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Post-Game Transcript: Tight End Darren Waller

Eric from BBI : Admin : 8/19/2023 8:27 am
Tight End Darren Waller

Q: What do you think of your first brief outing as a Giant in this stadium?

A: I thought it was a productive drive. I feel like a lot of people touched the rock. Offense moved efficiently, got a touchdown. I don't think you can ask for anything better than that.

Q: On the lighter side, do you realize that you're the only reason that (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) didn't have a perfect quarter?

A: Hey, I'll make it up to him (laughter).

Q: How do you explain the chemistry that you and Daniel have built so early?

A: A lot of reps. A lot of reps that take place since April with OTA's and then throwing sessions that nobody else was at except us and a couple of receivers. Just continuing to get reps in, knowing where each other is – the timing we want. Where we expect each other to be, where I expect the ball to be, where he expects me to be when he releases something, so just a lot of time on task.

Q: Obviously it's the first drive of the preseason here, but what do you guys take from it?

A: I just see the opportunity for great balance. You see, like I said, (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins), (wide receiver) Parris (Campbell), (TE Daniel Bellinger) Belly, like a lot of guys that can touch the football and make things happen. You add (running back) Saquon (Barkley) to the mix. I feel like (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep's been looking great at practice, there's a lot of guys, like (wide receiver Darius Slayton) Slay have been consistent throughout this whole process this year that I feel like can make plays and impact games. I'm just excited about the balance that we have as an offense.

Q: This was the first game that you played with Daniel as your quarterback. For a short sample, did anything impress you about it being a game and not practice?

A: Yeah, for me, I know for my process getting ready for a game I like to make my day to my personality, how I carry myself, be the same every day from practice to a game. I see that in him. It's like there's nothing really different from a practice to a game – like he has to get more hype or more intense, it's like he's just himself and confident in what he brings to the table and his performance is consistent as well and that's why we love him.

Q: How unusual is it for an opening drive to be that on target?

A: It's not an easy thing to do. Everybody preaches starting fast and that's what you want because when you start fast, odds are that you're going to win the first half and if you win the first half, you're going to win the game. So, it usually brings a lot of momentum but It's a difficult thing to do. A lot of guys have to be firing, guys have to make big plays in situations where you've got to have it and we do that. We stress that in practice, and we get put in uncomfortable situations so that when we get into the game, we feel like we can do whatever hand we get dealt.

Q: How's the learning process been like for you with a new city and a new offense?

A: It's been a lot of fun. When you talk about a new city, I like to do things that locals do. Go get pizza where there's good pizza at or whatever so like just immerse myself into the city, allow myself to be there and find a home. I talked to my teammates just – somebody told me 'if you want a friend, be a friend.' So, it's like try to just connect with those guys and show them who I really am and let them know that 'hey, I'm in it with you guys.' It's not about me coming here trying to turn my career around or get things for me. It's about me being a part of what you guys have going and this being an experience for us, so it's been fun. It's been a challenge, but I feel like I respond well to challenges. I have my whole life and I feel like this is going to be no different.

Q: What's the pizza place?

A: I was at the Ave in Clifton before I found my spot over in Weehawken, so I was in Clifton Family Village Pizza, eating a few more slices a week than I probably should've been, but I love pizza.

Q: When you were with the Raiders, you grew into their go-to guy. When you arrived here, you're kind of showing up with additional hype. Does it feel any different?

A: Yeah, it is a real thing because coming up with the Raiders, it was pressure-free. Nobody was expecting me to really make the team, much less start or really make an impact the way I did, so it's kind of pressure-free. But you come here, and the pressure and the noise is available for you if you're looking for it and you give access to it. I try to keep the same mindset, same habits, same approach that I did back then as I do now. This is a new environment, new opportunity for me. The way that I show that I am worthy of this or ready for this is the way that I work, the way that I prepare and the way that I set an example each and every day that is worthy of following and allow it to take care of itself.

Q: Going to a new team is it's on pressure in itself. It's not from the external, right?

A: Definitely, yeah. Moreso in the head, in the hamster wheel in the brain than it is outside.

Q: You've seen this offense in the spring and summer in practice. Now that you've seen it in a game, how do you view the ceiling for what this group can be?

A: Like I said before, incredibly balanced. Whatever the situation may ask for. There's certain days where certain elements may impact the game where you may have to run the football or there may be some days where it's like 'okay, this is the kind of day where we may throw more.' I feel like we have the balance and the playmakers that can do a diverse amount of things that whatever flow, whichever way the game is trending into and a way that we have to find a way to win is something that we can get done.

Q: Giants fans are really excited about the prospects but also just wondering if Darren Waller is going to stay healthy this season? At this stage of your career, have you changed anything as far as your body maintenance or feel like you need to do more maintenance to stay healthy?

A: Yeah, there's a lot of information more available to us now and before I feel like as far as especially like my lower body lifts, I would do a lot more traditional things but not a lot of focus on areas that I had imbalances in my body that could've led to more injury. Now it's just gathering more information and having a more detailed hamstring plan, a more detailed glute activation plan, core activation plan before practice and sticking with those routines. Because those are things when you get into the routine of camp and you get into the season, those are the parts of your routine where you're like 'man, I don't want to do this, I just want to show up and play.' But I'm about to be 31, I can't just show up and play no more. I used to be able to just touch my toes and run out there, but now I've got to make sure I'm on top of all the details and making sure that routine stays consistent because that's what is going to keep me healthy. That's what the fans want, that's what my teammates want, that's what this organization needs and I want to give them a return on their investment.
Can't love this guy enough.  
Klaatu : 8/19/2023 10:16 am : link
Waller can sit the rest of the preseason. We saw enough.  
ThomasG : 8/19/2023 10:26 am : link
Will be drafting him for fantasy football team next week.
Of course, if he puts pineapple on his pizza, he's dead to me.  
Klaatu : 8/19/2023 10:47 am : link
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