Apr 202021
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (February 25, 2020)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN AND KEVIN ABRAMS ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman and Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams addressed the media on Tuesday (video):

Gettleman: Good afternoon, everybody. Good to see you, I’m looking at little tiny screens. Trust you’re all well. Kevin and I are here to talk about free agency and then on Thursday I’m going to be with [Director of Pro Scouting] Chris Pettit and we’ll talk about the upcoming college draft. Let’s go.

Q: Dave, you’ve always kind of avoided guys with injury histories it seems like in free agency, you’ve spoken about that. What’s different this year with guys like [Wide Receiver] Kenny [Golladay] and [Cornerback] Adoree’ [Jackson] who have some injury histories in their past and you felt comfortable paying them big money?

Gettleman: I tell you what, we had them come in. It was a little different with free agency this year, we actually had them come in first, so we really – all three guys, Kenny, Adoree’ and [Tight End] Kyle [Rudolph] – we had them in here and it was an old school free agency. We got to talk, a chance to visit with them, they went out to dinner with various people in the organization, they were here a couple of nights, our doctors were able to put their hands on them. It was an old-fashioned free agency. [Head Athletic Trainer] Ronnie [Barnes] and Head Team Physician] Doctor [Scott] Rodeo felt very comfortable with us moving with the signing of those three guys.

Q: What are your expectations for the cap next year and how much did an expected increase play into how aggressive you guys were this year?

Abrams: Well, we don’t know what next year is going to look like yet, so we’re making some conservative assumptions. We were aggressive this year, we had to do probably a few practices that we normally, typically try to avoid, but with a lower cap number and some plans to be aggressive we had to do some of those things. We know that next year’s number could be a low one again and we’re prepared for whatever the outcome is.

Q: Kevin, at the start of this, I mean you know the budget and the numbers better than anybody going into this process probably to the penny I would guess or certainly to the pennies. If I would have taken you back to the start of free agency and said, ‘I’m pretty confident you guys are going to get the top receiver Kenny Golladay for big money and perhaps the top cornerback for big money,’ would you have been surprised, not surprised, or not so sure you’d be able to do that with the cap?

Abrams: There were no surprises. I mean, it’s always a bit of an unknown who the players are that you’ll be able to target and who you’ll be able to attract, but we knew we were going to be aggressive.

Q: And as far as being aggressive, you can’t be aggressive unless there’s money to do that obviously. There’s this whole, the Giants went into this with however many millions in the cap and you knew you could manipulate it some way, shape or form. Did you know that you could give 100 million dollars in salaries or guarantees to just a couple of players? Did you know beforehand that was possible?

Abrams: We did, yes.

Q: Dave, when you go into free agency, how much does what you do in free agency reflect on the draft? I mean, do you evaluate all of the college players and say, ‘We need to fill holes. We need to do this in free agency?’

Gettleman: What we do is we have this space we call our Football Ops Center. By the time we get deep into free agency conversations, we’ve had our February draft readings. So in our Ops Center, we have our draft on one board and our unrestricted free agency board on the other. And what we do is we actually do it by color, we take a look at the positions and see where if I need a kicker, is it heavy in free agency or am I going to have to go to the draft? So we marry up both, to answer your question, and then we just move forward and make decisions on which way we’re going to go because maybe free agency is thick with a position and the draft isn’t or vice-versa. So we do marry it up.

Q: Kevin, we all like to think that we’re experts in what a guy is worth, but you’re an expert in the building at negotiating these contracts. Do you believe that you can overpay for a player? Is there such a thing? Is it a more complicated equation than just saying a player is worth a certain amount in the current market or in the market of this position? How do you evaluate that?

Abrams: I mean, certainly you can overpay a player. In free agency, the danger of free agency is that it’s more auction than it is negotiation, but we know what we think the market is for a position and we know where we think players fit into that market and we’ll set those parameters of where we’re willing to go to get a player well in advance of free agency. Ideally, you come in lower obviously than what you think your ceiling of comfort is, but we do identify what those parameters are before we even begin the process.

Q: Dave, a question about [Running Back Devontae] Booker, you guys were pretty aggressive right out of the gate about going after him for some depth at running back. Did you go after him so aggressively because you believe – like, say if hypothetically [Running Back] Saquon [Barkley] were not on the field for some reason, knock on wood, do you feel confident that Booker would be able to handle that position and the workload and is that why you prioritized him as a player?

Gettleman: Well, one of the reasons we prioritized Devontae is you can never have too many good players at any position, I don’t care what anybody says. One of the things that made Devontae so attractive was the fact that we felt he was a legitimate three-down running back. It’s always a group decision here, everything’s in the best interest of the Giants, so obviously he can be a good part of our solution at running back.

Q: Hey Dave and Kevin, in terms of the league, there was so much talk about the cap going down and that there would be a depressed market and that teams would look for value under market. I’m curious if you guys identified a situation where you could be aggressive, kind of go counter to what maybe the league was expecting to do and maybe that’s how some of your deals with Golladay and then obviously Adoree’, which came up later, was kind of a counter-thinking when the market is supposed to be as depressed as a lot of people thought it would be.

Abrams: I think that was a small part of our thought process. I mean, we identified, like everyone had, that this year was going to be a little different – cap going down impacts everybody and so I think we thought that there would be some opportunities because there might be fewer buyers out there. Our plan was to be aggressive from the beginning though and we knew that we had ownership support, which was probably uncommon this year to be as aggressive as we were. And we had our targets and as the market played out it became apparent to us that of the targets that we wanted to go and pursue who was going to be available at the right price for us.

Gettleman: Just to supplement that, we feel like we got three or four, really – have to count [DL] Leonard [Williams], spent money on him – we got four high-dollar guys at very good value for their positions, for the whole nine yards. We feel very good about what we’ve done.

Q: Kyle Rudolph, obviously, it seemed like from the reporting that he agreed to a contract, then he came in for a physical and some stuff came up. Seemed like a kind of point where you guys might have had some leverage to make his contact more incentive-based or make him earn it or lower the guarantees. From an organizational standpoint, why stick with the original handshake agreement there?

Abrams: Once he went through all the medical evaluations, we didn’t think that it was necessary.

Gettleman: We are the Giants, we’re going to do everything with class. We had an agreement, Ronnie signed off on it, Doc Rodeo signed off on it, so we were fine.

Q: Dave, you mentioned the Leonard Williams contract. How tough was that negotiation relatively? Kevin, there was a report that you actually stepped in there at the eleventh hour. If you could discuss your role.

Abrams: It was a good negotiation. The agents were very good to work with, they were interactive, which isn’t always the case as players get closer and closer to free agency. Sometimes they become a little harder to reach as they get closer to free agency, but these guys remained involved. Leonard clearly wanted to be here and we clearly wanted him here. It took a while to establish what was a fair spot within the market from both perspectives, but eventually we got there.

Gettleman: Just to be clear, Kevin’s the negotiator here. What we all do is we all sit down and say, ‘Okay, Ryan Dunleavy is our wide receiver. We like his talents and we like his skill. What’s Ryan’s value compared to the rest of the league, the rest of the wide receivers that are out there? What wide receivers got paid in the past year or so?’ because you don’t want to go back three years or so because deals are old. It’s a group effort with Kevin doing the negotiating. It’s about value and being comfortable with the end result, which we were very comfortable with the end results.

Q: Hey Dave, when you look at the moves you’ve made so far and the ones you’ll continue to make obviously with the draft upcoming and even beyond that, how much of it is designed to make sure [Quarterback] Daniel Jones has every opportunity to be the quarterback you’ve always believed he can be?

Gettleman: You know, my job is to put everybody in a position where they’re successful, plain and simple, that’s my job, both on the field and off the field. Of course, I’ve always believed that you draft the guy that you feel is going to be your franchise quarterback, first thing you’ve got to do is get people around him to keep him upright and then you’ve got to get him playmakers. You help him by doing a variety of things. Obviously, when we make moves on the offensive side and the defensive side – because I’ve said to you folks before, offense scores points, defense wins championships – so the point is every move you make is obviously to help each side of the ball, and again special teams are critical as well. So, everything is made with a broad view of how we’re going to put the finishing touches on this and make it right. Obviously, we felt like we’d like to get a bigger wide receiver, Kenny was available, we make the deal that’s obviously going to help Daniel. Kyle Rudolph is a professional tight end, he’s been in the league ten years, he knows all the ins and outs, he’s still a good player, of course that helps Daniel, but it also helps our running game too and it helps Saquon.

Q: Kevin, for you, at what point will, or perhaps already has the idea entered your mind about Saquon’s extension and obviously a little bit beyond that you hope to be extending Daniel because you hope that he plays great in the meantime, obviously?

Abrams: Those will be collective decisions. Ownership will be involved, obviously Dave will lead the charge and when the time is right, we’ll attack those two.

Q: With everything that you did this year, was whatever in your mind (regarding player extensions) as you spent this year?

Abrams: Always. Everything we do has an immediate and a one-, two-, three-year horizon and we’re always mindful of how things impact both us today and how it impacts us next year and beyond, so we’re very cognizant of all of those variables.

Gettleman: I think the best way I can say it is really you can’t do anything in a vacuum. It’s all going to be interconnected and interrelated, and that’s how we operate.

Q: I know there were reports that you were interested in [Rams Outside Linebacker] Leonard Floyd. He obviously ended up going back to the Rams. I’m just curious, how you feel about your edge rusher group that you have right now?

Gettleman: Listen, [LB] Lorenzo [Carter] and [LB Oshane Ximines] are rehabbing, they’re coming along well, I feel good about those two guys. You feel good about [LB] Cam Brown getting better, [LB] Carter Coughlin’s going to be better. You’re growing them up and then you’re looking at the draft as well. You’re always looking to get better. Like I said, you can never have too many good players at one position, so you’re always going to look to improve. Those guys, I wish that Lorenzo and X had been able to play the whole season last year, but you know what, they couldn’t, so we filled in with some guys and did the best we could. We’re going to do better.

Q: Dave, just to build off that for one second. He asked about the edge group. [Defensive End Ifeadi] Odenigbo that you signed, you didn’t mention him. Is he part of that group? I’m just wondering where you guys kind of view him.

Gettleman: Believe it or not, he’s got some inside pass rush to him. He’s got some inside, sub pass rush to him. They’re all part of the group, they’re all part of the group.

Q: I was just curious if you viewed him as an outside linebacker or if you viewed him as a defensive end in a 3-4 more as a primary.

Gettleman: He’ll play outside and he’ll also do some sub, inside sub pass rush stuff.

Q: Dave, you mentioned the whole bringing Kenny in and the guys in for a visit. With Kenny in particular, what was it you needed answered and part of the reason you guys brought him in?

Gettleman: Well, you bring him in because you want to get a physical on him. That was the biggest reason, get a physical on him. But it was nice for a change to get to know a guy and have that opportunity to do that. Like I said, it was like the old days. The biggest reason was the physical.

Abrams: It wasn’t just our decision, the players wanted to come in as well. Both parties wanted to have the visit.

Q: Kevin, you mentioned also that you had to do some things that normally you don’t do in regards to contracts and money, future money down the line, void years and that kind of stuff. How would you categorize where you stand financially moving forward for the future, for the next year or two let’s say?

Abrams: I think 2022 could be a little bit of a challenge depending on where the cap goes to. Beyond, I’m more optimistic that nothing that we’ve done last year or this year puts us in any kind of precarious position. Next year could be a little bit of a challenge, we’ll see. It’s going to depend on science and state legislatures and fans in stands and a lot of other variables and we’ll see where it goes. I don’t think we’re in a bad spot cap-wise, but next year could be a little more challenging than probably the years after that.

Q: Dave, we always talk about weapons, you always tease us about it and you got a nice one in Kenny Golladay. Do you feel you have a solid arsenal right now for this year? We’re talking weapons again, Dave.

Gettleman: You know, yes. To answer your question, we’re better, and the other guy that’s going to be interesting is [WR] John Ross when he walks in the door because he gives you the take-off-the-top, oh my gosh speed. Yes, again, you want touchdown-makers, it’s what you’re looking for on offense and we feel like we added them.

Q: Kevin, how do you balance free agency with the draft in terms of filling needs, but at the same time selecting the best available talent? It seems to be a delicate and challenging combination.

Abrams: As Dave mentioned before, we begin the offseason identifying where we feel like we have needs. Free agency comes first, so we’ll set that board up, find where the value is, where the consensus is between our personnel people and our coaching staff, identify the targets we think best fit the Giants, and then we’ll incorporate what the early view of our draft board looks like and understand where are our needs and our fits in free agency that also are redundant with where the draft is strong and vice-versa. Where the draft is weak, that might be a difference-maker when deciding between who to approach in free agency.

Q: Dave, just going back to Leonard Williams really quick, what was the calculus between resigning Leonard and possibly bringing back [Vikings Defensive Tackle] Dalvin Tomlinson. In hindsight, was there any regret with how you guys handled Tomlinson over the last year, be it maybe not resigning him early or trading him when you might have had the chance to?

Gettleman: Dalvin is a wonderful young man and he was a captain, so obviously there’s regret. But at the end of the day, you only have so much money and you’ve got to make decisions, that’s just the way it is. We’ll miss Dalvin and I’m thrilled that he got what he wanted and Minnesota is a fine organization, so for what it’s worth, sure it’s hard, but unfortunately because of what happened you have to make decisions.

Q: As far as Leonard goes, what kind of separated him and made him a priority to try and bring back and ultimately resign at that number?

Gettleman: Well, maybe 11.5 sacks, maybe that was part of it. You know, he’s very versatile, he’s a legitimate inside pass rusher and he really blossomed. He loves being here and we love having him, so that was part of the decision.

Q: We count the hundreds of millions of dollars that were spent and the number of people who are coming in. How do you guys quantify how much better this team has gotten in your mind, how much closer you are to the team you think can contend in the last six weeks? Do you feel like you’ve made large strides? Do you feel like you’ve made small strides? Is it more of an immediate impact that you’re looking for?

Abrams: From my opinion, and I think Dave would agree, I think our roster is a lot better now than it was at the end of the season and the offseason is not over yet, so we’ll still have more opportunities to add players. So I think we feel good with what we’ve done. I think we’re a deeper, more talented team. Hope that answers the question.

Gettleman: You know, you can’t quantify it. It’s not going to be quantified until the fall and we start playing in September. But we feel very good about what we’ve done, we feel very good about the direction the team is taking with getting Kenny signed and Kyle Rudolph and Devontae Booker and Adoree’ Jackson and Leo. We feel really great about that and we really feel we’re building a solid football team that the fans can be proud of.

Q: Hey Dave, regarding the Adoree’ Jackson deal, Mike Sando from the Athletic talked to a few of your colleagues, executive-wise, around the league and a few of them were very critical of the contract. They said it was inexcusable, high potential for disaster, so a couple of those guys around the league kind of hammered you on that deal. What is your reaction to that and why do you think Adoree’ is worth that when you look at him skill-wise and injury-wise?

Gettleman: Well, my reaction to that is one of the things that makes America a great place is everyone is entitled to an opinion. Time will tell.

Q: What do you think of him as a player and why did you think he was worth that money when you looked at him? Obviously, you guys felt like he was worth the money. Why is that when you look at him?

Gettleman: Why was that? He’s got inside-outside flex, he’s a legitimate cover guy, he can run and he’s a very smart football player and he’s got ball skills. All of that stuff made him worth that.

GIANTS CUT RYAN LEWIS…
The New York Giants have officially waived cornerback Ryan Lewis, who was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). The Giants signed Lewis to the Practice Squad in early September 2020 and to the 53-man roster two weeks later. He played in five games for the Giants, starting three (25 percent of defensive snaps). Lewis finished the year with 13 tackles and one pass defense. The Giants placed Lewis on Injured Reserve in early November 2020 with a hamstring injury.

GIANTS RE-SIGN SANDRO PLATZGUMMER…
The Giants have re-signed running back Sandro Platzgummer, who was allocated to the team in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. As part of that program, Platzgummer was allowed him to remain on the Giants’ Practice Squad last season without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. Platzgummer played for the Swarco Raiders Tirol of the Austrian Football League.

Mar 092021
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (September 14, 2020)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

JOE JUDGE ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Tuesday (video):

Opening Statement: Good to see everybody, it’s been a while. Hope everybody’s gotten a little bit of rest time and, again, I hope everyone’s families are safe and well right now. Just to recap and kind of bring you up to speed on what we’ve been doing since the end of the season, immediately after the season we took the next week, we did all of our self-scout evaluations on our personnel, on the team. We looked through our roster and each position coach breaks up all the players, the coordinators kind of establish the needs going forward, I meet with the coaches and the coordinators before we break on a vacation. And then we break on the vacation, we came back several weeks later after guys kind of caught their breath a little bit. We recapped our roster – we did that as an entire organization with our personnel departments, management and the coaches. We made sure everybody was on the same page in terms of how we played this year, what we have to do to improve the team, what needs we may need to address personnel-wise, and then we shifted our gear coaching-wise into scheme and we did a self-scout solely based on scheme and what we’d done the last year that was successful and what we can do better. That shifts into not only what we do, but then also studying the league, studying some college and seeing what’s productive out there that we can apply into our systems and use to give our players a better advantage. From there, we’ve carried over, our coaches have been working these last couple of weeks on league studies and presenting to each other right now in terms of finding better ways to incorporate into our own playbook and expand our offense, defense and kicking game schemes that will help going forward. All the while, we’ve been doing free agent evaluations and our coaches are currently working on the draft. Along with the personnel department, we’re trying to replicate as best we can the interviews we have at the Combine with prospects through Zoom. We’ve been doing that over a week now with several players a day. It’s been very productive. I think the difference this year is we’re all used to using Zoom, so it doesn’t take as long to get on the same page.

In addition, to update you on some staff moves we’ve made since the end of the season, we’ve added several coaches to our staff. Rob Sale has joined us as our Offensive Line Coach. I’ve known Rob for some time now, I’ve worked with him, I’ve stayed in very close contact with Rob over the years. He’s someone who’s always impressed me as a very thorough teacher, as a very detailed and energetic on-the-field coach and he’s someone who has a very strong relationship with his players. I thought he was a good fit. We made sure to do our due diligence – I talked to probably over 25 coaches personally, our staff researched an additional probably 15-20, we had several interviews in person and countless interviews over Zoom. I would say that they all did a good job and there were a lot of qualified candidates. At the end of the day, the best move for the New York Giants was adding Rob and I’m excited to add him to our staff.

In addition to that, Jeremy Pruitt, we’ve added him as our Senior Defensive Assistant. Jeremy’s going to work with all levels of the defense, the back end, the linebackers and the front. Jeremy’s another guy that I’ve worked with in the past, I’ve kept in very close contact. Jeremy’s a guy that’s coached on all levels, high school, college and now the NFL, and he’s always impressed me as somebody who’s been able to connect with every player on the field regardless of how they came up, where they’re from geographically – doesn’t matter, Jeremy just has a good knack of connecting with everyone. He’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever been around and it’s been fun to have him in the building and talking ball. I think he’s going to help our staff as far as bringing some new ideas and different ways of running our current schemes. One thing you’re seeing in the league right now is there are a lot of college schemes that are trickling up to the NFL based on the players and their skillsets and what they’re accustomed to doing. Having guys like Jeremy, [Inside Linebackers Coach] Kevin Sherrer and [Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer] give you a little bit of an avenue of looking into ways they’ve handled similar things in the college game and being able to do it within our own schemes, so it’s something that should help us right there.

We’ve added Pat Flaherty, he’s going to work in a consultant role with both the offensive and defensive staffs. He’s going to have responsibilities on both ends. Obviously, Pat’s specialty, being an offensive line coach in this league for a long time, a tight ends coach, is really dealing specifically with the front. I’m excited to have Pat here. Part of the strength is we’ve got two young offensive line coaches with Rob Sale and [Assistant Offensive Line Coach] Ben Wilkerson, and Pat’s a good sounding board for those guys to have. He’s also someone who can do some extra leg work for us and really break down opponents of what they’re doing, as well as share with our defensive staff maybe how some different offenses are running and give [Defensive Coordinator] Patrick Graham a different perspective on what he’s seeing on tape.

