Nov 302022
 
Gary Brightwell, New York Giants (November 13, 2022)

Gary Brightwell – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 30, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
RB Gary Brightwell (illness), WR Richie James (knee), OG Josh Ezeudu (neck), OG Shane Lemieux (toe), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), OC Jon Feliciano (neck), DL Leonard Williams (neck), LB Carter Coughlin (thigh), CB Fabian Moreau (oblique), CB Darnay Holmes (shoulder), CB Cor’Dale Flott (concussion), S Dane Belton (clavicle) were limited in practice.

OT Evan Neal (knee) and OT Tyre Phillips (neck) fully practiced.

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…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Thursday and return to practice on Friday (11:45AM-1:00PM).

Nov 292022
 
Matt Breida, New York Giants (November 20, 2022)

Matt Breida – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 29, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
There was no official injury report issued on Tuesday. However, RB Gary Brightwell (illness), OG Josh Ezeudu (neck), OG Shane Lemieux (toe), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee) did not practice. CB Cor’Dale Flott (concussion) remained in the concussion protocol.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have re-signed offensive lineman Devery Hamilton, outside linebacker Quincy Roche, and safety Trenton Thompson to the Practice Squad. The team also terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Robert Foster.

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 (12:45-2:45PM). The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Nov 282022
 
Azeez Ojulari, New York Giants (August 21, 2022)

Azeez Ojulari – © USA TODAY Sports

BEN BREDESON, AZEEZ OJULARI, AND TONY JEFFERSON RETURN TO PRACTICE…
Offensive lineman Ben Bredeson (knee), outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (calf), and safety Tony Jefferson (foot), all of whom are on Injured Reserve, have returned to practice. All three will have up to three weeks to practice with the team without counting against the 53-man roster. Once that timeframe ends, individually they must either be added to the roster or remain on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.

DEVERY HAMILTON AND TRENTON THOMPSON WAIVED…
The Giants waived offensive lineman Devery Hamilton and safety Trenton Thompson from the 53-man roster last Friday. Both had been signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad last Wednesday before the Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys.

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 (12:45-2:45PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Nov 262022
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (November 24, 2022)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

QUICK RECAP

One of the metrics I use in coach evaluation is how well a team plays the second time around. These are almost always divisional foes but when post-season match-ups come into play, I look at them as well. While Brian Daboll was not the Head Coach in BUF, I did take a look at how their team (and offense) fared in their respective repeat matchups year-to-year:

2018 (on a 6-10 team): 1-2 and +13 in points
2019 (on a 10-6 team): 1-2 and +2 in points
2020 (on a 13-3 team): 3-1 and +29 in points
2021 (on a 11-6 team): 4-1 and +8 in points

The Thanksgiving Day match-up in DAL marked the first time in Daboll’s Head Coach tenure they would face off against a repeat opponent. They lost to the Cooper Rush-led Cowboys Week 3 by a score of 23-16. A game where NYG had a lead in the second half, but had it taken out of their grasp because the defense did not step up when they were needed.

The initial NYG drive stalled at midfield before opting to punt on 4th-and-3 from the DAL 48-yard line. The initial DAL drive stalled on their own 40-yard line, but they kept their offense on the field on 4th-and-2. Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed by a group of defenders led by Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys 2016 second rounder who was starting against his former team for the first time. NYG was primed to strike first blood. Daniel Jones hit Isaiah Hodgins for a 24-yard touchdown, but it was called back after right tackle Tyre Phillips was flagged for illegally blocking downfield. Jones then threw two incomplete passes, the second of which was flagged for intentional grounding, pushing NYG way back into deep field goal range. Fortunately, Graham Gano sent the 57-yarder through the uprights to give NYG the initial lead.

Dak Prescott, coming off his best game of the season in Minnesota, gave NYG the ball back with an interception that landed in the hands of Rodarius Williams. The NYG offense responded with a three-and-out as the DAL defensive front, a top-five group league-wide, was easily controlling the point-of-attack. Seven of DAL’s next eleven snaps were running plays and it landed them in the end zone via an Elliott 6-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. NYG then borrowed a page from that book, running the ball on seven-of-nine plays which also ended in a touchdown, this one by Saquon Barkley on a one-yarder. NYG had the lead at 10-7.

After trading three-and-outs, DAL put together a lengthy drive that was heading toward the red zone. Prescott tried to fit one in to CeeDee Lamb but a deflection by Darnay Holmes ended up in Julian Love’s hands for the second interception of the half, matching their 2022 season total coming into this game. A sloppy final two minutes, including two penalties by DAL and one by NYG and an interception that was nullified by one of those DAL penalties eventually led to a 47-yard field goal by Gano to lengthen their lead to 6 as halftime approached.

The DAL offense was a different animal in the second half. They started off with a 14-play drive that consisted of four third-down conversions. One of them was with a lot of help from the refs on a phantom defensive holding called on Holmes. The fourth conversion was a 3rd-and-15 touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Schultz. It put DAL up by one and wiped out over half of the third quarter clock.

The NYG offense stalled near midfield again. This time it was 4th-and-1 from their own 45-yard line. Daboll pushed the urgency, with 4:11 left in the third quarter, and kept the offense on the field. Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka called a great play, giving Jones an open look at Saquon Barkley who was all alone in the flat. A catch would have resulted in a first down and much more. Jones misfired, the ball fell to the ground, and Prescott took over on the NYG side of the field. Six plays later, Prescott connected with Schultz for another touchdown and DAL was up by eight.

Midfield continued to be a black hole for the NYG offense. They just could not get past it. Barkley couldn’t get going, the entire NYG offensive line (including Andrew Thomas) was taking turns getting beat, and the DAL train was heating up. For the third straight drive, DAL put a touchdown on the board, this time via a 2-yard run by tight end Peyton Hendershot. They were up 28-13 with under 9 minutes remaining. NYG down, by two touchdowns plus a two-point conversion, with an offense that had been averaging 18 points per game since their win in Jacksonville October 23rd.

They did end up getting into DAL territory on their next drive. There were two problems, however. They never quite went into hurry-up mode (11 plays netted 38 yards and took off 5:41 of game clock) and the final sequence went 10-yard sack, false start penalty, 16-yard gain, incomplete pass. DAL took the ball back and ran the ball over and over to get NYG to rid themselves of their timeouts. NYG did end up scoring a garbage-time touchdown with just :08 remaining on a pass from Jones to Richie James. At the very least, NYG bettors left the game happy. The onsides kick did not work and NYG dropped their 11th game to the Cowboys in their last 12 attempts.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 21/35 – 228 yards / 1 TD – 0 INT / 88.8 RAT

The mistakes Jones made in this do not show up on the stat sheet. It was a poor start where he held onto the ball on plays where they left specific pass rushers unblocked. The illegal shift + intentional grounding that nearly pushed them out of field goal range were avoidable. The 4th-and-1 miss to Barkley was the turning point of the game. He was fortunate to not have an interception on his stat line at the end of the first half on penalty that had nothing to do with the play. And lastly, I felt he did not tuck and run on two instances where he should have. Both resulted in stops for the DAL defense. This game won’t be put on Jones but there is no denying just a couple of better plays by him would have easily altered the trajectory of the game. And the looks were there, he simply did not come through.

RUNNING BACK

-Saquon Barkley: 11 att – 39 yards / 4 rec – 13 yards

For the second straight week, Barkley was contained, and it was a mix of quality defense and a scaled back version of Barkley. Is he hurt? I don’t know. If I had to money on it, I would say he is not hurt. He was not coming off the field dramatically in pain like we have seen him do in the past. He was not grimacing after hits. Mentally, Barkley looks hesitant. NYG missed out on two likely third-down conversions because of that hesitancy. On an offense like this and considering the player he is, that is a huge deal.

-The best running back play we saw in this game was from Gary Brightwell. He gained 31 yards on 5 carries and added another 18 yards on 2 catches. This was the most we have seen him touch the ball over his two seasons in the league and the results were excellent. He’s earned more touches in this offense that is searching everywhere for production. Matt Breida added 15 yards on 3 touches, 1 catch and 2 carries.

WIDE RECEIVER

-Darius Slayton came up with the offensive play of the day. A game-long 44-yard catch that set NYG up for their first touchdown that put them up early. He was targeted 5 other times, catching 2 of them for 19 yards. Earlier in the game I made a negative note on his ball skills when it came to fighting through contact while maintaining body control down the field. In fairness, his 44-yarder was a big-time play on the ball. It is the up-and-down play by Slayton that causes evaluators to pull their hair out. The good is there, the consistency is not.

-Richie James had 5 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. Almost all of that came in the second half. Isaiah Hodgins caught 3 passes for 31 yards and had a touchdown taken off the board by an offensive line penalty. Kenny Golladay did not get thrown to at all, nor did Marcus Johnson. They saw a combined 26 snaps.

TIGHT END

-A better game from this group as a whole than what they put out there last week. Lawrence Cager, Chris Myarick, and Tanner Hudson all caught one pass each (for 23-20-10 yards respectively). Cager and Myarick were responsible for 2 of the 3 biggest plays in the passing game. Hudson did not see any blocking snaps, but both Cager and Myarick held their own against the physical DAL front.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-On paper, this had the potential to be an ugly game for the Giants offensive line. DAL came into this one leading the NFL in sacks and top-three in every important pass rush metric. NYG was missing their starting right tackle and were on a fourth-string left guard. To make matters worse, left tackle Andrew Thomas was battling illness and appeared to be limping a bit on that bad foot of his. He paid the price against All Pro linebacker Micah Parsons, allowing 2 sacks, 1 pressure, and 0.5 TFL. Jack Anderson, the fourth-stringer noted above, allowed 2 pressures and a sack and was flagged for a false start.

