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Coach Daboll Weekly Q&A

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Dabs' Digest: 1-on-1 with Coach Brian Daboll

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Dabs' Digest, Giants.com's weekly conversation with head coach Brian Daboll:

Q: You are in front of the team every day and now you've won three consecutive games. Have you noticed an improvement in the team's collective demeanor or excitement level? Can you sense a change in the team?

Daboll: "We try to stress consistency. Obviously, it's more fun when you're winning, less fun when you're losing, but the consistency in which they've approached things since we've been here, I've been very pleased with. They come to work, they've come to work every day from the start all the way through now, doing the right things, preparing the right way, attentive, good chemistry. But it's obviously always better when you get the results that you work so hard for during the week."

Q: You mentioned the other day you made a halftime adjustment regarding Tommy DeVito and creating more designed runs for him. What is your normal halftime routine? Do you try of get with the coordinators or –

Daboll: "That takes place even before the half. You only have a short amount of time. So, you're always trying to make adjustments throughout the game. I wouldn't say necessarily after the first two series because you're not going to make them after a few plays. You want to see how the game declares. I think that (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka does a great job of leading that up and communicating with the coaches and going through thoughts or 'this is how they're playing us. This is what we need to get to.' That conversation happened in the second quarter, kind of the end of the second quarter into the locker room. You only have a few minutes to meet as a coaching staff and then you're out. The old halftime adjustment, I've said this plenty of times, you're adjusting throughout the entire game."

Q: Halftime is finished before you know it.

Daboll: "It's quick. You're (making adjustments) every series after the first couple of series, see how the game declares. Are they rolling (coverages) a certain way? Are they playing more of this coverage? Are they mixing their fronts and what are they doing? What can we get to? Are we losing on a matchup, winning on a matchup? Those are all the things you talk about."

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

Q: Tommy has been very effective throwing on the run and he seems to be in sync with the receivers. When he starts moving as he did on the (Isaiah) Hodgins' touchdown, the receivers go with him. Is that something they pick up in practice? Is that instinctive?

Daboll: "It's probably a little bit of both. We placed a high emphasis on it coming out of the bye. I thought we had missed some opportunities that I think we could have taken advantage of, so we made it an emphasis. We had a couple periods where there were forced scrambles. The players didn't know except the quarterback, then when he moved, they had to adjust, and the defense had to cover. It's something we took from the practice field, you applied it in the game, which was helpful. Those are things we need to continue to work on."

Q: An under-discussed key play in the game Monday night was stopping the Packers' 2-point conversion attempt after their final touchdown.

Daboll: "It was one of the plays of the game. Bobby (Okereke) did an outstanding job of seeing it. It was on a perimeter run, which was something that we had worked a ton on. We did a good job on some of them, and they got us on a couple. That was a team that is good at those types of things, and in the most critical moment of the game, they try another perimeter run and Bobby got a good shot on him. There were two or three people rolling them back. It was a huge play."

Q: Bobby got there first, but there were a bunch of guys. They all looked like they knew what was coming.

Daboll: "Population to the ball."

Q: Wan'Dale Robinson's snaps and production have increased the last two weeks. His surgery (to repair a torn ACL) was a year ago this week. Does his improvement stem in part from his physical improvement?

Daboll: "Absolutely. That's a hard, hard injury for a skill player, particularly with his quickness and speed that he uses to his advantage. I give the young man a lot of credit because he fought through times where it wasn't always perfect, and he kept pushing through. I thought the bye week really helped him. But even before the bye week, he was starting to feel a little bit more like himself in terms of short area quickness and speed and explosiveness. He's worked really hard. I'm glad we've got him. He's a good young player to work with."

Q: Jayden Reed caught eight passes, but he gained only 27 yards, which is unusual for a wide receiver. Deonte Banks was involved in at least a couple of the tackles to prevent him from gaining more yardage. Deonte had 12 tackles, a high total for a cornerback. Is his physicality an underrated part of his game?

Daboll: "We thought he was a really physical player coming out of Maryland and this was a game we challenged him leading up to it, knowing the amount of perimeter plays that they like to get the ball to the edge and being a good force player for us. He did a nice job."

