Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: How's everybody doing? Normal Wednesday. We'll get ready to play (the) Jacksonville (Jaguars). It'll be a good practice today. So, we'll go out there and try to have a good day.
Q: These are both really young teams. What's, for you, the biggest challenge when you're dealing with such a young team?
A: I don't think of it like that. I think they're well coached. I think (Head) coach (Doug) Pederson has done a great job of going down there. They're playing really hard. They got good players. Each week, there's a different way to play a game. That's where our focus is: Trying to put together a good plan. Going out, having a good practice.
Q: I mean more like dealing with a young player? Like for you, is it getting them ready? Is it getting them – their knowledge base up? Is it the speed?
A: It really starts from OTAs, particularly with rookies. You teach them how we want to do things here, not just inside the building but outside the building. And then you constantly build on what you teach them from the day before. They get experience as they go. A guy like (tight end Daniel) Bellinger. I think he's improved since he's been here. He's been available; he's worked hard. He's done a good job inside and outside the building. But you also look when you're evaluating players, too. You look at skillset, but you look at intangibles as well to make sure they fit what you want to try to build.
Q: I know you didn't need to look closely at (Jaguars quarterback) Trevor Lawrence coming out (of college) because you probably weren't going to be picking him. From what you know of him from last year to how he's developed this year, what do you see?
A: I know Trevor; I recruited him, too. It was the same year (Chicago Bears quarterback) Justin (Fields) came out. From Cartersville, Georgia – tremendous high school football player. You go down there and watch a practice. He can play on Sundays when he's down there in high school. He was really, really talented. He's really talented now. I think he's doing a great job in Coach Pederson's offense. He's big. He can throw it accurately. He can move. They run him on some quarterback, not just keepers, but also quarterback designed runs, too. So, athletic, smart. He's a really good person, too. He's going to be a good player in this league for a long time.
Q: Back in the summer, I think you and (general manager) Joe (Schoen) talked about (how) it would take a few weeks for this team's identity to crystalize. We're about six weeks in now to the season. Has this team's identity crystallized, and do you like the identity that's coming along?
A: I'd just say we work hard. We try do what we need to do each week, put the time, effort and energy into our preparation, into our process and then go out there and leave it on the field on Sunday – empty the tank, so to speak. And then we come in and do it again the next week. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. Don't really concentrate on things that have happened in the past. Turn the next page and focus on that page.
Q: How have you felt about the way your offense – I know you don't care about outside grades or anything like that, but it doesn't get great grades from places like PFF (Pro Football Focus). But how have you felt about how your offensive line has performed so far this season?
A: I think they're like all the other spots. I think they've improved each week. Close group. I think they're tough. They're smart, and they've gotten better since they've been here.
Q: Do you think they're better run blockers than pass blockers?
A: They're required to do both, so I've got confidence in both areas for those guys.
Q: They (the Jacksonville Jaguars) have high draft (selections) in their edge rushers. They've got two obviously high (draft selections). First of all, what do you think of those two guys (Jacksonville outside linebackers Josh Allen and Travon Walker)? And do you think that your tackles (Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal), young, are capable of – are you in good shape there with those two guys?
A: Well, they're really good. Walker is the first pick of the (2022) draft, and Josh Allen is a dynamic edge rusher. He has a knack for getting to the quarterback, being a ball disrupter. He can drop. He's a really good player. He's done a good job there for a while. And Travon, having seen him at Georgia, he's very stout on the edge. Long. He's a good player. We'll have our work cut out for us.
Q: You have young tackles. Andrew's not quite as young. You think they're (capable)?
A: Yeah. It'll be a good matchup.
Q: How have you seen Evan (Neal) bounce back after that game against the (Dallas) Cowboys where he struggled a little bit?
A: Really like any player. You're not always going to have your best game. You're probably going to wish you could do things a little bit better. That's everybody, not just Evan. Come in, see what you can improve on, work hard to improve and get ready to play the next week.
Q: When you were going through the pre-draft process, with the way he handled himself, because a game like that can break someone. It seemed like he just took it in stride and bounced back. Did you know he was that kind of person when you were evaluating him?
