Daniel Bellinger – © USA TODAY Sports
INJURY UPDATES ON BELLINGER, NEAL, AND BREDESON…
According to media reports, tight end Daniel Bellinger suffered a fracture around the eye socket and septum in Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bellinger will likely undergo surgery later this week. “It’s probably too early to say when I expect him back,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll on Monday.
In addition, media sources are reporting that right tackle Evan Neal sprained the MCL in his left knee. He is expected to be out of service for approximately four weeks. Daboll said Neal would be “week-to-week” in terms of when he may be back.
Left guard Ben Bredeson also suffered a right knee injury in Sunday’s game. Daboll said Bredeson would also be “week-to-week.”
OCTOBER 24, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars (the VIDEO of the press conference is also available on YouTube):
Q: First off, the injuries. There’s been a few reports that (tight end) Daniel Bellinger is going to need eye surgery and (tackle) Evan Neal with the MCL. Can you go over them and of course (guard) Ben Bredeson too?
A: Bellinger’s got an eye and Bredeson and Neal have knees.
Q: Will Bellinger need surgery on the eye?
A: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
Q: Yesterday, you said about (quarterback) Daniel Jones – you said he’s cool as a cucumber. It seems as like you have a coordinator up in the booth that’s the same way, a guy that sticks with something that works and sticks with a running play that maybe isn’t working early in game. Can you talk about (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) up in the booth and his personality and how you two guys are communicating during the game?
A: Yeah, I think Mike has done a fantastic job since he’s been here. He’s very smart. He has good leadership qualities. I think he communicates well with Daniel (Jones), specifically the quarterback but really with all the players. I think he works extremely hard at his craft during the week to get prepared for a game. Throughout the game, he’s very calm, he’s very composed. I think he does a great job communicating with the assistant coaches who do a good job of giving feedback to him. That’s important when you’re a coordinator to get that information from the assistants that are watching their positions or their matchups if you will. They do a good job collaborating and I think Mike stays the course. He has these first seven games of doing what he thinks we need to do to win offensively. I communicate with Mike throughout the game but again, I let Mike do his job. I think he’s done a great job.
Q: Bredeson, does it look like it’s serious or?
A: No. We’ll go week-by-week with him.
Q: Just one more on Daniel (Bellinger). I know this is not your expertise on eye surgery.
A: That would be a correct statement.
Q: You saw how bad (Bellinger) looked. Can they tell about his vision yet and is the surgery to repair the fracture and since it’s so swollen, is there concern about his vision or are they pretty okay with that at this point?
A: I couldn’t tell you 100 percent. I think they’ll do the surgery, I’m optimistic. But in terms of getting into details with it, I couldn’t answer those.
Q: I just have something about (safety) Landon Collins who got a bunch of snaps yesterday, made a tackle on his first play. First of all, how do you think he played in his first game for you?
A: I think he did a good job. He’s a pro. Obviously, he’s played a lot of football. We got him acclimated to how we do things here, he picked up our defense well and I thought he did a good job.
Q: Did you have any reservations – he’s a new player for you, but he’s not a new player for the Giants – about bringing him back to where he was sort of a star? Did you talk to people in the building about how that might fit in, the guys who’ve been here before?
A: No, we just looked at him when he worked out. You always talk to people that know the player that you’re bringing in. Thought he’d be a good addition and he’s been.
Q: I’m curious how much of an asset for you as a play-caller is it when you have a quarterback who can be a threat with his legs like Daniel (Jones) is?
A: Based on who your quarterback is, that’s really when you sit down and start talking about the offense and how you want to build it. He’s the primary player that you talk about and then it goes on. Everybody is important but when you have a quarterback who can – the dual-threat quarterbacks, as they say nowadays, add another element to your offense because it is 11 on 11 football. Those guys can carry the football or zone read it or do some different things. So, he has the ability to do those things. How many times we use him each game – I think that varies based on how we are getting played. Yesterday, he was a big-time asset for us.
