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Postgame Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Saquon Barkley, WR Darius Slayton, S Dane Belton

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: Explain the decision to run the ball there on second down on that last drive.

A: Yeah, I'd like to have it back.

Q: Was that a check or the play call was a run?

A: Yeah, I'd just like to have the play back.

Q: What did you think (Giants Kicker) Mason (Crosby)'s range was on that last drive?

A: That was right at the edge of it.

Q: Did (Giants QB) Tyrod (Taylor) give you an explanation on the fumble in the first half when you had the fourth and one?

A: Yeah. He just fumbled it.

Q: What did you think about Tyrod's play overall?

A: He did a lot of good stuff and a couple plays here or there we'd like to have back.

Q: What happened on the two-point conversion play?

A: What happened? He just missed it. We had (Giants RB) Saquon (Barkley), just short armed it a little bit.

Q: Tell us the decision there. Obviously you're going to kick it, then to change that.

A: Yeah, being it was on the one. Liked the call we had and just came up a little short.

Q: What did you think overall of the play of your veterans? (Giants RB) Saquon Barkley dropped a pass, (Giants QB) Tyrod (Taylor) missed a couple passes, (Giants CB) Adoree' (Jackson) on the tackle. What do you think overall of just the way some of your vets played?

A: I thought everybody competed and just came up a little short.

Q: How frustrating was it to have so many big plays called back by penalties? It seemed like every time you guys got a positive it was sort of counterweighted by a negative.

A: How frustrating was it? I wish we didn't get the penalties.

Q: Did you ever start a game where you had two penalty challenges that you won?

A: Nope.

Q: Going back to that (Giants RB) Saquon (Barkley) run, would you have jumped in and vetoed it and kind of changed the play call at all before it got to that point of being a run?

A: Yeah, I'd just like to have it back.

Q: Was the second down play—I mean could you have run a play or did you have to spike it there?

A: Yeah, look, we competed to the end, just a few plays here or there that obviously we'd like to have back.

Q: What did you think of (Giants S Dane) Belton's play stepping in after Pinnock was injured?

A: Yeah, he made some nice plays. The ball finds him. It did in training camp and a good example of a player that wasn't starting that's ready to go and stepped in and did a nice job.

Q: Using the timeouts on defense in that spot—was it just circumstance, where you were, field position? I mean I know you don't see a 94-yard punt return coming, but any regrets in that spot to not hold on to one of the timeouts?

A: No.

Q: What do you take away from a game where your team makes so many plays but has mistakes that result in a loss?

A: Well, I think that's like any game. I mean there's plays that we had, mistakes, and we've got to overcome some of the mistakes and, everybody, we can just do a better job starting with me. I thought they competed well, came up a little short. There was so many opportunities throughout that game that we just came up a little bit short on.

Q: On the third down play before the field goal, did it seem like (Giants QB) Tyrod (Taylor) had a chance to get the ball to (Giants WR) Wan'Dale (Robinson)?

A: I'll have to look at the tape.

Q: What do you say to the guys after a game like this?

A: That I thought they competed hard. Finished it up until the end and it's never a good feeling to lose a game. Put a lot into it, came up a few plays short.

Q: You did have about half a minute left there, did you have any thought on going for it on fourth down to try and to get a little closer?

A: On the missed field goal? No, we were going for the field goal.

Q: What is (Giants Tackle) Tyre (Phillips)' injury?

A: I don't know. I don't think it's good. He was hurting pretty good. I mean, but it's a knee. I know that. He was in a lot of pain out there, but I haven't talked to the doctors.

Q: What makes (Giants S) Dane (Belton) good at turning the ball over?

A: Usually, he has a good knack for being around the ball. Like I said, OTAs, training camp, things like that, he's usually… uncanny ability to be around the ball. It's a good thing.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Q: Can you take us through just that sequence, the two-point conversion, what did you see on that play?

A: Obviously, just lack of execution and it started with me. (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) was open. Was kind of caught in between running it and throwing it and didn't do either one of them, but yeah, I got to be better. It's a routine throw, something I've hit plenty of times before but yeah that moment I didn't execute.

Q: On the last drive, that second down run play, can you just kind of take us through – I guess you're getting the call, the thought process there?

A: We called a draw play; thought we could get some extra yardage in that situation. Ultimately, they ran a stunt and was able to be better than us in that moment.

Q: That wasn't an alert? That was the play? That second down play?

A: It was a draw. 

Q: Did you have a yard line in mind that they told you, 'Hey we need to get to X'?

