GIANTS HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE BEFORE KEY GAME AGAINST BALTIMORE
Q: (Wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) – where’s he at?
A: He’s in the meeting room.
Q: For Sunday?
A: Making progress. He’ll come out here, he’ll practice today and we’ll see where we’re at. Like normal Fridays, we’ll talk about it after practice. I think he’s making improvements.
Q: You’ve had a couple of guys, he’s been out I think four weeks, a couple of other receivers, a couple of other players who have been out multiple weeks who you didn’t put on IR. Is that more salary cap related and money stuff? Or is that they haven’t healed as fast and thought they would be back within four weeks?
A: Probably every situation is a little different. (General manager) Joe (Schoen) and I talk about all of those different things every day. We just try to do what’s best we think for our team.
Q: Have you thought about putting (wide receiver) Kadarius (Toney) on it at this point? Just giving him time to get right. Obviously, he’s had the multiple hamstring problems. At what point is it more valuable for him to just give him time and get him fully right and then bring him back?
A; We’ll just keep on rehabbing him. I think he’s making progress. We’ll see where we’re at next week.
Q: Speaking of progress, (safety) Landon Collins?
A: Learning how we do things here. Again, your first week here, there’s a lot to learn, a lot to pick up schematically how we do things. He’s making progress.
Q: What kind of shape was he in?
A: Making progress.
Q: Do you think (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) and (defensive lineman) Leonard (Williams) will play this week?
A: I think Leonard has had a good week, I think he’s taking good steps. I think Azeez has, too. I think today is an important day for both of those guys. I’d say Leo is probably a little further ahead.
Q: We saw some video that the Giants sent out that in the combine meetings you asked (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) right before you drafted him, “What’s is it going to be like if you’re in New York and you go four games without a sack? How are you going to handle that?” Well, he’s in New York and he’s gone four games without a sack. How has he handled that?
A: Affecting the quarterback. That was a combine question. I think he’s done a good job of the things we’ve asked him to do. I think he’s steadily improved. I think he’s affecting the quarterback. Obviously don’t have a sack but as long as he’s continuing to affect the quarterback and doing the things we ask him to do, I think he’s made a lot of good progress for us.
Q: How much does facing a quarterback like (Baltimore quarterback) Lamar (Jackson) effect the turn around? The edge guys, do they have to be a little more cautious when they’re rushing?
Q: Yeah, you have to be cautious with everything with this guy. The play is never over. He can be in one spot and quickly be in another spot. He can choose to pull up and throw it, run. I think it’s going to take all 11 guys – the interior guys, the edge guys, the backers. He’s a tough player, a tough quarterback to defend.
Q: Is there such a thing as being too aggressive rushing him?
A: Yeah, you never really want to be too far behind a quarterback when you’re rushing. But you certainly, you don’t know – he’ll take his drop and if he needs to step up, he steps up and if he has to escape, he escapes. He’s a very unique player in this league. Like I said before, he’s a lot of fun to watch because he’s such a talented player and he’s a winner.
Q: Lamar obviously knows the defense, right? He’s played against a version of it for years in practice and (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) obviously knows him. Generally, do you think it’s an advantage for one side more than the other either way?
A: Probably not. It’s really how you play and do it on that particular day. I was an assistant for a lot of years, you go to another place and the defensive coaches say, “What are they going to do here? What are they going to do here?” I think it’s important to talk to the people that have been in certain places whether they’re asking about a player or a certain thing. If you get too far into that, I think sometimes it hurts.
Q: Do you have any major influences in how you approach game planning? Are there people in your past that you turn to?
Q: Now that you’re in this position as a head coach.
A: No. I’d say that I was fortunate to learn on the defensive side of the ball for my first five years. Worked special teams, scout teams for the early part of my career. Obviously, been on the offense. Again, I think it’s important to let (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) and Wink and (special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac come up with what they feel is going to be the necessary things we need to do. I watch all the games; I watch all three sides. I meet with those guys regularly, let them know my thoughts. “Hey, do you think about adding this?” Or, “Why are we doing this?” Make sure we have good discussions back and forth. Then, we try to come up with the best plan. But I give those three guys credit as leaders of each of their units – they’re spending a ton, a ton of time and really digging into the details. I’ll just give my two cents here and there and try to come up with the best plan we can.
Q: The timeout at the 1:11 minute mark last week, why did you decide to take that?
A: Well, if they score – get the ball back and try to go down there and score.
Q: Another thought on Landon, more big picture. When you guys brought, I’m thinking bringing in (safety) Tony Jefferson earlier this year and adding him to the practice squad. We know the links he had to Wink and the guys on the defensive staff – with Landon, it’s a unique situation because he has familiarity in the building but not necessarily connections to the coaching staff. As you guys acclimate here, do you have to spend more time with a guy like that, even though he’s a veteran, to get him up to speed? He’s not here in training camp, he’s here during the year.
A: No, I’d say it’s consistent with all the guys that come in new that we sign. Again, our job as a coaching staff and the people in the organization is try to acclimate the player as quickly as we can and teach him how we do things in the building, teach him the scheme. We treat all our players the same in that regard, whether they’re a 10-year veteran coming in on the practice squad or an undrafted free agent. Their job is to learn it, our job is teach it.
Q: There were some teams last year that had some success blitzing Lamar a lot and it seems like this year, he is destroying the blitz. Have they done anything different? Is he doing anything different?
A: I think every game is different. Again, you can look at his record. That’s first and foremost as a quarterback, I think. He hasn’t had many losses. He knows how to win. Look, I’ve seen people blitz him and he gets out of it. He’s a unique player. All 11 guys got to be ready to go when you’re playing a quarterback that can play like this.
Q: (Tight end) Tanner Hudson, is he going to practice today?
A: He will not practice today.
Q: Listed as?
A: We’ll see after we go here today.
Q: Tony Jefferson?
A: Tony Jefferson, no.
Q: (Outside linebacker) Jihad Ward, is he practicing today?
A: He is.