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Transcripts

Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, DL Leonard Williams, WR Kadarius Toney

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Daboll: So, we're onto our preparations to work on Carolina here. Good football team. They lost a close game last week against Cleveland. In terms of the guys on our roster right now, we'll have three guys that won't participate in practice: (Cornerback Nick) McCloud, (Wide Receiver Wan'Dale) Robinson and (Cornerback Aaron) Robinson. A-Rob had an appendix removed today, so he'll be out for the game. We wish him well – full recovery. So that's that. The other two guys are getting better. Day-to-day. And then limited participation will be (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari), (Center Jon) Feliciano, (Defensive Back Jason) Pinnock and (Outside Linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux. They're all getting better, so we'll see where they're at. And full participation will be (Safety Dane) Belton. So, that's kind of where we're at. Early down day. Lot to work on. New opponent. Got to learn their strengths, their weaknesses. Need a good look from our show team, which we had last week, which was a really important factor for getting ready for Tennessee. And with that, I'll open it up.

Q: Do you expect to have Belton this week because he's full (go)?

A: Yeah.

Q: And Aaron, I don't know on an appendix. Can that be more than one week?

A: I don't know. I had a cousin who had it, and I can't tell you how long. I don't know if anybody can really tell you how long when it comes to that. So, just wish him well. Took care of it as soon as we could, and next man up mentality.

Q: Following a win, is there a bounce, is there a feeling around the facility that you can feel?

A: I think, again, just to go back to what I talked about the day after: it's always better coming in after a win, but you've got to make it about what you need to work on. It's a long season, and I think our guys have done a good job of turning the page and focusing on the things which are important. Which is the process, our preparation, our practice for today.

Q: You said the next man up at corner. Who is the next man up?

A: It'll be just like all the other positions that we've done. We have guys on the roster, whether they're on the practice squad, that are going to compete – (Defensive Back Cor'Dale) Flott; (Defensive Back Fabian) Moreau, McCloud, we'll see where he's at; (Cornerback) Zyon (Gilbert); (Cornerback Justin) Layne. So, we got a group in there that will work to compete, and we'll end up picking like we usually do on Friday evening usually.

Q: What do you think of (Carolina Panthers Quarterback Baker) Mayfield's career to this point and also what kind of challenges he presents now in this new setting he's got?

A: I'm not going to get into his whole career. I'll just say I and we, when I was getting ready and we drafted (Buffalo Quarterback) Josh (Allen), did a ton of work on Baker. I got a tremendous amount of respect for him. I spent a lot of time with him in the pre-draft process. He's got a very live arm; he's a gamer. Every situation for a young quarterback – we've talked about this at length – is different. And he's a good football player. He's been a winner. And I think he's doing a good job here with Carolina.

Q: Do you plan on doing the same thing at left guard this week? And what are the pros and cons of doing it that way?

A: We'll see. We'll rotate them here in practice, and then by Friday evening, we'll make a decision. But (Offensive Lineman Josh) Ezeudu is a young player that we're developing, and (Offensive Lineman Ben) Bredeson has done a good job throughout camp of playing every position that we asked him to. So, they both earned it. They earned it with their preparation. They earned it with their practice habits, and they both deserve to play. We'll see how it goes this week. Could be the same; could be different.

Q: When did you realize you were going to do that? When did you realize it?

A: We usually talk about how we're going to exactly play the guys Friday evening after the last day of practice on Friday to give it a full evaluation, let them go through every practice, make sure we review the tests that we give out, that they understand the material. There's a whole thought process that goes into it, and I'll talk to the offensive staff or the defensive staff, give them my input, and then collectively make a decision on it.

Q: Can you talk about the differences (Panthers Running Back) Christian McCaffrey poses as far as challenges versus a (Titans Running Back) Derrick Henry?

A: Two very, very good players in that position. McCaffrey is dynamic with the ball in his hand as well, maybe a little bit different. Obviously, doesn't have the size, but he's a hard player to cover. He's very, very good in space. He can take it the distance anytime he touches the ball. They can line him up at one, two, three in the backfield. He can break tackles. But he's very athletic. He's a unique player in the fact he can do a lot of things playing that running back position, but he can also do them on the perimeter if they choose to use him.

Q: They're very careful with the number of snaps and the kind of touches that he's getting. I'm wondering where you stand on how you approach that with (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley). How much do you use analytics? How do you go about deciding what's the right amount and what can be too much for guys that are injury prone?

A: That's a good question. Sure, I understand it completely. I'd say it's dictated kind of how the game plan goes but also the flow of the game. And there's times where Saquon came out last game and (Running Back Matt) Breida went right in there and ran the ball well. In terms of a number, I don't go into the game saying, 'Hey, let's get him 50 plays' or 'Let's get him 20 touches.' I think that's an adjustment part of the game, too. Obviously, he's a very good player. You want him to touch the ball, but again, how he's feeling, how you're communicating on the sideline, 'Hey I need a series here, or I need two,' we just talk about it that way. It's not, 'We're just going to give him this.'

