John Mara, Joe Schoen, and Brian Daboll; New York Giants (November 26, 2023)

John Mara, Joe Schoen, and Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Good morning, everybody. Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving. We decided to do this on Monday as well so you guys could enjoy the bye week as well.

So, obviously, not where we want to be right now at 4-8, but I am proud of the guys and the way they’ve continued to battle and compete over the last few weeks. When things are bad, they can go one of two ways, and I’m really proud of the way the guys have continued to come in and compete. We’ve seen some progress over the last couple weeks and the results to show. We’ve got five games left against NFC teams, against four different teams, and we’re not out of it.

With that being said, I know you guys are going to have some questions in terms of upcoming free agents. I’m not going to talk about any of those guys today. That’ll be postseason conversations, whether it’s (running back) Saquon (Barkley), (safety) Xavier (McKinney), all of the guys that are UFAs. We’ll leave that for after the season, those conversations.

Then, with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones), he’s five days off of surgery. He’s in there rehabbing right now. He’s going to attack it. You guys all know Daniel and his work ethic; probably a guy we’re going to have to pull back. But the expectation is when Daniel’s healthy that he will be our starting quarterback. Again, we don’t have a crystal ball in terms of how the rehab’s going to go; different patients respond differently to these surgeries, and then whether there’s going to be swelling in the knee or any setbacks. Nobody has a crystal ball on this, but that’s the expectation moving forward.

With that, I’ll open it up to any questions you guys may have.

Q: You said this obviously is not where you want to be, but when you look at it, what are the biggest factors that have led this season to kind of go in this direction?

A: I would think early on, we had a difficult schedule right off the bat. Three games in 11 days, and two of those teams being atop of the NFC right now, or near the top of the NFC. We started off, very good drive against Dallas there to open the season, we get a false start, a bad snap, a blocked field goal for a touchdown, and it kind of snowballed from there.

Don’t want to make any excuses. We’ve had some injuries. We’ve just got to continue to build the depth and we’ve got to continue to build the team all around so when injuries do occur, we can overcome those and still be competitive when injuries happen. It’s going to happen every year. It happens. It’s football; it’s a contact sport. There’s going to be injuries, and we’ve got to be able to overcome any type of adversity that presents itself.

Q: When you say Daniel will be your starter, does that mean you won’t draft a quarterback next year?

A: No, it doesn’t. I think we’re going to have to do something on the quarterback, whether it’s free agency or the Draft. I mean, just where we are, (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)’s contract is up,

(quarterback Tommy) DeVito is obviously under contract, and Daniel, we don’t know when he’s going to be ready. So, just from an offseason program standpoint, I think that’ll be a position that we’ll have to look at. There’re different avenues – free agency or the Draft – but we’ll have to address it at some point.

Q: When you look back, and I know hindsight is 20-20, do you feel the way you constructed the roster benefited the team with depth? I know you went heavy on receivers, maybe a little light on outside linebackers – it could have been because the guys that you wanted weren’t there – but when you look back on that, do you have any regrets on how the roster was constructed?

A: That’s a great question. You’re only afforded so many resources to build the roster. We’ve been here for, I think it’s 22 months and a day. So, you have to decide how you’re going to build it as you build it with the big picture in mind. You can’t do it overnight. What does it cost to go get more pass rushers, financially or draft capital, based on all the needs that you have, and where you are financially or in the Draft?

So, no regrets. Again, we’ll continue to evaluate our process. Were there other players available, other players you could have taken, did you miss on something? We’ll evaluate the entire process at the end of the season, but you can’t do it overnight. Instead of getting a (inside linebacker) Bobby O(kereke), who has been a very good player for us that we brought in in the offseason, do you use that money elsewhere in terms of allocation of resources? I like a lot of the guys that we brought in in the offseason, and we knew this wasn’t going to happen overnight, and it takes time to build it the right way.

Q: Regarding injuries, you mentioned that’s been a problem. I know you guys looked at that in the offseason. What takeaways did you have, are there still things that you can do, and have you identified things that maybe you can do? It might be too late now, but have you kind of said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to change this up for next year?’

A: We’re going to continue to evaluate that. I wish it was one specific injury. It just hasn’t been a consistent. If you could look and say, ‘Man, we have seven guys that have the same injury,’ you could really do a deep dive on what do we need to do to improve what we’re doing in that area, but there hasn’t been a consistent, other than we’ve been injured often. I have a lot of confidence in our training staff and (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie Barnes and our strength staff with (Director of Strength and Conditioning Craig) Fitz(gerald).

