day we got here to build the best team we could last season along with any type of resources we needed. I would also like to thank everybody that works under this roof that contributed to not only the culture but their particular job responsibilities throughout the season. There’s tremendous energy in the building right now, a really good culture. I’m just really happy with everybody’s efforts throughout the year. I want to thank them for their efforts.

With that being said, I would say it was a good season for us in many different ways. When you come in when I did in January, you’re trying to get to know the roster, trying to get to know the players. Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) had a very good plan in terms of the offseason, the OTAs, to bring the players together and start to develop that culture and comradery amongst the team. I thought that carried over to our fast start early in the season. The start we got off to was good. I think some of the positives were some young players got to experience success that maybe they haven’t in the past and how you handle that. And we had a little bit of a lull, I would say, after the bye week, and also allowed some of our young players to learn how to overcome adversity and steady the ship. And we did that down the road and were able to win a playoff game. A lot of young players were able to get playoff experience. So, all in all, a lot of those lessons learned throughout the season will hopefully continue to help us moving forward. The foundation has been set, and I think some of those experiences that the players were able to go through this year will just allow us to build moving forward. With that being said, I’ll open it up to questions.

Q: Do you plan on re-signing (quarterback) Daniel (Jones)?

Schoen: We’d like Daniel to be here. Again, he said it yesterday – there’s a business side to it. We feel like Daniel played well this season. He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do. Again, there’s a business side to it. We haven’t went down that road yet. We still have to have our meetings with our staff late in the week, and we’ll devise an offseason plan. We haven’t had those meetings yet, but we would like to have Daniel Jones back.

Q: Having said that, when did you know? You and Dabs came in and had to do your due diligence and see what you had in Daniel (Jones) and everybody else. When did you make the decision, both of you guys, ‘This guy is our guy to move forward with,’?

Schoen: I don’t know if there was necessarily an ‘Aha’ moment or anything like that. We just continued to evaluate him throughout the season and what the coaches were asking him to do. And he was executing the game plans. Dabs and I communicate on a daily basis – not just Dabs and I, but the offensive staff and what they’re asking him to do. He continued to improve throughout the season. I don’t know the exact date or time when we’re like, ‘Daniel is our guy,’ but we’re pleased with how he played this season.

Q: Obviously you need a new contract with (running back) Saquon (Barkley). Is that somebody, also, you also would like to keep, and is the franchise tag a possibility?

Schoen: Again, this is a special team to me. It was my first year. We’d like to have all the guys back, I really would. But there’s a business side to it. There’s rules that you need to operate under in terms of the salary cap. Saquon, he’s a good player. He’s a great teammate. I loved getting to know him this season. He’s a guy we would like to have back. It’s just, again, we haven’t had our end-of-season meetings yet. We’re less than 48 hours after that game. Everybody is going to step back, take the emotion out of it, evaluate the roster and then we’ve got to operate under the salary cap. How are you going to divvy up? How are we going to create the roster? What are the priority positions, and how are we going to move forward? We would like to have Saquon back if it works out.

Q: Do you think you overachieved as a ball club, and do you think having sustained success is really what you’re going for most of all here? And is there a possibility that a team, if they did overachieve, could take a step backwards along the way to getting where you want to go?

Schoen: That’s a good question. I wouldn’t say we overachieved. I think Dabs did a good job, along with his staff, of like, ‘Focus on the process and not necessarily the results.’ They came in on a weekly basis and focused on the process. They saw the dividends came on Sunday. I think there was a lot of good football players on our team. I think there were a lot of good teammates. Maybe we weren’t the most talented, but we did have a good team. Guys cared about each other. The culture was good, and the process we had in place – again, I think the dividends showed on Sundays.

Q: When you say you want Daniel (Jones) back, ideally would you like that to be a long-term deal or a multi-year deal?

Schoen: We’re going to get into all that. Again, it takes two. Both sides have got to have those conversations. We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. There’s tools at our disposal. Again, we’ll go through several scenarios. It’s kind of like I mentioned it last year, maybe it was at the combine, with the ‘if, then’ scenarios. You got to go through all those because you don’t know how things are going to fall because it’s negotiating. This is why you love the draft – you turn in the card, and they’re yours. You know what the contract structure is; you know the years. This is where there’s two parties involved, and it’s going to be time consuming. We’ll get together as a staff. We’ll talk through the different options and have those discussions when it’s appropriate.

Q: When do you plan to start those negotiations with the agents about extensions? Is there any urgency to get it done before that tag deadline to lock one of those guys in?

Schoen: We haven’t discussed that yet. Again, we’re going to meet as a staff on Thursday. We’ve got all-star games coming up. The last couple days have been a lot of – we did exit meetings yesterday with the entire football team, each player individually, working on calendars as we move forward the next couple weeks, so we mirror personnel calendars with the coaches. We’ll have those meetings on Thursday, and those will continue through the weekend.

Q: With Saquon (Barkley), how do you view running back positional value versus he’s also, other than Daniel (Jones), your best playmaker?

Schoen: Listen, Saquon has done everything we’ve asked him to do, and he’s a good football player. Again, the positional value – we’ll get into how we want to build this team and allocate our resources. That’s what it comes down to. Again, he’s a good football player. He was durable for us this year; he played well. And again, he’s a guy that we would like to have back.

Q: In terms of the (salary) cap, would you like to do something to lower (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams’ cap number?

Schoen: We haven’t discussed that yet. I like his quote yesterday; I just saw that before I came down here that he would be interested in taking a pay cut. You guys did a good job on that, whoever asked him that. He didn’t mention that in the exit interview with us.

Q: You redid the deal, and the numbers are really high. It’s not like you have no cap space, but what’s your comfort level with a number that high in general?

Schoen: We’ll talk about that. Again, there’s several options. We’ve got to go through the entire roster, we have a lot of UFAs (unrestricted free agents). We have guys that are good players that have contracts on the horizon. That’s all part of the planning that we’ll go through. And again, we just got to talk about how we want to divvy it up and prioritize different areas. And if we need to open up money, we won’t rule that out.

Q: Joe just said, ‘We may not have been the most talented, but we were a team.’ Do you now look ahead, after your first year, and think, ‘Okay, now we are one of the more talented teams, we can do a lot more with this,’?

Daboll: You know me; I take it day by day. I think it’s year by year. Every team is different. Just because you won one year doesn’t guarantee you anything the next year relative to what players you have, what players you don’t have. You take a look at last year’s playoff (teams) – I think seven of them didn’t make the playoffs the following year. Two top seeds had losing records. I think our goal will always be just get better each day, try to put the best team we can together, work at it each day and not get too far ahead of ourselves. I appreciate, like Joe said, all the people that had a hand in this year. Obviously, it didn’t end up where we wanted to end up. But it took a lot of work. It took a lot of energy. It took a lot of people in all areas of our building. The offseason started the day after we lost, unfortunately. That’s where we’re at. We’ll do the best job we can of building up our team the best way we can, our organization, and then going out there and taking it day by day.

Q: Joes said that he wants Daniel (Jones) back. Obviously, you guys have talked about this a lot. Why do you want Daniel back and why do you think he can take this team, get another trophy for this team? Do you think he can?

Daboll: I’ve said it all year; he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do as an offensive staff. And he’s done a really good job with operating and executing our offense. I think he’s made strides in a lot of different areas. Certainly, we can all make strides in more, but he’s been a good leader for us, played the quarterback position well for us. I’m happy we had him.

Q: How much does it change everything in regards to the team building that you have the quarterback, assuming you’re able to re-sign him, and you don’t have to find a quarterback or draft a quarterback and you can use those resources elsewhere?

