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Presser Points: Brian Daboll 'encouraged' by Giants' health

The only thing different about Brian Daboll's press conference today was the number of cameras and reporters. Otherwise, the head coach approached the first full practice of Wild Card Week as a normal Wednesday.

"Ready to rock," he said to the large media contingent.

Here's everything you need to know from the head coach as preparations for Minnesota ramped up at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center:

🔹 Daboll is "encouraged" about the health of the roster heading into the postseason. Everyone will practice in some capacity this week. Center Jon Feliciano (back), cornerback Adoree' Jackson (knee), defensive lineman Leonard Williams (neck) and outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (ankle) were limited on Wednesday's injury report.

🔹 Daboll said Xavier McKinney (fingers) has looked the same since the safety returned in Week 17. He did a good job staying in shape. "I'm glad he's back." McKinney was listed as a full participant today.

🔹 The Giants, who will play indoors on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, will practice inside the fieldhouse all week in East Rutherford.

🔹 On keeping the preparation consistent, Daboll said, they will have the "same practice, same meetings, same schedule. There's a few more [reporters] here that I haven't seen in a while."

🔹 Daboll was asked if this was the plan all along for Jackson, who hasn't played since Week 11. "I'd say with all our players, not just Adoree', when they're ready to play is when our medical staff feels comfortable with them playing. They have to feel comfortable. So, we would never put a player out there that doesn't feel ready or isn't ready. So, I think he's made progress here the last couple weeks in practice. And hopefully he'll continue to do that this week. But again, with all our guys, I'm encouraged with where we're at."

🔹 What did Daboll learn from the first meeting with Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson? "That he's really good (Laughs). But we knew that going in. Again, I said this before when we played them – there's not a lot of teams or a lot of players that can just stop him. He's one of the best in the league. He's a dynamic player. He has got a lot of production. He's an exceptional route runner. He's a very tough player to defend."

🔹 Asked again about Jefferson, Daboll was quick to bring up how tight end T.J. Hockenson "killed us." In Week 16 against the Giants, Jefferson and Hockenson became the first teammates in NFL history to each have 12+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards and one touchdown in the same game. "I think we just try to put a plan together that we think is best for competing against their offense. They have a lot of good players on their offense. … [Running back Dalvin] Cook can take it the distance. They have a lot of talented skill players, a good quarterback [Kirk Cousins]. We're going to have to play a really good, sound defensive game."

🔹 Daboll praised general manager Joe Schoen and his staff for all of the key midseason additions. "BB [Assistant GM Brandon Brown], Hick [Assistant Director of Player Personnel Dennis Hickey], [Director of Player Personnel] Tim [McDonnell], all the rest of the guys, scouting assistants, the pro scouts, the college scouts – it's a team effort. They do a fantastic job. We have guys in here every week, usually a bunch of them. I think they have a good bead on the league. And they've done a great job."

🔹 On nerves heading into the postseason, Daboll said every person is different. "I've coached players that throw up before every game, whether it's the first game of the season, a preseason game, a playoff game. Every player is different. I think every coach is different. The big thing is be yourself. Prepare to play a good game. Coach a good game, and do everything you can do during the week to put yourself in a good position."

🔹 Daboll said the fan support has been outstanding all season and looks forward to seeing some of them in Minneapolis. "The away games – places like Jacksonville, Tennessee, Washington that night – they're part of our team, too. So, we appreciate them. As many that could be there, that would be great."

🔹 A year ago, Daboll was an offensive coordinator drawing head coach interest during a playoff run. He was asked today about report of his offensive coordinator, Mike Kafka, getting the same this year. "I've went through it the last three years. First of all, I'd say it's an honor. But the biggest thing is focusing on what you have to focus on, which I know Mike will. There will be a time and place, after the season, to talk about that. But that's really a team [recognition]. Usually when you win, people get credit. And I'm happy for the guys that would get that opportunity. But I know where their focus is right now."

🔹 The Giants today added veteran wide receiver James Washington to the practice squad. The 5-foot-11, 213-pound former second-round pick by Pittsburgh has played in 62 games with 25 starts. His career numbers include 114 catches for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns, including a 79-yarder. He has also appeared in two postseason games and caught a touchdown. "It's just what we thought was best for the team. We worked him and just like we've done throughout the season, add guys that we think could help us."

🔹 On whether he will stick with a rotation at left guard in the playoffs, Daboll said they've talked about that. "I'd say we'll continue to talk about that. Again, I have confidence in both those guys [Ben Bredeson and Nick Gates]."


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