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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll breaks down Week 14 win

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: I know you're happy to be doing this again with us this morning. What do you think has been the key to the defense these last three games, obviously overall, but particularly with the turnovers?

A: We are doing a good job of running to the ball, make opportunities when they have opportunities to be made. It's tied in -- front and coverage -- it's tied in well on the interceptions but rallying to the ball, population, and getting hands on the ball, that's important. So, effort is a lot of it. Again, coverage and front tie together, looks. We need to try to keep doing this.

Q: I want to ask you about the fourth down decision around midfield in the second quarter. Did the crowd influence you at all or what happened there?

A: (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) did.

Q: What did he say?

A: He said, 'We'll get it, put it in my hands.' I said, 'Ok, let's go.'

Q: Does he lose some voting power then after the result?

A: No, no. I like when guys do that. We actually had that called on a third and one and we had false started, we go back to third and six and get it back close enough to do it. The look wasn't exactly the same as it was on the third and one that we got, but it wasn't just Saquon. I would say it was the linemen, too. They were pretty comfortable with trying to run that play that we actually had called on the third and one and give credit to Green Bay, they made a good play.

Q: I know this is probably going to make you cringe a little bit and I want to say that I'm not comparing (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) to the greatest quarterback of all time, but you were on the staff in New England when the 199th pick came out of nowhere and took over the team –

A: We're four games in. I do appreciate the question.

Q: Here's why I wanted to ask you. What do you remember about that and when did guys start believing in the other (former quarterback) Tom (Brady)?

A: Whew, that was a long time ago. I would just say every situation is different. I couldn't probably give you the answer that you're looking for. I think we were 1-3, something like that. I couldn't give you a tangible story or anything like that. It was a different time, different players, different team, but obviously, it is well documented. We're just trying to make a first down and execute in the red zone right now and do a good job with our responsibilities with where we're at.

Q: Let me try another one on you. You mentioned it last night about the pressures of performing in a city where you grew up and you had that at your last job. What was that like for you? Do you talk to Tommy at all about giving him advice for that situation?

A: I'll keep those conversations private, but it's a little bit different because a lot of your family are around, so they kind of live it with you as compared to if you're working somewhere else, maybe they're not right in the boat with you, but they're right there. So, there's a lot of things that are going on for you. When you've got to do a really good job of focusing on keeping the main thing the main thing, which is your preparation, and you can't get too high, you can't get too low. It's not always going to be perfect, there's going to be people tugging at you in different areas. The commitment of staying focused, of doing your job well, is important.

Q: Two young guys who I thought played well last night, (wide receiver) Wan'Dale Robinson and (cornerback) Deonte Banks. What impressed you about both of those players in that game and what have you seen how they've been growing up to that point?

A: I'd say both of the guys have good competitive toughness and stamina. Again, we talked last week a little bit about Wan'Dale and still coming back from a tougher injury for a perimeter receiver and a player that uses his quickness and speed as his strength. But he's steadily gotten better, I'd say physically, which improves your confidence. In the last few weeks, you can really see explosive quickness, he ran some really good routes again, was open quite a bit. Had the big play in the run, played with toughness, I'd say played competitively. For a smaller guy, too, he was mixing it up pretty good. Then Tae's been consistent for a rookie in a tough position. He's done a really nice job all year. Again, another competitive, young player who loves the game of football. Give (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and his staff a lot of credit for both of those guys for the work that they've put into the process of bringing them aboard, the right kind of people. He had 12 tackles, I think, yesterday, which we knew was going to be an area for us that we had to do a good job of, particularly how Green Bay liked to really stretch the field horizontally in the running game. They made a few plays on us, but we made a few plays, none bigger than the two-point play, but he's done a good job with really everything that we've asked him to do. He's got a really good personality for that position. Again, credit Joe and the rest of those scouting – college scouts, area scouts -- for putting work in for both of those guys but still, young players. Much like we talked about with Tommy, still have things we've got to get better at.

Q: (Wide receiver) Parris Campbell, was that a knee injury that kept him out of the game? Saw him pop up there.

A: He had it on Friday but it was really a product of we had to get some more – we had to get (defensive tackle Jordon) Riley to the game, based on where (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II) was in his pitch count, (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson) with his, (safety/inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons) Zay, he had a little bit of an ankle so we had to have some backup plans so it was really more of that than the knee.