Offensively, we’ve had some different assignment changes and, again, Derek Dooley did a great job for us last year as a Senior Offensive Assistant. Really did a nice job as far as preparing for opponents, running our scout teams and breaking down what we’re doing. I thought he was a guy that we wanted to get him into a room, get him some guys – we’ve moved him to Tight Ends Coach at this point. Derek’s a guy who’s got coordinating experience, he has coached multiple positions, he’s been a head coach, he sees things through a big lens and really sees a big picture at the end of the tunnel, which is important for us, so he’ll be our Tight Ends Coach.

Freddie Kitchens is going to be our Senior Offensive Assistant. His primary responsibility is going to be working with the front. Freddie has coached quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, has worked hand in hand with the offensive line. Again, tying into having two young offensive line coaches with Rob and Ben, I think Freddie is going to be an asset up front working directly with them and helping bring together the game planning, like all of our coaches will, but working directly with [Offensive Coordinator] Jason [Garrett] with some of the things that are going to happen up front. All that being said, I’ll open up to any questions you may have that I can answer at this point.

Q: Year 1 was about the process and about progress. It was about improvement and development. What is the overall mantra as you get set and look ahead to year 2?

A: Yeah, that doesn’t really change. It’s still about being committed to the process, that’s really the biggest thing right there. Like 31 other teams, we have to start over this year. In terms of the commitment to the team, the development of depth on the roster, continuing to develop our players that are here, the identification of the right fits of players through free agency and the draft to add to our program, the theme remains the same. The process is to build a team internally and then add necessary pieces that can add to your team. So, the mantra for us is to come to work every day, do your job, work hard, be attentive and put the team first. That’s going to be the job for every player walking through the door and that’s going to be the job for every coach in this building, as well.

Q: Hey Joe, as all these colleges are having these pro days and there’s no Combine, how are you handling this? Are you sending people to every site? Is everything being done virtually? Are the guys who are traveling being given kits to stay healthy so they can test themselves?

A: So, in terms of traveling from site to site, I’ll let [Senior Vice President and General Manager] Dave [Gettleman] talk about the personnel department and how they’re handling that. We will look to put scouts in the right positions to watch these pro days. I would say that the thing to consider with the pro days going on around the country is the protocols or regulations are a little bit different state by state and school by school. The one thing that we’ve been told that hasn’t changed yet is our interaction with players at these pro days will be almost nonexistent. In terms of what school you’re at, you may be in the stands in the stadium watching a player operate on the field. Now, we’re going to get video tape of all these pro days, so very similar to the Combine, all 32 teams are going to get the same tape of all the players. Really your best view will be the up-close views of the tape that you’re given. Now, ideally leading into the Draft, you want to get out there, you want to meet in person with these players, you want to look them in the eye, you want to get on the field with them, you want to put them through drills and you want to really get a feel for these guys on the field – how they respond to your coaching, what they can and can’t do on the field and really get a feel for their skillset up close. You know, video tape is good, but there’s really no replacing in-person workouts. That being said, because of the travel around the country right now and then also some of the restrictions at the campus, we’re going to be selective about where we send coaches as far as being out to work guys out because, again, you’re more going there as an observer than you are to actually work out the players. It’s definitely different than in the past. I’d say it’s not too dissimilar than the Combine itself where you’d sit in the stands in Indy or in a suite and watch the players work out, but to be honest with you, I’d say 90 percent of the coaches and personnel that are in the booths or in the suites are looking at the guy on the field and then they’re looking at the replay on the screen on TV to get an up-close look at it. It’s not the most ideal view as it is anyway, so, long-winded answer, will there be people out there? There will. Is it going to be as much traveling as in the past or as much interaction? No, it won’t. However, I’d say we have a lot of confidence in going through the draft last year without pro days at all, dealing solely with talking to players after the Combine on Zoom and I think we did a good job working as an organization to evaluate them through that process based on their game tape, to get together and make sure that we agreed in how we saw the player and what the best decision for the team going forward was.

Q: Joe, this offseason seems a little bit different in terms of some of the top quarterbacks in the league and their potential to move around. I’m wondering if your stance has changed at all because of the potential availabilities of those players regarding [Quarterback] Daniel [Jones] and why or why not?

A: No, it hasn’t at all. It hasn’t at all. Again, we have confidence in Daniel, he’s a player that we want to work with going forward with this team. He’s shown us a lot of improvement, there’s a lot of things. I can go on and on about how we respect him and like him and how the locker room responds to him, but the simple answer to that is no.

Q: Last year was obviously about evaluating him and coming to that decision. What do you need to see from him moving forward and what can you do in the next couple of weeks here or the next couple of months as we head toward the draft to help him get there?

A: Well, we’re limited on the interaction we can have with the players anyway. We touch base with our players – texts and phone calls. A lot of these guys come through the building, we sit down and have conversations, but it’s really not football at this point. It’s more just catching up, checking on these guys, making sure that they’re good, that their families are healthy, that if there’s anything they need from us that we can assist them with, but it’s not football at this point. In terms of anything we can do leading up to the draft, until we get clearance to start the offseason program and have the players here and really not get on the field with the players until phase two, that’s the first time we’re really going to get the chance to work with them on the field. Other than that, it’ll be meetings in phase one and some meetings in phase two, and then ideally if we have OTAs again, that’s really where they can make the most gains and improvement as a player. And that’s for all of our players. In terms of Daniel, like every other player and every coach, we all have things we have to improve on and take strides forward in this year. That’s no different for any player on our roster or any player in the league really. But our focus is internally coach some players, we all have to improve, we communicate that directly, I do with all of the coaches, we communicate directly with all of our players in things that we have to improve on both short-term and then long-term throughout their career, and then we put together a system and plan for them to attack that and go forward.

Q: Hey Joe, this offseason, how do you balance trying to plug some holes on your roster to win in 2021 with continuing to rebuild the roster and looking at the long-term picture, like when you’re evaluating free agent decisions and that kind of thing?

A: Look, I’m always a long-term picture guy. I think you have success by continuously building your team through the draft, by developing your players, by adding the right players in free agency that not only fits you schematically but fits you personality and culture-wise in the locker room. I think the one thing to keep in mind as we go through this free agency point of the year – and, look, it’s very exciting, and there’s a lot of press and media and it’s all over TV, but the reality is it’s not fantasy football. You can’t just grab a player, put him on your team and think everything’s going to work out. It has to be the right fit for your team going forward and that’s a fit culturally and a fit schematically, and it’s got to go both ways. There’s things that we do here that, look, we don’t make it easy on our players and coaches, that’s by design. The guys we have in this locker room have bought in, we have a lot of fun here through doing that, but we have a way of doing things. That’s not for everyone, to be honest with you. You have to make sure you bring someone in who’s going to fit the culture and that’s going to buy into what you’re doing, and that shares the same principles and values and team goals that you have. In terms of balancing that, to me it’s just about continuously adding good players to your roster and then it’s our job internally to help those players promote their career through developing and getting better on the field.

Q: You said you evaluated your own team and what you kind of need in regards to personnel, so obviously you’re not going to tell me exactly who you want to get or whatever. From a big picture, what are your goals personnel-wise for this offseason?

A: I’m going to give an answer and this is actually as clear and transparent as I can be – and it’s going to seem very generic and washed out, but this is as simple as I can put it – the priority is really just to add as many good players to this team that we see helping us down the stretch and building with this. That’s the goal. Add good players who fit what we’re looking to do, who can add to the skillsets we need as a team and at the same time fit the culture in the locker room that we’re building here. I know that sounds very generic, there’s guys at all positions that are available throughout the league. Ultimately, what it’s going to come down to is making sure that whatever position we bring guys in that they fit us and that we fit them.

Q: Being specific on one position at least, how important is it for you to add a top playmaker in regards to a receiver this offseason?

A: I think we’ve got to do things to help our players on our roster. We have to make sure we keep putting these guys in position to be successful and part of that is by adding talent and improving the competition on the roster. That can be through the draft, that can be through free agency, that can be a lot of different ways. In terms of adding specifically a receiver, look, if the right situation is up with a guy in free agency, then we’ll pursue it. If the right situation is up with a guy in the draft, then we’ll pursue it. My focus as a coach is when we get whoever we have in the building to continue to put them in the right position to be successful and use their skillsets.

Q: Hey Joe, you guys obviously added a lot of young offensive linemen last year and I know you made it a point to work them into the rotation throughout the year and get them some experience. I’m curious, how much do those guys play into your decision-making in terms of adding offensive linemen this offseason and how do you feel generally about that group coming out of last year?

A: Well, I think because you play five guys at a time at that position, you’re always looking for good offensive linemen to bring into your program and develop. You can never have too many good offensive linemen, nobody’s ever upset that they have a good offensive line. So, I’m very pleased with the development our young guys got last year, I’m pleased with the continuity they built in not really being just five guys working together, but really it was seven or eight guys working together through different stretches of the season and really getting a feel for each other. That being said, again, we’re always looking to add good players that can add to our roster and every player has to compete for what they get here. Specifically to the offensive line, I’m pleased with the progress those guys made last year and if there’s someone at some point to add to the team that’s going to be the best move for the team, we’ll always consider that.

Q: Where are you on [Defensive Lineman] Dalvin Tomlinson? How would you evaluate a guy who doesn’t have the biggest stats because of the position he plays, but certainly seemed to be really important to what your defense was able to do last year?

A: Specific to our players who are free agents, I said it after the season and I’ll say it again, I’d love to have all of our guys back, I really would. I’m not going to comment on anything specifically to contracts and obviously we have a lot of love for Dalvin as a person and as a player. To me, I don’t think stats are always the overlying factor. You have to understand how you use him in your scheme and the overall production he has sometimes by allowing other people to be productive. Look, in terms of Dalvin, I can’t say enough good things about him. I love him as a person, he’s a fun guy to coach. All that being said, we’d love to have all of our guys back. There’s a process every team has to go through this time of year through free agency and all that stuff will be addressed when the time comes.

Q: Hey Joe, have you talked to [Offensive Tackle] Nate Solder and do you expect him to play this season? Did he give you that indication? And do you need either him or [Guard] Kevin Zeitler around, if not both, to mentor your young offensive linemen?

A: I’d say both those players are players that are under contract and currently on our roster. Look, I’m not going to speak for Nate. The answer is yes, I have talked to Nate. To be honest with you, the majority of our conversations have actually had nothing to do with football. I’ve talked a good bit with Nate since the end of the season and just checked up on him in terms of how the year off went, how his family is doing, how his son is doing and how he’s doing personally. There have been a lot of conversations. We have talked some football. There are other areas of our building as well that are in conversations with Nate, but when the time comes to address all that, we’ll know. Obviously, these things don’t all happen in one day and we’ll see where everything goes, but these are players we’d love to have back, they’re guys on our roster.

Q: Hey Joe, this year in particular with the cap being lower, I’m just curious when you look at two positions like pass rusher and wide receiver, how you weigh what’s happening in the draft. It’s obviously a very deep receiver class, so does that kind of shift your way of thinking about that position and maybe the same goes for pass rusher where it might not be so deep and you might have to dip into free agency?

A: I mean, it’s our job to know everybody who’s in the draft as well as everybody throughout the league that’s a free agent. It’s our job to know everyone throughout the league and on rosters, as well. That’s just part of the job, knowing the people in the NFL. Speaking specifically on those positions, you’re always doing your homework based on what’s available in different avenues to add to your team, whether that’s in free agency or the draft. Sometimes they do well off each other, other times they may not. I think the decision always comes down to who’s available at what times and is it the best decision for the organization.

Q: Hi Joe, just following up on wide receivers. When evaluating them, especially because so much is not in person, what characteristics are you looking for on film or intangibles besides fitting into the culture?

A: For all our players, we’re really looking for smart, tough and fundamentally sound. Now, you can evaluate a good bit of that on tape, you can evaluate the smarts or the instincts that you see them play with on tape. You can evaluate the tough through how they play with a physical mentality and how they respond to the tough situations in the game. And fundamentally sound, you have to see on the tape how they play within a positional execution. All that being said, you’re evaluating critical factors not to what they’ve done, but what you think they can do projecting going forward. So, in terms of evaluating anybody simply on tape, you’ve got to do your best work in terms of really evaluating how they play. Ultimately, the most important evaluation is the game tape. With draft prospects, it’s important for us to do our homework on these guys, it’s important for us to have good interaction in person and be very intentional in the questions we ask them to find out the information we need.

Q: Coach, just to follow up on something you said in the beginning, you went through an offseason last year like none other. It looks like it’s going to be the same kind of parameters in terms of virtual. What kind of improvements have you identified that maybe you want to change going forward into this offseason to get better results?

A: I’d say the first thing is in terms of the makeup of this offseason, nothing’s been done officially that we’ve been communicated to about. I’d say our hope is still to have the players in person, whether that’s in intense protocols or whatever it may be. Obviously, it’s a voluntary program, so it’s on the players and what they want to do with their offseason. I could tell you this, easily over 90 percent of our players talking at the end of the season voiced to me their desire to be here this spring and the importance they know on working here. I think we have a young team who understands that we have to work to improve, but that being said, it’s a voluntary program. We want to do everything we can do to help the players when we’re allocated the time. Now, I’d say specifically into the virtual part of it, actually we had a long talk about that after the season when we evaluated everything we do as a process. We had a long talk about the virtual element of the program, whether it was spring or in-season, and that’s something based on whether or not we have to do it because we’re mandated to in the future, whether that’s spring or the season. Also, we looked at some of the benefits of using it as a change up like we did some times this year throughout the season. We saw benefits of doing it at different times possibly virtually. Now, that’s got to be the right makeup of the team, the right time of the year and the right situation to use it. One thing I thought our staff got very good at and our players as well was being very interactive at the end of the year through Zoom. It wasn’t so much just tune in and listen, but it was really the interaction and we were able to really simulate those in-person meetings. The more interactive the meetings got, the more benefit we saw on the back end of the year. I would say that just seeing what we did last year that was beneficial, that would be the main focus to carry into the spring. The other thing too is, we reached out to a lot of people and we tried to find out what they do differently. I’m talking about talking to college programs, what are they doing differently with a younger generation of players? Talking to high school coaches, how do they have to interact with their players? Talking to teachers at high schools and professors in college, what are the things that they found beneficial as far as teaching? What are the tools that are out there that we’re not using that can keep players stimulated and engaged throughout meetings? We’re always looking to go ahead and do it. To me, the number one thing is interaction.

Q: Hey Coach, I wanted to follow up on Rob Sale. You guys have obviously put so much thought and effort into offensive line with Freddie’s new role, with bringing in Pat Flaherty. If you can just expand on why you think Rob Sale is the right guy to come help this young offensive line.

A: Like I said earlier, Rob is an excellent teacher. He’s a great, high energy coach and very detailed on the field. His guys respond to him. I’ve watched him develop a number of players at different places, whether he was at Georgia, Arizona State, Louisiana, I’ve watched him develop a number of offensive linemen that have been successful. I think the biggest thing is when you look at some of these programs, they start out with these higher recruits and their ceiling is high, but the room to get to the ceiling isn’t always as high. What I’ve seen with Rob is some of the guys he’s developed in the programs he’s been in where he’s truly had to mold them and bring them along both from their physical development as well as their mental understanding and their on-field performance. Look, I’m very pleased with what him and Ben have been doing the last few weeks working together, but tied directly into Rob, his ability to teach, his ability to establish relationships with his players and the response he gets from his guys and how they play on the field. That, to me, they all just line up to be the best fit for us.

Q: Joe, as you self-scouted your pass rush last year, what did you think of it? And now that [Defensive Lineman] Leonard Williams will be back with you guys, how does that impact how you view that area and entering free agency and the draft?

A: Well, look, it’s a passing league, truly it is. You have to be able to stop the run to be effective on defense, but when you look at the guys getting paid the most money, it’s obviously the quarterbacks. It’s a passing league. When you talk about the pass rush, it can never be just one player, you have to have depth at those positions and it has to come from multiple areas. To me, the improvement of the pass rush as the year went on last year was a combination of the improvement made up front with the defensive line and the outside linebackers in our pass rush schemes and then also on the back end with the way our defensive backs improved in the coverage on the back end to give them more time to get to the quarterback. Nothing really happens independently of each other. If the coverage isn’t sound, you can’t have a pass rush. If the pass rush isn’t sound, they have to cover for a long time and then all of a sudden that ends up not being really in your favor. Really, I saw improvement from the defense as a whole. That’s what we have to really go ahead and keep emphasizing is making sure all three levels, the defensive backs, the linebackers and the defensive line, continue to improve within our schemes. And then we have to make sure that we use guys in the best situations and matchups to be successful.

Q: In terms of Leonard Williams and him coming back, how does that impact how you view things going into free agency and the draft with your pass rush?

A: Like I said about all of our players, I’d love to have Leonard back. He’s a guy that obviously we really value in this building and we’d love to have him around here. When we talk specifically about how that helps the pass rush, I think good players help you play good and it’s no secret that he’s a very good player.

Q: Hey Coach, you talked about going over schemes and making some adjustments. I’m curious, at the tight end position, you and Jason (Garrett), do you feel that you fully utilized [Tight End] Evan Engram and even a guy like [Tight End] Levine Toilolo in the offense the way you attack defenses? And after looking at every play – I’m sure you looked at every play, how do you feel about Evan Engram still? Do you feel this guy is the future here?

A: I love Evan. I have a ton of confidence in Evan. He’s fun to coach, the guys have fun playing with him, he gives everyone in the locker room a ton of confidence. This guy goes out there every day and this guy works tirelessly, I mean tirelessly. This guy is a tank every day, so in terms of confidence within the program, absolutely we have confidence in him, 100 percent. He’s a guy that obviously we have to keep continuing to feature in the offense along with [Tight End] Kaden Smith and Levine and all the other tight ends that will be in our program because these are guys with skillsets and we’ve just got to keep on doing things to use their versatility and skillsets to put them in a position of strength.

DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media on Tuesday (video):

Opening Statement: Good afternoon, folks. Trust you’re all well and your families are great also. Just to catch up on where we’ve been, what we’ve done since the season ended, obviously when the season ended, we had a thorough review of our roster and then we’ve been getting into the UFA’s, so we’re well on our way there. On the college side, we’ve had two rounds of Zoom meetings with college scouts. They are out and about at the pro days. Our final prep meetings for the draft, we’ll reconvene in early April, hopefully some of it in person and it’s not completely Zoom, we’re hoping for that. Right now, we’re involved with Zoom interview sessions in lieu of the Indy interviews. We started those last week, we’re doing three players a day on average in the afternoon, so that’s where we’re at. Finally, just so you understand, I completely understand why you guys have to ask about contracts and negotiations, I understand that. I hope you understand my stance on this. Philosophically, it’s between the player and the club. I think it’s very personal and in terms of timelines, contracts get done when they’re supposed to get done. That’s the way I feel about it and that’s the way it’ll go when you ask me about negotiations. Let the questions begin.

Q: Last year, you had [Defensive Lineman] Leonard Williams play under the franchise tag number. This year, how debilitating would it be if you have to do that again with Leonard Williams at almost $20 million dollars of cap space?

A: Well, we still don’t know what the cap number is going to be. We still don’t know that, so that’s a hypothetical. Don’t know what the number is going to be, but it is what it is.

Q: Theoretically, how much would it hurt you in free agency moving forward if you have to allot all that money to one player on a franchise tag?

A: Well, obviously it certainly makes it a little more difficult, but we’ll operate, and we’ll manage.

Q: With reference to Leonard and a franchise tag, have you guys officially used the franchise tag on Leonard yet? I know there was a report this morning that you were going to.

A: Today is the last day. We’ll see where it goes.

