Daniel Bellinger – © USA TODAY Sports
DECEMBER 5, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 20-20 tie against the Washington Commanders (VIDEO):
Q: Now that things have settled down, what is the math telling you about the tie? And what are the analytics people telling you about what this means going forward? I’m sure they’re probably a little more excited about it than the players and the coaches.
A: I’ve talked to those guys, I would say, Saturday and Friday relative to certain strategies as the season ends. So, that’s when I’ll sit down with those guys. We tied the game. We obviously would like to win the game. But we move on, and we get ready for Philly.
Q: I was just curious on how Leo (defensive lineman Leonard Williams) is doing and if you guys had any other injuries from yesterday.
A: I’d say he’s sore. Leo’s sore; that’s really all I got right now. We’ll see how it goes throughout the week after I meet with (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and the training staff. The rest of the guys made it through pretty clean.
Q: With a night to sleep on it, I know you go back on all your decisions and things like that. At the end of the first half and the end of the overtime, (is there) anything that gave you more clarity? Do you still like what you did then? And (are there) any other things that came up that kind of better to explain it now?
A: I’d say status quo from last night. We certainly talk about everything after a game. We talked about yesterday’s game today, and we talked about the decision making processes, the analytics part of it and a bunch of things. Those are conversations we have each week.
Q: How much did the (wide receiver) Richie James not getting the first down and you wanting the spot really affect what happened next there?
A: I’m not going to get too involved into the particulars. It just played out how it played out.
Q: I’m wondering when you went back and looked, what you saw. What was the difference, offensively, between the first half and the second half. The second half, you really kind of struggled to move the ball consistently – and overtime, I guess.
A: They played and coached better than we did.
Q: That’s all you saw? In what ways?
A: Pretty much in every way.
Q: It sounds like you’re blaming yourself for the loss then.
A: I blame myself for every loss. That’s part of the job.
Q: And with (safety) Xavier McKinney, any expectation for him to return to practice this week?
A: I’d say too early to tell.
Q: So, there’s a possibility at least, it sounds like.
A: I would say too early to tell. That’s the best I got for you.
Q: Are you considering taking over play calling on offense? Not to put words in your mouth, but just given how the offense struggled.
A: No. I have a lot of confidence in (offensive coordinator) Mike Kafka.
Q: A couple of your defensive players appeared to be lobbying for more playing time on social media last night. How do you handle when guys like (linebacker) Tae Crowder and (cornerback) Rodarius Williams kind of go public in that way?
A: Private conversations.
Q: Do you fine guys for that? Or no?
A: I would just say private conversations.
Q: The timeout that you took with 1:23 left there, I’ve been asked by a few a people why you took that timeout because it looked like the clock was stopped when the ball went out of bounds. Can you explain that?
A: The clock was going to run. The ball got knocked out of the ball carrier’s hands, so they would have started winding the clock.
Q: So, you wanted the timeout there?
A: And then they ran it on third down and bled the clock. If they throw it and it’s incomplete, maybe got some more time on the clock.
Q: Since we haven’t hit on the injury front, specifically (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson), do you expect Adoree’ to be back or have a chance to be on the practice field this week?
A: I think he’s getting better. I think it’s too early to tell today, Monday. (He’s) making progress. How much progress? Yet to be determined.
Q: Anything different with (cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) or (wide receiver) Kenny (Golladay) from yesterday? They were the two guys that were kind of surprise inactives. I know you said Darnay was the shoulder. Are either of those guys getting back into the mix this week?
A: Kenny was in today with a mask on; his temperature is down a little bit. But he had a pretty high temperature. Now it’s worked its way down. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go. Darnay, we’ll see how his shoulder is.
Q: I know you don’t like looking at big pictures, but the final five games, you’ve got Philly twice, Washington, Minnesota. You’ve got the two top seeds in the East. Do you approach this any differently because you got to say to the guys, ‘We really have out backs up against the wall,’ or anything?
A: No. I think you just got to get ready to play the next week and the next team. For us, it’s the best team in the NFL right now; one loss. They lost to Washington. They have a star-studded roster. I think (Philadelphia Eagles general manager) Howie (Roseman) has done a great job of putting together a bunch of talent there on that team. (Philadelphia Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) is playing phenomenal. Those receivers are, they’re exceptional (as is the) O-line, defensive line, corners. They’ve got a star-studded cast.
Q: Is clubbing it up (Xavier McKinney’s hand) an option for him?
A: Right now, no, I would say.
Q: Kind of a bigger-picture question: The way you guys have called plays and kind of managed the offense leads to a perception that you don’t fully trust (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) or you don’t fully trust the supporting cast. How do you respond to that? Is there any validity to that?
A: I trust the offense, and I trust the supporting cast.
Q: Why do you manage the game the way you do where it seems like specifically two-minute drills, at the end of halves, it seems like it’s very – you’re not really going for broke a lot of times? It seems like it’s very measured how you approach those.
A: I’d say each week is different, and we manage it the way we think we need to manage that game.
