Who are you, and what have you done with Brian Daboll?

Brian Daboll was named head coach of the New York Giants, the 20th in their history, on January 28, 2022. The hiring came one week, to the day, after the Giants hired Joe Schoen as their new General Manager. Daboll led the G-Men remarkably well in his first year, a season which culminated in a playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Yet, in 2023, that same beloved coach has devolved into a red-faced, F-bomb-happy menace on the sidelines, and fans have been left searching for answers as to why this has happened.

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Brian Daboll Sits at the Center of New York Giants' Futility in 2023

Let me begin by saying this: I believe Brian Daboll is a very good football coach. He was revered by those who worked with him in Buffalo, and what he orchestrated in New York last season was borderline miraculous.

That being said, I am a firm believer that Brian Daboll has lost his way in 2023, and is beginning to run out of time to find that magic again.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings
Daniel Jones with Brian Daboll / Getty Images
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There's a few things that specifically concern me. 

From what we saw on the sidelines in 2022, Brian Daboll wasn't afraid to be blunt with players from time to time. Here's a clip from 2022, showing a conversation that happened following a crucial Daniel Jones interception throw:

Meanwhile, here's what occurred on the sidelines during Week 1 of the 2023 season when he did the same thing:

It's a similar situation, as both interactions happened following interceptions thrown by Jones. In 2022, Daboll had a conversation with his QB, and though he was blunt, it's clear that he was treating it as a teachable moment.

In 2023, however, there was no conversation. It almost seemed as though Daboll couldn't be bothered to explain his frustration, let alone help Jones avoid that mistake in the future.

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Then, we have the reports that surfaced on Monday. ESPN's Jordan Raanan shared comments from Giants' safety Xavier McKinney, who said this:

"Honestly, it sucks. But, I don't know, man. I don't really have many words. I think that from a leadership standpoint, I don't think they've done a great job of letting the leaders lead, and listening to the leaders and the captains."

"It's just been tough. I don't want to speak on it too much, but that has been my frustration. It's tough losing your quarterback. We tried to fight through it but we couldn't." - Xavier McKinney via ESPN

 

Though a head coach is certainly an important part of the equation for any football team, that coach cannot be the only leader in the room. That person has to delegate to assistant coaches, who in-turn empower veteran players to lead their peers on the field and off it.

It's an ecosystem of sorts, and one that seemed to function properly in New York last season.

New York Giants v Green Bay Packers
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Here's the bottom line: I don't believe that Brian Daboll will get fired after the 2023 season, regardless of what the team's record ends up being. He and Joe Schoen have been in lock-step since the former was hired by the latter, and it is my belief that, instead, Schoen will do his best to build a better roster (including a new QB) for Daboll and his staff this offseason.

That all being said, the New York Giants are a three-ring circus right now, and the longer that remains true, the shorter Daboll's leash will end up being.

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