Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: How does the news that there's a new head coach four days before you play affect you?
A: I've been on the other side of that, too. When I was at Miami, (Buccaneers Head Coach) Todd Bowles took over. Again, you have to really focus on your team and getting prepared and watching all the games. You can only do so much. They didn't change coordinators in Miami, but I've been there on the other side of it, so we'll do our normal preparation and try to get ready to play our best game.
Q: We haven't talked to you since the Leonard Williams trade to Seattle. Just thoughts on that move?
A: Sure. Love Leo, a lot of respect for Leo. I'd say that Seattle called (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and Joe told me about it. Joe had a private meeting with Leo, those guys talked about it, good conversation and decided that's what we were going to do kind of on both ends. A lot of respect for Leo, certainly we'll miss him but have confidence in the guys (defensive lineman) A'Shawn Robinson and (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) Nacho and those guys that we have that are playing his spot.
Q: When you make a trade like that, what do you say to the guys in the locker room?
A: Just what I said. Just exactly the same thing as what I said, not much different.
Q: How much did Sunday's result influence being willing to move a player like Leo?
A: I'd say that was a conversation that Joe had with Leo. Certainly, didn't have any intention and then terms are talked about and things and then Leo was brought into it so he could have his input to things and then decided just to go with that regard. I think both parties have mutual respect, wish Leo the best and get ready to play with, like I said, Nacho, A'Shawn, (defensive lineman) D.J. (Davidson), those guys.
Q: How much do you worry about or try to prevent it being viewed by guys in the locker room as 'Hey, they kind of waived the white flag on the season' then?
A: I think – just what I said. I think you tell them how it went down; Joe wasn't actively shopping anyone. Obviously, he fields calls as a general manager, so we have confidence in the guys that we have and let's go out there and have a good week.
Q: You mentioned Nacho and A'Shawn. Is there part of you that would also like to see young guys like (defensive tackle Jordon) Riley and Davidson get a little more time to see what they're about?
A: Yeah, I think that – again, I think we have a lot of trust in A'Shawn and Nacho and those young guys are coming along but confident in the guys that we have.
Q: In regards of (quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ coming back, he hasn't really had much time with (running back) Saquon (Barkley) with their injuries. What are you looking forward to seeing? What does that bring to the table?
A: Well, it's just good to have another player out there with DJ, I know he's excited. He's played with Saquon for a bit so it's just good to have him back and we'll see where these other guys are at the end of the week.
Q: Who else might you or might you not have back this week?
A: The tackles (Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal). I think both of them have an opportunity to play. Again, we'll take that day by day and see where they are on Friday. Who else?
Q: (Tight end Darren) Waller.
A: Waller's got a hamstring; we'll see where he's at. He's not going to go today; we'll take him day by day, but you never know how hamstrings are, so we'll see where he's at by the end of the week.
Q: (Quarterback Tyrod) Taylor?
A: Ty, he's actually, right now he's getting looked at by the doctors. He has a rib cage injury and I'll know more after he gets out of that appointment later today.
Q: It's nothing internal, right?
A: No, it's just ribs. Yeah, he's got ribs.
Q: Injured reserve potential?
A: Let's see how this meeting goes with the doctors. Again, he says he's feeling better, but he's got to go meet with the doctor. That's what he's going to do right now.
Q: What about with dealing with Daniel this week? Do you give him all the reps? You just put him out there, he's back –
Q: Or do you try to ease him back in?
A: Nope, he's good to go.
Q: Anybody else who won't practice today?
A: Just Ty and Waller.
Q: What about the entire QB situation? (Quarterback Tommy) DeVito comes up to the active roster, you bring in (quarterback) Matt Barkley – I guess first on Matt Barkley, what did you like and why did you bring him in? What kind of scenario does that set up for you guys?
A: Well, Matt's had familiarity in what we do and understands our terminology. Called a game, actually against the Jets I think, with Matt back in '18 or somewhere around there, pretty good result. But he's been around, he's been with us for a while, he knows our stuff. Again, we'll see where Ty's at and we'll go from there.
Q: Obviously, Daniel was cleared for contact but there's really not a lot of contact in practice so what do you guys have to make sure? Do you guys have to move him around a little bit to make sure he's okay or is it just like a normal practice?
A: Yeah, normal practice.
Q: And the fact that it's a neck, not a hamstring or a shoulder, do you expect to see him in really good form because of that?
A: Yeah, I mean, he's been out here throwing so he'll have his full workload this week. Once he's cleared, he's cleared and ready to go.
Q: Why sign Matt Barkley now as opposed to a couple of weeks ago when you were down DJ. Now you're down Ty, so why change that?
A: Just thought it'd be a good addition.
Q: Do you have anybody limited today?
A: Yeah, a few guys. The tackles, we'll see where they're at. (Wide receiver) Wan'Dale's (Robinson) is normal day after, Saquon is normal day after, (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux, I think. Those guys.
Q: What did you tell your team, if anything, about Leonard Williams' trade and –
A: Were you here earlier, or no?
A: Were you here earlier? Did you just get here?
Q: No, like –
A: No, I told them the exact same thing that I told, I think it was Dan or someone asked me how it went down. So told them that Seattle called Joe, then Joe talked to him privately, they had a good conversation and that's where they were at –
Q: I meant like in relation to telling them about what it says about the season. Letting go a guy who is a valuable contribution to your team.
A: Yeah, no, and I understand that question. I just told them what went down, why it happened and look forward to seeing A'Shawn and Nacho. Have a lot of confidence in those guys and let's go out and have a good week of practice.
Q: The perception out there is that you guys didn't have, and I know you had kind of talked about this, the confidence in DeVito to throw the ball and now the idea is why would you be confident at this point to have him as your backup? What would you say? Why are you confident to have him, if he needs to be your back up this week?
A: I'd say we wanted to play that game a certain way and each game is different.
Q: Can DJ wear anything to support his neck or anything?
A: I'm sure he could if he needed to, but I think he's good to go.
Q: If things had worked out differently, (Raiders defensive coordinator) Patrick Graham could be here and just what do you like about him as a coach and what have you seen?
A: I like him as a coach and a person. I've known him for a good amount, he does a good job. They don't give up a lot of big plays. He's got good football knowledge, smart guy, good friend. I think he does a good job.
Q: I'm sure you guys will dig in at some level in terms of the unknowns of what they are going to bring offensively with a new coordinator and obviously the rookie quarterback. Does that start at your level, or do you let guys upstairs break it down first and then come to you?
A: Yeah, I mean, look he played against the Chargers. Played fourth quarter, I don't know six minutes left or so when they were down 30 to whatever it was against the Bears. He played a lot in the preseason, was one of the highest rated passers. I think they played the 49ers, the Rams, Cowboys. So, there is enough tape on him and again, I've been in that situation. I'm sure they are going to add their own wrinkles. I can't speak for the Raiders or how they are going to do things, but they had a late Monday night game, this went down, so in 3 or 4 days you got to get ready to play a game. So, there is a lot of tape out there. Certainly, you make adjustments, but evaluate the tape and get ready to play.
Q: What do you know about (Raiders quarterback) Aidan O'Connell?
A: That's who I was talking about, sorry.
Q: Specifically, what do you know about him? Do you know the background on him, did you study him a lot? Do you watch just the tape?
A: Yeah, it's primarily the tape and pro football now. Which again, I thought he played well in the preseason. I think he throws on time; he's got good pocket presence. He's accurate, he's thrown the three-step game, they moved him a little bit in the preseason. He throws good overs; he can throw the deep ball. Again, he's a young player. It was a close game; they were down 24-7 against the Chargers and then they had a chance to tie it there at the end and threw the interception to (Chargers cornerback Asante) Samuel (Jr.) there on the right-hand side, but again, he's a young quarterback. We'll watch him on the tape, which again those three preseasons games that I talked about, the fourth quarter of the Chicago game, which he threw it every play, they were done 30-7 I think it was. And then, the Chargers game, so that's the body of work you go off of.
Q: Philosophically, with what they are going to do, that unknown, like you said, can you drive yourself crazy if you start going down that road of trying to find connections to what the new OC may have done previously, that kind of thing?
A: You're always going to try and prepare the best you can, but again, it's three days here and I can't say what they are going to do or not do. I know AP (Raiders interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce), went down to – when I was looking at (quarterback) Matt Corral down there in California at a high school and he was the head coach. So, again, you prepare the best way you can. There is obviously a bunch of games to look at and get ready to play the game.
Q: When coaches get fired like last night, does that reverberate through the coaching community? Especially like when you know people it happens to so well.
A: Yeah, I would just say you have good friends, whether it's coaching business, players when they get released, your business, I mean when you have a good friend you think first and foremost of your friend. (Former Raiders Head Coach) Josh (McDaniels) is a very good friend. We go way back to 1998 at Michigan State as graduate assistants. I know him, his wife Laura, kids. Zig (former Raiders General Manager Dave Ziegler), I know Zig well. So, again, of course you never want to see that happen to anybody, they work extremely hard, everybody does, and you have relationships, so your thought really doesn't go to the coaching part of it, it goes to more to the personal part of it as a friend, as a good friend and his kids, his wife. It's an unfortunate part of the business.
Q: You made it a point to let your players know about the players who have come before them. I would imagine Pierce is in that group, so when you look at AP, what do you think your guys know about him?
