Giants’ Brian Daboll says he’s sorry but he’s growing as a coach
Giants’ Brian Daboll says he’s sorry but he’s growing as a coach

ORLANDO, Fla. – All the yelling and screaming that surrounded last season left New York Giants coach Brian Daboll feeling some regret.

Daboll and the Giants went 6-11 in a tumultuous year that ended with an explosive meeting between Daboll and former defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. It ended with Martindale cursing out his former boss and the two sides eventually parting ways.

“Yeah, there are times I wish I’d done things a little differently, of course,” Daboll said of the past year. “So you keep growing, you keep evolving.”

At one point mid-season, Daboll dismissed the idea of ​​a rift with Martindale, saying “the biggest argument Wink and I have ever had is who has the last piece of pizza.”

The emotional Dabol came under fire last season in part for the way he interacted with his team. Several of his assistants were unhappy with the work environment, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN over the past few months.

After a tumultuous offseason, the Giants have seven new coaches in addition to two newcomers to their strength and conditioning program.

Daboll said he is a “passionate” person and that every offseason as a coach involves self-evaluation and change. This offseason was no different. Some of the things he looked at included their planning processes, how they practice, their meeting structure and their leadership group.

“You have to grow in this business,” Dabol said. “You have to learn from some of your mistakes. You can try to build on some of the things you think you did well and do it with an open mind.”

Most of Dabol’s emotional outbursts were there to be seen from the sidelines. He had a very tense conversation with Martindale in a blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys that went into halftime. Earlier in the season, he flipped a tablet on quarterback Daniel Jones after a lackluster game.

It has not gone unnoticed, although the Giants also do not believe it has reached a point where any intervention is necessary.

“There are times I wish he’d tone it down a little bit,” owner John Mara said Monday. “But I also attend the team meetings and see how he behaves around the people and his coaches in the office. He always keeps his cool there. Does he sometimes get excited during games? Yes me too. I don’t think it’s a serious problem.”

The Giants went 9-7-1 and won a playoff game in their first season under general manager Joe Schoen and Daboll. Year 2 didn’t go exactly as planned, in part due to injuries to key players.

Owners’ confidence in Schoen and Daboll has not waned.

“I still believe we’re moving in the right direction and I have all the confidence in the world in Joe and his team and in Brian Daboll and his staff,” Mara said. “I think the communication is great. I think the process they’re going through is great and I think we’re headed in the right direction. Obviously, until we start winning games, not everyone will accept that, but I happen to believe it.”

The performance so far has Daboll and Schoen entering their third year facing outside pressure. But they were steadfast in their desire to build the team the right way. It takes time to rebuild a roster that was in chaos when they took over.

Mara remained patient after firing New York’s three previous coaches after two years. Schoen and Daboll are now in Year 3.

“I think you always have to give them positive reinforcement, and I think I did,” Mara said. “Have I given them any guarantees? No, I haven’t, but I think they both know I believe in them.”

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