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Presser Points: Brian Daboll's first impressions

Coach Brian Daboll got his first look at the 2023 Giants in live action during in Friday's preseason opener in Detroit – well, at least the ones that played.

Both teams rested a significant portion of their veteran starters, opening lanes for rookies to get up to the speed of the NFL and others to audition for a spot on the 53-man roster, which much be finalized by 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 29.

The head coach and rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito took the podium after the game at Ford Field. Here's everything you need to know:


🔹 Daboll wanted to wait to see the tape but thought the "snap procedure was good" with rookie center John Michael Schmitz Jr., the team's second-round draft choice.

🔹 The Giants opened the offseason with a competition to start next to Xavier McKinney at safety, and when the first unofficial depth chart was released this week, it was Jason Pinnock's name with the first team. He looked the part on Friday night, intercepting Detroit's Nate Sudfeld on the first play of the game. The second drive was just as spectacular as Pinnock tackled rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs, the 12th overall draft pick out of Alabama, for a loss of three yards. Pinnock then forced an incompletion on a fourth-down attempt by the Lions.

"He's had a good camp. We were going to play him in roughly 10 to 12 plays, but he had some productive plays early on. So, we got him out, gave some other guys some opportunity. But, pretty productive day for a short amount of time."

🔹 Daboll called Pinnock "athletic" and "explosive." He was a good addition to the team last year. "He played a bunch of special teams, but I think he's done a good job here in camp. Made the most of his opportunity in the short amount of plays, keep grinding along with him. But he's done a nice job for us."

🔹 With Daniel Jones getting the night off, backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor started the game and played two drives, both of which began with advantageous field position thanks to the defense and ended in field goals. Then it was The Tommy DeVito Show.

The undrafted rookie, who began his college career at Syracuse before transferring to Illinois last season, completed 15 of 24 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown with an interception on a last-ditch effort at the end of the game. He was sacked five times in the game.

"I thought he did a nice job. He operated well. He had a play, obviously we threw the interception there at the end, but it was fourth-and-15, and he hit a play like that in camp early on. Where it was fourth-and-15, and he threw checkdown for five yards. And obviously he threw it up to try to give him a chance. They made a play on it. But I thought he operated well. Made some good decisions. Used his legs. He was under some pressure sometimes there. Took care of the ball on some of those sacks. So definitely a performance to work off of."

🔹 As of his postgame press conference, Daboll had not talked to the trainers yet about the extent of the injuries to wide receiver Collin Johnson (knee) and cornerback Cor'Dale Flott (abdominal), who left the game early.

🔹 Offensive lineman Tyre Phillips also got "dinged up. That was the leg I was telling you about in practice."

🔹 On the Lions' 95-yard punt return touchdown to start the second half: "First thing is we had 10 guys on the field, so we had to burn a timeout, so that's not good. That falls on me, and then I just saw him break off to the sideline and it was 95 yards, right? Give them credit, it was a heck of a play. We'll take a look at it on tape, but usually when you give up those long punt returns, it's a momentum changer."

🔹 Rookie defensive lineman Jordon Riley, a raw seventh-round draft pick, is "taking to the coaching, he's doing a good job listening to the older players. I think he's made some strides from the beginning of camp to where he is now. We'll see how it translates on the field here."


🔹 His goal for his NFL debut was "just to have fun, honestly. Obviously, there are a lot of external things like pressure, first NFL game, it's not official, it's a preseason game right. Now it's just really playing the game of football. I've been playing since I'm five, six years old. I'm enjoying it. Just help lead the team, move the ball, I wasn't really thinking about it. Just enjoy it one play at a time and go from there."

🔹 DeVito got a lot of feedback on the sideline and was able to pick the brains of Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor "as to what they saw, what can I do here, what can I do better, just small things in that detail just looking at the iPads and they helped me a lot throughout the game."

🔹 Jones and Taylor's pregame advice: "Really just to enjoy it. D.J. told me he was nervous the first time going out for his first preseason game. Obviously, Tyrod's had a million of them, so he's sort of helped me with certain situations like, 'Be weary in case the headset cuts off.' Because I've never really had a headset on before, it's not something I've really thought about. So little things like that that they've helped me with coming into the game, really just taking a deep breath and enjoy it. That's what I tried to do."

🔹 DeVito kept the game ball. "I have it in my locker actually. One of the equipment guys gave it to me. I don't know if he knows I have it, but I assume we'll have that conversation coming up very soon."


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