Q: I wanted to ask about (center) Nick Gates. I know that the deadline is coming up on him. What’s the plan with him?
A: We’ll see. We’ll talk about it here in the next couple days. Nick’s done a good job since he’s been out here working out. We’ll revisit that here tonight.
Q: What’d you make of the way the two backup offensive linemen (Josh Ezeudu and Tyre Phillips) played once you got to see them on film? Is that the way you’ll go moving forward?
A: Yeah, I think they both did a good job. They were prepared and that’s a credit to them, first and foremost, but then (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and (assistant offensive line coach) Tony (Sparano Jr.) spend a lot of extra time with some of those younger guys or guys that are working on the practice squad. They were both ready to go and prepared and did a good job. We’ll work with them this week and we’ll see how it goes this week but I was pleased with how they responded with having to go in there and play.
Q: On Bellinger, do you expect him back this year?
A: It’s probably too early to say when I expect him back. We’ll see how this thing goes and I’m hopeful for it but obviously you never know when things like this happen.
Q: I wanted to ask one about (running back) Saquon (Barkley). He was a little hard on himself yesterday with his early runs. I think he said they were soft and his mind wasn’t in the right place. What did you see from him early on and how was he able to find that play late in the fourth quarter?
A: That’s what you love about Saquon is he’s never satisfied. I’m happy he’s on our team. We could have blocked plays better, too. I think he’s a very good leader for us. He obviously owns some of the things that happened but I would say it’s more of a collective effort than just Saquon Barkley, he did a good job for us.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the job (cornerback) Fabian Moreau has been doing for you?
A: I said I think last week – he’s come in, he’s learned our defense. I think he’s playing some good football. I know the coaches have confidence in him, the players around him I think have confidence in him and he’s playing good, smart football for us.
Q: After every game as a coach, do you send a letter to the league saying, “These are the calls that were made. I have issues with this one, I don’t have issues with anything else?”
A: Yeah, we have good communication with the league office. Each week, that happens. Those conversations will be between myself and the league. You’re always trying to figure out ways you can coach things better.
Q: If you could clarify what Evan’s injury is?
A: It’s a knee.
Q: How long will he be out? Do you have any idea?
Q: (Wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson), he was the most targeted of your wide receivers. What are you seeing from him and how he was doing before he got that groin injury?
A: I think he was doing good. I think there’s a lot of things to work on. He hasn’t played a lot of football games. We’ll just keep on teaching him during the week. He’s got a great attitude. I think he wants to do as well as he can do. He’s a good young player to work with.
Q: There was a clip after you guys scored where Daniel (Jones) was really fired up on the sidelines, talking to (quarterbacks coach) Shea (Tierney) and then you kind of jumped in talking to him. I was just wondering what that exchange was about?
A: When was it?
Q: Like 5:30 left in the fourth.
A: Was it a quarterback sneak?
A: I think Shea and I were both about to tell him the same thing and I just wanted to tell him before Shea. Shea was on top of it. It was positive. I just wanted to get to him, talk to him and then get back on the headset with the other side of the ball. He just made a really good play on that quarterback sneak. Made a good decision and had a good drive so it was really all positive.
Q: From your experience, what is the best way for a team to handle success?
A: Focus on the process. Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but this league humbles you very quickly. As soon as you’re done with this game and as soon as Mondays are over, you put it to bed, and you get focused on your next opponent. Which, they’re all good in this league. Every game is hard, you’re going to get everybody’s best each week regardless of what your record is. You continue to prepare the way you know how to prepare to try to put yourself in the best position you can. That’s really all it is. Focusing on things that happened in the past don’t do you any good, you’ve got to learn from them. Thinking about things that could happen in the future do you no good because you better stay right in the present and focus on the things that you can control. That’s something that I’ve preached to our players, to our staff, to myself. I think that takes discipline and it takes a consistent approach to do that each day.