Q: Saquon Barkley's fumble could have been very costly. In a situation like that when a player makes an almost inexplicable error, do you make a point of going up to him and saying, "don't let this bother you, just move on."

Daboll: "No. Things are going to happen in the game. There's no one who felt worse than Saquon. He was not happy that happened and he is such a competitive individual, and I have such great respect for him. Every player is different. I had full faith that if we got the ball back and we needed to do what we needed to do that he would be ready to go and flush that play and get ready for the next play."

Q: In the last three games, you've had eight red zone trips, five touchdowns, three field goals. The numbers have improved. Has that been an emphasis?

Daboll: "Sure. I think Tommy has done a good job of moving the team down. We've missed out on a couple other opportunities as we get closer down there, whether we turn the ball over or have a penalty, but I'd say we're improving in that area. I'm just focused on week-to-week improvement. You can't do anything about the beginning or whatever it may be. We're just trying to get better and making sure that when we get down there, we execute at a high level."

Q: Short week, long trip to New Orleans. Do you adjust practice, not only because of that but also it's late in the season. Do you start doing things a bit differently?

Daboll: "I have said this plenty of times, I think our sports science department and our training staff do a great job of putting together schedules that optimize our players' performances on Sunday. They change week to week. They've changed throughout the year. That's something that we place a high level of importance on, to try to make sure our players are as fresh and ready to go as they can be come game day."

Q: Are you doing something special this week to prepare for the noise in an indoor stadium?

Daboll: "Just playing loud music, practicing inside, and cranking it up as high as we can"

Q: The Saints' defense has played very well. They have played three games in which they did not allow a touchdown, they are among the league leaders with 14 interceptions. Do you see a strong unit on tape?

Daboll: "They tie their rush and their coverage together. They play a lot of man-to-man coverage. Their defensive backs are very sticky in terms of being close to receivers and make it difficult on creating separation. You have to run good routes, good stems, you have to be physical on your routes. They play tight coverage and then they have a good rush on top of it. I've known D.A. (coach Dennis Allen) for a long time. He's a heck of a defensive coach, defensive coordinator, head coach; it's his second stint. I've got a lot of respect for him and how he does things and they're a tough out."

Q: Damario Davis - I don't know how many middle linebackers have 5.5 sacks, but he seems to be in the middle of everything.

Daboll: "He's been one of the top 'backers for a while. Instinctive, tough. He's a fun guy to watch on tape when you're not getting ready to play him."

Q: Offensively, (quarterback) Derek Carr has been around a long time. I'm assuming you have faced him before.

Daboll: "He's an accurate passer and has been productive. He's played in a variety of systems and can make any throw you need him to throw. He can get real hot and just get completion after completion after completion. He's got good feet, athletic, good in the pocket. He's been a good quarterback for a while in this league."

Q: Saquon (Barkley) and (Alvin) Kamara both have played 10 games, and both have 966 scrimmage yards.

Daboll: "Is that right? Kamara is a heck of a player."

Q: "You have to watch him every second, correct?

Daboll: "If you give him space in the running game, he can go from zero to really fast very quickly. Same thing in the passing game; you throw him a 3-yard checkdown and if you don't take proper angles and work together as a defense and make sure he's funneling where we need to funnel him and tackle him, he's one of those guys that can get it and take it a long way if we don't play with good technique."

Q: (Wide receiver Chris) Olave is having a breakout season.

Daboll: "He's a good receiver, another Ohio State receiver that's been well trained. He's very savvy for a young player as a route runner. He plays in multiple spots. He's a separator, he's very savvy in what he does for a young player. He's got very good hands. He's a good young receiver."

Q: (Rookie receiver/returner Rashid) Shaheed and (all-purpose player) Taysom Hill both returned to practice (Wednesday).

Daboll: "Shaheed is explosive and dynamic. He's made a lot of big plays for them. He was undrafted and you don't know how a guy like that slips through the cracks, because he is talented. He's a talented returner. He's a talented receiver, he's got speed, he's got quickness. He's good. Taysom is just a good football player. He can do a lot for them, and he does whether he's a personal protector on a punt team, whether he's lined up at quarterback, lined up at tight end. He's a good, good football player who is hard to tackle. He's got some quickness to him. Open field running, vision, toughness. He's a good player. He's a good piece to have."

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