Brian Daboll is returning to where NFL journey began

Brian Daboll’s NFL journey began in New England in 2000 when he accepted a job with the Patriots as a defensive assistant. He’s come a long way since.

Daboll will take the sideline as a head coach for the first time when the Giants play the Patriots in Foxborough in one of two NFL preseason games tonight.

“My wife brought it up to me the last couple of days,” Daboll said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “I was like ‘Oh yeah, that’s pretty cool.’ I’d be excited regardless of who we were playing, but it’s kind of come full circle in 22 years to have my first game against the organization that gave me my first opportunity.”

The result of the preseason won’t count on his coaching record, but Daboll is as excited for tonight as he was in 2000 when the Patriots played the 49ers in the Hall of Fame Game.

“I can’t tell you the feeling I’ll have stepping on the field for the first time as a head coach,” Daboll said. “I’m grateful for it. It’ll probably hit me at some point. National anthem, warmups, I’m not sure. But I’m trying to do the best job I can and do the things I need to do to be the leader of this team.

“I don’t take this lightly. I’m constantly learning and trying to do the best job I can do and trying to be the best leader with the help of a lot of other people. Certainly, it will be a special memory to have.”

Daboll went to the Jets after two seasons with the Patriots and then to the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs and back to the Patriots before becoming the offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2017 and finishing his time as an assistant with the Bills the past four seasons.

“Thankful to Bill (Belichick) and the Kraft family and their organization for giving the opportunity to me,” Daboll said. “There are a lot of special memories that my wife and I had there in Foxborough.”