Q: So you haven’t made an official decision on that either way?

A: No, we’ll make a decision later on.

Q: Just in terms of the way this offseason is shaking out, I know last year you started one way in terms of how you were able to do all your evaluations. You still had the Combine and then obviously everything changed, and you had to really fly by the seat of your pants. Overall, do you feel that it’s more challenging or less challenging going into this year having gone through and offseason like last year or are there things that you still are kind of uncertain as to how things are going to play out from a scouting perspective, from free agency because of the uncertainty that’s still involved league wide?

A: Well, the uncertainty really doesn’t play into unrestricted free agency. Those are players that are in the league, scouting them is not the issue. The uncertainty certainly falls on the college draft piece. Last year, despite the fact that the world essentially closed down mid-March, we had already had Indy, we had the all-star games and obviously had a full college season with full normal access. You had all that. This year, it’s obviously different. The way the pro days are set up, each team is only going to be allowed to have three people attend and most likely you’re going to be in the stands, whether that’s in an indoor facility or in a stadium, who knows. It’s going to vary from school to school. We also have to have our scouts tested and show up with negative tests, so there’s a lot of that going on. The other problem you’re going to have is that critical face-to-face contact, you’re not going to be able to have it because even at these pro days you’re not going to be allowed to have one-on-ones with the players. It’s going to be different. I’ve had conversations with people in other leagues and how they’ve handled it and I’ll continue those conversations, but really and truly there’s always unknowns and there’s just more unknowns this year. The one thing that I will say is we’re used to Zoom, we’re used to operating differently and we’re used to trying to be innovative as to how we operate, so that part of it is ongoing.

Q: Even if [Running Back] Saquon [Barkley] comes back 100 percent, do you need playmakers, one or two more? How do you look at that?

A: Every team needs playmakers, let’s be honest. Good lord willing, Saquon will be 100 percent and obviously he’ll make a huge difference. A healthy Saquon obviously makes a big difference, but, again, you’re always looking to add good players. And, oh, by the way, we’re not playing until September, so we’ve got free agency and we’ve got the draft, and we’ll see how it plays out. It’s not like we don’t realize what we need, but, again, at the end of the day it’s also about adding really good players. You can never have too many good players at any positions. Sure, we have our eye out for that, but we also have our eye out for guys that fit us culturally and fit where we’re trying to get to.

Q: Seems like this year more than ever there’s a lot of potential quarterback moves in the league and certainly a lot of high-ranking draft picks to come out. [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] said a little earlier that you guys haven’t changed your stance on [Quarterback] Daniel [Jones]. Was it at all tempting to look at some of those possibilities or how did you handle that situation?

A: Well, you do your evaluations. We’ve had Daniel for two years; we’ve done the evaluation on him and we really believe he’s the guy. No reason to go look. What we’re doing isn’t fantasy football, we’re not playing, we’re not doing that. We’ve got a conviction on him, he’s everything we want, he’s got all the physical skills and again I say this all the time, the kid just finished his second year of NFL football. How many of us after two years at our new job were great? No, we all start at point A and we hopefully get to point Z, but the one common denominator is it takes time. Everybody has to understand that. We believe in Daniel and that’s where it is.

Q: Do you feel like there’s a deadline to get this team to championship caliber before he gets to a second contract? Do you need to try to win on his rookie deal?

A: You giving me the window theory? Microsoft Windows is nice, but I’m not a window theory guy, I’m just not. I never have been, and I never will be, so we’re going to keep working the process, keep getting better and we’ll get there.

Q: Since you arrived at the Giants, I think this is year four of the rebuild and while I’m sure you might quibble with this, PFF had your offensive line ranked 31st this season in the league. I’m just wondering where you think you guys are in this rebuild and did you think it would be a little quicker, frankly?

A: Well, we’ve talked about that. I went to Carolina and it worked out well, it worked out quickly. We all want things to happen fast. Just for what it’s worth, in terms of where our offensive line is, they’re young and they’re talented. Things take time. I said it earlier, things take time. We believe in these guys, they all came along, we finished the season fairly strong. One of the things that I would say to you is we were 4-2 in our division and if you look at our division, all of those defensive lines that we play, all those fronts are big, powerful, athletic defensive lines and our guys held up. So, we’re getting there. It’s the old saying, you’ve got to run the ball and you’ve got to obviously be able to protect the passer. We’re young and we’re getting better.

Q: If I may though, you can only say you’re young if you don’t have [Guard Kevin] Zeitler and [Offensive Tackle Nate] Solder because they’re not young, they’re absolute veterans in this league. So, are you implying that they’re gone, and the young guys have to make it happen now?

A: I’m not implying that at all.

Q: But Dave, then your offensive line isn’t young. Respectfully, you don’t have a young offensive line, then.

A: When your center and your left guard and your left tackle are rookies, basically you’re young.

Q: With the uncertainty and lack of information in the scouting process this year compared to others, is there an argument for trading back in the draft more this year than other years and acquiring more picks to take more swings at the plate, so to speak? Or even maybe moving and acquiring more picks next year because the process might yield clearer results in the scouting process than it does this year? Or do you try to handle it as normally as possible through all those hurdles?

A: Well, I think that you can make the argument that you’re going to have the most information on the top 100-150 guys and as you work backwards because of a lack of touch and whatever, you’re not going to have as much information or have as much confidence in your ability to work your way through that group. You can make the argument to trade back because of this thing. There are guys in this draft that when they put pads on in August it’ll be the first time in 20 months they’ll have put pads on, so you’ve got to think about that piece and some of those guys are very, very highly rated, so you’ve got to think about that. Your point about moving picks and trading back and getting 2022 picks is very valid because hopefully we’ll be back to somewhat normal and we’ll be able to draft in 2022 with that kind of thorough information that we had in 2020, but not in 2021. So you can make that argument for that, you can make that argument to trade back, accumulate picks for next year. You can make the argument that you sit tight. You can make the argument that, knowing that your best information is going to be on the top guys, maybe you trade up. So, who knows? I think what you’re saying makes a lot of sense.

Q: Can I refer to you as an old GM?

A: Wow, that’s getting personal. Sure, if that makes you happy, have at it.

Q: This year with a reduced salary cap, is renegotiating with guys with existing contracts more of an option this year?

A: The goal to best manage the cap is to get flat contracts. So, if a guy is making $15 million – it’s a 3-year deal at $45 million – you’d like to have a $15 million cap number every year, that’s the goal. once you start restructuring or renegotiating, you usually back-end load them. What you’re doing is you’re kicking the can, so it depends upon how much pain you want to deal with. That’s really what it is. Some teams philosophically say, ‘The heck with it,’ and they restructure and some people don’t. It’s a philosophical conversation, but it’s not a good place to get to, to constantly restructure and renegotiate.

Q: Hey Dave, this is your first draft since having to let go of DeAndre Baker. Pre-Dave Gettleman, the Giants were burned by some immaturity issues with Eli Apple and with Ereck Flowers. I’m wondering if in this draft, organizationally you guys have tightened standards to where any hint of a red flag is a no-go for you guys or is that just not possible because too many talented players have at least some hint of a red flag?

A: What I’m going to say to you is, again, you have to remember how young these players are. It’s not the old days where you had four guys that played four years, almost everybody red-shirted. [Offensive Tackle] Andrew Thomas just turned 21. I told you before, I drafted two 20-year-old guys when I was in Carolina. They’re coming out younger and younger, so there is that piece to them. They’ve been covered their whole lives and they’ve been taken care of and they’ve been covered and they haven’t had to be as accountable as maybe they need to have been, so when they get to us they have two things that are very dangerous and it’s time and money. Some handle it better than others. At the end of the day, that is something that we really try to work our way through. We talk about maturity all the time with players. Again, you turn around and you interview the players and you ask them the question, ‘What do you think is going to be your biggest challenge?’ And they turn around and say, ‘Well, I shouldn’t have any problems.’ And I’m saying to myself, ‘Well, how much does he know? How aware is he? How self- aware is he? Does he really understand what he’s getting into?’ When I tell him, ‘You’re 21 years old and you’re going to play against a 28 or 29-year-old man who wants to rip your lungs out.’ It’s different, you’re not in college anymore. The long way around to that answer is the maturity piece is really important and you work on it. At the end of the day, sometimes you’re not right.

Q: In regards to a young line, if that’s the case, are you comfortable going into the season with two players in their second year like [Offensive Tackle] Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas as your starting tackles?

A: I am, yes.

Q: We didn’t see a lot of Matt Peart, so I’m wondering what you saw that gives you that confidence in him.

A: When he played, he played fine. He played pretty damn well. At some point in time, you’ve got to let the young kids play. Listen, every player was a rookie at some point or a young player at some point. At some point in time, you have to have confidence in who’s on your club and you have to put him in there and let him play. Like I’ve said to some of you, how many of you had Pulitzer Prize-winning articles your first or second year?

Q: You don’t have the proverbial number one receiver or dominant edge rusher, the bell cow I think as you said last year. How realistic is it to fill both those spots in one offseason considering how much those positions get paid?

A: Well, there is a draft, right? So, you don’t necessarily have to buy them both. We’re just going to see how it plays out, see what guys are worth and what the expense costs are, and just keep moving forward.

Q: Hi Dave, you guys added Kyle O’Brien into your front office the other day. I’m curious what went into that decision, what’s his role going to be in the front office and what do you think he can bring to the table?

A: Well, what Kyle can bring is a variety of experiences. He’s worked in pro, he’s obviously been a college scout, a director of college scouting, a vice president of player personnel. Kyle went to Harvard and we’re always looking to add smart people. He’s a quality evaluator and we had a chance to add him and you want to add quality people, so Kyle will be very involved in what we’re doing.

Q: Just wanted to touch on something you were talking about earlier with less information that you guys can get this year. Everybody’s in the same boat, but is there a little bit uneasiness going into a draft like this when you don’t necessarily have access to the people that are around these players when you don’t get to see these players in person? Is there a percentage of less information that you would have on a prospect this year than you normally would?

A: Really, what makes you uncomfortable is the lack of personal contact you have with the players. That’s really what it is. Watching them operate, talking to them, just not having that personal touch is very difficult. The other thing that’s strange is most of the time when you’re talking about players in April once all the smoke has cleared, you’ve had Indy, you’ve had your pro days, you have your own personal measurements on these guys. The 40-yard dash times are your times, so there’s going to be a lot of information that we’re hoping is accurate and crisp. When we talk about players, we talk about play speed. I’ve been pretty vocal about Indy being the ‘underwear Olympics’ and last time I checked when you play football you have full pads on. It’s not what a guy runs in a 40-yard dash time, it’s how fast he plays, so I think that’s going to come into focus even more. We can get with the coaches, the assistant coaches and the folks, that’s not the problem. The problem is the personal contact with the players and where the measurables are coming from. Especially for me, more so it’s the height and the weight, the body measurements. The 40-yard dash is a watch, I really believe in play speed. It is a little unsettling, you know. I’ve said this before, what we’re doing is educated guessing, so this makes us a little more uneducated, not having this personal touch with these players.

Q: With the doctors in particular, the medical stuff, not having your own doctors get a chance to look at them, too. Does that play in?

A: Sure because, like I said, there is going to be an Indy in regards to medical. I believe they’re talking about having the top 150 go to Indianapolis and have a full, thorough medical. There’s going to be some telehealth interviews involved and whatever, but it’s a little unsettling. It is with the medical piece because there’s some unknowns. The more unknowns you have, the more unsettling it is.

Q: When it comes to Saquon Barkley’s situation coming off the injury, do you guys have to see him on the field before opening up long-term contract talks? Just curious what the injury history plays into that as he goes into his fourth year.

A: Well, I think that’s part of the discussion and obviously we’re going to have to make a decision in the spring on whether we pick up his fifth-year option or not. You know, again, it comes back to that medical question. It’s unknown and what you have to do is get your trainer and your doctors involved and make your best decision.

Q: Dave, last year I don’t think you had any undrafted free agents – actually, I take that back, [Defensive End] Niko [Lalos] made the roster later in the season. With that said, do you feel like given the circumstance that you’re missing out on maybe some smaller school gems? Have you adjusted how you’re going about your scouting process to maybe pick up some of these guys and pay more attention to them?

A: You’ve got to remember, last year we had ten draft picks. That’s an unusual number, so you can make the argument that you take three of the seventh-round picks, the last three, and if we had signed them after the draft – one of them was the inside linebacker from Georgia, Tae [Crowder], one of them was Chris Williamson, who was on the practice squad and the other guy I’m not sure, it wasn’t [LB] Cam Brown, Cam Brown was the sixth – but the point is those guys made our club. You can look at those as free agent signings after the draft. The other thing you have to remember is right now some of those schools are playing, some of the smaller school guys are playing and we’ll do the best we can with evaluating. There’s film available – you’re trying to get all the draft information and look at these kids, so it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge, but we’re working at it.

Q: Big picture here, you guys have won five, four and six games in your three seasons here. What are your expectations about how much better this team should be now that you feel like you have kind of settled things at quarterback, which is a big question? How much better should this team be in 2021?

A: Obviously, everybody has expectations. It’s about getting better. I’m not going to put a win number on it, I’m just not going to go there. I think we’re just about there. Talking to you guys, you’ve alluded to some of our needs and I believe we’re going to get there.

Jan 072021
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (December 13, 2020)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JOHN MARA ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara addressed the media on Wednesday (video):

Opening Statement: Good morning everybody. Let me just start out by saying how proud I am of our staff, our entire organization and particularly our players for the way they handled this past season. The effort and patience and discipline and sacrifice that everybody went through, not seeing their families and all of the protocols that kept changing seemingly on a weekly basis. We were able to get through and play the whole season with relatively few bumps in the road, and that was no small feat.

In terms of the season itself, looking back a year ago, I can tell you that we’re very pleased with the selection that we made at head coach. I thought Joe (Judge) did a very good job considering what he had to deal with. When you think about it, here you have a brand new head coach at 38 years of age and look what he was asked to deal with: a pandemic, no offseason program, no minicamps, no preseason games, virtual meetings, protocols that kept changing, and he loses his best player in Week 2. I thought he showed great leadership and great adaptability. Nothing seemed to faze him during the year. If something had to change, he just made the change and went from there. I thought he showed real leadership, grit and determination the entire time. I thought he represented our franchise very well, the way I want our head coach to represent our franchise. I thought he established a great foundation and a great culture here. I know that culture word is overused, but I think it’s so important and I think we have the beginnings of a very good culture here. I also thought that he and Dave (Gettleman) worked very well together. All of our personnel decisions I thought improved significantly this year. They were able to agree on basically every decision that we made. I thought our draft was solid, our free agency moves were solid, and I think we have the foundation for something that could be very successful going forward.

Obviously, I’m not pleased with the number of games we won. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t do better than 6-10. But I do see progress in the building here. I think that the quality of people that we have in the locker room has improved a great deal. I think we have some great leaders down there. I think we’ve established a basis for a foundation that can have continued success going forward. I’m excited about the future of this team. I think the fact that we went 5-3 over the second half of the season gives me some reason for encouragement. I’m obviously disappointed we didn’t make the playoffs. We had every opportunity to do that only needing one more game, and we didn’t get that done. But I think what I wanted to see this year was some progress and some reason for some optimism going forward, and I did see that and that’s what I’m optimistic about what we can do in the future. With that, I’m happy to take whatever questions you have.

Q: Back in September, you didn’t want to put a win total on this season. You cited a vision that you wanted to create with Joe and obviously what you just said in your opening statement. I’m curious how much of it is a leap of faith compared to what you’ve done in the last couple of years following losing seasons? How much is it tangible? Is there tangible evidence that you’ve seen beyond the record that you could describe as to why you’re as confident in this season, maybe more so than you were in the last couple years?

A: I think it’s both of that. I think there’s always a certain leap of faith when you’re coming off a season when you only won six games. But just the quality of the players that we have in the locker room, the fact that they all seemed to buy in to Joe’s philosophy and Joe’s message. The effort was really good all year long, the discipline was really good all year long. I just think there’s a different feeling in the building now then there has been in a number of years, and I think that’s why I’m optimistic going forward.

Q: You didn’t actually come out and make an announcement today that Dave Gettleman is coming back as general manager. Is that because that was not a decision that you made, it was just something that was naturally happening? Why is Dave coming back for another year as general manager?

A: He is coming back if you want a formal announcement about that. I don’t think there was any particular reason why we didn’t make any formal announcement. I think the way Dave and Joe worked together, I thought our personnel decisions were really sound this year. I feel better about our roster than I have in years, and I think the two of them working together have started the building process with something that can have sustained success going forward. I just didn’t think that making a change at this point in time was something that was going to be beneficial. I said they worked really well together, and I’m really pleased with the players that they brought in here. I think that gives us a chance going forward.

Q: Is there any change to the structure at all? Or this is the same structure that it’s always been? There was some speculation of Joe’s going to have a lot more power now or something.

A: It’s the same structure it’s always been. The general manager and head coach collaborate on personnel decisions. What I’ve been really pleased about is, now they haven’t agreed 100 percent of the time. My father used to have a saying, ‘if you both agree all the time, then I don’t need both of you.’ I haven’t had to intercede on one occasion to break any ties. They managed to talk it through and work it out, showed good communication and at the end of the day, the decision that gets made is the New York Giants’ decision. It’s not Joe’s decision or Dave’s decision. They collaborate really well together, and that’s one of the reasons why, again, I’m optimistic about our future.

Q: I know you’re happy here with the progress and optimistic about the future, but my question is how long do the fans need to wait for a winning team to emerge?

A: Hopefully not too much longer because I can’t wait too much longer quite frankly. I’m tired of sitting up here at the end of the year trying to explain what went wrong and why I feel optimistic about the future. I want to do it after a winning season. I do believe that we have the right people in the building, we have a much better locker room than we’ve ever had before, and I think there’s reason for optimism. I feel good about the way the personnel decisions were made this year. We have some opportunities now in the draft and in free agency to improve the roster even further. I think if our fans continue to stay patient with us, that they will see a winning team pretty soon.

Q: I have two questions related to the NFC East. The first is did you reach out to Eagles ownership at all, either before Joe said what he said or after about how they handled their last game? The second one is in evaluating your season, did you have to take into account the reason you were playing meaningful games in December was the rest of the division struggled so much? You guys would have been four games out of first in any other division.

A: The answer to your first question is no, I did not reach out to the Eagles organization either before or after. The reason we didn’t make the playoffs is we didn’t win enough games. We had to win one more game to get into the playoffs. That’s on us. We can’t blame that on anybody else. I’m very conscious of where the division was this year, what the final record was. But I think you’ll see a much stronger division next year. Listen, we didn’t win enough games, but I do feel like we’re making progress. Some people may dispute that, and time will tell if I’m right or not. But I believe very strongly we did make enough progress to warrant staying the course with the people we have in the building.

Q: I have two questions also. The first is what was the season like for you watching games in empty stadiums and in your empty stadium?

A: It was a very strange feeling, and not a good one and not one I hope to repeat. Just coming into our stadium and not feeling any energy from the crowd I think was pretty difficult. Hopefully that’s not going to be the case next year. It was an eerie feeling each week walking into, really every stadium you’d walk into, even those that had limited capacity. It just didn’t feel the same. It’s just not the same having your fans there to support you. I think the players feed off that energy, and not having that I think hurt us this year.

Q: My second question is Joe has obviously expressed his conviction about Daniel (Jones) as the quarterback moving forward. Do you share that and why?

A: I do share that. I think Daniel before he got hurt was playing really well during that winning streak that we had. Then he got hurt, I think it was in Cincinnati, and then he wasn’t quite the same for the next few weeks. I thought he played very well this past Sunday, and also played well in the Baltimore game. Our coaches, all of them, are very high on Daniel, and I feel the same way. I think he has what it takes to lead us to where we want to go.

