Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports
BRIAN DABOLL INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Brian Daboll was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at a press conference on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Opening Remarks by General Manager Joe Schoen (Video)
Good morning. First off, I would like to thank everybody for coming out this morning. I also, just being kind of my first weekend here, I’d like to start off by thanking all the service workers, the first responders, emergency workers from this weekend. This was my first Nor’easter I’ve been a part of. Obviously, Dabes (Brian Daboll) and I brought the Buffalo weather over here, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank all those who helped keep our community safe over the weekend and cleared the roads for us.
The head coaching search began January 21st shortly after I was hired. (President and Chief Executive Officer) John Mara, (Chairman and Executive Vice President) Steve Tisch, (Senior Vice President of Player Personnel) Chris Mara and myself put together an extensive list of coaches that we would want to speak with. We conducted Zoom interviews, several in-person interviews and we cast a wide net when we did this. After a lot of research on the various candidates, we came to the conclusion that Brian Daboll would be the best coaching candidate to lead the New York Giants in the 2022 season and beyond. Brian has an impressive coaching résumé that includes five Super Bowls and a national championship as a play caller. He’s worked under several well-respected leaders: (Patriots Head Coach) Bill Belichick, (Alabama Head Coach) Nick Saban, (Bills Head Coach) Sean McDermott and several others. Brian’s ability to develop young players, his leadership qualities, his football acumen, his communication skills and his ability to bring an organization together were all traits that really stood out. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you the 20th head football coach of the New York Giants, Brian Daboll.
Remarks by Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)
How’s everybody doing? First, a few things here. Thank you to John and Steve, I appreciate you giving me this opportunity, Chris, who was involved in the interviews, Joe and the support staff. I had a great visit here a week or 10 days ago and just very thankful and honored to be standing up here in this position. I thank the organizations that I’ve been a part of, from ownership to management to coaches to support staff to players. I wouldn’t be here without them. And then to my family, my wife Beth and my six kids and the whole crew right there, I love you guys. I look forward to this next journey.
Got a lot of work to do, that’s for sure, but I think that this is a very enticing job to be able to work with Joe and try to create and build something that’s very special and long-lasting. I’m not going to make any promises or predictions, but, again, just very grateful and look forward to working.
I came up here up on Saturday after I was offered the job. I drove through the snowstorm. There weren’t many people in the building, but one of them was (Quarterback) Daniel Jones. That’s a good thing for a young player. I know he’s excited. We’ve had some coaches in, did a lot of interviews so far. I’m not going to get into who it is, but I’m done with Zoom. It’s been about 40 hours on Zoom the last two days, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. I look forward to it. I look forward to working with you guys (media) and trying to build something special here. Again, just grateful and humbled for this opportunity. So, if you guys have any questions, you get one each (laughs).
Q: Are you planning to call plays? Then also, can you just describe what your offensive philosophy will be?
A: It’s going to be dependent on the players, that’s first and foremost. I don’t think you can – look, each place I’ve been, and particularly I’d say these last four years with (Bills Quarterback) Josh (Allen), we tried to develop a system that was conducive to his skillset along with the other pieces that we added. That’ll be a work in progress. In terms of the play calling, I think that’s a work in progress, too. We’ll see who the offensive coordinator is, who the rest of the staff is and then we’ll talk about that as we get going through OTAs and minicamps, but it’ll be important. That position, that offensive coordinator position will be an important position for us.
Q: There was a report out there a few minutes ago that you’re going to be keeping (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Patrick Graham unless he gets a head coaching job. First of all, is that accurate and then what are your impressions of Pat from afar and also from having worked with him in New England?
A: Yeah, that’s accurate. I’ve had a good relationship with Pat for some time in this league. He’s very diligent. He’s smart. I think the players respect him. He understands different defenses and I have a good working relationship with him. I did when I was back at New England. Certainly, we hope that he has an opportunity to become a head coach. I think that’s everybody’s dream, but selfishly, I would love him to be here. He offers a lot to our program. I think he’d be a great support system for me and I’m hoping that that works out.
Q: One of the first things you mentioned is how Daniel Jones was in the building, just like Joe Schoen did the other day, so there’s a lot of excitement with your hire from fans because of what you did do with Josh Allen. How do we kind of temper those expectations? What should we expect about your impact on this Giants offense and what you can do with Daniel?
