Perhaps the Meliora spirit is the solution to turning the New York Giants around. The team finished the 2021-2022 season with a 4–13 record that placed them at the bottom of the NFC East and resulted in the firing of their head coach Joe Judge. In the hope of becoming “ever better,” the team hired UR alumnus Brian Daboll ‘97 as its new head coach.  

The former Yellowjacket has found much success in his career. After starting at safety at UR for two seasons before an injury ended his playing career, he served as a student assistant during his senior year and then began his coaching tenure as a volunteer assistant at William and Mary. Most recently, he returned to his roots, serving as the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills from 2018 to 2022. Prior to working for the Bills, Daboll coached powerhouse teams in both the NFL and the NCAA, including stints with the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the New England Patriots, where he won a College Football Championship and multiple Super Bowls, respectively. 

His time with the Bills coincided with the arrival and ascension of quarterback Josh Allen, who has already drawn comparisons to beloved Bills legend Jim Kelly. The dynamic duo of Allen and Daboll revolutionized the team and the functionality of their offense. During their time together, Daboll was 2020’s Associated Press Assistant Coach of the Year and Allen set many records, including becoming the first player to score 100 passing and 30 rushing touchdowns in his first four NFL seasons. Daboll is credited by many for developing Josh Allen’s skills and reforming him into the renowned player he is today.

Daboll has made both stars and history alike. On Jan. 16, 2022, in the first round of the NFL playoffs, his offense completed the first perfect offensive game of the Super Bowl era. Buffalo had no turnovers, punts, interceptions, or field goals and scored a touchdown on every possession in their game (with the exception of their ending kneel) against the New England Patriots, advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs and shocking the country with their never-before-seen feat. Against a historical rival in a high-stakes environment, this game especially demonstrated all that this year’s Bills were capable of, largely because of how well Daboll had developed their strong offense.

The hiring has not been without its hiccups, however. Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, is suing the league and three teams, including the Giants, for racism and discrimination in multiple instances. Flores and Daboll not only have their first name in common, but also past experience working with New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick. Their shared names led to a text message slip-up in which Belichick meant to offer his congratulations to Daboll on his new position, but mistakenly reached out to Flores — before Flores had even interviewed with the Giants for the job. Thus, by accident, Flores discovered that his upcoming interview was a facade and that he was not being met with a fair opportunity. This controversy is unfolding in real time; it remains to be seen what will happen in the lawsuit with the front office staffs of the sued teams and the NFL as an organization.  

Following the release of the texts, Daboll’s hiring was officially announced, and he has begun to assume his duties as one of 32 NFL head coaches. Just this past weekend, his selections for his coaching staff were published, and he will continue to make forward strides as he attempts to rebuild one of the NFL’s most famous franchises. 

Ironically, the New York Giants play in New Jersey (along with the New York Jets), making the Buffalo Bills the only NFL team located in New York state. Though Daboll’s promotion may be taking him out of NY, his western New York roots remain with him as he continues to forge a legacy and make the football world ever better, reminiscent of his days here on the River Campus.

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