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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Tommy DeVito, WR Darius Slayton, CB Deonte Banks

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: (Wide receiver) Darius Slayton?

A: He won't practice today.

Q: Is it a long-term thing or is it a chance he can play?

A: Mmhm.

Q: Anyone else…

A: Anyone else?

Q: That's not practicing.

A: (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) will have a rest day, (tackle) Evan (Neal), (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) will be back, he will be practicing noncontact. (Inside linebacker) Bobby O(kereke) won't practice and (defensive lineman) Dex(ter) (Lawrence II) won't practice and (running back) Eric Gray will – we'll open Eric Gray's window today.

Q: He's still in the concussion protocol? Adoree' is? Technically.

A: He is. So yeah, it'll be a non-contact one today. Making strides, hopefully we'll get him out here.

Q: Was Dex and Bobby O rest as well?

A: No, Bobby's – both of them have a little something. Dex has a hamstring, Bobby's got a hip, rib kind of throughout the season.

Q: Did he have x-rays after the game? Bobby.

A: He did, yep.

Q: And…

A: I'd just say he's got a sore hip and a sore rib.

Q: Do you think that either of those two guys are in danger of missing the game on Sunday?

A: We'll see. Yeah, we'll see. Day-by-day.

Q: How surprising is it to you – having been in that organization to see the Patriots at 2-8? And do you treat them any differently than you would any other 2-8 team because of who the coach is?

A: I'd say you never treat any team differently regardless of their record when you're preparing for a game. You do the best job you can each week to try to put a good plan together, have a good practice and play a good team. You watch those games, there's five games they have – Philadelphia, opening game, they've got an out route. He gets his foot in, they've got a chance, 24-17. They played Miami the next week, 4th-and-four, get three yards. (Patriots tight end Mike) Gesicki flips it back. Played

Washington, goes through the receiver's hands, they intercept it on the last drive to at least get a field goal. Play Indianapolis, get an interception down (in) the redzone. The Raiders game was 19-17, under two minutes, 3rd-and-15, (Raiders defensive end Maxx) Crosby goes ahead and gets a sack, now it's 21 and they get the ball back. That's five games right there, a few plays here or there, it's a different story. Got a lot of respect for the people in that organization, the players, the coaches. Just got to prepare and try to do our best to play a good game.

Q: How would you characterize – you always say in the offseason you talk to other coaches and whatnot, ideas and what not. Is (Patriots Head Coach and General Manager) Bill (Belichick) one of those guys and how would you characterize your current relationship with him?

A: Yeah, it's good. I haven't talked to Bill for a while but a good relationship. I see him, say hello to him. Obviously, I've learned a lot. He gave me my first opportunity in this business in the year 2000, it's a long time ago. Got a lot of respect for him and everybody. (Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert) Mr. Kraft, (Patriots President) Jonathan (Kraft), Dan, Josh, the Kraft family. They gave me my first opportunity.

Q: Have you spoken to Bill since you've got this job?

A: Yeah, I've said hello to him. Yeah, we played each other in preseason last year. Yeah, I said hello to him.

Q: With everything that went down with that lawsuit and the text message he sent, did that strain you guys' relationship at all?

A: No, I've got a lot of respect for Bill.

Q: Bill said this week that he told all of his quarterbacks to be ready. Does that change your preparation at all?

A: Well, it adds to it. Went back and watched 2019, played December 22nd. December 29th against the Colts and the Saints, so watched (Patriots quarterback Will) Grier's games there and then watched his game against Las Vegas where he played pretty good after they made a trade for (Cowboys quarterback Trey) Lance in San Francisco. Watched (Patriots quarterback Malik) Cunningham's snaps, 60 offensive snaps, a lot of them at receiver, some at quarterback. Watched last year when (Patriots quarterback Bailey) Zappe played and went 2-0 – was it Detroit and Cleveland? Also came in in the Green Bay game, came in a couple times. Obviously, the Indianapolis game at the end of the game there, they took (Patriots quarterback) Mac (Jones) out, so there's a lot of tape. Some more than others. Mac has played a while for him. I've had experience with Mac when he was a true freshman at Alabama. I thought he did – all of them were really good college players, Mac had an exceptional senior year. Fought through playing behind (Dolphins quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) and (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) with the right approach, right attitude, the right mindset and had a really good senior year, broke a lot of records. I'd say Zappe goes to Houston Baptist then he transfers over to Western Kentucky and has over 60 touchdown passes. Grier was at Florida then he transferred to West Virginia, had a good West Virginia (career). There's some tape to watch with all those guys. You spend time watching them then you watch their offense and you see what (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach) Billy O'(Brien)'s doing. They're a good plan team, this is a good game plan team anyways whether it's defense, offense, special teams, a lot of tape to watch.

