EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Dabs' Digest, Giants.com's weekly conversation with head coach Brian Daboll:
Q: Does it feel to you as if you have spent the whole season so far on the road and is it good to get home? Is one of the keys to turning this around to play better at home?
Daboll: "I think it's just to play better, but this is our first one o'clock game this year and it's against a division opponent (Washington). A big week."
Q: Every loss is crushing, but it seems there were numerous positives in the Buffalo game: better pass protection, no turnovers, more production in the running game. Did you see it that way and is that what you accentuate this week, the positives?
Daboll: "I do that every week. There's always something good to gain from it and then there's always stuff that we need to get better at. And then there's a significant number of things that we've been working on to try to improve, guys competed, came up short, but it's certainly part of our process of how we go about our weekly business."
Q: The players have been asked this week about not scoring an offensive touchdown in the last three games. When they are reminded like that, does it concern you that it begins to weigh on them?
Daboll: "No. I mean, that's where we're at. We're going to fix that, and that's what we have to focus on."
Q: When Saquon Barkley plays, you're averaging almost 90 more total yards and 50 more rushing yards, overall.
Daboll: "He's a good player. Anytime you can have your best players out there, it's always helpful."
View photos of the MetLife Stadium field design for Week 7's Legacy Game - presented by Quest®
Q: You've had five different starting offensive line configurations, which is tied for the most in the league, and you're going to have a sixth this week. Have you ever been a part of an offense that's had this much change up front and how difficult is it on a week-to-week basis to plan and prepare?
Daboll: "There has been quite a bit of changes, but there's no excuses. We work hard with the players. The players are working hard. They're here for a reason and our job is to get them ready to play and their job is to get ready to play."
Q: Justin Pugh had three practices, one in pads, he didn't take a single rep at left tackle and then played almost the entire game there. How much did you know about Pugh before you worked him out in Arizona and how rare is it to find someone like that who can step in and do what he did in the middle of the season?
Daboll: "I've been around a lot of different offensive linemen. When you're a veteran and you've played a long time, you have a good understanding of what it takes to play offensive line. Guard is a little bit different than tackle, but he's athletic, smart, was only here a short amount of time, but he's played the game. That was something we talked about before the game. He'll be ready to play wherever we need him to play this week."
Q: And that's a valuable trait to have when you can say that about somebody, isn't it?
Daboll: "It's the same thing. You go to the receivers, and they need to play four different spots. If you have a guy that is capable, mentally understanding of it and then physically can do it, that's always helpful."
Q: You spoke this week about how important it is for Jalin Hyatt to get game reps and run routes against opposing DBs. Is it more important for a wide receiver than it is in other positions to get out there and do it in a game?
Daboll: "I think it's important for any young player, so you're always balancing experience with the youth of a player and when they're young, they usually don't have NFL experience. He's earned playing time. We're going to give him playing time, and he's going to have to continue to earn it and keep improving, whether it's the understanding of what we're doing or how to do it. But he's done a good job since he's been here of preparing and practicing the right way."
Q: Why do you think (linebacker) Bobby Okereke has stepped up so noticeably in the last couple of weeks?
Daboll: "Just a good player, good leader for us. He's made a lot of plays, productive plays, too, taking the ball away. I think he's been part of four of the five turnovers in the last two weeks. He's got speed, length, does a good job reading the quarterback, made a good tackle on (wide receiver) Gabe Davis the other night. We need him to do that."
Q: Do you think any of it is has to do with getting further into the season and he's more comfortable in the scheme now?
Daboll: "I just think he's done a good job of playing. I'm sure experience in the system and knowledge and all those things play a factor, but his skillset, he's done a good job with that."
Q: The Commanders have been very good on the road; they're 2-1 and took Philadelphia to overtime. Some teams just play better on the road. The three games they have played on the road, have you seen a common thread why they're doing so well?
Daboll: "They've played well. That's usually what happens in this league. You play good, whether you're home or away, you have a chance to come out on top. If you don't, and you make mistakes, regardless of where you play, you usually don't. You could play good for one game and still be on the wrong end of it. Again, they played good. Arizona was a tough game. That was the first game of the year and that was at Washington. Then, Denver, they were down big, they came back. They beat Atlanta on the road, played Philly good in overtime and then the game got away from them against Chicago and Buffalo. This has been a good football team. They have really good players up front; they got a bunch of first rounders (on the defensive line). The quarterback (Sam Howell) is doing a really good job of distributing the ball. They pass it a lot, a lot of dropback passes, and he's done a really good job of moving in the pocket, making accurate throws, throwing on time, and they have good skill around him."
Q: They've got five players with at least 130 receiving yards, so he is spreading it around.
Daboll: "Absolutely. (Terry) McLaurin is a really good player, but then you got (Jahan) Dodson, you got Logan (Thomas), you got (Curtis) Samuel. Then you have (running back) Brian Robinson and they run a variety of screens, and they're pretty good at it. They've done a good job. I think Coach (Eric) Bieniemy (the offensive coordinator) has done a heck of a job."
Q: Howell has been sacked an NFL-high 34 times. When when you watch the tape, how does he react to the pressure?
Daboll: "He's tough. He stands in, makes difficult throws under pressure. He's a good young quarterback."
Q: There are four running backs in the league with at least three rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. We've already played three of them (Christian McCaffrey, Raheem Mostert, and Da'Von Achane). Brian Robinson is the fourth, so you've hit all of them. How does he compare with someone like McCaffrey?
Daboll: "I had Brian at Alabama. Brian is a tough runner. He's a load to bring down and you have to wrap up, you have to get a lot of hats to the ball. He's not looking to go out of bounds when he gets the ball down near the goal line. He is trying to run through people. He does have quick feet. He's got a good sidestep. He's got good speed where he can hit an edge or pop out because of his footwork, but he's a load."
Q: It seems like we always talk about how good their defensive front is. They have four players with at least three sacks each.
Daboll: "I think coach (Jack) Del Rio (the defensive coordinator) does a good job. The coverage ties in with the front and the pass rush and they've been productive."
View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 7 matchup against the Washington Commanders.