-Center Nick Gates graded out as the top lineman, which isn’t saying much. His hands were heavy and accurate. I don’t see a ton of movement off the line against defensive tackles and he did struggle to get his hips in the hole a few times. I chalk that up to the lower body still working its way back.

-The right side was responsible for four pressures (2 each by Mark Glowinski and Tyre Phillips). Glowinksi also allowed a 0.5 TFL and Phillips was called for a crucial penalty that came from him aimlessly working his way downfield for no reason on a passing play. I liked what I saw out of him as a run blocker though and I wonder if there is any thought on him returning to guard when Neal comes back. Not as a starter, but as an immediate backup if needed.

EDGE

-The top individual pass rush performances of this season previously belonged to Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. Those performances now sit behind rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux’s dominance he put on display in this game. 9 pressures, 1 caused hold, 1 caused TFL. This was the best combination of get off, pad level, and power we have seen out of him. He absolutely abused fellow rookie Tyler Smith on the left side all game and proved to be a menace both the inside as a blitzing linebacker and on the left side the defensive line. He did miss 2 tackles, one of which was a sack, but this is exactly what we want to see from Thibodeaux at this point. The most impressive part of his stat line is the fact he did so on just 26 pass rush snaps. In another year or two, after he continues to figure his craft out at the professional level and improve his power game, a few of those will turn into sacks.

-Jihad Ward finished with 2 pressures and 1 TFL. I like him so much more when he is in the tight spaces. His power game and feel for blockers is top notch.

-Oshane Ximines lost the edge twice on big runs in the first quarter. He also missed a tackle and did not impact the game as a pass rusher.

DEFENSIVE LINE

-Leonard Williams was back to his dominant ways. He had 6 tackles, 3 TFL, and 1 pressure. His closing speed on lateral runs is such an overlooked component to his game. He reaches guys that 95% of the league’s interior linemen cannot. The negative in his game, which has been around for years, showed up a few times in this one. He does not anchor well against runs right at him. He also missed 2 tackles.

-Dexter Lawrence had 5 tackles and a pressure. He seemed to be off his game in this one. Nothing drastic, but I caught him walking gingerly and grimacing a few times throughout and he looked out of gas on a few others. Henry Mondeaux added 3 tackles and a pressure. He offers much more than Justin Ellis, who finished with 1 tackle, when it comes to playing sudden and showing some range once off the initial contact of a blocker.

LINEBACKER

-Jaylon Smith was playing some spirited football in his first start against the team that drafted and signed him to a long-term deal. He led the team with 10 tackles, adding 1 TFL and a big 4th-down stop early in the game. His downhill explosion is still there and even though the lateness + lateral movement issues hurt from time to time, he has been a quality player for this defense.

-Micah McFadden was on the field for a career-high 48 snaps. After a poor game last week against DET, I saw more urgency with his reads, and he finished better. He had 4 tackles and 2 TFL with 1 missed tackle. The movement in coverage looked much better when looking at the All-22. He was rarely targeted, but he did his job when working the intermediate level of the route tree.

CORNERBACK

-We had a little bit of a coming out party for Rodarius Williams. I discussed him a bit after the DET game noting how often he was getting beat in his first action of the season. He responded with 2 pass break-ups and an interception, the first of his career. He did not allow a reception either (although he was flagged for a pass interference). There were quite a few people excited about Williams after the 2021 preseason, remember. Now that he is in the mix, he looks the part.

-Nick McCloud had 8 tackles without any misses. I like him in the middle of the field. He is a physical player and gets the ball carrier down at a near-perfect rate. He allowed a touchdown in coverage. Rookie Cor’Dale Flott allowed 3 completions on all 3 times he was targeted. His lack of power presence is a concern against a receiver with any kind of size. Michael Gallup tossed him around a couple times. His play speed is excellent, though.

-Darnay Holmes was flagged three times, one of which was a poor call. The issue here is Holmes has the reputation of being too grabby in coverage. He built that as a rookie in 2020 and it hasn’t gotten anything but worse. He now has 7 penalties on the year and teams know it. He also allowed 3 catches for 58 yards, being outclassed by Lamb. He did deflect a pass that ended up being an interception.

SAFETY

-Julian Love tied for the team lead with 10 tackles. He added two impact plays as well, a TFL and an interception. This is exactly what this team needs from Love. Be the safety net on the back end who makes tackles in space and create big plays for the defense. He did both.

-Jason Pinnock played every snap. This is valuable experience for him. He had 8 tackles, but he also missed one and allowed a touchdown in coverage. More up-and-down play for him.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Graham Gano: 2/2 (Made 57, 47)
-P Jamie Gillan: 4 Punts / 48.3 avg – 38.3 avg

3 STUDS

-CB Rodarius Williams, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, S Julian Love

3 DUDS

-CB Darnay Holmes, OT Andrew Thomas, RB Saquon Barkley

3 THOUGHTS ON DAL

After the Week 3 loss in September, I asked how far do I see this version of Dallas going? “We have every reason to believe they will contend not only for the division, but for the conference. The defense has the upside of being special and if that offense can elevate their game just one or two levels, they have the “goods.” Here we are at the end of November, and I only feel stronger about that notion. DAL is one of three teams I can see going to the Super Bowl. The difference between this team and the previous few years is the defense. They can be lights out against anyone.

There is a good chance that was Ezekiel Elliott’s final game against NYG in a Cowboys uniform. DAL has made a habit out of restructuring his contract in recent offseasons, pushing money into future years. They did not do so this past offseason. To me, that, and the emergence of Tony Pollard who is simply a better player right now, will pave the way for them cutting him loose in a few months. 12 games, 1108 total yards, 10 TDs vs NYG.

I will be intrigued to see where Tyler Smith, their 2022 first round pick, ends up on the offensive line. He was going to be the left guard until Tyron Smith went down but shifted over and has played at a solid level for most of the year. He’s allowed 4 sacks and is second in the league with 10 penalties. This was a major issue at Tulsa as well. I think Smith’s run blocking is already on the elite level but I don’t see the upside in pass protection. I think he ends up at OG in the future.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

Two losses in five days can sting a bit more and the injuries on both sides of the ball were accelerated by the Thursday game. The positive is now schedule-based. NYG gets 10 days of rest prior to a home match-up against the Commanders, who play Sunday against ATL. With multiple players on the brink of returning (OT Evan Neal, TE Daniel Bellinger, OL Ben Bredeson), the timing of this mini-bye week is crucial. Especially considering WAS will be one of the teams NYG is contending with for a playoff spot.

The Barkley tape is the elephant in the room that everyone can see. He is not running as hard. He is showing hesitancy. And this is an offense that did not have any margin to work with. Barkley is the most important player on this offense and probably the team. If he does not play to his ability (whether it is physical or mental) – the entire scope changes. Look what happened when Brightwell came in and ran hard. I discussed this a few times last year. There was not, and is not, a bigger Barkley guy out there than me. But if the hardness in his game is back and forth, it will make for an easy decision this upcoming offseason.

One of the questions people will ask about Daniel Jones and his future with NYG will revolve around upside. Just how good can he actually be? Best case scenario, what is he? We just watched Dak Prescott throw two interceptions in the first half. He was hit just as much if not more than Jones was throughout the game. Nothing mattered. He comes out in the second half and played some of the best QB I have seen all year from around the league. The numbers did not pop off the page, but it was the complexity of his throws and how precise they were. I do not see that in Jones. Both right now and in the future.

Nov 252022
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 24, 2022)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 25, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Friday to discuss his team’s 28-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys (VIDEO):

Q: Do you think there is a chance that (tight end Daniel) Bellinger, (tackle Evan) Neal and (guard Ben) Bredeson will be back next week, and where do things stand with (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari)?

A: Yeah, I think all those guys are improving. They’ll have three good days of treatment here coming up. We’ll see where we’re at on Monday.

Q: After watching the film, did you think that any of the guys who filled in on Sunday stood out? Did anybody stand out as playing well?

A: I would say all those guys that haven’t been playing a lot that were forced to play competed well, they played hard. There are certainly things we can improve on, but those guys competed hard.

Q: Why was the offense going so deliberately on the fourth-quarter drive after Dallas went up 28-13?

A: I think we were just trying to call plays that gave us the best chance to stay two dimensional and not just make it a pass game there being down 15. We had a set time we wanted to score by. Are there times we could have been a little faster? Sure. I think we wanted to execute and give ourselves a chance to move the ball down and score. We got to the third-and-25, and it put us behind the sticks a little bit.

Q: Do you think you should have mixed up the approach on third downs to less man and blitzing since Dallas was having success?

A: I think (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) and the staff do a good job of talking in between series and calling the things that they think are going to work – not just on third down but on each and every down and try to execute it the best we can.

Q: The first one I wanted to ask about (wide receiver) is Odell Beckham Jr. There was a report out there that he’s visiting you guys before the Cowboys, and their visit is December 5. Is there anything you can tell us about when he’s coming in here and why you guys have taken maybe a little bit more measured approach than some of the other teams that are falling all over themselves trying to recruit him?

A: I keep that in house right now. That’s kind of where we’re at with it.

Q: Would you even confirm that he’s coming in for a visit this week without saying the day, or you can’t do that?