Schoen: I don’t think it really changes. It doesn’t really change what we are going to do. We’ve still got to draft well. We want to be in good cap health. We’re in a unique situation in that we have some players that are upcoming that were drafted here previously before we came here that played well. Again, it just comes down to how we want to divvy it up. Again, the money and the resources that we have along with the draft – we’re still trying to build this thing so we can sustain it.

Q: But in Buffalo, you had to trade up to get (Buffalo quarterback) Josh (Allen), right?

Schoen: Every situation is different. I know you want to make the parallels with here and Buffalo. We made the playoffs the first year. I mean, every situation is unique and different. There were different factors that played into that. And again, I think Daniel played well enough this year. We’d like to have him back. And again – we have some difficult offseason decisions to make and how we are going to go about those. So, I look forward to getting to work on that here by the end of the week.

Q: On Saquon (Barkley), when you try to determine his financial value – how much do you factor in character and contribution to culture as opposed to talent when it comes to that evaluation?

Schoen: If that wasn’t important, we probably wouldn’t be approaching him. So, that’s kind of a starter for us – if you’re a good teammate, you’re a culture fit for how we want to do things. That’s where we go to those players. We don’t factor in – when you’re making comps (comparisons), it’s hard to put a value on that. It’s important, but you can look at how many yards, touchdowns, Pro Bowls, games played, games missed. Those are more markers that we can establish value on. We wouldn’t approach him or look to sign a guy if they didn’t fit our culture if we didn’t think so.

Q: How close were you with him (Saquon Barkley in bye week conversations)? How close were you with him, and did you consider yourself close when you had that conversation?

Schoen: We had productive conversations. We were off on the value. Again, we said we would circle back up at the end of the season and continue those conversations, but that time of year, we weren’t really that close I would think.

Q: When you talk about you have to make decisions when allocating resources, does it give you any pause that you see these big second contract for running backs kind of haven’t panned out, generally, across the league?

Schoen: I wouldn’t say all of them haven’t panned out. But there’s a risk to any big contract. Anybody can go out there and get hurt at any position. I think that’s risk-reward. The good thing about, I feel, extending people in-house (is that) you know their work ethic. You know their durability. You know their injury history. You know how they train. You know how they practice. So, in terms of eliminating some of the margin for error, it’s a known commodity.

Q: You’ve seen what a team can do when they bring in a top-flight wide receiver. You guys did that with (wide receiver Stefon) Diggs at Buffalo and (Eagles quarterback) Jalen Hurts with (Eagles wide receiver) A.J. Brown. If Daniel Jones is the quarterback, whoever’s under center, how much of a priority is it to get a wide receiver that you can prepare to continue that evolution?

Schoen: I think we want to continue to build the entire team. Again, I know a number one wide receiver can be important, but there’s some number one wide receivers that are home right now. You can go through this past weekend; you can go through a couple of weekends ago in the playoffs. A number one receiver doesn’t guarantee you anything. I think it’s important that we continue to build the team, and there’s multiple positions where we want to upgrade throughout the offseason. So, yeah, I’d love to have a number one wide receiver. But we’ve got to place value on everything we do, and if it makes sense, that’s something we’ll look to do.

Q: Who are your biggest weaknesses? What do you think your weaknesses are?

Schoen: We’re going to go through that with the coaches. Again, we’re going to talk through all that. Again, we’re going to step back, take the emotion out of it, evaluate the roster. We’ll come up how we want to approach the offseason and where we need to improve.

Q: What do you make of your rookie class, your first draft, and just your entire rookie class? What do you think about it, and was it what you wanted it to be?

Schoen: I like the guys we brought in. I think there’s some ups and downs, which you’re always going to have with rookie classes. (Outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux), he got injured in that Cincinnati game in the preseason and then kind of got healthy throughout the season and hit his stride. (Tackle) Evan (Neal), same deal – had some ups and downs and battled through injury. (Wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) was really coming along. He had over 100 yards through three quarters in the Detroit game, so, he would’ve been a big-time contributor, especially down the stretch, if he would’ve stayed healthy. So, a lot of big contributions without going through everyone.(Cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott made some big plays, made a big play in the Minnesota game. Has a high ceiling; we’re excited about him. (Offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu started some games and then got injured. When these guys get healthy next year, I think that’s going to provide depth. And some of those guys are going to compete for starting spots. (Tight end Daniel) Bellinger, we thought, had a really good season. Again, he got injured. I think they all got injured except for (inside linebacker Micah) McFadden at some point unfortunately. (Safety) Dane Belton, same deal. When he was out there, he played well. Had two interceptions for us. (Defensive lineman) D.J. Davidson, unfortunately, had an ACL in London but was a contributor in a rotational role. (Inside linebacker Darrian) Beavers. in the preseason, he was competing to start at Mike. Excited to see him when he comes back. And then, (offensive lineman) Marcus McKethan was having a really good camp for us before tearing his ACL. So, when healthy, I think there’s going to be some really good contributors out of the class and then some other guys that will be really good depth players for us. But smart, tough, dependable players that we’re happy we have.

Q: Has (defensive lineman) Dexter Lawrence done enough to earn another contract?

Schoen: I would say Dexter’s done enough. Again, we want all of our guys back. We want them to be here for a long time. Dexter played well, and we’ve got him under the fifth-year option. And that’ll be part of our end-of-season review in terms of how we want to approach that. But yeah, Dexter played really well, great person, great teammate. Happy he’s here.

Q: You have him under contract, but I presume you’ll sit down and talk with him about it, right?

Schoen: If you presume. Well, we’re going to talk about it here in the future and then again, it goes back to we have certain cap space, and we have certain tools at our disposal. We’ll figure out how we want to utilize them.

Q: Now that you have that cap space – now that you are a little bit more financially healthier, significantly more financially healthy than you were last year – do you plan on being aggressive in the free agent market? Is that somewhere where you’re going to now look to really infuse this roster with talent that way?

Schoen: We’ve got some guys that are good players that are currently UFAs. These are known commodities in-house that we know intimately from being with them for a year. And we’ll see who we want to bring back throughout these meetings and what their market value is going to be based on our analysis. Again, if we can bring some of our own back, we will, mixed with guys outside the building. We’ll look at that. Ideally to me, the known commodities that are good football players that you know, that’s going to be our priority first. And then we’ll look outside the building, if we need to, to supplement the roster.

Q: In some ways, is taking that next step a bigger challenge for a football team, i.e., going from a playoff team to a true contender, is that a bigger step in some way?

Schoen: You’re saying from?

Q: From where you were, in a difficult situation to making the playoffs, is it harder to go to the next step? From being a playoff team to truly contending for a title?

Schoen: I think what Dabs said, each year is different. Each team is different, the players that we lose, the players that we bring in. Again, we like our process, whether it’s free agency, draft, waiver wire. In terms of improving the roster, we’re always going to look to do that. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our coaching staff and the personnel staff that we’ll continue to improve the roster any way we can. And again, every season is different.

Q: Do you think ownership still has patience for a long-term build and process? Or do you think your success this year may have accelerated expectations from ownership?

Schoen: We haven’t really talked specifically about that. I’m in constant communication with (President and chief executive officer) John (Mara), (senior player personnel executive) Chris (Mara), (chairman and executive vice president) Steve (Tisch) about what we’re thinking, what the plan is and where we are. That hasn’t come up.

Q: Was it challenging at all this year for you that you had your plan set, and if ownership wanted it accelerated, did you kind of have to hold firm on some of the things that you believed in and not accelerate the plan based on what you were seeing in the standings, record wise or even on the field?

