Brian Daboll was the toast of the town in his first season with the Giants, leading New York to an unexpected postseason appearance and winning multiple coaching awards.
Daboll’s rock star status in the Big Apple has not gone unnoticed by team owner John Mara, who said during a recent interview that he jokingly offered a lighthearted warning to his head coach.
“We kid him,” Mara told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I mean, right now he’s Bono walking around New York City.
“But I’ve told him — I’ve said: ‘In this business, it doesn’t take long to go from Bono to Bozo. So don’t get your head too big right now.’ But he has been great.”
In his first season as an NFL head coach, Daboll inherited a rebuilding Giants team that had posted five consecutive seasons with double-digit losses and finished last in the NFC East three times over that span.
Despite low expectations, the Giants went 9-7-1 under Daboll and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016, upsetting the Vikings in the wild-card round before being eliminated by the Eagles the following weekend.
Daboll, a longtime assistant at the NFL and college level, was named the NFL Coach of the Year by both The Associated Press and the Pro Football Writers Association of America.
“He likes to go to Rangers games at the Garden, and they put his picture up there and he gets these standing ovations week after week,” Mara said during the interview. “So it’s a pretty cool thing to see.”
Daboll said earlier this week at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona that the Giants still have a “long climb” in 2023 and beyond to catch the Eagles, the reigning NFC champions who won all three meetings between the division rivals last season.
“What you do one year has no correlation to what you do next year,” he told reporters Tuesday. “What you do one game has no correlation to what you do the next game. … In terms of where we’re at and things we got to do, we got a long climb ahead of us.”