A: Yeah. You do a lot of work. Again, like I've said before, you're going to face a lot of adversity in this league whether you lose a game, you have a bad game, you have a bad play, you have a bad call, you make a poor decision as a head coach. You're going to have those things. That's just the way this league works. And our whole objective is to focus on the next play or the next series, and that's what we've preached since we've been here.
Q: You mentioned Bellinger. In what ways have you seen him develop since he has gotten here?
A: When you come out of college as a tight end, there's a lot – there is for every position – but there's a lot to learn: how we run block, how we pass block. We've asked him to do a lot of different things. We've put a lot on his plate. I think he's picked it up well. And each game, he gains more experience. He's far from a finished product; he'll be the first to say that. But I think, not just to single out Daniel (Bellinger), there's a lot of our rookies who are doing a good job right now of continuing to grow, improve, learning from their mistakes. And that's all you can ask for.
Q: Do you have to watch how this team handles success? We talked about this being a young team. Do you have to guard against them being overconfident or how they handle success here so far?
A: I'd say the biggest thing for us is just to be consistent with how we do things during the week. Whether it's after a loss, after a win, after a close win, after a big loss. It's such a week-to-week league, so our approach from a coaching staff, and really from an organization, is be as consistent as you can regardless of result if you're doing the things you need to do during the week. That's my job is to make sure we are trying to do that along with the coaches. That's really where our focus is.
Q: Do you sometimes want to harness it, even, and use it to your advantage where – sometimes you might play a team that on paper might be a little more talented but if you guys have the confidence, it can close the gap.
A: I don't even think of it in terms like that. I just think, let's go out there and do what we need to do for that week. Let's put the work in before it happens and let's be ready to play on Sunday whenever that is or Monday or Thursday. Whenever that is. Really that's, I know it's not flashy, but that's what we believe in.
Q: You got here in January, free agency wasn't until March. Did you get to know through your FaceTimes at all (Jacksonville tight end) Evan Engram? What did you think of him and what do you think of him as a player?
A: I got a chance to meet Evan. I think he's a talented player. He's got good speed. He's got good quickness. He was a good young man. It was just for a short time that I got a chance to talk to him, but I thought he was a good player.
Q: Injury updates. How is (wide receiver Kadarius) Toney and (wide receiver Kenny) Golladay?
A: They will not practice today. You said Toney and Golladay, right?
A: They won't practice today. They're getting better.
Q: Did (running back) Saquon's (Barkley) shoulder require any further MRIs or tests after this game?
Q: Any concern about him handling the full workload?
Q: Did (center Jon) Feliciano have any problems with his groin? He talked about it after the game.
A: Yeah, he will be limited today.
Q: How about (tackle) Andrew Thomas?
A: Andrew Thomas. We'll limit him today.
Q: (Center) Nick Gates, I know you have another week to go with him. What have you seen form him so far? Is he close?
A: Getting closer, yeah. I think he's had a good couple of weeks of practice. Or week, how many days has he been out there? However long he's been out there, I think he's made progress each and every day. Learning our system, it's different when you're practicing in a new system. You can sit in a classroom all you want, but I think he's made good progress.
Q: How about (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) and (cornerback) Cor'Dale (Flott)?
A: Azeez will be limited. Cor'Dale will not practice.
Q: When it comes to activating those guys off of IR, or starting the clock on those guys – how much of that is based on where your roster is? Or is it strictly once the guy is healthy, you activate him?
A: I'd say there's conversations that take place when the best time to do it. First of all, they got to be ready to go and then where are you roster-wise with the players that you have on your roster. Those things all play into it.
Q: Is there a path for (safety) Landon (Collins) at all?
A: Yeah, we'll give him some more reps this week. Again, like I said, he just got here, so we'll see how he is conditioning-wise. We'll see how he does with picking up the defense. He's been great, I'm glad we have him. We'll just see where he's at. Again, I think putting someone out there early or when they're not ready -- and I'm not saying he is or he isn't -- but I think that you just got to be fair to the player and make sure that they feel comfortable with where they're at.