We’re going to continue to look under every rock for any competitive advantage we can get from sports science, training, strength and conditioning, whatever it may be because it is, it’s hard to go in and compete week in and week out if you don’t have your best players. One of the guys was telling me the other day, going into the season, if you told me (tight end Darren) Waller, (tackle) Andrew Thomas, Saquon and Daniel would play less than 40 plays together, I wouldn’t have been real excited about that, and that’s the reality of how it played out.

Q: What is your evaluation of one, (tackle) Evan Neal, and two, Tommy DeVito?

A: I’ll start with Tommy. Tommy has done a good job as an undrafted free agent. He’s come a long way since he arrived here in May as an undrafted guy. That’s a testament to his work ethic and buying into to the process and (Quarterbacks Coach) Shea (Tierney) and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka and what they’re teaching him. He’s taken care of the football the last couple of weeks, and he’s done a good job. He’s got some swagger and some presence about him that the players like and they follow him.

Evan got off to a really good camp, had a concussion, missed a couple of weeks, came back, and needs to play better. Evan needs to play better. He knows that. Look forward to getting him back here when he’s healthy, but I think he’d admit there’s some things that he can do better, and we look forward to him continuing to improve.

Q: A couple of things on Daniel: how do you assess how he played at the start of the season, those first five starts, and is there a worry that he has not been able to stay healthy? He’s had some major injuries, obviously. Moving forward with him, how much of an issue is that?

A: Any of these guys coming off the knees, it takes them time. (Wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson), (defensive lineman) D.J. Davidson, (inside linebacker Darrian) Beavers, some of the guys that had them last year for us, it does take time to come back from that injury. Some are able to respond quicker than others; it depends on the patient.

Daniel, early on, again, we got off to that rough start. We had three games in 11 days, there were some injuries after Week 2. On a short week, you’re going to play San Francisco without your starting left tackle, starting guard and Saquon. I mean, that’s a tough task for anybody. You guys have probably seen San Francisco enough this season to know that’s a really good defense. I think does Daniel wish he could have some throws back or some games back or do some things differently? Probably, but it’s a team game. There’s 11 guys out there and everybody’s got to be on the same page and do their job. So, we’ve got to continue to build the team. The quarterback position is important, but it’s ultimately a team game and it’s not all on Daniel by any means.

Q: With Daniel, how realistic do you think it is for him to be back for training camp and for the season, and also, was it just the ACL? Was there anything else that went along with that?

A: I’m not getting into specifics of the surgery. It went well, and then the recovery, like I said, it depends. I’ve seen guys come back in eight months; I’ve seen guys—we’ve got some that still aren’t back that had them a year ago. We’re probably going have to pull this kid back. He’s a hard worker. He’s already in there. I saw him walking across the parking lot this morning holding his crutches in his hands rather than using them. That’s the type of kid he is. He’s going to work very hard. We’ve just got to protect him from himself and make sure he’s doing things the right way and not overtraining. It’s really hard to say, to be honest with you, being in this for as long as I’ve been in it.

Q: How do you plan for it then, not knowing?

A: Kind of what I said earlier. We’re still going to have to address the position at some point because there’s no guarantee he’s going to be back Week 1, and Tyrod, his contract’s up. So, we’ve got to figure out—those will be offseason decisions. As we go through the offseason, we’ll have a little bit better idea of his return to play as he continues the rehab.

Q: There’s addressing the position and there’s using a possible first-round pick on that position. Where are you on that spectrum? If there’s a player that you like there that’s a quarterback in the first round, would you make that choice?

A: We’ll take the best player available. If the best player available for our team is at a certain position, we’ll take it. I mean, we won’t shy away from it. That’s a ways away; the Draft is in April. So, we’re still working through all that and the offseason progress. We have to come up with a plan, like I said, just for the offseason right now. Tommy’s the only one – I almost said Danny DeVito – that’s under under contract. So, we’ll look at all different avenues there.

Q: Why do you still believe in Daniel? How would you answer that?

A: I mean, I’ve seen it. You guys all saw last season. The guy won 10 games. He won a road playoff game for the Giants. You guys saw the preseason. I just think we got punched in the nose early on and we dug ourselves a hole and we weren’t able to get out of it. We’re trying to right now, but we still believe in Daniel and the person.

