Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett
November 27, 2020
Opening Statement: Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Just before we get started, I’d love to send my condolences to Heidi Paul and the Paul family. We’re all really saddened by the tragic death of Markus Paul. I know Markus was here with the Giants organization for a number of years. He was with us in Dallas the last couple of years, but I’ve known him for a long, long time. He played on those great Syracuse teams of the late ‘80s with Daryl Johnston and so many other guys. Anybody who has had the great fortune of being around Markus Paul knows the kind of person he was. The positive impact he had on so many people’s lives, he really had an amazing spirit. We all continue to be saddened by his death and are there for his family as they go forward. A very sad and tragic situation.
The other thing I just wanted to touch on is the situation with Marc Colombo. I know Coach Judge has talked about that and addressed that, so I don’t see any reason for me to talk about it much further. Joe took care of all that, and we’re focused on what we have to do this weekend against Cincinnati. Thank you.
Q: I wanted to ask you about Daniel Jones. Has he gotten more responsibility as he grows with his comfort level in this offense? Can you speak to what type of growth he’s had as far as his responsibilities in the offense?
A: Daniel’s a really smart person and he’s a really smart football player. He’s getting more and more experience here over the first couple years of his career. The more experience he gets as a player at this level and also in this offense, the more exposure and responsibility he’ll have. But there’s never been a minute with him that you say, ‘boy, he can’t handle it mentally’ or ‘he can’t handle it physically.’ It’s just more about having experience. I think we’ve grown as an offense over the course of the year. I think individuals have grown, I think collectively we’ve grown. Guys are settling into what we’re asking them to do. The more experience and the more reps we get at things, I think we’re executing them at a higher level. That applies to Daniel, but really it applies to everybody across our offense.
Q: You do have a new offensive line coach now. It’s unusual to bring in a new one in the middle of a season like this. I’m curious how you see that transition going and if there’s any concern with all these young offensive linemen, bringing in somebody that maybe teaches different techniques than Marc did coming in?
A: Yeah, we had a really good week. I think the growth and development of the offensive line over the course of the year has been significant. They’ve gotten better and better and better, and it’s really to that same point that we were talking about with Daniel. They’re young players and they’re growing in the offense. They’re growing just by playing at this level, individually and then playing together. They go about it the right way and they’re learning from their experiences. Anybody who’s watched us play has seen the progression with those guys upfront blocking much better in the running game, the protection has improved as the year has gone on, and we’ve played better as an offense as a result. That’s just going to continue. Dave (DeGuglielmo) has coached in this league for a long time, Ben Wilkerson has been around this league for a long time. Those guys are in good hands, and they hit the ground running this week. Excited about this opportunity against Cincinnati.
Q: Speaking of, since 2007, you’ve been nothing but on the field on Thanksgiving Day. Was it weird being home?
A: It was a little bit different. When I was playing with the Cowboys in the ‘90s, we played on Thanksgiving every year back then as well. I’ve been really fortunate to play on Thanksgiving a lot throughout my life, and those are great experiences. But it was a little bit different yesterday. A little bit more of a traditional Thanksgiving, and that’s pretty good, too.
Q: Were you aware of the plan to bring in DeGuglielmo to consult? Did you agree with that decision, especially when you were just saying yourself you feel like the line has been getting better? So, was that something you were aware was happening and something you agreed with as well?
A: Again, Joe touched on that whole situation earlier in the week, so I’m going to let his word stand. Again, we’re excited about the growth and development of the line. They’re in good hands right now. We’re excited about this opportunity on Sunday against Cincinnati. It’ll be a good challenge for everybody.
Q: Just one follow up, if I may. There was a report that Joe Judge and some of his former Patriots assistants are acting arrogantly in the building as if their way works and others doesn’t. What is your perception of that? How would you respond to an accusation like that?
A: I don’t know anything about that. I know we’re excited about this opportunity to be here as players and coaches, and I do think our team has gotten better over the course of the year. That’s what we try to do. We try to come in here and try to improve, try to create an environment for our players to improve and take advantage of the opportunities on Sunday. We have a good one in Cincinnati.
Q: You said the offensive line was improving. I think that’s probably what caught so many people off guard with the timing of everything. Why do you think the offensive line has been getting better in the last couple of weeks?
A: I think the biggest thing that we try to do is create an environment for those guys to improve individually and collectively. But then if you have the right kind of guys, hopefully they learn from their experiences. When you’re playing young guys or playing guys who have been playing different positions, the opportunity to grow each week is significant. Sometimes you grow when you have positive experiences that you can build on, and sometimes you learn from negative experiences or adversity. If you have the right kind of guys on your team who love ball and want to work at it and want to learn, you have a chance to get better. We certainly have a team made up of those kinds of guys. We’re not even close to where we need to be. We all recognize that. But guys are working hard the right way. I think that approach is helping us improve each week.
Q: I asked Joe this, I should ask you this. How would you characterize your relationship with Joe? Because obviously, he let go of one of your friends and we talk all the time about how this is a personal business. I’m sure there were some personal feelings there. How would you characterize your relationship with Joe right now?
A: I think I have a great relationship with Joe. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, like I said, from afar when he was coaching in New England. All the people that I know that have been around him had great respect for him. My time with him in New York has been a really positive experience for me. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him. I like the program that we’re trying to build here with our team and how we go about it. I have nothing but great respect for him and appreciate the opportunity to coach for him here in New York.
Q: If I could ask one non-Colombo question, the way Wayne Gallman is running the ball right now, how impressive is that considering he was inactive for you guys Week 2? How much of his success right now is you changing the play-calling from maybe the kind of runs you envisioned with Saquon (Barkley) to the kind of runs that fit Wayne best?
A: I’d probably answer it the same way I answered the earlier questions. Wayne is essentially a young player. With the guys that he’s played behind here, he hasn’t played that much football at this level. He’s played a lot, don’t get me wrong, but he’s playing more and more as a starter for us. He’s exactly what I’m talking about in terms of a player who goes about it the right way. Wayne is a great person. He’s a talented guy and he wants to be a great player, he wants to be great for our team. He works very hard at it and he learns from his experiences. You can see him gaining confidence as he goes, building on some of the positive things he’s done. Then when he’s had an adversity or a setback in some way, he tries to understand what happened and learn from it and grow, and he’s done that. He’s embracing the opportunity. We’re lucky to have him.