Giants now have to show they can handle prosperity

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Anyone who knows Brian Daboll will tell you that it didn’t take long for him to return from Cloud 9, that taking bows for winning his first game as a head coach lasted about as long as it took for his clothes to dry after his Gatorade bath in Nashville.

No one inside 1925 Giants Drive has reported John Mara or Daboll doing the Griddy outside the lobby glass case that houses the franchise’s four Lombardi Trophies, although you couldn’t blame them if they broke one out.

Now how will the Giants handle quote-unquote prosperity against Carolina in Sunday’s home opener?

We should consider it quote-unquote prosperity since Ben McAdoo in 2016 was the last Giants head coach to start 2-0, and Daboll is the first since to avoid an 0-2 start. Hardly Tom Brady’s definition of prosperity, but GB12’s hubby hadn’t been 22-59 entering the 2022 season.

Daboll isn’t taking receipts, he is taking no prisoners in his quest to field a Giants team better this week than last. So there he was on Wednesday, relentlessly twirling his whistle under a beautiful Big Blue sky, double high-fiving Jamie Gillan following a punt, closely watching Daniel Jones air it out, conferring briefly between drills with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, walking briskly to the field where the defense worked, across from the fence that blared BE A PRO in white capital letters on a blue background with red trim.

It is impossible for any of them not to hear or read or see how the fan base has quickly morphed from disaster to euphoria, and the Giants, from Daboll on down, are as excited to see Giants fans on Sunday as Giants fans are to see them.

Giants
Giants running back Saquon Barkley blocks linebacker Tae Crowder during practice.
Noah K. Murray

But the critical message delivered by Daboll was being parroted on Wednesday from locker to locker inside the Giants locker room.

“It’s just one game. We haven’t done anything yet,” Jones said.

It’s human nature for the fan base to go bonkers, especially after so many years when fans felt they were being treated inhumanely by their team. It’s not OK for a team just beginning to try to learn how to win to throw a Canyon of Heroes parade for itself.

“You should feel good after a win,” Leonard Williams said, “but don’t buy into the hype, and stick to the process.”

F-yeah! Dancing Daboll will play to win. “Don’t overreact,” Saquon Barkley said. “Just focus on the little things.”

A sign in the weight room reads “Win the Day.”

“He was just telling us like flush the last game, we’re on to the next game,” Xavier McKinney told The Post. “He’s come from winning programs, he knows how to flush it and keep moving on.”

Cloud 9 one Sunday, Ground Floor three days later.

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New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney works out at practice on Wednesday.
Noah K. Murray
NFL
Giants coach Brian Daboll
Noah K. Murray

“We really haven’t done anything, we won one game,” Jon Feliciano said. “I know outside they’re excited, and I’m happy for them. But, you can win one game and lose the next 16. Our focus is just going 1-0 every week, and he hammered that home.”

Indeed he did. To his players. To the media.

“One week really has nothing to do with the next week,” Daboll said. “It’s a one-game season every week. … I think staying in the moment for everyone in our organization is important, and focusing on the Carolina Panthers.”

It’s nevertheless a refreshing moment.

“It sucks when you lose a game,” Daboll said.

Tell the Giants owners about it. Tell the players about it. Tell the fans eager to fill MetLife with hope about it.

“They’re pretty smart up here, so the more we can get in there the better it’ll be,” Daboll said. “They’re part of our team on home games, and I firmly believe that. … And we gotta give ’em a reason to cheer, too.”

The Giants are 12-28 at home since 2017.

Jones: “We talked a lot about winning at home, protecting the home field, and we’re all excited to do that.”

Barkley: “Hopefully we can go out there and give ’em something to be proud of this year.”

A 2-0 start would be a start. But only a start. And the Daboll Giants seem to know it.

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