Q: When you look at your evaluation process, you have your plan, you guys set your plan up in college scouting, when you look through the season and the games you’re going to go to on the weekend. When things happen with the current roster, does that change your process at all? Where you may go, what prospects you may scout, or do you kind of stick to your plan throughout and then assess after the season?

A: You have to be able to adjust. That’s not necessarily our roster. It may be, ‘Hey, this kid at school X, we had really low and he’s playing really well,’ or, ‘This kid was a sophomore, and now he’s a junior, we didn’t know about him, and now, he may come out for the Draft, agents are saying he’s going to come out.’ So, you always have flexibility in your schedule.

I typically make my schedule in August based around where we may play geographically, where it’s easy to get me back up with the team. So, you kind of have an initial top 100, how many of those can you go see, and my staff does a very good job. They kind of give me a 20 must-see, 25 must-see, and I try to see those schools. Starting in August, I’ll map it out.

Q: How much work have you done on the top quarterbacks in this class?

A: I’ve done a lot of work on the entire draft. I’m further ahead this year than last year. Last year kind of being the first in-season as general manager, different schedule than what I’ve had in the past as an assistant GM or director of player personnel. So, I tweaked my process a little bit this year so I can stay up on all positions.

Q: How do you look at Saquon’s season both pre-injury and still being your most productive offensive player? There were some national reports that you still see him as part of your future. Can you address that?

A: Like I said, the UFAs, we’ll talk about after the season. We tried long and hard to get something done with him, and we’ll see what happens in the offseason.

Saquon, I mean, he’s a captain. He comes to work every day. I know there were some questions a couple of weeks ago about still coming to work and the longevity and the tread on the tires and all that stuff. He comes to work every day. He does everything we ask. He’s a great teammate. He’s a captain. Big reason, as you’re going through adversity, I think he’s a big part of keeping the locker room together. I respect Saquon a lot and the way he’s handled himself through this entire process, and I have a lot of respect for Saquon.

Q. Why did you make the (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams trade when you did? Obviously, the deadline, but why did you make it then?

A: Yeah, I think the draft compensation. When Seattle called and offered a second-round pick for a 29-year-old player that was on an expiring contract, we had nine games left. It just made the most sense long-term, in terms of the build.

Q. I just wanted to follow up on Evan Neal, you said he needs to play better, but are you at a point at the end of his second year where you need to think about whether he’s a tackle or he’s a guard?

A: No, I don’t think so. I went back and watched the Alabama stuff; the kid can play. We just got to get him to be more consistent. Like I’ve got a lot of confidence in Evan, he’s a hard worker, it’s killing him right now to be out there. He’s missing some valuable reps in year two, but as soon as he’s healthy, he’s scratching and clawing to get back. We are looking forward to getting him back there, but he knows there is some things he can do better and that’s what we expect from him.

Q. Why did you Saquon unavailable at the trade deadline? Seems kind of a counter to how you operate.

A: Why didn’t I make Saquon? I wasn’t going to move him. We had a conversation about it, it wasn’t even a – I think some of you guys asked a question about that maybe a couple weeks before the trade deadline or the week of and just to eliminate distraction. I think we just said he’s one of our most productive offensive players right now. To move that guy, it just didn’t make any sense and we didn’t take any calls or receive any calls on him.

Q. Where do you think the construction of the offensive line went wrong this year?

A: Andrew Thomas getting hurt the first series of the game of the season. That doesn’t help when you lose an All-Pro left tackle. I think through 11 weeks, we had nine different starting o-line combinations, which is the second-most in 15 years. We have 21 different o-line combinations, which is the fourth-most in 15 years. So, we were down to our fifth and sixth offensive tackles. It’s hard to prepare for that when you have eight or nine on the roster. When you go to camp you are talking about your fifth and sixth offensive tackles being in the fourth quarter of the third preseason game, in reality that’s what you are talking about, so you know we won 10 games with the same offensive line last year, with the exception of (center) John Michael Schmitz (Jr.). We inserted him. (Nick) Gates went on to Washington. I know you had asked about him. And (offensive lineman Jon) Feliciano went on to San Francisco, so we ran it back with the same guys. We thought John Michael would be an upgrade in there, which he’s done a good job for us. And again, as you are building this, was it more weapons for Daniel, was it outside backers, was it corner? We are trying to build this thing, as much as we want instant gratification and instant results, there is an element of patience as you build it and try to build it the right way and you just can’t address everything overnight, and we are going to continue to work on it and I do believe in building it up front and offensive line is important. Probably didn’t play as well as we needed to early on and it’s not all on the offensive line, sometimes it’s 11 guys on the same page, receiver doesn’t run the right route, the quarterback doesn’t get the read or doesn’t pull the trigger. I mean there is several different reasons and then the continuity amongst those five is very important. Whether you’re passing off stunts in games, the communication up there and when it’s a revolving door, it’s hard for the continuity and those guys to gel consistently. I know that’s a long-winded answer, but there is various reasons to some of the issues upfront that we have seen this year, but we’ll continue to address it.

