Head Coach Brian Daboll
September 24, 2022
Daboll: How’s everybody doing? Normal Friday practice today. So, other than that, fire away.
Q: What happened with (wide receiver) Kadarius (Toney) yesterday? I saw he kind of went the other direction.
A: It’s his hamstring still. We’re just trying to do right by the player, and he didn’t do anything for walkthrough, so we downgraded him.
Q: Where does he stand for Monday?
A: He won’t practice today. We’ll reconvene like we normally do after practice and sit down with (senior vice president, medical services/head athletic trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and the medical staff. We usually do that Friday after practice when we make our final decisions on the injury report.
Q: You took some guys – of course, I can’t think of who, maybe (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) – right up until game day Week 1. Will you do that with Kadarius, or you think you’ll know either way today?
A: I think anybody that’s injured, we try if we think maybe there’s a chance, maybe there’s not a chance. Again, those discussions happen after this practice, after they go through some rehab sessions or light work on the practice field. And if they can’t go, they can’t go. But (we) try to hold out hope as long as we can to see if those guys can go.
Q: You’d be alright with a guy not practicing in like a normal week, let’s say Thursday, Friday, and then playing him on Monday or Sunday?
A: Tough usually. Yeah, it’s usually tough. I think it’s case-by-case. That’s how we’ll take this one.
Q: Do you get a sense of excitement about Kayvon and (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) being on the field for the first time if that’s the case? Is there an anticipation as a coach in your mind about what that might look like?
A: No. I’m happy for the players that they’re getting better. I’ve been hopeful the last couple of weeks. They’re two good players for us. You’d like to have every player you can available. So, I’m excited if they’re ready to go. It’ll be good to have them out there.
Q: Where do you stand at the corner spot opposite (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson)? Because obviously (cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott started the game; (defensive back) Fabian (Moreau) finished it.
A: Those decisions, too, we’ll go through today’s practice; and then we sit down as a staff and any of those things we got to talk about still, which I’d say that I have confidence in the guys that are playing opposite of him. It could be both of them, or it could be one of them. But we’ll let today’s practice go, then we’ll talk about that.
Q: You’re going to have to start doing these press briefings later in the day on Fridays, huh?
A: No. This is a perfect time.
Q: You’ve been part of a lot of big games in your life. Does this qualify as a big game in your mind?
A: Well, it’s the early part of the regular season, so again, our focus is on what we can do better. I’ve said this before: It’s always cool to play on Monday night, a division game. But it’s the next one right now, and the early part of the season is where we’re at.
Q: Are you aware of the stat (that) the difference between starting 2-0 and 3-0 among the teams that go the playoffs, it jumps by like 25 percent?
A: I’ll leave that to you guys. I don’t think we can get involved with that. We got to focus on what we need to do this week against the team that’s held (Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom) Brady and (Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe) Burrow to under 20 points a game, under 200 yards passing, played really well defensively and their quarterback did a good job last week of doing what he needed to do to win the game.
Q: Do you block it out, or do you soak it in? And same for your players: Do you want them to block it out or soak it in – the excitement around the Giants right now? Because 2-0 to these fans feels like 10-0 after the last five years.
A: I think when you win a game, it’s hard to win a game in the National Football League, and you should feel good when you win a game. And then you should be able to turn the page quickly. The same thing if you win another one; I don’t think you can get too high or get too low if it doesn’t go the way you want them to go. You got to keep on doing the things that we think we need to do each week. Make sure we’re prepared. Games are tough on Sundays or Mondays. Things are going to happen. But our focus really needs to be on the things that we can control. The last game, the next game, that really doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Q: Shep (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) made a comment after the game; I think he said like, ‘Everyone’s still trying to figure out where to line up.’ It’s probably too much of that for your liking. What do you do this week to eliminate some of that pre-snap confusion.