A: I’m going to talk to (general manager) Joe (Schoen) here. Joe is out on the road at some schools. So, Joe and I will reconvene later today.

Q: When you look back at the tape, did you see that fourth-and-1 as a possible touchdown? Not just a first down but a throw that could have been a touchdown?

A: You never know. I never go as far as saying that because obviously you have to execute the entire play, and there’s chase. I thought we had an opportunity to convert it and keep the chains moving.

Q: With your pass rush, you would know this probably better than anyone as a guy with an offensive background. (Outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) had five quarterback hits. (Defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence) recently had a game with five quarterback hits. Leo (defensive lineman Leonard Williams) had a game against Seattle with five quarterback hits. So, guys are hitting the quarterback but not getting sacks. I’m wondering how much of a difference that is, how much you guys need to finish those plays? Obviously, pressure is good, but pressure on second-and-2 leads to third-and-2, not third-and-9 like a sack. How big is finishing these plays? How much do you need to get the quarterback down and not just pressured?

A: I do think we’re doing a good job of getting him off the spot, making him throw it faster than he wants to throw it. But obviously, when you can get the quarterback down, you can move offenses behind the sticks and put them in more passing situations on the next down – that’s always helpful.

Q: You’re 7-4. You got a shot at the playoffs here. At the beginning of the year, that might have surprised a lot of people. Do you look at the big picture and remind guys that they still have a good opportunity in front of them at this point despite the last couple of weeks? Or do you just tunnel in on Washington and focus on that?

A: I mean certainly, the whole season obviously is in front of you right now. We have a long way to go. Obviously, the rest of December here and the early part of January. So, we have to focus on getting ready to play Washington, but you’re sitting at 7-4. You put yourself in a position to play meaningful games in December, which is important. Last year (in Buffalo), I think we were 7-6 after 13 games. Look, anything can happen in this league. I’ve said it before, it’s a humbling league. You can be on the top of the mountain one week and fall off the next week. The biggest thing for us is to remain consistent in the things that we try to do each week to give ourselves the best chance to win. Do they always work? No, but I think a consistent approach is the best approach.

Q: One of those things that hasn’t been working for you guys recently is the run game, at least as it pertains to (running back) Saquon (Barkley). Is there something that you need to do better? Is it just that defenses have really been locking down on him? Or is there something that you guys need to do better to free him up?

A: I think everything. Of course, we can do a lot of things better. Not just in the run game but in the pass game, in the red zone, on third down. That’s not just on the offensive side, that’s on the defensive side, as well. Certainly, they know Saquon is a player that we like to use a lot. But again, yesterday we tried to start off the game by mixing it up and getting ahead of the chains. Usually, we’ve been a pretty run-heavy team other than the Jacksonville game early on. Some of the thought process there was to try to protect against those defensive ends, move Daniel (Jones) a little bit. Yeah, I think we’ll look at that like we do every week, evaluate things we can do better and harp on the execution of it, the fundamentals of it, the schematic stuff on the coaches’ end of it. It’s all encompassing.

Q: I was wondering – I know it’s next man up, but when your line is banged up, how hard is it to get the running game going when you throw new people into the mix?

A: Yeah, these guys have been here for a while. They’ve been practicing. So, we make no excuses about anything like that. We just have to do a better job.

Q: (Wide receiver) Kenny (Golladay) didn’t have a big role yesterday. Was he just not in the game plan that much?

A: No, we mixed him in there. And again, a lot of our passes were roll out, naked type passes with people coming across the formation. That’s a difficult defense to just sit there and drop back. You saw what they did in Minnesota the week before. So, we had a particular way we wanted to play – obviously, didn’t get it done. We’ll get ready to go against Washington.

Q: You said it just a while ago, and quite frankly, you’ve been consistent with saying it all year about ‘We have to stay consistent each and every game, look at what’s in front of us.’ But realistically, with all the injuries, how difficult is it for you and the coaching staff to have these guys be consistent when you’re playing backups – and sometimes they’re backups to backups?

A: Again, I think the thing we do is just control our controllables. The players that we have in our roster, we’re confident in. It’s our job to try to put them in the best positions we can. Certainly, we can do a better job at that. And trust the players that we have. Again, I think a lot of those guys stepped up and made some quality plays for us. So again, we’ve all been in this league a long time. There’s no excuses. Everybody goes through injuries or losses, things like that. You come back; you stay mentally strong. You look at the things you need to fix. You stay consistent with your approach, with improvement in mind. You own what you didn’t do well, and you move on to the next week.

Q: I think it’s safe to say you weren’t too happy with that illegal man downfield negating the (wide receiver Isaiah) Hodgins (touchdown). But after looking at it on film, do you agree with the call?

A: I’m not going to get into whether I agree or not agree. They called it; obviously, the referee saw something to call it. There’s nothing we can do about it. We got to go ahead and get onto the next play. It’s a hard job that those guys have.

Q: Just to piggyback on (a previous question) a little bit, you might be getting back some offensive line personnel against Washington. How much does that allow you to do what you want to do with those jumbo packages, kind of freeing up Daniel (Jones) a little bit more – and obviously if you get (Daniel) Bellinger back?

A: The more guys you can get back, the more things, obviously, personnel-wise you can utilize. So, what we try to do each week is whoever’s up for the game, we try to have packages for however many people are in there that we think will give us an advantage. So, hopefully those guys are trending in the right direction and take these three days to get as healthy as they can go. And we’ll see where they’re at on Monday.

Q: You gave them today off, obviously. The last time you had some elongated time off during the bye week, you had an incident pop up. So, did you send them off today with any kind of ‘be smart, be careful’ message with that in mind?

A: Yeah, yesterday I just said, ‘We got to take a few days. Get your bodies right; get your minds right. Be a pro off the field and come back ready to go on Monday.’

Q: In regard to the offense as a whole, there was a stat out there that the (former wide receiver) Darius Slayton catch was your first offensive play (that was a) throw 40 yards in the air this year. How hard is it to move the ball on offense when you’re missing those explosive pass plays? I know you’ve made a bunch on the ground. But you have the fewest 40-yard pass plays in the league. How hard is that making things on the offense?

A: The less explosive plays, the higher level of execution on a consistent basis you need to have. But we’ve had quite a few long drives, and you have to have usually 11 guys doing the right thing to operate an efficient offense 14, 15 plays in a row. So, anytime you can get an explosive (play), whether that’s a run or a pass, that certainly helps because it just eliminates some of the situations that you’ll be in throughout the drive. Third downs where it’s usually advantage defense, and on the road in a tough environment against a defensive line like that that can get after the passer. You take away those, that helps you. No doubt about it.

Q: Any injury updates? We know (defensive back Cor’Dale) Flott’s in the (concussion) protocol. Any other injury updates out of that game?

A: No, I think we came out fairly clean here. So, nothing I think that is going to go into next week. But we’ll see. You never know what could come up. Those guys will get treatment, and hopefully we’ll be in improved shape here on Monday.

Q: (Outside linebacker) Jihad Ward after the game was pretty passionate about, ‘I want to make the playoffs. I don’t care what our record is. Playoffs. Playoffs.’ A lot of your guys don’t mention the ‘P-word.’ They don’t mention playoffs. They kind of take your lead. Is this the time of year where that’s good? Like focus on the playoffs, have the main goal in mind? Is this where it kind of helps you that you never got too high when you were 6-1 or 7-2? You kept the message the same as it is now that you hit a bit of adversity. Do you like the guys talking about the playoffs? And is this where your message really resonates because it’s the same as when things were going well?

A: I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I just think that consistency helps in the seat that I’m in. Certainly, you don’t want to lose games, have bad performances, have bad decisions, have bad play calls. You take a lot of pride in what we do. We knew and we know, just being in this league a long time, you’re going to face a lot of this stuff. And it’s easy to get down on yourself or get down as a team. I think the important thing is to just keep the main thing the main thing. (It’s) ‘What can we do to help improve the results?’ But again, I have no issues with how these guys prepare, their competitiveness, how hard they work during the week, how hard they play during the game. So, I think if you just focus on those things, that takes you each week with a consistent approach, and that’s what I believe in. So, do I like to lose? Do we like to lose? Hell no. We don’t like to lose. But I think you have to keep the main thing the main thing. Look, every team in this league, from the start of training camp on, has certain goals they want to achieve. But I think you have to make short-terms goals throughout the season as you go along and be consistent with that.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off this weekend and there is no media availability to the team.

Nov 242022
 
Julian Love, New York Giants (November 24, 2022)

Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS COWBOYS 28 – NEW YORK GIANTS 20…
An undermanned New York Giants team played a gutty first half against the Dallas Cowboys, but were overwhelmed by three straight second-half touchdowns. The Giants lost 28-20 on Thanksgiving and fell to 7-4 on the season.

Aside from the scoreboard, the Cowboys also held team statistical advantages in first downs (26 to 21), total net yards (430 to 300), net yards rushing (169 to 90), net yards passing (261 to 210), and time of possession (34:09 to 25:51). A big difference was the Cowboys were 7-of-11 on 3rd down (63.6 percent) while the Giants were just 3-of-11 (27.3%) and 0-of-2 on 4th down. New York did win the turnover battle two to zero.

The Giants received the football to start the game, gained 20 yards on the first play, but then were forced to punt. The Cowboys picked up one first down on their first possession and decided to go for it on 4th-and-2 from their own 40-yard line. Running back Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed by linebacker Jaylon Smith, turning the ball over on downs. Quarterback Daniel Jones threw a 23-yard pass to tight end Chris Myarick. After a sack, a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins was nullified due to tackle Tyre Phillips being illegally downfield. Two incomplete passes and an intentional grounding penalty led to the Giants settling for a 57-yard field goal by Graham Gano.

