Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: You know how (Patriots head coach Bill) Belichick loves his looks. It seems like (quarterback)Tommy (DeVito) was reading pretty well. He's not forcing the ball again. Talk about what you saw. I know you gotta look at the film again but talk about what you saw.
A: He made a lot of good decisions for us. Didn't turn the ball over. We had that one fumbled snap on the jet sweep. I don't know, what a 107-quarterback rating, and made good decisions. We gotta help him out too. We had a couple, two drops in there, and a few things that we can clean up, but his job is to do what he needs to do to help us win and he did a good job.
Q: Do you see that progress in Tommy from the Jet game to now?
A: Absolutely, really since the OTA's. We got a lot of work on still; he's only had three starts. Two and one, I think, in three starts and certainly, I think we'd like to do better. It was good to get this win.
Q: (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) can come back after the bye. Do you still want to stick with Tommy?
Q: We'll have our bye week here. We'll discuss a lot of things. Look at a lot of things. So, over the next few days, that's what we'll do.
Q: How big was the (cornerback Xavier) McKinney interception?
A: They all were big, but X was great. Another over route, that was Banks' too. So, I thought (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) did a fabulous job of really scheming it up and players did a good job of executing, so proud of those guys.
Q: Can you talk about how (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux played without (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence)?
A: Obviously, you always miss a guy like Dex. He's one of the better players in the league, but I thought all the guys stepped up, not just Thibodeaux, but inside, (defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches) Nacho, (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson), (defensive lineman) D.J. (Davidson), (defensive lineman Jordan) Riley was out a little bit. So, you know, we activated him, but Kayvon has been a leader for us and again, I've talked about his growth for a while. I'm glad he's on our team. A good football player for us. Good leader, good to have him.
Q: Are you in your head thinking in your head about, okay, the coin toss in overtime when he's lined up, you know what I mean? What goes through your head real quickly? You gotta move ahead and then you see this thing go wide left.
A: Well, you gotta make a decision on what you wanna do in overtime and then you take your headset off and go shake the other coach's hand when it doesn't. Those two things.
Q: What did you think of the way your defense played and has been playing the last couple games?
A: We've done a good job of taking care of the ball or taking the ball away and flying to the ball and I'm proud of those guys.
Q: How good does it feel to go into the bye week with back-to-back wins?
A: It feels good. It feels better than the alternative.
Q: There was a report pregame that you and Wink are not getting along. Care to comment on that? Do you expect him to be back?
A: I'd say the biggest argument that Wink and I have had is who has the last piece of pizza. I got a lot of respect for Wink. He's done a good job. I'll leave it at that.
Q: Are you saying there was no truth in that? Candidly, I didn't see it.
A: I got a lot of respect for Wink. He's a heck of a coach. I'm glad he's on the staff.
Q: How about (wide receiver) Isaiah Hodgins kind of getting involved today and getting that touchdown. He was such a big part - I know it's not last year anymore,
A: He did a nice job. Ran an under route, broke a tackle. It was a big play for us. Thought it was a good call by (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka. It's the only one we had, but it was a big one. I thought (wide receiever Jalin) Hyatt, so you got (center John Michael) Schmitz (Jr.), you got the DeVito, and you got Hyatt, three rookies. I'd say all contributed in a positive way. We're gonna keep building those guys and improving them.
Q: What did you see from Hyatt specifically today?
A: He made plays when they came his way. It was big for us, you know, he's had a few big ones. I think Tommy's got a lot of trust in him. Those guys are pretty close. So, you know, that first over was a heck of a throw by Tommy, and he did a great job of getting his depth and getting his feet in. They were going to start a go, got a big third down on the shadow crosser. He's making strides. All those young guys are. This is what they've got to do towards the end of the year is continue to make progress.
Q: One of the things that you see when you're watching Tommy play is, it just looks like everybody's having fun around him. Can you quantify that as a coach and how much does that help?
