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Giants’ coach Brian Daboll on his coaching staff, evaluating the roster, more

Daboll talks about his whirlwind first few weeks as the Giants head coach

NFL Combine
Brian Daboll
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll addressed a wide variety of topics during his 2022 NFL Scouting Combine media availability on Tuesday.

On his coaching staff

Daboll’s coaching staff is filled with experienced NFL assistants. Interestingly, many have never worked with him.

“I think the most important thing when you’re trying to put together a staff is take your time, really ask a lot of questions. I involved a lot of the guys that were on the staff or when we hired them, they became involved in the interview process ... I think there’s merit for discussion and collaboration and getting the right people in the right spots. That’s what we tried to do. It took a while. It basically took the whole first month to do it the way we wanted to do it.”

Wink Martindale the “right fit”

The Giants hired Don ‘Wink’ Martindale to run their defense after Patrick Graham chose to join the Las Vegas Raiders. Daboll explained why:

“Well he’s got a good track record at Baltimore it was a tough scheme to go against, he’s been very successful. He interviewed with a lot of the guys that were currently on the staff with us and went through the process, and he was the right fit for us.”

Daboll would not commit to a scheme or what Martindale’s defense would ultimately look like.

“Well, time will tell. We just really evaluated our roster right now. I think the important thing when you do that is everybody has foundations that you come from, but you’d better figure out what your players really do well. Watching on tape is one thing, so you have to lay a foundation of what you believe in, obviously, but once we get them out there and we’re able to run around and be in the meetings, we’re gonna have to do a good job as a coaching staff and try to put them in the best position possible,” Daboll said. “Wink’s good at fundamentals, he’s good at scheme, and along with the other coaches we brought in. I think Jerome (Henderson), he’s gonna provide a great resource to Wink and Dre Patterson. A lot of the guys we brought in. We’ll find out as we get going here. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka

Daboll has spent most of his career coaching offense. Thus, the hire of former Kansas City Chiefs assistant Mike Kafka as offensive coordinator is an interesting one.

“I have a tremendous amount of confidence in (Mike) Kafka, that’s why we hired him. He was a tremendous interview, really a smart, obviously went to Northwestern, played the quarterback position, really did a good job in Kansas City,” Daboll said. “We hired (Mike) Groh from Indy that was at Philadelphia, there’s a couple guys that came from buffalo. It’s much like the conversation we talked about with Wink: we’re gonna have to do a good job of figuring out what our guys do well. I think that’s the most important part as a coach: figure out what they do well and try to let them do it.”

Daboll said he did not think the Kafka interview was more intense because of his own offensive background.

“You’re just trying to figure out who the right coaches to bring on the staff are to do what you want to do, but I think it’s important to figure out what they’re going to bring to the table. He was really impressive, I’ll say that,” Daboll said.

Daboll said he and Kafka have not determined who will call plays, saying only “we’ll get there.”

The staff “rock star”

Daboll sung the praises of Laura Young, whom he brought from the Buffalo Bills to be the Giants Director of Coaching Operations. Young was the first woman to join the Giants’ coaching staff.

“I’ve said this about her before, she’s a rock star. She’s done this for 18 years,” Daboll said

“LY has done a lot of roles in her 18 years, and she’s been instrumental for me these first 3½ weeks. She’s been with the coaches, she’s been with the administration. She’s done a lot of things, she’s been with the trainers, she’s done a lot of things.”

Young entered the NFL in 2004 with the Baltimore Ravens. She had been working with the Bills since 2015.

The current Giants’ roster

Daboll and his staff have been busy with many things, including learning as much as possible about the players already under contract. His thoughts?

“There’s some guys to work with,” he said.

“When you evaluate the players when you’re new, since I’m new it’s a lot easier to evaluate them when them you’ve been around them. You know them as people. You know how they learn, you know how they are on the field, you know how they are with their responsibilities, instinctive or not instinctive.

“This evaluation was he’s got good short space quickness, he’s got good long speed, he does a good job of coming back to the ball, he engages, he gets off on the ball, he sheds. Now you have all these pieces, and then you have pieces that you need to upgrade or you don’t have a piece.

“That’s where we’re at right now. Once we get ‘em in our job is to figure out what they do well in our system.”