The Cowboys crossed midfield on their second possession, but quarterback Dak Prescott was intercepted by cornerback Rodarius Williams at the New York 30-yard line. The Giants went three-and-out. The ensuing Dallas drive went 93 yards in 11 plays, lasting over six minutes, and resulted in Elliott scoring from six yards out. Cowboys 7 – Giants 3 early in the 2nd quarter.

The Giants responded with their own touchdown as New York drove 75 yards in nine plays. The Giants benefited from a defensive holding penalty on 3rd-and-2. The big play was then a 44-yard strike from Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton down to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, running back Saquon Barkley scored from one yard out. Giants 10 – Cowboys 7.

After both teams exchanged three-and-outs, Dallas drove into Giants territory. But at the 2-minute warning, a Prescott pass was deflected by cornerback Darnay Holmes and intercepted by Julian Love. He returned the ball 17 yards to the New York 27-yard line. With 1:50 left on the clock, the Giants gained 44 yards in eight plays to set up a 47-yard field goal as time expired.

At the half, the Giants led 13-7.

The Cowboys imposed their will on the Giants with three straight touchdown drives after the break. Dallas drove 75 yards in 14 plays, 44 yards in six plays, and 80 yards in 10 plays as Dallas went up 28-13 with nine minutes left in the game.

Meanwhile, a key turning point for the Giants offensively came on their first possession of the second half after the Cowboys had regained the lead 14-13. Facing a 4th-and-1 from their own 45-yard line, Jones threw an errant short pass to Barkley, who dropped what would have been a first down. Dallas then proceeded to score their second touchdown of the half on the short field. The Giants gained a couple of first downs on their second drive and then punted the ball away early in the 4th quarter. That’s when Dallas drove for their third touchdown of the half.

Trailing by 15 points with less than nine minutes to play, the Giants reached the Cowboys 39-yard line by then turned the football over on downs with 3:12 left to play. The Cowboys drove to the New York 28-yard line but missed a 46-yard field goal. With 1:13 left on the clock, the Giants scored a garbage-time touchdown by driving 64 yards in seven plays with wide receiver Richie James catching a 1-yard touchdown. The Cowboys recovered the onside kick with seven seconds left.

Jones finished the game 21-of-35 for 228 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. His leading receiver was James who caught five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Barkley was held to just 39 yards on 11 carries.

The Giants did force two turnovers, but they also gave up over 430 yards of offense. The team generated no sacks although outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux was credited with five quarterback hits. The Giants also had six tackles for losses.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants signed OL Devery Hamilton and S Trenton Thompson to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for these two players, the Giants waived ILB Austin Calitro and OLB Quincy Roche.

The Giants activated (standard elevations) OL Korey Cunningham and S Terrell Burgess from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster on the same day.

Inactive for the game were TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), OC Jon Feliciano (neck), OG Josh Ezeudu (neck), OG Shane Lemieux (toe), RT Evan Neal (knee/illness), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), and CB Fabian Moreau (oblique).

CB Cor’Dale Flott left the game with a concussion and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • OLB Jihad Ward (Video)
  • CB Darnay Holmes (Video)
  • S Julian Love (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by conference call on Friday.

Nov 232022
 

THE STORYLINE:
Just last week, fans of the New York Football Giants were contemplating an 8-2 record, the return of number of previously injured players, the possible acquisition of Odell Beckham, and dare we say it, a possible run at the NFC East title. A few days later, many of these same fans are questioning if the team will win another game this year and see beating the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving as an equivalent challenge as beating the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Dear Giants fans,
Get a grip.
Signed, BBI Management

Professional football is a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry in which each year 32 franchises compete for a shiny trophy. Aside from geographical location, these 32 franchises differentiate themselves from each other by the color of the clothes they wear. Distinct from MLB and the NBA, these teams operate on a relative even playing field with a hard salary cap. Every team has good players and coaches. Because of this, it’s virtually impossible for any one team to dominate the league.

The Giants entered 2022 with their third general manager and fourth head coach in six years after enduring a decade-long’s worth of mismanagement. Botched drafts and free agent signing periods left the franchise with a roster devoid of talent, players accustomed to losing, and a very poor salary-cap position. Most fans were thrilled that ownership reached outside of the organization and hired a new GM and HC who be on the same page and work together to eradicate the rot and build a new foundation. Most of these fans knew this would take time, especially since many believed the quarterback on the team was not part of the answer moving forward.

The offseason was a dizzying affair. Players such as Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter, Jabrill Peppers, James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, and Riley Dixon, among many others, were let go. Almost 40 free agents and 11 draft picks were added to the training camp roster. Changes were made in the front office both before and after the draft. Many fans and pundits assumed the Giants, blessed with an easier schedule, would win somewhere around 4-6 games. How gloomy were the prognostications? There was a lot of talk of Daniel Jones probably being benched at some point for Tyrod Taylor.

Then something weird happened. The Giants beat AFC’s #1 seed on their turf on opening day. And they did so in dramatic style, coming back from a 13-0 halftime deficit and winning with a daring 2-point conversion. Over the course of the next eight games, the Giants would surprisingly win six of them, often coming from behind in the 4th quarter to pull off the upset. Even with one of the best records in football, the Giants were considered the underdogs in almost every game. The pinnacle of the first half of the season was the back-to-back dramatic victories over the Packers in London and the Ravens.

The weird part was all of this was happening with a completely revamped roster of unfamiliar names, many of whom were let go by other teams and would have trouble finding work on any other roster. Players who were counted on to make a big difference did not, such as Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Aaron Robinson, and Azeez Ojulari. Injuries also affected the play and availability of Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal, Shane Lemieux, Daniel Bellinger, among others. The team was left scrambling in-season for waiver-wire pick-ups, guys signed off of the street and practice squads. Although it wasn’t pretty, the team was still winning despite being hampered with the worst set of receivers and tight ends in the league and a number of castoffs on the defensive side of the ball.

The Giants were winning because they were well coached, and the new coaching staff was getting the best out of players who many had discounted, such as Dexter Lawrence, Adoree’ Jackson, Julian Love, Daniel Jones, and Oshane Ximines as just a few examples. Others came out of nowhere to play significant roles such as Jihad Ward and Fabian Moreau. It wasn’t easy. Players kept getting hurt and the front office and coaching staff had to keep juggling the roster, limited by little cap room. At times, the Giants didn’t even keep 53 players on the roster.

Tactically, the staff recognized the limitations of the roster. Passing-attack gurus Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka transitioned to a run-first ground game, designed to minimize mistakes and keep the team alive in games against opponents with equal or better talent. The defense gave up yardage, but stood tall on third down and inside the red zone. And for whatever reason, this team started to believe it could and would win in the 4th quarter. Opponents simply could not kill the Giants. They hung around, they hung around, they hung around… and finally somehow pulled off the win.

Something else different began to happen. Giants’ fans began complaining that the wins were too ugly. After each win, there were more discussion threads on what went wrong rather than what went right. It quickly began to dawn on me that Giants fans who were worn down by a decade worth of losing were developing unrealistic expectations about what this team was and could be as it is currently formulated. The other red flag was the insistence by the bulk of the fan base that the addition of just one wide receiver would change everything for plodding offensive football team and somehow turn them into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Whoa! What?

Karma began to change over the bye week. Xavier McKinney got stupid, crushed his hand on vacation, and sabotaged the entire defense. He was one of the few players on this team the Giants could ill-afford to lose. His absence had a domino effect. The Giants also started to do something they had not done, and that was kill themselves with turnovers. Richie James fumbled twice on punt returns against the Seahawks. The team turned the ball over three more times against the Lions. Brian Daboll got stupid and put Adoree’ Jackson on punt returns and paid the price. Now the other player in the secondary the Giants simply could not afford to lose may be gone for the bulk of the rest of the season. Worse, the Giants came out of last week’s game needing a MASH unit. Wan’Dale Robinson had his career game to date and then tore his ACL, leaving a bad unit even worse. The other starting cornerback, Moreau, who was filling in for Aaron Robinson, got hurt. Five offensive line showed up on the injury list and two safeties. A really thin team to start with just got dangerously thin.

This where Giants fans have gotten stupid. Not all of you. The smart ones are nodding your head at what I wrote and are off the hook. I’m scolding those of you who say such things as (and yes, these have been posted this week):

  • Brian Daboll lost this team when he yelled at them.
  • We will learn this Thursday if this coaching staff is any good.
  • The team needs to make a number of changes in Week 12 to take the offense and defense in new directions.

But what mostly bothers me are posts that scream (paraphrasing), “If this team doesn’t win and perform to my expectations, then the individuals responsible are horrible human beings and must be vilified until they make me feel better.” Or the “please tell me it’s going to be OK” posts. What are we? Eight year olds? I don’t know what is going on, but some of you guys need a good slap in the face and dose of reality.

This is flawed, rebuilding football team. It underwent major changes this past offseason. It will undergo major changes this upcoming offseason. The 7-3 start has been great, and hopefully they still have a few wins in them to keep things entertaining. But the unexpected winning has now created unrealistic expectations. A thin team that wins with the slightest margins of error is not likely to experience sustained success. And this is especially true when that thin team loses its most important players. “But…but…but..” No buts, that’s just the way it is. Teams with stronger rosters will prevail in the end. Survival of the fittest.

