Sep 232016
 
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Marshall Newhouse, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

Marshall Newhouse – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants free safety Darian Thompson (sprained foot), offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), and and defensive tackle Robert Thomas (illness) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

Running back Rashad Jennings (thumb) is “questionable” for the game while defensive end Olivier Vernon (wrist) is “probable.”

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

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no press availability to the team on Saturday. The Giants play the Washington Redskins at home on Sunday afternoon at 1:00PM EDT.

Aug 252016
 
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Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Friday. The Giants play the New York Jets on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

Apr 012016
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS POSITION COACH MEDIA SESSIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of Monday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

GIANTS MEET WITH JERRAUD POWERS, BUT NO DEAL …
According to press reports, unrestricted free agent cornerback Jerraud Powers (Arizona Cardinals) did meet the New York Giants on Thursday and Friday. However, NJ.com is reporting that Powers apparently left without a deal.

The 28-year old Powers was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent in March 2013. In seven NFL seasons, Powers has played in 87 regular-season games with 82 starts. In 2015, he started all 13 regular-season games he played in, and finished the season with 52 tackles, one sack, nine pass defenses, and one interception. Powers has 11 career interceptions.

ARTICLES…

Feb 172016
 
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Steve Spagnuolo and Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants (November 1, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo and Jonathan Casillas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Now that the dust has settled and the New York Giants have officially announced the make-up of Ben McAdoo’s coaching staff, let’s take a closer look at its composition.

Overall, not counting the head coach, there are 20 coaching positions. Eight of the 20 coaches are new to the organization. All three coordinators are holdovers from the Tom Coughlin era, with Mike Sullivan being promoted to offensive coordinator.

Offensive Coaching Staff (8 Coaches)

There are three offensive coaches new to the organization: Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr., Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry, and Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari. The holdovers are Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (brought to the Giants by Tom Coughlin in 2004 and again in 2015), Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson (came aboard with McAdoo in 2014), Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride (hired in 2010 and son of former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride), Assistant Offensive Line Coach Lunda Wells (hired in 2012), and Offensive Assistant Ryan Roeder (hired in 2013).

McAdoo pursued former Miami Dolphins Head Coach and Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin as an assistant head coach, but Philbin accepted the same position with the Indianapolis Colts instead. Philbin was McAdoo’s boss in Green Bay for five years. He probably would have served as a crutch for McAdoo if had come to New York.

It is interesting to note that five of the eight offensive coaches have experience as offensive coordinators with other teams, including Sullivan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Cignetti (St. Louis Rams, Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California, University of North Carolina, Fresno State, Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Johnson (University of Maryland and Virginia Military Institute), Henry (McNeese State University), and Solari (Kansas City Chiefs and University of Pittsburgh).

Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan: With McAdoo being promoted to head coach, the offensive coordinator position became vacant. To fill it, the 49-year old Sullivan was promoted to offensive coordinator. It remains to be seen how much influence Sullivan really will have. Other than 2015, Sullivan’s background is not based on the West Coast offensive system. And McAdoo has not yet publicly announced who will even call the plays. Sullivan was highly respected by Coughlin, but his two years in Tampa as offensive coordinator did not go well. With the Giants, Sullivan has coached wide receivers (2004-2009) and quarterbacks (2010-2011, 2015).

Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr.: The 50-year old Cignetti is a well-travelled coach with a ton of experience as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has never really worked with a quarterback the quality of Eli Manning. He replaces Sullivan, who was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson: The 55-year old Johnson arrived with McAdoo in 2014. Assuming McAdoo had some sort of influence in Johnson’s hiring, it is not surprising that that McAdoo retained him. Most of Johnson’s experience is actually coaching quarterbacks. He also served as assistant head coach of the Titans for one season.

Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry: Odell Beckham, Jr. is extremely tight with the 43-year old Henry, who coached OBJ at LSU. At the pro level, Henry coached the 49ers’ wide receivers in 2015 and the Raiders’ tight ends in 2009-2011. He replaces Sean Ryan, who the Giants decided not to retain.

Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride: The 36-year old Gilbride is now the longest-tenured Giants’ offensive coach, having arrived in 2010. When Gilbride was hired, fans feared it was pure nepotism on the part of the team given the fact that his father was the offensive coordinator at the time. Gilbride’s work as wide receivers coach in 2012-2013 was nondescript and he was re-assigned as the tight ends coach in 2014. Under his tutelage, Larry Donnell and Will Tye developed from no-name, small-school rookie free agents to viable pro targets.

Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari: The 61-year old Solari is the oldest coach on the team. He is considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, having coached very solid lines in Kansas City and San Francisco. Solari spent last season with Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, so he also now has a better understanding of the West Coast system. Solari replaces Pat Flaherty, whom the team chose not to retain.

Assistant Offensive Line Coach Lunda Wells: Interestingly, rather than bring in two new offensive line coaches, the Giants decided to part ways with Pat Flaherty and retain the popular Lunda Wells. The 33-year old Wells joined the Giants in 2012 and became the assistant offensive line coach in 2013 when Matt Rhule left to become Temple University’s head coach. Before coming to the Giants, Wells did assistant coaching work at LSU.

Offensive Assistant Ryan Roeder: The 36-year old Roeder came to the Giants in 2013 after serving as the tight ends coach at Princeton University for three seasons.

Defensive Coaching Staff (7 Coaches)

There are three defensive coaches new to the organization: Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham, Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina, and Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern. The holdovers are Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (brought to the Giants by Tom Coughlin in 2007 and again in 2015), Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton (came aboard with Spagnuolo in 2015), Safeties Coach David Merritt (the only coach remaining who came to the Giants with Tom Coughlin in 2004), and Defensive Assistant Rob Leonard (hired in 2013). In a nutshell, at the position coach level, the Giants decided to part ways with their front seven defensive coaches and keep their secondary coaches.