Q: Those details are remarkable to me. I mean, that's all just off the top of your head.

A: I've spent a lot of time here the last couple days looking at a lot of film.

Q: You spent a lot of time in your formative years working under Bill. As a head coach, how much do you lean on things you learned – I don't mean any specifics – that you have brought from those days?

A: I'd just say when I first started, I started as a defensive assistant. Didn't get paid very much but had an opportunity to learn from some really good coaches. Obviously, Coach Belichick being one of them, Dante Scarnecchia, Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Ivan Fears, a lot of lot older guys, Brad Seeley, that have coached for a long time, Eric Mangini. Just learned to do your job and be part of the team. You learn a lot of football. You learn a lot of things organizationally, if you pay attention. So, I've learned a lot from them, and I've also learned from a lot of other guys that I've worked with. Tony Sparano, God rest his soul. So, you take experiences with you from every place you've been. I was there for six years or whatever it was, seven years, and left and then went back. So, again, a lot of good coaches, a lot of good mentors that I've had, but you take a lot from a lot of those older coaches that have done it for a long time.

Q: You said they like to be game-plan specific. You like to be game-plan specific as well offensively. I'm curious, last week, did you find things that after all the inconsistencies for the first 10 or so games that your current personnel can do well that you can take forward now and try to build around that, rather than it seemed like very week was kind of a search?

A: Yeah, well, I think you do it each week. You sit down, you see kind of how their defense is, just offensively speaking, the same thing defensively, and try to come up with what you think will be good, how to play the game, and that will never change, how we do things in terms of looking at the opponent. But you've got to make sure you try to do things you do well, first and foremost.

Q: How much do you think things change for your quarterback now that there's more tape on him?

A: I think the more tape there is for a player, and again, he's had two starts, this'll be his third one. I know he's played a little bit in some other games, but more information, more to look at. So, the more tape you have as a coach, the more things you can see. I'm sure that as he plays, teams will decide to game plan however they want to game plan him, whether it's a different way to rush him or different coverages and things like that. Again, he's so young right now with only the two starts. We've really got to focus on him and the things he does well.

Q: Because of the business you're in, do you get any time to enjoy the holiday with your family or is tomorrow a regular day?

A: Happy Thanksgiving to you all, you and your family.

Yeah, so we'll practice tomorrow. We'll bump it up a little bit. I talked to the captains last week relative to how they wanted to approach the week, if they wanted to push it up and practice on Tuesday, give them off on Thursday. They wanted to keep it a normal week. So, we'll push up the time that we start, and then they'll get out a little bit earlier than they would. Fairly normal.

Q: Is the wife cooking?

A: I hardly talk to my wife right now (laughter).

No, she did tell me right before I came out here we're going to stop somewhere.

Q: What's non-negotiable? What do you need on the Thanksgiving table?

A: You see me. There's not much that I bypass (laughter).

Q: What are you thankful for?

A: I'm always thankful for my family and thankful for the people in the organization, friends. So, I'd say those things.

Q: What was your message to (cornerback) Deonte (Banks) about the postgame video he did in the locker room?

A: I understand the question; I'll keep that private.

Q: I mean, social media is obviously a big part of things. Do you have a general—

A: Yeah, we don't want to do that.

Q: Just because you were a little less than concrete on Bobby O. I mean, what would it mean to not have him on the field?

A: We'll see where he's at today. I'd say he's trending in the right direction.

Q: What would you say about the immediacy of the impact he made coming in?

A: How he's done?

Q: Yeah.

A: He's done a nice job for us. He's made a lot of plays, smart player, he's a very good teammate. I'd say it's not always easy to become a leader when you're in the first year of a program where you come in as a new free agent. He's done that. He's been a good leader for us, not just on the defensive side, but for the entire team. He's consistent with his approach. Smart, instinctive. He's been good for us.

