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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Daniel Jones, OT Andrew Thomas, QB Tyrod Taylor

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: Where are we at with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) at this point?

A: Same as he was last week. He'll do stuff at practice, non-contact. Getting better, but same.

Q: Same workload, no team reps still?

A: Yeah, no team reps.

Q: How does he go about getting cleared for contact? What's the process for that?

A: See the doctors and then the doctors clear him.

Q: You say he's getting better—

A: He's feeling better and then when the doctors tell me he's cleared, then cleared.

Q: Are those daily checkups? Weekly? How often?

A: Well, I mean, he sees our trainers and we have a doctor in. Last week it was at the end of the week. But he's in constant communication with those guys.

Q: Are we still talking about nothing more than a neck?

A: Yes.

Q: When he is healthy, is he definitely your starter?

A: Yep.

Q: Why him and not (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)?

A: I'm not getting into that. I mean, he's our starter. I've said it, I don't know how many times I've been asked, but I've said it a bunch.

Q: In terms of logistics, if he's cleared later in the week and hasn't been taking team reps, can he jump in and play Sunday?

A: We'll see how it goes. He's played a lot of football, so I am not going to—what happens two days or three days. When he's cleared, you guys will be the first to know.

Q: Is (tackle) Andrew Thomas going to practice today?

A: He is. Everybody is practicing except (running back Gary) Brightwell and (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams) will have a vet day.

Q: Anybody limited?

A: Yeah. Andrew Thomas, yes. There will be some guys limited.

Q: Is Andrew in that group?

A: He is, but he'll be out here doing stuff. Limited, I'll just give them to you. (Running back) Saquon (Barkley), (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson), obviously Daniel we've talked about, (tackle) Evan (Neal), (center) John Michael (Schmitz Jr.), AT (tackle Andrew Thomas), (tight end Darren) Waller, and then we'll give Leo a vet day.

Q: What's your feeling on Schmitz for Sunday? You said it wasn't going to be an IR thing, which probably would mean three games or fewer.

A: I think let him practice and we'll see how it goes by the end of the week, but I'd say all those guys that have been out for a while are getting better. So, this is kind of their next step here, see how they do at practice.

Q: How did you feel your young cornerbacks played on Sunday? You didn't have Adoree' and you really played kind of four of them.

A: Yeah, again, I think Tae (cornerback Deonte Banks) has been improving. (Cornerback Tre) Hawk(ins) was out there, I thought he did a good job, was physical. (Cornerback Cor'Dale) Flott's doing a good job inside. Those guys worked hard and compete out here at practice, and I thought they did a good job.

Q: You've gone to a younger thing at wide receiver. Is that something you'd consider at cornerback too, where, 'Hey, let's look at these guys and see what we've got from them?'

A: No, I would just say whoever we want out there, those are the guys that are going to be out there for that particular game or that particular defense. So, whoever we think is ready to go and fully healthy, that's who will be out there.

Q: This team invested a lot of money in Andrew. What would it mean to get him back out there?

A: It would be great. He's a really good left tackle.

Q: What would it mean for the whole group? Maybe you can move someone, (guard Justin) Pugh, inside. Is it a trickledown that affects everybody?

A: Sure, yeah. It would be great to have a good left tackle that you had signed here to be out there, but again, we're not going to rush him. Whenever he's ready to go, that's when he'll be out there.

Q: What goes into the IR decisions? Say (tackle Matt) Peart was out for two weeks and then you put him on IR, other guys you put on right away, other guys you don't put on at all and they miss four weeks.

A: Yeah, I'd say we discuss with the doctors, (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I discuss it, see where their injury is at, see how long we think it could be, could not be. There's a lot of conversations.

Peart, we thought it would be a little bit of time. (running back Eric) Gray, same thing. Some guys you hold out hope that maybe it's a little bit, maybe it's not. Every injury is different, as you know.

Q: Where do you stand at returner?

A: At returner? So, we signed (wide receiver) Gunner (Olszewski). He will be on the practice squad. He'll get some reps. (Wide receiver Darius) Slay(ton) gets reps. (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard) will continue to get reps. Adoree' will get reps. I'd say those four guys.