Schoen: I think it goes back to almost my opening press conference. We wanted to see progress. The question was, ‘What’s a successful season?’ We wanted to see progress, and I think you saw that throughout the season. Again, credit to my personnel staff. They were relentless in terms of eating up the waiver wire, waiver claims and practice squad. Did a really good job. But again, to your point, we had to honestly evaluate the roster, whether it was the trade deadline or not. I don’t believe in the ‘You’re one player away.’ I think it’s truly a team game. And that’s where we were and the holes that we had. I thought it was best just to stay pat where we were. We have nine picks going into next year’s draft. We do have a little bit more financial flexibility. As a group, we thought that was the best thing to do.

Q: You called the loss to the Eagles ‘a crash landing.’ How do you balance the success of the regular season with the disappointment of that playoff game in evaluating the entire season?

Daboll: I think you just take a step back. You give the coaches some time to evaluate the players, and then we’ll have time to evaluate the things that we’ve done, whether that’s scheme, personnel, decisions. You just take a step back. Unfortunately, I’ve been involved in eight playoff losses. So, 24 wins. Each year’s a different year. It’s different than it was 30 years ago. Each year, you come in here in April 17 for the offseason program, and when you ask the new guys to stand up, it will be dang near half the room. So, what we’ve tried to build is our foundation – how we meet, how we practice, how we prepare, how we travel, our mindset going into games. You have guys that have been on the roster on the roster that are coming back and that can help facilitate that with the new players that are coming in because every year’s a new year. The team we had this year will be different next year, but that’s just the NFL. So, how you build the chemistry with the team is important. It starts in April. You’re glad you have some of the players that you’re going to have coming back, but certainly, you’re going to have a lot of new players, whether that’s draft picks, free agents, different guys. And everybody’s got to come together again and start building the team for the next season.

Q: Do you anticipate any changes to your coaching staff? Do you have to always prepare for the potential of replacing a coordinator if they get a (head coaching) job?

Daboll: Like I’ve said all season, I’ve had a lot of confidence in our guys. They’ve done a great job, and women, on our staff. When you have these interviews that come up, and I’ve been part of them the last three seasons, you always have to have a plan because you never know what’s going to happen if (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) gets a job, if (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka gets a job. So, you have to go through the whole process. The good thing about being here for the second year is that you have a lot of people in place that again, to go back to what I said about the players, that know how we do things. So, as I’m sitting up there with (director of coaching operations Laura Young) LY and going through calendars and OTA practices and when the offseason starts and self-scout, we do a lot of things. Last year was the first time we all did it together. This will be the second time. So, a little bit more smooth.

Q: Do you think there’s a big gap between the Giants and the two teams that remain standing in the NFC?

Schoen: Yeah, I know Philly more intimately. And, yeah, I would say yes. There’s a talent gap there that we need to close, and to me, it’s the NFC East. I mean, we were 1-5-1 against the NFC East. If you win the division, the rest takes care of itself. So, that’s always going to be a goal of ours: to close that gap and be NFC East champs. That’s the goal, and that’s what we’re going to work towards.

Q: You had a lot of restrictions on you when you came in last year, financially, with putting together a staff. Things are a little more stable now going into this offseason. How much have you been looking forward to this offseason and really getting your hands on this roster and doing it the way you’ve wanted to do it?

Schoen: I didn’t want the season to end, I’ll tell you that (laughs). Dabs saying ‘a crash landing,’ that’s right. Still driving in this morning, it still hurts. But you just have more flexibility. There were times in season where there were maybe some veteran players that we wanted to sign that would’ve helped us, but we just weren’t able to do it. That part stings throughout the season because we could’ve helped the roster, but just didn’t have the flexibility. Yeah, to have financial flexibility, nine draft picks, to be able to devise a plan where you have a little bit more flexibility and resources, I’m definitely excited about that.

Q: For both of you, picking up on the Philly theme, with the two competitive games between the two of you, how much did the trenches – how much did the line of scrimmage – matter in both of those games where it certainly seems like Philly has more guys at that level, more of a rotation at those levels, to some degree, and just were better in that part of the game?

Daboll: I think you asked that after the game, too. They have a good defensive line and good offensive line. Everything starts up front. We certainly could’ve done a better job, too. But give them credit. They have good players on both sides of the ball. I think we have good players, but they just played better and did better than we did.

Q: How was that dinner with (wide receiver) Odell Beckham (Jr.)? And is he a player you’re going to revisit going into the spring?

Schoen: Dinner was good, and we’re going to consider, again, when we have this offseason meeting, every position, who’s available. Who are the players who are potential – that we could sign? Again, we’ll devise the plan from there. That’s kind of where we are right now.

Q: What’s your opinion of this free agent class in general?

Schoen: The UFA class? Again, you can look at it today, and it’s going to change by the time we get there because a lot of the times the good players that are UFAs end up staying with their teams. So, we’re working through that now. We’ll start our free agent meetings next week, devise a plan in terms of the players that maybe we want to target. But there’s definitely some players out there that would help us.

Q: Do you think free agency is more of a tool to build a team than it was maybe five, 10 years ago?

Schoen: It can be. It can be if you get the right guys and they’re durable because typically when you’re signing outside your building, you’re paying those guys a little bit of money that if they stay healthy and produce at the level, then yeah. It’s definitely a tool that we’ve used before. Obviously, the draft and develop, like I was saying earlier with players in your system already, in your building, you know them. You can’t really do a lot of research on some players that are with different teams, or you don’t know their work ethic or injury history. So, again, I think when you’re making those financial decisions, you’ve got intimate knowledge of the players, I think there’s less margin for error, in-house.

Q: Is (safety) Julian Love – I know you’re not going to go down the whole list – but he’s a guy, culture, you know him, he stayed healthy, he did a lot of different things. Brian (Daboll) said some good things about him. Is he a guy you look at and say, ‘Yeah, he’s important,’?

Schoen: Again, we’d like to have a lot of these guys back. It’s just as we go through this and we talk to the representatives, he’s a guy – I know he mentioned it yesterday – that we talked to in the bye week. And we weren’t able to get something done with Julian. Julian knows how we feel about him. We had a good exit interview with him yesterday. Again, as we start to get into the offseason planning, we’ll talk to the coaches. We’ll see where he fits in. And if we can get something done, that’ll be good.

Q: (Wide receiver) Sterling Shepard – the role he could have going forward. He’s been a guy that’s been around forever. Brian talked about him and the fact that he’s had an effect on the team culture.

Schoen: Love Shep. He’s awesome; juice guy all the time. He’s one of my favorites here. We’ll continue to monitor his rehab, coming off the ACL. He had the Achilles before. He’s been a tremendous resource around here for us. He’s a guy that we’ll talk about as well at the end of the week and continue to communicate with the training staff, (senior vice president, medical services/head athletic trainer) Ronnie Barnes and those guys, on where he is from that standpoint, when he’ll be healthy enough to play. Again, that’s something we may or may not entertain.

Q: Did your guys’ opinions on (safety) Xavier (McKinney) change because of the circumstances of his injury and how that happened? You saw him as a cornerstone moving forward. Did that change at all?

Schoen: Not for us. He’s a young man that made a mistake. To me, really initially, it wasn’t about football. It was more about his wellbeing as a young man. And we’ve got younger kids. Dabs has some older than mine. But we all make mistakes. And we’ve got to learn from it. For us, it was just about supporting Xavier through that. He fought to get back. Football was secondary when we got the call. I’m just glad that he was able to play again. He’s a great kid that we look forward to working with.

Q: With respect to free agency, how married are you to what you believe a player is worth and your walk-away number compared to sometimes when you’re in negotiations and the market value can exponentially change how much a player is going to get?

Schoen: That’s something our staff, they do a great job, and we talk about it all the time: ‘What’s the walk-away?’ We come up with a walk-away, and you have to be comfortable because, I’ll use the term I use around here, if you shop hungry, you overpay. It’s a bad deal, and then you get buyer’s remorse. It’s important in free agency to come up with the proper value – where you see them as a staff and the value and where it fits into your salary cap and your team. And then, I think it’s smart to have a walk-away number.