Q: On your last drive, the one that ended with (kicker) Graham’s (Gano) field goal, the final field goal. I think you ran the same play or a variation of that play eight times, that running play. I know from a play-caller perspective I don’t know how rare that is in the league but, when you guys saw that was working, what are you thinking? I know you and Mike are talking and everybody else but, was that the plan going into that drive?
A: Credit to Mike and the offensive staff, Bobby Johnson, those guys communicated when the defense was out, and they got that three-and-out. There’s a bunch of communication that’s going on, on the other headset and I’m on the defensive headset. What are the plays that they want to run based on the situation of the game. There’s a lot of things that get talked about because you never know what’s going to happen. Maybe they get a first down, maybe they take some time, whatever it may be, and it was a select group of plays that those guys came up with. When one was working, Kafka stayed with it. Then we ran a little keep off of one of them. But I thought the players executed those plays for the most part well. Mike was strong in his conviction, along with Bobby with what they wanted to do and how they wanted to get it accomplished.
Q: Is that hard to do in this league? To run the same play or a variation of it over and over again before a defense kind of figures something out?
A: It’s not hard to call it if it’s working. It’s probably a little bit harder to block it sometimes but there’s times to where ‘they can’t run this again’, then you run it again. I think Mike changed up a formation here or there but for the most part it was very similar, and the players did a good job executing. I thought Saquon ran well.
Q: How much is this offense going to miss Daniel (Bellinger) given the way he had been developing? Do you feel like you need to bring in another tight end?
A: Well, I think anytime one of your better players gets injured you always miss him but that’s why you have players on the roster. People are here for a reason; we’ve said this before. We have to find a way to use our pieces the best way we can. We have two tight ends; we have one on the practice squad and we’ll try to do the best job we can of utilizing their strengths.
Q: The other thing I want to ask you on Evan, you said Ben is week-to-week. Is that basically where you’re putting Evan too? In that category?
Q: This obviously is the first year for you and (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and you’re trying to build something here. How much have the expectations changed what you’re trying to accomplish year one? Maybe changes the more you win as you sit here at 6-1 now.
A: I think we try to establish a standard of doing things the right way both on and off the field. How we prepare, how we work, that’s never going to change based on result. So, we try to be as consistent as we can be relative to those things each and every day.
Q: Obviously there’s the question of, ‘oh wow, we’re winning, we’re in a really good spot. Do we then add reinforcements’? Do you look it at that way at all? Do you factor that into the equation?
A: I’d say our process has been the same since we’ve been here. Control what you can control, improve each day. Obviously, we always look to improve any area of the roster we can each week. We have players that come in and workout. That’s pretty consistent with how we’ve been since we’ve been here. Again, our record is what our record is but it’s our preparation and our consistency of how we do things that are important to us.
Q: This isn’t one of the in the moment questions but I’m hoping you’ll kind of humor me, I just asked (Jets’ head coach) Robert Saleh the same thing. There’s great defense being played here in New York between the Jets and Giants and couldn’t be done more differently. They rely on their front four, you guys blitz a ton. When you hired (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale), was it Wink’s makes it the most difficult on you? How did you decide what kind of defense you wanted to run when you became the head coach?
A: Well, I interviewed some good candidates. I just felt Wink was the right person for the job. He’s had a good track record of success. He was a veteran play caller and I thought he fit what we were looking for after we spoke with him.
Q: So, you wanted that style? When you interviewed other people did you look at other styles of defense or was it mostly, you wanted that style and Wink was the best guy for that style?
A: I think it’s a combination of things when you’re looking to hire people. I just felt Wink did a good job in the interview process and I felt comfortable with the things he was teaching, his leadership style, his communication. Again, styles are important, don’t get me wrong, schemes are important but leadership, the ability to communicate, the experience of having to do that job for a while, those were also important.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media access to the team. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday.