NYG Postgame (vs. Panthers) Transcripts: Head Coach Brian Daboll
September 18, 2022
Daboll: How’s everybody doing? Good, hard-fought game. Another 60-minute game. Thought our guys competed well. I thought they were prepared; had a good week of practice, and these are the games in the National Football League. There’s certainly a lot of things we need to do better, but I’m happy for the guys. (Kicker) Graham (Gano) made all his kicks. (There were) some big kicks there at the end for us, and (Quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ led the team down to get some extra points there, which was a huge difference. (I) thought the defense played well; started out fast. Wish we could’ve gotten more points on the board early on after those two turnovers, but all-in-all a good team win. And (we’ll) get ready for next week.
Q: Obviously not the prettiest, but once again Daniel responded in the second half with some big plays – especially some third-down. What did you see from him?
A: I thought he played a good game. I thought he made great decisions with the football in his hands. He took care of it; he led the team down again to finish off a drive to win the game. So, that’s two good weeks I’d say for Daniel. Made the right decision, took care of the ball when there was pressure on him, threw it away if he needed to throw it away, and then took off on that last naked there to get the first down. He could have done a lot of different things, and he made the right decision under pressure in a critical situation. And he’s taken steps, and I’m happy for him.
Q: You put a lot of trust in him in that situation to make the right decision. Why did you feel like that was the right play call?
A: Well, I just told (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) throughout the game – calling an NFL game is an up-and-down thing sometimes. And I think the most important thing to do is stay true to yourself and have confidence in the players. They feel that. So, we figured that was – not we figured, we talked about it – and Mike recommended that play. It was a naked play, so we had a couple different options. And he made the right one. If not, he probably would’ve taken a sack just so he kept the clock moving there. But I think it’s important to show players that you have faith in them. They work their asses off during the week. They’ve worked their asses off during camp. They’re the ones out there playing on Sunday, and you have to put it in their hands when it counts the most. And that’s what Kafka did with Daniel, and Daniel made the right decision. We ended up kneeling on the ball.
Q: You got five yards I guess on the third-down play for the 56-yard field goal. How long were you going to go with Graham?
A: It was a probably a little bit past the line that we said going into the game by about a yard-and-a-half, and I just told (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac – I mean he was kicking it well. He kicked the other one well. I looked at Graham, he said –. He’s done it a lot in practice. I know he’s played a lot in this league. And again, we’d like to be closer for him, but that’s his job as a kicker and a snapper and as a holder – to execute those plays when we need it the most. A lot of time it’s under pressure, and the three of those guys along with the field goal protection unit did a good job.
Q: What did you think of your defense on third downs in particular?
A: I thought the defense throughout the game played well. Again, we gave up that one big one and squirted out there later, but they tightened back up in the red zone. They tackled well. We didn’t get hit over the top of their head. I thought they did a good job. They stuck together. Again, it was a good team win. These games are going to be like this most of the time in this league, and I thought our guys showed grit and toughness and heart.
Q: What can you say about the job (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) is doing? I mean, you’re down (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari). You lose (Defensive Lineman) Leonard (Williams) in that game.
A: I think we have really good coaches, Wink being one of them. I think Mike’s doing a good job with his unit, T-Mac, all the rest of them. I have a lot of confidence in Wink. I think the players have a lot of confidence. They’re playing fast. Give a lot of credit to the coaches on the defensive side, but to the players that are out there executing the assignments. But again, Wink’s done this a long time. Wink’s not afraid of failure, and that’s really what we want for the entire organization is to not be afraid of failure, not to be afraid of the consequence. If you prepare the right way, you can live with the results. And I’ll say that over and over again. And there might be games where our asses get blown out. But I now the guys prepare the right way. I know the coaches prepare them the right way. I have confidence in the group that we have that we work with. It’s never going to be perfect, but we have a bunch of tough guys – or tough-minded guys I’d say.
Q: In your own words – you talk about guys working their asses off – can you talk a little bit about (Outside Linebacker) Oshane (Ximines)?
A: I’ve said this from the beginning. Again, I don’t know where he was last year. I just know where he is this year. His mind’s on right. He’s been a big part of our football team. He’s got energy. I think he has talent. I think Wink’s getting talent out of him. He’s a confident player. Look, we’ve got a long, long way to go as you saw out there. But our guys fought – not just (Oshane) OX should I say. X (Xavier McKinney) is X. There’s power in preparation; there’s power in believing. And there’s, I’d say, power in toughness.
Q: You guys asked for energy from the crowd. What did you think of the reaction in the stadium today?
A: I thought the fans were great. Just driving over here from the facility and looking at all the tailgates and all the beverages and all the games they were playing, they were pretty rocked up. They had their jerseys on – some old school ones, some new school ones. They were great on third down. They know when to cheer, and it was certainly helpful to have them out there. And we look forward to next week.
Q: When you’re not scoring a lot of points and making a ton of big plays, how important is it for your team to learn how to find a way to win games like this as far as their development is concerned?
A: Well, I’d say whether you score a lot or not, it’s important to figure out a way to win the games. You can win a game a variety of ways. You can also lose it. Again, the object of the game is to have one more point at the end and to give yourself a chance in the fourth quarter. Right now, where we’re at, we’re a young team that’s still developing. We’ve got a long way to go. But I’d say that again, we’re shuffling guys in and out. We’re trying to find the best combinations, but taking care of the ball and getting it goes a long way – tackling well and being able to figure out a way in the fourth quarter when it’s close to grind out those yards you need to put yourself in a chance to win. These are close games; I anticipate most of our games being close. So, there’s a lot of work to do. We’ll get back to work here tomorrow and get at it again.
Q: You said these games are close. You’re still 2-0 as the head coach of the New York Giants. For you, what area do you feel like you’re getting most comfortable in now, two games, two wins under your belt?
A: I don’t think you ever get comfortable whether I was an assistant or a coordinator. This game will humble you really quick. There’s one week you can be on top of the mountain, and the next you fall right off. And what I just stress to the players and to the staff is, ‘Let’s just take it one day at a time. Let’s take it for what it’s worth.’ I told them in the locker room, ‘If we lost this game, I can live with it because I know what we’re doing during the week is the right thing.’ I think there’s a sound plan. I think the players are spending extra time together. I think the coaches work extremely hard of putting plans together. I think we go out there and practice the right way. It’s not always perfect, but the steps that you need to take in order to build a consistent program takes time. But those guys, they’re a gritty bunch. And they’ve been that way since camp when we’ve put them through a variety of things. There’s days where I know it would be tough on the defense and just make it really short yards. There’s other days, tough on the offense, mess with the kicking game a little bit. I think that’s just part of it, having a mental resiliency – a competitive stamina – to go out there and play the next play regardless of how the situation’s going, which I know is tough for a lot of people to do. But our guys are finding a way just to fight through play by play.
Q: Do you have an early word on Leonard Williams?
A: No. We’ll get more tomorrow.
Q: In the first quarter after your second field goal, it looked like that third-down play, the offense wasn’t in the right position. Clock was going down, and then it seemed like you pulled the offense to the side over there. An official came over and talked to you. What did the official talk to you about?
A: All I was saying was look, ‘We got to get in the huddle. We got to hear the play call, and we got to line up properly.’ And that has nothing to do with defense. It has to do with getting in the huddle, hearing the call and get lined up properly just to give yourself a fighting chance at the start of a play. And I thought that we were a little slow out of the huddle, so I just let those guys know that.
Q: How big were special teams today, especially on the opening kickoff? You almost had two fumble recoveries and it really set the tone.
A: I think we’re making progress in that area. Still a ways to go but made some big plays. (We) also gave up a long turn, but our specialist made all our kicks. We’re making progress. I think T-Mac’s doing a good job with those guys. And again, we’re shuffling guys in-and-out. Really every area of our team is a work in progress right now.
Q: We saw (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) play a lot more today, and then we look at (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) on the other side. He’s one of your highest paid players…
A: It’s a continual competition at receiver. I’ve said it since when? I’m not being a jerk. I’ve said it since the middle of camp, right? It hasn’t changed. It’s going to be a continual competition. Kadarius had opportunities today, and we’ll see what it is next week: maybe it’s (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton, maybe it’s more (Kenny Golladay) KG. We’ll see where we go with that. But I think that position, we’re just going to keep on rolling guys and play the guys that week that we think would give us the best chance. And the other guys got to be ready as backups.
Q: How did Kenny handle that?
A: Great. Like a pro. I told him during the week that we were going to go with (Wide Receiver David) Sills (V). He acted like a pro. I said, ‘Be ready to go.’ Now, does that mean it’s going to be that next week? No, because you see what we did from one week to the next. We’re just evaluating all those guys on a game-by-game basis. I think it takes a lot of mental toughness, too. That’s not an easy thing to hear, and I appreciate them being pros. We’ll go out there; we’ll practice this week. It’s not going to be a play-by-play every day of how they do every practice. Those guys will compete and (we’ll) try to figure out the best way to utilize them for the next game.
Q: Last week you danced after the game.
A: No dancing (this week).
Q: Did you kids do a film break down and critique your dancing?
A: Yeah. It wasn’t good (Laughs).