Q: Do you remain optimistic that Kadarius could return and become a part of what this team is doing?
A: I do. Yup.
Q: Is injured reserve something that you would consider at this point now with him?
A: No. He's getting better, doing a good job rehabbing. Hopefully we'll see him out here soon.
Q: When you went back and looked over the film, what was wrong with the run defense last week against Baltimore?
A: It's a tough scheme. I think they do a great job. Four main things: motion, giving you different looks. Run defense takes all 11. So that's something we'll work on this week.
Q: Your third-down offense seems to be getting better each week. Why is that?
A: I think it's a collective effort with the coaching staff, with the designs, the calls and then give the players credit, they're executing well. When players execute well, particularly in that situation, that's a big boost to keep maintaining drives, keep possession of the ball. I think the execution has been good.
Q: Is that the biggest difference from earlier in the season? Just the execution or the scheme?
A: No, I think it's a combination of everything. Look, I've said this a lot of times coming off of a win or a loss, there's a lot of things that we can get better at. That's certainly one of the things that we work hard on doing. It's a hard down, it's usually advantage defense regardless of what the distance is that you need. We got to all be dialed in. It's collective – it's coaching, it's playing, it's everything. Just like most everything is.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: Why do you think you've been so good with ball security this season?
A: I don't know. I think just trying to make quick decisions, trying to find the guy that's open, go through my reads and if not, get out of the pocket, make a throw, or find an outlet. Just trying to make good decisions consistently throughout the game.
Q: Is that process any different from what you've done in previous years?
A: I don't think it's any different. I think it's just probably getting better at it, being quicker and more decisive in certain situations.
Q: How good are the two edge rushers on the Jaguars?
A: They're really good – really good players. Really talented and can affect the game. Can obviously get to the passer and stop the run as well. Those are two really good players, and we'll have a plan to handle them.
Q: Knowing that, what's your comfort level right now with the way your offensive line is playing in front of you?
A: Yeah, I think our guys are playing great up front. We've played a lot of really good rushes, a lot of good players, a lot of good edge rushers, and done well. We've got a lot of confidence in our guys to be able to handle them.
Q: Is that different in any way than it's been in past years? Are you a little bit more comfortable and confident with the guys up front this year?
A: I don't know. I think just speaking on this year, I think guys are doing a really good job and playing well, playing as a good group together and on the same page with all that stuff.
Q: (Tackle) Evan (Neal) had a tough game against the Cowboys. What did he show you and everybody in the room about bouncing back from that?
A: Yeah, I mean I think the Cowboys have a really good front. They've got a lot of talented players who can affect the game. He's a young player, he's going to learn and get better every week and that's what he's done. We all have a lot of trust and a lot of confidence in him. That's what he's shown. I think his approach, his work ethic, his day-to-day routine – I think you can see how important it is to him. It's no surprise he's continued to get a lot better every week.
Q: Do their two edge guys show up when you study them? Their two really high draft picks?
A: Yeah, they do. I think you can see how they affect the game. Both of them are really good players, productive in the pass game getting to the quarterback. They do a good job stopping the run, also.
Q: Does winning make you more confident or is it just simply making plays makes you more confident?
A: I think both, I think both. I think winning definitely helps, for sure. You've got to look to the plays you've made also, what's been successful for us as a group and use that to build confidence to plan on what we're going to do going forward. Look at the things that you didn't do as well and try to correct them as well going forward.
Q: How does it feel having (Center) Nick Gates snapping you the ball once and a while?
A: It's great. It's great to see him back out there. I've played a lot of football with him and obviously have a great relationship with him. As a friend, as a teammate, it's been fun to be back out there with him. He's been through a lot. Yeah, it's been fun.
Q: You can't make the decision but what do you sense from him? You know what it takes to play in this league. What do you sense from him and maybe what's coming for him?
A: He seems like he's doing well to me. It's not my job to evaluate that, but like I said, I've got a lot of trust and confidence in him. All those guys up front have been playing really well.