The big story here is the retention of Steve Spagnuolo despite the Giants not only finishing dead last in defense, but having the third-worst defense in NFL history. Alarmingly, Spagnuolo’s defense in New Orleans in 2012 was also the worst in NFL history. Since Spagnuolo is reportedly admired by ownership and was interviewed for the team’s head coaching position, one wonders if McAdoo had full autonomy to decide his fate.

Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: It’s been eight years since the 56-year old Spagnuolo coached a decent defense as defensive coordinator. Since then, two of his defenses have ended up being the worst in NFL history. Spagnuolo has to prove that he can oversee even a competent defense without an all-star defensive line. Spagnuolo has NFL experience as a linebackers and defensive backs position coach, mainly with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2009-2011) and assistant head coach of the Baltimore Ravens (2014).

Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham: The 37-year old Graham was highly respected and popular in New England. He has served as both defensive line coach (2012-2013) and linebackers coach (2011, 2014-2015) under Bill Belichick. Graham replaces Robert Nunn, whom the team chose not to retain.

Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina: The assistant defensive line coach position is a new position on the Giants. The 45-year old Zgonina has only one year of coaching experience, but he played an astounding 17 years in the NFL as a tough, blue-collar, overachieving defensive tackle for seven teams.

Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern: The Giants passed on Mike Singletary to hire the 53-year old McGovern. McGovern coached linebackers at Boston College for 13 years before serving as the Philadelphia Eagles’ outside linebackers coach for three seasons. He replaces Jim Herrmann, whom the team chose not to retain.

Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton: The 44-year old Walton came aboard with Steve Spagnuolo in 2015 so it isn’t a surprise that he was retained. Walton has experience as a defensive coordinator with the University of Miami, University of Memphis, and St. Louis Rams. He was the defensive backs coach for the Detroit Lions for four years (2009-2012).

Safeties Coach David Merritt: The 44-year old Merritt has been with the Giants now longer than any other coach, having arrived with Tom Coughlin in 2004. Since 2006, he has coached the team’s safeties and worked with Steve Spagnuolo on the Giants in 2007-2008 and 2015.

Defensive Assistant Rob Leonard: The 30-year old Leonard joined the Giants’ staff in 2013. Before that, he only did graduate assistant coaching work at North Carolina State University.

Special Teams Coaching Staff (2 Coaches)

No major change here given the fact that Tom Quinn will remain the team’s special teams coordinator, a position he took over in 2007. Larry Izzo, who had been the assistant special teams coach, departed as he received a promotion from the Houston Texans as their new special teams coordinator.

Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn: The much-maligned, 48-year old Quinn had arguably his best season as special teams coordinator in 2015. That said, special teams play was a factor in four losses (Saints, Patriots, Jets, Panthers). Like with Spagnuolo, one wonders if McAdoo had full autonomy to retain or dismiss Quinn.

Assistant Special Teams Coach Dwayne Stukes: The Giants probably preferred to keep Izzo. But with his departure, a vacancy had to be filled. The 39-year old Stukes has special teams coaching experience with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears.

Strength and Conditioning Coaching Staff (3 Coaches)

The major change here was at the top. After six consecutive injury-plagued seasons in a row, the team replaced Jerry Palmieri with Aaron Wellman. Palmieri had been with the Giants since 2004.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman: The 41-year old Wellman has never coached at the pro level. But he is well-respected in the business and on top of the latest trends in sports training. He has worked at the university level at Indiana, Michigan State, Ball State, San Diego State, Michigan, and Notre Dame.

Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Markus Paul: The 49-year old Paul has been with the Giants since 2007 after having spent time with the Saints (1998-1999), Patriots (2000-2004), and Jets (2005-2006).

Performance Manager Joe Danos: The 35-year old Danos has been with the Giants since 2013. Before coming to the team, he spent time at the college level at LSU, SMU, and Florida State.

Overall, McAdoo decided to part ways with five coaches: Sean Ryan (wide receivers), Pat Flaherty (offensive line), Robert Nunn (defensive line), Jim Herrmann (linebackers), and Jerry Palmieri (strength and conditioning). The vacancies filled by the three other new guys were created by Mike Sullivan’s promotion, Larry Izzo receiving a promotion from the Texans, and the new assistant defensive line coaching position. Replacing the wide receivers, offensive line, defensive line, and linebackers coaches is no small move. But all three coordinators are holdovers from Coughlin’s staff plus the running backs, tight ends, cornerbacks, and safeties coaches.

Feb 162016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (January 15, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE COACHING STAFF…
The New York Giants officially announced their complete coaching staff on Tuesday, confirming what had unofficially been previous reported:

  • Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sullivan (with team 2004-11, 2015)
  • Quarterbacks Coach: Frank Cignetti, Jr. (NEW)
  • Running Backs Coach: Craig Johnson (with team since 2014)
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Adam Henry (NEW)
  • Tight Ends Coach: Kevin M. Gilbride (with team since 2010)
  • Offensive Line Coach: Mike Solari (NEW)
  • Assistant Offensive Line Coach: Lunda Wells (with team since 2012)
  • Offensive Assistant: Ryan Roeder (with team since 2013)
  • Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (with team 2007-2008, 2015)
  • Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham (NEW)
  • Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina (NEW)
  • Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern (NEW)
  • Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton (with team since 2015)
  • Safeties Coach David Merritt (with team since 2004)
  • Defensive Assistant Rob Leonard (with team since 2013)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (with team since 2006)
  • Assistant Special Teams Coach Dwayne Stukes (NEW)
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman (NEW)
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Markus Paul (with team since 2007)
  • Performance Manager Joe Danos (with team since 2013)

The Giants retained their defensive and special teams coordinators while promoting Mike Sullivan to offensive coordinator. Eight of the 20 coaches are new to the organization, including three on offense, three on defense, one on special teams, and one on the strength and conditioning staff. Full resumes of each coach are available in the Coaching Staff section of the website.