Q: On a bigger scale, is there anything season-wise that you come into the season looking at with him?

A: No. He's been healthy. He's been fully cleared. He's been out here. We do that in practice, and obviously we took some stuff off of him in the preseason with the hits that he'll probably accrue here. I think we'll constantly evaluate that with the medical staff and the strength staff if we need to do something different. At this point, Week 2, he's fresh, he's healthy. So, based on how the game is going, I think that'll dictate a lot of it.

Q: In the summer, you're not really game planning, you're putting in this whole new offense. Last week was the first time for a game plan. How do you think (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) handled that whole process, and did you learn anything from him in that first game because that's the first game that he had to do what you asked him to do?

A: You try to mock it during camp with scripts and thigs like that relative to what he likes and doesn't like and have that open line of communication. You know he's always going to be the first one in and the last one to leave. I thought he had really good input as to some of the things that maybe we threw out. We've done this throughout the summer. But he's up there everyday meeting with (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka), (saying), 'I don't like this,' or 'think about this one.' He gives good input. And again, if there's plays that you like as a coaching staff that you think, 'Hey this would be a really good play against this defense,' sometimes I've been around players (who say), 'Well, I don't like that play.' (And I say), 'Let me show you the reason why we have it in, and if you still don't like it after we practice it, no problem.' But he's done a really good job of preparing, which is no surprise. And he's been in here early today. He's been working on it for the last couple of days.

Q: What about the game itself? Was there anything, any play or anything, that he had to handle? Maybe the run or something (did you say), 'That was kind of a bold move with the run there or something?'

A: No. In terms of decisions and the things we asked him to do, whether it was a check or get out or something, he was all over it.

Q: For the left guard situation, would you prefer in an ideal world for there to be continuity there where one guy separates himself and you have one guy in there the whole game?

A: Usually that will happen sometime during the year, but I think, and I'll just say it again, they've earned the right to do it. They've earned the right to play with their performance on the practice field, with their consistency, with how they handle things. Both (players), we feel, give us a chance to win, and we think that was the best thing to do for that game. Now, does that change in Week 2 or Week 3 or Week 4? Certainly, it could. But the communication with those players, they're really good. Both of them are really good. They're on top of their stuff. They know what to do. They communicate well with the tackle, with the center. So, those guys both deserve that game for that opportunity.

Q: Do you have to tell your guys or remind your guys to keep an even keel? It's only one win. We know Giants fans are ecstatic right now. Do you have to let them know that?

A: Yeah, we talked about that on Monday. I think they're fully aware of it. It's the National Football League, and having been part of it a long time for myself – but even if you're only part of it as a young player for a couple of years – I think they understand that. One week really has nothing to do with the next week. It's a one game season every week. Teams are very, very good. So, we have to focus on improving our skillset and doing the things that we didn't do well enough that game and improve that throughout the course of this week. And that'll happen the same thing next week, regardless of the result, it let's just keep a positive mindset, and let's communicate with one another on the things we need to work on. Let's make sure coaching-wise we're doing the drills we need to work on that come from the first game that we didn't do well. Maybe we did something last week in an individual drill that we really need to do different this week. We don't keep it the same based on how we played and things that we've got to work on. So, I think staying in the moment for everybody in our organization is important and focusing on the Carolina Panthers.

Q: With Wan'Dale, are you waiting on any more tests to determine the severity of his injury?

A: No. Not right now. He's grinding back. I'd say the difference of him from the day after the game to even today is pretty significant. So, we'll see how it goes. We're not going to put him out there today. But he's gotten a lot better just in those two days. So, we'll see where it goes.

Q: Is there added excited for prepping for the home opener knowing the fans are going to be revved up coming off a big win?

A: I'm glad you asked that. This has been a great spot for myself and I know for the coaches and our families and the people around this community. And I understand how important the New York Football Giants are to a lot of people around here, and they're important to us. I've come across a lot of great people in this community and had some really good conversations. And I'm looking forward to being on this sideline, where it's always cool as a coach, you pull up to the parking lots, and you get a sense even before you go into the game of what kind of day the fans are going to have. And I love our fanbase. I love the support. They're on you when it's bad, and they're supporting you when it's good. And that's the way it is. That's this area. I grew up in western New York on the other side of it, but New York/New Jersey mentality. And I'm looking forward to having a packed house and them being as loud as they can be on third down or when Carolina's on offense. They're pretty smart fans up here, so the more we can get in there, the better it'll be. They're part of our team on home games, and I firmly believe that. Wherever I've been, the places that have great support like we do, you go into those places, and it's hard. It's hard to communicate as an offense when you're on the other side, and you get a lot of energy when you're playing special teams and on defense. And we've got to give them a reason to cheer, too. And that's why we're working the way that we're working and focused on what we're focused on.

