When the going got tough for New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito, well, you know how the rest of the saying goes.
DeVito, an undrafted rookie free-agent quarterback who has been thrust into a starting role for the Giants after starter Daniel Jones (ACL) and backup Tyrod Taylor (rib cage) landed on injured reserve, had himself a rough outing last week in a blowout loss against the Dallas Cowboys in which he was sacked five times and fired to run for his life on a handful of others.
While the pressure didn't let up this week against the Washington Commanders, DeVito still managed to survive being hit 12 times and sack nine to complete 18 or 26 pass attempts for 246 yards and three touchdown passes, bringing his total as a starter to five.
“When things are going right, it's a lot of fun because it feels like you're just enjoying playing the game of football like when you were a kid," DeVito said after the game.
"It's easy to get away from that when things aren't going good. Like I said, great play calls by [Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka]. Great execution by everybody, and you know, the offense, defense, and special teams held their own, and some had a tremendous day.”
The Giants decided to stick with DeVito despite rough outings in relief of Taylor against the Jets, Jones against the Raiders, and the aforementioned Cowboys disaster in which the rookie didn't play horribly but didn't exactly do his part to raise the level of play around him.
Instead, they continued coaching him up, and their efforts, combined with DeVito's hard work, have finally produced fruit.
"They've had a lot of trust in me. They make that known," DeVito said. "So when they're calling plays, they’re calling plays that they're going to let me go out and do what I do. There are no handcuffs, so I appreciate that. They just continue to hold me to a high standard as I do myself.”
Daboll was generally pleased with the rookie's performance on the day.
“Look, there's some good stuff that he did. Made some good plays," he said. "He did a good job, and when he got behind the sticks that was when it was tough. Clean up some of those things where we got sacked; maybe we can not get sacked and get the line protected pretty well.”
Speaking of the sacks, DeVito showed a steely resolve that is rare for a young quarterback who plays behind leaky pass protection to accomplish, something he attributed to his college days.
"Yeah, I've kinda been in some similar situations like that before, but that's part of the quarterback position," he said. "You have to stand in there, and you'll take those hits and deliver the ball to your teammates and do that element of it. I mean, I continue to trust in those guys.
"I'm sure some of them were on me we're not on the o-line, or some of that maybe the defense was doing might have been a coverage sack like there's a lot of other things that play into it than just the o-line so I take some credit for that. But I will continue to trust them, and I'm trusting everybody else.”
With his first career win as a starter in the books, don't expect DeVito to spend too much time celebrating it.
“We’re going to enjoy it. We're gonna celebrate it, but we know what it takes. We have what it takes, so Monday, we're gonna be back to the drawing board and then on to next week.”
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