“This is a new staff,” said new Head Coach Ben McAdoo said. “Nobody was retained, there were no holdovers; everyone was hired. When I sat down with everybody on the staff, that was one thing I wanted to make clear. No one was retained, no one was a holdover. Everyone was hired here as part of a new staff.

“You have a nice group of guys who I’ve worked with in the past, and then there’s some I haven’t worked with, and some I’ve admired from afar. There’s a nice mix. We talked a lot about putting a staff together that fits, number one, that has great diversity, great personality, and great character, a staff of people who can teach the game. We feel we’ve done that.

“I think we have a nice mix of youth and experience. Even our young guys tend to have some experience when you look at it. I think we have good teachers who have high character and get the game and understand what we’re looking for from a vision standpoint.”

McAdoo also made the following points regarding specific coaches:

  • On Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: “When you look back at this past season, it was great working with Spags. He’s a tremendous leader, gets the players to play hard. We feel that if we continue to develop the young guys, add some pieces to the puzzle, and keep them playing as hard as they played last year, we’ll make progress in the second year of the system.”
  • On Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan: “He’s a guy, in my mind, who’s an experienced leader of men who has a championship background. He’s been in this system now for a year, and he’s familiar with the building and the people in the building, and a lot of the players in the locker room. I like that continuity there.”
  • On Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr.: “Frank Cignetti Jr. is a phenomenal teacher. He grew up in a version of the system from the ground floor. He has a great understanding of what we’re looking for fundamentally from the quarterback position.”
  • On Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry: “Adam Henry has worked his way up from a small school, I admire that about him. He’s done a tremendous job working with talented players and we’re fortunate to have him… (His relationship with wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. is) a positive, but that’s not why he got the job. He’s earned the job. Anyone that thinks that about him hasn’t seen his work. The way you look at it, he’s worked his way up from a small school and has had an opportunity to work in a lot of big programs, teaching a lot of talented players and has gotten a lot out of those players. We expect that to continue here.”
  • On Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari: “Mike Solari, I’ve admired his work from afar for a long time. He had a chance to come from this system last year. He’s one of the best in the business. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the table in developing our young players.”
  • On Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham: “Patrick Graham, he’s a guy that cut his teeth working up from some tough jobs. He’s knowledgeable, has some grit to him, and a great personality for the room. We feel that those guys will rally around him and he’ll have the chance to develop them.”
  • On Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina: “He fits the profile we were looking for with 17 years playing in the league in the trenches, which speaks volumes. He’ll add a passion for technique, and bring an energy boost to the field for us. We look forward to him getting out there and getting in the mix with Patrick Graham and spending a lot of time detailing the performance of the guys in that room. Jeff also has a year of coaching experience – that is valuable. There may be a little bit of a learning curve there, which is normal. But 17 years of him playing in the trenches is very valuable for him to lean on…When you have four guys out there at a time – maybe more, maybe less, depending on the personnel group you’re playing with – having a couple sets of eyes and ears comes in handy. Guys being able to play off of each other on the coaching staff will help. Most staffs now have two offensive line coaches and most staffs, if you’re a 3-4 (defense), have an interior coach and an outside backer coach. The way it’s gone with the four-down line teams, you either have two coaches there, or a coach and an assistant. But they’ll work hand-in-hand.”
  • On Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern: “He has a ton of coaching experience. He’s very familiar with the division. He’s going to bring great energy to the building, great energy to the staff room. That usually filters down to the locker room. I look forward to working with Bill.”
  • On Assistant Special Teams Coach Dwayne Stukes: “Dwayne’s a guy who has a lot of experience for the position he’s coming in for, assistant special teams coach. He’s highly qualified for it. I feel like he’ll be able to breathe some life into the perimeter of our special teams, and get those guys going a little bit more, and provide some juice there. He’s a nice addition for us.”
  • On Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman: “I worked with Aaron back at Michigan State (in 2001) when we were both cutting our teeth in the business… Aaron’s a guy that is a forward-thinker. He’s advanced in the sports performance arena, but he also has an edge to him. He can be tough when he has to be. That’s hard to find in this business these days. He’s got a nice combination of both. We feel that he’ll provide a nice lift to our program.”

The next challenge for McAdoo is developing cohesion within the new coaching staff.

“I think that it takes a little while,” McAdoo said. “It’s a marriage in a lot of different ways for a lot of different guys, a lot of different positions. The most important thing is we have to get everyone in here and get everyone speaking the same language. It helps that we do have some guys who have been around, and the systems are staying the same on offense, defense and special teams.

“At the end of the day, that’s not what drives any of the decisions. Systems are systems. You can go to K-Mart and get a good system. It’s more about the leadership, the character, and the fundamentals that are being taught. We like what we see there. We like what we have there. We felt that going forward in that direction was the way to go. We just have to train everyone to speak the same language, and teach the same from a fundamentals standpoint. That should give us a head start.”

GIANTS WORK OUT TWO EUROPEAN PLAYERS…
NFLDraftDiamonds.com reports that the New York Giants will work out two European players next week, English tight end Harry Innis and French wide receiver Anthony Dablé. According to NFL Draft Diamonds:

“Innis is a 6’7 tight end who we have featured many times on NFL Draft Diamonds. Innis is a tall tight end with soft hands. He entered the new program assisted by the NFL and former NFL player Osi Umenyiora a few months ago. Innis has the same size/attributes as Rob Gronkowski. He has been playing American football overseas and was a stud for Kiel Baltic of the German Football League, and finished last season with Senajoki Crocodiles.

“Dablé (is a) 6’4 physical wide out… Dablé is a very quick player with great hands. Both players played overseas and both were standouts in their conferences.”

NFL Draft Diamonds reports that both players have received interest from multiple teams, but their first work out is with the Giants.

