March 9, 2023 8:09 pm
Dane Belton joined Zach to discuss his rookie season with the Giants and the importance of Daniel Jones receiving a new extension.
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Welcome back in hour number three of our radio program.
It is the Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. What a year it was for the New York Football Giants back in the playoffs. They win a postseason game up against the Vikings before losing to Philadelphia in the divisional round and now joining us just wrapped up his rookie season with the Giants as a safety fourth round pick out of Iowa is of course Dane Belton. Dane, thanks for coming in. Appreciate the time. How are you? I'm doing well.
Thank you guys for having me. So how do you kind of look back? Rookie year, I know it got off to an unfortunate start with the broken collarbone but you quickly got back to the field. How do you kind of recap what your rookie season was like? Oh it was it was a huge blessing you know being able to to go out there like you said come back from an injury and still be able to play meaningful football for the team and help them win and it was a great experience overall you know successful season and looking forward to the future. When did you get comfortable? Were you comfortable right away or did it take a little bit? I would say it took a little bit you know especially just coming in straight from college you go right into rookie mini camp and OTAs and things like that but I definitely think it was a quick you know quick level of comfortability that came in and especially the guys helping me and just being able to you know teach me things and show me the ropes and and get comfortable was really the big thing. Right now everyone's going through the draft process the combine just wrapped up I always poke fun at the combine because it's if you could run a 40 and throw up a bunch of reps on the bench press all of a sudden you shoot up the draft board it's almost like the film all throughout the years does not matter but how do you kind of look back at your draft experience and what that process was like showcasing what you could do to all these teams that would be interested in you? Yeah it was a period in my life where every everything you did was amplified and just going through that that experience.
You take a walk oh he didn't take a walk fast enough. Exactly. Stupid. No exactly and yeah everything is measured everything is is bigger than what it normally is but it like I said it was a blessing to be in that position being able to showcase my abilities at the combine you know pro days being able to talk to different organizations was was huge and like you said the combine it's a it's a crazy weekend but you know at the end of the day it's a blessing to be in that position. Did you get asked any weird things? Yeah we hear about that all the time. Oh man I can't even uh I don't even remember uh not I guess nothing really crazy.
Any staring contests rock paper scissors shoot? No nothing nothing like that it was it was crazy uh I had a former with the 49ers and John Lynch obviously the GM and you know he was a safety for my hometown team so being able to talk to him and it was like after the after the meeting one of the guys was like you know who that is and he's like I was like yeah it's John Lynch he's like okay just making sure you know your history I was like how could I not know that but other than that no it was it was a good experience. So you grew up as a Buccaneers fan?
Yes sir. Who were some of your favorite players growing up? Oh man when I was growing up we were pretty bad so you know we had guys like Josh Freeman Josh Freeman guys like that so uh definitely Rondae Barber was my favorite just playing defensive back you know as good as he was being able to watch him and I would say definitely him. No we work with his brother Tiki so we always have to get uh pitted into a corner who's your favorite barber that that's always a struggle and I had to tell Rondae at the Super Bowl that I go with Tiki just because I see him every day then Rondae gave me chicken though he gave me some church's chickens.
Oh yeah. Tried to fathom me up to win me over that usually does it uh Dane Belton here with us in studio. Other players growing up as a kid like who were some guys that you kind of just gravitated towards and and just found yourself watching whether it was on YouTube or a lot on Sundays? Yeah I would say the main guy was Megatron you know being able to watch him just witnessed that witnessed like his production and all he did was crazy. I used to get you know his hats you know the Megatron Nike snapbacks and definitely wanted to be him but that was the guy that sticks out the most just being able to watch him and obviously when I was younger uh Troy Palamalu you know being able to watch him as a safety and make the plays he did and and make some crazy plays at that were definitely two guys I love to watch and still still love to go back and watch our highlights. And it's still funny to this day when I think of Megatron trying to think of like three defensive backs trying to guard him.
He just goes up top. Yeah and it didn't matter and Palamalu you just knew where he was at all times because he could destroy your day but that hair was just awesome. Most definitely. Dane Belton here with us in studio so you're going through this dream obviously you grow up and you're a big football fan and you're watching all these players when did you start to say because like everyone grows up as a kid and says they want to be an athlete but when did you start to realize I could actually do this I could play at the next level in the NFL. Yeah I would say it was after my freshman in high school you know I moved up to varsity and it was that spring you know we have a lot of in Florida we have spring period where a lot of college coaches are coming down and just being able to talk to coaches and be like you know we like you even though you're so young and just being able to realize then that I could play at the college level and then if I could play at college and perform well I could also ultimately get to the NFL so that was really when it started to become reality and from there you know it was just about I really wanted it so I had to you know do everything I needed to do to get there so I would say that's when it started becoming reality. How many positions did you play in high school? Oh man I played obviously I played safety I played receiver wildcat quarterback I was on every special teams I returned I was actually the punter my my senior year.