Q: Do you view Daniel (Jones) as a quarterback who can help you win a Super Bowl?

Schoen: We’re happy Daniel’s going to be here. We’re happy he’s going to be here. Hopefully we can get something done with his representatives. And that would be the goal – to build a team around him where he can lead us and win a Super Bowl.

Q: You’re saying he’s going to be here next year?

Schoen: We’re going to have these offseason meetings here at the end of the week, and we’re going to talk about it. And then with the resources we have, we’re going to talk to his representatives and hopefully be able to get something done to go off the first question.

Q: You were 22-59 before you got here. The Giants were 22-59 the five years that preceded you guys getting here. Why do you believe this team turned the corner this year?

Schoen: That’s a good question. A lot of factors. Again, I said it in the first press conference. The cupboard wasn’t bare. There was some talented players here – really good coaching staff. They did a really good throughout the season as we continued to, whether it was draft, free agency, waiver wire, improve the roster, our practice squad. We were able to create a good culture where the players were able to be themselves. And the coaching staff did a good job of maximizing the talent of the roster on a weekly basis. So, a lot of credit goes to Dabs and his staff.

Q: From your vantage point, what do you view as the reason for the injuries in the first half, early season? And have you already commissioned and kind of studied your evaluation of how to improve that?

Schoen: We’re working through that, specifically the rookie class. Is it the young players coming in, the onboarding process? Are we doing that right? We’re going to turn over every leaf to figure that out because healthy players give us the best chance to win. We had some ACLs this year. We had some MCLs, stingers. So, we’ll do a deep dive in the offseason and do whatever we can to try to improve that, that way we can be the healthiest we can.

Q: At what point do you close the book on 2022? Or is it something that’s fluid and that you’re constantly working on last year, building towards the future?

Schoen: It’s pretty much closed. It’s pretty much closed other than evaluating the roster off of the 2022 season. But we already kind of know what lies ahead. We talked to our UFAs and everybody yesterday. So now it’s, to me, All-Star games are coming here. You’ve got the East-West games, Senior Bowl, Combine meetings, free agency meetings. There’s no vacation. We’ve got to keep moving forward and devise that plan for the offseason.

Q: (A previous question) mentioned Dex, but there are other guys with one year left who seem like reasonable extension candidates. Do you simultaneously negotiate with them? Or are the UFAs the priority because they don’t have a year left?

Schoen: UFAs will probably be the priority early on, but we’ll also factor those in. We’ll look at it holistically, who’s under contract for ’23, ’24 and so on. Again, we’re not just planning for the 2023 offseason. We’re looking down the line of ’24 and ’25 as well. What’s on the horizon? How will this affect us moving forward? So, we’re going through a bunch of different scenarios, and we’ll continue to do that at the end of the week and throughout the weekend.

Q: How much further along are you in the process, looking ahead to the next season, coming off of what you just did rather than last year? Joe, I think you just got the job two days ago a year ago. Dabs hadn’t been hired yet. Do you think that is an advantage that you can actually move towards 2023 with everything that you have at your disposal rather than trying to catch up?

Schoen: Yeah, we talked about it the other day. Once we got through the exit interviews yesterday, we’ve pretty much been through a calendar year – a football calendar year together. So, the coaches’ evaluations of UFAs, the coaches’ evaluation of our roster, All-Star games, we’ve been through all of this stuff. So, the process is in place. Everybody here right now has been a part of that. So, there’s clarity in terms of what we want from our staff, what Dabs and his staff want from us. So, the transition into this offseason will be much smoother.

Q: There’s been a lot of time talking about, ‘Are you going to sign him? Are you going to sign him?’ Is there anybody you said, ‘Look, you’re not coming back,’?

Schoen: (Laughs) No, we didn’t have those conversations yesterday. No, we didn’t. That’s a good question, though.

Q: That gap that exists between you and the Eagles and the other Super Bowl contenders, given your roster and cap situation, do you think it’s possible to close that gap in one year? Or is it likely to take longer than that?

Schoen: We’re going to try to do the best we can. We’re always going to try to build a better roster, players, whatever it may be, whatever it is – resources around here. Anything that we can do that’s in the best interest of the franchise that’s going to make us better, we’re going to do. You can’t put a timeframe on that, but we’re going to be relentless in the pursuit of building a championship team here.

Q: How much is different this offseason because you came in last year and you basically just cleared the deck? You didn’t make any big signings. You’re going to potentially commit to guys, big money, long term. You’re going to sort of define your tenure. How do you view that? Is that a big difference?

Schoen: Obviously, the resources that are available are different than last year. I think, again, the advantage of being around the players for a year, you know who they are. You know how they work. And again, just having more flexibility, it’s different from that standpoint. As for defining my tenure and all, I’m not really worried about that. We’re trying to do the best we can with what we have to build a championship team where we can sustain success.

Q: As a team, what do you feel like you guys especially need to be to be a better team? Not to name the players or anything, but just as a team, what are the areas do you feel like you need to improve?

Daboll: That’s kind of what Joe talked about. We’ll dive into that as a coaching staff here. We’ll spend a lot of time on self-scout and process and things we can improve on, whether that’s night before meetings, whether that’s practice, whether that’s situational play calls, techniques, drills. I think you close the chapter on last season, but you need to figure out some of the things that you need to do a better job of. There certainly will be probably a significant amount of things that we sit back and say, ‘Boy, we could’ve done this a little bit different or improve on this,’ and take a deep dive into it. Take your time doing it. And then once you get back on April 17 and start going through it, you try to implement those new things or corrections that need to be made or scheduling differences.

But again, every year is such a new year – at least the 20-plus years I’ve been in the league. Again, half the team is usually different. So, you don’t just collect talent. You try to build a team. And that’s what we talk about all the time. There’s certainly players that will be out there – whether it’s free agents, whether it’s draft picks – that are talented players. But it’s how you put together the team, how the team responds to adversity, how it comes together in the offseason, leading up to training camp, the things you do in training camp – all the things that you go through each season, that’s what defines a team early in the stages and how you handle a lot of different things, the coaches, the players, the support staff. It’s just a new year. Every year is a new year. Like I told the guys when they left how much I appreciated their work and their commitment to the team, but unfortunately, you’re all not going to be here. You wish you could just bottle it up and then bring it back April 17, and the people in the seats are there and everybody has kind of worked together, been through some tough times. But that’s not the case.

So, however many new people are here, you’ve got to put them into your system. You’ve got to bring them along. You’ve got to build team chemistry. And every team that I’ve been part of has been different. Not one team is the same. So, that’s the beauty about this league is every year it’s a new year for everybody. There’s only four teams playing – the four best teams in the league. They’ve all earned it. So, every team that is not holding that trophy at the end of the season, it’s a stinger. So, you’ve got to try to figure out ways to do a better job the next season. But it’s such a new year. Every year is different. Every year that I’ve been part of has been different. I’ve been part of a Super Bowl team and then didn’t make the playoffs the next year. So, how we build our team and how we build the organization and continue to grow, I think all those things are important. But the team itself, that’ll all come together throughout the months of April, May, June, July, August, right into the regular season like this did.

TEAMS INTERVIEW KAFKA AND MARTINDALE…
On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers announced that they completed their respective interviews with New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka for their head-coaching vacancies. In addition, the Colts also announced that they had interviewed Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale for the same position.

GIANTS SIGN CHRIS MYARICK TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACT…
In addition to the 11 players the Giants have already signed to reserve/future contracts, the Giants announced they have also re-signed TE/FB Chris Myarick to a reserve/future contract. Myrarick spent time on both the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this season.