ARTICLES…

Jan 152016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (January 15, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN MCADOO’S INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Ben McAdoo was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at press conference on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. McAdoo’s contract is a 4-year deal, running through the 2019 NFL season.

Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Thank you all for being here this morning. I am very pleased to be here formally to introduce Ben McAdoo, our new head coach. When we started this process about 10 days ago, we started to find a new leader for our football team. We wanted to find somebody who had the intelligence and the determination and the work ethic and the leadership skills to be a successful head coach in the National Football League. We believe we have that in Ben McAdoo.

Jerry Reese and I interviewed six excellent candidates for this position. Contrary to what I’ve read even a few places about this being an uninspiring group, nothing could be further from the truth. We felt all six were excellent and quite frankly I could’ve been happy with any one.

We brought Ben back in this past Wednesday and he sat with Jerry, myself, Steve and John Tisch and at the end of that session, we agreed that he is the man for the job. This is an exciting day for us. It begins a new era of Giants football and I would like to now introduce the man who’s going to lead us into that new era, our new head coach, Ben McAdoo.

Remarks by Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
Thank you all for coming today. I am honored here to stand in front of you as the 17th coach in New York Giants history. I’d like to take the time now to thank the Mara family, the Tisch family and Jerry Reese for this opportunity and I’d also like to thank you for the way you conducted this search; very detailed, very organized and with class as always. Thank you.

There are some excited people back in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A lot of you have done your research, Homer City. My parents, Tim and Tina, I’d like to thank them, my sister, Jody, and my brother, Tim, as well as my in-laws, Dave and Renee. Thank you. I have my two children and my beautiful wife here with me. Could you stand up please? (laughs) My wife, Toni, my daughter, Larkin, seven, and my son, B.J., he’s three. Wouldn’t be here without them.

I’ve been very fortunate in my career there’s been a lot of coaches, a lot of players, a lot of administrators that have taken interest in me and my career. I wouldn’t be here without them and I am going to read you a list of names so bear with me there. Rick Foust, Rob Nymick, Jim Mill, the late Mark Hess, Scott Mossgrove, Paul Schager, Sal Sunseri, Walt Harris, Jim Haslett, Jack Henry, Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packer family, Joe Philbin, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Donald Driver, Donald Lee, Jermichael Finley, Bob and Lynn LaMonte, Mark Schiefelbein, Matt Baldwin, excuse me, Eli Manning and the Giants locker room, Tom Coughlin and the New York Giant family and staff. Thank you.

It’s been a privilege and an honor the last two years to serve under Tom. He’s made a big impact in my life as a coach and as a person and his discipline, punctuality and success are obviously legendary. Thinking of a way to honor Tom, there are so many ways we can do it but I figure the best way would be when I first walked into the building he looked at me and said, ‘don’t mess with the clock.’ (laughs) When you look to the right here, we have our digital clocks they’re all five minutes fast and we’re going to stick with that, that’s TC time, that’s a part of Giants culture now.

My next message is to Giants fans, Giants fans everywhere. I realize that this fan base is tough, it’s passionate and deserves a winner. This is the capital of the world and this is the football capital of the world and with that comes a certain amount of pressure, a pressure that I look forward to, our staff and our players will look forward too. This job is not for the faint of heart and I’m the right man for the job. I’m hardened, battle tested and I’ve been groomed for this opportunity by Super Bowl winning coaches, players and organizations. We’re going to assemble a staff and a locker room that the fans can rally around. We’re going to set our jaw and we’re going to get to work.

The vision for this football team goes in to winning and putting that fifth Lombardi trophy in the case. That is our goal and that is the vision. To accomplish that four things need to take place, four elements. The first is strong leadership, the second is we need to surround that leadership with talented men and women of integrity, the third is a positive working environment needs to be created starting and maintaining with myself and it needs to inspire teaching, learning and accountability. The last point—the last element, excuse me, is comprehensive structure and function. We will have a value system in place. Football is a people business and it starts with relationships. Three value system, excuse me, three values what we will incorporate are respect, humility and dedication. Dedication, obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. We will be dedicated in our football.

Lastly is our team identity. What do we want our tape to look like? It’s about the film. When you turn a film on, what do we look like on film? Our offense, our defense, our special teams must play as one and our identity will be sound, smart and tough – committed to discipline and poise. With that I’ll open it up to questions.

Q: What’s the challenge of being the head coach? What are the things that make the transition from assistant coach to head coach that you’re really concerned about?

A: It’s large-scale leadership. When you’re coaching a position whether it’s tight ends or quarterbacks, you’re the head coach of that position room. When you broaden out and you have the opportunity to get in front of an offense, you’re the head coach of the offense and now I have a chance to get my hands on the whole team and I look forward to it.

Q: One thing John Mara said was he wanted a coach that had something to prove. He said you had something to prove in the statement yesterday. What do you think you have to prove?

A: I hold myself to a very high standard, I’m my biggest critic. Every night, I take pride in being able to look in the mirror and know that I did my best to get the job done.

Q: You said you had a conversation with Tom Coughlin saying don’t touch the clock. When did you have that conversation and what was the conversation about?

A: It was ‘don’t mess with the clocks,’ and there may have been an adjective or two in there (laughs). But it was great learning through Tom. Being five minutes ahead of schedule is very valuable.

Q: When was that?

A: Being five minutes ahead of schedule is very valuable.

Q: But when was that conversation?

A: When was it?

Q: Yes.

A: First day. First day.

Q: Have you talked to him since you agreed to take this job?

A: Yes, I just talked to him.

Q: And did he impart any particular wisdom on you?

A: Good luck.

Q: Ben when you first got here I remember you saying everybody is going to have a clean slate as far as players. Is that the same for coaches you’re going to take as you go through the evaluation period?

