Giants HC Brian Daboll Calls Playoff Experience 'Overrated' Ahead of Vikings Matchup

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2023

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants coaches during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 08, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll isn't too worried that many of his key players don't have any playoff experience ahead of Sunday's road matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card Round.

"Really, the experience is probably overrated, to be honest with you," he told reporters Monday. "It's how you prepare, how you practice and, ultimately, how you play the game and coach the game on whatever day it is."

As ESPN's Jordan Raanan noted, nine of the team's 10 captains—quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, defensive backs Xavier McKinney and Julian Love, defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, long snapper Casey Kreiter and special teamer Cam Brown—have zero playoff experience.

That doesn't come as a huge surprise, considering the Giants haven't made the playoffs since 2016.

"I've been on a lot of different teams that had varying levels of experience," Daboll said. "Some a lot, some a little. I know someone mentioned Malcolm Butler. I think really what matters is taking advantage of your opportunities when they come. And playing a good football game. Coaching a good football game."

Daboll also cited the fact that Tom Brady won a Super Bowl in his first playoff trip. At the time, Daboll was a defensive assistant for New England.

Nobody is going to mistake Jones for Brady. But there's no doubting the team's enthusiasm for finally ending the playoff drought.

"We're excited because this is the stuff you dream about as a kid in the National Football League," Barkley told reporters. "Not many people on this team had an opportunity to play in the playoffs. It has been a tough couple years here, and we finally have our shot. We feel we have a balanced team that complements each other really well. It's a one-week season now."

The Vikings will be a tough first test. Minnesota won the Dec. 24 meeting between the teams 27-24 on Greg Joseph's game-winning 61-yard field goal.

The two teams will face off again at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox.