MIKE KAFKA TO CALL PLAYS FOR GIANTS…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll revealed on Monday that Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka will be the team’s offensive play-caller. “I have a lot of confidence in Mike,” said Daboll. “We’ll stay with how we did things in the preseason.”
NEW YORK GIANTS CONTINUE TO TWEAK THE ROSTER…
The New York Giants waived RB Sandro Platzgummer on Monday. The team also signed CB Fabian Moreau to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of CB Harrison Hand.
The 6’0”, 198-pound Platzgummer was originally allocated to the Giants in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 and 2021 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit.
The 28-year old, 6’0”, 204-pound Moreau was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with Washington (2017-2020), Atlanta Falcons (2021), and Houston Texans (2022). The Texans released him in August. Moreau has played in 76 regular-season games with 34 starts. In 2021, he started all 16 games for the Falcons and finished the season with 61 tackles, 11 pass defenses, and one fumble recovery.
The Giants claimed Hand off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings in late August 2022. The 5’11’, 197-pound Hand was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Vikings.
The Giants also waived TE Andre Miller off of Injured Reserve with an injury settlement. The Giants placed Miller on Injured Reserve in August 2022 with a broken forearm that he suffered in training camp. The Giants signed Miller as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. Miller was a receiver in college and the Giants converted him to tight end.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss the upcoming game against the Tennessee Titans and the overall state of his team (VIDEO):
Q: A couple things. I was wondering first if you could shed some light since we haven’t talked to you on the decision to let go of (Inside Linebacker) Blake Martinez. Is it that he hasn’t looked the same since injury? It doesn’t look like it was salary related. So, why let go of Blake? Because it seems like obviously his resume would suggest he’s one of your better inside linebackers.
A: I appreciate the question. All I’ll say is every decision that we make regarding releasing a player is always a difficult decision. Just like all our guys, I’d say good luck to Blake and the rest of the guys that we released; and we’re looking forward to getting ready on our preparations for Tennessee.
Q: And then two injury things. How confident are you that (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) will be available to you on Sunday if needed, and where do you stand at left guard?
A: We have a week here to move guys in and out and let those guys compete; and as far as Tyrod, he’s good to go.
Q: (General Manager) Joe Schoen mentioned this the other day about the overemphasis on the first week as far as 0 and 1, you’re the worst team ever; 1 and 0, you’re going to the Super Bowl. As a head coach for the first time, how do you – obviously going in to be 1 and 0, no question about it. All your sights are set on this game. But how do you kind of take an immediate picture ‘We need to win this game’ versus ‘This is not going to define us’?
A: I really go back to how we do things during the week more than the final outcome: our process, our preparation, the guys staying after to throw and to catch, the meetings that the secondary has or the defensive line has to study their opponents. Those are the things that we can control, and going out there each day at practice and trying to execute the plays that we put in and improve them on a day-to-day basis.
Q: Do you find in your history being a coordinator and assistant for all these years that after the first week, you get a sense a team is riding high or riding low depending on that outcome?
A: No. You just try to stay consistent. I remember last year when I was at Buffalo, we had a rough first game. And there are seasons where we won the first game and seasons where we lost the first game. Every game is important. Everybody is excited about opening day. It’s a cool game. There’s a lot of unknowns. And you’re figuring out what your team is. You’re trying to figure out what the team that you’re playing is. Because again, you can do all the offseason studies that you want to until you’re playing in a game and figuring it out on a fly. I think that the most important thing for us.
Q: Two quick ones on Blake Martinez. One, do you think that releasing him makes your team better?
A: Again, I’ll just say the same thing that I said before. I’m not going to get into why release, why we didn’t release, where he’s at. That’s how we’re going to handle our stuff here in terms of our releases. Wish Blake the best and looking forward to moving on to this week.
Q: Just quick follow (up) on him, too, and you might have the same answer. But what changed between Tuesday, cut down day when he stayed on the team, and Thursday when you released him?
A: I’d say the same answer I gave you.
Q: When you talked before about offseason studies and things like that, coaches have injuries all the time. How much does it throw you out of whack when a guy like (Titans Outside Linebacker Harold) Landry in practice blows out his ACL? And I assume you prepared for him all offseason. How much does that change your plan?
