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Giants HC Brian Daboll looking beyond 'foundation' laid in first season: We 'have a long way to go'

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll is only in his second year on the job, but he's already well aware that each new season presents a blank canvas.

Speaking to NFL Network's Judy Battista at the Annual League Meeting, Daboll took the long view of Year 2 with Big Blue.

"I thought it was a good start," he said about his inaugural campaign with New York. "We laid a foundation. Have a long way to go. But just to interact with the people in the building, not just on the football side, but the business side, all the different departments. I thought (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and I tried to establish what we wanted to bring to the table. Certainly got a long way to go because this upcoming year, you're faced with the task again of building a team again. Not just collecting talent. So, 30 to 40 percent of your team is gonna be new. So different challenges. Certainly grateful for the opportunity, but made a lot of mistakes along the way. And (we're) trying to learn from them throughout the offseason."

For whatever mistakes Daboll and Co. committed last season, the good far outweighed the bad.

New York reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016 under the rookie head coach's guidance and won a postseason contest for the first time since its 2011 Super Bowl run.

Plus, one player being trusted to lead the franchise forward also had a notable season partly for the mistakes he didn't make.

Quarterback Daniel Jones excelled under Daboll, his third coach in four professional seasons. Jones posted a career-low five interceptions while finishing the year tops in the NFL with a 1.1 interception percentage, and he continued his ball-security improvement by fumbling just six times compared to 19 as a rookie in 2019.

His performance resulted in a four-year, $160 million contract a week ahead of free agency, a deal that rewarded Jones for his play but also provided a projection of what the Giants see in store for his future.

"It's his second year in the system," Daboll said regarding where Jones can improve. "I don't think he's had continuity since he's been there. We all can do a better job. I think that he really adapted to the things that we were asking him to do. We tried to implement a lot of the things that he likes to do. That's just another step going into the offseason of adding some more pieces. More players around him. And also him growing into the quarterback that we think he can be."

There's little question the Giants have taken steps to aid Jones' growth this offseason. Along with keeping running back Saquon Barkley on the franchise tag and returning veterans Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton at the wide receiver position, New York made splashes with the free-agent addition of WR Parris Campbell and trade for Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller.

The flurry of moves to bolster Jones' supporting cast should have fans excited for an offensive unit that escaped the league basement last year, jumping from 31st in points and yards the previous two seasons to 15th and 18th, respectively.

As for Daboll, he's most looking forward to the gelling ahead.

"The personalities, the relationships you build," Daboll said. "You try to do that in the offseason. Bringing people together is not easy. It requires work, and everybody has different personalities. The team from last year will certainly be different this year. Just because there's different people. So, how you lead those people, how you manage all their different personalities, that's what I get excited about."

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