Q: What was your approach in the preseason when you were going against the Jets starters? Did you have to measure that, how much you showed? Because they were going with their 1s, you weren't necessarily playing yours.

A: That's a good question. You don't run a lot in the preseason. It's good to have it on tape to see some of those guys. We practiced against them last year, too. Obviously, played them in the preseason. But relative to scheme and things like that, I would say it was pretty basic offensively. We pressured a little bit defensively that game, but it was pretty basic stuff.

Q: You did have (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt do the double move on (Jets cornerback) Sauce (Garnder). Was that something you just wanted to see him do? Because you put that on tape.

A: Yeah, I thought it would be a good first play.

Q: Statistically, one of the things the Jets have done well this year is takeaways. Do you talk about that this week?

A: Yeah, they're excellent at it. They had three on (Chiefs quarterback Patrick) Mahomes, two counted, three on (Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen), three on (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts), I think. Played Philadelphia, Kansas City, Buffalo, beat Buffalo and beat Philadelphia.

I just think (Jets Head) Coach (Robert) Saleh does a great job. His defenses are always well coached. Competed against him when he was in San Francisco and I was in Buffalo. I think the world of him as a guy. He's got a defense that plays with high energy, specific type of guy that plays extremely hard. They rotate their front four like hockey shifts. They've got two really good corners. I'd say they kind of do what they do on early downs, and they do it very, very well and then they give you some issues schematically in some passing situations.

Yeah, certainly. They take the ball away, they play good redzone defense, they play fast. They've got a lot of good players. I've got a lot of respect for Coach Saleh, that defense, and how they go about it.

Q: Do you know (Jets Defensive Coordinator) Jeff Ulbrich at all?

A: Yeah. Obviously, we were here last year practicing. Another good coach. They've got a lot of good coaches, (Jets Defensive Line Coach Aaron) Whitecotton, some guys that I've been around, and it shows. They play a certain way. I'd say they have a really good front four, call it more than a front four with the amount of times they rotate in there. They have two good cover corners. (Jets linebacker C.J.) Mosley, I think he's an unbelievable middle linebacker. Instinctive, can read routes, knows when to jump. He's as good as they come inside. So, this is a challenging defense to get ready for and it shows. I think they've done a great job with it.

Q: What have you noticed or what have you learned about (Jets running back) Breece Hall and what a difference he makes for them?

A: Yeah, he's a good one too. He's a big back that runs really fast. If he gets out in the open, he can make a guy miss, he can slash and one-cut. A couple runs he had backed up in the first game of the year, then he had a long one against Kansas City, 43-yarder. You've got to put a lot of hats to the ball on him. He's a big back, but he's fast, too, and he can take it a long way. Good player.

Q: Your inside backers with (Bobby) Okereke and (Micah) McFadden, I know we have talked about the defense as a group the last couple of weeks, but it seems like those two guys together have really emerged as a pair. What does that do for all three levels when those two guys can play as well as they have together?

A: Good communicators. Kind of tie in the front end and back end together. Bobby plays a lot. Micah plays a lot but he also plays on special teams. We have different roles for Zay (Isaiah Simmons) in there. But two good communicators, they both can run, they're instinctive, they're fast. They've done a good job for us.

Q: What do you remember about your time working for the Jets?

A: Getting old, it was a long time ago. It's a good organization. Got the chance to meet the ownership, good people there. (Jets President) Hymie (Elhai), now (Joe) Douglas is the GM, who I've got a lot of respect for. Saleh. There were some people that were in there that are still there that are good people. I remember one year, it was not really good, the other year I think we had a winning record but kind of fizzled toward the end. I was only there for two years.

Q: Saquon said the other day after the game that you and Joe pulled him aside last week and reassured him that he's wanted here. Why did you feel the need to do that?

A: Well, someone told me that there were some rumors out there. So, I walked up to him at walkthrough and said, 'Yeah, that's not happening, let's go to walkthrough.' That's it.

Q: So, he'll definitely be here after the trade deadline?