A: Our theme moving forward this year is evolution, not revolution. We’re going to have an opportunity to carry something over, some things we won’t. We know more about each other now than we had when I got here and we’re going to build off things we do well and work on fixing the things we don’t do well.

Q: Ben it’s usual for a coordinator to become a head coach but he does it at a different team. Is there a challenge you see going into the same locker room that you had been a coordinator and now you’re the head coach? You’re looked at differently maybe by other guys?

A: I think in any job it’s important to set up boundaries, you want to build relationships, but I think it’s important whether it’s with the staff or in the locker room that I establish those healthy boundaries right away.

Q: Have you finished building your staff?

A: No. With this happening so quickly, the staff is very fluid at this point and we had a chance to talk to a bunch of different guys, but nothing is set in stone. There’s nothing to report at this time.

Q: Will Steve Spagnuolo be back?

A: The discussions are fluid and ongoing. There’s nothing I want to report. When we have something definite, we will report.

Q: Will you continue to call the plays, Ben?

A: It goes back to the question about the staff. When our staff is complete and we feel comfortable releasing that, we’ll talk more about it. I feel that’s a competitive advantage for the opponent so that’s not something we need to necessarily talk about.

Q: Aaron Rodgers praised you for keeping things fresh and challenging him. As you expand that role and, like you said, build boundaries from focus of quarterback to coordinator now head coach, how important is keeping things fresh and new message become?

A: I think it’s always good to shake things up, especially from a scheduling perspective. Not always having the same schedule, changing whether it’s each quarter of the season or each week in the offseason, but we’re going to do some things to shake it up and keep it fresh. But at the same point and time, the fundamentals are called fundamentals for a reason, they’re the foundation and we’re not going to waiver there. We’re going to keep pounding those home.

Q: How would it feel to have a trusted confidant like Joe Philbin back with you? You guys won a Super Bowl together so how’s it going to feel to be reunited here in New York?

A: How’s it going to feel to have…

Q: To be reunited?

A: He’s coming?

Q: Assistant head coach?

A: Joe Philbin I think the world of. I think he’s a talented man, talented coach, one of the best I’ve been around, think the world of him, but, like I said, the staff is fluid and there’s nothing to report at this time.

Q: When you talk about fixing the locker room and what went wrong, how important is it to you to understand why this team in the final minutes of games last season failed so often?

A: We’re going to go back and a big part of what we’re going to do here coming up and moving forward is taking a look back at last season, studying each game and going back and studying each situation, taking a look at what we can do better in all three phases to fix the problem. And once we do fix the problem, we’ll address it in the practice schedule, we’ll practice those situations and we’ll take that rearview mirror we’ll rip it off, throw it in the back seat and look out the windshield.

Q: How important is it to you, if you at all, make changes to this staff so it’s not the same environment or is that a concern to you at all or is that something you don’t particularly worry about?

A: Like I said, we’re right now evolution not revolution. There are a lot of good coaches around the league and we’re going to sit down and talk to some different people and not rush into anything and take our time.

Q: Obviously you had a good look at the roster these last two years and you know the record. Now that you take over, do you have a sense of how long you think it will be for this team can get back to being that championship contender again?

A: We’re not looking to rebuild, we’re looking to reload and we’re going to start in a couple of minutes.

Q: Having been the offensive coordinator the last two years, you’ve been with Eli, how does that help your transition to being the offensive coordinator to now head coach?

A: Anytime you have an opportunity to work at a great organization like the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers and work with great players like Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers and sit in the same room as Brett Favre, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow and you really see what it’s supposed to look like and feel what it’s supposed to feel like. When you have your chance, when you have your opportunity, you need to jump in with both feet and make it happen.

Q: What did it mean to you that Eli was so vocal about wanting you to stay here?

A: I haven’t really sat down and thought about it. I respect Eli’s opinion. I’m appreciative of the endorsement.

Q: Was there a point in this process you thought you might be the new Eagles head coach?

A: Did I think I would be the new Eagles head coach? I’m very happy to be a New York Giant. This is home for me and my family and we look forward to the challenge here.

Q: You moved around a lot in your career. How important was to this whole process that you’re going to stay here now for a while?

A: Before Green Bay I had eight jobs in six years bouncing around quite a bit. Being here for two now and having a chance to put down roots and establish some success and build a winner, like we said, it’s all about putting the fifth trophy in the case. We want to put that fifth Lombardi trophy in the case that’s what we’re working for and that’s just as important as anything.

Q: You say you’ve been groomed for this and you talk about how the program in Green Bay prepared you to be a play caller. What kind of things specifically do they do there that groom someone to be a head coach?

A: I think it’s the openness and the dialog with which business is conducted whether it’s the quarterbacks coach to the coordinator to the head coach to the quarterback and all being a part of the process there in front of the process of scheduling and doing the research and you put your time and effort in there. We’ve gone through some things here the last couple years and we’ve made some progress and I’m excited about the future, I’m excited about the changes we made last year and some of the scheduling changes that will be done and taking those a step further and moving forward.

Q: This is your first head coaching job. Was there one piece of advice you received along the way from someone that sticks with you?

A: Keep the main thing the main thing and that’s the football.

Q: Who told you that?

A: I’m going to keep that in wraps.

Q: Being the head coach is one thing, becoming the head coach of football Giants, it has a ring to it and it comes with pressure. How do you expect to embrace that pressure?

A: I like the pressure. This is what you live for. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s the capital of the world, it’s the football capital of the world. What could be better than this type of opportunity and this type of pressure? You prepare for it and I’ve been a guy that’s always been baptized by fire and I’m comfortable with it.

Q: It was only 14 years ago that you were an assistant coach at high school. Have you thought at all about how, I mean it’s kind of a quick rise to the ranks from starting at a pretty low spot, have you had a chance to think back on that journey about how quickly it’s gone?

