The New York Giants have a short week coming off Monday night's loss, their first in the Brian Daboll era after starting the season with back-to-back wins. The team will look to get back on track when they finish a three-game homestand with a visit from the Chicago Bears, who are also 2-1, before travelling to London to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Daboll spoke to the media before the Giants began on-field preparations for the Bears. Here's what you need to know:
🔹 Since 2019, Daniel Jones ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks with 1,125 rush yards, 79 of which came last week for the third-highest total of his career. Daboll said there have not been many designed runs and once again praised the quarterback's decision-making.
"There's a fair amount of scrambles, and he's got a couple of different choices (with) what he can do when he scrambles," Daboll said. "One is, obviously, throw it down the field if people uncover. Two is try to throw it away, and three is to make yards. If he has an opportunity to make yards, you can tell a quarterback, 'Don't take this hit' or 'Do this'. And then they start thinking about things. I think Daniel's making good decisions, when to take off. He's tried to protect himself. Is that always going to happen? No. But certainly you want to eliminate or limit the amount of hits. Guys that can scramble and make loose plays cause problems for the defense in that regard of keeping chains moving or making some loose plays. I'll never take that away from him."
🔹 Outside linebackers Kayvon Thibodeaux (37 snaps on defense) and Azeez Ojulari (30) were on pitch counts against the Cowboys in their 2022 debuts. Daboll said, like any player coming back from an injury, they're "getting back in the flow of things." Daboll expects their numbers to increase, but as they progress through the week, the head coach will have conversations with the training staff to see "if there's a target number or we need to limit them."
🔹 With Sterling Shepard out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, there will be opportunities for other receivers to step up. One player could be Darius Slayton, who has played just 18 snaps this season. "Slay's been a pro," Daboll said of Slayton, who led the team in receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. "All those guys will be out there working this week, and we'll try to put them in the best positions we can. But he's been a pro, and he'll be ready to go."
🔹 With a short turnaround this week, the Giants held a walk-through on Wednesday and will practice regularly on Thursday and Friday. Thus, today's official practice statuses were an estimation. Seven players did not participate: CB Cor'Dale Flott (Calf), CB Nick McCloud (Hamstring), WR Wan'Dale Robinson (Knee), WR Sterling Shepard (Knee), WR Kadarius Toney (Hamstring), LB Jihad Ward (Knee), and DL Leonard Williams (Knee). Two were limited: CB Justin Layne (Concussion) and CB Aaron Robinson (Appendix).
🔹 As the Giants near the end of the traditional first quarter of the season (math gets tricky with a 17-game season), Daboll was asked to reflect on what he has learned about being a head coach for the first time. He gave a lengthy but insightful response that shed light on what he is trying to build:
"That's a good question. I haven't (thought about it). You try to be as consistent as you can be when you're in this leadership role. There's going to be ups. There's going to be downs. I think you try to be honest with the players and the staff. I think you build relationships – trusting relationships – because again the foundation of any good organization, regardless of what it is, is the ability to build trust with a group. And I've tried to do that. I've leaned on a lot of people. I've leaned on a lot of staff members. I've leaned on the players. The one thing is I don't have all the answers. I know that, and I lean on people that I work with. You know it's easy in the first few weeks or the first few months to ride a roller coaster, and I've really tried hard not to do that and be a consistent presence for the people in our building and our organization.
"Again, though, the relationships, whether it be with (general manager) Joe (Schoen), whether it be with staff members, whether it be with players, whether it be people in the organization, that matters. Building that trust matters because I think you earn some respect, and it's a two-way street. And if you have the respect, regardless of if you're in my role or another role, you learn to be accountable to somebody. And try to work as hard as you can. Improve on really everything you can improve on. There's a lot of things that come across my desk every day that you're not expecting them to come across. But I'd say that the leaning on the people that I work with is very important. And I've learned a lot from them – from the players, the trainers. I'll single out LY, Laura Young (Director of Coaching Operations); she's been fantastic. She's very, very helpful in a lot of areas. Ashley Lynn (Director of Player Engagement), (Director of Wellness and Clinical Services, Player Engagement) Dr. Lani (Lawrence) – our psychologist, Jessie Armstead (Special Assistant to the General Manager), strength staff, people that work down in the cafeteria.
"You try to build a team atmosphere where everybody's accountable. That starts with me. But I really appreciate the people in the building, our ownership group, Joe with all the different things that come up, which are numerous. And you guys know that; you think you know that until you're actually sitting in that seat. And you have a tremendous amount of respect for the people you worked for before, not knowing all the things that go along with it. But again, the culture in our building is what I'm most thankful for – the people that come to work every day that try to be consistent and that give everything they have to build a winning culture."
Once again, the New York Giants are bringing back their classic blue uniforms from the '80s and '90s this Sunday as part of two Legacy Games presented by Quest.