So this is a word of advice to those of you who are getting really upset: It’s a game. It’s supposed to be something fun for you to enjoy. It would be nice to win, but it’s not the end of the world if your team loses. The Giants appear to be heading in the right direction with a GM and coach on the same page. Regardless of how it ends, this year turned out better than expected. You’d probably feel better if the team’s W-L record was better after the bye than before it, but it’s not likely to work out that way.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • WR Richie James (knee – questionable)
  • TE Daniel Bellinger (eye – out)
  • OC Jon Feliciano (neck – out)
  • OG Josh Ezeudu (neck – out)
  • OG Shane Lemieux (toe – out)
  • OT Andrew Thomas (illness – questionable)
  • OT Evan Neal (knee/illness – out)
  • OT Tyre Phillips (neck – questionable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee – out)
  • CB Fabian Moreau (oblique – out)
  • S Dane Belton (clavicle – questionable)
  • S Jason Pinnock (jaw – questionable)

THE FINAL WORD:
The Giants are huge underdogs against Dallas and for good reason. The Cowboys are coming off of their most impressive win of the season. The Giants are coming off their most disappointing loss of the season. Worse, the Giants somehow managed to end up a more physically-damaged team after the bye week. The secondary, offensive line, and wide receiving corps are a mess with injuries. Barring a big upset, the results are not going to aid your post-Turkey digestive process. If you can’t handle that, pretend the team isn’t playing and enjoy the time with your family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 222022
 
Richie James, New York Giants (November 20, 2022)

Richie James – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 22, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Since the Giants only held a walk-thru on Tuesday, the following is projection:

TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), OG Josh Ezeudu (neck), OC Jon Feliciano (neck), OG Shane Lemieux (toe), OT Andrew Thomas (illness), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), and CB Fabiran Moreau (oblique) did not practice.

WR Richie James (knee), OT Evan Neal (knee), OT Tyre Phillips (neck), S Dane Belton (clavicle), and S Jason Pinnock (jaw) were limited in practice.

ROSTER MOVES…
The Giants have signed tight end Lawrence Cager to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The 6’5”, 220-pound Cager was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2020 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jets (2020-2021, 2022) and Cleveland Browns (2021). The Giants signed Cager to the Practice Squad in October 2022 after he was cut by the Jets. He has appeared in three games for the Giants this season.

The Giants also signed tight end Nick Vannett to the Practice Squad. The 29-year old, 6’6”, 261-pound Vannett was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He has spent time with the Seahawks (2016-2019), Pittsburgh Steelers (2019), Denver Broncos (2020), and New Orleans Saints (2021-2022). The Saints cut him last Saturday. Vannett has played in 80 regular-season games with 35 starts, accruing 86 catches for 832 yards and six touchdowns.

NOVEMBER 22, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Tuesday (VIDEO):

Daboll: Just had a walkthrough. Got another walkthrough. In terms of the injuries, which I know there will be a lot of questions about, here’s where we’re at with that. Belly (tight end Daniel Bellinger) won’t make it. (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) won’t make it. And everybody else is going to come right up to the last second what we decide to do – treatment, talk to the doctors, the athletic trainers. So, relative to where everybody else is at, it’s going to be a last second decision that we make.

Q: If that’s the case with all the other guys you’re talking about, that sounds like relatively good news with all these other guys if it’s a possibility.

A: It’s a possibility, but it’s also not a possibility. That’s what I’m saying. It’s going to go right to the end. We’ll see who we have healthy.

Q: Did you sign (tight end) Nick Vannett?

A: Practice squad.

Q: What’s your message to the guys with this situation being what it is as the injuries have piled up?

A: Prepare to play a game. It’s really that simple: prepare to play a game. (It’s) a short week; everybody plays them. So, do a good job in the walk throughs. Do a good job on studying the team that we’re playing, and make sure that we’re ready to go. Take care of our bodies and get ready to go to Dallas.

Q: Do you feel snake bitten, or do you feel like this is the league and this is what it is?

A: It’s the NFL; every team deals with injuries. So, next guy up. And let’s get ready to play.

Q: Have you sensed anything from (tackle) Evan (Neal) this week in terms of wanting to get back on the field? Not just to get back on the field, but to play the Cowboys again. He had kind of a clunker there.

A: Of course, he wants to get back on the field. I’d say what’s tough is just how we’re getting ready to play this game. Of course, he wants to be out there. We’ll see. Again, it’s more. It’s not necessarily, ‘Go out there and run around.’ It’s really treatment, talk to the trainers, talk to the player. And then we’ll make our decision. We’ll try to take it as long as we can. And if obviously someone says they just can’t go, then they can’t go. But all these other guys, we’re going to hold out hope to see who can make it.

Q: Is (outside linebacker) Azeez in that group? (Azeez) Ojulari – is he in that group?

A: No. He won’t go.

Q: (Cornerback Fabian) Moreau is in that group, right?

A: He is. Yep.

Q: Assuming the worst and he can’t, how do you feel about (defensive back Cor’Dale) Flott, (cornerback Nick) McCloud, (cornerback) Rodarius (Williams)?

A: Yeah, all those guys. All those guys are.

Q: How ready are they for the challenge of the Cowboys?

A: They’re preparing to be ready to play. That’s why they’re on the roster.

Q: How much do you have to change your defensive approach a little bit with so many guys possibly down in the secondary?

A: I think we do that a little bit each week. So, it’s really no different this week. Obviously, you try to do what you can do for the guys that are out there. You put them in the best positions. That’s really no different than any other week.

Q: Will you put Adoree’ on IR?

A: Not right now. He’s a lot better today.

Q: With the Cowboys, they kind of look a little bit different than the last time you played them with (Cowboys quarterback) Dak (Prescott) back. It seems like (running back Tony) Pollard is a lot more involved in the backfield than he was. How much has that offense changed in just the few weeks since you last saw them?

A: I think they’ve always been a good offense. They have a lot of good skill players. I think their roster construction has been really good with really offense, defense and the kicking game. This is a dynamic team, I’d say, in every area. They’ve got great skill players. When I say skill players, I also include defensive ends, who are skill players. Explosive – scored a lot of points, obviously, last week. (They had) seven sacks, 40 points against an 8-1 team at their place. It will be a huge challenge.

Q: I know you always want to run the ball, but with that pass rush and their defense in particular, how much maybe more important does that even become this week for you guys?

A: Really, I think it’s execution. If you get into passing situations against this team, I mean put on the tape, there’s a bunch of negative plays. So, if you’re playing the game in third-and-long or second-and-long, or if you get behind and you got to try to make up ground, that’s a bad spot to be in against this team.

Q: There’s an old axiom that the season really starts after Thanksgiving. Do you subscribe to that?

A: Yeah, all the places I’ve been. Again, you put yourself in a position at this time of year. Every game matters – the games we play in the beginning. As it gets closer to the end, you got to treat it the same as you treat every other game. And we have a division game that we’re playing a team that’s really good.

Q: What happened with (wide receiver) Richie James? He’s listed on the injury report.

A: His knee was bothering him. So, he’s kind of another guy in that boat. We’ll see where he’s at.

Q: Did he hurt it making the tackle on that interception?

A: I don’t know exactly when it happened. I think he’ll be fine. Again, we’ll take it all the way to the end. I think he’ll be fine. I think he will be ready to go. I just don’t want to say one hundred percent.

Q: If he’s not ready to go, I guess the punt returner situation kind of keeps going in flux?

A: Yeah, we’ll have the next guy ready to go.

Q: What do you see from your guys? I think you’ll probably agree that was your worst game of the year against Detroit. You have an opportunity now, they have an opportunity – everybody watches pretty much on Thanksgiving, everyone will be sitting there watching – big opportunity for you guys?

A: Yeah. I mean look, every week is a new week. Whether you win or whether you lose, you try not to focus on results – you focus on the things you can do to get better whether you win or lose. I’ve said that from the get-go and that’s been our approach. That’ll always be our approach.

Q: With Dallas’ ability to rush the passer and make negative plays on defense – how much is (quarterback) Daniel’s (Jones) mobility and ability to get out of there an asset?

A: Yeah, I think any time you have an athletic quarterback… Look, they’re very athletic, they’ve created a bunch of them, they get after the quarterback. Again, I think it’s more about the situation and they force them. They’re really good in those situations and, unfortunately, they’re really good on early downs, too. Being able to produce positive plays is going to be a key thing for us. We get into those situations, they’ve done it to everybody – they did it to us the first game, they did it last week. They’ve done it to everybody. They have dynamic players, and they get after the passer. To have a guy that can use his legs to get out of it, it’s certainly a little bit different than just a guy that stands back there.

Q: When you went back and looked at (running back) Saquon’s (Barkley) day, was there anything that you didn’t know before watching that you do now?

A: Which one?

Q: This last game.

A: No. Pretty much what I said. It takes everybody.

Q: Will the result of this game, after your conversations with (general manager) Joe Schoen and throughout this week, will the result of this game impact how aggressive you would or wouldn’t be in adding players?

A: No, I think we’d do the same stuff every week – try to be consistent regardless of results and do what’s best for our team.

Q: You’ve talked all year about you just never know in this league because any week you can be humbled. Do you feel like this team was humbled a bit on Sunday?

A: No, we lost the game. We were 3-0 on turnover ratio. Teams that do that this year are 1-18. There are some certain things we could have coached better, played better. We want to win every game; we didn’t do enough to win that game and you got to move on quickly – particularly when you got a short week.

Q: Do you like your team, the way you’ve built it, to respond on a short week with all the circumstances that you’ve had?