A: I'd say we need to know about their team. Got a lot of respect for AP, again, I remember meeting with him down in his office, talking about Matt out in Cali and obviously know what he did here. I've built a friendship with him along the way the last few years, but again our focus has got to be on the field, players and schemes and do the best job we can.
Q: Just curious, I know it broke late. Did you see that when you woke up this morning or were you aware?
A: Oh this? I wake up pretty early usually and somebody had sent me something, so I saw it, I don't know what time it was. 3, 3:30, somewhere around that. Somebody sent it out to me, maybe it was a little bit later. Somewhere around there.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: Are you excited to be back?
A: Yeah, I'm excited. Excited to be back in the swing of things and going through the week preparing to play. So yeah, I'm excited to be back.
Q: How do you feel physically?
A: I feel good, I feel good. I feel recovered. I've had a few weeks here not playing, so I used that to stay in shape. But excited to be back.
Q: How much do you want to jumpstart this offense?
A: I think we're all focused on doing that. I think we're all focused on doing what we can to help make plays, score points, and do what we can to put the team in position to win games. That's what we're focused on as a group, and we're excited to do it.
Q: Because of the nature of this injury – it wasn't a knee or an ankle or a shoulder – did you come back feeling incredibly fresh and ready to go?
A: Yeah, I mean, I do feel fresh having not played in a few weeks and trying to do what I can to improve physically in the weight room and on the field and throwing. Obviously, heal the neck up, but made sure my whole body was ready to go.
Q: Given that, you probably would rather feel more (inaudible)?
A: I'd definitely rather be playing. Rather have been on the field and playing, but the situation was what it was, so tried to take advantage of it.
Q: Do you have to do anything differently? Do you maybe have to be more careful running the ball or taking hits maybe than you usually would? How do you approach that coming off this injury?
A: I'm going to continue to be aggressive and look for opportunities to run when they're there, and then be smart, get down and protect myself also. That's something I've always tried to do and try to continue to improve at so, yeah, that won't change.
Q: Are you worried at all? Are you going to be tentative in any way because of this injury?
A: No, I'm not worried.
Q: Is there any concern about the Raiders changing coaches?
A: No. I think we're focused on what's happening here and what we need to do to play our best on Sunday. That's what we're focused on. We're definitely aware of it and we'll see kind of what that could mean from a game-plan standpoint, but as far as what we're focused on, it's ourselves and making sure we're ready to go.
Q: Did you learn anything from watching?
A: You're always trying to learn. You're always trying to grow, and obviously, you want to be on the field doing that, but watching film, watching our guys. I think Tyrod played well. I think you're always trying to learn and grow, but you want to be on the field learning.
Q: Do you think this team can get it together in the weeks ahead and play Giants football, that's winning football?
A: I do. I'm confident in our group. I'm confident in what we're doing, and we've just got to put it together, and we've got the guys to do it. I'm confident. I think we all are. We've got to go out there and show it on Sunday.
Q: You talked about feeling physically refreshed and reset. Is there anything to a reset mentally? It had gotten to be a grind for a couple weeks; you had a tough start. For you mentally, was it a break that you think could be advantageous?
A: I don't think so. I think mentally, you want to be on the field. You want to be playing, you want to be preparing to play. I don't really see it that way. I think physically, obviously you want to be on the field too, but try to take advantage of some of the recovery stuff. But mentally, you want to be there, you want to be on the field. Certainly missed it.
Q: How surprised or not surprised were you that you were actually cleared on Sunday?
A: I had been progressing last week. I felt good about where I was headed. I didn't know exactly how it was going to go Sunday before the game, but I felt good. I felt like I was progressing well.
Q: Did you want a chance to then play in the game? If you were progressing and you thought maybe there was a chance, did you want to have that possibility kept open earlier in the week? Was that something you discussed?
A: I mean, yeah, I tried every day I wasn't playing I was trying to be cleared. I didn't pass during the week. I couldn't pass the test. So, I passed on Sunday for this coming week. That was what the communication was from the doctors. I was trying to pass every day.
Tight End Darren Waller
Q: On (Seahawks defensive lineman) Leonard Williams trade.
A: That's part of the business, like being in it so long. It's like, a guy like Leo means a lot to the team, means a lot to the people that are upstairs. They know losing a guy like him is tough just because he's a guy – guys playing ping pong in the locker room with guys that hang around and he brings a high level of play to the field but that's just how it goes, man. I think a lot of guys understand that.
Q: With your situation, you mentioned your hammy, it wasn't a muscle thing? Is it like a tendon thing? Did the MRI confirm that that's what it is?
A: So yeah, coming out of the Washington game, it's a tendon attached to your knee so it's not really like you can't strain your muscle down there. Going out there and playing with that kind of left me prone to a little bit more susceptible to pulling my hamstring so the injury from last week kind of led into this one.
Q: You've dealt with these in the past and probably came back too soon. How much does that make you cautious about when you do finally return?
A: The main reason I missed like eight games last year was because trying to come back in like two and reaggravating it two or three times in practice where nobody could really see it so it's like 'where is this guy?' Taking a little bit more of an approach and saying like, 'why not four weeks or just three weeks or whatever it is' and use that time efficiently and not try to be the hero and come back. Just be like, 'Oh stressing and pushing' when it's like I've got to take care of my body first.
Q: Is this the same injury as that? The same leg?
A: It's a different leg and it's a different –
Q: This is your left?
A: This one is my right.
Q: Okay so last year –
A: Usually it's always high by my butt, like proximal hamstring.
Q: So it's your left last year?
Q: When did you have the MRI done?
Q: Is this different or is this the same as – you kind of had something come with you this season? Different than that?
Q: If I heard you correctly, you're thinking weeks?
A: Potentially, yeah. The number of weeks, not that sure but yeah, it may take a little bit.
Q: How are you feeling today compared to the weekend?
A: A little less sore. A few days out, the (athletic) training teams working on you throughout the clock so feeling a little bit better but there are strides that you've got to make as far as coming back from this so I'm still pretty early on in the phase of it.
Q: So you're a little way away? Is that fair to say?
A: Yeah. Not a long amount of time but yeah, it might be a little bit.
Q: The leg that was barking at you earlier this year, that was bothering you, which one was that?
A: That was my left, yeah.
Q: So, on Sunday, obviously you had the one catch and you left but just on that play is –
A: Yeah, it was that play running across the field. Like as soon as I probably crossed the ball before I even got hit I kind of knew.
Q: I know that you talked about the frustration on Sunday night but now that the MRI confirmed, how tough is it now to be like 'my gosh, another one of these stupid hamstring injuries.'
A: It's very frustrating, a little bit discouraging, like any human being would be in my position but no stranger to tough hands and tough circumstances so I'm not one that's going to fold up right here. I'm going to do whatever I can and however much time I get left with this team this season I'm going to give it all I got.
View rare photos of the history between the Giants and Raiders ahead of their Week 9 matchup.
Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: What is the impact, obviously the locker room impact, but on the field? You obviously already get a lot of attention. Is it possible for a team to give you even more now that he's gone? What's just the impact overall?
A: Yeah, like you said his impact was they've got to stop two rushers inside. I still trust the guys in the room like (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson) who has been playing well these last couple of games. Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) who has been playing well the whole season. The bond with them has been good as well. We've just got to keep going and going, it's the nature of the business.
Q: You referenced it a minute ago about you as a captain and leader here, what is your role in trying to convince guys that this is not, 'hey, we are going to start a sellout'?
A: I don't think convince is the right word. I think we all, as athletes, want to compete and want to do our best. We all are still playing out here for each other and our families, so I don't think you have to do much convincing.
Q: The defense has certainly been ascending the last few weeks. I think you've only allowed 33 points, could've easily been just seven in the last game. Is it hard for the defense to continue to ascend without him? And if not, why?
A: He's definitely a major piece and we've got to figure out a way to – I think we've done a good job of having other guys play those roles, come in the game and do well and make plays. Obviously, he's (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams, he's a great football player and going to be hard to replace something like that. The thing is, everybody doesn't have to be a Leonard Williams, everybody doesn't have to be a Dexter Lawrence. Nacho has to be a Nacho. AR has to be an AR, and they are still good players that can play in this league, that have played in this league for a long time. So, I don't want to hear the things about how do we replace Leonard? You can't replace Leonard, he's only one of one. So, the next guys got to step up and do their job.
Q: What was your sense of how he was feeling about things?
A: I mean I was happy for him. He didn't have to say much. I already know how he feels. I was just happy for him, told him to go out there and shine and we'll hold it down.
Q: Did he see this as a chance to go back to the playoffs?
A: I just think he saw it as a different opportunity. If they didn't want to trade him, I don't think he would be traded in a sense, you know what I mean? I just think he sees it as an opportunity to go somewhere and shine.
Q: What was your initial reaction to learning the news and then to process the way you are now? Did it take a little time?
A: I just talked with my lady. Our girls are close, and I just prayed about it, and I just see it as an opportunity to grow individually, grow as a better leader, and just to continue to grow.
Q: With the way you are playing, can you expect more of yourself on the field?
A: Each week I want to dominate and that's what I'm going to do each week. And that's my goal, is to dominate. I enjoy pressure and I like pressure, whatever this brings, it brings, and I am just going to keep being me.
Q: What's the best thing you've learned from him?
A: Just how to be yourself. Don't get overwhelmed in moments and just stay true and cool to yourself.