A: I don't know if you can quantify it. I just think that he's got a great mentality. He enjoys himself out there. He's serious when he needs to be. For a young, undrafted rookie, he's worked extremely hard since OTAs and he's made progress, still has got a ways to go. Obviously, he's only played three games and started three games, but I'd say the defensive guys, you know, he's out there, show team dancing in a defensive huddle this week. He's got a little moxie to him in terms of his personality, but there's still a lot to work on.
Q: Where has he made the biggest strides in your opinion, in this short time that he's been a starter?
A: I think he's played two good games in a row, so he's made good decisions with what we asked him to do. He's made the necessary throws, he's done his job for the most part, the way that the quarterback
needs to do his job to help us. Obviously, we want to score more points. No question about it, but there are a lot of things that go into that too as well. We've just all got to keep doing our job and doing it as well as we can.
Q: How much of an adjustment was it at halftime when they switched quarterbacks?
A: Not much. I thought we had a good plan all the way through. We watched both quarterbacks, but I thought most importantly was for us to play well and we didn't get off to a good start in the second half there, we kicked the ball out of bounds. They get the ball, they drive down and hit a couple of third downs and score, but the resiliency was good and then we ended up making that kick after we kicked the ball out of bounds, we ended up making a 43-yard, whatever it was, to go up 10. Obviously, wish we had some more chances to get some points on the board. We'll work on that. That's what we'll do coaching-wise this upcoming week.
Q: How big of a momentum swing was the challenge at the start of the second half?
A: Yeah, the fourth-down and one. I thought it was – obviously It was a big play, saw that they didn't get it. His elbow was down. The guys upstairs did a great job of communicating it, you know, backed them up. They tried to get us offsides. It was helpful that they didn't get the first down, no question.
Q: Did you get a sense that they weren't going to let (running back) Saquon (Barkley) beat them?
A: Yeah, that's every week. That's every week.
Q: I'd argue that Jalin Hyatt was the offensive MVP this game. There's been a little inconsistency as far as getting him involved this season.
A: You'd what, I'm sorry. Did you say you'd argue? I just want to make sure I know what you're saying…
Q: I'd argue that he was the offensive MVP. There's been a little inconsistency as far as the game plan for him on a week-by-week basis. How, even past the bye week, how sensitive is it, for lack of better words to get him more involved down the stretch as a rookie?
A: I just think Jalin has got to continue to do his job. He does everything we ask him to do. When he's open, he gets the ball thrown to him, and you make the play. Again, this guy has worked extremely hard since he's been here. He's a young player like Tommy, like John Michael like (wide receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) that we've just got to keep bringing along. Those guys work extremely hard to do everything they can possibly do.
Q: You likely might not have won without the three interceptions and could have lost if you threw even one…
A: Would've, could've, should've...
Q: I'm just saying – how difficult is it with a rookie like this to get in his head that you can't turn the ball over. It's easier said than done. He's not doing it…
A: I prefer not to say, 'You can't turn the ball over.' I prefer to say, 'Make good decisions.' That's what we've asked him to do. That's what he's continued to do. The ball came out there on one of the scrambles, which we just talked about. It got a little rainy out. Our mindset is what we need to do, so be
proactive and making good decisions. I don't like telling players, 'They can't,' (or) 'Don't turn the ball over, don't do this or don't do this.' It's a competitive game, things are going to happen. I'd rather give them, 'This is what we expect from you,' but this is the culture we're trying to build.
Q: One thing he's not doing is forcing any of his passes, but does that lead to sometimes him holding the ball too long?
A: Maybe. I think you take the good with the bad on some of those because sometimes it gives you a 50-60 yarder down the field, something we will continue to work on. There are probably plays in there that we could maybe get the ball out, maybe not. There are things that happen, it happens quickly. I think he's made progress. We'll keep working on that. He's trying to do everything he can do to help our team.
Q: Was it meaningful to you to get a win over Bill?