Q: Did you notice anything from Kayvon on the sideline during the game? Did he bring an energy? Or did he give anything?

A: In particular, no. I mean, he came up and hugged me kind of right after the game. And the thing I did appreciate about the guys that weren't playing that were on the sideline or playing maybe not as much as they wanted to play was the support of their teammates – how excited they were talking to the guys on the bench; giving them indicators of what they saw; (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) KT running down the field cheering for (Wide Receiver) Richie (James). We kicked the field goal; you see a backflip. Kadarius is six feet up in the air, jumping. And he only played seven snaps. So, that's what we're trying to build. It's not always going to be perfect. I'm certainly not going to be perfect, but the chemistry and the sticking together. We're going to have tough times. We all know that. I think that's a testament to those guys.

Q: So, is the challenge then to keep that going – that comradery, that chemistry —and continue that throughout the season?

A: I think that's always a challenge because, again, you walk into a facility on a Monday morning or a Tuesday morning after you put everything that you have into it, you put everything you have. Coaches, they don't sleep. Players, their bodies are sore; they're working through it. They're studying extra. They're meeting. They're getting up extra early. You put everything you've got into it, and you fall short – whether it's by close, or you don't do a good enough job, and it's by a lot. It weighs on you because it's important to you. And that's the type of people we want in our building is people that it's really important to. So, it sucks when you lose a game. And when you win a game, you're happy about it. But you turn the page rather quickly and focus on the things that are important to getting better. And that's, in the early part of the season, what we're going to try to do, really throughout the season, is just try to get better. And it's hard to not focus on results. It's hard, so I challenge those guys every day to focus on the things that they can control and that I can control. And if I make a mistake or they make a mistake, let's not make it the next time when we have an opportunity to nail it.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: What do you do for an encore after Week 1 victory?

A: Just come back to work, I think. It's a big win for us, but it's one game. It's about what we do now. I think that's been the approach. As soon as we finished up the tape on Monday. We're now on to Carolina, and that's what we focus on. It's just one game. We haven't done anything yet. So, we're focused on this game coming up.

Q: How much respect do you have for this Carolina defense, which is pretty good.

A: We have a lot of respect for them. They're a good defense. They play fast. They're physical. Good up front. Good in the back end. Play with a lot of speed and physicality. So, we understand that, and we'll be ready for them.

Q: As the quarterback, certain games some receivers get more; some receivers get less. Do you take it upon yourself to talk to those guys like maybe (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney)? Explain what's happening and maybe why some guys get the ball and some guys don't?

A: I think you're always talking and always communicating with your guys so that everyone's on the same page. I think guys understand it works out like that sometimes. That's the nature of the game. We happen to be running the ball really well and taking advantage of some of those opportunities. They know I'm going to try to get them the ball in every situation I can. The most important thing is that we win the game. I think everyone has that same mindset.

Q: What do you think as just a fan of football and a guy in the league, what do you think of (Panthers Quarterback Mayfield) Baker and his game and what he brings to the team?

A: I think he's a good player. He makes a lot of plays. He's got a strong arm. He can fit the ball into some tight windows and make big plays for his team. I've enjoyed watching him, and he's a good player.

Q: How excited are you for the home opener?

A: I'm excited. I'm excited to get in front of the fans back at MetLife. Looking forward to the energy and just feeling kind of the juice from them. We've talked a lot about winning at home, protecting homefield and we're all excited to do that. So, I'm looking forward to getting out there.

Q: Is it literally easier for you when the running game is going that well?

A: Yeah. It certainly is. That helps us in the pass game, opens up some opportunities for us, and helps us move it down the field. Those guys did a great job up front, opening up some holes. And (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) did a great job hitting them and creating explosive plays for us. So, that was huge.

Q: Did you discuss with them about five sacks?

A: I think each one of those plays is different, and I certainly have a part in all those as well. So, I've got to do a good job understanding where the pressure is coming from and getting the ball out of my hands. But those guys played a great game, ran the ball really well; and we'll keep working. But that's all of us.

Q: How do you realize that you got one win, but the task at hand is here and you really haven't accomplished a lot yet as team?

A: I think we understand that. So, how we do it? I think we're already doing it; and we understand it. We're onto this week. So, our heads are down and back at work preparing for this week. We understand that. I think that's been clear, and we're excited to get back to work.

Q: Obviously, it wasn't a blowout victory. But, when you have a game like that where you have to lead your team down for a late score, does that mean extra for you just to be able to do that?

A: It's always fun to win those games down the stretch. It wasn't perfect for us, especially early on in the game on offense. We didn't play our best – didn't do a lot of the things as well as we could've. So, we'll look to clean those up. But ultimately, we were able to do what we had to do to win the game. So, that's exciting and something to build off of.