A: You don’t have time to reflect quite like that. You know what, I probably lived some dog years, for a while. I thought people were trying to kill me in some of the jobs I’ve had, but all it does is make you stronger, you get to learn a lot more and it’s been an interesting journey.

Q: Does this feel at all like a quick rise?

A: No. I think it took too long.

Q: How much saying are you going to have on personnel?

A: No, Jerry and the personnel side will do personnel. I’ll coach the team that’s my responsibility. We’ll have open dialog back and forth and we’ll communicate on what we feel our needs are and how we can get better and improve, but at the end of the day it’s about the coaches and the personnel and the locker room all pulling in the same direction. We all have to be in this thing together.

Q: When you came in a couple years ago, Tom and Eli were both talking about learning from you, learning your offense, even Tom said he had to learn and he felt uncomfortable but it was good. Do you think that helped your credibility in here that people who were already established here were looking to you to teach them things, teach them something new?

A: I’ve been very fortunate that going from New Orleans to San Francisco I was one of the few guys on the staff that had to teach a new offense to some older, grizzly vet coaches and I had to do the same thing in Green Bay. Coming here I felt comfortable doing it. Being the third time going through it helped me and it worked out fairly well, not as well as we would’ve liked. We felt we could’ve carried things a little bit better this year than we did, but you live and you learn and new opportunities come along.

Q: This franchise has had a history of great defense. What’s the challenge there to get back to it?

A: It goes back to our identity and what we want our film to look like and the way we want to train our guys and it goes to fundamentals. The first part of the identity that we talked about, we have to be sound fundamentally and we have to be smart and we talk about being smart, the best players are always the smartest players. They always have been, always will be and that’s the responsibility of the player and head coach to be in position to be successful. So that’s a good place to start for our identity.

Q: One of the main themes the last few years has been injuries. Do you have any theories about why those numbers have been so high and do you have any plans?

A: That’s something we’re going to dive into that here shortly. That’s a part of a lot of the things that we’re talking about right here. We’re going to take a look at everything and examine it, not rush into any decisions, be smart about it, but that’s something that we’re looking into.

Q: Have you had any discussions with Coach Spagnuolo for the progression of this defense?

A: Spags and I have had some conversations and, again, the staff is fluid at this point, but we did have some conversations on some things and being the second year in the system is going to help some guys. It’s going to help them with the foundation being set, it will let them play faster, they’ll be able to anticipate things and install. Again, we want to chase that identity and be fundamentally sound and smart, tough and committed to discipline and poise and when you can put those things together and it shows up on the film and we play complimentary football, not all the defense, offense, the defense and the special teams need to play as one and that’s my responsibility.

Q: You’re following a coach that was here for 12 years and won two Super Bowls, what is the challenge with if there’s a shadow or differentiating yourself and making it your own, especially following someone like Tom?

A: The most important thing when we talk about leadership is you got to be yourself. Everybody else is already taken, including Tom, so I can’t worry about being in Tom’s shadow, I got to be comfortable in my own skin and I am that.

Q: How do you view yourself being different than him in your estimation?

A: I’m just going to be myself, I’m not going to worry about it.

Q: You are the second youngest coach in the league right now. You mentioned several times you feel ready, you said before it took too long to get here, but I would imagine, can you understand that some Giants fans are looking and saying, the guy is 38 years old, he’s a young coach, there’s no proof?

A: Yeah, I understand that completely and the fans look at a lot of things through a critical lens and it’s my job to get the staff and the players and get them rallied around each other, put good product on the field, and until we play that first Sunday of the season, they have the right to look at everything through a critical eye. Follow what your film looks like.

Q: Over the past 10 days in radio interviews John Mara has mentioned he wasn’t comfortable with the sideline how it reacted during the Panthers game with Odell. I’m just wondering did you address that with him during your interview and would you look at the situation as a head coach and handle it differently than it was handled?

A: Football is a people business and it’s about relationships. After what happened on the sideline in Carolina game, I should’ve been better and I take full responsibility for that. Odell feels as bad as anybody about it and it’s my job to pull him out of that when we go down that road.

Q: Do you have a time table for when your staff becomes not fluid and is real?

A: No. We don’t want to rush into anything and things have happened quickly over the last couple of days so we’re just in the beginning stages of it right now. When we know, you’ll know.

Q: You’ve spoken a lot about your journey in coaching and getting to a certain point. When you started this during this journey, did you have a destination in mind?

A: The way I was brought up in this business is you keep your head down and you keep working and that’s what I’ve done and that’s what I will continue to do. I just make myself available to the whole team.

Q: The draft is over 100 days away and you mentioned you’re going to let Jerry handle these type of things, but how much of a role will you play in those proceedings?

A: We’ll support Jerry any way we can. We want to get the coaches and personnel department pulling in the same direction and do whatever we can to help evaluate a guy and move in that direction.

Q: Being with this team for a couple years now, is there any position that you’re focusing on?

A: Well it goes back to we’re just ready to go down that road. We’ll start that here tomorrow and start the process of evaluation and cut-ups and looking at personnel. Personnel side already has, they’re knee-deep into the study at this point, but the coaching staff needs to start with the comb and begin that way.

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.

JERRY REESE POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

JOHN MARA AND BEN MCADOO ON WFAN RADIO..
The audio of Friday’s WFAN Radio interviews with New York Giants President and CEO John Mara and Head Coach Ben McAdoo is available at CBS New York’s website.

REPORT – DAVID MERRITT TO REMAIN WITH GIANTS…
According to FOXSports, New York Giants Safeties Coach David Merritt will remain with the team. Newsday had reported that Merritt was drawing interest from the Indianapolis Colts. Thus far, the only assistant coach to leave Tom Coughlin’s staff has been Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann, who was hired by the Colts.