Q: I just wanted to circle back to the decision with Dave real quick. I understand you say you’re seeing progress with him and Joe, but what do you say to fans who say in his third year, you guys won six games, then in three years, you won 15 and they just feel that’s not enough progress?

A: I can understand that and there’s no defending the record. There’s no defending that at all. We haven’t won enough games. But listen, we made some miscalculations in 2018 with some of our personnel decisions. But I think the last two years, particularly this past year, we’ve seen significant improvement. I just felt like to break that up now and bring in somebody new from the outside was not going to be beneficial for us. I think Dave and Joe work very well together. Our personnel decisions I think were very sound, and I have every reason to think that will be the case going forward.

Q: You mentioned 2018, this notion has kind of been out there that there was a mandate from ownership that you had to make one more run with Eli (Manning). Is that true?

A: That’s absolute nonsense. We have never made any such orders or directions whatnot. I want the general manager and the coach to agree on the roster and the players that should be on the roster. I’ll give my opinion, but I want them to have a conviction about it going forward. Listen, we definitely made some miscalculations in a number of areas in 2018. But it was never any direction from ownership one way or another.

Q: Is there any kind of contract extension going on with Dave, or are you leaving his contract situation as is?

A: I don’t comment on people’s contracts and how much longer they have or anything. I’m not going to start by doing that now.

Q: If you consider this year progress, then what is your barometer for progress for Dave as general manager and for your team in 2021?

A: Well, I’d like to see our team win more games. I’d like to see us get back into the playoffs, but I’m not ever going to set a minimum number of games that we have to win or make any kind of determination like that. Again, I want to feel at the end of next year that we’ve taken a significant step forward. It’s not another six-win season or something like that. We need to win more games. But I’m not going to give you a required minimum.

Q: How did you weigh or count the facts that mistakes that Dave has made as GM, including DeAndre Baker, Golden Tate, I’m not going to list all of them, but do you connect those mistakes with your 6-10 record this year from the previous two years? Why do you not think that’s an indictment of the general manager?

A: You used the word indictment. We made some miscalculations in 2018, and I think we, to a certain extent, paid for that this year by not having some of those players available. No question about it. I thought in 2019, things got a little bit better. Certainly, this past offseason, I thought the personnel decisions that we made, both in the draft and in free agency, were significantly better. I like the combination that we have here right now. I didn’t see any reason to break that up.

Q: How much did you even contemplate making a change at general manager?

A: I really didn’t contemplate that. Listen, when you go through a season, any season, your feelings change from week to week depending on how you’re doing. I certainly didn’t feel very good midway through the season when we were sitting there at 1-7. I kept thinking that I’m seeing a team that’s practicing hard, I’m seeing a good attitude out there, nobody’s quitting, but where are the results? Where are the results? Then we started to win a little bit in the second half of the season and things started to look a little bit better. I just like the feeling we have in the locker room. I went to more team meetings than I ever had in the past. Players are so attentive and so tuned in to the message that’s coming from the head coach. It just seemed like we were on the right track. Now we just have to win some games to prove that we’re on the right track. We did a little bit better in the second half of the season. Then Daniel gets hurt, and I think that certainly hurt us a little bit. I think the fact that we did go 5-3 in the second half of the season gave me some reason for some optimism about what we have in the locker room. Obviously, we need to do better going forward.

Q: How much did you factor in, you obviously would have probably felt differently I would assume if you were in another division. I think every other division winner won 11 games. Obviously, you were in the division race until the final week. How much did that kind of factor into your overall feeling for the team?

A: It really didn’t. We were 6-10, we didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs at 6-10. We would have taken it, but we didn’t deserve to be there. I think the fact that we started to win some games in the second half of the season, and some of the younger guys that we brought in here were starting to play and show some talent. It was really the overall feeling that we’re making progress as opposed to whether we were playing meaningful games or not. We were playing meaningful games because our division is what it is. But I think it was more of a factor our younger players and some of our new players we brought in here were showing why we either took them in free agency or picked them in the draft. I think our talent level finally started to show itself a little bit. Now we’re far from a finished product. There are a lot more pieces that we need here. But I think we’re in much better shape now than we were a year ago.

Q: Just to keep on the topic of Dave, a year ago when you said his batting average had to improve, it was viewed as if it didn’t, you would consider a change. I know you just said you want to see another significant step forward. Is Dave’s status still essentially year to year, or have you seen enough now where you’re thinking more long-term with him?

A: Everything in this business is year to year. I’m not going to speculate on that. I think his batting average certainly improved this year. Our personnel decisions I thought were very sound this year and gives us some reason for optimism going forward. I’m not going to get into contractual situations with either staff people or players at this point.

Q: Given his age and obviously retirement is coming at some point with him, is there any internal succession plan under consideration or is that something you just put off until he actually does retire?

A: Listen, you’re always thinking about things like that. But there’s nothing that I’d want to comment on publicly at this point.

Q: Obviously, the defense had a pretty good season. But the offense finished 31st in scoring, 31st in yardage. I think it was the highest scoring year in NFL history. How do you feel about where the team is at in terms of that, being kind of behind the curve when it comes to being able to compete with teams?

A: I think we certainly need to help our offense a little bit this offseason, be it free agency and the draft. I think we need some more pieces there. Part of the problem that we had is we had a brand new offensive line with new guys playing new positions, they had never played together before, we had no offseason, we had no preseason games for them to get to know each other and get the feel for playing with one another, and they struggled, particularly early in the year, no question about it. I thought they started to play better in the second half of the season. But there’s no question that we need to help our offense going forward and add some more pieces. That will be a priority for us.

Q: You asked fans to be patient again after missing the playoffs three years in a row under Dave Gettleman. It seems like even dating back to 2018, some of those decisions were short-sided decisions, and some of the decisions that were made in the draft, you only have three players left each in 2019. How do you ask fans to be patient when (audio cut out)?

A: (Jokingly) The sound went out about halfway through that question and I had nothing to do with that. I’ll try to answer. The first part of the question was how do I ask fans to be patient. I feel like that’s the only thing I can ask them to do right now. I feel like we’re making progress. I think that given the fan mail that I’ve received, which tends to peak during the losing streak and then after we win a couple of games, it tends to die down. I think most of our fans believe we’re making progress. There are always going to be fans that are going to be critical, and rightfully so. I do believe we’re making progress. I am going to ask them to be patient again. I know it’s a tough ask, I know they’re tired of me saying that. But I am sincere in the belief that we are making progress here.

Q: What was it like for you to watch your team play 14 full games without Saquon (Barkley)? How do you look at decisions that are going to have to be made in the relative near future, not immediately perhaps but in the relative near future, about his tenure with the organization?

A: It was brutal to watch him go down in Week 2. He’s such an important part of this team, not only for what he does on the field but the leadership and all of the intangibles he brings to us off the field. That was really a gut-punch. Listen, I’m still happy that we have him. I think knowing him, he’s going to come back stronger than ever and be a big part of this team next year. In terms of what the time table is, it’s hard to predict that right now. I know our medical people are very pleased with the progress he’s made. I certainly expect him to be a Giant for a very long time.

Q: This year with no fans and everything, how much of a hit did the Giants take as an organization, and how much did the league take?

A: Well, it was a huge financial hit for us this year, no question about it. We did suffer some pretty significant financial losses, but it’s not going to affect our ability to be active in free agency or to do what we have to do to improve the team. Hopefully this is a one year thing and we’ll be able to have fans back in the building next season. I don’t think there’s any guarantee about that, but we’re optimistic that particularly as these vaccines get rolled out, people will start to feel comfortable about coming back into the building again. That would be a big boost to our players, I know that, being able to play in front of fans again.

Q: Is there any way you have to reach out to get more money, or is that not a problem at this point?

A: We’ll be ok. We’re not ready to put a padlock on the door just yet. I think we’ll survive just fine. It’s been a tough year from that point of view. But listen, there are people all over this country that are suffering. I’m not out here complaining or anything. We’ll be fine as an organization going forward.

DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media on Wednesday (video):

Opening Statement: Good morning everybody. I hope everyone’s holiday season was joyful and that your families are all safe and healthy. I want to take this time to thank all the people who made the 2020 NFL season happen. There’s so many people behind the scenes whose tireless efforts, the players, the coaches, football ops folks, enabling us to get this done. First, I want to thank ownership for allowing us to do what was financially necessary to allow us to operate as close to the norm as possible. Given a new head coach and some of the situations that other people had. We were able to go over to MetLife (Stadium) and have as normal a training camp as we could. I can’t thank ownership enough for that. Specifically, in our building, I want to thank Christine Procops, Bill Heller, Justin Warren, Victor McLoughlin, Jerry Meade, Kevin Abrams and of course Ronnie Barnes. Their efforts enabled our season to happen as close to normal, whatever that is now, as possible. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. Our football team made quality strides from beginning to end. We certainly have areas to improve upon. Joe (Judge) and his staff had a very productive year. Now as we enter our roster building season, we have full realization there is more work to do.

Q: We just got off with John (Mara) obviously and he kind of echoed some of your sentiments, but also pointed to 2018 which was obviously your first year as General Manager. He said as an organization you guys have acknowledged some miscalculations that you guys made. Have those miscalculations set you up for success now because of what you learned from what you did back then? Do you feel confident that the lessons learned in the last couple years have put you guys in a position to succeed?

A: I’ll tell you this, we’re always learning. The short answer to your question is yes. You’re always going to learn. I go over every final decision we make. I review it in my head over and over again, good or bad, oh by the way. I review it over and over again because you certainly don’t want to repeat mistakes. You do that and you have to be honest with yourself. You have to debrief, and you have to be brutally honest with yourself. As I’ve already admitted, ‘18 was not a stellar year, personnel-wise. We’ve learned from our mistakes. Our processes are better. I think this past year showed the fruits of that, both in free agency and in the draft. I really believe strongly we’ll continue in that way.

Q: Can you be specific about the things you saw in Joe Judge this year? What was your reaction to his reaction to what went down in Philly on the last night of the year?

A: The bottom line is, with Joe, is his big picture view and then the follow up on the attention to detail. That’s what’s really critical. He starts at A and gets to Z. That is huge, that is really huge. Obviously, he is a very bright guy. That’s what really sticks out in my mind. Just the big picture and the attention to detail. No detail is too small, the old saying, ‘the devil is in the details’. He and his staff, he is really tuned into that. As far as what he said the other day, he said what he said. At the end of the day, it is what it is. Obviously, it’s about playing 60 minutes. It’s about giving the fans their money’s worth. It’s really how you live your life. He said what he said and it’s time to move on.

Q: What does Dave Gettleman – almost 70 – how long do you want to stick around for?

A: It really is dependent upon the Lord how long I stick around for. We’re all day to day, by the way, in case anybody missed that point. I feel fine, I feel good, I’m excited. I just want to keep going. I don’t know where this retirement stuff came from. I have no idea what that’s all about. There are probably some people that… at the end of the day, I feel great. So, let’s keep going.

Q: Do you feel like you have the ability to keep your defensive line intact or will you have to make a decision on one or the other there?

A: The toughest thing for us right now frankly is we don’t know what the cap number is going to look like. That’s a problem. We’re not going to know for a while. That’s going to dictate obviously how you operate. We’ve got cap space, we’ve got room. You never have as much room as you want to have. We’ve got cap space, we’ve got room to do the things we feel like we need to do initially. A lot of it is going to be about the drop it’s going to take. How far of a plunge is it going to take? We don’t know. They’re talking 175, who knows. We’ll plan and then once we know the number, we’ll get moving.

Q: Your team had one win against a team with a winning record this year and was outscored 73-26 during a three-game losing streak in December. I guess for fans who aren’t seeing what you call quality strides, where would you say the quality strides are?

A: Well I think first of all the culture piece. I know it’s talked about but it’s important. You have to learn how to win, you have to know how to win and we’ve made progress there. The locker room is terrific. We’ve got great leadership. We’ve got a young club, a new young team. I understand that. At the end of the day, this is an important offseason, roster building offseason for us. We’ve got some solid pieces. We’ve built up the lines. We’ve done some things. We have to continue to get good players and part of it is getting playmakers, because that’s what you’re referring to. This is a goal of ours obviously for the offseason.

Q: I was going to ask you about the playmakers but you kind of addressed that a little bit. Let me you ask about Daniel (Jones). Where do you see him two years into his tenure as Giants quarterback?

A: Obviously, he flashed last year. He had some big games and played well. Then he had games that weren’t so great. This year, early in the season he was struggling with his ball protection. We all know that. The second half of the year unfortunately he had that blip with the hamstring. He finished the season very strong. He played well against Baltimore despite getting chased all over the place to a degree. Made some big-time throws. Really and truly, it may sound trite, but obviously the last game of the year was a playoff game for us. It really was. We have to win that game to force Washington to win their game. Daniel played very well. He made a couple of big-time throws. Protected the ball for the most part. The one pick was off of Evan’s (Engram) hands. He’s done a lot of really good stuff. He’s made of the right stuff mentally and physically. Again, we’re talking about a young quarterback who has had two different offensive coordinators in the NFL. Two different systems. Obviously, he had a different one at Duke so he got three different systems in three years. I thought he got beyond the hamstring the last two games and he played well. We have complete confidence in him moving forward.

Q: You mentioned you feel good and you want to continue but I have to ask you about the conditions that the pandemic brought on. Obviously, your job changed or how you did the job I should say. I’m wondering how did that affect your energy and have you thought about that moving forward?

A: For everybody, I don’t care if you’re a football GM or you’re a carpenter or whatever. This pandemic is a load. It is a flat load. It makes everything an event. You have to consider everything. You have to consider going to the grocery store. You have to consider just everything, absolutely everything. Everything is an event. It takes energy from everybody. It took energy from you guys. There were days you’re looking at four walls. You can’t come to practice, you can’t do this, you can’t do that. It puts a mental load on you. I feel good, I feel strong. I had my 24-month review with my lymphoma doctor. He says you’re as healthy as a horse. Let’s just keep moving, so I’m ready to rock.

Q: Two-part question, number one, thanks for doing this. When you mentioned Daniel a few minutes ago, the idea of three offensive coordinators in three years and the potential teams asking to talk to Jason (Garrett) that you might have to go to a fourth, how does that affect the evaluation process? Also, with hindsight being 20/20, when you look back at how the injury was handled, would things have been better served if you had held back another week and maybe not played him against Arizona?

A: You can always look at everything – in hindsight, you can reevaluate everything and take a look at it. We felt good about it. We felt that he could protect himself and that he could do the things he needed to do and that’s why he played against Arizona. I really understand what you’re saying, but we felt strong. Obviously, we had the conversation with Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff and we felt good about it. During that week of practice, he moved around pretty darn good. Being as it may, we’re fine with that decision. He didn’t do any more damage. It is what it is. As far as the potential of Jason leaving, of course it makes you a little antsy. Just imagine, anybody, any of you guys, having your fourth editor in four years. It’s the same thing. It’s no different. We’ll adjust and adapt and do what we have to do and obviously anything we do moving forward, Daniel is a big part of it. We’re certainly conscious of that piece, to answer your question.

Q: I know you’re a trenches guy and the game is won upfront and you like defense, but the team just didn’t score enough points. It’s obvious. 20, 17 points a game just can’t win in the NFL. What do you say to address that? How much of it is you having to study everything that happens on offense. I know there was no Saquon (Barkley), the offensive line and everything, do you look at everything and say we need to find better players to score more points coming up?

A: You can never have too many good players. Bottom line. That’s a stock answer that every GM is going to tell you. At the end of the day, we need to find playmakers. That’s all there is to it. I’m not sugar coating it. If you talk about philosophically doing roster building, it’s the Q (quarterback), it’s the big men allow you to compete. On offense, it’s play makers. We have to be very conscious of it. We’re going to find the right guys to help Daniel get us over that hump.

Q: I have a big picture question for you. Obviously, there is a lot of talk of progress today, but how disappointing is it for you that after year three, you guys haven’t topped six wins and you only needed to get seven to make playoffs this year?

A: Of course, it’s disappointing. It’s disappointing not just for me personally, but I’m disappointed for the organization. I’m disappointed for the players and the fans. Sure, it’s disappointing. Listen, last time I double checked, it’s about winning. I’m very disappointed. I guess the best thing I can say is – John said in 2018 we didn’t have a stellar year, didn’t have a stellar roster building season, it’s affected us. We’re on the right track right now. We’ve done some really good stuff the last two years. We’re going to fix this. We are going to fix this.

Q: You’re going to enjoy this question because it’s worded a lot differently than it would have been last year. Leonard Williams, the season he had – do you almost wish you had gotten something done with him last year rather than giving him the franchise tag because it certainly seems like the price went up this year?

A: It doesn’t make a difference – you’re killing me either way. At the end of the day, I’m not going to discuss contracts, negotiations, did we do anything last year or did we not? No, the bottom line is we are where we are. Leonard deserves a lot of credit for how he prepared this year. Sean Spencer working with him as the D-line coach, the scheme that Pat (Graham) had for him, you know? As I said to you guys, before, he was a – I don’t even remember when he was taken, he was a top five pick – number two or four or something like that. There was a reason that happened, you know what I’m saying? Leonard did a great job. He did a great job of working his fanny off. Again, the atmosphere for our players – one of hard work, you can have fun, you can enjoy yourself and Leonard did a heck of a job and his position coach, Sean Spencer, Pat Graham and Joe. The bottom line is he thrived in our atmosphere. I’m ecstatic. It’s like I tell players all the time, ‘I only want you to be successful and I want you to make me cry when it comes to negotiations’.

Q: I know you just said that, ‘We’re going to fix this,’ but fans are saying in three years, we’re at 15 wins. How much does it have to be now? At what point do the wins have to come?

A: Obviously, they have to come soon. The idea is to win. Like I said, a lot of things have happened. We’re definitely on the right track. I’d like to believe finishing – starting at the 1-7- we finished 6-10. We finished 5-3 over the last eight games. There are a lot arrows pointing up for us. We’ll have a good season, a good roster building season right now and we’ll feel a lot better. We’re getting there.

Q: Your top priority when you came, well at least one of them, was to rebuild the offensive line. I’m curious after three years, where are you in your estimation with that rebuild of the offensive line?

A: We’ve got some really nice, young pieces. Nick Gates stepped in there. He’d never played offensive center before. We drafted Will (Hernandez) and Shane Lemieux. You have (Kevin) Zeitler and Andrew Thomas who acquitted himself very well when he had that rough patch and then he got himself rolling again. I think this offensive line can compete. You can cherry pick here, cherry pick there, in terms of which game you want to pick and how the offense did. The offensive line showed very good progress. They’re big, they’re young, they’re strong and they’re tough and smart. This O-Line has a chance to be pretty damn good.

Q: You know a thing or two about evaluating talent. How would you evaluate the job you did this year as GM?

A: I don’t want to evaluate myself. We made some really solid progress. I know everyone is tired of hearing it. Joe and I worked together very well and it was thrill. It was fun. He’s collaborative, communicative, we’re on the same page. As John said, we don’t agree on everything, but if we’d agree on everything, as John said, he doesn’t need both of us. The bottom line is that we had a good solid year. We hit on free agency. We hit on draft picks as of right now. Again, I always say that you know about a draft three years later. You can really quantify and evaluate on what you’ve done. We had a lot of those young kids step in and help us and show us that they’re legitimate NFL players. They have legitimate NFL talent as long as they continue to blossom and improve and progress. So anyhow, for what that’s worth, what we’ve done here in the three years that we’ve been here, is about sustained success. That’s what it’s about.

Q: You and John had both made several references to 2018 as a mistake. It seems like you’re calling 2019 in the draft and free agency a success. I was wondering if you actually feel that way? What do you think in 2019 were the team moves that set you up so well for this year?

A: You have the quarterback. You have Dexter Lawrence. There’s a start. Obviously, we had no clue that Deandre (Baker) could get in that kind of issue. It’s just a constant build and a constant blend and we feel like the last three years have been solid personnel-wise.

