Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: Who's your quarterback this week?
A: We'll have (quarterback Tommy) DeVito and (quarterback Matt) Barkley.
Q: In that order?
A: In that order.
Q: Where's Barkley physically? I know he had the elbow injury in the summer.
A: He's good. Working out and doing his cardio but he's good physically.
Q: So, Tommy's definitely your starter Sunday?
A: He is, yep.
Q: Why him? Why not Matt?
A: I mean, he's been here for a long time. He has picked up our stuff so we're going to go with DeVito here. Barks only been here for a week. There's obviously nuances and things that he's learning but he'll be ready to go to back him up.
Q: An undrafted rookie making his way into your starting quarterback is really a pretty rare thing – the Bears had a guy do it but here, it never really happened. How surprised are you that it got to the point – how did you get to the point, with him, like how did he get himself into this situation?
A: Well, injuries. Start with that. The two guys that were ahead of him got injured and he was the third guy, so he's done everything we've asked him to do, he's prepared well, and he's got an opportunity.
Q: How about (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari)?
A: Azeez. We're going to open Azeez up so hopefully he'll be ready to go this week.
Q: How different of a week is it for DeVito when he's going to be getting the reps with the first team and not fighting for scraps?
A: Yeah, that's a good question. It's going to be a little different for him, obviously. He was up here early yesterday on the players off day, and I'd say we met for a while. He's putting everything he has into it. He's looking forward to the opportunity and he'll be out there with the first group, we had a good walkthrough with him so he's doing everything he can do to put himself in a good position to be ready to go.
Q: Do you have a message for your ballclub in terms of morale or spirit? Do you worry about any of that?
A: We have good conversations. Look, obviously, we're not where we want to be, make no excuses about it. We have the right mindset. We'll go out there and have a good week of practice, get ready to go. That's what you do every week.
Q: You have had quarterbacks come in this year and play without taking any first team reps during the week; the Vikings just had that this past week. How different is it for the playcaller and to gameplan in a situation like that?
A: I'd say that when you're working with a quarterback, developing a relationship with a quarterback, obviously, the more you practice. And again, DeVito hasn't had a ton of reps per se. He has worked on the show team and backed up those guys and been in the meetings. I mean, that's an important relationship in terms of getting a feel for what they like, them being able to communicate with you, you spend a lot of time with these quarterbacks. I know (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka does and (Quarterbacks Coach) Shea (Tierney) does. You're always meeting with quarterbacks. Watching tape, talking about situations, so obviously he's a young player right now and he's trying to do everything that he can do to get himself ready to go.
Q: What have you learned about him this week?
A: I saw his outfit that he wore the other night (laughs). No, he's a competitive young man, and again he's handled himself the right way in terms of being a young player in a room with two veteran guys and has done everything we've asked him to do, so he'll have his opportunity and he's going to do everything he can do to make the most of it.
Q: With the lowest scoring team in the league, do you as a head coach have to have your antenna up to watch the offense and defense? You know how these things can go sometimes, to make sure (there is no finger pointing0?
A: Look, I don't feel good about being there, obviously, but we have a good group of people who have a team-first mentality.
Q: You've been around a while. Can that fracture? Do you have to make sure it doesn't?
A: I think you lead the way you need to lead, and I've got a lot of confidence in our group of players in terms of men and how they respond to things and that's just the nature of this business. Sometimes, it's high, sometimes it's low. Obviously, we want to be much better than we've been, but we have the right mindset.
Q: When you meet with your offensive coaches, and you have a quarterback making his first start and you're facing a team that had 7 sacks and twelve pressures in your first game. Do you sit there and say, 'We've got to protect this guy?'
A: Yeah, you always say that. Every team you play, but obviously this is a very good pass rush team, and you have to play the game the way you think you need to play it in terms of limiting some of those things, but again they're a heck of a football team.
Q: How is (tackle) Evan Neal.
A: I'd say he's not great. I'd put him in the week-to-week category. Not going to say he's definitely not going to make it, but I'd say he's probably more week-to-week than day-to-day.
Q: So, (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson), I assume, won't practice today. Anybody else?
A: He won't. Just Adoree' and (running back) Deon Jackson, they're both in the concussion protocol and then Evan, those three.
Q: Are there any logistics settled with where and when (quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) surgery will be? And is he still in the building?
A: He's in the building, but that's to be determined.
Q: But Daniel is helping, I guess, with Tommy and –
A: Yeah, he was in the meetings today, but again, I'd say Tommy's doing everything he can do. He's spent extra time with Shea, extra time with Kafka. He was up here a while yesterday, early and late. I think he's learned a lot, but there's a lot to put in and communicate and try to get this thing exactly right for him.
