Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 01-31-22

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
Guaranteed to please at least half the Giants' fan base, new head coach Brian Daboll showed up for work Monday in a blue pick-up truck.

It was exactly 10 days earlier that the Giants, having dismissed both general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge, began their search for a new head coach under the guidance of their new general manager, Joe Schoen.

Among the first few pieces of information the former Buffalo offensive coordinator imparted were these - He plans to keep defensive coordinator Patrick Graham if he doesn't get a head coaching job, and he has no plans to replace quarterback Daniel Jones.

"I've known Patrick for a while now, and I've been impressed with his coaching skills," he said. "If he wants to stay, he will. I know he's interviewed for a few head coaching positions [notably Minnesota] but if that doesn't work out I'd be happy to keep him here."

As for Jones, Daboll sounded almost enthusiastic. "He's got the right mindset," he said. "He's got good size. There's a lot of things to like about Daniel and we'll just take it one day at a time. We'll work with him. We'll help him get better. We'll help him be a better leader. We'll help him be everything. That's our job as a coaching staff and as an organization.

"It takes everybody. It's not just me. It's the rest of the coaches on our staff. It's the scouts. It's the support staff. It's the ownership group. It takes a lot to raise a quarterback, if you will, and he's been around the block here these last three years with some different pieces. We're going to try to give him some stability and just take it from there."

As to whether Daboll had set his mind to the Giants' job (various teams interviewed him, with Miami appearing to be the most likely), he said: "Look, this was a dream come true. You're talking about the New York Giants [and] I understand the challenges with that. It's just a great opportunity that was afforded to me and my family and we look forward to it. We've been working here for two days now. We've got a long way to go. [But] it's an historic franchise and I look forward to being a part of it."

Daboll appeared impressed that Jones was "waiting for me in the building" on Saturday when he showed up for his first day of work. He admitted that "made a good first impression on me," And then, perhaps to Jones' relief, he added: "We're not going to put any expectations on him. I know he wants to do well. He's a hard worker and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Daboll is given must of the credit for developing Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen into one of the league's best, but he says he started working with him "from the start and we had consistency in scheme, consistency with the coaches and it took time to build. It didn't happen overnight. So I want to get to know Daniel really well at first and see what makes him tick and then we'll take it from there.

"I know he's really consistent, but to compare where Josh is and where Daniel is, well, I don't think that's fair to do to either one of them."

Daboll said that Jones was one of the first players to call him when he was named to the new job - "and I appreciated that" - and that running back Saquon Barkley also was an early phone caller.

As to expecting too much too soon, Daboll dismissed that notion. "The NFL is an unstable place to work," he said. "Things chance to fast. Look, two years ago Cincinnati won two games. Last year they won four. Now they're in the Super Bowl. But first things first. Right now I'm trying to hire a staff. And I think we have to start crawling before we can walk."

Team co-owner and president John Mara was asked his opinion of finally reaching a decision after interviewing five prospective head coaches. "Well, we had five terrific candidates and at the end of the day I probably would have been comfortable with any one of them," he said. [But] what Brian did up in Buffalo and his track record with Joe [Schoen] and their level of comfort with each other is what tipped the scales at the end of the day."

Now it's time for Daboll to hire a staff, get ready for free agency, prepare for the draft and, along the way, make sure Jones is properly schooled."

And you think you have it easy?

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