A: I’ve liked everything about the guys since I got here. They work hard, they’re humble guys, they do everything we ask them to do. They go out there, they play as hard as they can play. Again, we don’t always like the results, but these guys are putting everything they’ve got into it – everybody is putting everything they got into it, and we’ll always do that.

Q: What does it mean to you and your team to have this opportunity to play on Thanksgiving?

A: This is the sixth time that I’ve been part of this game, not necessarily against Dallas – third time against Dallas, I think. It’s great, it’s a great tribute – you know? You remember when you’re a kid, sitting down and watching television and the games and Madden and turducken and all those type of things. Again, we got a big challenge ahead of us in Dallas and that’s where we got to keep it.

Q: With that time slot, everybody on Thanksgiving seems to watch that game. Do you talk to your players about this is an opportunity as a showcase to show the country how good you are?

A: I don’t. I don’t because we play Sunday nights, Monday nights. I think you got to keep the focus the focus and, again, with the short week, there’s not a lot of time so we got to do everything we can do to get ready.

Q: Have you had a turducken before?

A: I have not. Might look like I did, but I didn’t.

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 Giants on Wednesday as the team travels to Texas. The Giants play the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Nov 222022
 
Julian Love, New York Giants (November 20, 2022)

Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

QUICK RECAP

Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell was drafted by NYG in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He started 34 games for them, 28 of which came over his final two seasons before he signed with DAL (and later DET) in free agency. A year-plus after his career ended, he became an intern-offensive coach for MIA. Working his way up, including a stretch where he was interim Head Coach for MIA and an Assistant Head Coach for NO, Campbell landed the top job for DET in 2021. In a time where owners are often chasing after specialty minds (offense/defense), DET did it different. They went after a culture guy. Campbell is leader of men. He wants to chew glass, get into fights, and give off the tough-guy persona to a league full of tough guys. His staff is filled with former players with similar backgrounds and mindsets. DET personifies “Blue Collar” as much as any team in the league. To be determined if this approach can work and DET. If you have not followed the team, DET has had some of the worst losses in the league since Campbell’s tenure began when it comes to blown leads and aggressive mistakes.

DET came into this one with the last-ranked defense in the NFL when looking at both yards and points allowed, respectively. What surprises many, however, is the fact they came into the league with a top-10 offense in both categories. They do not have star power on that side of the ball. They have a quarterback who would not start on 20 teams in the league. How are they doing this? NYG got a front row seat in their Week 11 matchup at windy MetLife Stadium. It is that time of year.

NYG began the game with the ball. Left Guard Shane Lemieux was on the field for the first time, giving the team 4 of their 5 starters up front on the field. Evan Neal remained inactive with a knee injury. Two of the first three plays resulted in losses. They went three-and-out and DET responded with three points via a field goal by Michael Badgley. A week after Saquon Barkley’s 30+ touch performance and four days prior to their next game against DAL, backup running back Matt Breida made his mark early. He converted a 4th-and-1 rushing attempt before a 16-yard gain on a 3rd-and-7 a few plays later. This set them up for their first touchdown of the game, a 3-yard run by Daniel Jones.

The game stayed at 6-3 (the extra point was blocked), NYG up, for the next three possessions as the two ground-and-pound offenses were playing the field position battle. DET punter Jack Fox, a 2020 All-Pro, had consecutive punts of 57 and 63 yards. NYG’s #1 corner and fill-in punt returner, Adoree’ Jackson, was injured on the 57-yarder. He did not return and will be out a month. Jones threw an interception on a zone blitz that he did not recognize, throwing it directly to DET defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, the second overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. With the DET offense starting their drive in the red zone, it took just four plays for them to score on a Jamaal Williams four-yard run.

Thanks to an illegal block in the back by Nick McCloud on the ensuing kickoff, NYG started their drive on their own 6-yard line. They had gains of 19, 13, and 4 yards. Because of the penalty, that only got them to their own 42-yard line. They were forced to punt again as the NYG offensive line, with four starters in, continued to get abused. Punter Jamie Gillian then shanked one 25 yards. DET needed just three plays before they were in the red zone again and with under a minute remaining in the half, Williams scored a 1-yard touchdown to make the game 17-6. Poor clock management by Jones ended the half with the NYG offense near midfield.

DET opened the second half with another touchdown-scoring drive on the back of Williams yet again, his third score of the day. There was urgency in the NYG offensive huddle on the next drive. Down 18, at home, but up against the worst defense in the league. Barkley had just 18 yards on 10 first half carries, and they were approaching the point in the game where they needed points, and fast. The way to do that in the NFL? Throw the ball. On 4th-and-5 from the DET 40, Jones threw his second interception on a poorly placed ball. Rookie Kerby Joseph brought it in, his third of the season as he has emerged as the league’s top rookie safety so far.

DET did not convert this into points. They went three and out two possessions in a row, but NYG’s offense remained stagnant themselves. However, as the game turned to the fourth quarter, their fortune started to change even though they lost their most targeted receiver, rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, to a knee injury. He did not return and will be out the rest of the year. Breida did end up scoring NYG’s next touchdown on a 3-yard run but kicker Graham Gano missed the extra point. 24-12 DET.

NYG got the ball back with under 9:00. This was it, they needed to score a touchdown on this drive and who better than DET to do it against, a team that has made a living on blowing fourth quarter leads since the start of the Campbell-era. Jones threw two incomplete passes, center Nick Gates forgot to snap the ball on 3rd-and-10, and the anemic passing game needed a huge play. Jones delivered a strike to recently picked up receiver Isaiah Hodgins for a 20-yard gain. First down. But on the next play, right before he went down, Hodgins fumbled, and it was recovered by Hutchinson who was all over the field. DET needed four plays before D’Andre Swift got his turn at crossing the goal line on a 4-yard touchdown run.

NYG did end up getting that touchdown, a drive and turnover too late, on the next drive. Jones hit Richie James on a 9-yard crossing route. They were down 13 points with under 5:00 left in need of a successful two-point conversion to make it a TD + 2-point conversion + FG margin. Tight End Lawrence Cager dropped the pass from Jones, NYG remained down 13, and DET recovered the ensuing onsides kick. NYG would not touch the ball again. DET’s offensive line paved the way for two first downs via run-only in run-only situations and sucked the remaining NYG timeouts out of Brian Daboll’s hands.

NYG loses, 31-18.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 27/44 – 341 yards / 1 TD – 2 INT / 74.1 RAT

Jones also added a team-high 50 yards on 7 carries including a touchdown. The 341 yards were the third-highest of his career and the 44 attempts were the second-highest. The DET defense, again the worst in the league because of how poor they perform against the pass, sold out on stuffing Barkley and the NYG running game. This will be what see week in, week out for the rest of year. Extra beef up front, defensive backs in the box, and sheer number advantages. Jones did make big throws. He did a fine job getting the ball out when receivers were open. He took what was there. He was productive (391 yards total). Checks in all of those boxes. But the interceptions were both on him. He did not read the zone blitz on the first one and he air-mailed the second one. While we can continue to pound the OL + pass catcher drum and rightfully so, this one will go in the negative bucket for Jones. He did not rise above.

RUNNING BACK

-Saquon Barkley: 15 att – 22 yards / 2 rec – 13 yards

Barkley looked like a guy who carried the team a week earlier. He had less pop and speed than what we have seen this season. After reviewing the All-22, I also noted three runs where Barkley’s lack of aggression caused no gain or a loss. All three were plays that had a strong likelihood of going for 5+ yards, one of which could have been much bigger. Daboll has done a fine job with Barkley and this running game when it comes to putting the head down and getting those 2-3-4 yard gains. But we saw the version of Barkley who had too much tip-toeing, lack of desire, and overall slowness. That margin in between in this league is enormous. A poor game for Barkley but he was strong pass protection. He has turned that around in a big way.

-Matt Breida: 3 att – 13 yards – 1 TD / 1 rec – 16 yards

We did not see a lot of Breida in this one and I wish we saw more. He brought more energy to the offense than Barkley did, and it was obvious on the early drive where he converted a 4th- and 3rd-down conversion, respectively. While it is hard to keep #26 off the field, this was something obvious to see early on. With where NYG’s receivers are, I think more looks with both guys on the field should be a priority.

WIDE RECEIVER

-The position group caught 22 passes for 292 yards, by far a season-high. Wan’Dale Robinson led the group with a line of 9/100 but suffered a torn ACL on the first play of the fourth quarter. Such an unfortunate blow for multiple reasons. One, it looked like Robinson’s role was starting to click here. He was the guy Jones could get the ball to on 3rd/4th down. He was the one who created the most on his own after the catch. Two, because of the nature of the injury and timing, this is something that could linger into 2023. My hope is he will be on the field Week 2 or 3.

-Darius Slayton came up with a few big plays. His 17.2 yards per catch in a game that he had 5 or more receptions were the most since Week 10 of 2020. The negative with Slayton continues to be drops. He added 2 more to his season total and double caught two others – meaning a slight bobble before bringing it in. On a team that lacks talent at WR – he is clearly the number one guy especially with Robinson out. He can make big plays in an offense that is begging for such in the passing game. But it is hard to rely on a guy with his caliber of hands and ball skills. He did come up with a key block on the Jones touchdown run early in the game.

-Maybe the loudest ovation of the day, whether it was genuine or sarcastic, came on the first Kenny Golladay reception. He had 2 catches on the day, both body-balls that he let come in to his numbers rather than attack it with his hands, for 29 yards. By default, Golladay will see more and more looks now.