Wow. Yeah so definitely. Could you boot the ball? I had I had a good amount of punts over 50 some down inside the five so hey I got the job done so but it definitely played a lot of positions. So now you have a year under your belt you probably have a relationship with coach Deball do you go into his office at one point and go coach if you need me down inside the red zone I could use probably the few extra bucks in the contract negotiations down the road let me fire off a pass.
Oh man I think it's a little bit different in this level but and we have guys like Isaiah and different receivers that can you know win those jump balls so you know I definitely probably stick to safety but if the opportunity comes I would definitely jump on it. Dane Belton here with us so your relationship with Brian Deball just take us behind the scenes a little bit obviously we've known about him for a long time he finally gets that opportunity to become a head coach in this league and he blew it out of the park and you're number one just beating that locker room what was the vibe and what was the culture like? Oh man the culture was crazy I loved it you know being a rookie I wasn't here to see the last regime but just talking to the guys that have been here just talking seeing the difference that they they talk about and how much they love Deball and this culture he has it just you know there's nothing like you know the energy he brings in every meeting every win in locker room even when we lose just being able to commend the locker room and everyone wants to listen to him and you know from our first year I couldn't ask for anything more. I think a lot of times throughout the year people were just waiting for the Giants to fall off because going into the year no one really expected much especially with the new regime coming in and the state of the roster did you guys take that personally because even when you guys were having success it was yeah the Giants are playing really well but they're not one of the better teams in the NFL.
Yeah I would say I wouldn't say we took it personally I would say we all knew you know what was being said about us you know the expectations coming in the year and even when the year started you know that we weren't going to keep that streak or the you know the hotness alive but you know for us you know being professionals you know we just got to go out there and do our jobs so at the end of the day we weren't reading too much of what people were saying we knew what we we control our own destiny so you know we knew what they were saying but at the end of the day you know it really didn't affect us that much. Walking into that locker room what do you remember about that were you starstruck at all I know it's a business but there's also a personal side of it. I wouldn't say I was starstruck but there's definitely people like okay that's so and so I would say Saquon's over there wow holy crap Leo guys like that I know in the team meeting I sit next to Adore Jackson every day so you know my childhood self would have went crazy knowing that later on in life I'd sit next to Adore Jackson but you know at the end of the day we're all guys and we just hang out and everyone's cool so it's not it's not like anyone's like above anyone else in that aspect they treat each other so it's definitely a good vibe around the locker room.
Is it easy to win over Dexter Lawrence because that dude is just a mauler on the field and I think he's the best player on the Giants honestly. Yeah a great player I remember I know uh recall like coming in I was always like quiet you know sitting in the meeting rooms and he always would look at me with this like strange face like I'm gonna figure you out one day and it was he always come up to me like you're so quiet like well what are you thinking and but no a great dude you know just a great leader we have and like you said a phenomenal player that you know I'm glad to have on our side. What was this last week like for you because now you get to experience the business side of it and I know you could only control what you could control but there's all these rumors is Daniel Jones gonna get franchise tags he's gonna get a contract Saquon Barkley is he gonna be back on the team is he gonna hit the market and you find out Saquon gets the tag and Daniel Jones gets the four-year deal. Yeah I'm not gonna lie I kind of found myself in a spot where I was like almost like a fan where I'm checking Twitter like are they did they sign them yet I'm trying to pick up on the news but you know definitely had to take a step back but you know because I wanted to make sure those guys are coming back you know those are two phenomenal players we have two great leaders and great guys to be around so I definitely you know wanted them back you know even as as just a rookie but definitely being able to see those guys come back and sign the deal and I know Saquon's tag and hopefully they work out a deal with him too but just having those guys back is is awesome for our team. What do you say because Daniel Jones gets the contract and then right away people go to Twitter and they're like oh he's not worth the money he's not going to be a great quarterback in the league what do you say to people that doubt Daniel Jones? Yeah I would say there's so many people that doubt him but they don't see the work he puts in day in and day out you know the hours he spends and just the the amount of production he has just for for our team you know this past year and me being able to see him for one year it was like yeah I kind of knew right away like this guy's legit and this is I would love to have him as my quarterback so I'm glad I do and so just for them to just really watch and see you know I feel like we're only at the beginning of what we can be as a team and it's just only going to go from here. What's the message you being in that locker room you have a year under your belt and you guys exceeded all expectations last year some people may say oh there's going to be regression with the Giants we got to see what they do in the off season you being a player what's your message to the fan base about what this team could be next year? Yeah I would say the big thing is you know we exceeded outside expectation but we didn't exceed our expectation and that's to win you know go one and every week and ultimately try to win a championship so I would say for the fan bases understand that you know we're a work in progress but at the end of the day we're striving for that championship in that Super Bowl so you know until we get there we won't be satisfied. Dane Belton here with us in studio from the Giants your game individually what are you working to improve on this off season?
