BRIAN DABOLL ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll spoke to the media on Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
Daboll has been trying to connect with as many of his players as he can via FaceTime or those who are individually working out or rehabbing from injuries at the team’s facility. However, with the start of the team’s voluntary offseason strength training and conditioning program on Monday, April 4th, Daboll will be presented with his first opportunity to address much of the team in person. The coaches will then also be able to begin to teach the players the new schemes on offense, defense, and special teams.
“I probably haven’t hit everybody, to be honest with you,” said Daboll. “I’ve talked to a few people just to introduce myself. Again, there’s a long time to learn football and things like that and we’ll get to that. Even this first week, one of the things I talked to the coaches about was let’s get to know these players. We haven’t really been around them. Let’s ask them about their families, what they like. It’s important to get to know one another.
“You’re going to be in a competitive situation and you’re going to face a lot of tough times in this league and you can lean on people when you have relationships with them, because you’re building trust because there’s going to be tough times. I’ve said it a million times and I’ve gone through them in my career I’d say quite a bit where I’ve lost or had some really good times. You’re sharing them with the guys that you’re in the building with each day and you’re working hard to achieve a goal and fighting through some things that don’t go your way. I think that’s what brings people closer together.”
Like General Manager Joe Schoen did yesterday, Daboll talked about the misleading media reports that the Giants were actively trying to trade running back Saquon Barkley. Daboll used this as an example of how he tries to communicate with his players.
“When things come out, I try to stay on top of it,” Daboll said. “Look, I have kids that are 22 and 21 years old and I’m sure you all have kids that are whatever ages. They’re people first. You can say whatever you want. You can say, ‘Hey, people are just writing stuff or reporting stuff.’ I think it’s important to show a little empathy, too, to the guys in the situations that they’re in. I know it’s a tough business, but I think it’s a people business, too. I think the more upfront and the more transparent you can be and even when things are being said, which look, at this time of year there’s a million things being said. Some are probably true. Some are probably not true. I understand that. I like being transparent with these guys and letting them know where I stand and if I do hear something that comes across the wave, I’ll say yeah, this isn’t the case or just hang tight. I think showing empathy goes a long way. Probably something 15, 10 years ago I wasn’t good at either.
“I’ve had some good running backs in my career and after 22 years you have some decent ones. Saquon is a lead guy. I’ve watched all his tape all the way back to his rookie year where he had (91) catches. He’s a versatile player. He seems like a good young man. I’m excited to work with him. I think he’s excited to be here. I can’t wait to get to Monday here.”
Daboll on coaching the entire team, not just the offense: “I’ll spend time with the defense. I’ll spend time with the offense, kicking game, special teams guys, evaluating a lot of draft prospects. I’d say the last week has been spent a lot on draft work, because most of the coaches have been out on the road. I’ve learned that when you’re in this position, there are a lot of people that want to come in the room and talk about whatever and that’s really important. But there’s times where I can just hunker down and start watching players, that’s been a valuable week and a half for me just grinding out on college guys.”
Daboll on the new offense and who will be calling the plays: “We’ve been working through just installing our playbook and our plays and I think there’s been a lot of really good opinions. The big thing is the players come back on the 4th, this Monday. We’ve been hiring a staff, evaluating our players, evaluating free agents, evaluating college players. A lot of the coaches have been out on the road with pro days, workouts and that’s really what we’ve done. There’s been some players rehabbing in the building. We’ve spent a lot of time on those things. We’re kind of integrating our offense along with (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka’s) offense that he used in Kansas City and putting things together, but until guys get back and we can actually start doing things, so we’re a little ways from that stuff. When I know (who will call the plays), I’ll let you guys know.”
Daboll on quarterback Daniel Jones, who suffered a season-ending neck injury last year: (He) “should be ready to go” (on Monday)… I think Daniel – I’ve said this before – he’s got good athleticism. He’s made some really good throws. I’m sure there’s plays that he wants back, just like everybody. I think going into it right now with Monday, we’ve kind of got it set the way we want it set. We’re forging ahead and teaching it accordingly and we have confidence in the players that we have.
“I don’t make excuses with everybody, starting with me, and I think you’ve got to really go back and dive into the cause of the turnovers. Some are decision-making turnovers where we can fix or try to fix. Some are receivers fell down, there’s a tipped ball and some are really great plays by the defense. In terms of the interceptions and then in terms of the fumbles of why we’re fumbling and how we’re fumbling it, you do drill work to try to improve that. Again, to me, the most important thing come Monday is a fresh start for everybody.
“I’ve coached a lot of players at a lot of different positions. For a lot of different players that I’ve coached, some can’t play in this league because he’s too inaccurate. Some can’t play because he turns the ball over. I think that the most important thing is put him in your system, coach him, develop a relationship with him, try to get the best out of him. You learn from the past just like we all learn from our past, but you have your focus on the future and what you’re doing that day to improve and that’s all I’m asking those guys to do.
“We’ll see (if we want him to run the ball). He’s athletic. He’s big. He’s strong. I know he’s had some injuries. I think there’s always a balancing act but at the end of the day, you’ve got to try to use your players the best way you can use them to try to win a game. Sometimes it might not start early in the season like that, but as you figure out what you are and what you need to do, you can evolve to that, it’s kind of like Josh (Allen). How many quarterback runs did we really design? Probably more a little bit later in the year when it was crunch time. But again, that’s knowing the player too where the guy wants the ball in his hands in the most critical moments to do that. Again, we’ll find out with Daniel. I think he’s got a really good skillset in that regard. How much of it we’ll do? You never know.”