GEOFF SCHWARTZ ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with offensive guard Geoff Schwartz is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…

Jan 142016
 
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Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN MCADOO OFFICIALLY NAMED NEW YORK GIANTS HEAD COACH…
The New York Giants officially announced by press release on Thursday that Ben McAdoo will be the team’s new head coach. McAdoo’s introductory press conference will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. McAdoo has served for the past two seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator under Tom Coughlin.

“I am honored to serve as the 17th head coach* in the history of the New York Giants franchise,” McAdoo said. “I am thankful to the Mara family, the Tisch family and Jerry Reese for this opportunity. I am appreciative of the support of my family, my wife Toni and our two children and my parents, brother and sister and in-laws back in Homer City, Pennsylvania. I have been very fortunate to have a lot of great coaches, administrators and players take an interest in me and my career. It has been a privilege to work and learn under Coach Coughlin.

“I have been preparing for this moment my entire professional life, and without the guidance and support of many people, I would not be here right now.”

According to the Giants’ press release, McAdoo interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara and General Manager Jerry Reese on January 5th and again on Wednesday. At the latter meeting, McAdoo also spoke with team Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch and Treasurer Jonathan Tisch.

“Ben is an outstanding young coach who has great experience and has done a good job as our offensive coordinator these past two years,” Mara said. “Jerry and I interviewed six impressive candidates, and when we were through with that process, we had another conversation with Ben, as did Steve and Jon Tisch. We were all impressed with his energy, his enthusiasm, his vision and his desire. Ben has been preparing for this opportunity since he started coaching, and he has earned his stripes every step of the way. Some have suggested he may not be ready, and as I said last week, we want a coach who feels like he has something to prove.”

“I am happy for Ben and happy for our franchise,” Steve Tisch said. “When I spoke to Ben with my brother Jon, we were both impressed with his understanding of what it means to lead, his thoughts on how to build and establish a sense of team and how to motivate the individual and the group. Ben’s mentors in coaching, including Tom Coughlin, are impressive. We look forward to much success under Ben’s leadership.”

Also according to the Giants’ press release: “McAdoo and Reese will collaborate with the team’s personnel departments in reshaping the Giants’ roster.”

“Ben is very excited, and I’m very excited and happy for him,” Reese said. “We are looking forward to working closely together, and can’t wait to get moving with the offseason.”

“I look forward to working with Jerry,” McAdoo said. “We have a lot of work to do, and it will take a collaborative effort for Jerry and I to achieve what is always the goal for this franchise: another Lombardi Trophy.”

“I’m excited,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “I’m excited for the Giants organization and for the team. I think Coach McAdoo is a great coach, a great teacher, and will be a great leader of this team. I’m excited to continue to work with him and grow within this offense, and get this organization back where it needs to be.

“I think the Giants ownership made this decision on what’s best for the organization and best for the team. I think Coach McAdoo has great leadership skills, and will do a great job being a head coach and leading us in the right direction. If a new offensive scheme came in, I would’ve adjusted to it and been able to go out there and play at a high level. I enjoy this offense, I enjoy working with Coach McAdoo. I’m excited about that staying the same.”

An extensive, exclusive Giants.com Q&A session with McAdoo is available at Giants.com.

* Ben McAdoo is actually the team’s 18th head coach in their history, but the Giants do not appear to count Benny Friedman’s two games in 1930.

REPORT – MIKE SULLIVAN TO BE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR…
Contrary to their original report, FOXSports is now reporting that New York Giants Quarterback Coach Mike Sullivan will be the team’s new offensive coordinator. FOXSports had reported on Wednesday that former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin would assume that role. Apparently, Philbin will still join the Giants in some capacity, possibly as an assistant head coach who also works with the quarterbacks.

NJ.com is reporting that McAdoo is still expected to call the plays even though he is now the team’s head coach.

Sullivan served as Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s wide receiver (2004-2009) and quarterbacks coach (2010-2011, 2015). He was the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012-2013.

GIANTS POSITION COACHES INTERVIEWING ELSEWHERE…
Although most – if not all – of the New York Giants’ assistant coaches have one year remaining on their contracts, the team has apparently given permission to some of them to interview elsewhere.

  • Wide Receivers Coach Sean Ryan has interviewed with the Houston Texans for the same position.
  • Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty has interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings for the same position.
  • Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann has interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts for the same position. The Colts hired Herrmann on Wednesday.
  • Safeties Coach David Merritt has interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts.

TOM COUGHLIN TURNS DOWN EAGLES…
According to multiple press reports, Tom Coughlin has removed his name from consideration for the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coaching vacancy. Coughlin resigned as head coach of the Giants last week. Coughlin also interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers, but the 49ers have hired Chip Kelly as their new head coach.

ARTICLES…

Nov 162015
 
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Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ DONE FOR SEASON…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced on BleacherReport.com on Monday that he will have season-ending surgery on his left calf. It will be the third leg surgery for Cruz since 2012. Cruz underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and major patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014. It is believed the calf injury – which first appeared in mid-August – is related to his comeback from the patellar tendon injury.

Cruz returned to practice on September 30, but suffered a setback with the calf injury. Since then, he had two platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help the healing process. Cruz had said that both were helping to improve his calf and he had started to run again. It was expected that he would attempt to return to practice after the upcoming bye week. However, he apparently suffered another setback on Saturday.

“Saturday he was on the side with the trainers and they were doing some three-quarter speed, then all of a sudden it happened again,” said General Manager Jerry Reese.

“We thought coming off the big patella injury that he had that he was going to be ready to go,” said Reese. “And then all of a sudden, he gets the calf, which has become more bizarre for me—it’s the ‘Year of the Calf’ for us, I guess. Every time we’ve gotten him out there, we babied him through, babied him through, babied him through, then we start to do some things with him and he just can’t do it. Even after the first time we thought he was ready, we thought about putting him on the reserve/return. Our doctors said, ‘That’s too far.’ They said it was too far, so we kept him on the 53 instead of putting him on it. And now if we had known, obviously, we would have gotten a roster player.”