Q. Given the lack of continuity at the line and injuries and stuff, how do you evaluate that and decide what you want to do with it moving forward?

A: Yeah, we have some guys that are up this year, that have started some games for us. Those will be postseason conversations on where we need to address, who do we want to bring back, what does it look like if we do bring some of those guys back and then the landscape of free agency and the draft, so those will be postseason conversations.

Q. How much would you say your voice is heard in terms of the depth chart and who plays and I’m asking that because there is theory out there that (running back) Eric Gray was kind of forced into the punt returner job because the front office used a draft pick on him and didn’t want to see him wasted.

A: I understand where you are going with that. That’s on me. To be honest with you, that’s another – we tried to address the punt returner. We knew it was an issue. In the draft some of the guys we liked went probably higher than where we deemed you would take a guy. Eric had done it at Tennessee, and he had done it at Oklahoma and the coaches were comfortable, we were comfortable going into the regular season based off what we were seeing. I know (wide receiver Jamison) Crowder is having success in Washington, you bring him up – we kept seven receivers; we couldn’t keep eight. Do the math, who do you move on from, from the group if you kept Crowder? So, there was some moving parts in there and that’s me being candid with you and that’s on me, the returner. I’m glad we got (wide receiver) Gunner (Olszewski) here, though. He’s done a really good job for us. And Eric’s got a bright future and we probably put him in a spot that wasn’t most comfortable for him either, but he went out there, didn’t flinch an eye, didn’t bat an eye and did what he could, but again that’s on me, early on. We couldn’t do everything overnight and as much as we wanted to and that was a position we continued to look for and Pittsburgh let Gunner go and we were able to get him.

Q. Is there a part of you that’s – I know you are not focusing on unrestricted free agency yet, but the overall financial health of the team going into this offseason and what you can potentially accomplish in terms of talent infusion because of where you guys are with the books?

A: Yeah, for sure and I think free agency is hard. Obviously, I’d like to draft and develop and sign our own, which we did some of those guys that had been here in the offseason, retained some of the guys that were here previously and we got some good foundational pieces in some of the draft picks that are here, but to hit on a guy like Bobby O, who fits everything that we are talking about – smart, tough, dependable, and a good player. When you are divvying up those type of financial resources outside the building, you got to really make sure you are bringing in the right type of people as well. Their work ethic, the ability to learn the scheme. So, there is some risk in free agency, but we’ll do our homework, and we are in a relatively healthy cap situation, and we can move some things around if we need to open up more, but I think we’ll be judicious in our process in terms of the free agency market.

Q. Do you expect any changes to the coaching staff and what would your involvement be in any decision like that?

A: Yeah, those are all – I know you guys just asked Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) about that, so those are all postseason conversations and I’ll lean on Dabs on that.

Q. Last year you won 10 games and made the playoffs, do you look at this team as that is what we are or is it more a 4-8 team is what you are right now?

A: Yeah, you are what your record says you are. We are 4-8 right now, unfortunately. There was some close games. Yeah, there were a couple games we wish we could have back recently, but we are 4-8 and we are having some adversity this year, but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the coaching staff. I think we have some young pieces on the roster to build around. I think we are the second youngest team in the league, so some guys are getting some valuable playing time. Again, it just takes time, it takes a couple off-seasons, it takes a few drafts to build it the right way. Trust me, it hurts when you lose and you’re 4-8 and it’s not fun, but you don’t want to lose sight of the big picture and the proper way to build the roster and that’s what we’ve got to stay focused on.