A: We’re going to take it day by day. Look, we’re not going to make any predictions and I wouldn’t do that to Daniel or really any player. I don’t think that’s fair to compare him to another guy that I was working with. He’s himself. We’re going to find out what he does well. We’re going to try to implement a system that suits him and then it’s our job to bring pieces in that help him to be the best version of himself and the best quarterback for us. He’s got the right mindset. He’s got good size. There’s a lot of things to like about Daniel and we’ll just take it one day at a time. We’ll work with him. We’ll help him get better. We’ll help him be a better leader. We’ll help him be everything. That’s our job as a coaching staff and as an organization. It takes everybody. It’s not just me. It’s the rest of the coaches on our staff. It’s the scouts. It’s the support staff. It’s the ownership group. It takes a lot to raise a quarterback if you will and he’s been around the block here these last three years with some different pieces. We’re going to try to give him some stability and just take it from there.
Q: Why are you ready for this now? There’s been a trend of – the two Super Bowl coaches are both young guys, younger. You’re an older guy –
A: What am I? Am I young or old (laughs)?
Q: To me, you’re young.
A: I’ve been doing this for 21 years in the National Football League – did I interrupt you?
Q: Do you think this is right in your wheelhouse of the perfect time for you to get a head coaching job?
A: I don’t know if there’s ever a perfect time. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, 21 years in the National Football League. I’ve been around the block. I’ve experienced a lot of different things. I’ve witnessed different head coaches and how they do things. To sit up here and say that we’re going to do this or we’re going to do that, like look, all I know how to do is work, work with people, try to build a culture, unite a building, inspire players, coaches, support staff, listen, learn and then ultimately develop the people in our building. That’s not just the players. That’s the QCs, that’s the people underneath the head trainer. That’s what we’re going to try to do. Do I feel prepared? Yes. Do I know there will be some obstacles and challenges? Of course. That’s this league. You’ve got to be resilient in this league and certainly here you’ve got to be resilient, right?
Q: Obviously, you interviewed for a bunch of jobs. We know that Miami was interested in you. I’m curious, was this always the top of your list, this job? Or was it like, ‘there’s only 32 of them, I’ve got to take whichever one gets offered to me’?
A: I interviewed here twice, once over Zoom and once in person. I have a ton of amount of respect for John and Steve and Joe and Chris and really the support staff here. Look, this was a dream come true. You’re talking about the New York Giants. I understand the challenges with that. It’s just a great opportunity that was afforded to me and my family and we look forward to it. We’ve been working here for two days. We’ve got a long way to go here. Just a historic franchise and I look forward to being a part of it.
Q: You’ve worked in a lot of places. Joe was talking a lot about being in lockstep and sharing a philosophy with the head coach and GM. What are the benefits of that and did that make this more of an enticing job for you than maybe going into another situation with a GM that you may not have had a relationship with?
A: Look, I think there’s some foundational pillars that help an organization. That’s not necessarily going to make you win. It’s hard to win in this league, as we all know. The leadership group between ownership, management, general manager, head coach, I think, is a really important piece. Those guys have to be aligned. When you’re not aligned, that’s when things start going astray. Again, I’m not guaranteeing that we’re going to do anything. I just think that alignment is so critical because when you’re aligned, you can communicate well with one another and you can develop a plan, and that plan’s going to be important. We’re starting from scratch and there’s a lot of things that we’ve got to get done and after that plan, now we’re looking to bring in the right kind of people. To answer your question, yes. I think it’s absolutely important that we have shared alignment, shared vision, shared core principles and values of the type of people we want to bring in. Let’s not forget, this is a people business, too. There’s Xs and Os, but this is a people business. It’s about leading, it’s about cultivating and it’s about inspiring. I’m fortunate that I was offered this job.
Q: While you said you’re not making any predictions or promises, you did mention that you do have a good idea how this fan base feels. How much pressure does that put on you and Joe Schoen to get this turned around sooner rather than later?
A: I think we’re just going to try to do things the right way. There’s pressure with every job in this business. Obviously, we’re here in New York. We understand the market, but the pressure is going to be put on ourselves, too. We’re going to do everything we can do to, like I talked about before, build an organization, which we feel is the right way, unite the building, inspire some people, listen, learn and develop. If you’re prepared, the pressure is less. We’re going to do everything we can do to try to put together a good product on and off the field.
Q: Obviously, you’re aware coming in of the instability in this position the last six years or so. In the interview process, did you ask for and/or receive any assurances about patience from ownership?
A: No, no. I had a good conversation with them. I think we got to know one another. The NFL is an unstable world regardless of where you’re at, so your job is to do the best you can do, build relationships and try to build a good program. Again, it’s not about me sitting up here, it’s about us collectively as an organization from top to bottom. We had really good conversations, not just with the ownership, but with all the support staff, with the training room, to the equipment, to the video guys. It takes everybody. Again, there’s no guarantees, but if you have people that are in lockstep that are working together toward a common goal that are unselfish, that are humble, I think that’s the start of something.