Jan 222023
 
Matt Breida, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Matt Breida – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 38 – NEW YORK GIANTS 7…
The New York Giants Cinderella season came to a crashing end in Philadelphia on Saturday night as they were crushed 38-7 by the Eagles. The Giants finished their surprising 2022 campaign with a 9-7-1 regular-season record and a 1-1 post-season record.

The overall final team statistics were almost as one-sided as the final score. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (26 to 13), total net yards (416 to 227), net yards rushing (268 to 118), net yards passing (148 to 109), and time of possession (35:43 to 24:17). The Eagles won the turnover battle 1-0 and were 4-of-5 in the red zone. Philadelphia was also an astonishing 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) on 3rd-down conversion attempts while the Giants were 1-of-3 on 4th down.

The contest was basically over by halftime. The Eagles scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half possessions while the Giants were shut out. Philadelphia’s drives:

  • 8 plays, 75 yards, touchdown,
  • 8 plays, 52 yards, touchdown.
  • 3 plays, -3 yards, punt.
  • 9 plays, 63 yards, touchdown.
  • 14 plays, 67 yards, touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ first drive ended with quarterback Daniel Jones getting sacked on 4th-and-8 at the Philadelphia 48-yard line. On the second play of their second possession, Jones was intercepted by former Giants’ cornerback James Bradberry at the Philadelphia 46-yard line. New York’s other three first-half possessions resulted in a total of 17 yards, no first downs, and three punts.

At the half, the Eagles led 28-0. The first-half stats were equally bad, with the Eagles holding huge advantages in first downs (18 to 3) and total yards (258 to 64).

The second-half of the game was pretty anti-climatic. Both teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants then drove for their only score of the game, a 10-play, 88-yard effort that ended with a direct snap to Saquon Barkley, who handed off to fellow running back Matt Breida for an 8-yard touchdown. With 6:15 left in the 3rd quarter, the Giants trailed 28-7.

The Eagles picked up two first downs and then punted on again on their second possession of the second half. New York then also picked up two first downs, but Head Coach Brian . Daboll decided to punt the ball away on 4th-and-6 from the New York 42-yard line early in the 4th quarter, down by three touchdowns.. The Eagles responded with a 15-play, 70-yard drive that lasted almost eight minutes and resulted in a 30-yard field goal. With just over five minutes in the game, New York now trailed 31-7.

The final minutes were just as ugly. The Giants did convert on 4th-and-16 from their own 17-yard line. But four plays later, they turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-8 from their own 36-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, the Eagles broke off a 35-yard touchdown run at the 2-minute warning.

The Giants then ran the ball three times in their final five plays simply to end the game.

Jones finished the game 15-of-27 for 135 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He ran the ball six times for 24 yards, but was sacked five times. Wideout Richie James was the leading receiver with seven catches for 51 yards. No other Giant had more than 21 yards receiving. Barkley broke off a 39-yard run in the 3rd quarter, but was held to 22 yards on his other eight carries.

The defense also played a bad game, allowing an unacceptable 268 yards rushing and only stopping the Eagles four times on 14 third-down conversion attempts. The Giants only had one sack and one pass defense. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was never hit except for the one sack. The team also did not force a turnover.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Friday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) WR Makai Polk and CB Zyon Gilbert from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were WR Makai Polk, OG Jack Anderson, OG Wyatt Davis, DL Henry Mondeaux, ILB Micah McFadden, CB Rodarius Williams, and CB Zyon Gilbert.

CB Cor’Dale Flott suffered a hamstring injury and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Players will be available in an open locker-room setting on Sunday. General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday.

Jan 192023
 
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (January 15, 2023)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 19, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle), OLB Azeez Ojulari (quad), ILB/S Landon Collins (ankle), CB Fabian Moreau (hip), and S Julian Love (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis on Thursday. Ojulari is officially questionable for Saturday’s playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The other four players are expected to play.

CB Adoree’ Jackson (back) and S Jason Pinnock (abdomen) fully practiced. Both are expected to play against the Eagles.

MIKE KAFKA AND DON MARTINDALE WILL INTERVIEW ON SUNDAY…
New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka will be interviewed by the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers for their respective head-coaching vacancies on Sunday. Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale will also be interviewed by the Colts for the same position on Sunday.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Friday as the team travels to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Saturday night.

Jan 172023
 
Isaiah Hodgins, New York Giants (January 15, 2023)

Isaiah Hodgins – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 17, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The Giants conducted a walk-through practice on Tuesday. The following injury report is a projection provided by the team:

WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle), OLB Azeez Ojulari (quad), ILB/S Landon Collins (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (back), CB Fabian Moreau (hip), and S Julian Love (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

S Jason Pinnock (abdomen) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:45-2:30PM). The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Jan 162023
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (January 15, 2023)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

COLTS INTERESTED IN MIKE KAFKA AND DON MARTINDALE…
Media sources are reporting that the Indianapolis Colts interested in interviewing New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka and Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale for the team’s head-coaching vacancy. As reported earlier, the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans are also both interested in Kafka.

Head Coach Brian Daboll said on Monday that Kafka would not be participating in any interviews this week before the playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

GIANTS-EAGLES PLAYOFF DATE AND TIME SET…
The New York Giants will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night, starting at 8:15 PM this weekend. The game will be nationally-televised on FOX.

JANUARY 16, 2023 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss the state of his team heading into Saturday’s playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles (VIDEO):

Q: I once heard Kobe Bryant say in an interview that it doesn’t guarantee victory, but preparation is what gives you the confidence to get the job done. And it struck me yesterday because I thought you guys played with confidence throughout the game, beginning to end. If they smacked you, you smacked right back – especially when (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) came on the field early on, like the first possession. You were already down 7-0. You could tell it was, ‘Let’s go.’ Did you feel that – in their minds, their preparation is what got them there?

A: Yeah, and I think that’s what you have to lean on in these types of games is your preparation, your practice and then ultimately going out there and executing it in a competitive situation, in a high-stakes game. And those guys kept a level head. They were composed. I thought they were prepared, and ultimately, they were the ones that went out there and executed throughout the game to give ourselves a chance to win both offensively, defensively and in the kicking game.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the job your assistant coaches have done with guys that have come in after training camp, mid-year, just getting them up to speed? What is the process that they’ve been doing to get these guys up to speed to where they’ve been able to contribute?

A: They’ve spent a lot of time. Any time we bring a new player in, that position coach spends a lot of time with that player to get them up to speed as quickly as we can. You give credit to the players because they’re the ones that have to come in and learn it, spend extra time at night. But I’m very thankful for the guys that I get to work with, all the assistants from the offensive assistants, defensive assistants, all the way up to the coordinators. It’s a really good group, and they help me do my job. They’re great teammates. I’m very thankful for everybody on our staff.

Q: There are people that are saying that right now the team is playing its best ball. I’m sure you’ll probably disagree with that, but do you know what the ceiling is for the team at this point? And how close are they to really breaking through that?

A: I’d say we don’t concern ourselves with that. We concern ourselves with our preparation and our process and our practice habits and doing everything we can do as a coaching staff and as players to get ready to play a game. We’re in a short week here. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I understand we just played these guys twice here in the last month. We’ll play them again here coming up. So, there’s familiarity on both sides. But again, there’s always a process that you have to go through. It’ll be one less day to do it. So, a lot of work that needs to be done.

Q: You’ve probably heard the sports cliché that one of the hardest things in sports to do is beat the same team three times; that’s what the Eagles will be trying to do. Have you ever put any stock in that? What kind of impact do the first two games, being especially that they were within the last month, have on this team?

A: None. It’s how we go about our business this week, again how we prepare, how we practice and then ultimately how we play on Sunday – or Saturday in this case. Every game’s a new game. Obviously, you have matchups that you’ve went against here over the last two times you played them. One week really has nothing to do with the next week or one game has nothing to do with the next game other than you take things from it. You learn from it. You try to grow from it. But it’s going to be how we execute on Saturday and how we prepare throughout the week. That’s our process; that’s what it will always be. And that’s what it’ll be this week.