-Richie James appeared out of the doghouse once Robinson went down. He responded with 3 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown, all coming in the fourth quarter. Isaiah Hodgins came up with 29 yards on 3 catches but lost a fumble that DET turned into a fourth quarter touchdown.

TIGHT END

-Another lackluster day for the group overall. It is one thing to see a lack of impact on the game, but when the negative plays start to pop up, it becomes frustrating to watch. Tight end was mishandled this past offseason and even in-season. Lawrence Cager allowed a TFL, was flagged for offensive pass interference, and dropped a big 2-point conversion attempt with the team down 13. He did have 2 catches for 20 yards, but that was it for the group as a whole.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-I have long discussed the issues the interior of this line would present as the year went on. It was one of the first things I saw at camp back in August. They’ve played better than I anticipated but that doesn’t mean much. It has still been a well-below average group that was somewhat overshadowed by the smoke and mirrors offensive scheme. With Shane Lemiuex on the field for the first time this season, I had some optimism. That ended quickly. He allowed 3 pressures and a sack before being benched in the second half for rookie Josh Ezeudu, who allowed a pressure himself. Mark Glowinski was man-handled by Alim McNeill repeatedly. He allowed 2 pressures and was flagged for illegally blocking downfield on a drive that had NYG approaching field goal range and ended with a punt. His penalty was the turning point of the drive.

-Center Jon Feliciano left the game with a neck injury. He allowed a TFL and one pressure before heading out. Nick Gates started off as a blocking tight end but then took over at center for Feliciano. He was flagged twice, one of which was declined. As I said a few weeks ago, Gates is the guy that should be at center. He sustains contact better than Feliciano and gets more push.

-Andrew Thomas allowed 1 TFL but was otherwise lights out again. On the other side, Tyre Phillips had to be relieved by Matt Peart because of a neck injury. Phillips allowed a pressure before departing and Peart struggled with 2 pressures and a TFL. His hands were all over the place and it threw off his body control. Peart clearly has not clicked yet. The tools were there, and it was worth the gamble, but he simply cannot pass block consistently.

EDGE

-Oshane Ximines had a solid game, pressuring Jared Goff 3 times and registering 1 tackle. He was flagged for a roughing penalty, however, on a 3rd-and-8 stop that gave DET an automatic first down on a 3-point scoring drive.

-Rookies Kayvon Thibodeaux added 2 tackles and 1 pressure and Tomon Fox had 1 tackle. Quiet and overall ineffective game for the two on limited looks, as Goff only threw 26 passes.

-Jihad Ward had 4 tackles, 1 pressure, and a pass break up. Martindale put him into coverage on a couple of occasions via the zone blitz and it hurt the defense. Ward moves more like a defensive tackle than a linebacker. Stiff and slow.

DEFENSIVE LINE

-Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams continue to play a ton of snaps. Lawrence had 3 pressures and a team-high 7 tackles while Williams added 1 pressure and 4 tackles. The DET interior is one of the best in football and these two won several matchups. The success DET had on the ground had very little to do with them.

-Henry Mondeaux remains ahead of the immobile Justin Ellis on the depth chart. He played 32 snaps while Ellis only saw 17. Both of them struggled against that OL.

LINEBACKER

-Rough day for the group. Rookie Micah McFadden got the start next to veteran Jaylon Smith and both were manhandled against the DET running game. McFadden is a step too slow especially in coverage. It keeps popping up and DET took advantage of it on the play-action crossing routes. He was also flagged for a pass interference. Smith had 6 tackles but 5 of them were assists. He was late to the running lanes and slow to fill. The lateral adjustments are worrisome, as he looks so stiff and rigid when he needs to adjust. He added 1 pressure.

-Tae Crowder saw an uptick in playing time late in the game and finished with 3 tackles and a TFL.

CORNERBACK

-Adoree’ Jackson missed most of the game because he was injured on a 3-yard punt return. He was recently put in that role because of the two Richie James fumbles in Seattle a few weeks ago. More on that below. Jackson will be out for a month, if not longer. I’ve said this a few times; Jackson is the one guy this defense could not afford to lose. Huge blow for the defense that has almost no margin left.

-Fabian Moreau suffered an oblique injury and may be out Thursday at DAL. That leaves the secondary with Darnay Holmes at nickel and a mixture of Nick McCloud, Rodarius Williams, and Cordale Flott on the outside as NYG is approaching a difficult slate of opposing offenses in the near future. Holmes and McCloud both had a TFL and were solid in coverage. They fit the aggressive scheme well and I feel good about them. The concerns are with Williams and Flott. Williams was beat in coverage multiple times in his first action of the season and Flott, a rookie who has played 22 snaps since Week 3, is raw. He dropped an interception but did force a fumble. These next few weeks will be huge for Flott when it comes to experience and learning from mistakes. It may be painful right now, but it could end up being beneficial to his future.

SAFETY

-Julian Love was the lone defender to play all of the snaps. Nobody else played 90% of the snaps. He tied for the team lead 7 tackles and added a TFL. He did miss a tackle on a 3rd-and-long conversion though and missed out on an interception late in the game, but it did end in a pass break up.

-Jason Pinnock was in and out of the game with a jaw/neck injury. He is very much an all-or-nothing type player on defense. He had a TFL and 3 tackles but added a missed tackle. I like the aggressive style and length he brings to the table. I hope he can stay on the field because NYG may have something in him.

-Rookie Dane Belton had 2 tackles but was ridden out of multiple plays by wide receiver and tight end blocks. That is a weakness in his game I’ve seen repeated a few times this season. He also allowed receptions on the two times he was targeted.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Graham Gano: 0/0 (One extra point blocked and he missed another)
-P Jamie Gillan: 4 punts / 38.3 avg – 38.3 net

3 STUDS

-DT Dexter Lawrence, WR Wan’Dale Robinson, RB Matt Breida

3 DUDS

-OG Shane Lemieux, LB Micah McFadden, RB Saquon Barkley

3 THOUGHTS ON DET

The Lions have passed their 2021-win total (3) with 7 games left on the schedule. They’re currently the 2nd place team in the NFC North. They have contests against JAC, NYJ, CAR, CHI, and GB remaining. Say what you want about the defensive and late-game struggles, but this team is on the rise. I believe in culture-building and I believe the resources DET has put into it will pay off. What is truly missing? They’re going to be limited with Jared Goff under center, that is the simple truth. The statistics are a bit misleading, as a lot of their production has come late in games against prevent-style coverages. But if their 2022 first rounder Jameson Williams, who may be back in December and was my second-ranked receiver behind Garrett Wilson last April, is a dude who checks every box. With next year being the vital third season of the Campbell-era, I can see them making THE aggressive move in the offseason for a quarterback. That can go in a few directions, but it is something I see happening one way or another.

The DET offensive line has been well built. Left tackle Taylor Decker, 1st round 2016. Left guard Jonah Jackson, 3rd round 2020. Center Frank Ragnow, 1st round 2018. Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai, free agent signing in 2020 (currently on IR). Right tackle Penei Sewell, 1st round 2021. When I look at this offense that is top 10 in yards and scoring without a true number one receiver (or tight end now that they’ve traded T.J. Hockenson), Jared Goff at quarterback, and an overrated number one back in D’Andre Swift, it is impossible to not give most of the credit to their O-Line. It creates a strong notion in my head that adding yet another high pick to the group along the interior will very much be in the discussion next April.

The Dan Campbell experiment seems to be working. Now, the Colts seem to be re-energized by Jeff Saturday. Neither situation can be considered a full-blown win yet, but if they turn in to successes you can bet your bottom dollar other teams will follow suit. Coaching hires that have less to do with scheme, more to do with culture.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

Two losses in their last three games. One win since October 24. Is NYG simply regressing toward the mean? Meaning is this what they truly are? A thin roster that cannot handle the multitude of injuries. A team that was winning a bunch of one-score games, but the law of average has arrived? I think NYG has some “dark” days ahead, meaning more and more losses, but let’s not get it twisted. This team has already exceeded expectations in 2022. They are still very early in this new regime and way of doing things. They’re playing with house money and, as we have been saying since August, they are looking for things that will build this roster and the future. They need some answers, and they need their young guys to get the experience of ups and downs. Anything else that comes, which includes a very-possible postseason birth, is icing on the cake.

If NYG wanted to put a premium playmaker in the return game, why not put Saquon Barkley back there? Because you don’t want him getting hurt. Then why put Adoree’ Jackson, who in my opinion was the most important player on defense, in that role? This coaching staff has been amazing from the start and Daboll is in the running for Coach of the Year. But that was the wrong move and they’re going to pay for it. I understand some of the decision-making revolved around feeling safe with Jackson (catching the ball) but losing him is going to be a potential season-changer for this defense and team.

Injuries aside, I’m glad NYG has a short week against a team that just absolutely crushed the 8-1 Vikings on the road 40-3. One team riding a high. One team riding a low. Both teams have seen their fair share of peaks and valleys this season. It is a divisional matchup. This is the first time this new regime is playing a repeat-opponent. I think NYG will be in this game on Thursday as crazy as it sounds. It’s the way the NFL works more often than not.

Nov 212022
 
Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants (November 20, 2022)

Wan’Dale Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY UPDATE – WAN’DALE ROBINSON TORN ACL, SPRAINED MCL FOR ADOREE’ JACKSON…
As feared, New York Giants wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson suffered a torn ACL in his knee during Sunday’s 31-18 loss to the Detroit Lions. His season is over. The team placed him on Injured Reserve on Monday.