A: Yeah.

Q: Did you get any kind of feel from the other side of this rivalry about how the Jets feel about the Giants in that short time?

A: I mean, look, it's a long time ago. I couldn't remember the exact conversation, but obviously, it's competitive. They're both in the same town. You understand it's a 'juice' game, so, yeah.

Q: Inside here, do you get the sense that this game means something more than just Week 8 of the regular season?

A: I think you understand when you have two teams in the same town, sure. But for us, we've got to play a good game, regardless of who it's against and perform at our highest level. So, understand it, appreciate it, respect it, totally. But our focus has to remain getting better and doing the things we need to do against a good team that's beat some good teams.

Q: 15 years ago wasn't the same. You might say something in the locker room, it might not get to San Francisco as quickly. But when you have those two teams in the same town it's pretty easy for them to follow you guys and you to follow them. Is there a dynamic there that you guys are aware of as you go into a week like this knowing that it's the same town, it's pretty close?

A: I don't know. I'm just focused on the team we're playing that week. So again, got a lot of respect for the Jets-Giants games and everything that entails but my focus is on let's get ready to figure out how to play well against their defense, their offense, their kicking game. Kind of same process we go through.

Q: What I was getting it is the idea that this is a league filled with paranoia nowadays. The idea of what you let out, what people say, what schematics are. Is there a difference now when it's two teams in the same area?

A: Probably the same. Probably the same.

Q: These are two teams that may be going with their backup quarterbacks as starters. Just what does that say about the futility of trying to plan long term as a football coach and who's going to be available?

A: That's the league we're in. You all know that, too. So, whoever's the next man up, that's why they're on your team and you get them ready to play, whether that's the quarterback or left tackle, running back, whatever it may be, middle linebacker, corner… That's why you have a roster. You try to build it as deep as you can build it and keep the guys on the roster that you think when their number is called, they go out there and execute it.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: How are you feeling?

A: Yeah, feeling better. Feeling better. Continuing to improve. Just trying to do what the doctors and trainers tell me to do.

Q: What is it that the doctors are saying, how do you go about rehabbing this?

A: Certainly, a fair amount of treatment and things you can do from a treatment standpoint and then certain exercises and range of motion exercises and things you can do to improve.

Q: How can you show them you're ready for contact? What's that process like?

A: I think it's just passing the tests and showing that I've improved to the point to where they feel comfortable putting me out there.

Q: Is there some sort of physical test that they put you through? Or is it just a scan?

A: There's a number of tests that they're looking to see improvement.

Q: Have you physically felt better since this happened week after week? Or isn't it that kind of progress?

A: Yeah, I feel a lot better than I did after the injury. Continue to improve week-by-week and day-by-day even. I'm feeling better and focused on continuing to do that.

Q: Do doctors ever say you're getting closer? Do they give you that type of feedback where there's optimism?

A: Yeah, for sure. I think I've gotten that more and more recently and I'll continue to do what I can to get back.

Q: How much more have you been able to do in terms of working? Working out in general and practice stuff?

A: A good bit. I can do pretty much everything. I can throw, I can run, I can lift. It's just a contact thing.

Q: Was there ever a time where from the start of this that they said rest is imperative for it and that there's this prescribed amount of weeks for the rest that will help in the long term?

A: I think rest was part of it early on. I think part of it – it was kind of a week-to-week thing from the get-go though, in terms of how they saw the improvement and how it went from there. That was kind of the approach but yeah, rest was a component at the beginning.

Q: Is the contact clearance thing about you telling them that you don't feel something anymore? What is the indicator that they would clear you for contact?

A: I mean, I think it's just tests. I feel good and from a pain level, I feel good. I don't have any pain and it's just passing a couple more tests.

Q: Are you symptom free?

A: I think there are still some symptoms there. I feel good –

Q: Do you have to tell them that you're symptom free before you get cleared?

A: I think there are certain symptoms that they're looking for and testing for, from a pain level and based on how I feel. I feel good and that's been the communication from that symptom standpoint.

Q: You're not symptom free?

A: There are certain things that I haven't done yet.