Q: I think, if I’m not mistaken, that both (safety Dane) Belton and (cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott hadn’t played at all on defense until the fourth quarter, and they both made – whether it was Belton with the tackle and I think Flott had a pass breakup – pretty good plays. What does that say about guys and their ability to come in cold like that and make big plays? Because you know the opponent’s going to attack a guy like that off the bat?

A: I think that, again, give the players credit. They’ve played games throughout the season. They’ve gotten better. And whoever we bring to the game has to be ready to go. We have a lot of confidence in all of our guys. Those two guys made really critical plays. I’d say (running back Matt) Breida made a critical play on third-and-1 when four guys sniffed it out. (Wide receiver Kenny) Golladay made a critical play on a block. Everybody’s responsible for our football team when we play on Saturday or Sunday – all of us. Everybody plays a hand in it, whether that’s three plays, whether that’s 60 plays. We’re all accountable to one another to do the best we can.

Q: You played (inside linebacker) Jarrad Davis over (inside linebacker) Micah (McFadden), who had played a lot during the season. I’m just curious, what went into that decision? And how did you feel Jarrad performed?

A: I think he did good. He’s played well the last couple weeks. And we thought that was the best thing for our team for this game. He’s picked up our stuff, and we’ll see how it goes this week.

Q: With (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka, I know he’s able to start doing interviews tomorrow. I think another request just came in. How are you guys going to handle that this week? Have you talked about what his plan will be?

A: Yeah, we have. I’m not going to dive too deep into it. He’s not going to do anything. Everything’s focused on Philadelphia, so this is going to be a normal week for him, for our offense. I know where his focus is. So, there won’t be any interviews leading up to this game.

Q: How different do you think your team is from the one that Philadelphia faced the first time?

A: I’d say you try to evolve after every game. I think we’ve gotten a little bit better each week, so what’s going to matter is how we play on Saturday.

Q: Specifically, though, your defense. Obviously, you’re gaining half your secondary back. (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) came back, and (safety) Xavier (McKinney) didn’t play in that first game. How much more does that allow you to do when those two are in the game?

A: I think with whoever we have in there, we do as much as we can do. And I think all of our players understand our system and how we want to approach things. We’re week-to-week. So, whether it was J-Pin (safety Jason Pinnock) or Belton or T-Jeff (safety Tony Jefferson) – whoever it may be – everybody knows what to do. It’s always good to have starters back that have missed some time. It’s good to have those two guys back.

Q: Anything on Pinnock or (outside linebacker Azeez) Ojulari? Are either of those long term where you can basically rule them out and the season’s in jeopardy? Or anything like that?

A: Nope. We’ll go day to day with all those guys.

Q: Anyone else? I see you looking at a list there.

A: How do you know what I’m looking at?

Q: I’m assuming.

A: (Laughs) No, we’re in good shape after a tough game. I think nothing out of the ordinary.

Q: In your time here, just this year, how much have you learned about the amount of animosity that exists in this rivalry between the Giants and the Eagles?

A: It’s a division game, so I think every division game is important. We had, obviously, 0-2 against them this year. So, we’ve got to do a good job this week of getting ready to play the best team in the league, the best team in the NFC.

Q: What is the fiercest rivalry or rivalry game that you’ve ever been a part of? What does it add to the actual game experience or the competition of it?

A: Anytime you play a division game, it’s a pretty good rivalry. Obviously, this is a pretty big one here being so close to one another. They have a tremendous fan base, a tremendous team, and it will certainly be a big challenge for us.

Q: What’s the fiercest rivalry you’ve ever been a part of?

A: I don’t know. I’ve been a part of a lot of them. Whatever division you’re in, I would say that those teams that you’re playing are huge rivalry games. Obviously, this division is an unbelievable division with a lot of history and certainly huge competition between these teams. College, too. I’ve been in college where there’s some pretty big rivalries, but this one is near the top here.

Q: You’ve done this all season, so I assume the short week is a short week, and that’s it?

A: That’s it.

Q: When you looked at how Adoree’ played, did you see what you wanted to see? How much was he a part of the fact that (Vikings wide receiver Justin) Jefferson had 40 yards after the opening series?

A: It was good to have him back. He played a good game. Again, when you’re playing an opponent and a player of his caliber, it takes everybody: pass rush, coverage. But it was definitely good to have him out there.

Q: Have you tried to walk on water or multiply loaves and fish today?

A: Have I?

Q: Yes.

A: I would sink like a son of a bitch. (Laughs)

Q: One of the biggest challenges, I think, of the Eagles is their pass rush – 70.0 sacks, I think, they’ve got this season. Knowing that, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about how you feel (tackle) Andrew Thomas has played this season, and what it does for your game planning knowing you have a left tackle who is playing at what, I assume you’ll agree, is a pretty high level right now?

A: He’s obviously been one of our best players. Smart, tough, dependable. Very good leader for us, and he’s had a lot of tough matchups. Again, the team we’re about to play with all their sacks, their production, and the players the players they have up front, it’s a challenge. It was a challenge the first time we played them, it was a challenge the second time we played them, and that’s certainly something we’re going to have to do a good job with.

Q: I don’t think you’ve used the behind the back handoff from Daniel (Jones) this season before. Is that something that’s fun? It’s obviously something that’s used to get a result there. Is that like the evolution of the offense and Daniel that you can do stuff like that?

A: I just thought it’s something that we had run in the past. I ran it when I was at Miami, Cleveland, Buffalo against Denver where we scored and it got called back on a holding penalty. Just gave it a different look. I thought it was something that we could use and maybe steal a few yards, possibly more than that. So, that’s all we try to do each week is try to put plays in that we think are going to be effective for us.

Q: You have to trust the quarterback obviously, and that’s a ball-handling thing. It’s not the riskiest thing, but he’s got to fake it this way. A behind the back pass in basketball, you get put on the bench sometimes when you make that, right?

A: I mean it’s something that we’ve practiced and again Daniel’s a pretty good athlete. (He) has a pretty good feel for a lot of different things in terms of ball handling, so it’s something that we put in (that) we thought would give us a chance. Didn’t gain a whole bunch from it, but those are things that each week you try to look at and see if you can steal something – whether that’s on third down, backed up, wherever it may be. That’s why we put it in.

Q: You’ve got a folder full of them waiting to pounce at the right time?

A: Well, I think there’s a lot of conversations each week. (Offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) comes from a place where they did that a bunch at Kansas City and then all the other assistants have certain things. But it’s got to be the right play. And you have to put it in for a reason, and obviously that reason is you think it’s going to work.

Q: Obviously, you were the underdog heading into Minnesota. And now, this run is starting to draw some comparisons with the 2007 run, which for a lack of better words, was a little bit of an improbable one. Has anyone said that to you? Have you gleaned anything from that? If not, how do you guys embrace the underdog role? Because now you’ll be the underdog, seen as the underdog, in both of these matchups.

A: I think we just focus on what we can control, having our good week. That’s what we need to do. We’re process oriented. That’s really what we focus on. In terms of what happened 16 years ago, no.

Q: What about that kind of identity, playing with a chip on your shoulder? What would you say your team’s identity is?

A: We try to be smart, tough and dependable and focus on the things we can control. Come in with a positive attitude, and try to be as resilient as we can. We know we’re going to go through some times, whether that’s during the season, during a game. It’s not always going to be perfect. We’re at where we’re at. Philadelphia’s earned that right to a have a bye and be the number one seed. We’ll just do everything we can to be ready to go on Saturday.