Q: He seems to be able to punch the ball out. What is it about him that makes that…

A: Yeah, I'd say just that. You got it. He's crafty at doing it, got long arms, he's got good timing on it. He's done a nice job with it, but some of it is just his natural ability and his instinctiveness as the play's going on.

Q: Did you know that beforehand?

A: Yeah, no, you see it on tape. He's pretty good at it.

I'm thankful for that: turnovers on the defensive side of the ball (laughter).

Quarterback Tommy DeVito

Q: Can you even imagine what the first home start is going to feel like and what you're going to be going through?

A: It's going to be a lot of fun. Imagine it's going to be like the last two games, but a little more of my friends and family there. That's really about it. It's a little tougher to play away, in an away atmosphere. So, it'll be home, I'll be comfortable, it'll be a lot of fun.

Q: How many people will you have here?

A: I'm not sure, honestly.

Q: A lot?

A: I assume a lot, but I'm not sure exactly. I wish I could give you a number. I know the last preseason game, the Jets game, I probably had 200 something, but I'm not necessarily sure how many will be here.

Q: What have these last few weeks been like for you?

A: Roller coaster. That could be it. Ups and downs, but we're coming off a hot game. So, trying to carry that energy and everything going into this week.

Q: How are you handling obviously all the attention that's coming with this past week and the past couple of weeks?

A: Staying off the phone. I know it could be all good one week, and then next week, it's all the negative, so I'm trying to stay even keeled through it all and really just focus and keep the main thing the main thing. It's Thanksgiving. You know I was giving turkeys and stuff the last two days, but still just in the facility doing football.

Q: What are the ticket requests like?

A: My ticket requests?

Q: Aren't your family saying we need like, 100 this week?

A: Oh no, no, no, no, no. I shut that down really early and really often. My mom, my dad and my brother get the tickets; everybody else, you're on your own. I set that up in the preseason, and that's how it's going to go.

Q: What's behind the celebration?

A: That was up to (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Phil (Buzzerio), Phil Buzz in AT. He mentioned it to me a couple of weeks ago. I was like, 'Alright, I'll roll with it one of these days,' and he was like, 'This is the week!' Alright, I did it, and then it kind of took off from there.

Q: Is there something Italian to that?

A: Oh, for sure. That's the whole background of it.

Q: Explain it. What does it mean to you?

A: What it means to me? I don't know. I kind of thought it was just the old Italians, when they talk, they start doing this. It's just a little credit to them. A little bit.

Q: What did you like about how the offense operated against the Commanders?

A: We started fast early. I think that was the biggest thing. Something that we've been trying to get to do all year, but fall short of that. So that was really the big emphasis this past week, and it's good to go out and do it. It was good to get the team going, get the defense going and then ultimately helped us win the game, and we look forward to doing that hopefully this week.

Q: When you're on the sidelines, when you're not getting coached up necessarily, are your teammates encouraging you time after time on the sidelines?

A: Yeah, there's a lot of communication that goes on. I mean, some of it's fun, some of it's serious. I like to stay loose when I'm playing and just enjoy the moment, enjoy the process, and enjoy the game. So, nothing too crazy.

Q: A lot of people say when they play the Patriots, especially a rookie quarterback, the (Patriots Head Coach and General Manager Bill) Belichick legend, and the Belichick aura is another opponent on top of that that they've got to get ready for. How do you approach it? How do you feel about going up against that aura?

A: Yeah, I mean, he's one of the greatest of all time or is the greatest of all time coach to ever come through the NFL. It's an honor to be able to play against him. I've been around him a little bit in the past with the Shrine Game, him and the Patriots were my coaching staff for that game. So, I got to know a lot of them and kind of how they go about their business. But it's a challenge I look forward to it. At the end of the day, I'm going to continue to do what I do and prepare and continue to just try to lead this team and lead this offense and not think too much about it.

Q: What'd you learn about them in that week?

A: What you see is what you get. The way he acts, he's always, like, even if there's a touchdown when you see him on TV and he's just standing there just looking, no emotion, it's kind of how he is, or that's how he was at least for that one week. I don't really know him besides that. But yeah, he's an awesome coach.

Q: What's on the Thanksgiving dinner table for the DeVito family?

A: A whole lot. The regular Thanksgiving foods like ham, turkey, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, but then you'll throw in some lasagna, some antipasto, some Italian dishes in there as well.