A: Well, first of all, my condolences to him. He’s a fantastic player, and you never want to see any player get injured. He brought a lot to their defense and really was a dynamic player. And again, every team has backups. And those backups are fully capable. We respect every player we have to play against. We’ll take a look at the other players that are behind him. And again, we don’t exactly know what’s going to happen – whether (Defensive Lineman Denico Autry) Autry’s going to move over there. Whatever it may be, the first game you have to rely on your rules and the things that you did through training camp. And that’s where our focus will be.
Q: I’ll give a crack to this Blake Martinez question thing. What did you like, and what do you see from the young guys that are still there at that position? And how much did their development and what they gave you this summer – did that weigh into what you did with Blake?
A: Well, I’ll just speak on the guys that are here. I think those guys made strides each and every day. They’ve made plays throughout the preseason, and we have a lot of confidence in those players.
Q: Second question I have is you brought in a couple of guys, veterans, on the practice squad – (Safety) Tony (Jefferson) and (Defensive Back Fabian) Moreau, who have some starting experience, a lot of experience. Tony does, with this defense. How quickly do you expect them to be able to contribute on Sundays and maybe even this coming Sunday?
A: We’ll give them as much as they can handle. I know the coaches will be meeting with those guys extra. And we’ll make decisions with players that are on the practice squad toward the end of the week here. But again, some of them have experience in the system and some haven’t. But they’ve played a lot of football, so we’re excited to have both those guys.
Q: I have two quick ones for you, if I may. Have you decided if (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) is going to be the play caller moving forward, or is that still up for debate?
A: I talked to Mike over the weekend. We were working yesterday; talked to him today. I have a lot of confidence in Mike. We’ll stay with how we did things in the preseason.
Q: And the second question I’m kind of curious about: The schedule this week is a little unusual. Usually, it’s Monday then off Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I’m just wondering what went into the change up for this particular week.
A: I’ve been part of a team that has done it this way the last few years. So, it wasn’t unusual for me. I think today you get a good introduction. You go hard these next couple days. You get time to regroup and reevaluate where you’re at on Thursday and have a normal Friday.
Q: Two things. One, I know we’ll get a better sense when we’re out there tomorrow, but do you have any update on where (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) are? And do you think there’s a chance that they’ll be on the practice field tomorrow?
A: I’ll say they’re day-to-day just like last week. They’re getting better, and we’ll reevaluate it tonight.
Q: And the second one is – you mentioned earlier there are so many unknowns going into Week 1. But at least your opponent is an established opponent, whereas I’m sure they’re going to be digging into a lot of Buffalo (Bills) tape and Kansas City (Chiefs) tape and maybe what (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) did in Baltimore (with the Ravens). How aware are you guys of that fact? Do you try to take advantage a little bit of the unknown, of they don’t know what you’re going to actually look like when you get out there on the field? Can that help in Week 1 for a new staff and a new team?
A: Obviously they’re established. (Titans Head) Coach (Mike Vrabel) Vrabel’s had a winning program since he’s been there – been to the playoffs the last three years, won the AFC last year. Again, every year is such a new year really regardless of a new staff or not a new staff. That’s why your fundamentals and your rules – those have to be, you have to be really good with those things early on in the year, not just Week 1, but Week 2, Week 3. Because each team evolves every year based on their personnel. They have new personal. We have new personnel. So, I’d say it’s a normal get ready for Week 1 even though we’re a new staff. I don’t want to speak on how they’re doing it. They’ve been real successful with how they’ve done things.
Q: With Blake, he was going to be your starting middle linebacker. I’m curious: How big a challenge does that become to have to fill that 10 days before the season and make that change? And who are your options? Like, who do you look at as your top options to sort of fill that void?
A: The guys we have on the roster, we have confidence in. Those spots are interchangeable, the inside linebacker spots. Again, whether it be (Inside Linebacker) Tae (Crowder), (Inside Linebacker Micah) McFadden, (Inside Linebacker Austin) Calitro, we have confidence in the guys that are on our roster.
Q: And I know (a previous question) kind of touched on it there, but are Thibodeaux and/or Azeez out on the field at all? What have they been doing?
A: Yeah, they’re rehabbing. They’re day-to-day, and we’ll just take it that way. We’ll talk to our training staff tonight and see where they’re at for tomorrow.
Q: Do you think they have a shot for Week 1?
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 return to practice on Tuesday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.