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Postgame Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Daniel Jones, TE Darren Waller

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: (Did you) like what you saw from (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) in the first series?

A: Yeah, it was one series. Drove down and scored.

Q: Was the plan one series or depending on the series?

A: There's a plan to play and then we adjust as the game goes. So, when you all ask how long they're playing, when they're playing, I really can't tell you until during the game. So, it was a good series. (Tight end) Darren (Waller) had a few catches, efficient. It was one series.

Q: Obviously, it was one series but you have to be pretty happy with the execution.

A: Execution was good. Yeah, it was good.

Q: What did you think of the penalties on your defense in the first quarter?

A: Yeah, not good. Penalties usually continue drives.

Q: Was It just like the nature of the penalties?

A: Yeah, I mean, those pre-snap and post-snap ones are the ones you want to try to avoid. You're going to have penalties in this game. You're going to have physical penalties where things happen with a hold or something like that. But any pre-snap stuff where you can control it or post-snap stuff, those are the ones you try to fix. I think we had quite a bit of penalties today. Usually that's what it is early on, but you still certainly don't want those.

Q: Darren Waller was obviously a big offseason acquisition. What do you make of them being able to sort of instantly have chemistry, him and Daniel (Jones)?

A: Yeah, they work at it. They work at it, they work hard at it, probably got a long way to go still with it, but the offseason stuff, OTA's, 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.

Q: When you got Darren (Waller), I remember everyone was sort of asking you about what can he do. What are you expecting from him and you just wanted to get him in the building, get your hands on him, put him in the offense and then you decide what you could do once you actually saw him. Now that you've had him in camp, you have seen him out here in the game, has anything specifically surprised you with him?

A: No, I think we've made progress from where we started to where we're at now, he's been out there, he's been dependable, he's been available. We got a lot of work with Daniel (Jones), with Darren (Waller). We'll just try to keep on grinding away with that.

Q: (Wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt had a couple of catches that went for negative yards, had the drop and then caught the touchdown. What does that tell you about him and what did you like on that play?

A: 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.

Q: How important was it to get that next play right to him?

A: It was good.

Q: It worked.

A: Yeah, that's what you want to try to do, particularly with young guys. You know there's going to be bad plays. So to kind of encourage that next-play mentality, it's particularly, 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, you know, he had that drop and then we went right back to him and he made a nice play.

Q: How much is that what he can bring to this offense? From our perspective, he's just like a big play waiting to happen.

A: Well, look, I mean, we ran him on a bunch of short routes, we got him on that big route and we're just trying to help him be a better receiver. So, you know, we ask him to do quite a bit of stuff. He runs a variety of routes: short, intermediate, deep. But again, he's a young player like the other rookies we have that we just try to bring them along and try to put them in good positions.

Q: I know you got to watch tape, but was there anything about (defensive lineman Jordan) Riley's game out here today that was good?

A: Yeah, I don't know, I saw him break through the one line, but he played about 40 snaps, somewhere around there, a little bit more last week, so he's played a lot of football here in two games and he needs it.

Q: Nice to see (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard) get a catch?

A: Yeah. I kept asking him how he's doing because I think he was at about 12 snaps right before the two minute, 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.

Q: Did he say anything when he came off the field after that catch?

A: No.

Q: Business as usual?

A:  Yeah, business as usual.

Q: He got a little hit after that catch, which was probably good for him?

A: It's good when you are coming back from that, you know, the history that he's had the last couple of years. It was good for him.

Q: How impressive is what he's kind of done? Those are really serious injuries back-to-back for a skill position player to come back the way he has.

A: 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.

Q:  He seems really shifty and explosive for a guy that's had those injuries.

A: Yeah, he has looked good. The credit is to him. But I'd say the credit is to our medical department, Ronnie Barnes and Leigh Weiss and all of our trainers, our sports science 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.

Q: Did you ask for or get any feedback on the turf? This was the first game on the new surface here.

A: I didn't. No, I didn't.

Q: What do you think of it?

A: It's fine. 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.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: Is this about as good as you could expect it to go for your one series in the preseason?

A: I thought we did some good things. I thought we executed pretty well. A couple plays, could sharpen up a few things there, we'll look to do that. But overall, I thought we executed well. Yeah.

Q: Who's that No. 12 (tight end Darren Waller) you were throwing to? You guys seemed to have a pretty good chemistry.

A: Yeah, he showed up for us there a good bit. He's been big for us all camp and he played well again tonight, for sure.

Q: What does a drive like that do for the offense? Obviously, you guys are practicing, and you come out and are able to do that the first time on the field. Is that just confidence? What does it do for this group?

A: Yeah, I think it helps our confidence. I think, overall, we've been pretty confident in what we can do and our level of execution and yeah, it certainly helps that. But like I said, there's things we can sharpen up and clean up and we'll look to do that, for sure.

Q: Tell me about your connection with Darren in camp that's kind of allowed you guys to be so successful so quickly together on the field, it seems like.

A: Yeah, I mean, he's a big target. He runs good routes, creates separation, he's an easy guy to find. So, yeah, he's a talented player, smart guy, understands defense, understands where we're trying to use him and how to get open.

Q: I know you guys have no idea at this point – there's only one preseason game left – whether you're going to play in that game or not, but assuming you don't, how much is it at least that you go into the season feeling pretty good about yourself offensively?

A: Yeah, like I said, I think we can build on some of the things we did tonight and then there'll certainly be things we've got to clean up and do better, but we're always trying to do that. Whether tonight was good or bad wasn't going to change what the process is going forward and how we're going to approach these next few weeks. There's still a lot we need to do to clean up and get ready to go.