Q: The Bengals won two games two years ago, four games last year and now they’re in the Super Bowl, so why not the Giants? And realistically, can you be a contender quickly?
A: Right now, I’m just trying to hire a staff. You’re going to try to get me early on that right now. Look, we’ll cross those bridges when we get to it. Obviously, that’s impressive, those numbers that you gave me, but let’s just start crawling before we walk.
Q: A lot of times the hot head coaching candidates are outstanding coordinators, play callers. You’ve certainly done your fair share of that and been successful the last couple of years. When ownership asked you or when we’re asking you, what makes you ready for the other part of this job? The old proverbial leader of men thing, what have you learned over the years with all the coaches that you’ve worked with in that department?
A: I think four to five things that come across the top of my head right now as you ask that question. One, you have to be authentic. Joe spoke to the mentors that I’ve had, and I have, and I owe those guys a lot. But I’ve learned is you have to be yourself in this business. That’s what I aim to do. I’m a people person. I think I’m a good leader and that’s the first thing, to be authentic. The second thing I think that I’ve learned is you have to be consistent in this position. To get up in front of a room, I know it’s an offense because you guys are all the players out there after a bad game and own it and talk to those guys and give them the things we didn’t do well, the things that I didn’t do well on a consistent basis. I think that helps and not riding the rollercoaster, which probably in my younger days I was a little bit on that coaster. Clearly communicating your expectations and standards goes a long way with these men. Obviously understanding what you’re talking about, knowledge of whether it’s offense, defense, kicking game, whatever that may be. And at the of the end day, relationships. I’m a big relationship guy. I love my players and I want to get to know them off the field. I think that’s where it starts. Those five things, I think, are stuff that I’ve learned along the way, and it’s been quite a long journey, 21 years, it seems like 50 years in normal time. Those are some of the things.
Q: I’m curious, it sounds like Daniel Jones has already made a good first impression with you, but I’m just curious the kinds of challenges for a guy who has had so many coaches and voices in his ear already and I guess I would contrast that to Josh, who was sort of a blank canvas when you got him. So how do you see that with Daniel? Do you have to help him unlearn some things perhaps?
A: I think we just start out by building this relationship and when he’s in the building, we take it slow. One of the things that I asked him to do, and I said you can give it to me at any time. He was one of the players that called me after it was announced amongst some other guys and I said, ‘hey, give me some things that you really liked in your last three years or if you did it at Duke,’ and that’s where it’s going to start is some foundational pieces that he feels comfortable with. I think we’ll add good coaches. We’ll have a good support system, and we’ll try to bring in the best players we can bring in. I think this is going to be a day-to-day process. I’m not going to put any expectations on him. I know he wants to do well. He’s got the right mindset. He’s dedicated. He’s a hard worker and I’m looking forward to working with him. We are looking forward to working with him.
Q: You’ve mentioned 21 years and the evolution of yourself as a coach, I’m curious with the way the game has changed or at least evolved, how has your vision of what an offense looks like or even a defense should look like in today’s NFL? How have you adjusted to that over the course of your journey here?
A: I think there’s a core philosophy that you have to have: fundamentals, the ball, situational football and bringing in the right people. I don’t really think – that stands the test of time. The schemes, those are different. Ten years ago, we wouldn’t be sitting up here talking about Josh Allen and all these runs that we’ve done, the RPO game. I think it evolves just like everything else does, and I think you have to have an open mind. The schemes are going to be what the players are best at. We’ve got a lot of work to do to figure that out and really evaluate the guys that we have, so time will tell. We’ll just figure it out.
Q: Any members of your offensive staff or from the offensive staff here that you intend to keep?
A: We’ll get back to you on that. We’re in the process of going through some things here. In terms of the staff, I appreciate the question, there’s still guys on the staff that I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to, so once we get that all ironed out, we’ll get it to you guys as soon as we can.
Q: Do you think the success or failure of your tenure here will be tied to the success or failure of Daniel and the current quarterback or do you think you were hired to build a program and that whether or not that works, you’ll have a chance to build here past that?
A: With all due respect, I’m not thinking two or three years down the line. We’re just going to try to do the best we can, put the guys in good position, establish a culture. But again, I had great conversations with these men that are sitting in the front of the room. I have a lot of confidence in the conversations that we had. Where we are, what happens, I’m just trying to get back to my office as quick as I can here to get going and start hiring people.
Q: Which coaches that you’ve coached under have influenced you and shaped your coaching philosophy?