Q: Anything you can put your finger on with the late-game success? Like the game-winning drives type deal of why it's been working so consistently this year?
A: I don't know. I think it's tough to put your finger on one thing in particular. We do have a tough group. I think (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs has preached competitive stamina. It has been one of his things he's talked about a lot through training camp even back to the spring. I think guys have really grabbed on to that.
Q: What does that mean?
A: Being able to compete for the whole game, for 60 minutes regardless of what happens, regardless of the situation. Being tough enough mentally and physically to compete for the whole game.
Q: Brian also said he thinks your even-keeled demeanor helps in those situations. Do you see that?
A: Particularly as a quarterback, I think being poised and being calm throughout the game, regardless of the situation, I think is always the approach I've tried to take. I think it puts you in a position to make plays and do what you've got to do late in games. That's certainly something I try to do.
Q: That's you, right? You're not changing any of this?
A: Yeah, I think I've always tried to be that way.
Q: Are you seeing things clearer at this point in your career? I mean you can walk up to the line and say, 'I know exactly what they're doing' – 70 percent is a nice number.
A: I think maybe a little clearer. I think you recognize things a little bit quicker and that helps your decision-making process – getting the ball out of your hands or getting out of the pocket if you need to, to extend a play. Yeah, I think you try to get better with that kind of stuff every week. You try to be a little bit quicker to recognize certain things and making the right decisions.
Q: Why do you think you're able to get so much out of rookies this year as a team? Is there anything specifically that the coaching staff has done or that you've done to help expedite that?
A: I don't know. I think a lot of credit to those guys. I think (Wide Receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson), (Tight End Daniel) Bellinger, (Tackle) Evan (Neal). I mean all the young guys that are playing, I think they deserve a lot of credit. They're all mature and have a great approach to their work and can tell they want to get better every day. I think they deserve a lot of credit. I think the way we practice, the way everyone is getting tons of reps all the time dating back even to the spring. Those guys are young, but they've got a ton of reps and they know what to do.
Q: You have four game-winning comeback wins this season, I believe that is the best in the league. Why have you been so good late in games?
A: I think we have a tough group, a group of guys that are able to handle the ups and downs of the game – continue to compete, continue to play hard to be ready to strike when the opportunity is there, and we've been able to do that. I think a lot of credit to the group we have and the team we have in the locker room.
Q: Would you mind flipping the script at some point and seeing if your tough group can handle holding a lead?
A: Yeah, I certainly wouldn't mind that. I think that's something we're focused on is getting out to a quicker start and playing as well as we can throughout the game. We're going to keep trying to do that.
Q: Is there anything to the not-fast starts that you think is kind of a repeated theme?
A: I don't know. I think it just takes coming out and executing early. Obviously, we want to start fast, we're trying to start fast and just haven't executed as well as we have later in games early in games. We'll try to do that this week.
Q: Is there a day or two during the week that you and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike Kafka sit down and talk about game plan and plays you particularly like that week?
A: Yeah, we sit down on Fridays and spend a lot of time talking about that, once we've been through the week of practice. We're consistently talking throughout the week, but Friday we have an extended conversation about that and get on the same page with all those thoughts.
Q: Are (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) and (Quarterback) Davis (Webb) part of that too or is it just you and Mike?
A: Sometimes. Mostly just me and Kafka.
Safety Xavier McKinney
On wearing a Tennessee hat …
A: Man, I was really confident in my squad. I still am but things happen, and it is what it is.
Q: Are you getting like a rash up there or something?
A: Yeah, my head did start itching when I put it in. I think I may take it off.
Q: What do you just have to wear it during the media session and then you can take it off?
A: Yeah, yeah. As soon as this is over, I got to throw this in the trash.
Q: And we're not allowed to take pictures of you, obviously?
A: Yeah, no. But we are already on camera, so it is what it is.
Q: Didn't you go to Alabama?
A: Yeah. It's rough, man. It's rough. We going to bounce back though, we'll be alright.
Q: What do you think of (Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback) Trevor Lawrence?