Q: Two years ago I think you were seeing a specialist, a spinal specialist in LA, did you have to do anything like that? Like go for a second opinion anywhere…

A: I haven't. I've been here in New York. I've gotten a couple of different opinions from doctors, but I've been here. We've got great doctors here in New York.

Q: What gives you optimism this time? Obviously, last time they had to shut you down, right? What gives you optimism this time that this is going to end differently?

A: It's a different injury. It's a different injury and I think when you see other guys that have similar situations as mine and they're able to progress and come back. I'm following a similar timeline to that. That's kind of the optimism and it's a different injury than last time.

Q: What players are you talking about that had similar injuries that came back?

A: There's been a number of – it's just a football injury. You know people in the past who have had it.

Q: Is it all the same treatment? Stim, ice, chiropractor, all that.

A: Yeah, I mean there are a number of different things you can do treatment wise that we do here with our trainers. Doing everything I possibly can to get back.

Q: Have the trainers and doctors shared with you what the risk would be if they put you on the football field and you did have contact? Especially in a certain area…

A: Yeah, they've shared that with me. I'm certainly trying as hard as I can to get back, but from the doctor's standpoint it's not something that he can clear me to do at this point so, trying to do everything I can to get back.

Q: This might be obvious, but do you have to be more sensitive because of the neck? It's not an ankle, it's not a shoulder, like is that part of this, where they have to be extra cautious?

A: I mean, I think any time you're talking about the neck you've got to understand the risk of reinjury and what would happen if you were to reinjure it so yeah, that's certainly a component of it.

Q: What have you seen from (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)? What's that been like having to watch him?

A: I think he's played well. He played really well Sunday. It's been fun to watch him and pulling for him. Certainly not surprised with how he's played. It's been fun to watch him. Obviously, you want to be on the field, it's tough not being on the field but he's played great.

Q: Does it comfort you as you rehab, trying not to hurry, that (Head Coach Brian) Daboll's been clear that the job is yours when you're ready to get back?

A: I think I'm so focused on what I'm doing from a rehab standpoint and getting back as fast as I can and that's really been my focus.

Offensive Tackle Andrew Thomas

Q: How did it go today?

A: Not too bad today. First time I've put on a helmet in a while, so that was a good feeling being out there with my teammates again. More than I've been doing by myself with the (athletic) trainers and stuff like that. Just continue to stress it and see how it responds.

Q: When we were out there, it was only for a short period, I didn't see you do much football stuff, are you still sort of in a rehab type of stage, or did you do football drills after that?

A: I think I'm just following the plans of the trainers like I think they just want me to kind of mimic what I would do if I was at practice, but they also want to limit and not just cut me loose because there is a chance you can make it worse with soft tissue, so that's the plan I'm trying to follow.

Q: Has this been frustrating for you?

A: Yeah, I mean I want to be on the field. We only have a few opportunities that are guaranteed each season and I've missed quite a few of them so it doesn't feel good, but I can't change that. All I can do is just continue to get better.

Q: How confident are you in it? Do you know? Have you been able to turn it loose?

A: I don't know yet, but today was my first time being on the field, so we will see how it responds tomorrow and the day after and go from there.

Q: Would you expect that it's going to take a couple of weeks or aren't you sure yet?

A: I don't know. It goes up and down with how it feels day to day, so we'll see how it feels tomorrow.

Q: Before the Seattle game you thought were making good progress, I mean were you at this point in it or were you further along?

A: I think it was different and it didn't work out, so just trying to keep a positive mindset because it is frustrating not being able to go, but like I said I can't control that, all I can do is continue to do what they are asking me too.

Q: Do you have any sense of whether you can possibly play on Sunday?

A: I don't. Won't make any projections. As I said, today is my first day being at practice, so just try to build on that.

Q: Do you actually have a sense though of needing a couple of practices since it's been so long for you before you get out there? Is it one of those things where you are not going to wake up on Saturday and be like alright, I'm good if I haven't practiced full contact?

