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Presser Points: Takeaways from Brian Daboll, Daniel Jones, Darren Waller

The New York Giants returned to MetLife Stadium for the first time of the 2023 season, and so did the media. Coach Brian Daboll, quarterback Daniel Jones, and tight end Darren Waller took the podium after Friday night's 21-19 preseason victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Here's everything you need to know:


🔹 Daniel Jones was nearly flawless in his first and only drive of the preseason thus far, completing all but one of his nine passes for 69 yards and a touchdown to tight end Daniel Bellinger. Jones also added a six-yard run as he accounted for all 75 yards of the series to open the game. So, how did the head coach assess it? "Yeah, it was one series. Drove down and scored." But he must be pretty happy, right? "Execution was good. Yeah, it was good."

🔹 The highlight of the night was a 33-yard touchdown pass from backup Tyrod Taylor to wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, but what made it particularly impressive was what happened on the play before it. The rookie dropped a pass. "I like when he had that drop and (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka dialed it up the very next play where we thought the ball would go. So, good next-play mentality, positive approach. Again, much like all the other rookies, we're still chopping the wood here."

🔹 Daboll encourages that "next-play mentality" because you know there are going to be bad plays, especially from rookies. "I would say in these preseasons games, it's good if you can go right back to them if the coverage is what it is and the quarterback is supposed to throw it there. You don't want to force it, but that was planned. He had that drop and then we went right back to him and he made a nice play."

🔹 They ask Hyatt to do "quite a bit of stuff. He runs a variety of routes: short, intermediate, deep."

🔹 Jones and new tight end Darren Waller "work hard" on their rapport on and off the field. "The offseason stuff, OTAs, we give them a lot of reps together. In the passing game, that's really what it's about as much chemistry as you can get. Still a way to go with it."

🔹 Rookie defensive lineman Jordon Riley, a seventh-round pick, started and made a key fourth-down stop. "I saw him break through the one line, but he played about 40 snaps, somewhere around there, a little bit more last week. He's played a lot of football here in two games, and he needs it."

🔹 Daboll kept checking in on wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who is coming off a season-ending injury. "I think he was at about 12 snaps right before the two-minute (warning), so I wanted to be around 15 with him. But he's such a good teammate and such a competitor. I'm always checking with him, how's he doing on the sideline, are you good to go and he's competitive as always."

🔹 Shepard was "business as usual" after took a hit on his lone catch. "You have such empathy for the players in this game because there's always nicks and bruises, but then there's injuries and some of them are bad. Some of them have long recovering injuries and you don't really get to see behind the scenes of the work ethic that they put in, the grind, how hard it is to come back from one of those and then another one and you're out there by yourself, you meet with the trainers and you're kind of away from the team and then you come back and you start slowly integrating. It would be a great question, obviously, for him coming back from stuff like that and having to play again. There's probably some mental block."

🔹 The credit goes to Shepard and the medical department "because he is a guy that wants to just go, go, go, and as a coach, you always want the guys to go. But I think that our medical team from the physicians to the trainers to the sports science, they've done a fantastic job all camp of really managing the players the way they think each player needed to be managed and each of them were, I'd say, individual cases. It's not just one size fits all with that stuff."

🔹 Daboll liked the new turf in the stadium. "I'm just standing on it (laughs). I'm not running around and cutting and doing all those things. It's a little softer on my lower back, which is always good."


🔹 Like his head coach, Jones unsurprisingly stayed even keel in his assessment of one preseason drive: "A couple plays, we could sharpen up a few things there. We'll look to do that. But overall, I thought we executed well."

🔹 Nevertheless, a drive like that "helps our confidence. I think, overall, we've been pretty confident in what we can do and our level of execution, and it certainly helps that."

🔹 Tight end Darren Waller, who caught three passes for 20 yards, has been "big for us all camp and he played well again tonight, for sure."

🔹 Waller is an "easy guy to find." He is a "big target, runs good routes, creates separation."

🔹 Shepard's return from some serious injuries is "extremely impressive. He's worked really hard to get back. He's been a big-time player for us these past few years when he's been healthy. He's worked hard to get back and made a lot of plays in practice and then looked good tonight, too. So, it's extremely impressive."


🔹 A reporter brought up the fact that Jones' lone incompletion was an attempt to Waller. "Hey, I'll make it up to him (laughter)."

🔹 The chemistry with Jones is the result of a "a lot of reps. A lot of reps that take place since April with OTAs and then throwing sessions that nobody else was at except us and a couple of receivers. Just continuing to get reps in, knowing where each other is – the timing we want. Where we expect each other to be, where I expect the ball to be, where he expects me to be when he releases something, so just a lot of time on task."

🔹 The first drive showed "the opportunity for great balance" on offense.

🔹 Everybody preaches starting fast, but it's "a difficult thing to do. A lot of guys have to be firing, guys have to make big plays in situations where you've got to have it and we do that. We stress that in practice, and we get put in uncomfortable situations so that when we get into the game, we feel like we can do whatever hand we get dealt."

🔹 Waller said it's been a lot of fun to discover his new surroundings. "When you talk about a new city, I like to do things that locals do. Go get pizza where there's good pizza at or whatever so like just immerse myself into the city, allow myself to be there and find a home. I talked to my teammates just – somebody told me 'if you want a friend, be a friend.' So, it's like try to just connect with those guys and show them who I really am and let them know that 'hey, I'm in it with you guys.' It's not about me coming here trying to turn my career around or get things for me. It's about me being a part of what you guys have going and this being an experience for us, so it's been fun. It's been a challenge, but I feel like I respond well to challenges. I have my whole life and I feel like this is going to be no different."

🔹 His favorite pizza place? "I was at the Ave in Clifton before I found my spot over in Weehawken, so I was in Clifton Family Village Pizza, eating a few more slices a week than I probably should've been, but I love pizza."


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