Q: What are you guys expecting atmosphere-wise from the crowd? The fanbase is pretty pumped up. The best comp(arison) is probably after your first career start. Do you sense that? What do you kind of expect?

A: I expect a lot of energy, a lot of juice from the fans and for them to be riled up. And we're excited to get in front of them and play. Like I said, talked about defending our home turf, and that's what we're looking forward to doing. I think we all feel that in this locker room, and we're excited to get out in front of them.

Q: How much do you sense that there might be a different sort of enthusiasm?

A: I definitely get the sense for that.

Q: In what ways?

A: I'm not on social media a ton, so you don't see a ton of that. But just kind of in the building, talking to guys, talking to friends, talking to family, everyone's excited. But at the end of the day, we haven't done anything. We've won one game, and I think we all understand that. So, there's a lot ahead of us. There's a lot to do, and that's what we're focused on this week.

Q: After the game, you said it was just a bad read or a bad throw on the interception. When you went back and looked at the film, did you see anything different?

A: Not really. Just a bad decision there. Can't afford to put us in that situation down in the red zone, so definitely one to learn from.

Q: (inaudible) said on the radio that he asked (Head Coach Brian) Daboll what he said, and he said, 'Make better decisions.' Is that, I mean there were obviously no words on that, but what Brian said was, 'Make better decisions?'

A: I think he was just communicating the costly mistake. We can't afford to do it. What goes on goes on in a game. There's a lot of communication back and forth, so I understood it. Got to be able to move on.

Q: Do you consider that tough coaching? And if so, do you like to be coached tough?

A: I think it was just communicating, and there's emotion in a game. There's emotion in a situation like that at the end of the game. It's my job to understand it, listen to it and be able to respond.

Q: There are some videos of him talking to (Bills Quarterback) Josh (Allen) in that same way, especially early in his career there. Did you talk to Josh at all about, 'Hey how does this guy go about his business, and what should I expect?'

A: I really haven't talked to Josh a lot. He's an emotional guy. He's passionate and enthusiastic. I think that's what makes him such a good coach. You got to be able to take the coaching and move on. That's part of (it).

Q: Would you have been shocked if something like that didn't happen between now and the end of the season?

A: Yeah. I don't know. Like I said, it's part of it; and he's an emotional guy. So, it's all good.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q: What do you guys do for an encore following the first victory?

A: Come in to work ready to practice. Continue to fall in love with the process, learn the gameplan and just get better day-by-day.

Q: How special is it to be named player of the week?

A: It's great but any individual award is really a team award. I don't get that without the help of my offensive linemen, wide receivers blocking down the field, (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) making great calls and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka making great calls. At the end of the day the most important thing last week was getting the win and we've got to shift to Carolina.

Q: How does this team still keep their feet on the ground and say, 'one game, that's all it was. We've got to continue working hard and continue to look forward.'

A: Easy, don't overreact. Just focus on the little things. At the end of the day, we got a win, but I said it when I talked last Thursday no matter if we won by 40 or lost by 40, we had a great week of practice, we had a great week of preparation, so we've got to continue to fall in love with the process. As a leader and all leaders on this team, we've got to try to keep the mindset for the team. So just keep moving, keep taking it one day at a time and get ready for Carolina.

Q: What did you think about going 21.1 miles per hour?

A: I mean the Giants clocked me at 20.9, I don't know if it's on the board, I've got to talk to (Director of Performance/Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach) Sam (Coad) about that one (laughs).

Q: So, they shorted you?

A: Yeah, they got me. They shorted me a little bit. Was it NextGen? I want to give a shoutout to them for giving me a couple little extra. But it felt good, got the opportunity, the O-line blocked it up great and got me one-on-one and I was able to make the guy miss and kind of go up on the sideline. The only thing I could think about that play was to find a way to score. But we were able to get in the redzone and punch it in.

Q: Seriously though, I think it's your best since 2019, does that mean anything to you? Is that further validation that physically you are fast?

A: No, because I was hitting that in practice. I'm a big believer in the work we put in and the work that I put in and the work I've put in the offseason and the work that put into camp was going to show. It was able to show in Week 1. I've just got to continue to trust the process, fall in love with the process, and continue to trust the linemen and the play calling and take it week-by-week and day-by-day.

Q: What do you have to say about Daniel? He misses four passes, 2 TDs. How good was he?

A: He's great. He's a great player, he's a great leader. When you're down 13-0 everyone kind of looks at a quarterback to see what the reactions going to be, and he didn't panic. He didn't panic at all. He came out in the second half, allowed us to make plays and we found a way to win. I look forward to the grind with him for the rest of the year.

Q: How excited are you about the home opener?

A: Very excited, we've got great fans. Hopefully we can go out there and give them something to be proud of this year.

Q: Do you sense a different vibe from the fans? That was a big win for you guys. Seems like the fan base is at a different level, probably since Daniel's first start kind of level.