Q. That report said there was a chance (defensive coordinator Wink) Martindale might not finish the season with you guys. Is that something you have to look into? What’s your role in figuring out or getting to the bottom of it?

A: What was the report, I didn’t see – what was the report?

Q. You didn’t see the report?

A: That Wink’s not going to make it through the season?

Q. Jay Glazer from FOX reported that there is a chance that Martindale might not make it through the season and that he probably wouldn’t be back after the year. It was yesterday during FOX’s national broadcast.

A: I didn’t realize he said that he wasn’t going to make through the year. Yeah, I don’t know, I think Dabs just addressed that.

Q. Do you have a comment on it potentially?

A: Listen, there is always going to be noise. There is a lot of noise in this market. It is what it is. I know what we think inside those four walls and that’s what matters. I’ve got a great relationship with Wink, I don’t know where some of this stuff comes from. I’ll yield to Dabs on what he said on that.

Q. What have you seen from the relationship between Wink and Dabs?

A: In the twenty-two months we’ve been here, it hasn’t changed.

Q. You said that you had a lot of faith in the coaching staff, what are your thoughts on how Dabs has handled the adversity compared to last year? Must’ve been easy compared to coaching this year.

A: Yeah, it’s easy to lead when you’re winning and you’re out front and you’re running out front, it’s easy to lead. I think as we continue to build this, it’s year two, going through adversity, you find out a lot about people and it’s been challenging for everybody in the building, including myself and Dabs, and how you lead when things aren’t going well, I think, is important. And I think Dabs has done a good job. We are starting an undrafted free agent the last two games and we’ve won two games. It’s not easy to keep everybody together, but there is a lot of those guys in the locker room that are under contract for past this season and understand there is a – we are still in it, it’s 2023 and we’re focused on the Packers, but the big picture as well. To go up in front of that team when things aren’t going well or there’s injuries, or whatever it may be, it’s not easy or you trade a veteran player who is a leader in the locker room, that’s not easy. It’s not easy to do, so myself and Dabs as leaders within the organization are still learning as well, but through trying times I think we’ve found out a lot about the people in the building, the players on the roster and that’ll benefit us going forward.

Q: When Leonard talked in Seattle after the trade, he kind of made comments that when he met with you, the way he framed it, it was almost that you gave him a choice as to whether or not he’d be traded to Seattle. Is that how that played out? What was that conversation like?

A: I understand the question. I’ll keep our conversation between Leo and I. Paul (Schwartz), I think it was you that talked to (agent) Brandon Parker. I think he did a wonderful job articulating and mapping out exactly what happened. I’ve got a lot of respect for Leonard. Again, I’ll keep our conversation between us, and I think Brandon did a good job of walking through that process and how that went down.

Q: So, if Leonard said he didn’t want to go to Seattle, you wouldn’t have made that trade?

A: It’s a hypothetical. I’m not going to get into it.

Q: It’s just counterintuitive to how you really carried your first season, not in the relationship aspect of it, but the idea that the team came to you with a second-round pick. With a draft asset like that, the fact that you would put it in a player’s hand, at least that’s how it was portrayed through the agent and through the player.

A: Yeah, and that won’t happen for everybody. It was just Leo and where we were. These aren’t just—as much as you’d like it to be transactional and fantasy football, like, just drop a player, add a player, drop a player, add a player, there’s a human element to it, there’s a locker room element that you’ve got to think about, the ripple effect. Still a lot of games left, so, that was a very difficult decision on many fronts. Just as many pros as cons.

I’ll just keep Leo and I’s conversations between us, but that’s the human element of this job. What makes sense for this franchise moving forward versus relationships, locker room perception, you’ve got to take all that into account.

Q: Going back to something you said earlier about that you learn about people during adversity and whatnot, what have you learned about yourself and what do you feel you can do better moving forward as you approach these last few games and the upcoming offseason?

A: What have I learned about myself? You’ve got to have a good poker face, because as bad as it eats you up inside when things aren’t going well, people are looking to you for confidence and hope that things are going to get better. I know that because I’ve been on the other side of it. My second year in Buffalo, I think we actually were 6-10 and at this point in Buffalo, we had the exact same record that we have here.