A: Yeah, the biggest thing for me is, as the offensive line is obviously to feel the pressure of what it's like to be in the game, stopping the bull rush, moving somebody off the ball, which is why I asked the trainers to be out there and get some reps, try to do something that way I know.

Q: You are obviously someone the Giants count on every week when you are healthy for sure. Has there been frustration that you simply can't help when you are injured as you are, or were?

A: Yeah, but I just try to contribute in other ways. I just try to be a leader on the sidelines, in meetings, helping when I see things. That's what I try to do.

Q: How good have you made of how the guys have kind of pieced it together and at times had really good moments out there?

A: Yeah, I think they've done a tremendous job, it's not easy what they've been asked to do. All the injuries that we've had, all the switching positions, and all those things. It's not easy to overcome, but we have a tight-knit group and I think we are starting to gel.

Q: At any point in your career, starting maybe when you first played football, have you ever seen this many injuries to an O-line group where there is as much shifting as there had to be?

A: Probably not this much. I think my second year here we had a lot of guys get hurt, but this is probably the most for sure.

Q: What have you thought of, I mean (guard) Justin Pugh is certainly not the same body type that you are at that position. What have you seen from him at 290 pounds playing left tackle?

A: Just an amazing performance by him, a veteran presence. Not expecting him to go out there and do that and for him to be able to accomplish what he did. It's great for our team, it's great for the morale of the o-line. He's a leader in our room. Has a lot of experience, so we definitely appreciate it.

Q: Do you look forward to getting back to left tackle and having Pugh line up next to you at left guard?

A: I don't know what the rotation will be whenever I come back, but if I get an opportunity to play with him, I would love that.

Q: In the long run, all the shifting and moving the guys have had to do, in the long run, can there be some benefit from all that?

A: I guess. You have to be prepared for anything in this league. You only have a certain number of guys that can be dressed for the game, so people that aren't starting, you are prepared to play anything and it's not easy as an offensive line because you want to have camaraderie and gel together, but it's something that you still have to prepare for.

Q: What would you say your emotion is today after this? Is it excited, encouraged, or not as optimistic as you thought, what would it be?

A: Honestly, just trying to stay level-headed because if it feels great, my emotions are high, then I'll be feeling great and then if it's not, then I'm going to be down. So, I'm just trying to stay level-headed and just roll with the punches.

Q: Do you feel like you are ahead of where you were anytime previously when you – obviously there was a setback before the Seattle game, in the time leading up to that, do you feel like you are ahead of any of that previous time?

A: I think it's just different dealing with this situation. Just trying to work every day. This is my first time on the field today, so we'll see how it responds tomorrow and I'll know a little bit better.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Q: How comfortable in this offense do you feel right now?

A: I feel comfortable in our offense. I feel comfortable with the playmakers that we have outside. It's up to me, obviously, to get the ball to those guys, so just trying to spread it around as much as possible, and a lot of those guys create plays.

Q: What growth have you seen in (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt)?

A: Just confidence overall. Not that he lacked it before, but obviously when you make as many plays as he's made throughout this season and the past couple of weeks, and just generally throughout the season, the confidence builds. Going to continue to keep leaning on him to grow as a player. He creates, obviously, explosiveness in this offense. We're going to continue to keep using him.

Q: You're a 13-year veteran; he's not a veteran. Can you put yourself in that position to know what this younger guy is contributing to this offense and how he's acclimated so far?

A: Yeah, I think he's done a great job. I can't put myself in his shoes because I can't run that fast. But obviously, just taking on a new offense coming from college, playing against the speed of the guys in the NFL. He's competed at a high level. He's made a bunch of contested catches. As he continues to keep doing that, also has to understand that defenses are going to treat him a certain way. So, just continue to keep growing within himself. I think he's done a great job of it, and we're going to need him to continue to keep doing so.

Q: Knowing that every game is different week to week; when somebody in your position has sometimes started a bunch of games in a row, and sometimes not, if you can make your third start, is there a rhythm that a quarterback can get into?