Q: (inaudible)

A: It's kind of an all-day deal. I'm not sure. I think we get out of here tomorrow at like, 2pm, so the family's going to be waiting for me to get home and then everything will start up.

Q: Are you having any teammates over?

A: No, there are a couple of dudes that might come by; they're trying to figure out what plans they've got going on. But everybody's welcome.

(Tight end Lawrence) Cage(r), I see you back there. You can always come over. You're good. Come get some cutlets, man, I'm sure there will be some. They've actually got cutlets in the cafeteria today if they allow you guys to go in there.

Q: They do not.

A: Well, that's unfortunate.

Q: Does your mom do all the cooking or does your dad?

A: No, my mom. My mom, one of my cousins, Daniel. When he comes over, he does the turkey and the ham and gets on the smoker and does all that. My dad does not cook. I've never seen my dad cook once since I've been alive. He won't make a peanut butter and jelly. My mom handles everything.

Q: How much is your family enjoying this?

A: A lot. They understand everything on the outside that's going on. They probably get more stuff than me. Food wise, they go out to dinner anywhere around the area everything's—people start sending food to the house. It's kind of crazy honestly to an extent, but they enjoy it, and we just appreciate all the support.

Q: With all this eating that you do, how do you stay so thin?

A: (Director of Strength and Performance Craig Fitzgerald) Fitz keeps me right in the weight room, and then just practice. I don't eat too too crazy. Food's there, I let everybody go, I'll have some friends over, and it's a good time.

Q: How are you balancing between enjoying it and staying focused? You said your parents are kind of soaking it in. Have you been able to soak it in or do you have to keep your head down and trudge through it?

A: No, I think there's a 24-hour rule from when the game ends. You enjoy it for that 24 hours and after that it's onto the next week. I enjoyed myself after the game, I hung out with teammates, I was able to see a lot of friends and family and really just was able to relax, decompress, and embrace the moment. After that once yesterday hit, back on.

Q: What do you think you proved on Sunday?

A: That I'm a competitor. I just love to play the game of football. I think that I'll try to show that every time I take snap because you never know what snap is going to be your last. So, I just try to embrace it, go out there and just try to play for my teammates.

Q: You still have your practice squad locker as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Was that your choice? To keep things the same, or have they offered it to you?

A: I mean, no, we never really talked about it, but I wasn't going to move anyways, even if it was. Could have been a gold locker over there, I'm staying right here. It's kind of where I started off this year, so that's where I want to finish this year and then we'll go from there.

Q: A reader actually reached out to me to say, 'You write about Tommy DeVito a lot, but you don't tell us why he was undrafted, you don't tell us about his background.' So why do you think you went undrafted and what don't we know in terms of your football journey?

A: Yeah, it was a long journey. I mean, I dealt with a lot of injuries in the past. Played through a lot of injuries, especially my first year starting in 2019, 2020 – played three games, broke my ankle, was out for the rest of that season. 2021, played three games, had another injury, was kind of out for the rest of

that season. It's kind of been injury filled, and I just had to get a new change of scenery and had a good year at Illinois. It wasn't the perfect road, but it is what it is.

Q: Do you think going to Illinois for that year really propelled you?

A: Definitely. I think that (Illinois) Coach (Bret) Bielema and his staff and everybody that they had in that building were tremendous for me. I think they helped me grow a lot.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q. Can you explain how you walk off like this, and he says your neck hurts?

A: There's a nerve in your neck and basically, I injured that nerve in my neck, and it prefers all the way down your arm, makes your arm numb. I was just holding my arm, so it wasn't just flopping there. My arm went numb for a little bit there, but I'm alright.

Q. Do you think you may go this weekend?

A: Yeah, I plan to as long as I keep making positive progress.

Q. It happened on that play or is it something that happened before? How did it actually –

A: Earlier in the game I got tackled and it kind of felt a little numb. I kind of shook it off and didn't think anything of it but then obviously, I got hit pretty good there the second time, so it tends to get your attention (laughs). It wasn't (anything) too serious. I'll be alright.

Q. It's tough, you were having a pretty good game there…

A: Yeah, we were rolling, you know. It would've been nice to finish it out to see where we could've ended up, but it wasn't meant to be.

