Maybe the best and most important thing about Tommy DeVito’s rise to at least temporary New York Giants cult hero status is what it has done for his teammates in the midst of an unexpectedly awful season.
It has made them believe that they aren’t wasting their time coming to work every day. That they can still take some positives from and accomplish some good things during a season that went haywire pretty much from the moment it started.
Here is what Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke said about DeVito on Sunday evening after DeVito helped the Giants defeat the Washington Commanders:
“I thought in the first quarter he came out and was pretty dynamic in the passing game, and that really sparked everything. Defensively, we felt confident going out there knowing that the offense was going to strike back if they struck us.”
DeVito went 18 of 26 for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns on Sunday. It was pointed out on Sunday that Daniel Jones has not thrown that many touchdown passes since his rookie season of 2019, when he twice threw four TD passes and once threw five. DeVito had a passer rating of 137.7, highest of any of the three Giants quarterbacks this season.
A local high school hero, the undrafted free agent rookie is now a local hero. He’s the toast of the fan base.
“Tommy has got a good personality and I think he draws a lot of people with him,” head coach Brian Daboll said on Monday. “He knows how to interact with people, and I think those guys [teammates] have confidence in him, but it’s good for them to see him have some success.
“The last few weeks that he’s been practicing he’s brought an energy to the team.”
How long will this last? Who knows. We have seen backups come out of nowhere, flash, then crash, before.
Maybe DeVito’s ride has already crested. Maybe it lasts a while. Maybe he shows staying power. Maybe he doesn’t.
Whatever happens, he is trying to keep it in perspective.
“If anything it’s more about my family than anything. It’s going to be more people saying hello to them. There’ll be enjoying them. But for me, I’ll be in the locker room doing everything with the guys so I’m not really external, outside the stadium as much. Same deal as maybe happened in high school or college when you start getting a little more notoriety for some things, but I’m going to keep my head down and play football,” DeVito said. “I know they love you one week, hate you another. I know how it goes the past two weeks. It’s all bad and today, I’m sure it’s good. And then you know it just depends on the week, but I’;d like to stay even keel minded and just enjoy the process.”
No matter how long it lasts, DeVito has brought some joy to a locker room — and a fan base — that needed it. He’s brought some belief, however short-lived it might be, that the Giants can play competent offensive football. He has helped Daboll, simply because he has at least temporarily relieved the bubbling pressure felt by a frustrated roster.
“I’ve seen from him, and this is through camp early in the season, confidence,” said defensive back Jason Pinnock. “He’s a confident guy, and it all comes from his preparation. He soaks the game up whether he’s in or out. So, it’s just a lot of confidence in that young guy because of how he handles himself as a professional. So, nothing he’s doing right now is surprising to a lot of us truthfully, he’s just blessed that the world gets to see it.”