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'Focus on process': Giants learn to handle success


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The standings prove they have a 6-1 record, but the Giants continue to insist they haven't won anything this season.

To them, what they've done is insignificant compared to what lies ahead. So, today the Giants viewed the tape and discussed their mistakes in the 23-17 victory they earned yesterday in Jacksonville. Then they immediately turned their attention to their meeting this week in Seattle against the 4-3 Seahawks.

Brian Daboll coached on five Super Bowl-winning teams in New England and a national champion at Alabama and believes there's only one way for a football team to handle success.

"Focus on the process," Daboll repeated today for who knows how many times he has done so since training camp began. "I know I sound like a broken record, but this league humbles you very quickly. As soon as you're done with this game and as soon as Mondays are over, you put it to bed, and you get focused on your next opponent. They're all good in this league. Every game is hard, you're going to get everybody's best each week, regardless of what your record is. You continue to prepare the way you know how to prepare to try to put yourself in the best position you can. That's really all it is.

"Focusing on things that happened in the past don't do you any good. You've got to learn from them. Thinking about things that could happen in the future do you no good because you better stay right in the present and focus on the things that you can control. That's something that I've preached to our players, to our staff, to myself. I think that takes discipline and it takes a consistent approach to do that each day."

Six-year veteran and first-year Giant Matt Breida strongly supports Daboll's principle.

"You've got to let it go," Breida said. "There's nothing that you can do; you can't go back in time, win or lose. The only thing we've got guaranteed is that next game in front of us. So, I think it's a very easy process once you accept it and are willing to do the stuff that's required of it."

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson played on three Tennessee Titans teams that advanced to the postseason, including the 2019 squad that advanced to the AFC Championship Game. At what point in the season did he believe that was an attainable goal?

"I think once we got into the playoffs," Jackson said. "Obviously, you got to take it week by week. We were still playing in games to make sure we got in there. Once we got into the wild card game (vs. New England), then we went to Baltimore. I think each week, you just keep knowing that you've got to keep going forward and it's just a look into the future a little bit. But at the same time, got to focus on the present. I would say once you get into the playoffs, that's when you start to think you could go all the way, but at the same time you have to focus one week at a time."

Breida has been a member of two playoff teams, including the 2019 San Francisco 49ers, who advanced to Super Bowl LIV. He, too, is a Daboll disciple.

"I think the main thing is you've got to take it week-by-week," Breida said. "Like Dabs says all the time, you've just got to trust the process. We're trying to go 1-0 each week; we're not trying to look too far ahead. I think we've got guys on the team that have bought into that. They want to play for each other, play for our coaches. And I think that's a big key to getting where we want to get to."

"I think it's pretty easy not to look too far ahead," Jackson said. "I remember talking to (defensive lineman) Justin Ellis about when he was in Baltimore and they started off 8-2 and they didn't make the playoffs. To have that in perspective, I understand that it doesn't really matter how you start, it's really about how you finish. That year that we did go to the conference championship, I think we started out like 2-5 (actually, 2-4). You just never know how this league may go. It's hard to get wins, hard to collect them. We're just trying to keep stacking those wins and keep coming into work each day and trying to get better."

Breida believes he knows what it takes for the Giants to realize their goals.

"You've got to play unselfish football," he said. "I don't think anyone on this team is worried about their stats and the numbers, how many touchdowns they're going to get or the interceptions. I think we all go out there and play for each other for every game, and we get the results that we want."

The formula has worked through the first seven games. Everyone is eager to see how well it works in the final 10 weeks.

*Daboll provided few details about the injuries to left guard Ben Bredeson (right knee), right tackle Evan Neal (left knee) and tight end Daniel Bellinger (left eye), who were all forced from the game yesterday in the first half.

Asked if there was concern about Bellinger's vision, Daboll said, "I couldn't tell you 100 percent. I think they'll do the surgery. I'm optimistic. But in terms of getting into details with it, I couldn't answer those.

"It's probably too early to say when I expect him back. We'll see how this thing goes and I'm hopeful for it, but obviously you never know when things like this happen."

The other tight ends on the roster are Tanner Hudson and Chris Myarick. Tight end Lawrence Cager is on the practice squad.

Daboll said, "we'll go week-by-week" with (Bredeson). He said the same for Neal's return.

*Rookie Joshua Ezeudu replaced Bredeson and Tyre Phillips stepped in for Neal in only his second game as a Giant.

"I think they both did a good job," Daboll said. "They were prepared and that's a credit to them, first and foremost, but then (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and (assistant offensive line coach) Tony (Sparano, Jr.) spend a lot of extra time with some of those younger guys or guys that are working on the practice squad. They were both ready to go and prepared and did a good job. We'll work with them this week and we'll see how it goes this week, but I was pleased with how they responded with having to go in there and play."

*One potential offensive line replacement is Nick Gates, who has been practicing since Oct. 5, his first work with the team since his catastrophic lower left leg injury suffered a year ago. The Giants have until Wednesday to decide to activate Gates or keep him on the reserve/physically unable to perform list for the remainder of the season.

"We'll talk about it here in the next couple days," Daboll said. "Nick's done a good job since he's been out here working out. We'll revisit that here tonight."


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