A: I'd say, look, I've got a lot of respect for him. I'm just really happy for the players, the coaches, the organization, a lot of smiling faces in there. These guys work extremely hard. They do things the right way. They're committed to the process. There's a lot of team chemistry. I appreciate that through some tough times. We've got a long way to go. We come back Monday night, I think, against Green Bay, but really proud of the people that put their head down and grind and are able to fight through some adversity at times because that's like I've said before many times, a roller coaster. So, stay committed to the things we do and believe in one another and do everything we can do to try to put us in good position to win a game.
Quarterback Tommy DeVito
Q: How does it feel to win your first start at MetLife?
A: It feels great. Any game after a win is awesome, but to be able to do it here at home for my first time is surreal. I'm going to enjoy the moment.
Q: What was going through your head when that field went wide left?
A: About time we got a little lucky. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Heard that saying a lot when I was growing up, but worked out for us, we got the win.
Q: Take us back to really pregame intros, did you expect that kind of reaction when you came out last as the starting offense?
A: I did not, no. I didn't know until we were right there like, you're up last. And it said 'DeVito' and it had a little emoji next to it, I thought that was kind of funny, but yeah, it was surreal.
Q: To hear the crowd that way, I mean was that like –
A: I'm not going to lie, I kind of blacked out. I was kind of just in my element I didn't know if people were cheering or booing or what was going on, it could've been anything, but I was just locked in, enjoying it.
Q: Your touchdown pass and (wide receiver Isaiah) Hodgins, what he did with the ball afterwards. The touchdown pass.
A: What he did with the ball?
Q: No, what he did to get into the endzone?
A: Oh. Playing with his frame like he did. It was awesome to be able to throw a maybe like five-yard route and then see him make somebody miss like that. Use his size, use his body, throw the dude off him and find his way in the endzone, it's awesome. He makes your job as a quarterback a lot easier.
Q: You guys did like a high five, but not a high five. What do you call that?
A: Everybody is doing it at this point, I don't know. I'm cool with it. It's just a vibe, it's a lot of fun so.
Q: A high vibe?
Q: What did you call it? A high what?
A: No, it's a high (finger pinch), you know?
Q: What's the word for it?
A: There is no word for it. I don't think there is a word for it. Is there a word for it? Usually when you type in an emoji on like iMessage, like it'll pop up. I don't know if there is like a –
Q: At this point I think it's the DeVito.
A: It might be, but we'll just keep on rolling with it.
Q: How much fun was this for you today?
A: A lot of fun. It was mentioned to me before the game, I didn't even think about it. The last time I started here was in high school, my state championship and I was like oh. I was like yep, played in the stadium before. Be able to actually like start and play the game from start to finish, it's a lot of fun.
Q: Do you get a sense of how contagious the fun that you are having is to the other guys?
A: Yeah, I try to bring that energy all the time. I respect this game so much, but at the same time it's a child's game in my eyes. So, I try to have fun with it. Like I was when I was kid, when I was five years old playing with my friends in the backyard and I try to just bring that throughout practice. It is a job, it is stressful. You are in all day meetings and workouts, so it's like when you're on the field, enjoy it and have fun with it. Bring your own kind of confidence and swagger. Kind of talk about that a lot, Kaf (offensive coordinator Mike Kafka) talks about that a lot in our offensive meetings. To let your personality show, and I just try to do that every play.
Q: We talk so much about complimentary football and the defense set up all the points. How special is a win like that when everyone playing on both sides of the ball? Getting the job done on both sides of the ball.
A: It's awesome. All three units, offense, defense, and special teams. It takes all that to win. Sometimes you can get away with one lacking, but today we needed all three and the defense and special teams helped out the offense a lot.
Q: How about getting Isaiah Hodgins a touchdown today?
A: Yeah, it was awesome. I'm trying to get everybody a touchdown, right (laughs). Just to see him get in the endzone though, I mean the way he did it, physical, dominant and I was so happy for him.
Q: And how about (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt)? What's he like as a receiver, like quarterback to receiver, what's that like with him and his speed?
A: Yeah, he's quarterback friendly. I mean anybody that's that fast and can make the plays that he makes is quarterback friendly, so it makes a lot easier to put those balls up for him, but he's just a special individual. Special player, route runner, whatever you want to call it and he's a confident dude. He tells me he's like 'I'm going to go get this ball for you' like if we call this, I'm going to make play. So, it takes a lot off my shoulders.