NOTES…
The Giants’ post-season record improved to 25-25, including 21-12 in the Super Bowl era. They are 9-15 on the road, including 8-8 in the Super Bowl era.

The Giants improved to 7-5 in wild card games, including 4-3 on the road.

The Giants are 3-1 in the postseason vs. Minnesota, including 2-1 in wild card games. The previous three games were played in Giants Stadium.

The Giants totaled 431 offense yards, the fourth-highest post-season total in Giants history. They gained 518 yards vs. the Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship Game, 446 at San Francisco on January 5, 2003, and 442 vs. Atlanta on January 8, 2012, in their most recent home playoff game.

Quarterback Daniel Jones broke an 88-year-old record for the most rushing yards by a Giants quarterback in a playoff game. Ed Danowski set the previous record of 59 yards in the NFL Championship Game victory against the Chicago Bears on December 9, 1934.

Running back Saquon Barkley is the first Giants back with two rushing touchdowns in a post-season game since Rodney Hampton scored twice on January 9, 1994 – also against Minnesota. Barkley’s 28-yard score is the Giants’ longest post-season touchdown run since Hampton’s 51-yarder in that game 29 years ago.

Brian Daboll is the first Giants coach to win his post-season debut since Dan Reeves in 1993. The other Giants coaches to win their first playoff games are Jim Lee Howell in 1956, Ray Perkins in 1981, and Bill Parcells in 1984.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Tuesday afternoon (12:45-1:45PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Jan 152023
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (January 15, 2023)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 31 – MINNESOTA VIKINGS 24…
The New York Giants upset the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in a Wild Card playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday. The playoff win was the team’s first since the 2011 season. The Giants will play the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia next Saturday in the divisional round.

In terms of overall team stats, the Giants out-gained the Vikings in first downs (28 to 21), total net yards (431 to 332), net yards rushing (142 to 61), net yards passing (289 to 271), and time of possession (33:36 to 26:24). The Giants were 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) on 3rd-down conversion attempts and 2-of-2 on 4th-down conversion attempts. Neither team turned the ball over.

The Vikings received the football to start the game and easily drove 70 yards in 12 plays, gaining seven first downs, to take an early 7-0 lead. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was 7-of-7 on the drive and finished up the possession with a 1-yard quarterback sneak for the score. Minnesota’s next two possessions resulted in only one first down and two punts.

Not counting their last possession where they started at their own 10-yard line with 45 seconds left, the Giants only had three offensive drives in the first half. Those three possessions resulted in 17 points:

  1. Five plays, 75 yards, touchdown. After a holding penalty pushed put the Giants in a 1st-and-20 situation to start the drive, quarterback Daniel Jones completed two passes and ran the ball twice for a total of 57 yards. Then running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 28-yard touchdown run around left end.
  2. Four plays, 81 yards, touchdown. Jones completed a 47-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton. After a 4-yard pass to tight end Lawrence Cager and a 16-yard run by Barkley, Jones threw a 14-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins.
  3. Twenty plays, 85 yards, field goal. Starting at their own 9-yard line, this marathon drive took almost 11 minutes off of the clock. However, a 4-yard touchdown run by Jones was erased due to an illegal shift penalty. New York settled for a 25-yard field goal by kicker Graham Gano.

Despite this offensive success, the Vikings managed to keep the game close with their last possession of the first half by easily driving 75 yards in eight plays to cut the score to 17-14 on Cousin’ 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver K.J. Osborn with 45 seconds left on the clock.

At the break, the Giants led 17-14.

New York’s offensive momentum continued at the start of the 3rd quarter. It took the Giants just six plays to travel 75 yards. Jones completed two passes to Hodgins for 42 yards, Barkley ran for 24 yards, Slayton picked up three yards on an end around, and then Jones threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Bellinger. The Giants were now up 24-14.

Back came Minnesota, however, as on their first possession of the second half they ran eight plays for 75 yards. Cousins threw a 3-yard touchdown to tight end Irv Smith to cut the score to 24-17.

The Giants were finally forced to punt for the first time on their second possession of the half. Cornerback Nick McCloud did create a fumble on the ensuing punt return, but it was recovered by the Vikings. Minnesota then tied the score with a 12-play, 56-yard drive that included an 18-yard completion on 4th-and-2 from the New York 43-yard line. It appeared that the Vikings converted on 4th-and-1 at the 16-yard line, but a false start wiped out the play and Minnesota settled for a 38-yard field goal with 12:34 left in the game.

With the score tied up at 24-24, the Giants began their game-winning, 12-play, 75-yard drive. Jones only completed half of his passes on this possession, but five of his attempts went for 58 yards. He also picked up a critical two yards on a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 from the Minnesota 7-yard line. Barkley finished this possession off with a tough, 2-yard touchdown run to give New York a 31-24 lead with 7:47 to play.

The Giants’ defense forced a quick three-and-out on the ensuing drive. Up by a touchdown with 6:12 left in the game, the Giants were able to picked up two first downs, including a very risky 4th-and-1 conversion attempt at their own 45-yard line. Jones gained the needed yard on another tough quarterback sneak and Minnesota was forced to use all three of their time outs to stop the clock. The Giants could have ended it early, but on 3rd-and-15, Slayton dropped a pass from Jones that may have picked up the first down. The Giants punted the ball away with just over three minutes to play.

With 2:56 on the clock, Minnesota got the ball back at their own 12-yard line. On 2nd-and-4, defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was flagged with a highly questionable roughing-the-passer penalty. A 13-yard completion then moved the ball to the Minnesota 46-yard line. On 3rd-and-8, cornerback Cor’Dale Flott broke up pass. On 4th-and-8, Cousins’ final pass was completed, but tight end T.J. Hockenson, who killed the Giants for much of the game, was tackled five yards short of the 1st-down marker by safety Xavier McKinney. The Giants then knelt on the ball to seal the win.

Jones finished the game 24-of-35 for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions (114.1 quarterback rating). He also ran  the ball 17 times for 78 yards, including two 4th-and-1 conversions. His leading target was Hodgins, who caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Barkley carried the ball nine times for 53 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the Giants did not sack Cousins, but they officially hit him 11 times. Four of those were by Dexter Lawrence. The Giants were also credited with five tackles for losses, including two by cornerback Darnay Holmes. Vikings’ All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson was held to seven catches for 47 yards.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) RB Jashaun Corbin and WR Kalil Pimpleton from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were RB Jashaun Corbin, WR Kalil Pimpleton, OG Jack Anderson, OG Wyatt Davis, DL Henry Mondeaux, ILB Micah McFadden, and CB Rodarius Williams.

LB Azeez Ojulari (quad contusion) and S Jason Pinnock (abdomen) left the game and did not return. Pinnock was taken to the hospital, but later returned to the locker room and said he was “good.”

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1614805912803328008

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday. The players are off on Monday.

Jan 132023
 
Adoree' Jackson, New York Giants (October 30, 2022)

Adoree’ Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 13, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Marcus Johnson (knee), OC Jon Feliciano (back), RT Evan Neal (ankle), DL Leonard Williams (neck), OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), S Xavier McKinney (fingers), and S Jason Pinnock (shoulder) fully practiced on Friday. All eight players are expected to be available for Sunday’s playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.

“(Neal will) be alright,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. The NFL Network is reporting that Neal suffered the ankle injury in practice on Thursday.

“(Jackson) did good,” said Daboll. “We’ll give him another day out here and hopefully it’s moving in the right direction.”

DEXTER LAWRENCE AND ANDREW THOMAS HONORED…
New York Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and offensive tackle Andrew Thomas have been voted second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available on YouTube:

  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Saturday. The Giants play the Vikings on Sunday in Minnesota.