Q: Before Darren came here, how familiar were you with him as a player, as a tight end?

A: I watched a lot of his tape. You watch a lot of tape from teams across the league, so he shows up all the time making plays, and you've seen that, but it's definitely different when you get on the field with him. He's extremely versatile. I think that is something that's impressed me. He's got the vertical speed to run past people, but he's also got good feel and understanding of the underneath stuff also.

Q: This is your first game. You've been in so many practices. Did you feel sharp?

A: Yeah, I felt good. Yeah, I thought we all felt pretty good. I thought we executed well. Guys were in the right spots and guys up front did a good job protecting and, yeah, I thought it was pretty clean.

Q: How impressive is what (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard) is doing here for you, coming back from two serious back-to-back injuries and sort of looking the way he has – pretty explosive, pretty shifty?

A: It's extremely impressive. He's worked really hard to get back and yeah, 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.

Q: I'm guessing you were on the radio. Did you know that (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt touchdown was going to come when they called that play?

A: Yeah, I thought there was a good chance if we got a certain coverage that we did end up getting and letting him use his speed and go get it. (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) threw a good ball.

Tight End Darren Waller

Q: What do you think of your first brief outing as a Giant in this stadium?

A: I thought it was a productive drive. I feel like a lot of people touched the rock. Offense moved efficiently, got a touchdown. I don't think you can ask for anything better than that.

Q: On the lighter side, do you realize that you're the only reason that (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) didn't have a perfect quarter?

A: Hey, I'll make it up to him (laughter).

Q: How do you explain the chemistry that you and Daniel have built so early?

A: A lot of reps. A lot of reps that take place since April with OTA's 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.

Q: Obviously it's the first drive of the preseason here, but what do you guys take from it?

A: I just see the opportunity for great balance. You see, like I said, (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins), (wide receiver) Parris (Campbell), (TE Daniel Bellinger) Belly, like a lot of guys that can touch the football and make things happen. You add (running back) Saquon (Barkley) to the mix. I feel like (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep's been looking great at practice, there's a lot of guys, like (wide receiver Darius Slayton) Slay have been consistent throughout this whole process this year that I feel like can make plays and impact games. I'm just excited about the balance that we have as an offense.

Q: This was the first game that you played with Daniel as your quarterback. For a short sample, did anything impress you about it being a game and not practice?

A: Yeah, for me, I know for my process getting ready for a game I like to make my day to my personality, how I carry myself, be the same every day from practice to a game. I see that in him. It's like there's nothing really different from a practice to a game – like he has to get more hype or more intense, it's like he's just himself and confident in what he brings to the table and his performance is consistent as well and that's why we love him.

Q: How unusual is it for an opening drive to be that on target?

A: It's not an easy thing to do. Everybody preaches starting fast and that's what you want because when you start fast, odds are that you're going to win the first half and if you win the first half, you're going to win the game. So, it usually brings a lot of momentum 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.

Q: How's the learning process been like for you with a new city and a new offense?

A: It's been a lot of fun. 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.

Q: What's the pizza place?

A: 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.

Q: When you were with the Raiders, you grew into their go-to guy. When you arrived here, you're kind of showing up with additional hype. Does it feel any different?

A: Yeah, it is a real thing because coming up with the Raiders, it was pressure-free. Nobody was expecting me to really make the team, much less start or really make an impact the way I did, so it's kind of pressure-free. But you come here, and the pressure and the noise is available for you if you're looking for it and you give access to it. I try to keep the same mindset, same habits, same approach that I did back then as I do now. This is a new environment, new opportunity for me. The way that I show that I am worthy of this or ready for this is the way that I work, the way that I prepare and the way that I set an example each and every day that is worthy of following and allow it to take care of itself.

Q: Going to a new team is it's on pressure in itself. It's not from the external, right?

A: Definitely, yeah. Moreso in the head, in the hamster wheel in the brain than it is outside.

Q: You've seen this offense in the spring and summer in practice. Now that you've seen it in a game, how do you view the ceiling for what this group can be?

A: Like I said before, incredibly balanced. Whatever the situation may ask for. There's certain days where certain elements may impact the game where you may have to run the football or there may be some days where it's like 'okay, this is the kind of day where we may throw more.' I feel like we have the balance and the playmakers that can do a diverse amount of things that whatever flow, whichever way the game is trending into and a way that we have to find a way to win is something that we can get done.

Q: Giants fans are really excited about the prospects but also just wondering if Darren Waller is going to stay healthy this season? At this stage of your career, have you changed anything as far as your body maintenance or feel like you need to do more maintenance to stay healthy?

A: Yeah, there's a lot of information more available to us now and before I feel like as far as especially like my lower body lifts, I would do a lot more traditional things but not a lot of focus on areas that I had imbalances in my body that could've led to more injury. Now it's just gathering more information and having a more detailed hamstring plan, a more detailed glute activation plan, core activation plan before practice and sticking with those routines. Because those are things when you get into the routine of camp and you get into the season, those are the parts of your routine where you're like 'man, I don't want to do this, I just want to show up and play.' But I'm about to be 31, I can't just show up and play no more. I used to be able to just touch my toes and run out there, but now I've got to make sure I'm on top of all the details and making sure that routine stays consistent because that's what is going to keep me healthy. That's what the fans want, that's what my teammates want, that's what this organization needs and I want to give them a return on their investment.

View photos from the home preseason opener between the Giants and Panthers at MetLife Stadium.