Q: Do you look at the last couple drafts at quarterback for example, there are guys like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert who look excellent and score a lot of points. Then this year, at offensive tackle, Andrew had a rough patch, whereas, some people would say some of the other guys played a little bit better. I was wondering if you look at not taking several players at those two positions and looking at what you have. Do you reconsider whether you made the right choice?

A: You guys are going to call me doubling down, I’m very happy with what we’ve done with Daniel and Andrew Thomas. I’m not even going to blink.

Q: You mentioned off the top, a lot of people top be thankful for that you guys have reached this point in the season because there was a lot of uncontrollable factors. Did you scale back any of the expectations this year because a pandemic was happening? This was the first year of no preseason game etc.

A: No, not really. This was a crazy year obviously. Like I said at the top, ownership financially supported us. We were one of the few teams in the league that was able to work out of a stadium and be socially distanced properly, have the locker room space, everything that we did over there. It allowed us to have as close to a normal preseason as you could have. Not having the preseason games obviously hurt, it hurt everybody. Our situation wasn’t any different than anybody else. Nobody had preseason. When you have a really young team, that creates issues when you’re trying to figure out what you have. Not having the preseason games was difficult. At that point in time, everybody is trying to negotiate the protocols. Things were changing constantly. I just thought ownership gave us the ability to do some things and it was really important that we do that for Joe and the staff. We came back from Indianapolis last year, the first week in March. Ronnie Barnes came to me three times and said, ‘Dave this is going to be really bad, really bad’. By then it was I believe in Italy, it hit there. Ronnie told me, Ronnie said, ‘Dave this is going to be bad’. I walked down the hall to (Director of College Scouting) Chris Pettit and I said, ‘Chris get ready for us to draft remotely. Get ready for our meetings’. I walked down to Joe and I said, ‘Joe you’re not going to see your players until August, I’m telling you. That’s what we have to plan for’. Thank God for Ronnie for having that foresight. I felt like we were ahead of the curve with a lot of the things we did in terms of how we were set up for training camp and how we were set up when got back here. That’s where Victor McLoughlin, our buildings guy, and Justin Warren, our IT guy, just did an unbelievable job. Getting us set up to be able to do things remotely and be spaced out and all the other stuff. We actually had setups for all the coaches that we installed in their homes so if something happened, they could work remotely. That paid off for us. There’s a lot of things that people behind the scenes warned us about and we heeded their warnings and it enabled us to do what we did. No, we didn’t scale back any expectations.

Q: You talked about how the salary cap may hit one of those air pockets. I’m just wondering how creative will you have to be in maybe reworking contracts? Making do with what you have, and have you talked to guys like Nate Solder and things like that and figure out what’s his status going to be next year?

A: We haven’t started that. I haven’t had that conversation with Nate. The season just ended Sunday here and it’s Wednesday. The bottom line is until we have a good idea of what the number is, what the number is going to be, we’ll plan as best we can. Obviously, we know who our UFA’s (unrestricted free agents) are. We’ll get moving and we’re going to have to make some decisions on a number of players. That piece is going to be interesting to work with and work through. We’re going to make the best decisions we can for the New York Football Giants and for our fans.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • LB Blake Martinez (Video)
  • CB James Bradberry (Video)
  • CB/S Julian Love (Video)
  • S Xavier McKinney (Video)
Jan 052021
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (September 3, 2020)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RETAIN DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The New York Post is reporting that the New York Giants have decided to retain the services of General Manager Dave Gettleman, despite the team’s 15-33 record under his leadership since he was hired three years ago. Gettleman turns 70 in February.

According to The Post, “ownership believes the team is headed in the right direction and Gettleman is the right man to continue the building process alongside head coach Joe Judge.”

TEAMS INTERESTED IN PATRICK GRAHAM AND JASON GARRETT…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Jets are interested in interviewing New York Giants Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham for their head coaching vacancy. The NFL Network is also reporting that Los Angeles Chargers are also interested in interview Giants Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett for their head-coaching vacancy.

Sep 022020
 
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Jon Halapio, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Jon Halapio – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media and team sources:

  • Giants had a light, half-speed practice today in preparation for Thursday’s afternoon scrimmage. It appears much of the emphasis was on situational and game-ending scenarios.

INJURY REPORT…
Safety Xavier McKinney (left foot fracture), linebacker David Mayo (torn meniscus in left knee), wide receiver Golden Tate (hamstring?), and linebacker Tae Crowder (unknown) did not practice.

ROSTER MOVES – GIANTS RE-SIGN JON HALAPIO…
The New York Giants have re-signed Jon Halapio, who the team chose not to tender as a restricted free agent before free agency began, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent. The team also signed wide receiver Johnny Holton and long snapper Carson Tinker. To make room for these players, the Giants waived/injured safety Jaquarius Landrews (neck) and tight end Rysen John (hamstring), and waived offensive lineman Jackson Dennis.

Head Coach Joe Judge said bringing back Halapio was not an indication that the team is unhappy with their current centers. “Absolutely not,” said Judge. “It’s just an opportunity for us to add another good player to the roster. It gives us some depth and versatility inside. Jon’s a guy who can play center, but he can play guard as well. Again, it’s about position flexibility inside. You can only keep so many guys on the roster. The more players you keep inside that can play multiple positions, it gives you strength as a team right there. So no, that’s no indication on anything we feel about our current players on our roster. I have a lot of confidence in Nick (Gates) and Spencer (Pulley) and Tyler (Haycraft). They’ve done a really good job. Shane’s (Lemieux) coming along. We’re working on developing him in time. He’s been playing a lot more at guard due to our current situation, but he’s working as a center as well. We’re developing all of our guys the best we can at multiple positions.”

Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. The Giants signed Halapio to their Practice Squad in 2016 and 2017. The Giants then added him to the 53-man roster in October 2017 and he played in 10 games, starting the last six at right guard. Halapio won the starting center job in 2018, but was lost early when he was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2018 after breaking his ankle and lower leg in the second game of the season. An underwhelming and disappointing season by Halapio in 2019 was unfortunately punctuated by him suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon in the final moments of the season finale. In all, Halapio started 15 games, missing one start with a hamstring injury. He struggled as both a run and pass blocker manning the pivot position.

The 29-year old, 6’3”, 190-pound Holton was originally signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Raiders (2016-2018), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2019). The Steelers cut Holton in March 2020. In four seasons, Holton has played in 48 regular-season games with four starts, accruing just 14 receptions for 273 yards and three touchdowns. He does have limited experience as a kickoff and punt returner and is a good gunner on special teams.

The 30-year old, 6’0”, 237-pound Tinker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in 69 regular-season games for the Jaguars from 2013-2018. The Jaguars cut him in March 2019 and he did not play that year.

Landrews and John were signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. Dennis was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Cardinals cut him in July and the Giants signed him in August.

GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The transcript of Dave Gettleman’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
New York Giants President/CEO John Mara will address the press on Thursday morning. The Giants hold their second scrimmage at MetLife Stadium at 1:00PM with Head Coach Joe Judge and select players addressing the media after the scrimmage.

Apr 172020
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (November 10, 2019)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN AND CHRIS PETTIT PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman and Director of College Scout Chris Pettit addressed the media by conference call on Friday in advance of next week’s NFL Draft.

Dave Gettleman: Good afternoon. Hope everybody is still well, safe and healthy, including your family. As I spoke to you guys a few days ago and as I said then, the process we have is really going well. Everybody’s really strapped it on and just done a great job. Our IT people Justin Warren, (Vice President of Information Technology) and his group, and Ty Siam (Football Operations/Analytics), Ed Triggs (Football Operations Coordinator) and Chris Pettit and the college scouts. Everybody has really chipped in and done a great job. Of course with Joe (Judge) and his staff as well. So we’re really pleased with where we’re at in the process. We’re starting to tidy things up and put a bow on it. Like I said, everybody’s putting in the old man’s work. We’re certainly going to be prepared. For what it’s worth, I’m on with Chris Pettit our Director of College Scouting.

Chris Pettit: Hey guys, thanks for having me. I just wanted to give a thank you, since I didn’t get to speak to you the other day, our First Responders, our medical professionals, all the essential workers who have helped us out at this time. Also, just want to thank, as Dave mentioned, our IT department, our trainers, our coaches, our scouts, have just been outstanding to set us up for next week. Really thankful for everybody.

Q: Given the impact that COVID-19 has had with cancelling pro days and all of that stuff, how much more valuable was it to you that Joe (Judge) hired a bunch of coaches from the college ranks and they have that vast network, not just the guys they coached but the guys that they coached against?
Gettleman: I’ll tell you what, it’s a big help. If you think about it, we hired (Former University of Alabama Running Backs Coach) Burton Burns, Joe hired Burton to coach the running backs and he’s been at Alabama, so just think about all of the insight we get into the ‘Bama kids. Obviously a number of our coaches are coming directly from the Southeastern Conference. So, you’ve got great contacts. It’s very helpful, it gives you insight, all of the information. Our college scouts do a great job of digging out information, so between the information the college scouts have, and Burton, and fellas like that that we’ve hired that are coming from college, it sure really gives us a good in.

Q: Last time we spoke to you about the draft was probably back at the combine, you spoke about how you’re open for business and considering trading back. I’m wondering with the logistics that are going to be in place on Thursday and the craziness and everything like that, how does that impact trade talks? Would you need to have a deal in place before you get to the first round, probably more than other years where you could do it on the fly?
Gettleman: I think really, obviously, we’re sitting there with the fourth pick in the draft. It’s got to happen pretty soon. I’m going to make calls and anybody that wants to move up I’m going to say, listen, we don’t have much time, we can’t fool around, and I’d like to get the parameters of deals in place, of the deal in place before we get on the clock. That would be the best thing. You know the NFL is going to have a mock draft on Monday, I’m sure you guys are aware of that. So, that’ll be an interesting thing to see how it works. Again, the biggest piece is making sure that we, meaning the Giants, are coordinated in how we’re going to approach the trade process. You know, we’ll have two veteran guys on it, so I think we’ll be fine. Obviously once you hit the third round you only have five minutes. It’s going to be tight to try to do that, to try to trade back or trade up. I think what’s going to happen, what this is going to force everybody to do, is do deals before their pick is up. So, let’s say for the sake of discussion, someone calls, one team calls another team and says, “I want to trade up.” They’ll make a deal off the clock and then if the guy is there for the team that wants to move up, then they’ll consummate the trade. So ,I think a lot of it’s going to be done ahead of time.

Q: I’m sure you’re made aware, obviously, that you’ve never traded back but you’ve traded up in the past. I’m curious, when you’ve made those trades do you use the Jimmy Johnson chart or do you guys have your own version of that? What do you use as a tool to determine what’s a good value in a trade?
Gettleman: You know, it’s funny. It’s one of those if you think about, if you and I walk into a dealership and buy the same car, we’re going to pay two different prices. But, if we feel good about it, who cares what you paid and you don’t care what I paid. The Jimmy Johnson chart, people have moved off of it to a certain degree. A little bit here, a little bit there. So, when you talk to someone, it’s one of those deals where you say to yourself, “Why don’t we all agree on one chart?” That might make too much sense. So, there’s three or four different variations and what you do is, if someone calls you up and their chart doesn’t match yours and they make an offer and you don’t think it’s a good deal, you don’t do it. It’s that simple. If both groups are motivated, you’ll come to some kind of conclusion.

Q: What is your Thursday night going to look like? Obviously you’re going to be home, there’s no one else around you from the Giants…you have to coordinate all of this, right? Can you take us through step-by-step, do you get the first word and do you then open it up to Dave and to Kevin (Abrams) and to the scouts and to Joe? How do you coordinate all of this?
Pettit: Really, everything is going to be done and treated the same way that we’ve done it our last two drafts together. Really nothing is different, just we’re not in the same room. We’ve kind of gone over some scenarios already, we’re going to be set up in different Zoom rooms and we’ll be able to have the same conversations we’ve had every year in the past just that we’re doing it from our homes, that’s the only thing different. But, everyone’s going to have the same voice that they’ve always had. It’s been a good process. We’ve taken some steps, especially this last week, honing it to getting it right to where we feel comfortable to make the right decision in the same way we would if we were sitting in our office in East Rutherford.

Q: I know you’ve rethought a couple of things you used to think, like negotiating contracts in season. I’m wondering if you’ve given any thought to rethinking the best player available. This is a hypothetical, if a guy is a 98 (grade) on your board, is he the pick? Or if a guy is a 96 (grade) but at a more valuable position of need can he be the pick? Will you consider need a little bit more than you have in the past?
Gettleman: When you’re splitting hairs, it’s okay to take the 96 instead of the 98. Because really what you’re doing is you’re splitting hairs. It’s when you have a 98 and then you’ve got an 88. That’s not splitting hairs anymore. Even if the 88 is the bigger position of need, once you start reaching you’ve created issues for yourself. Part of it too, you can never have too many great players at one position. That doesn’t scare me, it doesn’t bother me. What you’re trying to do is build the best roster you can. So, when you’re talking a 96 to a 98, that to me is not a big deal. It’s when you start dropping, when you have precipitous drops in your evaluation, that’s when you get into trouble.

Q: There is usually a top tier of players, around where is that point that you guys think there is a drop off in this draft?
Gettleman: This is a pretty good draft. It really is. There’s a couple of positions, there’s a few positions that are really thick with players. You can’t put a number on that. Are you asking me, does it really drop off after 15 players, does it really drop off after 25 players, I can’t really speak to that. But, I just know that it’s a good draft and really and truly as we’ve set our board just taking a look at it, we’ve got about the same number of players in every round that we had in last year’s draft, which was a hell of a draft. You can’t say that if you’re not picking in the top 15 you’re in trouble. You can’t say that.

Q: Is there a point at the top where those guys are so good that maybe there’s a group of five, six, eight or ten that are significantly graded than everybody else?
Gettleman: No, we’ve got a pretty good first round in terms of a spread. It’s a good group. It’s a really good group. So, no there’s not. There’s not two players, ten players…I can’t give you a number.

Q: I’m curious your thoughts overall on the offensive tackle class and when you’re evaluating these guys how much versatility plays into that? Does it matter that a guy is able to play both left and right or are you just looking to try and come away with the best guy at that position?
Gettleman: Well, I think that versatility certainly doesn’t hurt. But, it’s a thick group. I think I mentioned it on Monday. There are tackles throughout the draft, throughout the vertical…we call it our vertical. There’s a lot of talent there. Is it helpful if a guy played both? Absolutely. Is it fatal if he’s only played one? Certainly not. If you have a tackle need and need meets value, then you know you work through it. You say to yourself, “This is a good tackle,” whether he’s a left or a right and you take him. It’s certainly no different than any other position. If he’s a good corner, whether he’s a right or a left, a good linebacker, whatever — you just take the guy. So to answer your question, versatility is really a plus but it’s not fatal if a guy is not.

Q: Where does the final decision lie? Is it you? If the coaches want somebody and you want somebody else, how does that get resolved?
Gettleman: It’s a New York Giants decision. That’s what it is. It’s completely collaborative. We just talk it through. That’s all there is to it. We just talk through it. This is my eighth, ninth draft, and I’ve never had a big difference of opinion with a head coach. We talk it through, we discuss it. It’s about coming to a consensus. We’re not arm wrestling to decide who gets their way. None of that stuff. It’s a consensus, it’s a collaboration, and that’s the best situation you can have.

Q: Should I assume that even now, a week before the draft, that most of you have a similar thought of where that first-round pick is going to go?
Gettleman: We’re still discussing it. We’re still discussing.

Q: John Harbaugh a couple weeks ago expressed some concern about security because of the virtual nature of the draft. Do you feel like you have things in place where you won’t have to worry about any hacking or any unwanted behavior from outside the building or outside the organization?
Gettleman: I believe so. Justin Warren and Ty Siam, they’re all over it. I really believe we’ll be fine.

Q: We know how much work you guys put in to the offseason schedule and trying to figure out which pro days, who’s going to go and where the scouts are going to end up on campus and who’s coming into the building. Have you been able to replicate whatever research or evaluation process you would have from that perspective, with the video conferencing and any calls you may make, as Joe (Judge) mentioned the other day tapping into resources that maybe even more so than you’d normally use? Are you able to get out of the current situation what you would have gotten out of the entire month of March with the way you traditionally set it up?
Pettit: I think so. For the most part, we have. I was actually down at Clemson when we got called back. I started thinking in my head, ‘If we don’t get back out, there are things we’ll miss out on.’ We did such a good job throughout the fall and the All-Star games and the Combine interviewing and testing a lot of players at those venues. We were able to get a lot of that information which you get in the fall. What we did was we gathered the scouts together and we said, ‘Hey, use this time now, we’re not out on the road, use this time to go back and watch more film, watch the games you didn’t watch, watch them again. Call the schools, call the players. Be really thorough. Now you’re not going to have the opportunity to be on campus, so maybe call the academic people one more time. Maybe they’ll give you a different opinion.’ So, we really worked the whole fall process over again, and our scouts were great doing that. We were able to dig up some more information. The only thing really that you miss is just those small interactions that you might have being with a player personally, whether it’s in our building or just on campus. There are a lot of times you’re going to meet with a player privately, you’re walking on campus with him and you can get little interactions that way that mean something. That’s really the only thing we lost. I do think this time, because we were so prepared through the All-Star (games) and Combine, like I said, interviewing and testing these guys, I think we’re pretty much on par where we would be any other year.

Q: Regarding players who at the combine either didn’t work out due to injuries or choice, or some of these smaller school guys who maybe weren’t at the All-Star games, can you just speak to what kind of resources or if you’ve had to devote extra resources towards getting information on those guys?
Pettit: The biggest part of our evaluation, obviously, is from the tape. We always use the pro days and the Combine as just a supplement, another spoke in the wheel, just to validate what we thought that they showed on tape. The players that didn’t show up at those places and the pro days we couldn’t get to, the players have done a good job and the scouts have done a good job of reaching out. We’ll get videos of them doing some pro days but it’s not the same. Again, we have to go back to what we really base majority of our evaluation on, and that’s the tape. That’s why we’ve spent the last month really going back and digging into the film, looking at it from a different lens maybe, and that’s kind of helped get some of that information for us.

Q: You talked often in the past about fixing the offensive line, fixing the offensive line. Do you feel a particular urgency or pressure this year to come out of this draft with one or two offensive linemen who can help pretty much right away with Daniel Jones and Saquon (Barkley) and this team?
Gettleman: Well again, you know my theory. It’s very, very difficult for Saquon to run the ball if he doesn’t have holes. It’s going to be difficult for Daniel to throw the ball when he’s on his back. We’ll continue to build the offensive line. Is it a pressure point? To a degree. I’m not going to deny that. But it’s about getting the right guy. It’s about not panicking. Like I said before, we think Nick Gates has a bright future as an offensive lineman. Spencer Pulley has done good work for us at center. (Jon) Halapio is coming back, hopefully he’ll be ready to go and recovered from the Achilles by June. We’re just going to keep working at it. Joe and I are of the same mentality that really and truly, the offensive line sets the tone for the team. It really does. I think of all the teams that I’ve been with that have gone to Super Bowls, the offensive lines were the tone-setters. You think of the offensive lines in 2007 and 2011 when we beat the Patriots, those groups set the tone. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we replicate that.

Q: Do you still think of Nate Solder as your left tackle period?
Gettleman: The bottom line is, and Joe said it, we’re going to bring in people to compete. Everybody has to compete. Again, my thought process is we’re not afraid to have too many good players at one position to answer your question. Joe knows Nate which is helpful. They have a relationship, they have a history. But we’re going to bring in the best players. If they’re at a position where there’s an incumbent starter, then he’s going to compete.