Q: A little bit more on Wan'Dale. Just in terms of, you obviously mentioned his size and the way he plays, it seems like you guys are able to use that to your advantage at times. I know you mentioned the route running and really the explosion he can have. In today's game, I think even going into the season, there was so much talk about your receivers. That you didn't have any big guys, you had a bunch of small guys around there, slot guys or what have you. What about today's game allows a person of Wan'Dale's size and skillset to really excel the way the game is played now?

A: I wouldn't necessarily say it's the way the games played now. Again, receivers come in all shapes and sizes. Just go back to my years of coaching at New England, we had (former wide receiver) David Patten, who was 5-9, (former wide receiver) Deion Branch, who is maybe 5-9 and (former wide receiver) Troy Brown that played pretty much the whole season. Then, I've been around guys like (former wide receiver Brandon Marshall) BMarsh. The object, or the goal of a receiver, the job requirement is to get

open and catch the ball and he has good spatial – I'd say, look, you know the game is a little bit more spread out than it was in years past, but he does a good job of reading coverages the proper way, being where he's supposed to be. Again, I've said he's still working back to full health, I would say, where he can put his foot in the ground. I mean, if you really watch the route that was a huge play for us in the two-minute, the stem that he used and his quickness and explosiveness to get back and beat the leverage of the DB who wanted to stay outside of him. I'd say that's been a work in progress up to this point. Just being able to do those type of things. I credit him a bunch because he's fought through, it wasn't perfect. It's a tough injury for particularly a guy who uses that quickness and that speed. Relative to years past or not, I think the game is a little bit more spread out, but I've had small receivers, tall receivers, really fast receivers, some slow receivers, so their job is to make sure we put them in the spots that they can excel in their route running but they have to be able to recognize the coverages and break off routes when they're supposed to break them out, sit when they're supposed to sit, run away. He's still, obviously, a young player but I think the way he approaches the game, I've really got a lot of respect for Wan'Dale. I'm glad he's here.

Q: Before I get to my actual question since you love a food joke, have you had the DeVito family cutlets?

A: No.

Q: He never brought them in, you never have tasted them, nothing?

A: No.

Q: Okay.

A: I'm on a diet.

Q: Oh yeah, do chocolate chip cookies fit in there?

A: Come on now.

Q: You can see a guy's arm strength, you can see his mobility and stuff on film, what about the nerves of steel that he showed in that drive last night? Did you know that was in him or did you have to see that and if you knew it was in him, how did you know it was in him without actually seeing it in a game? Was there something he showed you on film at Illinois or is it his personality, how did you know he was going to be able to do that before you actually saw it last night?

A: I mean, you don't, but I certainly have confidence in him, that's why he was out there. Again, he's done everything we've asked him to do since he's been here whether it's OTAs, work, leading up to training camp, he knows what he's supposed to do. He knows he's got stuff to work on, but I think he sees the game pretty well, he sees coverages, he's usually one of those guys – not usually, he is one of those guys, for a young player, particularly at that position, which isn't always the case, but when he comes off to the sideline and you are asking him questions about why he did what he did, what he saw, you watch the tape the following day and it's like 'yep, that's exactly what happened.' So, he's continuing to improve and that's what we will try to do this week.

Q: You've been asked the past couple of weeks about your relationship with (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale), this is not one of those questions, but when you look at your offensive coordinator (Mike Kafka), obviously he got a lot of attention last year for (quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) progress and the way the offense played, got a bunch of head coaching interviews. How has that dynamic in year two been with you and Mike with the offense not doing as well at times? Because you mentioned him three or four times yesterday, praising him for certain things.

A: Yeah, I think he's done a good job. Again, he's had to move around a lot of pieces, he's shown really good leadership. I think he's been instrumental in helping Tommy. He's a good communicator, he's got good vision. I thought he called another good game yesterday and real happy we have him.

Q: What did you like best about – you know you mentioned a couple of play designs and timing of certain plays, you were in that role for a lot of years. What did you like best about a certain thing that he did last night?

A: Really, I just thought he had good flow. He was on it quick, he knew exactly, he was decisive on what he wanted to do. I really loved the flea flicker play, when he called it, why he called it. Again, if Wan'Dale doesn't make an unbelievably play, then everybody is like 'ahh.' I just thought he had really good instincts in the game yesterday. Did a good job of communicating with the coaches, got to the zone read game, made necessary adjustments. He was locked in pretty good.

Q: With (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins) and that touchdown, I went back and the TV tape did not help me a lot. What did he do so right in my mind to extend that play and almost give Tommy the time to get it to him, if I'm reading that properly?