A: Yeah, we talked about a yard line early in the game. Whenever we hit the field to start the game, we have a yard line both ways for obviously two minute, both end of half and end of game and just knowing throughout the game where we are, where we feel comfortable and it was around that spot. I mean, ultimately didn't execute. It doesn't boil down to (kicker Mason) Cros(by) or anybody, it's just a lack of execution overall. It's hard to pinpoint and put it on one play, like I know football doesn't come down to one play, sometimes it gets judged that way but there was a lot of things left on the field that we could've done better to put ourselves in a better situation.

Q: Why at that time did you think that was a good call, the Saquon draw? What did you see from their defense?

A: I didn't call the plays.

Q: Yeah, I know, you were optimistic it would work right?

A: Yeah, I have confidence in every play that we call, putting us in the right situation to go out there and execute. I mean, at the end of the day we didn't do a good job of executing that draw play and have to learn from it and move forward.

Q: Is there one play that you want back?

A: For sure. Yeah, one play that sticks out is the two-point conversion and other than that, it would probably be the interception at the right. We were able to bounce back from both of those at the end of the day, just didn't execute at the end.

Q: Did you think about running that?

A: Yeah, I was in between running and throwing. I take full responsibility of that, that falls on nobody but myself and I'll be better if put in that position again.

Q: Do you think that you were in between affected the throw?

A: Yeah. That's not an excuse for the throw. Yeah, I'm not making an excuse for the throw. That's something that I've done before, something I'll continue to keep doing, making that throw. But yeah, the indecision, anytime you are indecisive on the football field it's never a good thing.

Q: If you run it, do you think you're going to make it there?

A: I do.

Q: Fumbled snap, what happened there?

A: Just miscommunication between me and (center John Michael Schmitz Jr.). It's also tough in that situation sometimes when you have a guy right in front of you as well too. Those guys were getting off the ball pretty fast but we were able to execute the second time we ran it. But yeah, just bad quarterback-center exchange and that starts with me.

Q: 31-yard scramble at the end on that last drive, can you talk about that?

A: They did a stunt. They put both their defensive end and their defensive tackle inside and I was able to capture the right edge, saw some space and tried to make a play, get ourselves in the best situation to go down and kick a field to win the game.

Q: After that, you get the call signaling to spike it?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you think you guys could've run a play? In a scramble situation?

A: Looking back at it, got to watch the film and just see. I thought it was the right call at the time. I never second guess the coaches. I think that they do a great job of putting us in the best situation time management wise. I was given a call and I relayed it to our offense and that's what we went out and did.

Q: Can you take us through that (wide receiver Darius) Slayton touchdown?

A: Yeah, we actually had that play called earlier on the pick, (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt) was on the other side and the safety kind of did something similar. And we knew that if we get a chance to get one-on-one with these guys down the field to give them a chance. We also had the same play called on the one that they called back to Jalin, up the right side as well too, going back towards our tunnel but Slayton did a great job of stacking, getting over the top of the DB. He told me for a second he lost the ball, started jogging, I still didn't see that part, I just knew that when it left my hands that he was behind the corner and looked up and hit him in stride.

Q: Was that one of the best balls you've ever thrown?

A: No. It was a good one, though.

Q: That ball was up there a while.

A: Yeah, it would be interesting to know how far it was in the air. Not that that matters right now.

Q: 60.

A: That might've been one of my farther throws then. Thank you.

Q: Do you find it almost unfathomable that you can throw an 80-yard rope to Darius and then the two-yarder somehow just doesn't work?

A: That's part of the game. You play the game long enough, you're going to make some throws, you're going to miss some. Hopefully you make more than you miss but yeah, in that situation, just was a lack of execution on my end.

Q: As a veteran in this league, you have so many opportunitites, coach talked about so many opportunities, you talked about so many opportunities, is it something you tell your teammates afterwards to particularly given the number of young guys you have and just the way the season has gone?

A: Yeah, there's always room to learn. And I think those stand out obviously when you lose. It's easy to throw them under the rug or wash them away when you win just because you are so on the emotional side of winning, but the biggest lessons come when you lose. You put more of a critical eye on situations, you put a more of critical eye on yourself. I know that's how I operate, and I think I'm better from those and that goes with the sport and in life as well. So yeah, when times of adversity, which we've dealt through a lot this year, there's two ways to go and to be a good team, you have to be able to look yourself in the face, understand what you didn't do so well, be better at it, attack those weaknesses and overall be a better player and ultimately that makes you a better team.

Q: Do you think that you should've won this game today?

A: Yeah, but I don't think what should've or could've matters at the end of the day because we didn't. We did enough to put ourselves in a position to win but we also hurt ourselves in some areas as well too. That's the reality of the game and we have to be better in those moments.

Q: How would you assess your play today?

A: I think I played well, but like I told you I judge myself off wins and losses and ultimately today wasn't a winning performance, so it's room to grow.

