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Brian Daboll cherishes Giants’ first ‘humbling’ moment

The drive from the Quest Diagnostics Training Center to MetLife Stadium only takes two or three minutes, and yet that’s when a thought hit Brian Daboll hard late Friday afternoon. He saw people in parking lots dressed in LT, Eli and Saquon jerseys, and gave himself a momentary break from the daily grind.

He was the head coach of the New York Giants, about to lead an NFL team into an NFL stadium for the first time.

“You just drive around and see the fan base here and you’re like, ‘That’s a pretty cool story and a humbling moment for me to be in this position,'” Daboll told the Post. “Seeing all the fans there for the first time knowing you’re their head coach and then standing on the sidelines – yeah, that was a bunch of firsts. Even thought it was just practice, a bunch of firsts.

It might be silly to attach any significance to a Blue-White scrimmage that doubled as Fan Fest at MetLife. Some 26,000 people gathered to watch Daniel Jones do good and bad in his own defense, and maybe half of those fans were just looking for something to do while letting the traffic relax before their late-night commutes. towards the shore.

But they showed up to watch something pretty meaningless that was damn meaningful to their rookie head coach. At 47, Daboll had never led a team at any level. He started as a volunteer assistant at William & Mary, and worked his way through the teams of Bill Belichick and Nick Saban before driving his success as the Bills’ offensive coordinator into the big job with the Giants.

Brian Daboll cherishes Giants’ first ‘humbling’ moment
Brian Daboll stands on the sidelines at MetLife Stadium for the first time as Giants head coach.
Robert Sabo for NY POST

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” he said in June, “so it’s not like I’ve been a coach for five years and got a boost. It’s 25 years of preparation, a lot of good ups and a few downs that you learn from. A lot of no’s, a lot of not finding a job. So every day I thank my lucky stars who… I am the head coach of a football team, not to mention the New York Football Giants. What an honor that is.

And this honor marked him before this intra-team scrimmage. After completing field practice and answering questions in the press conference room, Daboll was walking down the MetLife hallway when asked if the opportunity meant anything to him. He stopped and looked like he was about to get emotional.

“It’s hard to put into words,” he told the Post. “It was a different feeling to walk into the stadium for the first time as a head coach, to walk into the head coach’s office instead of a big hall with the assistants. I was kind of sitting there before the scrimmage. It’s humbling. It’s very humbling. I understand the role and I just want to do a really good job for our organization and for our fanbase.

“But it was definitely a pretty cool moment for me.”

No one knows how Daboll will be as a head coach, just like no one knows how fellow rookie Joe Judge would be the first time around. The Judge wasn’t a disaster – he just wrote his own disastrous ending. But even an amateur sleuth could scan the remaining judge players’ recent quotes and determine that they prefer (so far) the way Daboll runs this operation, from his energy to his communication methods to the freedom he gives. to its outside playmakers, you know, making plays.

Brian Daboll cherishes Giants’ first ‘humbling’ moment
Brian Daboll
Robert Sabo for NY POST

A Giants source with deep and longstanding ties to the organization said, “The whole building loves Daboll.” When asked if it seemed like the majority of veteran Giants made it clear they liked Daboll’s management style at Judge, the source replied, “One hundred percent. They make no attempt to hide this.

Tyrod Taylor, a 12-year-old veteran who wasn’t a judge but has seen a ton of coaches come and go, said Daboll impressed him every day with his mastery of the locker room and boardrooms and his how he earned the respect of the team.

“He does a great job of keeping everyone involved, but also not withholding information,” Taylor said. “He’s direct with us.”

Of course, this player connection will not matter if it does not appear on the dashboard. Considering the Giants have lost 10 or more games in five straight seasons, Daboll clearly needs to teach his team how to win. To do this, he says, he tried to create an ultra-competitive environment in all aspects of his program “whether in the cafeteria, in passing, in the locker room. It’s all about competition. … We engaged in a process of trying to improve and do things a certain way.

Coaches are so locked into this process that they don’t often walk away and appreciate the little things for the big things that they really are. But Friday night, on an early August drive that didn’t even cover a mile, and during the short time he was in head coach’s office before a Fan Fest scrimmage, Brian Daboll allowed himself to feel something he had never felt in his life as a footballer.

This should be noted…just in case he becomes the next Tom Coughlin or Bill Parcells.

New York Post

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