You’re always looking to the leaders. Whether it’s my scouts, the coaches, the assistant coaches, that things are going to get better and they’re going to be okay. You’ve got to go through the building on a weekly basis and, ‘Listen, trust the process, trust the plan, we’re going to get this thing going.’ I’ve got a lot of talented people in the building, whether the personnel staff or the coaching staff. You’re going to go through adverse times in the NFL and you’ve got to understand that things are going to be better and trust the process and it takes time. I believe that the staff in there has stuck together and been strong and they understand where we’re going and what the big picture is, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Q: Specifically with the quarterback position, with Daniel, I imagine you know what you have in him. That you know what you believe his potential is or what you see, basically what you’ve evaluated him on the last couple of years and throughout his career before you came here. How do you balance the known with the possibility of acquiring an unknown with a different ceiling with something like that?

A: I’m trying to figure out—so, the known of Daniel? I would say—

Q: Like acquiring another player through the Draft or something like that when you don’t necessarily know what his ceiling is because he hasn’t played in the league.

A: There’s always risk. Look at the past however many years of top 10 quarterbacks. I just went through the 2018 Draft and how many of those guys are starters, how many are with different teams? Some are out of the league that were taken in the first round from that draft. It’s not a position you can just evaluate on film, I don’t believe. You’ve got to get with these kids, you’ve got to meet with them, you’ve got to get around them, you’ve got to put them on the board. Can they learn? Can they process information? You’ve got to talk to the people, especially in this market. Bringing a quarterback into this market, I mean, it’s not for everybody. Not everybody can handle it.

But again, it could be a free agent, whatever, we’re going to have to address it at some point. We have a UFA here that we could always sign back. There’re different ways that we could address the position, but there’s no guarantees, as of right now, that Daniel will be ready Week 1. So, that’s how you’ve got to approach it. Who can we bring in that can maybe help us win a couple of games while Daniel gets healthy, or maybe Daniel will be ready Week 1. There’re just some unknowns right now, and we’ll know as we get closer to free agency where he is in his rehab and how we need to approach the offseason.

Q: You talked about your focus on the bigger picture, and everybody still believes in that. From your conversations with ownership, are they still believing in your vision and Brian’s vision and what you guys are going for even though the season hasn’t been what you wanted?

A: Yeah, absolutely. We have constant communication with the Mara family, the Tisch family, and articulate the plan. They’re on board with it. As much as it hurts to go through this, there are a lot of young players that are getting valuable experience. Another offseason, another draft, we will continue to build it. The communication is very helpful. The fact that (President and Chief Executive Officer) John Mara is here on a daily basis, we can explain the ‘why’, why we’re doing things, how we’re going to do them. They’re in the loop and they’re on board.

New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Q: The players are off all week now, is that correct?

A: Yeah. In here for treatment if they need it. Similar schedule to last year.

Q: What considerations will you give over the next week or 10 days to who’s your next game starting quarterback?

A: We’re just getting started here, we’re just finishing up. Still got a little bit to go, finishing up with the coaches on this game and will work as a coaching staff and discuss a lot of things, look at a lot of things and try to fix some things. That’ll be something, obviously, we talk about as well.

Q: Is it as simple as who gives you the best chance to win or are there other things to consider?

A: I’d say we’re just getting started on that process now. We’ll have plenty of meetings here tonight and tomorrow.

Q: In your mind, do you have a list of things that you prioritize that you want to address in the coming week, and do you have enough time to address them?

A: Yeah, yep. I’ve been working on that for the past couple of weeks here as we get going. Once I get done with this, get back up with the coaches – I looked at the game last night and still have a few more things to do with that, then we’ll get on to some of the self-scout and maybe looking at a couple of other things around the league.

Q: I was just going to ask with the quarterback situation, how much do you factor some continuity and sticking with Tommy versus experience?

A: Yeah, that’s something we’ll talk about. We’ll talk about it all.

Q: What about you personally?

A: I’d say we’ll have all discussions collectively about it and make a decision.

Q: What about an update on the health of (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) and also (tight end) Darren Waller? What are your expectations for those two guys? Do you expect to see them this year?

A: I’d say they’re getting better. We’ll see where they’re at. I haven’t talked to the medical guys yet, but they’ve been getting better.

Q: Do they have a chance of returning after the bye week?

A: We’ll see. Yeah, we’ll see.

Q: There are so many quarterbacks that are drafted in the first round, second round, third round. In their first year, they can’t even operate in the NFL, and you have (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito), I know it’s not perfect, but he’s functioning. What characteristics did he have that have either

developed underneath you or coming out of school where you’re like, ‘this guy might have something’?