Q: Are any of these losses harder to shake off? You've had a couple of them this year, game against Buffalo, game against the Jets, are these losses harder for players?

A: As a competitor, anytime you lose, it's never a good feeling. I can't say whether one is harder to shake off versus the other, it's just about looking at it with a critical eye. Like I said, looking in the mirror, asking yourself what you could've done better and attack those for the next week.

Q: How do you keep guys up and motivated? You had a couple of big plays but there were holding penalties that brought you back there but what's it like going in the huddle to keep guys focused?

A: Next play mentality. Can't control it. Refs make calls, we can't change them. You have to think next play because ultimately that's what matters. If you're letting something from the past linger on, then you're never truly focused for the play at hand. Guys, I would say, were able to bounce back today. A couple unfortunate calls but that didn't stop us, we were able to still get positive yardage and put ourselves in the right situation.

Q: Was it just kind of typical today of the way the seasons gone? Some things have gone right but not enough?

A: I think that's the NFL in general. You look across the league, there's highs and lows. We've been on the losing end a couple times more than we wanted to obviously. But that's not to say that everything just went bad. It's a lot of positives to take away from this game. Special teams, offense and defense. We created turnovers on defense. We also gave it away too, but we were also able to create big plays. (Wide receiver) Gunner (Olszewski) had a great play on the punt return as well, too. So, it's not all bad, it's just not good enough. Ultimately, that doesn't get the job done, there's no moral victories in this game but there's always positives to hold onto and to build from.

Q: What was the communication like – because obviously the Gunner touchdown kind of comes out of nowhere, you come out to kick it and then you go for two. Was there any thought of going for two when the ball was on the two-yard line?

A: No, we talked about it on offense, if we would've gone down and scored and the two-point to win the game but being that it happened so fast, then they jumped offsides, so the penalty happened, pushes it at the one, so you just like your chances better.

Q: Can you share what your process will be like tonight after a loss like today?

A: Watch the tape, get better from it, but also put it behind you. Whatever it is that creates balance in your life. For me, it's family. I have my family in town. I'll spend some time with them and get ready for next week.

Q: What particular plays are you going to focus in on when you watch the tape?

A: Yeah, all of them.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

A: We've got to watch film. Learn from it. Sadly, we've got one more week. We've got to try to finish the season off strong.

Q: Were you surprised you guys didn't try to push the ball down the field a little bit more at the end there? Like (Giants QB) Tyrod (Taylor) scrambles, you guys spike it, it seemed like maybe you had some more yardage you could have gained to get closer into range. Anything can happen there.

A: I don't know. I don't make that decision. I don't call the plays. That's not to diss the coach or coaches. They probably had a situation, they knew what we needed to get to—the line that we had to get to for the kick—and that's the decision that they made and the Rams made a good play. The defense made a good play.

Q: So, you weren't surprised when the run was called?

A: I kind of look at it as you don't really know what's the right call. If it works, it's the right call. If it doesn't, it's a bad call. However you want to look at it. If we run the ball, we throw the ball, we call that play and I break and I get 20 yards and we spike it, it's a great call. That's the NFL. They made a good play. We still had an opportunity to win the game and we fell short, but a lot of opportunities, a lot of plays left on the field.

Q: What did you see on that two-point play?

A: We kind of had a new version of a play that we scored on before in the past for a two point play and just me and (Giants QB) Ty(rod Taylor) didn't connect.

Q: Were you expecting the ball there [on the two-point conversion]? It looked like he [Giants QB Tyrod Taylor] might run it at one point. Did you think you were going to end up blocking for him? Or were you always expecting the ball?

A: Like I said, we just didn't connect on the play. I don't want to get too much into it. At the end of the day, I've got to make a play there. Period.

Q: Do you guys feel like you left a lot of points off the board?

A: Yes, definitely. A lot of plays were made, really good plays, by a lot of guys in all phases; special teams, but it's the NFL and we can't let that happen. The margin of error is so small, especially when you're going up against a good team.

Q: Did you know or have in mind the yard line that you needed to get to for [Giants K] Mason [Crosby]'s field goal attempt? Or were you just trying to get it as close as possible?

A: I wouldn't say we knew as a team on offense; that's left up to the coaches and our guys upstairs. They do a good job.

Q: How do you think a team fixes shooting itself in the foot; whether it's game situations, mistakes or missed opportunities? How does that get fixed?

A: We just have to continue to focus on the little things and it starts with myself. A simple option route that I'm thinking about taking it to the house instead of just securing the catch, and other plays throughout the game. That's what it is; it's the little things. That's what it comes down to; focusing on the details and doing the little things right, and the majority of time, that team will come out with the win.

Q: Saquon, do you feel like you should have won this game?

