In Daboll’s vast playoff experience, the lesson he has learned about experience in those winner-take-all games is that it’s “overrated.”
“I’ve been in so many different situations. The first year that I was part of a Super Bowl the quarterback didn’t have any playoff experience there at New England. Some of the guys did, some didn’t. We had some experience at Buffalo. We lost,” Daboll said on Monday as the Giants turned their attention to Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.
“I think really what you make out of it is the experience probably is overrated. It’s how you prepare, how you practice and ultimately how you play the game and coach the game. I’ve been around a lot of different teams that had varying levels of experience — some a lot, some a little. I think really what matters is taking advantage of your opportunities when they come and playing a good football game and coaching a good football game.”
It’s a good thing Daboll sees it that way. Most of his Giants plays don’t have much any playoff experience.
“I think you make more out of it than it really is,” Daboll said. “Experience. Not experience. The most important thing is playing and coaching well.
“Just gotta go and get ready for a game, play a game and play and coach well.”
All Daboll wants is the best his players and coaches can give him this week.
“Our foundation is built on our consistency, our approach, our work ethic, how we do things on and off the field, all those type of things,” he said. “It’s what we do this week. I think everybody understands that. It’s what we do this week and ultimately how we go out there and play in the game, because what wins in Week 1 wins in the playoffs. And what loses in Week 1 loses in the playoffs.”
Daboll has harped on consistency of approach all season. That isn’t changing.
“Like I say every week, I can live with the results, I don’t like ‘em, I can live with ‘em if we’re doing the right stuff. I think we have a bunch of people in our building that try to do the right things on and off the field.
“I think the focus has to be where it’s always at. It’s this particular week. We’re guaranteed one more week, that’s it. So everything you’ve got to do the right thing off the field, everything you’ve got to do the right thing in the building, everything you’ve got for practice, everything you’ve got for meetings, prepare as hard as you can prepare and feel confident going into a game and then go play and coach. That’s what it is to me.”