Brian Daboll wasted no time Tuesday afternoon in announcing his quarterback decision.
“Tommy will start,” Daboll said.
"Tommy" is Tommy DeVito, of course, the undrafted rookie who worked his way up the Giants depth chart as veterans Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor sustained injuries. Jones is out for the season, while Taylor, a 13-year veteran, returned Monday.
On Monday night against the Packers at MetLife Stadium, DeVito will make his fourth career start.
“I think Tommy’s done a good job,” Daboll said. “He’s improved in each of the games he’s played. I thought he played well the last two games, made good decisions, was accurate with the football and earned the right to play.”
Asked if he believes that DeVito gives the Giants the best chance to win, Daboll said, “Yeah, every decision we make is for that reason.”
For DeVito, the rise has been swift.
“I was told during the week, the bye week, that there was a decision that was going to be made,” DeVito said. “I’m happy about it, but at the same time, it’s still a job. You still have to go out and perform. [I am] just going to go out and try to get better every day and earn the respect of my teammates and coaches [on] every play.”
For Taylor, there was disappointment. He said so.
And this: So much for not losing your job because of injury.
Taylor revealed for the first time Tuesday that the injury he sustained against the Jets was four broken ribs, including two displaced.
Taylor said he was “disappointed” by the decision.
The Giants are hoping Taylor comes through the practice week in position to be the backup on Monday night.
“He’s a pro,” Daboll said of Taylor.
That DeVito is the starting quarterback for a team that has not been eliminated from postseason shows the faith Daboll has in him.
Daboll has been working with DeVito this season and clearly saw promise.
It’s unlikely, however, that the head coach ever saw his quarterback position unfolding as it has. Daboll would need a crystal ball, at least, for that to be the case.
“He was in a different spot as the third quarterback,” Daboll said. “Not getting a ton of reps, a lot of one-on-ones. Obviously, you’re devoting a ton of time to the guys that are either the starter or the backup.”
But DeVito was in the meetings with quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.
“It’s been a process,” Daboll said. “He’s still a young player, we’ve still got a lot to learn, but he’s done a good job with his opportunities.”
Decisions like these are weighty.
At 34 and in his 13th NFL season, Taylor might get another opportunity, particularly as a backup. But there are no guarantees.
Asked if this was a “weighty” decision for him, Daboll said, “I would just say that I have a lot of respect for both of those guys. Obviously, Tommy is a young player and particularly for Ty, I’ve got a ton of respect for him. He’s been in this league a long time. You have to make a decision, and that’s the decision I ended up going with and, again, Ty was a true pro about it.”
It does not sound as if Daboll is planning to reconsider the decision on a week-to-week basis.
“I’d just say let’s get ready to go this game and then we’ll, like we do every week, revisit things,” Daboll said, “but Tommy’s going to be the starter.”
GIANTS SNAP SHOTS
The Giants are relatively healthy coming out of the bye, but defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (hamstring) did not practice. “He’s getting better,” Daboll said, “hopefully we’ll have him out there soon.” Tackle Evan Neal (ankle) also did not practice. Daboll said tight end Darren Waller (hamstring) is making progress but is “not ready yet.” Offensive lineman Matt Peart, and running back Gary Brightwell are also progressing. … The Giants have an opening for the third quarterback position. Asked if Matt Barkley is back on the practice squad, Daboll said, “Not yet.” He indicated that the Giants are interested in bringing him back. But first, he has to clear waivers. … With Syracuse interested in hiring running backs coach Jeff Nixon as their offensive coordinator, Daboll has basically given his blessing. “I worked with Jeff back in 2011, got a lot of respect for him and his family. Something we’ve talked about. He hasn’t made that decision yet but an opportunity to be a coordinator, whether it’s in the pros or Division I-A, those are hard to come by, so we’ll see what he decides with that. Asked if he would expect Nixon to finish out the season with the Giants, Daboll said, “I would, yeah.”