Q. Did you see stuff from him in the second half that you think he can build on?
A: Sure. Again, he hasn't played, obviously. He's a young rookie in this league, but he definitely did some good things. This will be a challenging defense on the road, one of the better defenses in the league, with a lot of good players. I think the big thing for him is let's just focus on the things that he needs to do, put together a plan that we think he can go out there and operate and execute. He's going to do everything he can do.
Q. Did you look at any more experienced quarterbacks? You guys added (quarterback) Jacob Eason on the practice squad. Did you look at guys that have more experience?
A: Yeah, I'd say we had conversations about a lot of guys, but Jacob came in, he was with us one time for a quick stint before, had a good workout. Feel good about him.
Q: Is he here potentially to factor into this season, or is that a developmental idea, signing him?
A: I'd just say he's here to help us right now with where we're at with regards to that position.
Q. (Tackle) Andrew (Thomas) talked the other day about even though in his rookie season they had kind of a similar first half, he talked about how important the back half of that season was for his development. Do you talk to your own young players about that, despite the way that this season is going?
A: Yeah, I think you've got to develop as the season goes on. It's a long season for young players. We talk to them about that not just at the back half, in the beginning, in the middle, because it's a much different season than they're used to coming out of college.
Q. Matt Barkley has been in the league for awhile, you've spent time with him, but how do you gauge where a quarterback is when they come into the building relative to what they can do on game day?
A: I have some experience with Matt. Shea does as well. There's obviously some of the things that we do that are similar to what he's been used to. He's done this a long time. He's played on a lot of different teams. He's been through this part of the program, so he's a pro. He's picking it up. If he happened to play, we'd do the things that we think Matt can do well.
Q. (Inside linebacker) Micah McFadden seems to have elevated the last three or four games. What are some of the reasons you attribute that to?
A: I said this earlier, I don't know when it was, early in the season, but he played pretty much all last year for the most part. Developed throughout the year, is smart, is fast, is instinctive, has good toughness. I think (inside linebacker) Bobby (Okereke) coming in has really helped. I think Egs, John, Egs (Inside Linebackers Coach John Egorugwu) has done a great job with both those guys. He's a good, young player. I'm happy we drafted him and he's really earning the things that he's getting. He's been
productive. He's got a nose for the football, can play sideline-to-sideline, makes some productive tackles. He's really developed the way you hope young players develop.
Q. Last time we talked to you, you'd just gotten back from Vegas. Did you have an opportunity to talk to (safety) Xavier McKinney? Obviously, he was frustrated and not happy.
A: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I talk to all those guys. I talk to all those guys.
Q: What do you mean by all those guys? The captains or are you talking about just all the players?
A: I talk to all the players.
Q. Obviously, he said stuff after the game that he wasn't happy with something that went down. Did you feel the need to talk to him specifically about that?
A: Yeah, X and I had a conversation.
Q: How'd it go?
A: It went good.
Q: Did you have a conversation with Daniel about what his role is going to be in the building here, or not yet? Last year, (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard) had an ACL and was very involved.
A: No. We'll see when his surgery is going to be and all those type of things. I've talked to Daniel, again, I've said I feel for the guy more than the player. So, we'll see where it is after we get when the surgery's coming and the rehab and all that type of things.
Q: Have you learned any more? Is it just the ACL?
A: Yeah, ACL.
Q: You mentioned DeVito. You could have gone elsewhere. You could have done something else at quarterback. Is there a value in having a guy now take over that's kind of been with this team from the spring? The idea of guys in the locker room know how he works, the respect for him. Do you sense that this team can kind of rally behind a guy like that that they've been with?
A: I think they've got a lot of respect for DeVits. He's done everything we've asked him to do. I think he's done a great job on the look teams when he's out there. He's done a great job giving the defense looks. He's thrown the ball well in these periods and he works at it. So, I think there's a lot of respect.
But again, he's a young player. His focus is really let's make sure I have the plays down that I want in, that we think is good versus this defense, let's make sure I can communicate in a huddle, let's take care of all the pre-snap stuff that you have to do as a quarterback before the play even starts. So, that gives all the other 10 guys a chance to be successful and focus on doing his job as good as he can do it.
Q: When you discussed possibly bringing in more experienced QBs, but decided against it, what was the reason for not doing that?
A: We like the two guys we've got right now, and we thought Eason did a good job.
Q: You don't really call him 'DeVits,' do you?
A: Once in a while, or I wouldn't have said it.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: Take us through what happened between the play at the end of the first quarter and the first play of the second quarter.
A: That play before the end of the first quarter, I just tried to make a cut, felt my knee kind of shift a little bit, kind of buckle in a different way. Wasn't exactly sure what it was, just knew it kind of felt different. And then, tried to jog on it, do some light cutting in between the quarters and it felt okay, so I went back out there. I got to the top of my drop, felt that same kind of kind of shift and buckle in my leg, my knee kind of gave out a little bit there. So, I knew something was up at that point. I had to go in and get checked out.
Q: Is there anything beyond just an ACL?
A: It's my ACL. I'll approach the process that way and get it taken care of.
Q: In 20/20 hindsight, was it a mistake to go back in?
A: I don't think so. I don't think I caused any more damage to the injury. I wasn't sure what it was at first and thought it might have just been a different situation. I thought I was fine, really. So no, I don't think it was a mistake.
Q: So you think you tore it on the first play?
A: I think so, yeah.
Q: When are you having surgery?
A: I haven't set a date yet. It's from what I understand kind of the process is to let the swelling go down and get the range of motion back and then go from there. So, I'll have surgery sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Q: Who's going to do it?
A: I'm not sure yet. I'm trying to make that decision. A lot of really good surgeons and I'm trying to make the best decision for me.
Q: While you're having the knee surgery, do you have to do anything for your neck? Is that something you'll take care of?
A: No, my neck's good.
Q: Can you just walk us through your emotions and how you're feeling?
A: I mean, it's tough, for sure. You put a lot into the season. You put a lot into preparing to play and to get it taken from you through an injury is definitely tough. That's real and that's something that you deal with as a player, but it's part of the game at this level. At any level, really, it's something that you have to deal with, and part of it. I understand that and it's unfortunate, but I can't afford to feel sorry for myself or sulk. It's part of it, and I'll be fine. I'll bounce back, attack the rehab process like I have anything else and come back stronger.
Q: Were the mechanics of how you were throwing the ball in the beginning of the game coming off a neck injury any different from prior to it?
A: No, I don't think so.
Q: How do you think it affects your future?
A: I think I'm focused on what I'm doing right now and trying to get my knee ready for the surgery and ready for the process to come back stronger. So, in terms of my future, and what I'm thinking about it, it's that – it's to attack this process and come back stronger, and a better football player in the future.
Q: What have guys told you about the process and the injury in general?
A: I think it is somewhat of a long rehab process and that there are steps and marks you've got to hit. It takes patience, takes a lot of time, takes discipline and kind of takes a daily focus and effort. You get out what you put into it. Each step of the process is important, can't afford to skip steps and I understand that and luckily at this point there's been a lot of guys who have gone through it and come back, come back really well.
Q: How do you envision your role on this team for the next couple months here when you are not playing?
A: I'm still going to be as involved as I can be with helping guys prepare to play and helping (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) this week prepare to play and being in meetings and whatever I can do to help them out, I'm going to do that. Just trying to be there for this team and make sure we finish strong.
Q: You talked about a lot of guys having gone through this, have you sought out advice from anyone in particular or has anyone in particular given you advice?
A: I've talked to – we've got a few guys here on the team who have gone through it and have all had really good results with their rehab. I've talked to all of those guys and I'll continue to lean on them. I'm sure there will be other guys I'll talk to as well.
Q: On the play you got hurt, did your cleat get caught in the grass there at all or was it just a matter of how you landed?
A: I don't think my cleat got caught. I think it was just the way I cut and just kind of the position of my knee in that specific cut, so yeah, I don't think it was an issue with my foot being stuck.
Q: It's early but do you have a time frame in mind? Do you think perhaps you could be ready for Week 1 of next season?
A: I think in terms of the process, I'm going to attack it every day and try to take all the steps I need to in the appropriate amount of time to be back as soon as I can while also understanding that it is a process and I need to be patient. Yeah, the goal is to be ready and fully healthy as soon as possible. When that exactly is, I'm not sure.
Q: Did you and Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll) have any conversations about your future with this team or does he tell you like, 'Hey, you're still our guy'?
A: I think the conversations I've had with Dabs have been mostly just about this injury and healing up and staying upbeat, staying positive. Like I said I'm going to do everything I can to help this team out and make sure we finish strong.
Q: You're obviously a prideful guy. What do you think about the early chatter here that the Giants are going to draft a quarterback high, that your days here as a starter are done, how does that sit with you?
A: Like I said, I'm focused on what I'm doing right now and what I can control and what's in front of me and that's this rehab process, my knee, healing that up and then doing everything I can to help this team finish strong and play well. That's what I'm focused on and I'm excited to watch these guys finish.
Q: How would you just describe this year? Between your neck and now this for you?