A: It’s an important position to try to develop. It’s a hard position. This guy, like I said, since OTAs he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I thought he’s had two good mentors in there in terms of players. I think (quarterback coach) Shea (Tierney) does an excellent job with him, (offensive coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka) does a great job with him. Him and I meet once a week. We have since OTAs and discussed a lot of different things. I actually just met with him just now right before I came down here. So, he’s got the right mindset, a lot of work to do. He’s a young, young player, but he’s made some progress and he’s done a good job for us.

Q: One thing with him is he doesn’t hesitate to let it rip downfield. How important is that for a quarterback and just for an offense to be able to get those plays?

A: Yeah. See it, let it go. Trust your eyes. I’d say, be intelligently aggressive. I think he had a little fade adjust to go route and they were playing cover two to (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt on the left-hand side, high level throw. We were just talking about it upstairs. Exactly what he saw and why he went there. He’s got good field vision. Usually when he comes off the sideline, he can articulate what he sees, which is not always the easiest thing, whether it’s for a young quarterback, even older quarterbacks, but ‘hey, I put it here because I saw this guy move, the safety didn’t open his shoulders, he stayed square, he was at 12 yards. I figured I had a chance to get it in there.’ Most of the time, he sees it the way it is after you’re watching on tape, which is always a hard thing to do or you can come off to the sideline and say, ‘hey, this is why I didn’t do this’ or ‘man, I screwed this up. I should have let this one go or got it out a little quicker.’ I think all the reps that he has had the last couple of weeks has helped him. We’ve just got to try to keep improving them.

Q: When you set out your developmental plan you saw Tommy as a developmental prospect, you couldn’t have foreseen what happened ahead of him at the position. Does it hurt that process or has this acceleration almost helped him come along faster because of what you’ve had to do?

A: I think every situation is different. It was different when I had (Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen), it’s different with Tommy. I think the third guy that doesn’t get a ton of reps out there other than he goes over and maybe throws one-on-ones with the tight ends and running backs at times or he goes over there with (Assistant Quarterback Coach Christian Jones) CJ on a separate time and goes through some of the plays in his head. The meetings that I had – I do that because you got to spend so much time with these other quarterbacks to get them ready. It’s a demanding position and it takes a lot to prepare for a game, so you’re devoting everything you got to the first guy, the second guy and you never want the third guy to feel left out at all. So, I think those meetings that we have have been important. I got to know him a little bit. He gets to know me and now when he’s in there, he’s in there with Shea and Kafka all the time, but we still do our stuff. Again, he’s played only a few games and has a long way to go, but he’s got the right mindset. He’s done a good job.

Q: When you saw the schedule come out, I’m sure you look at where things are and where the bye week is, and you saw how late it was. Did you kind of look at it and say, alright, where are we going to be at that point? I know you look at it the first game, but where do you think you are right now even after the two wins at the bye? This is sort of a reset with the 4-8 record.

A: I just say we take a week to week. Look at the stuff we got to look at this week and get ready to play Green Bay.

Q: Is this a reset do you think for you and the team?

A: It’s a bye, so you do the things you do normally during a bye, get healthy, as healthy as you can, and make sure you evaluate some stuff, try to fix certain things and then come back ready to go and get ready for a Monday night game.

Q: Can you talk about the young players that have developed and really been a bright spot for you? The Hyatts, the (cornerback Deonte) Banks, the DeVitos, the (wide receiver) Wan’Dale’s (Robinson) and so forth.

A: Sure, yeah. I mean, look, those guys – it’s a long season. I think from – even guys like (inside linebacker) Micah (McFadden) and (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux, that have played quite a bit of football for us. That’s the objective is to get players in your system that you think have a good skillset, the right mindset and play them and get them to improve and those guys have done a good job. (Tight end Daniel) Bellinger, guys who have played behind. (Tight end Darren) Waller’s out, now Bellinger’s in, so those guys have got the right mindset. I think the coaches work hard with them; they work hard to improve but we still need them to keep improving.

Q: I know you said you haven’t met with medical staff yet but how did you come out health wise?

A: Honestly, right now, I don’t know. I’ll meet with those guys later, I’m sure, after you guys are done with (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen).