A: I got to play him in college, I played him once. Obviously, I think he's a really good quarterback. He has a really good arm and makes smart decisions – he's grown a lot since I played him. He was young when I first played him, but he was really good. He's gotten a lot better, and it shows. They got a good team; they got a lot of good athletes around him. A lot of guys that can make plays in space and are playmakers. As I said, it's going to be one of those things where it's going to be challenging for us as a defense. We just got to go out there and execute it.
Q: Is he more mobile than people think?
A: Yeah, he can run for sure. I remember watching – I think they played Ohio State, it was in a playoff game one year – and he had a super long run. That's when I realized like, okay he can really run. As I said, every quarterback now pretty much has the ability to be able to use their legs, nobody is really slow, and nobody is really a true pocket passer. That's what makes it obviously challenging for a defense nowadays.
Q: They also have a good pair of running backs (running back Travis Etienne and running back James Robinson). A one-two punch. How are they unique in terms of the challenge they pose?
A: Both guys run really hard. Obviously, I got to play (Jacksonville running back Travis) Etienne as well, so I've seen him quite a few times. Like I said, they're both able to just make plays. They're playmakers, if you get those guys out in space you can line them up as a receiver and just get the ball to them and when they get downhill, they're explosive, they're able to make moves and make guys miss. That's a good, dynamic group that they have in the running back room for sure. We definitely got to be prepared to be able to stop that run.
Q: Is it more challenging when you face running backs that have a one-two punch versus a single guy?
A: For sure, yeah. I think a lot of times both of them – they're not the same. They do things differently. That challenge kind of presents itself when you got to know who's in the game and who can do what and you got to adjust accordingly. That's definitely a challenge.
Q: (Safety Julian) Love got his first one (interception of the season) last week, are you itching to get your first one this week?
A: Yeah man, we trying to get one every week. It'll come; I'm not stressing over it. Just got to keep doing my job and helping the team out and helping the team be able to execute and go out there and create wins.
Offensive Tackle Evan Neal
Q: The challenge you have this week with this match up, how do you attack it?
A: Just attack it like I've been attacking every other week. Studying my opponent, making sure I'm coming out to practice every day, working hard, correcting my mistakes, and building off of the good things.
Q: Did you do anything differently this past game, just like in your pass sets? Did you change anything?
A: No. I didn't really do anything differently. I felt a lot more comfortable but just trying to get better week by week. That's been the goal for me, just making progress week to week.
Q: How much has this been an adjustment? I know (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby (Johnson) has asked you to do different things with the way you set.
A: They've been doing a good job coaching me up. Want some more of the angle set, sometimes he wants me to take one vertical and then go out on an angle. It really just kind of varies.
Q: Are they going to switch up (Jaguars Outside Linebacker Travon) Walker and (Jaguars Outside Linebacker Josh) Allen? Or do you think you'll see one more than the other?
A: It really doesn't matter which one I see; I'm going to prepare for both of those guys.
Q: What do you see as the differences between them or the similarities?
A: I haven't gotten a chance to watch them as much yet, but I played against Walker twice in college. He's a real powerful guy, explosive, strong guy, long arms. Josh Allen, he's a real fast guy. Isn't as heavy and he plays with a high motor based off what I've seen.
Q: You're a high draft pick, those guys are both high draft picks, (Tackle) Andrew's (Thomas) a high draft pick. The four of you could tell good stories about how well you guys did in the draft. Is it a nice match up because of that in a lot of ways?
A: If you want to look at it like that, then I guess it would be a nice matchup. It's just going to be fun to go out there and compete against those guys and just have fun – have fun and compete.
Q: Do you feel like you've made a lot of progress since the first game? Improved as a player or changed as a player at all?
A: Yeah, I feel like I've improved. I feel like I've made improvement week to week. I just want to continue to do that my entire career. I believe that the improvement never stops. I just want to keep on getting better.
Q: In addition to showing yourself, did you feel you had to show to your teammates you could bounce back after the Cowboys game?