Daboll on wide receiver Sterling Shepard: “I know Sterling restructured (his contract). The short time that I got to spend with him, he’s just a class act. He’s the longest-tenured Giant, but I think he’s got a good skillset for some of the things that I can envision him doing. He’s in there working in the weight room with the rehab guys. He’s been a really good person and Joe (Schoen) worked out a deal with him to bring him back and restructured his contract and we’re happy to have him.”
Daboll on the Giants’ free agent signings: “Time will tell. The guys that we signed, I like those guys. We were afforded what we were afforded with in terms of the salary cap, but guys like (Jon) Feliciano and (Mark) Glowinski, I think we’ve added some pieces that’ll compete on the offensive line. Obviously, we’ve added a backup quarterback, a couple guys on defense we think will give us some depth. I think the big thing is we’re still about five months out from playing a game. Nobody panics, everybody takes it one day at a time and try to add as many pieces to make this as competitive as you can make it and keep building your team really through the season. Team-building and adding players, there’s still a long way to go on that.”
Daboll on the low expectations for this team: “I think that the biggest thing we all can do, starting with me and trickling down to the rest of the people in the organization – obviously, Joe’s got to focus on the future and we all do, but really focus on the day and try to win each day. Things are always going to be said in our league. It’s the most popular sport. It’s a great fan base with great support. All you guys have your job to do, and I understand that, but what we can do is just to focus on what we have to do to get better each day. I learned a long time ago, when things are going good, try not to listen. When things are going bad, try not to listen. I respect the people that are on the outside that love our game and report on our game and all we can control is what we can do that day and that’s kind of the mentality that I’m going to take with myself, with the staff and with the rest of the players.”
Daboll on quarterback Tyrod Taylor: “I think that’s important. At Buffalo, they did that last year when we acquired Mitch (Trubisky). Again, you try to develop a scheme and a system for your starter, and you hope that the backup quarterback isn’t too far off that in terms of skillset or ability or things like that. We’ve done it before, but I think it’s probably a little bit better if you can mirror it a little bit.”
Daboll on cutting safety Logan Ryan: “There are decisions that are made every offseason that are tough decisions. I’ve known Logan for a little bit of time and at the end of the day we thought it was the right thing for us to do and I wish Logan great success at Tampa. He’s a good player, but I think that there are some tough decisions that are made every year. There are tough decisions that will need to be made next week, a month from now, three months from now. I’ve learned in this league that that happens every year with good players or players that you go into a new system or a new coach, that’s the nature of our business.”
Daboll on wide receiver Kenny Golladay: “He’s a big-bodied guy that makes contested catches, so he’s like all the other guys. I went back and watched the Detroit seasons and he had some good seasons, just like when I went back and watched KT (Kadarius Toney) at Florida. You try to do as much work as you can on these guys before they get there to see what have they been successful at and figure out a way to use them in things they’ve excelled at. You’ve got to see them do the things that you’re going to ask them to do in the offense. There’s plays that we’re going through right now, heck, if those guys want to turn inside on this route, let’s figure it out when they get here and ask them. Stef (Stefon Diggs), we had different routes that I’ve run before and it didn’t quite look like the ones that I ran 15 years ago, but I let him be him and do the things that he can do to be successful and use his talents.”
Daboll on whether it would be difficult to pass over offensive players for defense in the upcoming Draft: “It’s a fair question. I’m trying my best. I’m new to this, right? I’m two months on the job. I certainly don’t have the answers. Again, you’ve said it. I started five years in my career of coaching defensive football. I’ve coached offense but it’s always cool to look at a defensive player and evaluate him as, ‘OK, I’m not really worried about – if we play against this guy that gets drafted, we’re going to go at his ass,’ or ‘this guy is pretty tough, he’s a good player,’ whether he’s setting the edge. That’s been a cool thing. I’ve really enjoyed that. In terms of would I rather draft an offensive guy or a defensive guy, I’d rather draft the best player wherever that fits. We have a lot of needs, so we’re going to pick the best guy we can pick in either of those spots or one of those spots or wherever it works out.”
PATRIOTS SIGN JABRILL PEPPERS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent safety Jabrill Peppers has signed a 1-year contract with the New England Patriots.
The Giants placed Jabrill Peppers on Injured Reserve in late October 2021 after he suffered a ruptured ACL and high ankle sprain on his right leg in Week 7. In 2021, Peppers played in six games with five starts (58 percent of all defensive snaps in those games), missing another game with a hamstring injury. He finished with 30 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. Overall, Peppers’ play declined in 2021 and he saw his playing time decrease as a result.
In 2020, Peppers played in 15 games with 14 starts (88 percent of all defensive snaps), missing one game with an ankle injury. He finished the season with 91 tackles, 19 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, 11 pass defenses, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Peppers was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He was traded to the Giants as part of the Odell Beckham deal in March 2019. He started 11 games for the Giants in 2019 before being placed on Injured Reserve with a transverse process fracture in his back.