Q: I know you’re focused on Philly, but the schedule you were handed, which you knew about way back when, is kind of weird with Washington coming up so close after just playing them. I’m just wondering if you change or split with how you prepare, knowing that you have Washington so close on the heels of having them last time, if you have to change stuff up a whole lot (and) how you balance that with preparing for Philly.
A: I think this week all our focus is on Philly. And then once we get done with this week, there’s not much change in terms of scheduling or how we go about things. It’s just we play an opponent. For them, it’s back-to-back. And for us, there’s a game in between. We’ll be playing Philly and getting ready for Philly here starting today.
Q: So, you don’t really split up the week and say, ‘We’ve got Washington, and they’ve got the advantage having the off week,’ basically three weeks to prepare for you a second time?
A: No. We did all our work leading up to that game, and now it’s onto this game – playing the best team in the league. That’s where all our focus has to be.
Q: Whereas (outside linebacker Azeez) Ojulari seemed to be on a pitch count, it seemed like (tight end Daniel) Bellinger jumped right back into the full fold. Why was he able to do that, and how did you think it went with his visor, catching the ball, doing all his responsibilities with the new equipment that he had to wear?
A: I think the two injuries were a little different. This was more of a contact to the eye, so we had to let that heal and then put the visor on and make sure he was ready to go. He was conditioning throughout when he could. And he played a lot of snaps yesterday. It was good to have him back. Hopefully, we just keep improving with him. But it definitely was good to have him out there.
Q: What happened with Rodarius Williams – why he went from playing what seemed like pretty well against the Cowboys to no snaps yesterday?
A: Each week, we sit down, we talk – the defensive guys and I, and we figure out who we think we want in there for that particular week. The guys that were in there this week were the guys we wanted in there.
Q: This seems to be like the first real test of adversity for this team, right? Things went pretty well earlier in the year. You won seven of nine, but now you’ve won once in five games. You have players that are unhappy, and saying it publicly, with their playing time. And even some of your decisions were criticized yesterday. How do you handle adversity, and how much do you view this as a critical point for your team and sort of what you’re trying to build here?
A: Well, adversity and criticism come with the territory. I’ve been in, not this seat as a head coach, but a coordinator for a long time, and it’s a popular game followed by a lot of people. And I appreciate the support. You also appreciate the negativity or criticism. If you want to be mentally tough and strong, this is the sport to be in, whether you’re a coach, whether you’re a player. And really, you can’t focus too much on that. You appreciate it. I think we’re all thankful for the support you get, but you just get back to work. There’s adversity after every loss, sometimes there’s adversity after a win. We’ve talked about that since probably April. There’s going to be ups and downs, and to stay mentally strong and focused on the task at hand, that’s not an easy thing to do all the time. But you need to do it. It’s a week-to-week league, so have we got the results we wanted? Absolutely not. Have we prepared, worked and done the right things to give ourselves a chance? We have. We just haven’t finished; we haven’t done enough to win those games. I was proud of the team yesterday for the way they competed, losing two in a row and you’re down 10-0 right away. So, the focus for us will always be on us and improving the things we need to improve from each individual, starting with me, all the way down to the team. That’s, to me, the only way you know how to coach and work in this business.
Q: You monitor snap counts of all these guys obviously. I don’t know when they come to you and say (safety) Julian (Love) might need a break and maybe the headset goes off at some point for you or (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) or (special teams coordinator) Thomas McGaughey. All 85 snaps and like 20 on special teams. When is too much too much?
A: Yeah, he’ll have a vet day on Wednesday.
Q: He’s been told that already?
A: Yeah, and a couple other people.
Q: Who else?
A: (Defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence) is the plan. (Guard Mark) Glowinski, those three right now.
Q: Do you ever think, ‘You know what? We’ve got to back off Julian with some of the special teams stuff because he’s going to play,’ I mean 85 snaps is a lot for anybody.
A: Yeah, you’re always talking about that. We had made a couple of adjustments with some other of the players that were starters. We’ll always talk about doing that, particularly now in December.
Q: Of course, your coordinators don’t want to hear it either when you start taking their players away from them.
A: Yeah, you want your best players on each unit because you never know which play is the most important play.
Q: I know this is more of a looking ahead question and you’re not really in a looking ahead mode, but they just announced that you guys were getting flexed in Washington to Sunday night. You guys, in terms of that kind of opportunity, obviously the guys are going to want to get back to Washington and kind of finish what you didn’t do yesterday. Does the challenge of facing a team as talented as Philly help you keep the focus where you want the focus to be without looking ahead to what’s coming in a week?
A: Again, this is something that we’ve talked about since the day we got here: You focus on the day, and you make the most out of that day. Then you focus on the week, and you make the most out of that week. You don’t get too far ahead of yourself. I’ve said this before: You get humbled real quick in this league, so you don’t get too high when things are going great. You don’t get too low when things aren’t exactly the way you want them; you keep a consistent approach. So, our focus will be on Philadelphia, again against a team that’s pretty much run through everybody. And I think that’s plenty for us to focus on.
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 players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.