Brian Daboll took to the podium at his introductory press conference — his first official day as the New York Giants’ 20th head coach — just hours after the Cincinnati Bengals punched their ticket to Super Bowl LVI.
The Bengals won just four games last season before making one of the most dramatic turnarounds the game has ever seen.
Daboll is now taking over a Giants team that is coming off a 4-13 2021 season that prompted the retirement of GM Dave Gettleman and the firing of head coach Joe Judge.
Now, with his former assistant general manager with the Buffalo Bills, Joe Schoen, taking over GM duties for Big Blue, Daboll is the man who will be tasked with helping turn things around in “downstate” New York.
Maybe just not as fast as what the Bengals managed to pull off.
“Right now, I’m just trying to hire a staff,” he said to laughs on Monday morning. “We’ll cross those bridges when we get to it. That’s impressive [what the Bengals did] but let’s just start crawling before we can walk.”
That’s probably a better pace for a Giants team that has made the playoffs just once in the last decade while stringing together five consecutive seasons of double-digit losses.
“We’re just going to try and do things the right way,” Daboll said. “There’s pressure in every job in this business. Obviously, we’re here in New York and we understand the market, but we put pressure on ourselves, too… If you’re prepared, the pressure is less.”
A franchise that has been perpetually stuck in neutral — at the bottom of a ditch — was plagued by one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season. It only got worse when quarterback Daniel Jones’ season ended in Week 12 due to a lingering neck injury.
As the Giants sputtered to another 13-loss season — just their second such campaign in 97 seasons — questions understandably arose about Jones’ long-term fit on this team and whether or not he could meet the unfairly high expectations that came when he was drafted well-ahead of schedule at No. 6 overall in 2019 by Gettleman.
Schoen already gave Jones a vote of confidence and, for now, he’s perceived as the No. 1 man under center in 2022. So it was only natural that Daboll will be viewed as the man to unlock a new level to Jones’ game. After all, he was the mastermind that brought Josh Allen’s game to an All-Pro level over four years as the Bills’ offensive coordinator.
“We’re going to take it day by day,” Daboll said. “We’re not going to make any predictions. I wouldn’t do that to Daniel… I don’t want to compare him to another guy. He’s himself. We’re going to find out what he does well and implement a system that suits him well… There are a lot of things to like about Daniel… We’ll work with him, help him get better, help him become a better leader.
“To compare where Josh is to Daniel, that’s not fair to either dude.”
Daboll is unsure at this time whether or not he’ll be the one calling the offensive plays for Jones, adding that it will come down to who is hired as offensive coordinator.
On the defensive side of the ball, Daboll revealed that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is welcome to stay on in that role should he not be hired as a head coach somewhere else.
“Selfishly, I would like him to be here,” Daboll said. “I think he’d be a great support system for me.”