A: Obviously, the best experience I say is playing. If the opportunity presents itself this week, as far as the rhythm, I mean, yes, I would love to go out there and do something. But if not, then it's not what the plan is, and I'll move forward as so. Like I said, I'm always going to be the same person day in and day out from a preparation standpoint, and as a leader, and just sharing what I can with the team, whether it's me actually out there contributing, or me doing stuff from a leadership role.

Q: On the field, do you think you will see more, process faster, and have a better feel having started last week and the week before?

A: Each week is different. Defenses pose different challenges week in and week out. It's up to us to go out and ultimately execute our game plan and the stuff that we work so hard on

throughout the week, being flawless in that operation and giving ourselves the opportunity to be able to go out there and execute.

Q: With a team like the Jets who are good at forcing turnovers, do you have to be more cautious? Or do you simply continue to do what you do?

A: From a quarterback perspective, protecting the ball is where it starts. You do that, you give yourself a chance to win. That's not to say to go out there and be scared. Have an aggressive mindset, but at the same time, not reckless.

Q: What are your impressions of the Jets defense?

A: They're a fast defense. They compete at a high level. They've got a lot of playmakers on that side of the ball, and they've shown that they can get after the quarterback.

Q: You didn't know it at the time, but did playing them in the preseason help? Does that help you at all this week?

A: You go back, and you watch preseason games, and you try to get a feel for a team, but they've also played a number of games throughout the year now that you can get a sense of how they flow as a team. Preseason, some teams reserve guys, and don't show as much. Obviously, those were their starters that we played against. Sometimes the calls aren't the same as well, too. They've played enough in the regular season now that we can get a good sense of them and see kind of what to expect. But ultimately, like I said, week in and week out, it's about us executing our offense.

Q: I know you said you take the same approach every week whether you know you're the starter or not. When do you actually find out, though? DJ's (quarterback Daniel Jones) status is kind of up in the air, so when do they tell you you're definitely starting?

A: When you guys find out.

Q: What does it mean to you to be the first Black quarterback to win a start for the Giants?

A: It means a lot. I didn't know that going into it. If I'm not mistaken, I think I did it at another organization as well (Los Angeles Chargers). But I mean it's history. Proud to be part of it.

Ultimately, I'm proud of the guys and the way they competed this past weekend. Something to build off of, there's a lot of positives from that game. I look forward to continuing to keep, if given the opportunity, competing with the guys on Sundays and going out there and striving for a win.

Q: How much do you and Daniel talk on gamedays? Especially in the weeks that you've started.

A: Our conversation is fluid whether it's in the locker room or on the sideline. And that's when I'm the starter or he's the starter, just saying what we like for the next series, what we're seeing out there, and making sure everyone's seeing it the same way on the same page just so we can communicate through the offense as one.

Q: Is (running back) Saquon (Barkley) a better running back or ping-pong player?

A: Better running back. He plays ping pong a lot. I'm not sure how good he is, but he's one of the best running backs I've been around and one of the best in this league. He plays at a high-level week in and week out.

To answer your question, I would say better running back.

Q: What makes him, in your eyes, so special?

A: Just the things that he does when the ball is in his hands and the matchups that he creates. It's tough for a linebacker to guard him one-on-one, even safeties. His explosiveness, his speed. He's done it week in and week out when healthy. He's a hell of a competitor. It means everything to him, and he wants perfection on his own.

Q: Did you learn anything about Hyatt on that ball where the play had to be reviewed, but he did get both feet in? Did you learn anything about him as a football player, and as a competitor in that moment?

A: Not necessarily in that moment. I trusted him to go up and make a play. I've said it since the first time I saw him that he has strong hands, he attracts the ball well and did so. He proved it on that play, and there was no second-guessing that he caught it on his end.

Q: Did he come right back and say to you, 'I got it, and I was in with both feet?'

A: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Q: That five-yard pass that you threw to Saquon that turned into 32, how exciting is it to see him in open space?

A: It's very exciting. He makes guys miss. It's very rare that one guy takes him down. That's what I'll say, like, how dynamic he is as a player. You get the ball to him, whether it's something down the field or something short, it can be a big play because of the way he makes people miss. It creates explosive plays.

View rare photos from the local rivalry between the Giants and Jets.


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