How Giants players are viewing call to stick with Tommy DeVito


A quarterback controversy is the fastest way to divide an NFL locker room.

But the Giants’ leaders are backing head coach Brian Daboll’s decision to start undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito over veteran Tyrod Taylor on Monday against the Packers. Taylor started each of the first three games that Daniel Jones was sidelined but missed the past four with broken ribs, opening the door for DeVito.

“The team reacted well,” linebacker Bobby Okereke said. “We’ve all rallied around Tommy these past couple games. We have the utmost respect for Tyrod — the way he carries himself and the body of work he’s had in his career — but we’re excited for Tommy.”

Unlike Jets head coach Robert Saleh — who declared benched-and-returned quarterback Zach Wilson as the starter for the rest of the season — Daboll is taking a week-to-week approach with the position. That decision could minimize any veterans who quietly feel like Taylor is getting a raw deal because he has the superior resume (27-27-1 record as a starter and 62 touchdowns to 26 interceptions) over his 13-year career and lost his job to injury.

New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots
Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the Patriots. AP

“Because there’s respect for both guys, I think we don’t have the drop-off,” left tackle Andrew Thomas said. “If it was something where we felt like one guy wasn’t putting in as much work or that he shouldn’t be the guy, that’s a different story. I don’t think we have that issue.”

Wins have been hard to come by over the years for the longest-tenured Giants, so sticking with the hot hand after back-to-back wins can resonate.

“Regardless of who is playing, we expect you to be at your top performance and ready to go,” safety Xavier McKinney said. “The NFL is about wins and losses.”

Playing DeVito to evaluate him for the future is one thing.

Playing him because he gives the team the best chance to win — as Daboll said — on the fringe of a playoff race is another, but offensive coordinator Mike Kafka doubled down when asked if he thinks DeVito is the best bet for winning.

“I sure do,” Kafka said. “I think when Dabes made the decision, I fully support it. That’s really where our focus is.”

New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor
Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor AP

Taylor hasn’t masked his disappointment in Daboll’s decision, but he isn’t making things untenable for teammates, either.

“I guess it’s kind of like the talk of the town right now — the decision to go with Tommy over Tyrod,” running back Saquon Barkley said. “I think Tyrod is handling it well, being a professional — kind of like we knew he was going to be.”

The Giants watched a highlight tape earlier this week that included teammates celebrating copying DeVito’s celebratory old-school Italian hand gesture.

“Daboll talked about how we are playing with awesome passion,” Okereke said, “and I think that’s a reflection of the energy that Tommy has brought.”

Receiver Isaiah Hodgins said that DeVito did a good job emulating Taylor’s poise when things are high and low to make it a seamless transition.

“I don’t think anyone is pissed off because we know we win games,” Hodgins said. “It can happen [in some situations], but we have so many talented quarterbacks that we feel like it’s next-man-up.”

Source link

You may also like