The NFL Network is also reporting that cornerback Adoree’ Jackson will miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain to his knee.

The Giants only held a walk-thru today. The team’s projected injury list:

Did not practice: WR Richie James (knee), TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), OG Josh Ezeudu (neck), OC Jon Feliciano (neck), OT Tyre Phillips (neck), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), and CB Fabiran Moreau (oblique).

Limited in practice:  OT Evan Neal (knee) and S Jason Pinnock (jaw).

NOVEMBER 21, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 31-18 loss to the Detroit Lions (the VIDEO of the press conference is also available on YouTube):

Q: I wanted to ask you about a report yesterday that (wide receiver) Odell Beckham Jr. will be visiting you guys at some point after Thanksgiving. Can you confirm that and provide any information on when that would happen or anything else?

A: Not at this time I can’t.

Q: Do you have updates on yesterday’s injuries starting with (cornerback) Adoree’ Jackson and (wide receiver) Wan’Dale Robinson?

A: Some of these guys are still getting tests this morning. I will say with Wan’Dale, he has an ACL.

Q: His season’s over?

A: Yeah.

Q: You guys have gone through a bunch of receivers here. What’s the next step with Wan’Dale out, and maybe it even ties into (the) first question about Odell?

A: We have plenty of receivers on the roster, as you know. So, it’s a short week. We’ll get the guys ready to go, and we’ll revisit things like we always do each week and see where it goes.

Q: They’re naming this game after John Madden. They’re celebrating John Madden on Thanksgiving. Did you ever have any run-ins or experiences with him? Or can you just talk about what he means to the game?

A: I have never met Coach Madden. You think football, you think Madden really with everything from coaching at the Raiders and how successful he was to announcing to the video game that all the young guys like to play. Just a great ambassador for the National Football League and a great tribute to him.

Q: Just to clarify on the injuries – so, is Wan’Dale the only one of the guys that you do have an update for us today?

A: Yeah. Most of these other guys are still getting looked at here – almost all of them.

Q: The other thing I want to ask you about is just in terms of the week’s schedule. It seems like with these Thursday games, there’s kind of a trend away from actual practices. I guess you guys are not having a traditional practice this week. What goes into that calculation about handling it that way versus going out there Tuesday and having a real practice.

A: These guys are pretty sore after games. So, what you try to do is you sit down with the training staff, sports science, and you come up with the best schedule you can for your team to make sure they’re getting rehabbed and they’re taking advantage of all the treatments after the walkthroughs. We’ll set it up similar. We won’t be out there running around, but we’ll do some walkthroughs. We’ll have a little break. Then we’ll go out there and do some more walkthroughs. Obviously, it’s a big mental week for us and then just getting your body right to play a game on such a quick turnaround.

Q: Is there any chance on the injury front to maybe have some good news with (tight end Daniel) Bellinger, (tackle Evan) Neal and (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari)?

A: I’d say they’re coming along. I think they’re improving. Whether or not they’ll be ready this week, (it’s) too early to give you an answer to that.

Q: I asked you this question last week, and now it’s pertinent: Does this week make it harder for them to come back because of the circumstances of such a short week and so little practice?

A: We’ve definitely had discussions about that. One, it’ll be as we go along if the medical people say they’re ready to play. And it is a short week; there’s no question about that. That goes into play in discussions.

Q: Obviously, they’re probably never going to do away with Thanksgiving games. But do you feel like Thursday games are a lot to ask for these guys? You just pointed out, especially when you have a tough week like you just had injury-wise, do you think it’s something that needs to be discussed among the league where, ‘Hey. Why do we have to play these Thursday games?’

A: Well, they’re on the schedule. So, we just get ready to play them and try to come up with the best schedule and process that we can to make sure that we’re ready to go.

Q: You mentioned yesterday, obviously there are ebbs and flows to every season. You’re hitting something now with these two games back-to-back coming off a tough loss with all these injuries. Do you feel at some point you’re going to have to, as the head coach, just talk to the team at some point about not ‘woe is me,’? (It’s a) tough situation. You’ve never had this many injuries this season. (It’s a short week and you’re playing) against a team that just scored 40 points in Minnesota. Is that kind of like in the manual at some point in the next few days?

A: Yeah. I’ve tried to do that since I’ve gotten here. We’re not about excuses – never will be. We have people on our roster that are going to be ready to play. And that’s our job as a coaching staff is to get these guys ready to play. Again, you’re always going to hit adversity – whether it’s in a game, whether it’s in a season. We’ve talked about that since April. I don’t think that’s something you all of a sudden talk about. You have to teach it, and you have to try to learn from it. And that’s everybody – it’s myself, it’s the coaches, it’s the players, it’s the support staff. You have to believe in your process. You have to go out there and try to execute the best you can. And if you do those things, you live with the results. And you move onto the next week.

Q: Is this one of those times when you see what you’ve built? You see what you’ve built and see there is always a fence. Is there a weak point where you kind of look and see now and say, ‘Okay. We can talk about handling adversity. Now that maybe we’re hitting it, let’s see if everything we’ve put in place is going to hold up here’?

A: Yeah. You do that from the get-go. It wasn’t our first loss. You come in after a loss; you don’t feel great. You feel very disappointed. You put a lot of work into it during the week, and you don’t get the results you want. You should be disappointed, but you can’t let it linger. In this particular case, it’s such a quick turnaround. You’ve got to move on quickly. That’s something that we’ve stressed really since we’ve gotten here: Take it day-by-day. Learn from the things you can learn from. You’re going to hit bumps in the road. Whether that’s a practice or a game, a play, a call, a decision, those things are going to happen. And you move on from them.

Q: You talked about your other receivers after Wan’Dale. How encouraged were you from what you saw from (wide receiver) Kenny Golladay on Sunday? And can he be part of the solution here over the next few weeks?

A: Kenny did his job. (He) made a couple of plays when the ball was thrown to him. I’d say the receivers in general – obviously, Wan’Dale had a good game. He was really trending in the right direction. (He) really felt healthy and had quickness. I think Slay (wide receiver Darius Slayton) made some good plays. I think (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins) had a couple (plays) called back. He made some good plays. I know he fumbled that ball. He was very disappointed in that of himself. But those guys know what to do. And we’ll go out there and put a plan together to utilize anybody who’s going to be active.

Q: With where you’re at on wide receiver, would you like to add any pieces to the picture? Not necessarily saying it has to be, obviously, Odell. But do you feel like you need to add something here later in the season?

A: I think that’s something that (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and I will talk about. Just like all the spots, this will be another discussion that we’ll have. And we’ll see where it goes.

Q: What did you see when you went back and looked at the film? What stood out to you about that loss?

A: Pretty much what I thought after the game: There was some good things in there. But it’s hard to win a game when it’s 3-0 in the turnover battle. The percentages don’t favor you very much. There was definitely some good things to take from it, and then (there) were things that weren’t as good. We didn’t win the line of scrimmage. We didn’t rush for a lot of yards. I’d say they rushed for 160 (yards). I thought we executed fairly well in the red zone. Offensively, they were four-of-five. Defensively, third downs were kind of a wash. But again, those turnovers (are detrimental). We’ve had – in our three losses – six turnovers, and (they’re) directly related to 24 points. Conversely, in the seven wins, we’ve had five turnovers, and those led to six points. So, turnovers are huge; they always are. And we’ve got to keep working on that.

Q: You mentioned ‘win the line of scrimmage’ and not being able to run the ball. Was that just guys getting beat (in their) individual effort? Or did you see something outstanding that you thought maybe you guys need to clean up?

A: I’d say it’s a collective effort. It’s really everything. It was everything yesterday in the run game. They (the Detroit Lions) did a good job. Give them credit, too.

Q: (Punter) Jamie Gillan – he’s a had a few punts this year that were short. What are you seeing from him? Would you like a little more consistency out of him? And can you talk about the special teams overall?

A: Well, we missed those two kicks; one was blocked, and one was almost blocked. I’d say we need to do better in that area all the way around. (Kicker) Graham (Gano) has been really consistent kicking the ball. Jamie’s had a couple that I know he’d like to have back, but he’s working at it. We just need to do a little bit better in that area.

Q: Along the lines of putting this game behind you, you mentioned how the schedule obviously helps in that regard. But do you guys do your full review as you normally would in a week with the players and everything else? Or do you kind of condense that? And does that almost help that you’re not even focused on yesterday?

A: That’s part of it on a short week. As a coaching staff, we watched it last night. I watched it at my house. And the coordinators watched it. The position coaches watched it. So, I had conversations with them yesterday about it. And you really got to come in and get going on Dallas. You only have so many hours in a day, and that’s what you have to do on these Thursday games.

Q: I wanted to ask you about the offensive line. You had a few injuries on that offensive line. I know you don’t know the status of these guys yet, but that being said, is there a concern with the continuity and the chemistry with having guys coming in and out – especially on this short week – in case you don’t have (center) Jon (Feliciano) or if (tackle) Tyre (Phillips) can’t go or whoever might not be able to go?

A: I think what you do is those guys get tons of reps during the week. And all the guys that we have have been here. There’s good communication with really all of them. I think (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) has done a good job of mixing those guys throughout practices, too, and giving them reps so that different guys are working with different guys. And that’s really no different than really wherever else I’ve been. Obviously, you would love to have the same five guys out there. But usually, that’s not the case. You’re going to have to adjust and make sure those guys are doing a good job of communicating with one another.

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…
Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media on Tuesday.