Yeah really just every aspect you know trying to first and foremost get my body fully healthy you know like you said coming back from injury I was still lingering a little bit just trying to get back there and after that you know just continue to sharpen the mental side you know being able to see schemes that offenses do you know after you're under my belt and just ultimately you know just getting more physical as far as like getting bigger faster stronger I feel like those things you can never get you know too much of so really just a well-rounded off season will really help me out. What's your best Wink story Wink Martin did? Oh man it's so many stories I call back on but I would say just he tells us a lot of stories I remember in London he told us a story when he met Rihanna and it was yeah it was a crazy story and yeah exactly it was like when he told us we were looking like is this real like he's probably telling the truth so you know just being him just telling all these different stories he's a great guy to have as our you know leader in defense. When you got that call fourth round pick Giants you know we've had Joe Shane on this show a lot I like what he's done so far in your one what do you remember about when you got that call where were you had it kind of all go down? Yeah I was back home in Tampa Florida you know surrounded by my close family and just being able to get that call having taken a 30 visit not even not even less than two weeks before the draft and just being so familiar with you know with those guys and getting that call and hearing Joe first and talking to Davis and Wink was just like you know I'm ready to go you know I had a certain hat from the 30 visit so right when I got drafted I threw it on so you know I was sporting the giant blue but it was just a great call great you know experience to be there with my family and experience all the hard work that you know they've done to get me where I'm at just culminating to that that point. New York could be tough but it's so rewarding and you guys made this city like proud again of the Giants for where it was the last four or five years or so that New York experience so far like what do you take away from one year in New York? I would say it's a great city you know I love like you said the fans have have gone through a lot so to see us win and being my first year out that's the only thing I've experienced so to see how joyous they get when they're able to talk to us and like man you guys you don't know what you mean to us so just being able to hear that and know that you know we we are doing this for more than ourselves doing this for more than just the team but you know the people are behind us so just hearing that support is everything to us. What's your favorite individual memory from from this year?
Oh man I would say got to be the pick the first pick right your first career I was about to say it probably is definitely I would say one is I got a quarterback hit on Aaron Rodgers in London and that was like you know those are guys you look up to you know Aaron Rodgers but I'll definitely go with the pick the first the best one for sure. And then the playoff win that plane ride back must have been awesome. Oh man it was great that that environment in locker room too not even what two weeks after we lost to them and we knew that we were going to come back and play them again that was just a great experience for sure. And I'll be impressed with Dayball, Dave's got some good dance moves in the locker room. Oh yeah I remember the first time I saw it was after the Tennessee game and when I saw that and just the way he I was like yeah this guy's legit but so but that's what was so fun about your team early on you guys sent a message you were going to compete and we didn't know if you could be a great team but you guys were going to compete and it didn't matter you had a few comebacks like that the Ravens game I remember too where you're down in the fourth quarter and when your backs up against the wall it was just bam it's go time you can't make any more mistakes.
Yeah definitely that's what we pride ourselves on being able to keep fighting as long as there's time on the clock you know there's an opportunity for us in the game so that was what you know the culture Dave's instilled in us that you know whenever we're on the field we're going to do our best and we're going to you know produce so that's really what we just did week in and week out. When you reach your full potential what football player can Dane Belton be like? Oh man I wouldn't want to compare myself to anyone I feel like there's different parts of my game that I like to emulate after people but at the end of the day when I reach my full potential you know that's going to be a completely different player completely different person so you know that's what I strive for every day. So describe the type of player that you envision yourself being. Yeah I would say you know the just the the plays like Paul Amalo the range like every you know being able to be physical like Brian Dawkins even though he's Eagles player but you know just guys like that that emulate after my game after and just being able to to do that on the field is what I look for.
Why'd you go to Iowa just wondering? Yeah it was a lot of things I went into you know I had a lot of offers but it was just all things included you know this was my ultimate goal to be playing in the NFL and you know the way they you know produce especially DBs and develop them from from young guys walk-ons former receivers and taking them I knew the coach could do it with me and he's a great coach he's the defensive coordinator and the DB coach so being able to play under him was amazing. Before we let you run so we know about what you could do on the field we know your background what do you like off the field Dane Belton when he got some personal time what are you doing? I'm hanging out you know I like to play video games I'm on call of duty right now just hanging out read a little bit and really other than that just just chill you know take advantage of the free time. If you weren't playing football what would you be doing professionally? I would say something around the sport of football I just love the game so much you know I'll definitely have looked just thought about coaching when I'm done and other than that being an entrepreneur with some type of business that revolves around you know training athletes or being able to to get an athlete to his best potential. Well Dane Belton nice to meet you congrats on year one and good luck coming up the rest of the way. Yes sir I appreciate it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-09 22:28:36 / 2023-03-09 22:36:37 / 8