Q. Did you feel like the touchdown was long overdue?

A: It was nice to get back into the end zone (laughs).

Q. Was that something you had planned when you saw he started slowing up, so you slowed up then sped up?

A: Yeah, once I caught it, you try to find a defender and figure out what they're going to do. Normally, I'm fast so I feel like if I can get you to stop, I'll start faster than you can start and fortunately it worked out for me there.

Q. And your boy (quarterback) Tommy's (DeVito) playing okay?

A: Yeah, he's doing a great job right now. I think he's showing a lot of poise. The first throw he threw to me was a big-time throw. Confidence, he threw it with some speed, got it in between those zone defenders so I think his confidence is growing as he plays. I'm excited for him.

Q. There a lot of like timing on that type of throw. What's it like building that? Obviously, with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) you played a ton, with (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) you've had a decent amount of reps. What's it like trying to build that on the fly with a quarterback?

A: It's a little different because, like I said, a throw like that is, you don't know. It's like a three-level concept so (wide receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson), I believe, was in on that play, he could've easily took him underneath. But it was third and a little bit longer and he hung on for a second and he zips it in there to me for a first down. Those are the types of things that quarterbacks grow into, but I think it just shows his confidence and his poise and how prepared he is to play.

Q. Are you kind of learning him? Like some plays you run in the game, you don't run very much but kind of…

A: Yeah, sometimes, or just ideas he has. Every quarterback is different. Some quarterbacks like to push it down the field or like to get it out quick, whatever, so sometimes it is. He'll say something during a game, something he likes or something that he thinks that we can exploit and as a receiver you try to do your best to get to those spots and get the ball.

Rare photos from the storied history between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.

Cornerback Deonte Banks

Q. It obviously hurt you though that your home team –

A: As soon as it came out, I was like 'I didn't even mean to do all of that'. That's not what really what I really meant to do.

Q. It seemed like it genuinely hurt you though that your hometown team passed you up on draft day.

A: I wouldn't say it genuinely hurt me, but like you're sitting there, kind of waiting, just have to wait longer that's all. I wouldn't say anything about it hurting me.

Q. So you think (Commanders wide receiver Terry) McLaurin is going to use that as fuel for the next time?

A: I don't know, he might just look at it and be like, whatever, but I don't know. Hopefully, I don't know, maybe he does.

Q. What did your coach say to you about it? He told us that he didn't really approve of it.

A: It was just a bad decision on my part. He always talks about just being a real professional on my end.

Q. That's what he told you?

A: No, it was just a bad decision by me, that's all.

Q. Is it one of those things where you just get emotionally wrapped up in, like we know what a postgame locker room is like and how emotional and exciting wins get?

A: Yeah, it was just a big road, division win. I just got a little carried away with the trash-talk a little bit, that's on me.

Q. Is this going to change your approach on how you think about trash talk?

A: It's just like I told you, it's a lesson learned for me. That's never happened to me before like just to be thrown out like that. It's just a lesson learned.

Q. What did that feel like when you realized it went viral?

A: I didn't mean for that to happen like it did. I didn't know it was going to be as big as it was. It was just an accident.

Q. So the fact that they have no hot water in the showers there, I mean maybe that you were like oh maybe I don't actually want to play here.

A: I mean that doesn't matter. As I said, bad decision on my part.

Q. Did any of the guys talk to you about it? Or did you talk to the older vets on the team?

A: No, not really. They didn't say too much.

Q. What do you think you've shown any team that passed you up during your rookie season? Like obviously, you're playing well, what do you think you've shown teams that passed you up about, you know some guys keep lists of teams that pass them up. What do you think you've shown teams that passed you up about what kind of player you are?

A: I'm not worried about what I've shown them. I just really worry about what I show the Giants, so I guess just keep being me.

Q. What do you think you've shown the Giants?

A: That I'm a good player and keep getting better every week.

Q. How do you think your rookie season has gone? How would you kind of sum up your season so far?

A: I've had some rough moments but there also are some great moments too, so I just have to keep getting better.

Q. What do you look at as some of the rough moments or great moments that stand out?

A: I really can't picture anything, but I've had some bad plays and I've had some good plays so just have to keep getting better.

Q. What are your personal goals for these six games?

A: Finish strong and just keep getting better every week.

View photos from the Quest Diagnostics Training Center as the Giants gear up for the Patriots.


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