A: All of them. I think even to this day after doing it for 21 years. Obviously, I was hired by Bill (Belichick) in 2000. He gave me 15 grand to work however many hours there is in a week, that was pretty much all of them, but an invaluable experience. I did that for six or seven years, moved on, worked under guys like (Former NFL Head Coach) Tony Sparano – God rest his soul – (Former NFL Head Coach) Romeo (Crennel), (Former NFL Head Coach) Eric (Mangini), all these guys and then here the last four years with Sean. You take a lot of stuff, right? You would be unwise if you didn’t do that. You sit there and you watch, you learn, you ask questions, not just on scheme but how they’re doing with problem players, what are issues in the building, all these different things. I think the older you get, the wider scope you have. When you’re younger, you’re just trying to survive a little bit. Again, all those guys – Nick at Alabama, two years at Michigan State, but the thing that I’ve learned in my 21 years, and I’d say more these past four or five years is just be true to yourself and be true to the players and the people that you work with because they’ll see right through you if you’re not. I think that’s critical, is to be yourself. I can go on and on about the coaches that I’ve learned from and I’m obviously grateful and humble that I had an opportunity to work for them, but I’m going to be me and take bits and pieces, but what you see is what you get.
Q: Most of the talk has centered around Daniel Jones. What about the rest of the roster? For one reason or the other, some of it being injuries, a lot of guys have been unable to live up to expectations. Can you elevate some of these guys that are currently on the roster now?
A: Yeah, well that’s our job. We’re going to do the very best we can do to allow them to be the best versions of themselves. Not just on the field with scheme and things like that, how we teach, what we do in the training room, the video guys helping out, the support staff, the extra players we’re going to bring in for competition. That’s our job. Our job is to allow these guys to try to be the best versions of themselves and make it highly competitive. They’ll end up deciding whether or not they’re going to help us or not based on their performance, how they act on the field, off the field, the things that we’re going to ask them to do.
This is going great, my four-year-old fell asleep, he did not listen to one word I said (laughs).
Q: You said a few times that being yourself is a formula that works, but as a first-time head coach, when you’ve worked for two of the greatest coaches of all time, is that easier said than done not trying to be like Bill or like Nick Saban in your first job?
A: Well, I’m comfortable in my own skin. Look, I don’t have all the answers. There’s going to be some things that come up that I’m going to have to lean on a lot of people – Joe, the support staff, the coaches. But my personality and how I treat people and my expectations and values, I hold those true to my heart. I was raised by two grandparents, old school, I lost both of them this year. That’s who I lean on. My formative years, 20 something years of – look my grandmother is harder than Bill or Nick could ever be. So, you talk about you lose a game and you want to hear all the people talking, she got me ready for this the best I can.
Q: Your predecessor talked a lot about building a winning culture and there are players in this building who have only had the past two coaching staffs. They haven’t done a lot of winning. What’s the biggest challenge for you to get these guys to buy in and teach them how to win again?
A: I just think build relationships, work together. Again, the type of people we’re going to bring in, coaching staff, support staff, Joe, it’s a collaborative effort. You have to have honest conversations, truthful conversations, and you’re not going to gain trust from a player, I’m not going to sit there and gain any trust from those guys back there by saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got to trust me.’ I think if you have good integrity, if you have good loyalty, I think that leads to trust, which is a foundational pillar for any successful organization, regardless if it’s football or anywhere else. Trust leads to respect and then respect leads to accountability, which is what we all want to be to one another when you’re working for a common goal.
Q: I’m going to go back to the Josh and Daniel Jones thing. I’m curious when you look at that from afar, how similar or different do you see the challenge of getting Daniel right and moving that forward compared to what you dealt with when you came in and you had Josh?
A: I don’t know that answer. Four years ago with Josh, we started together, we had consistency, we had consistency in scheme, we had consistency with the coaches, and it took time to build. It didn’t happen overnight. I wouldn’t do that to Daniel or really any other player, I think that’s unfair. I want to get to really know Daniel first and see what makes him tick and then we’ll take it one day at a time. I know he’s really willing, but to compare where Josh is or Daniel, I don’t think that’s fair to do to either one of those guys.
Q: You talk about trust a lot and a lot of your former players came out and said how much they trust you, forget about as a coach, but as a man. How important is that for you and how did you establish that with your players?