Q: From your years of doing this, how unique is the Isaiah Simmons evaluation given all of the different positions he plays? Does that make it more difficult?
Gettleman: What’s happening now is there are a lot of college players like that. There are a lot of guys that because the college game is so different, they take a young man with a unique skillset and they use him in a variety of ways that maybe hasn’t happened before. There are a number of guys that are being used like this. A lot of them are mid-level defenders, linebackers. You’ve seen they’re mixing and matching their defensive linemen in a three-point but also standing up as a two-point. There’s a lot of versatility going on, a lot of different ways that people are using players. It’s not standard. It’s not what I grew up with, that’s for sure. You’re seeing it more. It’s up to us to figure out how that player who’s been in what you’re saying to me is an unconventional position, it’s up to us to figure out how he fits the New York Football Giants.

Q: Aside from the technology, aside from the fact that you’re home and dealing with the technology, with all the things that you guys have missed with pro days and all that, is this more of an old school draft in terms of the way you guys have to prepare for it? Does your experience and the experience of your scouting staff really help in that regard?
Gettleman: It’s funny, I said that exact thing a couple of times. This is like back in the late 70s when they drafted with absolutely no contact with players. I think at the end of the day, it is a little bit old school because you’re not getting the personal touchpoints that we used to have. It is a little bit old school. I just think that really and truly at the end of the day, it’s really all about what the kid does between the white lines. It’s not about running around in your underwear or running a 40-yard dash or doing the vertical jump or whatever. It’s really about putting a lid on and playing ball. It is a little bit more old school like that. That’s not all bad.

Q: What’s the level of interest on the fourth pick from other teams? Is there any chance that teams are kind of waiting to see what Detroit does, since that could be a big factor on how desirable you think that pick will be?
Gettleman: We’re still a week out. Really and truly, we’re still a week out. We’ll see what happens.

Q: How strong is your desire to possibly make a trade though? Is it something you’re actively looking for? Or are you just willing to listen and if something happens to be of interest at that point, are you willing to make a move?
Gettleman: It’s something I would very seriously entertain.

Q: We’ve talked to you the last couple of years in terms of what you’ve done in the top 10, how you feel in your scouting and your evaluation of Saquon and then Daniel last year, and when you knew that was the guy. Obviously, I understand there’s still a consensus to be made in-house, but in your mind on the Friday before the draft, do you have the guy you want to pound the table for and convince everybody else? Or are you still going through in your mind who should be the pick for the New York Giants?
Gettleman: We’re still working through it.

Q: Even you? I know the whole group is, but even you?
Gettleman: Yes, I’m still working through it. At the end of the day, I have to think long-term and short-term. At the end of the day, the decision we make will be what’s best for the Giants, and it will be a collective, collaborative decision. 

Apr 132020
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (February 25, 2020)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

APRIL 13, 2020 DAVE GETTLEMAN CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman and Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams addressed the media by conference call on Monday.

Dave Getttleman opening statement: First off, I hope everybody is well. I hope your families are safe and healthy. I also hope you were able to celebrate Easter and Passover. On behalf of the Giants, I would like to send out our sincerest condolences to the Causi family. That is a tragedy and I am sure it is affecting a lot of you folks. I didn’t know Anthony, but I know everybody spoke very highly of him, so I get that. Despite what’s been going on, we have started our draft meetings. We’ve had minimal issues moving forward and right now we are on schedule with that. I was told we are going to talk on Friday about the draft. Pat (Hanlon) said today’s call was about unrestricted free agency and how we are currently operating. That’s the impression I had.

Kevin Abrams opening statement: First of all, I just want to reiterate our thoughts are with the Causi family. I’m sure a lot of you were very close with him, our condolences. Every day we are appreciative and supportive of all the people on the front lines during these unique days. I don’t know how many of you live in Manhattan, but I do. Probably the most profound moment of every day is at 7 o’clock when everyone opens their windows and pays tribute to everyone in the health care industry fighting this battle for us. I hope you are all well.

Q: Why the franchise tag for Leonard Williams instead of the cheaper transition tag? Given the 16.2-million-dollar cap number, was there any thought to letting him test free agency and making an offer that way.
Gettleman: Really what it came down to was we felt good about our cap space. We felt for what Leonard brings to the table and for our team, it was more prudent to put the franchise tag on him.

Q: Any thought that when we get back to football Leonard not signing his franchise tag will be a distraction?
Gettleman: I think we’ll be okay. I always think about bad things because, in my opinion, one of the biggest responsibilities I have is to eliminate distractions and let the coaches coach and the players play. You can’t guarantee anything in this life, but we have gotten to know Leonard really well and I feel really comfortable with the decision.

Q: In the past you have brought players in with ties to your days in Carolina. Most of the free agents brought in this year have ties to the organization. Was that by design given the COVID-19 situation and not being able to bring guys in to interview them like you normally would?
Gettleman: A little bit of all that. There is a little bit of a lean towards people you know in free agency. Times have changed. I know back in the day in free agency, you had time to bring a guy in. You could spend a day with him to get to know him. Now we are speed dating and the decision happens before you can get a guy in in the building, before you can get a physical and that’s even before COVID-19. I don’t think it’s any more sensitive, but I do know for us a big concern was the medical piece. We are making decisions and you are building your roster. Just think about what happens if you sign a high-dollar guy and he doesn’t pass his physical, now where are you? Now you have spent in free agency and now the draft and you think you have your team set and you put together what you think is a good roster. Then all of the sudden, a guy doesn’t pass his physical. The guys we signed we felt we got good value and we are very pleased with the group.

Q: Those who haven’t had physicals, if they don’t pass, how does that work?
Abrams: The guys that are new to the club that haven’t passed their physicals yet haven’t taken them. Once everything resumes and life is back to normal and doctor availability and travel restrictions are lifted, we will get those physicals done. If they do not pass, they will be free agents again.

Q: What went into changing your bonus structure this offseason where you went with the roster bonuses instead of big signing bonuses?
Abrams: The preference is to have flat cap counts in our contracts and to limit the amount of amortized bonuses for obvious reasons. When we started the free agency process, wherever possible, we were going to try to use roster bonuses with a lump sum in year one as opposed to spreading out signing bonuses over the life of the contract. As we had some success with getting to agreements with a few more players than maybe what we thought was realistic at the beginning, in an effort to keep cap room that we wanted to have to operate throughout the offseason and training camp, we decided to push a little bit of the roster bonus money into signing bonuses. We are pretty happy with the structures we’ve had with these deals in respect to our future caps.

Q: What are your feelings on your offensive tackle situation? Do you feel good with Nate Solder at left tackle and can he move to the right side? Where do you stand on that coming out of free agency with not making a huge splash signing there?
Gettleman: At the end of the day, we signed Cameron Fleming. He was with Dallas before and obviously there is that connection and with the Patriots before, there’s a double connection. We have faith in Nick Gates, the kid we signed two years ago, a free agent we signed out of Nebraska. He missed his rookie year on IR, but last year he made a lot of progress. We are excited about him. Nate had a rough year last year, nobody is denying, and certainly he is not. I made the statement to people after we signed him in 2018 and after the 2018 season no one was talking about Nate Solder. He had a tough year. Part of the unrestricted free agency piece is we are also looking at the draft, so you kind of marry the two. We felt with the depth of the tackle class in the draft, we just felt this was the best way for us to go.

Q: How do you feel about where you are in terms of edge rushers?
Gettleman: A lot of people were raised with the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl teams where we could consistently apply pressure with four. That is the goal, that’s what you want. You can’t manufacture it and you can’t overpay for it. What it really comes down to is it doesn’t matter who gets the sacks, it’s about how many sacks you actually get. It really is about how much pressure you apply. Some of this is going to have to come through scheme. Obviously, we haven’t gone through the draft yet. With where we’re at, would I not want two defensive ends that are 25 sacks a year guys? Who doesn’t? We are not in that position right now, so we will just keep building it.

Q: When you look at your defense and the signings of Bradberry, Martinez and Fackrell, do you think you made a quantum leap forward to your defense? Do you think these three guys are big impact guys or is there a lot more work to be done on defense?
Gettleman: There is still more work to be done, we are thrilled with those three guys. We also signed Austin Johnson, another defensive lineman. We are very pleased with where we are at, (Blake) Martinez gives us a guy that has played in the system for Pat Graham and will get us lined up. I think that this scheme is going to fit him better. Everybody knows I drafted James (Bradberry) when I was in Carolina. He gives you a big, long body that has played against number ones. He has the mindset, he’s not shy and the moment is not too big for him. (Kyler) Fackrell, two years ago, had double digit sacks and Green Bay went out and bought two high sack guys and he became a rotational part-time player. We feel good about that. You have to keep building, we are excited about the draft, there are some good players there. We are just going to continue to get better, nothing is ever done.

Q: There are some guys left out there still on the market that have proven to be pretty good pass rushers. Jadeveon Clowney, Markus Golden, two big notables. When you say ‘we’re not in position now,’ is that a financial thing? Is that a preference thing? Explain a little bit more why you said that.
Gettleman: Well, part of the tight rope that I walk on is short-term and long-term. Part of the long-term is we have some good, young players right now. We’ve got Dalvin Tomlinson, (Evan) Engram and (Jabrill) Peppers. We have to make decisions on them. They’re some good, young players. After another year, you guys are going to be banging on me about Saquon (Barkley). As I used to tell the guys down in Charlotte, when you wouldn’t spend all your money in free agency, I’d say, ‘Listen, you’re going to kill me about this? Well, you’re going to double kill me when we don’t have money to extend Luke Kuechly or Cam Newton or whomever.’ It’s a collaborative decision we make as we talk about how we’re moving forward. Right now, this is the decision we made. We’re just going to move forward the way we are now.

Q: You talked about the contracts and the physicals. If a guy is jogging or running and tears his Achilles, how does that work with guys and their contracts? Is there something in there that protects the player? Or is that just up to both sides on how to proceed from there?
Abrams: Unfortunately, it’s the same risk as you always have this time of year. The players that are working out on their own, they run the risk of injury, which isn’t protected because it wouldn’t be considered a football injury. Unfortunately, that risk is just extended this year because of the inability to have players come in and work at our facility under our supervision.

Q: Obviously, things right now are very different in how you can operate. But other than operating remotely, how much have you had to adjust? Can you give us an idea of are your days just filled with FaceTime, Zoom meetings, phone calls? What’s the process been like for both of you?
Abrams: Yeah, we’ve done our best to mimic business as usual. Obviously, it’s not. But without going into details about what technologies we’re using, I don’t think our IT department would appreciate that, we’ve tried to mimic how our meetings typically operate, both for the coaches and for our scouting meetings right now. The fact that it’s all been virtual is obviously the biggest difference. But the dialogue, the conversation, the agenda, the itineraries for the meetings go as always. I don’t think we’ve missed a beat. A lot of that goes to Justin Warren in our IT department, Ty Siam in Football Tech, Eddie Triggs is running our operations. It hasn’t been perfectly smooth, but it’s been smoother than anyone could have expected. Whatever hiccups we’ve encountered, I think everyone has shown patience and the ability to adjust so we can get to operating the way that we need to. It’s been pretty exceptional so far, and a lot of people deserve a lot of credit. People that wouldn’t normally get recognized.

Gettleman: Let me follow up on that a little bit. As Kevin said, we’re really making it work. One of the exciting things for me as an old man working with these young guys and the technology, they’re really thoughtful and intentional about it. Really, Chris Pettit has done a great job, our Director of College Scouting, in terms of coordinating all this, working with Ty and Ed Triggs and Justin Warren, has just done yeoman’s work with us. We’re moving along. Listen, there are people in a lot worse situations than us. We’re thankful and we’re moving along. We’re going to get this right.

Q: I just wanted to go back to the Leonard Williams thing one more time. I’m just curious, given the cap number at $16.2 million, what is your guys’ desire and confidence that you’ll be able to get a long-term deal done, or if the plan is to just let him play on the tag?
Gettleman: You know, the bottom line is contracts get done when they’re supposed to get done. So, we’ll just move along. You guys know I don’t discuss contracts, I don’t discuss timing, I don’t discuss anything. They get done when they’re supposed to get done.

Q: I know you said before that ideally you’d like to approach free agency to fill needs on the roster so when you move to the draft you can draft the best player available. I know we’re not talking draft. I’m just curious if you think you accomplished that in free agency to position yourself to draft best player available compared to having to draft for need?
Gettleman: Yeah, I think we’ve done a good job. It’s not perfect, but I’m pleased with where we’re at going into the draft.

Q: I’m curious if you can just talk about what you think the one hour FaceTimes with prospects gives you that maybe you didn’t have via the traditional way and what you’re missing from the traditional facility visit or workout? These one hour calls, have they been beneficial or are you missing a lot?
Gettleman: I’ll go first. They’ve been pretty beneficial because again, it is FaceTiming, so thank God, you can see the guys. I’m a city kid and a big believer in body language and all this and that. It’s okay. It’s not great, it’s not perfect, it’s okay. For me, what we miss is watching them interact, the 30 visit guys, watching them in your facility. That’s what you miss out on. By not having pro days, you also miss that personal contact. Watching guys among their peers and how they operate, how they’re received. That tells a lot when you just watch a kid in those circumstances. Obviously, when we would go to workouts, a lot of times the night before, our coach and scout that would be at the pro day would take one, two or three of the players out to dinner and have some conversation that way. We’re losing the personal touchpoints. We have the visual touchpoint, but we’re really missing out on the personal touchpoint, when you can smell or feel a guy.

Abrams: Nothing to add. We’re doing the best we can with what we have. You do miss out on some of the depth of the interactions. But I think between the coaches’ interactions with the players, and the rest of us who have had opportunities to speak and see these guys, you do your best to get to know them as well as you can, knowing that it’s always going to be virtual. You’re not going to have them in your presence.

Q:  The question you were obviously asked about tackle earlier with Nate, you mentioned Gates. I’m just curious where you stand right now at center? We know the situation with (Jon) Halapio and then, obviously, Spencer Pulley is on the roster. I’m just curious, did you guys look into doing something in free agency and where does it stand? I would imagine that’s a pretty big piece that you right now have concerns about, or at least are looking at seriously?
Gettleman: That’s a fair question. It really is. We won’t know about Pio until June with the Achilles. Spencer obviously has played a ton of football. We have a lot of confidence in him. We’re working that group over pretty good in the draft. We’re always going to continue to upgrade. I’m not afraid to draft over a guy. It’s a fair question. We’re going to look at it.

Q: Is Gates an option there?
Gettleman: You know, just for what it’s worth, we’ve talked about Nick doing that. He did do some of that last year in practice, so it’s not completely new. Nick is smart. The thing you love about Nick is just how tough he is, because it’s a fist fight in there. There’s no doubt about that. History tells you that the toughness of your team is really, really indicated by the toughness of your offensive line. So, we’re always looking for that kind of piece. Nick would be in consideration at center, absolutely. 

Feb 252020
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (February 25, 2020)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday.

JOE JUDGE ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday.

GIANTS CUT TWO TIGHT ENDS…
The Giants have cut tight ends Scott Simonson and Isaiah Searight, both of whom were scheduled to become free agents in a few weeks.

Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. Simonson spent time with the Raiders (2014-2015) and Carolina Panthers (2015-2017) before signing with the Giants in June 2018. He had his best season with the Giants in 2018, paying in all 16 games with four starts, finishing with nine catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. The Giants placed Simonson on Injured Reserve in August 2019 with an ankle injury, cut him from Injured Reserve in September, and re-signed him to the 53-man roster in November. He was placed on Injured Reserve again in late December with a concussion. He played in five games in 2019 with one start, catching just two passes for 11 yards.

The Giants waived/injured Searight in August 2019 with a hip injury and then placed him on Injured Reserve. Searight originally signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2019 NFL Draft as an undrafted rookie free agent but was waived/injured in May with a hamstring injury. The Giants then signed him in July.

REPORT – GIANTS ADD ANOTHER COACH…
The Daily News is reporting that the Giants have hired Amos Jones as an advisory assistant to Head Coach Joe Judge. The 60-year old Jones has coached at the high school, college, and pro levels since 1981, his most recent experience serving as a special teams coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-2012), Arizona Cardinals (2013-2017), Cleveland Browns (2018), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019).

REPORT – GIANTS FIRE TWO SCOUTS…
InsideTheLeague.com is reporting that the Giants have fired two of their area scouts, Ryan Jones and Donnie Etheridge. Jone had been with the team since 2000 and Etheridge since 2001.

ARTICLES…

Feb 052020
 
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Marc Colombo, Dallas Cowboys (November 5, 2018)

Marc Colombo – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE ASSISTANT COACHES…
The New York Giants have officially announced the team’s assistant coaches. The team’s coordinators – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham, Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, and Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey – were announced on January 17th.

“The first thing I was prioritizing was good coaches who had a deep concern for the players that they were going to coach,” new Head Coach Joe Judge said in the team’s press release. “It has to start with the relationship from the coach to the player and understanding that we’re working together. Next thing I was prioritizing was good teachers. We had to find guys who can paint that mental picture for a player and find a way to tap into how they learn and get the most out of them. To me, it’s a big trust factor with the guys I have on the staff. I have a personal relationship with a lot of these guys, professional relationships with nearly all of them. Guys who I have not worked with directly, I’ve competed against, I’ve known for some time. I’ve more than done my research on everybody on this staff, including the guys I’ve worked with. No stone has been unturned. I’m very excited about the group we have in here. I know they’re going to bring a lot to this organization. I know they’re going to be a great asset to the players they’re going to coach.”

The other 17 members of Judge’s 20-member staff are:

Quarterbacks Coach Jerry Schuplinski

  • 2020-Present: Quarterbacks Coach, New York Giants
  • 2019: Assistant Quarterbacks Coach, Miami Dolphins
  • 2016-2018: Assistant Quarterbacks Coach, New England Patriots
  • 2013-2015: Coaching Assistant, New England Patriots
  • 2007-2012: Linebackers/Special Teams Coach, Case Western Reserve University
  • 2002-2006: Head Coach, Trinity High School (Ohio)
  • 2000-2001: Running Backs/Special Teams Coach, John Carroll University
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: John Carroll University
  • Born: April 4, 1977

“Jerry is an incredible teacher,” said Judge. “He has done a phenomenal job of developing young quarterbacks in this league. He simplifies the game so the quarterback can play fast in terms of understanding our scheme and analyzing the opponent’s defense.”

Running Backs Coach Burton Burns

  • 2020-Present: Running Backs Coach, New York Giants
  • 2018-2019: Assistant Athletic Director for Football, University of Alabama
  • 2007-2017: Running Backs Coach, University of Alabama
  • 1999-2006: Running Backs Coach, Clemson University
  • 1994-1998: Assistant Coach, Tulane University
  • 1986-1993: Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, Saint Augustine High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1981-1985: Assistant Coach, Southern University
  • 1980: Assistant Coach, Booker T. Washington High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1977-1979: Assistant Coach, Saint Augustine High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Fullback, University of Nebraska (1971-1975)
  • Born: October 27, 1952

“I’ve worked with Burton, so I knew first-hand the impact he has on the players he coaches,” Judge said. “He’s coached a number of great backs, he’s coached on a lot of championship teams, and he knows how to get the most out of his players. He’s tough. That’s one thing you’re going to find out about Burton right away. He’s tough. He’s hard-nosed, he coaches tough, he demands his players to play tough. But he has as deep a care for the players he coaches as anybody out there. They respond to him because they know he’s in a foxhole with them. I’m excited to have Burton here, very excited to have Burton here. I know he’s looking forward to working with the guys on the roster.”

Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert

  • 2018-Present: Wide Receivers Coach, New York Giants
  • 2011-2017: Wide Receivers Coach, Denver Broncos
  • 2010: Wide Receivers Coach, Carolina Panthers
  • 2004-2009: Wide Receivers Coach, Buffalo Bills
  • 2003: Wide Receivers Coach, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2002: Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Florida
  • 1999-2001: Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • 1998: Tight Ends Coach, Auburn University
  • 1995-1997: Tight Ends Coach, Northeast Louisiana University
  • 1995: Wide Receivers Coach, Ohio University
  • 1994: Graduate Assistant, Northeast Louisiana University
  • 1994: Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Wide Receiver, Louisiana State University (1988-1990)
  • Born: September 15, 1967

“Tyke’s a guy I knew throughout the league from going against him,” Judge said. “He’s a guy that came recommended by a lot of people that I know very personally. But ultimately, the deciding factor on Tyke is you turn his tape on, and his guys play hard, they play fundamentally sound, he’s been able to develop a number of receivers in different systems, and ultimately, the video tapes are what tells you how a guy is coaching.”

