OCTOBER 9, 2023 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):
Q: Do you have an update on (quarterback) Daniel Jones’ neck? His condition at this time.
A: Yeah, I’d say we’re optimistic, he’s feeling better today so think he’s moving in the right direction. See where he is, obviously, when he comes back on Wednesday but he doesn’t feel terrible today.
Q: Do you have results from the x-ray and the scan he got today?
A: No, I’m waiting to meet with these doctors after but I’m optimistic after talking to him.
Q: Is that optimistic about this week, you mean? Or about his condition?
A: Yeah, about this week.
Q: When things are going the way that they’re going right now, I know you and (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and everybody on your staff knows that staying the course is the right way to go and believing what you’re doing but, how difficult is it? What’s the dynamic in terms of making sure your locker room understands that’s the way to go and not to panic and think the sky’s falling?
A: Again, that’s stuff that we’ve talked about since day one. You know you’re going to go through some adversity. When that is, you never know, but you are consistent with your approach. Players are in right now, we looked at a small sample of tape in the team meeting. Now they’re with their coordinators and the position coaches and looking at some of the things that went well and obviously some of the things that didn’t go well and working to improve those.
Q: I know you’re probably in communication with (President and Chief Executive Officer) John Mara a lot and what not. Can you characterize how that’s been going with those guys because I’m sure this is not what they expected as well.
A: Yeah, we have a great ownership group. We communicate on the daily basis about things we can improve on and yeah, great ownership group.
Q: Between the game ending and now that we’re on Zoom with you, what message have you sent to players about this season, about the next game, about frankly turning this thing around if you can?
A: Really the same. You come in, you look at the tape, you go through some of the things that were good and that can help you along the way. Then, look at a few things that are not where you want them to be. They meet with their coaches, coordinators, meet with their position coaches and you put this game to bed and get ready for next week when they leave.
Q: Where is your level of hope on (tackle) Andrew Thomas and (running back) Saquon (Barkley) this week?
A: I think that has yet to be determined here so we’ll see. I think Saquon’s probably closer than Andrew Thomas is.
Q: Your offensive line obviously struggled yesterday and a player or so really took it to heart. You want players who care, I certainly understand that, but how do you rebuild confidence in a player or players that you might still need because of what the numbers are on a roster?
A: You have to get with them again this week, all of the guys, not just offensive line – everybody. Obviously, we all need to improve. Coach them on the details, go out there, do what you need to do in practice and then have the confidence to go out there in the game to execute it.
Q: How much of a relief is it with Daniel? This is a guy who missed six games not too long ago. Necks funky things, you’ve got to err on the side of caution. How much of a relief is this with him?
A: I want to get back upstairs and meet with the trainers and the doctors so just having talked to him, he said he’s feeling probably better than maybe he thought he’d feel. So, I’m just going to hold off until I get an update and go through that but optimistic after talking to him.
Q: The scan will tell a lot though, right? Guys feel good and much better but if there’s something on there that they say “that’s a little something” – a neck, you’re not going to push a guy out there, right?
A: Yeah, we’ll cross that bridge once I get more info. Again, he feels pretty good today.
Q: We asked you a little bit yesterday obviously, how he played. It seemed difficult to assess at times how he played because of what was going on.
A: Yeah, I think he made some good throws under a good amount of pressure. I mean that throw that he made to (tight end) Darren (Waller), he took a little punch step and was ready to throw it and there was somebody on him right now and he put it where he needed to put it. There were times where he had a little bit more time, the little double move to Waller, but I’d say he threw some balls under pressure and escaped and made some plays. Certainly, have to do a good job of protecting him.
Q: Would you consider the throw to (wide receiver Darius) Slayton as one of those? That seemed pretty close.
A: Yeah, it was close, that was just very, very close. Daniel is a very tough competitor and he took some shots and I’d say he is a tough competitor.
Q: I know there is a ton of tape you can watch and a bunch of analytics you can look at, but do you ever sit down and say to yourself, I don’t understand why this is not working this year? I mean, is there a gut feeling that you can go by?
A: No, you just watch the tape. We played, I’d say complementary football to a degree yesterday, but we didn’t finish in the redzone, and we gave up 10 explosive plays and didn’t get any. So, when you’re not finishing drives and scoring, and they are getting three plays over 60 yards and 10 plays near 300. Our defense did a good job of taking care of the ball, obviously scoring. Offensively, we did a good job of protecting the ball, but not scoring. Other games are different. We had a very poor turnover ratio margin, we had to try to get that fixed. So, each game is a little bit different. Obviously, not where we want to be, but we are working to improve on that.
Q: Overall though, do you get the sense that the team is improving?
