For New York Giants fans, last year’s season was one to forget. After going 4-13 and finishing dead last in the NFC East, the organization went their fifth straight year without making the playoffs. Not to mention, their face of the franchise running back, Saquon Barkley was out for the majority of the season with various injuries. Nothing was going right for the Giants, and for their fans, there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
However, in January of 2022, the tides turned. As the Giants were watching the playoffs from home, some big moves were made. After general manager Dave Gettleman retired, the organization announced the termination of head coach Joe Judge, and the hiring of general manager Joe Schoen. This was something to celebrate for many Giants fans, as they had not had a winning season since 2016. This left the New York head coaching job up in the air until late February, when Giants nation got a blessing, naming Brian Daboll the new coach. Daboll, coming off of a four year stint with the Buffalo Bills, is given the majority of the credit in building Josh Allen into the remarkable quarterback he is today.
As we now approach the seventh week of the 2022-2023 NFL season, the Giants are off to their best start (5-1) in 13 years, already surpassing their win total of last season. Daboll has changed the culture of the New York Giants, making them a more aggressive and deadly team. This was showcased the first week of the season when the Giants were down 20-19 against the Tennessee Titans with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter. With the game on the line, Daboll elected to go for two, which the team converted, giving them the thrilling win in the season opener. “Brian Daboll told me the moment he got the ball back, and he knew, ‘I’m going for two if we score.’ Going for the tie was never an option,” NFL insider Jay Glazer said. “He told the team the night before, ‘If we get chances to be overly aggressive in this game, we’re going to take those chances because I want to change the culture here.’”
Changing the culture is exactly what Daboll has done in East Rutherford, as his fiery passion for winning has turned the Giants organization around for the better, lifting them to huge wins, such as their victory over the Green Bay Packers in week five (a team they hadn’t beaten since the 2013 season).
Another huge impact the coach has brought to the GMen has been his work with the team’s quarterback, Daniel Jones. Throughout his career, Jones has been known for his surplus of turnovers, whether it’s a fumble or interception. However, Daboll saw the potential in the young and mobile passer from the time he first entered the Giants facility. Daboll has effectively changed the dynamic of the Giants’ offense, who have struggled deeply to put points on the board the past few years.
This new offense is built around getting Jones on the move and being an effective scrambling quarterback, creating opportunities for big plays as he leaves the pocket. “I think the system brings out a lot of the strengths of our guys,” Jones said in an interview with ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan. “Inside the pocket, outside the pocket, making plays with my feet, whether it’s a scramble or quarterback-designed run. All that stuff has been good for me, and we’ll continue to work on it.” This change of dynamic for Jones has certainly proven to be working, as his 67.9% completion percentage is above his career average of 62.9%. He has also been able to lead the team to delivering on huge plays, such as his two yard run on fourth and two late in the last quarter against the Panthers which allowed the team to ice the game and seal the win.
In those instances where Jones has slipped up, Daboll has ripped him apart, pushing him to play at his best no matter the scenario. This was shown at the very start of the season, where Jones threw a costly interception against the Titans early on in the game. As Jones went to sit down on the bench, Daboll took his headset off, and let him hear it. He has made it clear to the quarterback that he will receive nothing but tough love, as he wants to push him to the point where there are no longer any costly errors, and the Giants can be high-sailing into the playoffs once again.
Whether it be the Giants record or the transformation of Jones, Daboll has made his impact on the franchise in his short time so far. There is no way but up for them as they continue on their surge towards ending their playoff drought and making their stride towards Super Bowl LVII this February. Daboll’s culture-changing effect has already made him a coach of the year candidate, and if his team keeps their momentum up, he will be a unanimous winner come the NFL Honors Ceremony in early February of 2023.