A: That's a great question. I can't really tell, I guess I'll probably know that answer a little better on Sunday when I get out there and see everyone that comes out. One thing that I can say about the Giants fans, win, loss, or draw they're going to show up, you're going to hear them. Whether its 'boos' or whether it's 'hoorays' or whatever you want to call it. They've been great fans, they've been showing out since I've been here. Hopefully this year we can go out there and give them something to be proud about.

Q: When you see (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll) getting on Daniel after the interception, does that do anything as teammates that you say, 'hey we need to rally around this guy because obviously there's bad moment right here'?

A: I didn't really even see that. I mean I kind of saw it obviously later but its football, you're going to make mistakes. As teammates, as individuals, as men on the football field you've got to put it in the past and try to find a way to make a play. He made a lot of great plays for us and without him we don't get that win. Obviously, he's a quarterback, he's going to be a key point for us throughout the rest of the year and we're going to keep leaning on him. One thing I love is how he responded. A lot of people could fold in that moment, and he didn't fold. He took it on the shoulders and came out and continued to play.

Q: When a guy like (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) gets very little playing time, a guy who is expected to be a big contributor, do you feel the need to go speak to him or you kind of pump him up and somehow, he's going to respond to that.

A: I talked to him. It wasn't really to pump him up. It's all about just continuing to work and continuing to fall in love with the process. That's kind of going to be my thing all year. That's something that Dabs said that kind of just stuck with me because that's the only thing you can control, is yourself. Coming in every single day, bringing that energy, coming to work, push yourself and push your teammates. That's kind of what I told him. Just keep continuing to fall in love with the process. He's a very talented individual, I think you guys can see that when the rock is in his hand. As he continues to go, I think we'll see him be involved a little more on offense and making more plays for us.

Q: You do think so?

A: Yeah, I believe so.

Q: You've obviously seen the ups and downs in the NFL. When you see the guys drafted before and after you, different teams have had their own ups and downs. (inaudible) (Panthers Quarterback Baker) Mayfield and (Panthers Quarterback Sam) Darnold not being on their original team…

A: Yeah, they're not on their original teams. I know them pretty well, two great competitors, two talented athletes. I look forward to going against them this week. I know Darnold, I don't know if he's still banged up, he might be still banged up. But yeah, that's the nature of this league but the guys who are able to get a second chance, you've got to find a light out of everywhere. Some people aren't in the NFL right now, some people are at home on the couch waiting for a phone call and you've got to put that in perspective. That's kind of my mindset. Just be appreciative of every single day, come to work every single day with the energy that I'm living my dream that I've had since I was a little kid. I'm pretty sure they're doing the same.

Q: What's the challenge of this Carolina defense?

A: They're a great defense. They're super-fast, they're very athletic. Obviously, they lost last week. They let up a lot of yards in the run game, so you know their coach is over there definitely going to be in their ear making sure that they don't let that happen again. We look forward to the challenge and at the end of the day, we've got to control what we can control and focus on us. Obviously, we're just getting in the gameplan. Continue to learn the gameplan and go out there and try to execute.

Q: How does your mind work after a game like that? Do you challenge yourself to do better than such an explosive performance, to repeat it? How are you thinking about it?

A: Just come into work. That's the only thing I can do. I already went back, watched film, wrote my notes, ball security. I got lucky in that situation, that could've went the wrong way. That could've hurt us instead of helping us. Got to be better in ball security, got to be better in pass pro. Still missed some opportunities out there, left a lot of yards. So that's my focus, just coming in see what I can do better and when the game comes execute the plays that I'm able to execute in. Every game might not be a 194-yard performance but whatever I can do to help the team win, that's what I want to be able to do.

Q: Some running backs in the league, (Panthers Running Back) Christian (McCaffrey) and (Titans Running Back) Derrick (Henry), they're coming back from injury in previous seasons too. They seem to be on pitch count, they seem to be easing their way back in. How proud are you, how excited are you, that you don't seem to have any pitch count limitations?

A: I wouldn't say I'm proud I'm just thankful because this league is tough, not just on a running back but on any position, it's the NFL. You're going against grown men that have to feed a family and they're coming at 20 miles per hour hitting you. It's a crazy game. For me I've been out so many games the past two years that everyday I just walk in I'm just thankful. I mean it is credit to the work that I put in and I've got to give credit to the strength staff, the training staff here and all the people that I work with outside the building. But it's more just thankful and just being appreciative that I'm able to come out and play the sport that I love.

Q: Is there anything you're told or any analytics that tell you, 'Okay this maximizes my chance to stay healthy at this position,' Like they're saying, 'Okay, we're using him X number of touches.' Have you been told anything like that?

A: No. I've just been trying the best I can to take care of my body. I put a lot of money into my body and hopefully it pays off.: Come in to work ready to practice. Continue to fall in love with the process, learn the gameplan and just get better day-by-day.

Q: How special is it to be named player of the week?