Q: Has it sunk in that you just beat (Patriots head coach) Bill Belichick's defense?
A: Not necessarily so much. I mean I said it earlier in the week like I respect him and everything that he's brought to this game. He's one of the best, if not the best coaches to ever come through this game, but at the end of the day he was not on the defense playing against me. His team was, he was coaching them, but he was not actually on the field, so I didn't think about it as so much of that sort.
Q: You've been sacked a lot of times in the first couple starts, but that's something that a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL don't win games getting sacked a lot. You've done that. While you have won games for the New York Giants, specifically two straight, what are some things you could do to ready up your pocket presence a little bit more? Is it a communication thing with the o-line, what's the scoop?
A: It's more of just getting the ball out quicker. There's give and take with all of it. Some of them could've been coverage deals, I just got to make some more plays. Start running it a little bit more, maybe a little sooner getting the ball out of my hands, using some throw aways more. So, I'll definitely be able to watch every snap that I've had so far during this bye week to be able to reevaluate myself and learn from it.
Q: Who do you think is waiting for you outside here?
A: I honestly don't know. I'm about ready to get up out of there though and go check it out, but I know my family is out there, so I'm going to be excited to see all them, I had a lot of friends and family here, so just excited to see everybody.
Q: What was the final count, do you know?
A: I'm not sure. I'm not sure, I think it was over 100. I don't know if it was as crazy as that preseason game, but there was a lot of people here.
Q: I know it has been a lot of focus on you being a great story, are you happy that people might be talking about you now as a good quarterback?
A: I mean yeah, I think it's a respect thing, is what it is. I'm going to go out and try to prove myself every single time I step on the field, whether if I would've been drafted number one overall or undrafted as I was, you need to go out and prove yourself. That status and all that doesn't really mean anything, but how you go out and play means something.
Q: The more people talk about you for things that are non-football, is this extra satisfying to know that your football has now gained that attention?
A: Yes and no. I'm not really an attention seeker, but more eyes are going to be on you, so it's going to be more criticism always, like always, but I'm just going to continue to go out, do what I do, try to lead the team to score points and win football games.
Q: How is going into the bye week with a win like that?
A: It's awesome. It's a good – you know you'll be able to really decompress, relax a little bit, but then get back into this next week, but really just enjoy it. I mean to have two back-to-back, we
are starting to get some real energy back, get some swagger back across the team, so I think it was really important to get it, especially before this bye week.
Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt
Q: When (Giants QB Tommy DeVito) looks for you, the ball always seems to be right there. How much of that is timing and chemistry that you guys as rookies were able to develop by being able to throw to each other for some time over the summer?
A: We started at rookie mini camp, then OTAs and training camp, so for me I wasn't really with the ones starting off and me and Tommy were with the threes starting off so we kind of built chemistry off of that during the offseason and going into the season. At the same time, it just goes to our preparation. Tommy had a great game. It all starts with the quarterback for being in the league. I'm very proud of him, what he has done, but for us we've got to keep going.
Q: It's all about opportunity. (Giants WR Darius) Slayton was banged up coming in, didn't get a lot of snaps today. How much was the wide receiver room aware of that and that you guys would have to step up in his absence?
A: Slay – one of our better players on this team – he was out just a little bit, he was limited, so for us as receivers we knew we had to step up. When one of our big guys is out, I know I had step up personally and the whole receiver room did, so I'm proud of our guys, I'm proud of how we executed, but we've just got to keep going.
Q: How do you explain your chemistry, your connection with Tommy DeVito?
A: Great quarterback, started in the offseason. I think it just goes to our preparation throughout the week. Game planning for teams that we were playing that week and I think now we're starting to build some confidence and when you have a confident quarterback, you can do anything you want, so I'm proud of him.
Q: How do you see that confidence?