A: Yeah, I mean it's been tough. It's been a tough year with the injuries, with the neck and this and then where we are from a record standpoint is tough, too. Like I said, we put a lot into this. Put a lot of effort and time into it, and to not get the results on the field is probably the most frustrating part of it all. The injuries are part of it, but here to win games. Definitely going to do whatever I can to help this team finish strong.
Q: Is the ACL the only one involved or is there more to it?
A: It's an ACL injury.
Quarterback Tommy DeVito
Q: So, how does it feel?
A: It feels good. Just taking everything one play at a time, one meeting at a time, one day at a time and that's it. Just leaning on my teammates around me.
Q: How different is this week for you?
A: I'll be getting the same reps, more now with the ones instead of doing scout team, but it's the same day in and day out process that I've been doing this whole time.
Q: How much of a difference can that make for you to have the whole week reps with the ones? Obviously, you haven't had that the two times that the two times you've had to step in.
A: A lot. Just to be able to rep the plays that we're going to be running for the week and be able to throw with the guys I'm going to be throwing to. Last week I guess, or a couple times, not really. This is my first time really repping throwing to these receivers, to these guys that I'm going to be throwing to this week so it's only going to help and build everything that we've built up these past two weeks.
Q: Are you going to make it a point seek out (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and go through the stuff with him or are you going to work with (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) or what?
A: With Mike –
Q: You know, going through the plays and things like that. Are you going to use Daniel as a resource?
A: Yeah, I'm going to use Daniel and (quarterback) Tyrod, both of them. They're both still in the meetings, they're very open with giving me little tidbits of knowledge here and there about plays or little small things that go into it. Obviously, I'm going to use them. They're both – DJ's a starting quarterback for a while, Tyrod's been in the league for 12 to 13 years, whatever it was so those are two great resources. Along with (quarterback) Matt Barkley as well, he's been in a league for a long time so you know, lean on all those guys around me that have been in this situation before because this is my first start, really my first time playing in this game so I'm going to lean on them as much as I can.
Q: Did you feel yourself getting a little more comfortable in the second half last week?
A: Yeah, for sure. I think the Jets game was what it was with that weather situation and everything that went on and then getting thrown into it again the second quarter, kind of figured out what they were doing as the game was going on and in the second half everything kind of just calmed down. We got into how we were playing and how we were supposed to be playing, but it was a little bit too late.
Q: How helpful was that and having that under your belt going into this week?
A: It was very helpful. I mean, I played in a game before, right? It wasn't just preseason. Whether it was the Jets – the Jets helped for the last week and this week's going to help for this one coming up. So, just trying to get better every play and every game and just trying to progress and move forward.
Q: (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs talked about you coming in yesterday. Can you talk about some of the things you worked on?
A: Everything. Just watching film, picking their brains, them picking my brain, what I like, what I don't like, and what they see, what I see, just getting on the same page because we haven't necessarily had those meetings to build the game plan around me and the players that are on this team with me in it.
Q: You said all along that your focus when you got here back in the spring was going to be, 'one day, one play,' that kind of thing but have you taken any time over the last 24 hours to kind of take a step back and put your emotions together as far as where you're going to be on Sunday?
A: Yeah, I mean, I'm not really thinking too much about it, honestly. I kind of took it the same day. If anything, it's the outside, you know like the family, the friends, everybody's that's been reaching out, I think that's been kind of the shock of it. But for me, it's football, right? It's another day, it's a game that I've been playing since I was really young, but it will be my first start in the NFL, so I know it's going to be some emotion there. Especially with the great supposed atmosphere in Dallas. I have not been, but I heard it's a really nice stadium so I'm looking forward to it.
Q: With everything – how real you took this situation and you we're realistic with what your expectations were back in the spring, could you every have imagined that you'd be sitting here getting ready to start a game in Dallas, for this team, this quickly?
A: Right? I think it's a shock to everybody. Not to have one quarterback but two quarterbacks go down, I mean it's tough. The quarterback position runs the team, and to have one and two go down like that, you would've never guessed that to happen. But again, it's a physical game, injuries happen, it's part of it, it's the worst part about the game, but it's the next man up mentality and like I said before, I'm going to rely on everyone else around me.
Q: How much did it help that you get first team reps this week?
A: A lot. I mean, I'll be able to run the plays that were going to be running on Sunday and I won't be doing all the scout team things that I would be doing so I'll be more prepared and comfortable in that aspect. But as far the mental, the meetings, everything else that goes into it is going to stay the same.
Q: Do you expect Dallas to bring the house seeing there's a rookie quarterback out there?
A: They might. Yeah, we're going to be ready for everything. We'll see. We'll just have to go out there and see what they do and they're going to have to see what we do. At the same time, we're not going to be on the defensive side, we're going to be on the offensive side.
View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.