Less than 24 hours after 11 sacks and a 97-yard pick-six had sullied the New York Giants on Monday night in a 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, it was a tablet toss that very much commanded the conversation in Gotham.
Addressing the media and myriad questions about his sideline frustrations, Giants head coach Brian Daboll was steadfast Tuesday that he and Daniel Jones are on the same page and his technological outburst was not literally aimed at his quarterback.
"No, I wouldn't throw a tablet there," Daboll said Tuesday, via team transcript, when asked to clarify if the tablet was thrown at Jones. "I just tossed it to the side because obviously it was a little bit of frustration, but, no, I wouldn't throw a tablet at him."
Moments after Jones had thrown an interception that Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon returned 97 yards for a touchdown, Daboll was addressing him on the sideline. With Jones on the bench and Daboll standing in front of him, the head coach was animated and clearly agitated before he spun a computer tablet to the side.
Frustrations boil over for players and coaches alike on NFL sidelines weekly, but with the Giants off to a miserable 1-3 start, it was a moment that not only became a harping point for the media, but emblematic of the team's frustrations.
Safety Xavier McKinney suggested on Monday that the Giants were in danger of the season going "sideways." Daboll, the reigning Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year, maintains that hard work is the only prescription for Big Blue's current sickness.
"I mean, my thinking is come back ready to work tomorrow and talk about the things we need to improve and go out there and improve and ultimately play better on Sunday," Daboll said when asked about McKinney's comments.
It is the offense's need to play better that has been at issue more than anything. In the Giants' three losses, they're averaging five points per game. New York is dead last in the NFL in points scored (46) and 31st in yards (1,366).
Jones, particularly after signing a $40 million per-year extension, is the face of the Giants' tribulations, even if he was running for his life on Monday. He was sacked 10 times and threw two interceptions, but was also the team-high rusher with 66 yards and accounted for 269 of New York's 315 yards gained.
Daboll maintains that he and his quarterback are on the same page and though these aren't the greatest of times in Gotham, they're working together toward improvement.
"Again, things aren't going great," the head coach said. "Again, I'm not exactly sure what the cameras did or did not show, but Daniel is a coachable guy. I like working with Daniel and we've got some things we've got to do better."
Progress is a must if the Giants are to salvage their season. The stats and a 1-3 start don't lie.
At the end of Monday night, there were more tablets thrown than touchdowns, 1-0.
"Again, the tablet thing, I'd have to go back and see it," Daboll said. "But again, I remember exactly what it is. We were talking about a particular play, and I just tossed it off to the side."
More than likely the "tablet thing" will get tossed to the side in the coming days, but the losing thing will not until the 2023 Giants begin to resemble the 2022 club that made the playoffs.