Waller lauds Giants' culture: 'They value our opinions here'
After five seasons as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, tight end Darren Waller is embracing a new environment with the New York Giants.
"They value our opinions here," Waller told reporters Thursday, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan. "As a player, I feel like a lot of places I've gone, you're told to do things a certain way, and you do those things. But here ... they want to know what you're thinking, what you want to do more."
"So, to offer input is a really cool thing because coaches and players have to be in partnership."
Although Waller earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2020 with the Raiders, his relationship with the team was described as "rocky," sources told Raanan. A particular point of contention occurred when Waller left the team during its bye week, without explanation, to propose to Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum instead of rehab from an injury.
But now that he's on his third team in his career, the receiver is appreciative of how the Giants operate.
"There (are) different types of energies," Waller said. "This is a really light place, a really fun place, a really empowering place where you just be yourself always."
Head coach Brian Daboll, in particular, has gained recognition for his collaborative approach. For example, he sought Giants players' input on their favorite plays when assembling his playbook after being hired by New York, Raanan notes.
Waller, who was a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, is looking to bounce back from an injury-riddled 2022 campaign that saw him record 28 receptions, 388 yards, and three touchdowns in nine contests. He's expected to be the focal point of a Giants passing attack that also features Sterling Shepard, Parris Campbell, and Darius Slayton.