A: It's great but any individual award is really a team award. I don't get that without the help of my offensive linemen, wide receivers blocking down the field, (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) making great calls and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka making great calls. At the end of the day the most important thing last week was getting the win and we've got to shift to Carolina.

Q: How does this team still keep their feet on the ground and say, 'one game, that's all it was. We've got to continue working hard and continue to look forward.'

A: Easy, don't overreact. Just focus on the little things. At the end of the day, we got a win, but I said it when I talked last Thursday no matter if we won by 40 or lost by 40, we had a great week of practice, we had a great week of preparation, so we've got to continue to fall in love with the process. As a leader and all leaders on this team, we've got to try to keep the mindset for the team. So just keep moving, keep taking it one day at a time and get ready for Carolina.

Q: What did you think about going 21.1 miles per hour?

A: I mean the Giants clocked me at 20.9, I don't know if it's on the board, I've got to talk to (Director of Performance/Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach) Sam (Coad) about that one (laughs).

Q: So, they shorted you?

A: Yeah, they got me. They shorted me a little bit. Was it NextGen? I want to give a shoutout to them for giving me a couple little extra. But it felt good, got the opportunity, the O-line blocked it up great and got me one-on-one and I was able to make the guy miss and kind of go up on the sideline. The only thing I could think about that play was to find a way to score. But we were able to get in the redzone and punch it in.

Q: Seriously though, I think it's your best since 2019, does that mean anything to you? Is that further validation that physically you are fast?

A: No, because I was hitting that in practice. I'm a big believer in the work we put in and the work that I put in and the work I've put in the offseason and the work that put into camp was going to show. It was able to show in Week 1. I've just got to continue to trust the process, fall in love with the process, and continue to trust the linemen and the play calling and take it week-by-week and day-by-day.

Q: What do you have to say about Daniel? He misses four passes, 2 TDs. How good was he?

A: He's great. He's a great player, he's a great leader. When you're down 13-0 everyone kind of looks at a quarterback to see what the reactions going to be, and he didn't panic. He didn't panic at all. He came out in the second half, allowed us to make plays and we found a way to win. I look forward to the grind with him for the rest of the year.

Q: How excited are you about the home opener?

A: Very excited, we've got great fans. Hopefully we can go out there and give them something to be proud of this year.

Q: Do you sense a different vibe from the fans? That was a big win for you guys. Seems like the fan base is at a different level, probably since Daniel's first start kind of level.

A: That's a great question. I can't really tell, I guess I'll probably know that answer a little better on Sunday when I get out there and see everyone that comes out. One thing that I can say about the Giants fans, win, loss, or draw they're going to show up, you're going to hear them. Whether its 'boos' or whether it's 'hoorays' or whatever you want to call it. They've been great fans, they've been showing out since I've been here. Hopefully this year we can go out there and give them something to be proud about.

Q: When you see (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll) getting on Daniel after the interception, does that do anything as teammates that you say, 'hey we need to rally around this guy because obviously there's bad moment right here'?

A: I didn't really even see that. I mean I kind of saw it obviously later but its football, you're going to make mistakes. As teammates, as individuals, as men on the football field you've got to put it in the past and try to find a way to make a play. He made a lot of great plays for us and without him we don't get that win. Obviously, he's a quarterback, he's going to be a key point for us throughout the rest of the year and we're going to keep leaning on him. One thing I love is how he responded. A lot of people could fold in that moment, and he didn't fold. He took it on the shoulders and came out and continued to play.

Q: When a guy like (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) gets very little playing time, a guy who is expected to be a big contributor, do you feel the need to go speak to him or you kind of pump him up and somehow, he's going to respond to that.

A: I talked to him. It wasn't really to pump him up. It's all about just continuing to work and continuing to fall in love with the process. That's kind of going to be my thing all year. That's something that Dabs said that kind of just stuck with me because that's the only thing you can control, is yourself. Coming in every single day, bringing that energy, coming to work, push yourself and push your teammates. That's kind of what I told him. Just keep continuing to fall in love with the process. He's a very talented individual, I think you guys can see that when the rock is in his hand. As he continues to go, I think we'll see him be involved a little more on offense and making more plays for us.

Q: You do think so?

A: Yeah, I believe so.

Q: You've obviously seen the ups and downs in the NFL. When you see the guys drafted before and after you, different teams have had their own ups and downs. (inaudible) (Panthers Quarterback Baker) Mayfield and (Panthers Quarterback Sam) Darnold not being on their original team…

A: Yeah, they're not on their original teams. I know them pretty well, two great competitors, two talented athletes. I look forward to going against them this week. I know Darnold, I don't know if he's still banged up, he might be still banged up. But yeah, that's the nature of this league but the guys who are able to get a second chance, you've got to find a light out of everywhere. Some people aren't in the NFL right now, some people are at home on the couch waiting for a phone call and you've got to put that in perspective. That's kind of my mindset. Just be appreciative of every single day, come to work every single day with the energy that I'm living my dream that I've had since I was a little kid. I'm pretty sure they're doing the same.