A: No, we didn't win. That's how it is. Any time it's a one-score game or a close game, any team can feel like they should've won, but at the end of the day, only one team gets a W in the win column and we didn't do that. We had opportunities, we had a chance to win, but we failed to as a team.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q: Thoughts on the game

A: It's definitely disappointing. We had multiple chances to win the game by seven or more. If we executed a little bit better in a few spots, and Jalin's big play doesn't get called back, probably would've had a some more points there at the end that maybe we could just kneel it out. But it just didn't go that way.

Q: Were you surprised that on second down in that last series there that you didn't throw the ball?

A: Not necessarily. I mean, there's kind of two trains of thought there. The 35 is a general line for kickers or whatever. I'm pretty sure that's (kicker Mason) Crosby's line right around there. So, putting it in the air obviously runs the risk of something bad happening. Keeping it on the ground is normally a little bit more of the safer bet, but unfortunately, we took a loss right there and backed ourselves up a little bit.

Q: A lot of the losses you've had have been close this year. Is there anything consistent you can see execution and management wise of why it's not going your way?

A: We just haven't made enough plays at the end. We have plays, we've got—it's not always bad calls either. Sometimes you have good calls on and we just don't execute and get it done. Like I said, if we execute a little better on a few plays, we could probably have 14 more points there at the end. So, at the end of the day, that's what it comes down to. You've got to make them when it counts.

Q: Do you feel like it's almost like a Murphy's law kind of thing? You guys hit the big plays today, it seemed like you had big plays all over the field, and then the little plays that you guys couldn't connect on really seemed to be what decided the game.

A: For sure. I mean, it's always kind of like that, you know? A lot of plays that kind of go under the rug normally tend to be the ones that come back to bite you in the end, whether that's win or lose. So, we've just got to find a way to make more of these this last week and finish strong.

Q: Do you feel like you should have won this game?

A: Yeah. I do think we should've won the game, but unfortunately, we didn't.

Q: Can you talk about the touchdown catch that you had? It looked like from the top that you recognized the ball and the way you needed to adjust and the defender just didn't do that.

A: Yeah, I was running for a minute there. I mean, (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) must have threw his whole shoulder out to get it there. He launched it at least 60-something yards, a bomb of a throw. Back-to-back weeks he's done that for me now, so shoutout to him for that. But great ball by him and once I saw it in the sky, I went and ran it down.

View photos from the Giants' Week 17 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

Safety Dane Belton

Q: You're stepping up; you get into the game, somebody gets hurt, and you get two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

A: I just want to take advantage of my opportunities whenever they come. I feel like I want to stay ready no matter what. I feel that I know that I can play at this level in this league and be successful. When I have my opportunities, it's just about going out there and showing them.

Q: Dane, has it been hard this year? [Giants S Jason Pinnock] Pinnock and McKinney [Giants S Xavier McKinney] never come off of the field, so it's not really an indictment on you that you aren't playing; those guys never really leave the field. Has it been hard? I think you have only played about half as much as you did last year.

A: Yes, it has been tough knowing that. As I said, I know that I can play at this level. It's nothing against those guys that are coaching [the Giants coaching staff] or anything, it's just the opportunities. It has been tough this year knowing that I can go out there and help the team, but at the same time, it's a game plan and they are going to put the best plan out there. Like I said, I'm just staying ready. It's tough mentally, but that's what we do as professionals; being able to go to practice every day, practice hard, and work on things that you need to work on, and just when the opportunity comes, you take advantage of it.

Q: How do you have a knack to find the football? Whether it's a recovery, whatever scenario it is, you find it.

A: It's a mix of some things; sometimes you just get lucky. It's just about the film study and the coaches letting you know of things throughout the week and little tips and things like that. It's a combination of everything. You just have to go out there and apply it to the field and catch the football.

Q: Did you have anything coming into the game, like you said, from coaches or from film study that you applied in the game today?

A: Yes, we had tendencies we picked up from them [the Los Angeles Rams offense]; just about certain formations, people, and things they like to do. Being able to apply it was big.

Q: For all that you did today, how brutal was it to not come out with a win?

A: That's what I'm really thinking about. It would've been awesome to finish it off with a win. That's what we want to do; we want to win every time we get a chance to. It's nice to have good player stats, but at the end of the day, a win is what we are looking for. We have one more opportunity and we are going to go out next week [against the Philadelphia Eagles] and try to take advantage of it.

Q: Did the defense think you guys had done enough to win the game? You got the offense the ball back, Tyrod [Giants QB Tyrod Taylor] has the 31-yard run. Were you guys thinking you had the game?

A: I wouldn't say we knew we had the game. I just feel like we did make plays, but we also missed some opportunities in other spots. It's a team game; everyone misses plays that could've changed the tide. We are going to go back and look at it, learn from it, and try to win next week.

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