Tight Ends Coach Freddie Kitchens

  • 2020-Present: Tight Ends Coach, New York Giants
  • 2019: Head Coach, Cleveland Browns
  • 2018: Offensive Coordinator, Cleveland Browns
  • 2018: Associate Head Coach/Running Backs Coach, Cleveland Browns
  • 2017: Running Backs Coach, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2013-2016: Quarterbacks Coach, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2007-2012: Tight Ends Coach, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2006: Tight Ends Coach, Dallas Cowboys
  • 2005: Running Backs Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 2004: Tight Ends Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 2001-2003: Running Backs Coach, University of North Texas
  • 2000: Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
  • 1999: Running Backs/Tight Ends Coach, Glenville State College
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Quarterback, University of Alabama (1993-1998)
  • Born: November 29, 1974

“I think any position on offense is good for Freddie,” Judge said. “He’s got a lot of experience at different positions. He’s been head coach, he’s been a coordinator, he’s been a position coach. He sees it through a lot of different perspectives. What I love about Freddie is he brings an element of toughness and discipline to his room. He brings outside the box thinking a lot of times to how he approaches the game from a game plan perspective. I think he’ll be an asset to working with our offensive coaches and developing the game plan throughout the week. But ultimately, I’ve worked with Freddie, I’ve played for Freddie, and I’ve called against Freddie, and I understand what his players are about.”

Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo

  • 2020-Present: Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2018-2019: Offensive Line Coach, Dallas Cowboys
  • 2016-2018: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Dallas Cowboys
  • Pro Experience: Offensive Tackle, Chicago Bears (2002-2005), Dallas Cowboys (2005-2010), Miami Dolphins (2011)
  • Collegiate Experience: Offensive Tackle, Boston College (1998-2001)
  • Born: October 8, 1978

“Continuity is very important, especially between the offensive coordinator and the offensive line coach, that they can be on the same page starting out,” Judge said. “One of the challenges of a new staff is getting on the same page and working through some of the differences that maybe we’ve had from past experiences but making sure we’re working to one goal. I’d say with Marc, the deciding factor wasn’t his past experience with Jason. The deciding factor was he’s a tremendous coach. His body of work as you turn on the tape and watch how his guys play with technique, execution and toughness is ultimately what the deciding factor was.”

Assistant Offensive Line Coach Ben Wilkerson

  • 2018-Present: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2015-2017: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Chicago Bears
  • 2014: Assistant Football and Track Coach, North Shore Senior High School (Texas)
  • 2012-2013: Offensive Line Coach, Grambling State University
  • 2011: Offensive Administrative Intern, Louisiana State University
  • 2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
  • Pro Experience: Offensive Lineman, Cincinnati Bengals (2005-2006), Atlanta Falcons (2007-2008), Florida Tuckers (2009)
  • Collegiate Experience: Offensive Lineman, Louisiana State University (2001-2004)
  • Born: November 22, 1982

Senior Offensive Assistant Derek Dooley

  • 2020-Present: Senior Offensive Assistant, New York Giants
  • 2018-2019: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, University of Missouri
  • 2013-2017: Wide Receivers Coach, Dallas Cowboys
  • 2010-2012: Head Coach, University of Tennessee
  • 2007-2009: Head Coach, Louisiana Tech University
  • 2005-2006: Tight Ends Coach, Miami Dolphins
  • 2004: Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, Louisiana State University
  • 2003: Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, Louisiana State University
  • 2000-2002: Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Louisiana State University
  • 1997-1999: Wide Receivers Coach/Co-Recruiting Coordinator, Southern Methodist University
  • 1996: Graduate Assistant, University of Georgia
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Wide Receiver, University of Virginia (1987-1990)
  • Born: June 10, 1968

Offensive Assistant Stephen Brown

  • 2020-Present: Offensive Assistant, New York Giants
  • 2016-2019: Offensive Assistant, Dallas Cowboys
  • 2013-2014: Assistant to the Head Coach/Special Teams Assistant, Buffalo Bills
  • 2009-2012: Quality Control Coach/Director of Recruiting, Syracuse University
  • 2006-2008: Student Assistant, University of Tennessee
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: None
  • Born: May 3, 1987

Offensive Quality Control Coach Bobby Blick

  • 2020-Present: Offensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
  • 2017-2019: Defensive Assistant, New York Giants
  • 2016: Director of Player Personnel, Army
  • 2015: Special Teams Coordinator/Director of Recruiting, Samford University
  • 2014: Tight Ends/Slot Receivers Coach, Samford University
  • 2014: Special Teams Quality Control Coach, Georgia Tech
  • 2011-2013: Tight Ends/Running Backs Coach, Elon University
  • 2008-2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant, North Carolina State University
  • 2004-2007: Undergraduate Assistant, North Carolina State University
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: None
  • Born: September 8, 1984

Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer

  • 2020-Present: Defensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2018-2019: Associate Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach, Penn State University
  • 2014-2017: Defensive Line Coach, Penn State University
  • 2011-2013: Defensive Line Coach, Vanderbilt University
  • 2009-2010: Defensive Line Coach, Bowling Green State University
  • 2007-2008: Defensive Line Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, University of Massachusetts
  • 2006: Defensive Line Coach, Hofstra University
  • 2005: Linebackers Coach, Villanova University
  • 2004: Defensive Line Coach, College of the Holy Cross
  • 2001-2003: Defensive Line Coach, University of Massachusetts
  • 2000: Defensive Line Coach, Trinity College
  • 1998-1999: Running Backs Coach, Trinity College
  • 1996-1997: Running Backs Coach, Shippensburg University
  • 1995: Running Backs/Tight Ends Coach, Wesleyan University
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Safety, Clarion University
  • Born: December 15, 1970

“I’ve known Sean through the business,” Judge said. “The most impressive thing about Sean is the players he’s developed through his time at both Vanderbilt and Penn State, among other stops in his career. Sean has a great energy about him, he has great command within a room, his players respond to him, they play hard and they play fundamentally sound.”

Outside Linebacker Coach/Senior Assistant Bret Bielema

  • 2020-Present: Outside Linebacker Coach/Senior Assistant, New York Giants
  • 2019: Defensive Line Coach, New England Patriots
  • 2018: Consultant to the Head Coach, New England Patriots
  • 2013-2017: Head Coach, University of Arkansas
  • 2006-2012: Head Coach, University of Wisconsin
  • 2004-2005: Defensive Coordinator, University of Wisconsin
  • 1996-2001: Linebackers Coach, University of Iowa
  • 1994-1995: Graduate Assistant, University of Iowa
  • 2002-2003: Co-Defensive Coordinator, Kansas State University
  • Pro Experience: Milwaukee Mustangs (1994)
  • Collegiate Experience: Defensive Lineman, University of Iowa (1989-1992)
  • Born: January 13, 1970

“There’s a lot of things (to like) about Bret,” Judge said. “I think Bret brings a great personality to the group, brings a great perspective on how he sees the game, he’s coached the front for some time, he’s coordinated defenses at a high level. Players respond to Bret in a positive way. He has a great way of teaching, he has a great way of getting the guys motivated, and he gets the most out of his players. He brings experience from the NFL, as well as college, so not only does he understand what’s going on in the league now, he understands what the players coming from college are used to and how to better translate the trends they’re going to see.”

Inside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer

  • 2020-Present: Inside Linebackers Coach, New York Giants
  • 2019: Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach, University of Tennessee
  • 2018: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach, University of Tennessee
  • 2014-2017: Outside Linebackers Coach, University of Georgia
  • 2013: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of South Alabama
  • 2010-2012: Director of Player Development, University of Alabama
  • 2007-2009: Defensive Coordinator, Hoover High School (Alabama)
  • 2005-2006: Defensive Assistant, Hoover High School (Alabama)
  • 2001-2004: Defensive Backs Coach, Spain Park High School (Alabama)
  • 1998-2000: Graduate Assistant, University of Alabama
  • 1996-1997: Assistant, Tuscaloosa County High School (Alabama)
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Tight End, University of Alabama (1993-1995)
  • Born: March 19, 1973

“Kevin is just an old ball coach,” Judge said. “When I met Kevin, he was coaching at Hoover High School in Alabama. The next year, he was on the staff with us at Alabama. I’ve watched him progress through his career as defensive coordinator at South Alabama, his time in Georgia, his time in Tennessee. I think Kevin is a phenomenal football coach, and he coaches from the ground up with fundamentals, his players play sound and they play hard.”

    Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson

    • 2020-Present: Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
    • 2016-2019: Defensive Passing Game Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
    • 2012-2015: Defensive Backs Coach, Dallas Cowboys
    • 2009-2011: Defensive Backs Coach, Cleveland Browns
    • 2008: Defensive Backs Coach, New York Jets
    • 2007: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach/Director of Player Development, New York Jets
    • 2006: Director of Player Development, New York Jets
    • Pro Experience: Cornerback, New England Patriots (1991-1993), Buffalo Bills (1993-1994), Philadelphia Eagles (1995), New England Patriots (1996), New York Jets (1997-1998)
    • Collegiate Experience: Cornerback, Clemson University (1987-1990)
    • Born: August 8, 1969

    “Jerome has a great resume, he’s coached a lot of good players in a lot of good schemes,” Judge said. “I think the more you check around with Jerome, I talked to guys that he coached, the way they responded to him and the way they respected him in the room definitely said a lot about him as a coach.”

    Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Anthony Blevins

    • 2020-Present: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
    • 2018-2019: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
    • 2013-2017: Coaching Assistant/Special Teams, Arizona Cardinals
    • 2012: Cornerbacks Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • 2011: Special Teams Coach/Cornerbacks Coach, Tennessee State University
    • 2009-2010: Cornerbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Tennessee State University
    • 2008: Cornerbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Tennessee-Martin
    • 2005-2007: Graduate Assistant, Mississippi State University
    • 2003-2004: Defensive Backs/Running Backs Coach, Meadow Creek High School (Georgia)
    • Pro Experience: Defensive Back, Mobile Admirals (1999), Birmingham Steeldogs (2000), Birmingham Thunderbolts (2001)
    • Collegiate Experience: Cornerback, University of Alabama at Birmingham (1994-1998)
    • Born: July 23, 1976

    “I’ve known Blev for some time now, and he’s coached on all three sides of the ball,” Judge said. “He brings great experience that he can contribute to a lot of different parts of developing players. One thing you learn working with the special teams is you’re learning how to develop techniques of a total player. He could easily have gone over to the offense and worked with a skilled position. He could have stayed on special teams and have been an asset. We thought right now, the best fit for Blev was to help with our defense and bring some experience he brought from the other sides of the ball and work with Jerome.”

    Defensive Assistant Jody Wright

    • 2020-Present: Defensive Assistant, New York Giants
    • 2019: Offensive Assistant, Cleveland Browns
    • 2018: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • 2015-2017: Director of Player Personnel, University of Alabama
    • 2014: Running Backs Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • 2013: Passing Game Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach, Jacksonville State University
    • 2010-2012: Graduate Assistant/Offensive Analyst, University of Alabama
    • 2009: Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations, Mississippi State University
    • 2006-2008: Graduate Assistant, Mississippi State University
    • 2005: Volunteer Coach, Mississippi State University
    • 2002-2004: Student Assistant Coach, Jacksonville State University
    • Pro Experience: None
    • Collegiate Experience: None
    • Born: July 21, 1981

      Defensive Quality Control Coach Mike Treier

      • 2020-Present: Defensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
      • 2019: Safeties Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Marshall University
      • 2018: Defensive Backs Coach, Marshall University
      • 2017: Defensive Analyst, Marshall University
      • 2016: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach, University of Tennessee at Martin
      • 2014-2015: Graduate Assistant, Marshall University
      • Pro Experience: None
      • Collegiate Experience: None
      • Born: May 9, 1990

      Assistant Special Teams Coach Tom Quinn

      • 2018-Present: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
      • 2007-2017: Special Teams Coordinator, New York Giants
      • 2006: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
      • 2004-2005: Special Teams/Outside Linebackers Coach, Stanford University
      • 2002-2003: Special Teams/Tight Ends Coach, Stanford University
      • 1999-2001: Special Teams/Linebackers/Tight Ends Coach, San Jose State University
      • 1996-1998: Defensive Coordinator, College of the Holy Cross
      • 1995: Defensive Coordinator, Boston University
      • 1992-1994: Special Teams Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, James Madison University
      • 1991: Linebackers Coach, Davidson College
      • Pro Experience: None
      • Collegiate Experience: Linebacker, University of Arizona (1986-1990)
      • Born: January 27, 1968

      “The experience is important, but the success is more important,” Judge said. “(McGaughey and Quinn have) been doing it at a high success rate for a long time. The fact that they had a relationship working together already, I had a relationship with both guys from going against them and have known them within the profession for some time now. T-Mac and Tom do a tremendous job. I love the way they relate to the players, I love the way they coach their guys. You know when you go against their units that they’re going to be sound and they’re going to play hard, and that’s critical. I have a lot of respect for both of them.”

      ARTICLES…

      Jan 092020
       
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      Joe Judge, New York Giants (January 9, 2020)

      Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

      JOE JUDGE INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
      Joe Judge was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at a press conference on Thursday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

      Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
      Good afternoon and welcome. We began our search for a new head coach immediately after our season ended. I just wanted to make a few comments about that process. This was the deepest and most talented group of candidates that I’ve ever seen, and as a number of you have made note of, I’ve had quite a bit of experience in recent years in interviewing coaching candidates. We liked all of the coaches that we interviewed, we did not eliminate any of them from consideration. All of them made a great impression and were really interested in this job. We would have been pleased to have had any one of them as our head coach. For me, our search ended on Monday afternoon when we finished our session with Joe Judge. I have to tell you that this was perhaps the best coach interview that I have ever been a part of. When Steve (Tisch) met with him on Tuesday morning, he felt just as strongly as we did. Joe is someone who has certainly been on our radar for the last couple of years. When a coach works under Nick Saban and then finds his way onto Bill Belichick’s staff, that’s something that you take note of. Joe has been a part of three Super Bowls with New England and two National Championships with Nick Saban at Alabama. What came through in the interview was his poise, his confidence, his leadership, his knowledge of the game, what it takes to build a winning program, his ability to relate to players, and then of course, his work ethic. He’s a teacher, he’s a communicator, he’s somebody who demands and commands respect, and he just has a certain presence about him. For all of those reasons, on behalf of the Mara and Tisch families, I am very pleased to introduce Joe Judge as the new Head Coach of the New York Giants.

      Remarks by Head Coach Joe Judge

      Joe Judge’s Opening Statement: Thank you. First, I’d like to start by thanking the Mara and the Tisch families, Mr. Gettleman, Kevin Abrams, for this wonderful opportunity. I do not take it lightly the position I’m in and the people, the city, and the region I represent. I’d like to thank my family, my wife, my mother, my children, all of my close friends who have made each step of this process to enable me to be where I am today, which is just another step in the process of where we’re trying to go. I’d like to thank all of my former coaches that I have ever played or worked under for building in me the foundation of fundamentals that has allowed me to teach and instruct at a high level, to again put me in this position. I would like to start with (New England Patriots Head Coach) Coach Belichick, and (Alabama Football Head Coach) Coach Saban, (Former New England Patriots Special Teams) Coach Scotty O’Brien, (Former Mississippi State Special Teams and Linebackers) Coach Amos Jones, (Former Mississippi State Head Coach) Coach Sylvester Croom, (Former Mississippi State Head Coach) Coach Jackie Sherrill and (Former Lansdale Catholic High Football Coach) Coach Jim Algeo. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my own father, who was my first coach and taught me the most important lesson is you hold those you expect the most from at the highest standard. Now, I would also like to thank all of the players who ever played under me. They gave everything, that’s what I expect. I was very demanding, and I’ll continue to be demanding. But, you expect the players to be held to a certain standard and for all of the ones who have ever played under me to this point, I appreciate your work and your sacrifice to allow me to have this opportunity that I have today, and it’s just an opportunity. I have to make the most of it. That starts today.

      Now, there is a question out there that I’m sure a lot of people are asking, and that’s number one – who am I? Well, maybe I can explain that a little bit better, but instead of saying, ‘Who am I,’ by telling you what’s relevant in this conversation with being the coach of the New York Giants— what I’m about. What I’m about is an old school physical mentality. We’re going to put a product on the field that the people of this city and region are going to be proud of because this team will represent this area. We will play fast, we will play downhill, we will play aggressive. We will punch you in the nose for 60 minutes, we will play every play like it has a history and a life of its own, with a relentless, competitive attitude. We will play fundamentally sound, we will not beat ourselves. That is our mission right here. I’m about caring for the players in the locker room. Let’s not forget there’s a human element to this game. Let’s not think that in professional sports that paying a pay check to somebody makes it absent of empathy. We need to make sure that we take care of the players in our locker room, that we treat them the right way, that we teach them the correct techniques, and that we put them in the right situations to be successful. We’re going to ask these men to come in and give everything they have every day. We’re going to demand it, and we appreciate everything they give us. It’s our responsibility to take care of them on a daily basis and make sure that when they are done with our game, they are better furthered for the rest of their career as a father, a husband, and a professional in whatever avenue they take.

      Now, what this team’s going to look like. I mentioned earlier, I want this team to reflect this area. I want the people that pay their hard-earned money and the neighborhoods of New York, North Jersey, South Jersey, to come to our games and know that the players on the field play with the same attitude they wake up with every morning. That is blue collar, it’s hard work, it’s in your face. We’re not going to back down from anybody. We’re going to come to work every day and grind it out the way they do in their jobs every day, and they can invest their money in our program knowing it’s worthwhile. They put a Giants uniform on, they put a Giants hat or jersey on, that it’s not representing just the 53 on the field, but it’s representing their neighborhoods, their communities and their families with the values they have instilled in their children.

      Now, at this moment, my priorities are pretty simple. I have an outsider’s view of this team, I’ve competed against the Giants, I’ve studied this team from the outside looking in, preparing myself for this job and opportunity, but I have to make myself fluent in a language within the building. I have to study the players, I have to evaluate the current coaching staff and give everybody a fair evaluation to make sure we make the right decisions, that I have a clear vision of what the path going forward needs to be, to help these players progress the correct way. Relative to staff, I do not have a staff in place. Yes, I have some names in mind, but we will talk to everybody, we will take our time. My priority is to put the right men around these players that they can come to work every day, they can be coached hard, they can be taught. I want good people. Before anything, if you’re going to work in an organization, you’re a good person. I don’t want any alternative agendas, I’m making that clear right now. There is not going to be a coach in our organization who has nothing but the best interest in the players at hand and isn’t going to come to work every day and put their butt on the line for the guys who are going to work hard for them. I want teachers, not presenters. I don’t want someone who looks fancy in front of the screen that can say it with a lot of different sales lines. I want teachers, I want old school people who can get to our players and give them the mental image of what it’s supposed to look like. I want them to demonstrate on a daily basis the work ethic of what it’s going to take to do it successfully day in and day out. Because over the course of six months of this season, it takes day in and day out to be successful. The margins of error in this league are too small. You cannot get by with some kind of magic scheme or new gimmick or think you’ve reinvented the wheel. The same things win football games that have always won football games. It’s fundamentals. Those fundamentals will start for us in the classroom. They’ll start with being in meetings on time, they’ll start with being on the field on time in the proper dress. They’ll start with knowing your playbook, they’ll start with being out there and stretching the right way and warming your body up the right way that you prevent any kind of soft tissue injuries on the field. Then they’ll carry over to the fundamentals on the field—it’s running, it’s tackling, it’s ball security. It’s a contact sport, you can’t get around that. It’s meant to be a physical game. It’s for tough people. We will practice with a physical attitude. We will practice in pads, we will practice live tackling—not to make a statement that we’re trying to be tough. We’re going to practice live tackling because I believe in doing it safely. You want to make your players safer, you start by instructing them how to do it. We’re going to work on everything we do. Everything we ask them to do at full speed on Sunday at a competitive level we’re going to make sure that we have practiced, corrected, and re-practiced before they have to do it at a live pace. There are not going to be shortcuts with what we have to do. It’s a tough division, it’s a tough division and the city is full of tough people and they expect to see a program, they expect to see a product, that represents them. I’m going to do everything in my power, every day, to make sure the people of this city and this area turn on the TV or sit in the stadium seats and are proud to say that we’re their New York Giants. Now, from this point forward, any questions you may have I’d be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

      Q: You said yesterday in the statement that you guys were in conversation about where this team is and where it is headed and how you’re going to get there. My question is— how are you going to get there?
      A: Well, exactly what I just said a second ago. We’re going to start by showing up on time, by having a plan, for executing that plan. It’s going to be fundamentals. I’ll tell you this right now, and I’m sure it’s going to come up somewhere along the line—I’m not going to be the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator, or the special teams coordinator. I’ll work with all three sides of the ball. But, the primary focus I’m going to have as the head coach is I’m going to make sure we are fundamentally sound, we are situationally aware, and that we play with a relentless effort.

