Amid Odell Beckham Jr. drama, Brian Daboll and New York Giants focus on Washington

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll didn’t seem entirely sure his big-play receiver Darius Slayton would be available to play Sunday. He did not participate in Friday’s practice and is currently listed as questionable on Sunday.

Did that change the amount of time you spent preparing for the dinner the Giants had with Odell Beckham Jr. on Thursday night?

“All my time is in Washington,” Daboll told the assembled media on Friday. “I just got a free meal.”


The emphasis is understandable, as Sunday’s game against the Washington Commanders represents a potential turning point in the NFC playoff battle, one in which all four NFC East teams hold a dominant position.

However, that can change quickly for New York, despite its 7-2 start. A loss would leave them 7-5, combined with a Seattle Seahawks victory on Sunday, and the Giants would be out looking in with five games remaining in the season, including two to play against 10-1 Philadelphia.


Still, Daboll isn’t trying to promote his team further in December, even though the players have made it abundantly clear that they have the playoffs in mind.

“You can’t really do that,” Daboll said. “You have to be dizzy every week in this league. It is a humiliating league. We have had some victories. We have had some losses. You have to try to be consistent in your approach when you go out to practice, when you go to meeting rooms. You need that every week. As a coach, you have to take the pulse of your team and see what they need to help them get to that point during the week. Our boys have worked hard. What wins in September also wins in December. You can’t forget that either.

This December game gets even tougher with an already compromised secondary, lost cornerback Adoree Jackson and safety Xavier McKinney now navigating nagging injuries to replacements like Darnay Holmes and Dane Belton who are questionable for Sunday.

It’s all enough to keep Daboll focused on the here and now, however talented his dinner partner may be with what he described as “a good steak.”

“I try to take it day by day,” Daboll said. “This is how I do it. I think there are many things that can change. I don’t think you can focus on the change that could happen three days from now, two weeks from now. That doesn’t really do you any good. It’s simply ‘What can you do today to help your team be the best it can be? How can you be as good as you can be?’ This is how I take it: one day at a time.”


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