Head Coach Brian Daboll
September 15, 2023
Q: Where are we at this point with (tackle) Andrew Thomas?
A: Everybody’s practicing, and we’ll reevaluate after practice.
Q: In some situation where he can’t play, do you plan to pick (tackle Matt) Peart or (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu, or could that be a rotation like you did with guard in the past?
A: I'd say we're going to go out there, we're going to practice today. Those are discussions we have after practice today.
Q: I would assume the fact that Andrew Thomas is on the field again for the second day in a row is a fairly positive sign at least from your perspective, no?
A: Yeah. I talk to him every day. So today, he said he feels a little bit better. We'll do a little bit more with him today. And then again, I think it's really unfair to give you an answer right now, because they’ve got to go out there and move around and do things. That’s why we do it after practice today.
Q: How much input does he have? Because he’ll probably say he wants to play.
A: I have discussions anytime a player is injured. Obviously, I refer to the medical staff. I trust those guys implicitly, but I also want to talk to the player to see where they're at, their head’s at, and you want to do the player right. So, if he's ready to play, he'll play. And if he's not, he won't. You appreciate the players that are banged up in some form or fashion that are working through things and wanting to go out there and practice and do things. So, I'd say it's a conversation I have with (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff, obviously, with Andrew and then ultimately how we go out there and practice and what he feels he can do or not do. Again, it’s a little bit more than it was yesterday. So, give it all the way up to the time we can give it to.
Q: I know you weren’t here for all of them, but I saw a stat yesterday that the Giants put out that (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) is 7-1-1 in his last nine games after a loss. Knowing his mentality, does that surprise you? Is that where his even-keeledness pays off?
A: I don't know. I didn't know that stat to be honest with you. I think the biggest thing is just to come out there with a good mindset regardless of what happens the week before and try to do the best you can with understanding the game plan, executing in practice and then ultimately playing well on Sunday.
Q: So, at this point nobody’s been ruled out for the game?
Q: (Tight end Darren) Waller being limited yesterday, is that part of his plan? Would you expect him to be limited every Thursday after a rest day?
A: I'd say to be determined. He moved around good yesterday.
Q: So, him being limited yesterday, was that the plan coming out of Wednesday?
A: Yeah, look, he was limited. He did plenty of stuff. He just didn't do every single rep. So, he’s making progress. I think he's in a good spot.
Q: Did you get the sense that after the offensive line really struggled last week, they’re anxious to get back out there after a bad game? The sooner the better?
A: I think the mindset is to be anxious every week to get out there. I don't know if anxious is the right word – to be ready to go each week, regardless of the outcome the previous week. Just come out and have a great attitude and do the things you need to do during the week so you can perform at your best on whatever day we play.
Q: Has Andrew’s uncertain status complicated how you use Josh this week at practice, because he might be an option there or he might be an option at guard?
A: Sure. That’s why we’ve done a bunch of stuff, whether it was training camp, OTAs, move guys around. The guys that aren't necessarily the starters, they’ve got to be able to play multiple spots.
Q: How do you balance that throughout the week in regard to reps with a young player, especially like that? If you want to start him at one position and it has to change later on, how do you sort of balance that?
A: You give the guys the reps that they need. Again, there’s a buildup too of having reps at certain spots throughout whatever it was, OTAs, training camp, last year, whatever it may be. There’s time on task with it.
Q: Do you feel pressure this week to win this game?
A: I think every week is the same for me. You’ve got to go out there, do the things you need to do during the week to try to put the best possible performance you can on the field. That’s the National Football League, that’s an every week thing. It’s always competitive. There’s always a lot of work that needs to be done and I think consistency in approach and how you handle things is important in a leadership role, but certainly you’re excited every week to have an opportunity to go out there and play at your best and coach at your best.
Q: Is that something you have to practice as a coach and as a competitor, the ability to not overreact?
A: Yeah, I think my days as a younger coach, there are certainly times… Everybody is ultra-competitive in this business and you work extremely hard, whether you’re out there playing, you’re out there coaching, to try to get a desired result and that’s not always going to happen. So, to be able to turn the page and really focus on the task at hand, I’d say there is a tremendous amount of practice as you go through your career of dealing with certain things, overcoming certain things, handling some successes. To keep a level head and a consistent performance is not easy to do, but I think it’s required of the position, and I think that’s what you have to do as a leader. You have to be consistent; you have to demand the standard and that’s from everybody in the building and starting with yourself. So, I think that’s very important.
Q: A lot of people around here over the last year have mentioned that last year the opener was such a big game because you were able to build off that and sort of roll off that. Do you have any philosophies or theories on the importance of early season games for that purpose, compared to maybe later in the year?
A: My philosophy is every game is important and that’s not coach speak. It isn’t. You only get 17 of them. You are only guaranteed 17 of them, so you learn from mistakes, you learn from good games, you learn from poor games. I’ve said this plenty of times before. And then you move on to the next week. You’re laser focused on the things you need to do. Every game is important, so you treat them with such importance because they are.
Q: You talked earlier in the week about critically evaluating things and if you needed to make changes, you’d make changes. Are you making any changes lineup wise?
A: I’d say, again, that’s not just from a one-week performance. That’s every week. Every place I’ve ever been, you do that every week as a coaching staff, as a scouting department. You’re constantly in evaluation mode to try to do the best you can do for that particular week.
Q: Were you asked about (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) and how he’s doing?
A: Yeah, he’ll be out there practicing today and then we’ll get a feel for where he’s at. We’ll talk about that later today.
Q: Where do you stand on (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson), if you know?
A: I’d say the same thing. Same thing as, I’m not saying Azeez, he’s kind of been progressing. Again, he had a good day yesterday. We’ll see where he’s at today and then ultimately make our decision on what we think is best for him and then ultimately the team going forward.