Jan 112023
 
Mike Kafka, New York Giants (October 7, 2022)

Mike Kafka – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 11, 2023 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
OC Jon Feliciano (back), DL Leonard Williams (neck), OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), and S Jason Pinnock (shoulder) were limited in practice on Wednesday. “Yeah, I think everybody will practice,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “Maybe some will be more limited, but I’m encouraged where everybody’s at.”

S Xavier McKinney (fingers) fully practiced.

PANTHERS AND TEXANS INTERESTED IN MIKE KAFKA…
Media sources are reporting that the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans are interested in interviewing New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka for their head-coaching vacancies. Teams are not allowed to interview Kafka until January 17th.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have re-signed defensive lineman Vernon Butler and signed wide receiver James Washington to the Practice Squad. Butler was cut from the Practice Squad last Friday.

The 26-year old, 5’11”, 216-pound Washington was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After spending four years with the Steelers, Washington signed with the Dallas Cowboys in March 2022, but spent most of this season on Injured Reserve with a broken foot. The Cowboys cut him last Wednesday. Washington has played in 61 regular-season games with 25 starts, catching 114 passes for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns.

To make room for these two players, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contracts of defensive lineman Jack Heflin and signed offensive lineman Solomon Kindley, who was on the Practice Squad, to a Reserve/Future contract, thus removing him from the Practice Squad. The 6’4”, 339-pound Kindley was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins waived him in August 2022 and the Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in October. Kindley has played in 29 regular-season games with 15 starts.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

NOTES…
The Giants are making their 33rd post-season appearance, which ties them with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the third-highest total in NFL history, behind Green Bay and the Dallas Cowboys at 35 apiece.

The Giants are 24-25 all-time in the playoffs. They were 4-13 prior to the 1970 merger and are 20-12 since. In post-season play, the Giants are 12-9 at home, 8-15 on the road and 4-1 in neutral site Super Bowls. Since the merger, they are 8-4 at home, 8-7 as visitors, and 4-1 on neutral fields.

The Giants are 6-5 in Wild Card games (3-2 at home, 3-3 on the road), 5-6 in the divisional round (3-2 at home, 2-4 on the road), and 5-0 in conference championship games (2-0 at home, 3-0 on the road).

The Giants are 2-1 in the postseason vs. Minnesota. All three games were played in Giants Stadium.

Head coach Brian Daboll coached in 30 post-season games as an assistant coach – 24 with New England (nine appearances) and six with Buffalo (three appearances). Those teams were 23-7, including 4-1 in the Wild Card round and 5-0 in Super Bowls.

The Giants have rushed for a touchdown in a franchise-record 15 consecutive games.

Quarterback Daniel Jones led all qualified passers in the league with a 1.1 interception percentage in the regular season (a career-low five interceptions on a career-high 472 attempts).

The Giants’ six interceptions this season tied for the fewest ever by a playoff team, joining the 2004 Rams and 2021 Raiders.

Graham Gano made 29-of-32 field goal attempts (90.6%) and 32-of-34 extra point tries. Two of his missed field goals included a blocked kick vs. Carolina on September 18 and a 58-yarder into the wind on the last play of overtime in the 20-20 tie vs. Washington on December 4. He set a Giants record with eight field goals of 50+ yards, one more than he had in 2021.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:45-2:30PM). The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Jan 082023
 
Davis Webb, New York Giants (January 8, 2023)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 22 – NEW YORK GIANTS 16…
Despite sitting most of their starters, the New York Giants’ second- and third-stringers made a respectable showing against a Philadelphia Eagles team that desperately needed to win in order to secure the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Giants lost 22-16 at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday and finished the regular-season with a 9-7-1 record (1-4-1 in the NFC East). The Giants will face the Minnesota Vikings in the first-round of the playoffs this weekend.

The final team statistics were also closer than one would expect. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (23 to 18), total net yards (342 to 284), net yards rushing (135 to 129), net yards passing (207 to 155), and time of possession (31:26 to 28:34). The Giants won the turnover battle 1-0, but did turn the ball over on downs on a failed fake field goal attempt.

New York’s starting offense was quarterback Davis Webb; running back Matt Breida; tight ends Nick Vannett and Lawrence Cager; wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marcus Johnson; and offensive linemen Evan Neal, Jack Anderson, Nick Gates, Ben Bredeson, and Tyre Phillips.

The starting defense was defensive linemen Justin Ellis and Ryan Anderson; linebackers Oshane Ximines, Tomon Fox, Landon Collins, and Jarrad Davis; cornerbacks Rodarius Williams, Cor’Dale Flott, and Nick McCloud; and safeties Dane Belton and Justin Pinnock.

The Giants also freely substituted throughout the game on both sides of the ball.

The first half of the game was very one-sided, however, as the Eagles gained 187 yards and the Giants were held to just 77 yards of offense. New York’s six first-half possessions resulted in just six first downs, five punts, and a failed fake field-goal attempt. On the other hand, Philadelphia scored on four of their five first-half possessions. The game would have been more out of hand except the Giants’ defense limited the Eagles to three field goals (32, 52, and 39 yards). The Eagles were only 1-of-3 red-zone opportunities for touchdowns.

At the half, the Eagles were up 16-0.

It appeared that Philadelphia was going to put the game away on their first possession of the second half. The Giants attempted an onside kick, but the Eagles recovered it at the New York 48-yard line. Seven plays and 41 yards later, Philadelphia faced 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line. However, quarterback Jalen Hurts’ pass was intercepted by Belton in the end zone.

The Giants gained one first down and punted on the ensuing series. The Eagles extended their lead to 19-0 by gaining 36 yards in seven plays to set up a 54-yard field goal. New York finally responded with their first scoring drive of the game. Webb connected with Cager for 14 yards, Breida ran for 16 yards, and running back Gary Brightwell broke off a 25-yard run. Two plays later, Webb connected with Johnson for 14 yards to the Philadelphia 8-yard line. However, two delay-of-game penalties set the Giants back and they settled for a 24-yard field goal to make the score 19-3 near the end of the 3rd quarter.

After a three-and-out by the Eagles, the Giants made things interesting early in the 4th quarter. A 4th-and-1 pass from Webb to Cager just barely picked up a first down at midfield. Brightwell gained another 17 yards and that was followed up by a 12-yard pass from Webb to Cager. On 1st-and-15, Webb scrambled up the middle for seven yards. Two plays later, he ran up the middle again, running over a tackler near the goal line for a physical 14-yard touchdown. Webb missed Johnson on the 2-point conversion, but the Giant cut the score to 19-9 with just over 10 minutes to play.

Nevertheless, the Eagles followed this up with a 15-play, 71-yard possession. While Philadelphia did not score a touchdown despite reaching the New York 3-yard line, they were able to take 6:43 off of the clock. And the 22-yard field goal extended their lead to 22-9 with just 3:21 left to play.

It took New York just 1:43 and seven plays to score after a 40-yard kickoff return by Brightwell. On the seventh play, Webb threw a pass into the endzone to Golladay, who made a circus catch for a 25-yard score. It was the first touchdown of Golladay’s career as a New York Giant. The extra point cut the score to 22-16.

The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Eagles, who then knelt on the ball to seal the win.

Webb finished the game 23-of-40 for 168 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions. While under pressure quite a bit, he was not sacked. Webb also carried the ball six times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Webb’s leading target was Cager, who caught eight passes for 69 yards. Brightwell led rushers with 60 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, McCloud was credited with 1.5 sacks while linebackers Micah McFadden (1) and Jarrad Davis (0.5) also got into the act. McFadden also had two tackles for losses.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) QB Davis Webb and DT Jack Heflin from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were DL Leonard Williams (neck), OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), RB Saquon Barkley, OT Andrew Thomas, DL Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love.

S Jason Pinnock injured his shoulder in the game. He said he suffered a stinger but expects to be available for the playoff game.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.