A: You just keep building on it. You keep building on it. There’s going to be some of that early in the season. The more you’re together, the less there usually is of that. You do the same stuff. You walk through, you prepare it, and you cut things back if you need to cut things back. And then you come out here and make sure they’re doing it right. If you need to repeat it, you repeat it. Hopefully as you keep building in the system, under pressure which each of these games are, each week it gets better.
Q: Feliciano expressed the same kind of thing and was frustrated with the way things went offensively, especially the first half. Did you get that sense from the offensive unit all week that, ‘Hey we won a game, but we didn’t...’?
A: I think you get that sense – again, having done this a while – it’s never going to be perfect. You fix the things you can fix, whether it’s on defense, special teams, offense. And you work on it during the week. You emphasize the things that weren’t as good as they needed to be, and then you try to build off the things that were and just stay as consistent as you can.
Q: How much do you make tweaks or changes? I mean the offense in the first half.
A: Oh tweaks, sorry.
Q: How much do you make tweaks in regard to the process or whatever? Is there something you can do? The offense in the first half has been kind of stagnant in the first weeks; in the second half, you’ve been significantly better
A: You’re consistent with your approach. But you’re always making tweaks, whether it’s practice plans, periods in practice, how you’re practicing in the beginning parts of the play, the walk throughs on Saturday. Again, whether it’s going really well or not going as well as you want to, I think that’s the job of what I need to do and then communicate that with the coaches. And they have their input. Not just starting off slow, which obviously we don’t want to do that, but really every aspect of the game. So every week you go into the game and feel prepared. You feel like you did what you needed to do to get your team ready. They understand what we need to do. And then it’s, again Monday (after a Sunday game), you’re always analyzing stuff you do. That won’t change.
Q: What has that looked like from Week 1, Week 2, now going into Week 3 – those changes?
A: It’s little things, too. It’s different periods in practice. It’s maybe adding another rep. It’s communication with the staff. You’re always self-analyzing, self-evaluating, or self-scouting yourself, not just the plays you called, the down and distances, but really the entire scheduling process that goes throughout the week.
Q: Have you changed it a lot then?
A: No. You just change the little things here and there. We believe in what we do. We believe in our process. We believe in our preparation. But by no means is it ever perfect. So, you’re always trying to get better. That’s what you need to do.
Q: There was a segment this week on NFL Live that said the (Carolina) Panthers were tipping off their plays based on where (running back) Christian McCaffery lined up in the backfield. So, I have two questions. One – did you feel like you knew what they were doing? And two – how aware are you of tipping off your plays as an offense? Or is that more of a baseball thing?
A: I think you always self-scout. I look at a lot of things throughout the week on both sides and in the kicking game. You’re always trying gain a competitive advantage. You can go through a scouting report and talk about tendencies or things like that. In the heat of the battle, do I think it’s important? Yeah. But unless something is 100 percent or in the high, high, high 90s (or) 80s, you can tell a player too much, too, where they’re thinking, ‘Look for this. And remember this. Do this.’ You want to let them go use their skillset and play fast.
Q: With Leo (defensive lineman Leonard Williams), is this a discussion after practice before you can say where he stands?
A: Discussion after practice. Yeah.
Q: So, let’s say he can’t play. He obviously plays a ton of snaps. He plays very well. Like will you plug on guy in there? Does (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence) have to go more? How would you compensate if he’s out?
A: I would say all the guys that are in that D-line room are ready to go if that’s the case. We try to use those big guys – you try to use as many guys as you can to keep them fresh throughout a game. If it is a case where Leo can’t go, then those guys will be ready to go. Obviously, Leo’s a really good player. But every guy we got on the roster we expect to be ready to go.
Q: What have you seen from Kayvon and Azeez this week?
A: Improvement. They’ve taken good steps. I think they are much better than they were the week before. Hopefully they’ll have a good day here, and we’re moving in the right direction with those guys.
Q: Barring a setback, you feel confident that they should be ready on Monday?
A: I hope so.