A: Yeah, I’d say certain things each week, and then there is certain things that, whether you take a step back or they are not as good, we got to work on fixing those. It was a start relative to the three turnovers that our defense got, and not turning the ball over, but there is certainly a lot of other things that were in play that caused us to have the results that we had.
Q: First, was (wide receiver) Parris Campbell, was he next in line to be your quarterback the other day?
A: Yeah, he was. We had another kind of wildcat runner, too, so that play that (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) lost his wind, we were set to go with another player.
Q: I’m curious how do you move forward with your offensive line right now? Obviously, it’s been problematic, you’ve been kind of going through guys and the protection has been probably leaky at best. How do you go about trying to get that fixed at this point now that we are going into the sixth week of the season?
A: Yeah, get into the classroom, go through it and then get out there on the practice field.
Q: What about personnel wise? Do you have anything, would you like to stick with the same guys? Is there a unit that you have in mind that you want to keep them on certain sides, move guys around at this point?
A: Well, again, that’s why you rotate guys around in training camp. It’s not because you want to all the time, it’s because guys have to get used to playing different spots because there are injuries. So, I think we’ve had quite a different roster lineups relative to the offensive line and that’s something we’re working on to improve and we’ll continue to do that.
Q: Any update on (offensive lineman Marcus) McKethan?
A: McKethan, I think he’ll be okay.
Q: Two position groups for you, I’ll start with receiver. Do you think there’s any credence to the idea that rotating six (receivers) the way you guys are doing is not allowing anybody to maybe get in a groove and you have to shorten that rotation at all?
A: Are you talking about for receivers?
A: No, we’ll play all our guys. Again, it all works together. Protection, creating separation, being where we’re supposed to be, right reads, everything plays in together relative to the passing game.
Q: With the way the state of the offense is, what can they do?
A: No, I’d say they’ve been where they needed to be most of the time. They’re doing a good job of creating space and giving the quarterback platforms and areas to throw the football. Got to finish some of the catches that we had an opportunity to make, but it all works together.
Q: Then the other position group was back to the offensive line. I always hear coaches say, ‘I’ll never ask a player to do something that they can’t do.’ So, what gives you confidence that McKethan – through all the rotations that you did during summer, he never got a first team rep when we were there – can be a first-team guard? Or that (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu, who I think got first-team left tackle reps in the two weeks after we stopped coming to practice, but not during training camp, can play left tackle? What gives you confidence that you’re asking guys to do something that they can actually do if they didn’t do it all summer?
A: Yeah, two young players that are improving. Surely would like to have some plays back, just like everybody else would, but right mindset. They’re working to improve every day.
Q: You’ve coached in a lot of different places for a lot of different head coaches. Where do you go in your coaching DNA during a time like this for your team? What lessons do you sort of cling to from your past?
A: It’s a week-to-week, day-to-day proposition of trying to improve. That’s the focus, that’s what you can control, so, that’s what we do.
Q: I know you’ve probably had this coming game circled on your calendar at some level, you and Joe. Does the status of your team now and where you are affect that at all, the excitement or the urgency of going back to Buffalo?
A: Look, it’s the next game. Been in this league a long time, played against a lot of different teams that I’ve worked for or players that I’ve coached. Tremendous amount of respect for the Buffalo Bills organization, (Bills Owner/CEO/President) Terry Pegula, (Bills General Manager) Brandon Beane, (Bills Head Coach) Sean McDermott, all their coaches and players. But our focus is always on us, first and foremost, getting ready to play a game. They’re a really good team. So, we’ll have our work cut out for us.
Q: I just wanted to clarify with Marcus, is he going to be okay for this week do you mean, or just okay long term?
A: I think, again, I don’t want to jump too far ahead. I guess we’ll have a better answer for you on Wednesday. I’m optimistic for this week. But again, a lot can happen between now and when we get to play.
Q: I just wanted to clarify on a couple of injuries I don’t think we asked about today. (Outside linebacker) Azeez Ojulari’s ankle, where does that stand?
A: More on Wednesday for you.
Q: Some guys like (center) John Michael Schmitz (Jr.), (inside linebacker) Micah McFadden, two guys who missed the last game, how do you feel about their statuses this week?
A: I’d say too early to tell on both those guys.
Q: Lastly, (cornerback Deonte) Banks, (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson), (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) are also guys who got banged up a little bit yesterday. Any concern there with any of them?
A: No. I think Wan’Dale, as of right now, and again, this could change, will probably be down on Wednesday just because of his knee. I don’t think it’ll be anything to keep him out of the game.
Who are the other two?
Q: Deonte Banks and Adoree’?
A: Adoree’, nothing. I’d say limited probably for Tae, but I don’t think anything that’ll keep him out at this point.
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 Tuesday and there is no media availability to the team. The players return to practice on Wednesday.