Q: What's the challenge of this Carolina defense?

A: They're a great defense. They're super-fast, they're very athletic. Obviously, they lost last week. They let up a lot of yards in the run game, so you know their coach is over there definitely going to be in their ear making sure that they don't let that happen again. We look forward to the challenge and at the end of the day, we've got to control what we can control and focus on us. Obviously, we're just getting in the gameplan. Continue to learn the gameplan and go out there and try to execute.

Q: How does your mind work after a game like that? Do you challenge yourself to do better than such an explosive performance, to repeat it? How are you thinking about it?

A: Just come into work. That's the only thing I can do. I already went back, watched film, wrote my notes, ball security. I got lucky in that situation, that could've went the wrong way. That could've hurt us instead of helping us. Got to be better in ball security, got to be better in pass pro. Still missed some opportunities out there, left a lot of yards. So that's my focus, just coming in see what I can do better and when the game comes execute the plays that I'm able to execute in. Every game might not be a 194-yard performance but whatever I can do to help the team win, that's what I want to be able to do.

Q: Some running backs in the league, (Panthers Running Back) Christian (McCaffrey) and (Titans Running Back) Derrick (Henry), they're coming back from injury in previous seasons too. They seem to be on pitch count, they seem to be easing their way back in. How proud are you, how excited are you, that you don't seem to have any pitch count limitations?

A: I wouldn't say I'm proud I'm just thankful because this league is tough, not just on a running back but on any position, it's the NFL. You're going against grown men that have to feed a family and they're coming at 20 miles per hour hitting you. It's a crazy game. For me I've been out so many games the past two years that everyday I just walk in I'm just thankful. I mean it is credit to the work that I put in and I've got to give credit to the strength staff, the training staff here and all the people that I work with outside the building. But it's more just thankful and just being appreciative that I'm able to come out and play the sport that I love.

Q: Is there anything you're told or any analytics that tell you, 'Okay this maximizes my chance to stay healthy at this position,' Like they're saying, 'Okay, we're using him X number of touches.' Have you been told anything like that?

A: No. I've just been trying the best I can to take care of my body. I put a lot of money into my body and hopefully it pays off.

Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Q: On a Week 1 win…

A: Just go back to the process. That's something that we've been harping on since we've been in the building, since OTAs. That's something that (Head Coach Brian Daboll) and the players have all bought into – that it's not really the results, it's the process. I think we know as a team that although we got the win and we're happy and excited to start the season off fast, we won by one point. There's a lot of stuff that we have to clean up, and there's a lot of things that we are going to have to do to continue to win, and we're not going to buy into the hype and all that type of things.

Q: The defense, in your mind, do you think you have to play much better than that?

A: Yeah, for sure. I think we did a good job for the most part stopping the run. Especially a team like that that harps on running the ball. For the most part, I think we shut down (Tennessee Running Back) Derrick Henry. He's obviously going to get his plays and get his yards, he's a great player. This transition from Week 1 to Week 2 is very important for all teams around the league, and I think that's when good teams make the biggest jump in assignment.

Q: What does it mean for you to be able to play in MetLife Stadium for the home opener?

A: It means a lot. We need to do a good job this year of bringing back that home field advantage. It starts with winning, it starts with this weekend, and we're going to try to get that going.

Q: Have you had a chance to watch the Panther's rookie left tackle (Ikem Ekwonu) on tape? What do you think?

A: Yeah, I watched a little bit of him. I see they have a lot of moving pieces. They have the guy from the Rams, 63 (Austin Corbett), he's over there playing right guard now, and It think they moved their right tackle to left guard. I feel like because they have some moving pieces, we are going to try to take advantage of their interior offensive line.

Q: Last week, we talked about Henry leading up to the game. Is (Carolina Running Back Christian) McCaffery a similar focus this week?

A: They're definitely different type of backs. McCaffery is really good in space, he's a very shifty back. He's also a screen, draw type of running back. He's really effective in the passing game as well. It's definitely a different focus on a guy like McCaffery.

Q: What about (Carolina Quarterback) Baker (Mayfield)? What do you in him getting outside and plays on the run?

A: He's definitely a guy that if you let get heated up, he can make plays, be effective and he can do all the things that you want in a quarterback. At the same time, if we get on him early and often, we can get him frustrated and make him make mistakes. He's known for getting a lot of balls batted down, so we put a lot of emphasis on the d-line and guys rushing the quarterback to get their hands up, knock some balls down. Also, he drops back pretty deep for an NFL quarterback.

Q: When a quarterback drops back, what is the effect on the line? It gives him more space to throw or what?

A: Yeah, you're just used to quarterbacks in the NFL stepping up more when they feel that pressure whereas a quarterback like Baker Mayfield, he wants to make a play, so sometimes he will drop back even deeper and scramble out the back. As a defensive line, sometimes we don't mind that because it kind of gives us another bite at the apple as long as we keep hustling.

Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney

Q: What were you thinking going into the game as far as your contribution and how much you would be playing, and obviously what happened during the game?

A: You go in wanting to do what you can for the team. That's what I did. At the end of the day, I was there when my number was called. Simple.

Q: Were you surprised that you didn't get more playing time?

A: At the end of the day, I did my job. I get paid to do one thing, do my job.

Q: How much was that the expectation going in there that was going to be the situation – that you were going to be going in and out in certain packages only?

A: I get paid to play, not coach. I don't know what the plan was. At the end of the day, I just prepared as if I was going in and playing every play. I don't know what else to say.

Q: What were conversations like after the game with the coaching staff?

A: It was more of just we've got another game. It's bigger than one game, we've got a 17-game season – that's always the mentality. (inaudible)

Q: Head Coach Brian Daboll said it today when he was talking about how others earned it on the practice field. How much do you feel like, 'Okay, I have to earn more playing time by being on the practice field by being healthy, by being available?' How much did you feel like that's the situation for you?

A: If that's what's required, that's what I've got to do. Everybody knows I had the injury a couple of weeks ago and that's why I wasn't on the field. I guess that's just with that, I don't know. I don't know what to say.

Q: Did you feel in your head you had any physical limitations because of that missed time? As far as playing 50-60 snaps?

A: No, not really. It's just all football.

Q: No, I'm saying you did miss time. Sometimes players have got to build up to that. Had you felt that you were built up enough that you could go as much as they needed you to go?

A: Yeah, I felt like I was straight. I was alright.

Q: To get more snaps this week, what did anyone tell you that you need to do?

A: Like I said, you prepare every week like you're playing. At the end of the day, you never know. Like he said, I had multiple formations that I was supposed to be in, and we didn't get around to them. There's nothing else that really needs to be explained.

Q: How close did you come to throwing that ball? That's the play, right? You certainly had an option there.

A: I was pretty close. At the time, the defenders got too close to me and I didn't have a good look that I wanted down field. I ended up making a better decision.

Q: You liked that play, right? You want to throw the ball?

A: I want to help as much as I can, yeah.

Q: How hard was it not to force that pass? You knew you were getting such limited plays there in the game and you want to make an impression on the game. How hard was it to not throw that?

A: You let the play come to you. You don't really go out there and force it.

Q: How do you stay ready so that if you're not getting your name called but then your first touch comes in the fourth quarter and you still make a bunch of guys miss and get 19 yards. How do you stay ready when you're not playing?

A: I wake up ready. (There is) never really a point to where I'm not ready. Whether I'm over here laughing or playing, doing whatever I do – at the end of the day it's always a locked-in mindset.

Q: Do you expect more snaps on Sunday? Is that something that you think will happen?

A: Like I said, I get paid to play not coach. I don't really know what's ahead for me Sunday. I've just got to go out there and be the best player I can be Sunday.

Q: What would you say your disappointment level was? Was it disappointment?

A: Disappointed in a victory? Disappointed in winning? You sound crazy.

Q: What was that like for you on the sideline? Watching that kick not go in.

A: It felt great, I'm not going to lie. It felt good because at the end of the day, you work hard every day. You grind for months just to win. In that moment, it felt like all the hard work kind of paid off, but you never stop going.

Q: Were you disappointed that you didn't play more?

A: If I played two plays, one play and we win – I don't really care nothing about getting no…it's okay. You want a dollar? You know what I'm saying.

Q: How much does a win help around here? You were here last year when there weren't a lot of wins.

A: A win just basically boosts your confidence. It just lets you know that the hard work that you are putting in is working. You can never just let up. It means a lot around here because we've come a long way from having hard times. This and that, adversity. This year, I just feel like we are overcoming our adversity, we are learning how to deal with it in different ways.

Q: You weren't out there that much but what did you sense when you were in there and just watching the way the offense was performing?

A: We had to just all come together, get on one page. It just felt like early on, we were trying to force the play or try to make stuff that wasn't there. Once we settled down and everything lined up, we just went out there and played.

Q: How have you seen the growth in the wide receiver group?

A: It's been a lot of growth as far as maturity or whatever. Especially (Wide Receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson), just coming in and being able to grab so much and do what he is able to do. (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep, (Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay) KG, (Wide Receiver Darius Slayton) Slay – everybody's trying to learn this offense that is new to everybody. Everybody is putting in enough work to be successful.

Q: How anxious are you to get out there considering you didn't really see (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) run like that last year but he opens things up, it seems like it would be helpful for everyone in run patterns and things like that?

A: Facts. That there is basically just everybody playing as one. Everybody has to do their job for one person to do everything that they did. I just feel like everybody got their juice back. People returning from injuries and this and that. We are back on track how we are supposed to be.

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