Giants legend defends Brian Daboll after rocky 2023 season

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll walks on the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

When New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll led his team to the postseason in 2022, the hope was they were finally out of the dark days and primed to become a perennial playoff team under the new regime.

Unfortunately, last season made 2022 seem like an anomaly. The team went 6-11, finished third in the NFC East division, and a reported feud between Daboll and former defensive coordinator Wink Martindale defined what was a massive step backward in their rebuild.

Former Giants RB Tiki Barber deems criticism towards Daboll ‘complete and utter BS’

Giants, Tiki Barber, Saquon Barkley
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Giants running back Tiki Barber thinks that criticism directed at Daboll is unfair and that he is not the reason for the team’s struggles.

“It is complete and utter BS,” Barber said on WFAN via Audacy (h/t GiantsWire). “When you think about how well this team played, despite all of the issues, at the end of the season, that’s coaching.”

Alluding to Barber’s point, the Giants did play better in the second half of the season, though it was not enough to climb them out of the hole they dug themselves in to start the year. After starting the season 2-8, they went 4-3 over their final seven games, including an inspiring victory over the Green Bay Packers led by third-string sensation Tommy DeVito. Despite the strong finish, the Giants still had many glaring flaws in nearly every facet.

The Giants dealt with problems in several different areas last season. Their offensive line allowed 85 sacks, the second most by a team in a single season in NFL history, and starting quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a torn ACL that led to him missing the final eight games of the regular season.

Prior to Jones’ season-ending injury, he struggled on the field and took a downward spiral from the season before. He threw two touchdowns and six interceptions in the first year of a four-year, $160 million contract extension.

Despite last season’s struggles, 2022 is a reason to be hopeful

Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll at the NY Giants NFL team held an organized team activity at their training facility in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday May 30, 2024.
Credit: Tariq Zehawi/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

However, the first year under the Daboll regime is a sign that he can lead both Jones and the team to better play. In 2022, Jones had the best season of his career under Daboll, throwing a career-best five interceptions, hitting a career-high in passing yards with 3,205, and had the best quarterback rating of his career at 62.9.

Barber added that the Giants can be successful if Jones stays healthy, stating that Daboll’s leadership will be the key for them moving forward.

“There is some excitement that is going to build around here and what Daboll can do with this group of talent on offense, if Daniel Jones is healthy,” Barber said on WFAN via Audacy (h/t GiantsWire). “I think the Giants can be good. They’re not gonna be terrible. . . it is such disrespect to a team that is coached exceptionally well.”

With Daboll expected to lead the charge for a third season, he is already the longest-tenured head coach of the franchise since Tom Coughlin. It is clear that general manager Joe Schoen and his brass are done with going through the revolving door of head coaches each season and are putting their full trust in Daboll.

2024 will tell a lot about how long the Daboll era should last, but if one thing is clear, it is that it is too soon to pull the plug.

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