A: I feel like my teammates believed in me. Even after that game, they gave me nothing but encouragement. Encouraging words and stuff like that. Games like that you've just got to put in the past. Learn from them and just focus on getting better.
Q: You don't have a lot of experience with games like that though, right?
Q: I'm sure you've talked about this before but was that something that was hard to deal with and hard to figure out how to respond to?
A: Not so much. Nobody wants to play like that, but the only thing you can do is move forward. Regardless, we're going to have a new opponent every week. You can't dwell on things like that. You've got to move on to the next opponent and focus on performing better.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson
Q: What have you seen from (Tight End) Evan Engram?
A: Evan is, number one a great person, that's the first thing. Number two, he brought a lot of experience and a lot of depth that we needed at that position. His route running ability and overall leadership are things that I've seen. Very unselfish player. He does whatever it takes to help us try to win football games and he's been great in that way.
Q: How does the (Giants Quarterback) Daniel Jones you're seeing on film this season compare to the guy you saw the first two years of his career when you were in Philly?
A: Well, I'll tell you this, you don't go to sleep on Daniel Jones because he can beat you with his legs. I know probably the ankle and all that might sort of slow him down a touch but he's still the same guy. One thing that I can appreciate with what (Giants head coach Brian) Daboll's done is, and we're obviously trying to do that here with (Quarterback) Trevor (Lawrence), is just do what they do best. Don't give him too much mentally. Just let them run the offense, get the ball out of their hand, make good decisions, don't turn it over and use your legs when needed to. I think those are the things that I've seen this season watching him – obviously from a far. The main thing too is just taking care of the football and that's key to the kingdom when it comes to quarterback.
Q: What has surprised you most about the Giants start to this season when you watch them on film?
A: It's really not a surprise because you try to create takeaways, you try to create turnovers, you try to create games that end up in the fourth quarter, and you find a way to win. That's what good teams do and that's what you're seeing with this team. It started back in Week 1 against Tennessee, obviously a kick there. You look at last week and you look at other games where it's been an opportunistic offense or an opportunistic defense. That's what you want. You want games that can be decided in the fourth quarter, and you want to be on the winning end of that. Being opportunistic and making the most of their opportunities is what we've seen.
Q: Coaches go to franchises and teams, obviously they want to see if they have a quarterback, they also want to see if they have a dominant edge rusher. Do you think you have that with your guy (Outside Linebacker) Josh Allen?
A: I do, I do. I like Josh and I like (Outside Linebacker) Travon (Walker) as well. Josh is a player that has been dynamic and trying to complement him with Travon to get them both around the quarterback as much as we can. Josh is a tremendous leader. He works extremely hard. One thing I don't want him to do is get frustrated with maybe the sack production or things of that nature, just got to keep working. But really like where Josh is and how he's been playing.
Q: How surprising is it to you when you watch the Giants to see so many rookies on the field. You're a young team, how hard is that to make work really quickly?
A: Well, that's just it. You've got to try to get them to gel extremely fast, the game goes by fast, the games themselves are fast. Again, it just goes back to do what their strengths are and putting them in position to be successful. At the same time though you still want them to be allowed to grow as a player and grow into their roles. I think it's a great problem to have. I think we're third or fourth youngest team in the league right now by age. You kind of understand that you may go through some growing pains from time to time and we've experienced that this year already, and yet, that's how you learn. That's how you get better as a football team and try to minimize those each week.
Q: Every week it seems like teams are going for more and more fourth downs and the analytics guys say that's what was copied from the 2017 Eagles, the team you had that won the Super Bowl. What do you remember about going for all those fourth downs, what kind of pushed you in that direction that now other coaches are copying that?