A: Yeah, no, just that. He saw Tommy scramble, he scrambled where he needed to scramble. Something I talked about yesterday of continually trying to improve on, but he's a big body player that we've used down there, and he's made some good plays here the last couple weeks. Thought Tommy put the ball exactly where he needed to put it. Isaiah was right where he needed to be, has strong hands, reached out and plucked the ball with his hands, got his feet in, it was a good play. There is a lot of times in this league you are going to have to make huge plays down in the red zone because that's just the way it is. Defenses play route concepts really well, there is some where it's timed up and exactly the way you draw it up, but a lot of times it's who can make huge plays and keep plays extended, either with your legs as a quarterback or your eyes, the skill players being where they are supposed to be and Isaiah, he did that last year, too, down in the red zone. There's a number of plays that he executed that weren't exactly the way it was drawn up on the paper, but had a good feel for uncovering and being available for the quarterback.

Q: There were 14 quarterbacks drafted in this year. Why do you think Tommy wasn't one of them in retrospect, and what did you see that made you think, 'Okay, we want to take a shot on this guy?'

A: The first question is I don't know. Sometimes that happens.

The second thing is, again, I've talked about this. It started at the pro day. I thought he threw the ball well, ball came out of his hands, he was accurate, had quick feet. Then as we progressed from OTAs, to mini camps, to training camps, he has a good way about him, I'd say, one, as a leader, which I think is important. He can connect with all of his teammates. Some of the relationships he has and the things he does during practice with a guy like (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson), or then he's over there talking to the offensive linemen, or then he comes back… He's a pretty personable guy that I think keeps his head down. He did what he was supposed to do. Again, he's played in four games here. So, we're a ways away. But I think the players respect how he handles himself as a person, too, and his personality.

And then he's learned our offense. Again, I give a lot of credit to (Quarterbacks Coach) Shea (Tierney) and Mike (Kafka) and CJ, (Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) Christian Jones, who spent time with him, too, who has been really important for him. We put a lot of resources into this position. You need to. He's come along at each step. There are certain things the last three or four weeks that we've made a little bit of improvement on, but still got to go. The more he plays, the more he's going to see. As a young quarterback, you're going to see a lot. It's not always going to be perfect, but when people see him in

here and working, he's really just done what we've asked him to do, and it's really important to him. He loves the game of football. I think when you deal with the guy, I don't think he makes it bigger than it is, either. It's football. Obviously, it's the highest level, and there's different things and coverages and he's going to get tested, and one week you could be up, one week you could be down. We'll try to stay as steady as we can with his development.

Q: Last night I didn't hear of any injuries. I know you haven't gotten the report yet. Were there any injuries out of the game?

A: Not that I've heard, but I saw (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) walking in the hallway right before I came down. I said, 'Anything of concern?' He said, 'Don't think so.' So, we haven't had that meeting yet, but when we get it tomorrow, I'll let you guys know. Hopefully we came out of it okay.

Q: I just wanted to ask you about the resiliency and just the overall attitude in the locker room. I mean, at one point, obviously, 2-8, a lot of people had you dead and buried, but this team didn't appear to give up. They believed in themselves. Can you just talk a little bit about that resiliency and what you've learned from this group?

A: I think it's something that, I've said this before, you talk about it starting in OTAs. I mean, heck, I remember at the owners meeting, I talked about it at the breakfast. One year has nothing to do with the next. One game has nothing to do with the next. This is a tough league for everybody. You have to be able to handle the ups and you have to be able to handle the downs. You don't accept the downs, I'll tell you that. There's a lot of things that you have to do better to try to get yourself out of a rut. That's everybody, that starts with me. You don't get too high when things are going and you're winning a few games. Because this league is a humbling league. I've said it I don't know how many times, it's a very humbling league.

But what I do appreciate is the players and the coaches sticking together, working through things, having a strong commitment to improve, being good teammates. Those are all important things for all of us, regardless of what position you're at, to be able to do those things. I've got a lot of appreciation for our team and for our people in our building. It's never going to be easy. As good as it is one week, it could be as bad the next week. So, got to keep the focus where it needs to be. The only thing you could do, which is what we try to do every week, is to improve and play our best game for that following Sunday or Monday or whatever it is. It doesn't always happen, that's for sure, but it doesn't mean you don't try to make sure it does.

View photos from the Giants' Week 14 matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

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