A: With Tommy, first of all, he doesn't throw at warmups. At first, when I saw that, I was like, 'he didn't throw at warmups, what quarterback doesn't throw at warmups?', but he goes out there and throws beautiful passes, so that just shows me how confident he is in himself and with his team. So I'm very proud of him.
Q: Did you ever ask him why he doesn't throw at warmups?
A: Yeah, I ask him all the time. [Laughs] I ask him every day about it. He's like, 'I don't have to.' I think it's one of those things where he's a game player and that's what I respect about him most. We know when he goes out there on gameday, so honestly, I don't question anything about what he does and doesn't do.
Q: That's the first hundred-yard game by any Giants receiver this year. How hard has it been in this offense to get it going and how have the receivers managed to stay positive?
A: That's one thing I had to learn being up here. Just being at Tennessee I used to average a hundred yards and being up here was kind of tough for me and I didn't know, I went to (Giants Head) Coach (Brian Daboll) and asked, was it me, is there something I need to do better or anything and Dabs had a great talk with me one on one and just talked to me about how the League is, the NFL, and saying, one game you can have the best game of your life and the next game you can be humbled. It just goes to Dabs and how much respect I have for him and him teaching me about the NFL and the League and how it was. It was just tough for me at first, just going from averaging a hundred yards to not really get no hundred yards or fifty yards. So, it was tough to me, but I decided I had to stick it through, stick it through with my preparation and make sure I'm staying ready.
Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux
Q: Tackles for losses, sacks, forced fumbles, you just seem to be a specialist at those. It continues to happen week after week. What is it about your knack to do it?
A: I've just got to keep going; it wasn't the best day for me pass-rushing wise, but you have to find a way to impact the game in other ways.
Q: They talk all the time about having to establish the run, and at times, they did run the ball. You guys didn't have Dexter Lawrence in there, but you made the stops when you needed to. What was it about those key moments?
A: I give credit to my guys that stepped up; from (Defensive Lineman) Jordon Riley, the interior, even (Outside Linebacker) Jihad (Ward) had two sacks today, and that's in passing, but you talk about the run-game, he was stuffing and letting guys like (Inside Linebacker) Bobby (Okereke) and (Inside Linebacker) Micah (McFadden) run in and make plays. Big shoutout to them and if we keep building together as a unit, we're going to unstoppable.
Q: Thre three takeaways, again, after six against Washington last week, that is a very big spark to what you guys are trying to do.
A: We're watching film; guys like Bobby, myself, the safeties, they are getting in together and watching the film and breaking it down. They're becoming a family on the film tape.
Q: What about their quarterback situation? We talked all week, we didn't know who it was going to be, they wound up with (Patriots Quarterback Mac) Jones and (Patriots Quarterback Bailey) Zappe both in the game, how much of an issue was it to prepare for both of them and then when you got both of them in there, was it rough at all to have to make the adjustments?
A: No, definitely not. I think we just prepare for the scheme. Obviously, (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) has a great understanding of their head coach and play-caller, so we were able to scheme as a team and whoever was going to come in, was just going to be interchangeable.
Linebacker Bobby Okereke
Q: Is there something true to having a nose for the ball, or I mean you have interceptions, you have forced fumbles, is there something to that or is that just a hot streak?
A: No, for sure. Instincts are a big part of this game and I think (Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale) Wink does a good job of letting me play to those instincts for sure. Shout out to one of my former running mates, (former Indianapolis Colts LB) Shaquille Leonard I got to watch him first-hand fly around, get forced fumbles, interceptions, fumble recoveries. So, I'm doing my best maniac impression.
Q: Did you feel like that was a momentum change, the interception?
A: For sure. Obviously, the return was big but just the energy on the sideline. I know our offense feeds off us and we fed off them.
Q: What's been the difference with you guys as a defense? You've been creating a lot of turnovers recently, but that didn't happen earlier in the season.
A: Yeah, it's obviously always an ongoing and growing process. I think Wink's done a great job just seeing what calls work to our strengths, giving us opportunities to play with instincts in coverage, and we mix it up with our blitzes and everything. He just does a great job calling the game and putting us in position to make plays.