A: If you go back and look at that '17 season and what we did offensively, a lot of those fourth downs were fourth and 1's and we had a good offensive line. So, the quarterback sneak became – I think we were 12 for 12, something like that, with QB sneaks and that really helps your percentages. But at the same time, I believe in my players and trust the defense. If we go for it on fourth down, don't make it that you put your defense out there and hopefully they get a stop for you. It's just putting your players in situations to be used. Analytics does play a big part in that with understanding scenarios and understanding field position, but you just can't wake up and say, 'I just want to go for it on fourth down.' You've got to prepare your football team, you've got to prepare your players for it. We did it in the offseason in '17 leading up to that year. The guys were accustomed to it, and I think that's a big part of it. Then when you start having success on fourth down the players really begin to embrace it. It challenges them in a good way. We had success then, we're struggling a little bit on fourth down right now, but it doesn't take away from the aggressiveness I show in our football team.
Q: What do you remember about (Giants Offensive Coordinator) Mike Kafka as a player and what do you think makes him a good offensive coordinator right now?
A: Mike Kafka, I'll you what, what a great dude. When he was a player, this guy was a hard, hard, worker. He studied this game like no other, and I've been around some great quarterbacks as a player and as a coach. He studied this game and really understood X's and O's of how things operate and how to run an offense. Now you see him, he came from Kansas City, and he worked with (Chiefs Head) Coach (Andy) Reid, where I worked with Coach Reid. You learn a lot just being under his tutelage and what he can teach you as a young coordinator or position coach. It doesn't surprise me the success that the Giants are having. I would put quite a bit on Kafka for that success. Just understanding the quarterback position and how it's to be played. You see it in the play of Daniel Jones, and you see it in the offense. I think the world of Mike and maybe one day he'll be a head coach as well.
Q: What do you think the biggest thing Andy teaches a coordinator and young coach is?
A: I think a lot of it is to think out of the box. Don't be restricted to, you can or can't do something. I think it's a growth mentality where you have to consider all possibilities to where you can challenge your players offensively. I know Andy has taught me that and all the guys that have worked for him. I know Mike's in that same boat where you think out of the box. It just allows you to free your mind up and not from a play calling standpoint but sometimes from a play design or how you want to use a certain player. It just allows you to kind of be yourself, but at the same time be aggressive with the personnel that you have.
Q: When you're traveling around the country and maybe run into Giants fans, does the last game of the 2020 season ever come up? And when you look back at that do you have any regrets about how you handled that game?
A: No, I have no regrets. Listen, that was a long time ago and a lot of respect for Giants fans and expect a good crowd down here this weekend. But no regrets.
Q: Having the number one pick this year, how much were (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon Thibodeaux and (Tackle) Evan Neal in that discussion? And what did you see from them in the pre-draft process?
A: They were definitely in the conversation leading up to the draft for us. The pre-draft process was – there were a lot of good players at the top of the board for us. And there were some offensive linemen there and obviously the edge rushers. Ultimately, we had to make a decision and settled (on that decision) and picked Travon. But I'll tell you what, both of those guys and all the guys at the top of the board could've been great fits for us. They're great players. They're going to be great players in this league and play for a long time. But at the end of the day, we took Travon; and we're excited about him and his growth and his potential here in Jacksonville.
Q: When you went to Philadelphia, you had some talent there and within two years, you won a Super Bowl. How different is your approach with this team?
A: It's different from the standpoint of we're just a little bit younger. The other thing, too, down here is that we've got to change the culture around. It's been one of the losing-ist franchises in recent history, and we've got to change that culture. You can't put the cart before the horse necessarily. But at the same time, you have to try to speed up the process. You're teaching these guys how to practice. You're teaching them how to win games, how to handle that. There's a lot of things that go into that. In Philly, we had more of a veteran football team and guys that had been around. They actually had won under (Former Eagles Head Coach) Chip Kelly the year before. Then, of course, with Coach Reid had some success there. It's just a matter of teaching these guys and showing them what it's like and how to do it. That's the process that we're going through right now.
Q: What qualities make (Giants Wide Receiver coach) Mike Groh a good coach?
A: The fact that he relates to his players. Gosh, he demands excellence from them. He's a detailed guy. I remember the couple of years he was with me, just the fundamentals and the technique and how he drills that in them in practice. He's just a teacher of the game. Obviously, he comes from a great family history of coaching and just understands the game and how it's to be played. I've always appreciated that about Mike. It's made him a really good coach in this league.