A: Well, I just try to be me. That’s all I try to do. Again, I care about my guys. A coach a while back told me players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I care about them. I care about their families. I want to see them do well. I want to see them earn new contracts and make money. I genuinely care about those guys. You’re in this building with the support staff and your coaches more than you are with your family and then the players throughout those six months. There’s got to be a mutual respect and I think if they know you care about them, genuinely care about them, not what you can do for me, and I know this is a results business, I got it. But to me, it’s a relationship business and it’s important that not just the players, but everyone else in the building can work together in a trusting manner. I think I just care about them. I think they feel that. I do a lot of FaceTiming with those guys. We have them over for dinner, my family, my wife. They knew I’d do anything for those guys. At the end of the day, we know we’re in a results business, so that’s what it’s going to come down to.
Q: We talked about Daniel (Jones), there’s another pretty big superstar here on offense, (Running Back) Saquon Barkley. Curious what your thoughts are on him from afar? You were probably a part of scouting him for the draft. What have you seen from him as a player and just your overall thought? I know you’ve had rotational backfields, you’ve had bell cows like (Former Running Back) Jamaal Charles. What are your thoughts on the running back position?
A: Well, first of all, I got to meet him, and he was another one of the players that reached out and called. He was with one of my former players the other night, (Bills Wide Receiver) Gabe Davis, and they reached out to me. Look, he’s a talented player that was selected high in the draft. He came out of a good school, Penn State. My son is a coaching assistant at Penn State, so I try to get all the scoop I can on them. Not a bad word about the young man. Obviously talented and we’ll try to use his skill set the best we can.
A one-on-one interview with Daboll by Bob Papa is also available on the Giants’ YouTube channel (video).
JOHN MARA’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of team President/CEO John Mara’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.
JOE SCHOEN’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of General Manager Joe Schoen’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available on the Giants’ YouTube channel.
BRIAN DABOLL’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The video of Head Coach Brian Daboll’s remarks after the press conference is available at Giants.com.
PATRICK GRAHAM AND KEVIN ABRAMS RETURNING…
The Giants said that they would like to retain Patrick Graham as the team’s defensive coordinator. However, Graham has interviewed for the head coaching position with the Minnesota Vikings.
“(Graham is) very well-respected in this building,” said team President/CEO John Mara. “The players have a lot of respect for him, as do I. He’s a terrific defensive coordinator. Look, for his own sake, I hope he gets a head coaching job. As Brian said, selfishly, we’d be very happy if he stayed.”
“If (Graham) doesn’t get the Minnesota job,” said General Manger Joe Schoen. “I think he’s still in the mix. Last I’d heard he’s in the mix for that. I’ll tell you what, I didn’t know Patrick Graham and we interviewed him for this head coaching job, I did my research on him and there’s a lot of positive feedback throughout the league, not only in the building but around the league on Patrick. He had been at Note Dame, he had been at New England, Green Bay, Miami. Just spending three hours with him in an interview setting, he’s passionate, very high football acumen, he got me fired up in the interview. He did a really good job, so if he gets that Minnesota job, that’s great for him. Selfishly, I would love to keep him here because I’m fired up to work with him because I think he’s a good ball coach.”
Schoen says the team will retain the services of Vice President of Football Operations/Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams. It is not clear yet if he will retain those titles. Schoen said Abrams has offered to give up those titles if needed to lure other candidates to the front office.
“Kevin’s been really good,” said Schoen. “I’ve been here for eight, nine days and just going through the process of sending in consents for coaches, notifications, if we’re moving on from people, just getting the feel for the building. He’s been a tremendous resource for me. I will continue to lean on him. Again, he and (Director of Football Operations) Ed Triggs do a really good job in their roles and I look forward to continuing working with both of those guys… Oh, yeah. Yes (I expect him to stay).
“Kevin’s very humble and selfless. If for some reason we decide that we need that Assistant GM title to get somebody up, he’s offered that up. We haven’t crossed that bridge. Again, I’m going to continue to assess everybody in the entire organization before I make any decisions on moving on or changing titles. Kevin’s been an outstanding resource for me thus far. He’s very smart, he knows the league, he knows the rules, he knows the ins and outs. The biggest thing for me is while we’re trying to find assistant coaches or I’m trying to find my scouting staff to know that the operations part is taken care of and I can give Kevin something and he can run with it because he’s done it. He’s got contacts in the league, he’s got agent relationships, so I’ve been very impressed with Kevin thus far.”
REPORT – GIANTS WILL CUT $40 MILLION FROM SALARY CAP…
Peter King of NBC Sports is reporting that General Manager Joe Schoen told him that the New York Giants will have to cut $40 million from their 2022 salary cap. “When we first got to Buffalo, we had $55 million in dead cap money we had to manage,” said Schoen. “We had a plan there, and we’ll have one here. We may have to make some decisions that hurt, but I do not want to kick the can down the road with the cap. I want to get it fixed.”