EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Brian Daboll will establish some principles and prospects as he enters his debut season as the Giants head coach, but his current goals are pretty basic.
"To try to win each day," Daboll said. "Look, we're not playing for five months. Improve from one day to the next. (We) talked about some of the attire and the dress that I expect them to wear in the meeting rooms, team first attitude, be a pro, which there's a lot that goes into that in terms of accountability, dependability, resiliency. Didn't get too far ahead of things."
The Giants began their offseason conditioning program Monday morning, giving Daboll, who was introduced as the coach on January 31, the opportunity to meet many of his players for the first time. He spoke to everyone in attendance before the players split into offensive and defensive groups.
"I'd say it was a 20-minute meeting to start out and I'd say 10 minutes of those 20 minutes, I let other people speak – trainers, strength coaches," Daboll said. "It was a good introductory meeting.
"This is the first day where we're all back in the building and can get to know one another. There's a lot of things that we have to install in terms of schematics. But we also have to talk about expectations and standards and get to know one another. There's a little over five months until we end up playing and a few months before training camp starts. So, this is really just the foundational piece to a long year ahead. We just try to get better each day and do the things that we need to do. Can't look too far down the road on this thing, it'll get you pretty quick."
View photos from the voluntary offseason workout program at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Daboll later held a 22-minute news conference on Zoom. After more than two decades as an assistant, he is sitting in the big chair.
"Yeah, 25 (years)," Daboll said when asked "after 20 years" if standing in front of the team as a head coach for the first time was a big moment for him.
"It was exciting for me, but again, I know we're at April 4th here, so let's not get too far ahead of ourselves," he said. "Let's do what we can do. We have two weeks here for phase one and let's have a good phase one."
Although Daboll is now one of the franchise's most important and influential figures, the longtime offensive coordinator, most recently with the Buffalo Bills, is adapting to his new role.
"Just part of the organization, just like everybody else," he said of being the head coach. "Obviously, you have some more responsibility in your role with different organizational things, structuring, scheduling, those types of things. You have to stay ahead just like you did when you were a coordinator. But today was a good start. We had our first team meeting, and then we split up offensively and the defensive players worked out and then the defense is just finishing up right now and I had a chance to go in everybody's meeting room and kind of talk to them about expectations and standards and get to know them a little bit. So, it's been a good start. We've been busy."
He has been since the moment he took the job. Daboll has hired a staff, worked with coordinator Mike Kafka to write the offensive playbook, become familiar with Wink Martindale's defense, reviewed the Giants' 2021 season, connected with numerous players, studied veteran free agents and young players eligible for the draft and devised his offseason and training camp schedules.
"I think that we've done a good job in terms of scheduling how we meet, when the defense is meeting, and the offense is meeting, and I'll try to pop into those rooms the best I can along with the kicking game," he said. "With the coaches being out on the road (to see potential draft choices in person at pro days) - we've had considerable (presence) out on the road - that's given me some time to just sit in my office and dig in on these college guys and watch tape and catch up in that regard. But I think it's time management and you hire good people to do their job. And then you make a schedule to try to accommodate the things you need to accommodate to get your work done."
Not all coaches endorse having coaches join scouts on the road prior to the draft, but Daboll wants his assistants to get a close-up look at the draft prospects.
"I think it is important for our coaches to go, whether that's a pro day or an individual workout, whatever that may be," Daboll said. "There are also other methods of evaluations with the Zooms and things like that. Try to get as many eyes on the players as we can. I've had quite a bit of things on my plate relative to getting things prepared to get going here and start phase one, and phase two. They film them all. I watch all of them along with the Senior Bowl stuff or any all-star games, the tape they've been in. I think we have a good process of how we've been doing things up to this point. These next few weeks will be critical to dig in a little bit deeper. Plus, the (player) visits are going to start happening."
If the Giants keep all of their choices, they will draft nine players. They have added 10 veteran free agents in the last month and they return a core group that includes Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Leonard Williams and Blake Martinez.
"With every player, it's a clean slate," Daboll said. "There's a lot of information right now to consume for these players once we get through the introductions and the standards and the things like that, in terms of playbook-wise. So, each person's going to be responsible to be sure that they're on top of the information, the coaches are here to help them and then we'll have a good spring there in terms of the weights. Then when we can get out of the field, keep it going from there."
First, the players must be properly dressed.
"They wear Giants gear when we get in here," he said. "It's not like you're going to a private high school and having to wear a tie and stuff like that. Wear Giants gear, come in ready to go."
It's a good start.