EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Dabs' Digest, Giants.com's weekly conversation with head coach Brian Daboll:
Q: Last week, we talked about the challenges of a short work week. Are there advantages in a long week?
Daboll: "Each week is such a different week for planning purposes. You obviously have more time. The biggest thing is playing well and making sure you put together a good plan. Make sure you have a good week of practice. Whether it's a short week, a normal week, a long week, the ultimate thing is to play well."
Q: Every week, your focus is on the next game (in this case Monday vs. Seattle). The players know this is the only home game in five weeks. They know what's coming up (trips to Miami and Buffalo). Can there be more urgency this week?
Daboll: "There's urgency every week, that's the National Football League. Our focus is all on Seattle and doing what we need to do to have our best week."
Q: You've been asked about several issues - slow starts, pass protection, takeaways. Do you say to the coaches, "this is what I want to focus on?" Can you cover everything in three or four days?
Daboll: "I think when you put together your practice plan, that changes week-to-week relative to the points of emphasis and things to work on, whether you have a good result or have a bad result. That's the consistent approach that we always have."
Q: Do you agree that you need big plays to win in the NFL and what can you do to facilitate that?
Daboll: "I think big plays obviously help in all three phases. So, the execution, the timing of the play call, big plays certainly help to give you some momentum and change field position, whether you finish the drive or not. Offensively, if you can create a big play, there's usually points attached with that."
View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Q: All coaches preach turnover differential, and you don't have any takeaways yet. What can you as coaches do to help change that?
Daboll: "That's something that you work on each week, whether you show it in team meetings, you work it out in a practice. I think the big thing is just executing and then when you have an opportunity to get the ball out, you take advantage of that."
Q: Micah McFadden appears to be more active, more productive this year. What's behind his improvement?
Daboll: "I think Micah has put in the work. He had a good first year, basically played the whole first season, came back with a good mindset, understands things better the second year, plays fast and he's made a lot of plays in the early part of the season for us."
Q: Jamie Gillan's net punting average (45.7 yards) is almost six yards higher than his career average.
Daboll: "He has punted well. We have a lot of confidence in both of our specialists (including kicker Graham Gano) in terms of taking field goals and making good punts. But again, special teams, particularly the punt team, it's a collective effort. It's 11 guys doing the right thing and getting a good hang to distance, getting down to cover with the gunners, and protection, which has improved."
Q: Do you anticipate the availability of some of the injured players will be determined shortly before gametime Monday?
Daboll: "These guys will practice, we evaluate them every day after practice or during practice and then make the decision that's best for us and ultimately best for the player."
Q: Last year's game against Seattle ended up being a two-touchdown game, but it was tied in the fourth quarter. As you reviewed that tape, what stood out?
Daboll: "Well, a couple of big plays - we had two turnovers on a punt return that really changed some momentum. They did a good job of executing a few of their plays and certainly things that we look at and that's an important game to look at along with the three games this year. They have the same (coaching) staff. It was a competitive game last year, but we turned the ball over a few too many times."
Q: They have 15 rookies, which is tied for the most in the league, and they seem to have done well integrating them into their offense, defense and special teams.
Daboll: "I think give credit to coach (Pete) Carroll. He's done this for a long time. I think this is his 18th year as a head coach. He had one year at the Jets back in '94. He had three years at the Patriots, I think '97, '98, '99. He didn't have a losing season in New England and with the Jets, I think he was 6-10, and then he's been with Seattle for 14 years and he's had three losing seasons. And then ultimately what he did at USC, his time there, he's a heck of a coach. They've had a program there that's withstood the test of time, which is a hard thing to do in the NFL, and he's done a good job every year he's been there."
Q: Their victory last week against Carolina was a little like our game in Arizona. They didn't play well in the first half, but dominated the second half when they ran the ball. What were your thoughts about that game?
Daboll: "It was 29-20 late in the fourth and they made the necessary plays. That's the National Football League. Games are going to be tough every week and they made the necessary plays in all three phases of the game. They've only turned over the ball one time this year, one of six teams that haven't had a fumble at all this year. So that's a big reason for their success. Some players did a really good job of stopping the run, getting the run game going, controlling the game. Good team win."
Q: What do you see in Geno Smith?
Daboll: "Quarterback that's very comfortable in his system, makes good decisions, gets involved with his playmakers, which he's got a bunch of them. (Kenneth) Walker (III) is a heck of a runner and makes some guys miss, runs through some guys. (Zach) Charbonnet, the rookie from UCLA who's done a good job, and then you get the two old hats there with (DK) Metcalf and (Tyler) Lockett, who are always a challenge and who can really attack all levels of the field. And then the young rookie from Ohio State in Jaxon (Smith-Njigba). Geno does a good job of distributing the ball, making good decisions and looks very comfortable in coach (offensive coordinator Shane) Waldron's offense."
Q: Walker seems to be the more elusive back, while Charbonnet is stronger. He trucked (Carolina safety Sam Franklin, Jr.) at the goal line last week.
Daboll: "He's a big guy, but I'd say he's got good feet, good vision. Walker is just a good all-around back. He can run with power when he needs to, he's got really good vision. He knows when to bounce it, can cut back, was effective in the passing game, particularly this last week. So, he's a hell of a player."
Q: Apparently, (safety) Jamal Adams is going to return (for the first time since the 2022 season opener). They already have two safeties (Julian Love and Quandre Diggs) playing 95% of their snaps. Are you trying to figure out how they're going to use him?
Daboll: "Jamal is a hell of a player. He's coming back from his injury from last season, plays down in the box - we could see him down in the box at a nickel position, you could see him at safety. Look, they've got three good guys that can probably play multiple spots, but he's a heck of a player, a tough good tackler. We anticipate seeing a bunch of him."
Q: What do you see from our old friend Julian Love?
Daboll: "Doing a good job. Julian is a dependable guy, picked up their defense and is doing a good job."
Q: They were 30th against the run last year. Right now, they're sixth. They brought back (linebacker) Bobby Wagner. He hasn't missed a snap and he is their leading tackler. Does he look like the guy he's always been?
Daboll: "I've got a great respect for him, and he knows obviously the system, the culture around there, great leader, both on and off the field."
Q: How about their rookie corner (Devon) Witherspoon?
Daboll: "Very talented player, aggressive, makes plays on the ball. He's got a good change of direction, can match routes, can cover man-to-man. He's a good football player."
Q: Pete Carroll said (nose tackle) Jarran Reed had the best game he's played for Seattle last week.
Daboll: "They all do a really good job. (Uchenna) Nwosu is a good edge rusher, Reed is good inside. (Boye) Mafe, the second-year player from Minnesota, is good. They are playing well together up front. They stunt, they move, they run some games. They do a good job."
Q: Are Jason Myers and Michael Dickson as good a kicking and punting tandem as you'll see this year?
Daboll: "They have very good special teams and usually when you have very good specialists, you have good special teams."