Q: I know you downplayed any friction with (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) yesterday but just in your experience, you’ve been in the league a long time, do coaches have to get along? I’m sure there’s times where there’s different personalities and there’s conflict.

A: Look, you’re in a competitive industry so the people you work with, you’ve got a lot of respect for. Everybody’s trying to get the same thing.

Q: One of the finer points of that report, can you assure that Wink will be here?

A: I addressed what I said last night and I’m going to leave it at what I said last night.

Q: Have you had a conversation with Wink about it within the last 24 hours? Between after the game and today.

A: I’m done with that.

Yeah, I just met with Wink a little while ago. We had donuts.

Q: What prompted you giving him the game ball? I’ve never seen you do that.

A: I’ve done that before.

Q: To a coach?

A: Yeah.

Q: Well, why did you give one to Wink yesterday?

A: Because we had another game of three turnovers and held them to seven points.

Q: I’m not sure if you answered the question. Can you say for sure he’ll be the DC for the rest of the season?

A: Guys, I talked (and said) what I said last night. We’re moving on here. Getting ready to for the bye week.

Q: Do you know if (tackle) Evan Neal is going to play again this season?

A: Do I know? Not for certain but I think he’s getting better so I’m hopeful.

Q: If he’s ready to play, will he return to the lineup?

A: This is stuff we’ll all talk about when he’s ready to play. I don’t think he’s ready to play quite yet but he’s getting there.

Q: What do you look to get accomplished over the last 5-6 games of the season?

A: I’m just focused on these next couple of days and looking at our stuff, things we can improve on, and start some Green Bay prep.

Q: Back to the question about the timing of the bye week, do you have to do different things this bye week as opposed to last year when it was earlier? Because it’s so late in the year.

A: I mean, you have more to look at, but you still look at some of the things that you know you want to place an emphasis on improving. So, it’ll probably be about 10-12 tapes that I’ve set up for the defense and offense to watch and four or five for the special teams that those guys will get started on here shortly. We’ll have a normal Monday, we’ll work pretty late tonight, same thing tomorrow. We’ll see what we can get done and get on to Green Bay.

Q: With the increase of Thursday night games, the extra game that you guys are now playing with Week 18, it seems like this year, more so than others, there have been a significant amount of injuries to quarterbacks and to positions all over. Would you be a proponent of a second bye? Do you believe that could potentially help long term?

A: Never thought of it. Yeah, never thought of it.

Q: Answer on the fly.

A: Never thought of it, doesn’t cross my mind. Whatever you can do to minimize injuries.

Q: Are you going to have Tommy do more work this week even though it’s the bye?

A: Yeah, he’ll have his weekend off and stuff like that but I’m sure he’ll be – I know he’ll be doing stuff, we just talked about it. Again, young player, lot to develop in terms of that position, which is important, and I know he’ll work at it.

Q: Like what? What kind of stuff can he do during that time?

A: Watch tape, get ahead on Green Bay, look at his past two games, talk about plays that he really likes, maybe plays he didn’t like during a game, those are some of the main things.

Q: Players will be back Monday? Next Monday.

A: Yeah, yep.

Q: And you’ll shift the schedule probably because of the Monday night game?

A: Yeah, so right now, tentatively it’ll be – and this is kind of a ramp up too with the training staff. I’ve still got to meet with the medical staff, but this is tentatively. Monday, we’ll kind of get back in, we’ll do a little bit of a walkthrough. Tuesday will be similar to a Wednesday but an additional walkthrough with it. Wednesday will be a Wednesday. Thursday will be a Tuesday so that will be the players day off like we’ve done in the past. Friday will be a Thursday; Saturday will be a Friday. Got all that?

That’s tentatively. I want to meet with (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and the rest of the trainers and make sure and the sports science people but that’s kind of what we have mapped out, starting last weekend to now.

Q: One thing that happened today was (Former Panthers Head Coach) Frank Reich was fired. I was wondering is less than a year –

A: Frank was?

Q: Yeah, is less than a year a fair amount of time for any coach?

A: You’re asking the wrong guy; I’m just trying to do the best job I can. Never like to see that with any of the guys you know.

Q: Is it too late to change anything? Moving forward on how your processes or your practice schedule or anything like that to get the guys through the rest of the year?

A: No, we do that every week. Yeah, every week.

With the Giants in their bye week, there is no availability to the team from November 28 to December 3.