Brian Daboll knows losses, and losing streaks, are coming. He knows that sooner or later some of his decisions will backfire, and that the media and fan base will roast him when they do.
He knows his tenure as the New York Giants’ head coach, all sunshine and rainbows thus far as the Giants are off to a shocking 4-1 start, won’t always be that way.
“We’ve only played five games, so this is a very humbling league,” Daboll said on Monday. “It can get you quick.”
How does Brian Daboll react to Coach of the Year buzz around his name?— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) October 10, 2022
"It's all about the players, give those guys credit" pic.twitter.com/Ta9xbMufGM
Thing is, in those five games it has been obvious that Daboll isn’t Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur, or Joe Judge. He isn’t Nathaniel Hackett, who looks hopelessly out of his depth as head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Daboll was deserving of and ready for this head-coaching opportunity. His personality has breathed life into a franchise that needed it. His trust in his players and staff have a revelation. His no excuses, figure out a way to get the job done attitude have been a big part of the Giants’ success.
Daboll isn’t Tom Coughlin or Bill Parcells yet. He has a long way to go and there is a lot of work to be done for to even get close.
Still, to this point it certainly looks like Daboll is the right man at the right time for the Giants.
Here are some of my thoughts after re-watching the ‘condensed’ version of the Giants’ victory over the Green Bay Packers:
- The physicality the Giants play with on defense is notable play after play. The Giants play every snap with urgency and aggression, and that’s a credit to the attitude Wink Martindale has instilled.
.@Giants came to London on a mission; compete and lay the wood every chance you get. There is PRIDE in wearing the Giants Bucket. Love watching these cats run and hit. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/Bc8TCA5oGd— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 10, 2022
- I have been asked why David Sills plays as much as he does despite having only eight receptions in five games. Part of this is because of the injuries. Part of that, though, is because of what the Giants are asking of their receivers. Sills blocked at least two Green Bay defenders on Saquon Barkley’s 40-yard run. He also sealed the edge and then threw a second block on Barkley’s game-winning 2-yard touchdown run. Why is he playing? Because he is playing winning football.
- I really want to believe that special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey is right that Gary Brightwell will shine as a kickoff returner when the Giants figure out their blocking. Yet, I watched Brightwell let a kickoff bounce in front of him on Sunday and it made me wonder if he’s the right guy for the job.
- I didn’t give Jason Pinnock enough credit on the nearly disastrous fourth-quarter punt that bounced off of him. Pinnock should have gotten away, and that’s on him. When the ball hit him, though, Pinnock did do an outstanding job to hustle and swat the ball out of bounds so the Packers could not recover. Again, a winning play.
- On the game’s final play I thought Kayvon Thibodeaux made what could have been a devastating mistake. Charged with outside contain, the rookie blasted inside after Aaron Rodgers and allowed him to escape the pocket to his left — where we have seen him make miraculous throws before. The hustle of Oshane Ximines, though, bailed him out.
Wink vs. Lamar
We will talk much more about this, but the most fascinating thing about Sunday’s game for me is Giants’ defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, the former Baltimore Ravens’ coordinator, scheming against Lamar Jackson, a quarterback he knows as well or better than anyone.