      Q: I’m curious about your conversations with Dave Gettleman and your conversation about personnel, your input, his input, and how that relationship is going to work as you coach this team.
      A: I couldn’t have been more excited walking in here than sitting down with Mr. Gettleman. It’s been tremendous. Listen, from a scout’s view, from a coach’s view, the one thing that I’ve been privileged to do is my role in New England when I first went there was heavy on personnel. Being a special teams coach, you have to know every player on your team inside and out because you have to know who you can use with a limited menu. It’s kind of like when you’re hungry, you go to the fridge, your Dad says figure out a way to make a sandwich. You know it’s in there, but you’ve got to find a way because you’ve got to eat. So, I’ve got to know what everybody does so I can put those ingredients together and get the most out of it. So, what I’ve prepared myself for was leading into every draft I studied every player in the draft as a player and an athlete. I didn’t look at them as a receiver, I didn’t look at them as a tight end, I didn’t look at them as a linebacker. I want to know how they moved— are they stiff in the hips, are they a straight-line speed guy, do they use their hands, what kind of short area quickness do they have, what kind of top end speed do they have, do they turn down contact. So, I’m used to looking at things from a big picture perspective on players in terms of what they bring to the team as a whole. You can turn around and say, ‘How good is this guy as a running back?’ Well, there’s different kinds of running backs. I want to know what kind of athlete this man is and how we can use his toolset to our advantage.

      Q: Obviously an outside perspective, what is your first impression of Daniel Jones from his rookie season, and then for his offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, what are you looking for from a coaching perspective?
      A: So, I’m going to answer both of those questions, and I don’t want to be confused in this, I want to make sure I make this clear, again, I have an outsider’s perspective. We have a lot of talent on this roster. It’s been assembled that way for a reason, I don’t want to sit here and try to give you expert analysis without having done my due diligence and homework to sit down and thoroughly investigate each one of these players. They all have ability. I’m excited to work with every player on our roster. Every player on our roster has talent, and every player on our roster will compete for whatever they get. Nothing will be handed out. In terms of the coaches, again, I want to reference back to I’m looking for teachers. I’m sure the next question is going to be something relative to, ‘What I look for in the offensive system?’ Well, I can answer that of all three systems—offense, defense, and special teams. Our philosophy is going to be to put pressure on the opponent to prepare for multiple things. Within that, we have to have personnel versatility and we have to have flexibility schematically to make sure that whoever we play, we can adjust our game plan to maximize our strengths versus their weaknesses. So, while there may be some games that we throw the ball 50 times, there’s going to be other times we may throw it 10 times and run the ball 45 times. So, I don’t have a crystal ball, Miss Cleo can help you better with that, but we’re going to look for the best system to help us week by week.

      Q: Clearly, the Giants were very impressed with your work with two great coaches, Saban and Belichick, and that’s looked great for you on the resume. How are you different from them? The big thing everybody wants to know is, you’re not those guys, how are you your own man?
      A: Well, I think when you work with anybody, you try to grow as much as you can from them. You’re going to always have the opportunity to learn lessons if you pay attention and are willing to learn something new. I worked for two great coaches, Coach Belichick and Coach Saban, and there wasn’t a day I went to work that I didn’t come home with a full new education and I knew fully every day that there were coaches out there that would pay thousands of dollars to sit in a staff meeting and just hear the wisdom they were saying on a daily basis. I’d like to think I was not foolish enough to squander that. Both have a very unique style about them. Both have a world of knowledge. Both have a lot of the same philosophical views, and a lot of the same values. What I learned from Coach Saban was not an individual lesson. What I learned from Coach Saban is it’s important to address everybody, not only on the what they have to do, but how it should look, what we’re going to do to get there, and why it’s important. And what you find out when you’re coaching players, they’re not robots, and if they understand what the end result is supposed to look like and why it’s important, normally those players are going to take the principles you instilled in them and in the game make a player’s adjustment, and you’re going to learn more from the players than they are as a coach because they’re going to find a better way to do it in the heat of the moment with a certain adjustment. And as a coach, you have to have your eyes open enough to understand they’re making the correct adjustment, you have to find another way to teach in the future to give multiple options. That’s what I learned from Coach Saban, and that applied across the board. That was whether you’re dealing with a person, a player in recruiting, developing a player on the field, or schematics in a game. You better make sure everyone knows the full picture of what you’re looking for. What I learned from Coach Belichick was real simple—be flexible within your personnel. Don’t try to shove round pegs into square holes. Figure out what you have. Let them play to their strengths. Don’t sit in a meeting and tell me what you don’t have in a player. Don’t tell me they can’t do certain things, tell me what they can do and then we’ll figure out as coaches, because that’s our job, how we can use that. That’s our responsibility. Everybody has something they can do. How many castoffs do you see around the league in the NFL on another team that everyone says, ‘Wow, how’d they get that out of them?’ Maybe they just weren’t closing their eyes to what they could do. We have to, as a coaching staff when we get assembled, we have to make sure we’re sitting down, we’re patient with our players, we fully evaluate them, we find out what they can do to be an asset, and that we’re not foolish enough to not use them.

      Q: A lot of fans look at this hire and they regarded you as a non-prominent name. There were a lot of prominent names that a lot of fans out there wanted, maybe more so than you, so what do you think of the notion, what do you say to the notion that you’re not the preferred choice for a lot of fans?
      A: To be completely honest with you, I’m not really concerned about whoever interviewed for this job. All I’m concerned about is the opportunity I have in front of me and what I have to do going forward. And I’m going to tell my players the same thing, it doesn’t matter how you got there, it doesn’t matter how high-profile you may be or may not be, it’s what you do on a daily basis. If you’re in a position, earn it. Earn it every day. And I appreciate the opportunity, I’m working every day to earn it. And our players have to do the same thing. The best players will play. I don’t care where you got drafted, I don’t care if you’re an undrafted free agent, I don’t care if you’re old, young, traded, whatever you got there for. Everybody will have an opportunity every day to compete for a job on our roster. Every day. If you want to be on the field, be the best player. Outwork the guy in front of you. Prove your value to us, show you can handle the job, and we’re going to put you on the field and give you an opportunity.

      Q: Could a culture—and I completely concede it’s an overused work, but I don’t know another better word to use in this example—when you look at taking over the New York Giants, what culture do you want to have in the locker room, and how will you go about making sure that is there?
      A: The only culture we’re going to have in that building, period, is a winning culture. And what that means is everybody comes to work every day, regardless of how they feel, and puts the team first, period. Whatever you have going on outside the building, you’re sick, a little bit of pain, you have discomfort, you’re upset, you’re mad, put all that aside. You come in, you put the team first. We’re going to ask our players at times to do things that necessarily may not be what they have in mind for themselves. But if it’s best for the team, they have to be willing to go forward with it, because that’s what a winning culture is.

      Q: You’ve mentioned teaching a lot—I know you have a background in teaching. Could you just elaborate on how you plan to teach, and what you look for in teachers alike?
      A: Well, I would say teaching is just to inspire learning. And I think what we have to do is, we have to identify how our players learn. Everybody learns different. Everyone learns different. We have to make sure that when we teach we hit the full spectrum of students in the classroom, the full spectrum of our players. We can’t just teach in an old school or a certain way. We have to find whatever’s helpful for these guys to take the information and apply it on the field. Now, whether that may be old school lectures for some guys, or that’s more visual evidence through tape for other guys, or maybe that’s on their feet through walk-thrus for some others, we’re going to as much as what’s necessary to make sure we’re checking the box on every guy. And as a coaching staff, I expect our coaches to know who’s up to speed on what. Don’t tell me you taught the whole room and one guy screwed it up. I want to know what you did to hit that guy. You figure out what he’s a little behind on and you make up the difference. Figure it out, that’s your job. So, to me a teacher is, we talk about no child left behind, but I’m going to tell you right now, if you’re in our locker room, you’re going to get coached. We’re not leaving anyone behind in here. So, I want people that are going to treat the player as a person, find out what makes them tick, what inspires their learning, and make sure we accomplish it every day.

      Q: We know about the endorsement that Coach Belichick gave ownership here about you. I’m curious, yes, it’s sort of two-fold, but one, what advice he had for you if you consulted with him and how that went? And I would like to kind of flip side, of all the things on your resume, you haven’t actually been a head coach if I’m correct?
      A: You’re absolutely correct in that. I’ve been a kindergarten PE teacher, I have not been a head coach (laughter).

      Q: So, just how you sort of sold them with that asterisk on the resume that you were ready to be a head coach.
      A: So, I’ll start with the first one, the question about Belichick and his advice. I’ll be honest with you, the only advice I really sought from him as far as this opportunity, he told me just be yourself. And that’s all I know how to be. I think one of the things people ask me a lot is, ‘You worked for Coach Saban, Coach Belichick, what makes you different?’ Look, I’m myself. I’m going to be myself every time. If I’m anything else, everyone’s going to see straight through it. And if you lie to the team, you’re going to lose the team immediately. So, I’m going to always be myself. And that’s a little bit different than other people and that’s fine. I’m not trying to emulate anyone I’ve ever worked for, I’m trying to take what I’ve learned from them and what matches with my own belief structure and do it with my own personality. The second part of the question, as far as being a head coach, you can’t fabricate that experience. And as a young head coach, I’m going to lean on Dave Gettleman, I’m going to lean on the assistants I hire, I’m going to lean on having the right people in the building to fill in some of the blanks that I may have. I’m about transparency and honesty, so I need men in my building who are going to walk in my office and tell me the truth, and we can be on the same page. Now, we may have some disagreements at times, but we’re going to walk out on that field with those players and all have the same vision, same voice, and be on the same page. Relative to how to handle a team, I can tell you that with the experience I’ve had, I feel prepared as being a head coach. From a personnel standpoint, I talked earlier, I have to evaluate everyone from the draft, I have to know who the players in the locker room are. Not just as an athlete in that regard, but personally, because a special teams coach, it’s not just point and click and say go do it. There’s a lot of recruiting that happens at certain times, and you have to find out how every player ticks. And everyone responds differently at different times. And you’ve got your core guys that show up to work and they know they pay their light bill and they’re going to do it every day. But there comes a time where you have to go ahead and go to the starting quarterback and say, ‘Hey buddy, I need you to be the holder this week because we have an issue with an injury.’ You may have to go to a guy that’s a starting linebacker and say, ‘I need you to start on punt team for me this week. You haven’t done it since training camp, but we need you.’ Or you have to go to a guy in the middle of a game and tell him he now has to cover a kick on kickoff. The thing is you have to get to those people early on and develop a relationship with them, a relationship with the entire team to have them trust you to know that you have their best interest at hand and the team’s best interest at hand. So, when you come to them and you ask them to form a task, they trust you that what you’re asking them to do is going to benefit them individually, and as a team collectively. Along with that, look, I’ve had the experience and it’s been beneficial—I get to stand in front of the room every day and coach every player. Every player. When we’re at 90, it’s all 90. When we’re at 53, it’s 53, plus the 10 on practice squad. So, in different adages, I’ve been able to address the team every day. And again, you can’t address the team all in one message. You have to make sure you’re hitting everybody in the room. So, you gain the experience of what the pulse of the team is and what makes them tick. You’re not always addressing them after wins. A lot of times you’ve got to walk in after a tough loss. A lot of times you’ve got to walk in after a tough loss where maybe your unit didn’t play as well as it should have, and you have to grab the attention of those players and not only tell them how we have to correct what was wrong, but why they have to trust you going forward. So, there’s been a lot of experience through the years of having to do that on a daily basis. Special teams, one thing you’ve got to manage is time. Another thing is people. As a head coach, those are the two main things you have to manage, time and people. So, I’ve had experience preparing me for that. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not preparing to sit here and tell you a lie like I have all the answers. But I am telling you I’ll find out the ones I don’t know and make sure by the time we get to the players, they’re the right ones.

      Q: This was obviously a goal of yours to become a head coach. Was there anything specific that you did to prepare for this? How much did you talk about being a head coach with Bill to learn how to become a head coach in the process?
      A: I think Bill understood my desire to become a head coach because of my involvement overall in a complete team. I never talked about becoming a head coach or walked around and advertised that as a specific goal. To be completely honest with you, I didn’t have a goal this year, specifically right now, of being a head coach right now. This opportunity is very unique. When I received the call from the Giants that they would like to interview me, that was very exciting. There’s 32 teams in this league, that’s not a lot. The reality is there are very few that have a chance at winning, the reality of that is there are very few of those that have a chance at winning that have tradition and history behind them. I don’t take this lightly, there’s not 32 great programs in this league. The truth is the Giants are one of (them) at the top, that’s what makes this job intriguing.

      Q: In this interview, was there a moment when it clicked that your vision and the Giants ownership and front office’s vision aligned? What was it like the morning when you found at you were getting the job. Where were you, how did you feel at that moment?
      A: I’ll go backwards on that. When I received the phone call and Mr. Mara offered me the job, it was very exciting, it was very humbling. I was actually sitting in my office in Gillette Stadium at the time, I had returned the night before from the interview and basically went in the next day to resume work like I would normally do and make sure I was prepared for what was coming up next. It was very humbling, I think when you get past the initial wave of excitement, and then you realize the task at hand you have, you realize that it’s time to go to work. There’s people depending on you and that’s a humbling feeling. You have to show up every day and do your absolute best because everyone is depending on you to do your absolute best, anything less won’t be acceptable. Without going into too many details about the interview, I would say when we spoke about discipline on the team, that’s something very important to me. I think you need to have the fundamental foundation of discipline on your team, that you hold players accountable. It’s important to have good people in your locker room. It’s a family business for our ownership and it’s a family business for myself. My children have all been born in this business. Knowing that your passion is football, that your desire to win is what you truly love and that benefits your family and you’re representing something bigger than yourself. That moment right there is when it really clicked that this is where I belong and where I want to be.

      Q: You just mentioned your family. What was their reaction, specifically your wife and kids, when you got the job?
      A: Very exciting, they were very excited. I have a 14-year-old who stays as current as he can on everything. So he is already looking to make GM moves, sorry Mr. Gettleman. He was telling me about the roster when I came home and things we can do. I have an 11-year-old who was kind of speechless when we told him at school, we pulled him out of class to let him know, he couldn’t have been more excited. I’ve got a 9-year-old back there, Emma Riley, and she has a gymnastics meet in Manhattan in a few weeks. She’s been talking about that all fall. Now she gets to have her meet but it’s also her new home, that’s a little bit extra special for her. I haven’t really broken the news yet to Ella because she doesn’t know she has to move but she is very excited to be a part of the Giants.

      Q: When you talked about taking the job you said you wanted to be old school. Is that the way you were brought up or is that something that you learned from Belichick and Saban? It sounds very much like Parcells and Coughlin.
      A: We used to have posters when I was in kindergarten about sharing and telling the truth and being polite and all that stuff. The thing that I really learned from the great coaches later in my career was really that they reinforced everything that I learned early in my career. That it’s really the basics that carry over. There’s some minutia that gets caught up when you get into the flow of things. Everyone thinks there’s some guru out there with a magical scheme, everyone thinks there’s some short cut to being good. Everything I learned from coach Belichick and coach Saban reinforced on a daily basis that it’s the fundamentals. You don’t build the Empire State Building by washing the windows, you build it with the foundation and work it on up. Whatever your goal is at hand, you can put that in the distance and start working day by day to take a step forward.

      Q: You hear coaches talk about how this is a timing business and sometimes you take an opportunity and you take it a year too soon or a year too late. Why is the timing right for you now to be standing here as the new head coach of the Giants?
      A: The only thing that’s relevant to me on this is the opportunity with the New York Giants. The timing is now and that’s the only time that is relevant to me.

      Q: I know you said you haven’t studied all the players yet. Obviously, you know a little bit about the roster and that there hasn’t been a lot of winning around here recently. How quickly do you think you can turn this around? How big of a job is it to get this back on track?
      A: To try to get any team to win in this league is a tough job, they are all tough jobs. Every team is good, they are coached well, they have talent. There is a lot of parity in this league, it’s structured and built that way. Every job in this league has a tough job trying to get a win. I’m not into making predictions about wins. I’m a process-built guy, you focus on the process and you worry about the steps in place you have to execute to get to the end result. I’m not going to circle a number on my board and say we have to get to X number of wins to be successful. I’m worried about when these guys walk into the building in mid-April, what we have to do with them to get them working in the right direction to build from the ground up.

      Q: A big part of your job will be dealing with reporters and especially answering questions after games. Just to kind of kick start that process, I’m curious in the last game, what went into the decision not to have someone returning that last punt?
      A: I’m not going to get into any specific decisions on schematics. I can assure it was discussions we had before the game and we called it according to what we thought gave our team the best opportunity to win. I appreciate the question. At this point, I’m really looking forward to everything we are doing with the New York Giants. That’s a question that’s probably better fit for Foxborough.

      Q: You mentioned something about the things you learned in kindergarten that stayed with you. What did you actually learn by teaching kindergarten?
      A: When I got done being a GA (Graduate Assistant) at Mississippi State, which when you are a GA, it’s basically volunteering to be tortured and it’s the best experience you can ever have. I washed cars, I got coffee, I built playsets, I did everything I could do and on top of that, I got to coach football and learn. They kind of paid me 700 bucks a month, which didn’t even cover the rent even in Mississippi. What I learned coaching PE for three days in the West Point School District was the patience you have to have with children. I think I had five or six classes a day in a classroom, it wasn’t a gymnasium, it was a classroom. These kids would come in and I realized I had to have an organized plan with these kids that covered the full 60 minutes I had them. If I let any detail in that plan go to waste, it was going to be chaos. I had kids dancing on the window sills, I had kids peeing themselves, I had kids doing everything. I figured out you have to keep them busy. You have to be detailed and prepared on the front end to make sure that regardless of who your audience is or who your classroom is, you have to have something to keep them busy and occupy them mentally and stimulated that they want to participate in what you are trying to accomplish.

      Video of Joe Judge’s post-introductory press conference remarks is also available at Giants.com.

      JOHN MARA’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
      The transcript of team President and CEO John Mara’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

      STEVE TISCH’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
      The transcript of team Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

      DAVE GETTLEMAN’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
      The transcript of General Manager Dave Gettleman’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

      REPORT – THOMAS McGAUGHEY WILL REMAIN SPECIAL TEAMS COODINATOR…
      SiriusXMNFL Radio is reporting that Thomas McGaughey, who was hired as special teams coordinator by Pat Shurmur in 2018, will remain in the same position under new Head Coach Joe Judge.