Cruz signed a 6-year, $45.9 million contract in July 2013. Since then, he has only played in 20 games. The annual salaries and cap hits for the 29-year old Cruz in the final four years of his contract are as follows:

  • 2015: $6.15 million salary; $8.125 million cap hit
  • 2016: $7.9 million salary; $9.9 million cap hit
  • 2017: $7.4 million salary; $9.4 million cap hit
  • 2018: $8.4 million salary; $8.5 million cap hit

Reese was asked how much of a challenge it will be for Cruz to return after missing most of the past two seasons. “Yeah, who knows? When you’re gone for a couple of years like that, you just can’t jump back in and play, I don’t think,” said Reese. “I think you have to build your way back up and get your feet under you and get your confidence back and have the quarterback get his confidence back and get that chemistry back. I don’t think it’s an easy road back, but I know how hard he works and how hard he worked in getting back from the patella injury. We’ll see where that goes…If he has the same kind of progress that (safety) Nat (Berhe has) had, maybe this thing will get behind him and he can start on the road back.”

EMMETT CLEARY PROMOTED TO 53-MAN ROSTER, TRAMAIN JACOBS WAIVED…
The New York Giants have signed offensive tackle Emmett Cleary to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Cleary, the Giants waived cornerback Tramain Jacobs. The Giants have also terminated the Practice Squad contract of cornerback Dax Swanson.

The Giants signed Cleary to the Practice Squad in September 2015. Cleary was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has since also spent time with the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Bengals. The Giants signed Cleary to a Reserve/Future contract in January 2015. He is a decent athlete who has played both right and left tackle.

The Giants signed Jacobs to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad on November 7th. Jacobs was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived Jacobs in August 2015 and the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in September.

The Giants signed Dax Swanson to the Practice Squad on November 5th. Swanson was originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then he has spent time on the Practice Squads of the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
According to ESPN, center Weston Richburg has been diagnosed with a “mild” high ankle sprain. “Ankle sprain,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “However long it takes, hopefully he’ll come back next week, he’ll look pretty good after the break.”

Cornerback Prince Amukamara, who has missed the last five games with a pectoral injury says he is ready to return. “I will be ready after the bye,” Amukamara said. “That was kind of the plan all along. We were looking at the fourth week, Buccaneers, seeing if I was going to be ready then. This game came and I still wasn’t ready, so it’s according to the original prognosis, which was three to six weeks and this was the fifth week. If we had a game next week, I would 100 percent be playing…I’m 100 percent playing, according to me, in the Redskins game, unless something not so smart happens.”

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

POSITION COACHES…
Transcripts and video clips of Monday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Monday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Aug 032015
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 3, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Left tackle Ereck Flowers (hip flexor) and left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery) did not practice. The Giants say Flowers is “day-to-day.”

“(Flowers) doesn’t seem to be bad,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It’s a hip flexor issue. This morning he was sore, but by the time I caught him in the meeting room, he was doing this [stretches leg]. Hopefully, it’s just a short amount of time…(It’s something that happened) a couple of days ago…He tried to (play through it).”

Cornerback Chykie Brown left practice early. “I’m not sure what it is,” said Coughlin. “They said something about a foot or possibly a shoe issue or something. Hopefully, that’s it. He’s been doing pretty well, he’s been flashing a lot. I’d like to see him stay with it, he’s very motivated.”

THE JASON PIERRE-PAUL SAGA…

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (hand/arm) still has not signed his 1-year Franchise tender and has not reported to training camp. ESPN is reporting that Pierre-Paul plans to play this season but he will not sign his tender until he is sure he can pass a physical. General Manager Jerry Reese said he had a “great conversation” with Pierre-Paul on Sunday and has also spoken to his agents. He did not offer any details on what was said.

“I don’t want to really talk about it because when you talk about those things the agent listens and he thinks you’re trying to send a message,” Reese said. “So I don’t want to talk about it at all. If I don’t talk about it, there’s no message.”

Pierre-Paul has also spoken to Giants Senior Vice President of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes and Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With Ereck Flowers (hip flexor) out, the starting offensive line was left tackle Justin Pugh, left guard Adam Gettis, center Weston Richburg, right guard Geoff Schwartz, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse. The Giants also worked in John Jerry at right guard, Dallas Reynolds at left guard, and Geoff Schwartz at right tackle.
  • Bennett Jackson and Mykkele Thompson worked as the first-team safeties with Landon Collins and Jeromy Miles working with the second-team.
  • Left tackle Justin Pugh and defensive end Damontre Moore got into a fight.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham got behind cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and safety Mykkele Thompson deep for a touchdown. (Video)
  • Running back Shane Vereen continues to look sharp catching passes out of the backfield.
  • Cornerback Trevin Wade picked off quarterback Ricky Stanzi. (Video)
  • Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record said his three stars of practice were linebacker Devon Kennard, safety Bennett Jackson, and quarterback Eli Manning. He also pointed out that Manning has yet to throw an interception in training camp.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Have you ever seen a player change positions the way Bennett Jackson has from corner to safety?

A: Yeah, I think so. Sure. Guys change their position whether it be somewhere in the college ranks or in the pro game. He’s progressing and we hope he continues to because it’s early and there’s a lot to go.

Q: The guys that do it successfully, do you notice a commonality with those guys?

A: Well, basically they have an awareness and the big picture of how to play–what the game is all about. Because they’ve been in the secondary, they listen, they see, they listen to corrections. Whether you’re a corner or a safety and you’re playing a specific coverage and if you listen over and over again to what the important ingredients are to play the coverage well, and then the corrections. He’s a smart kid. I’m sure he adapted some of that, although he may not be able to put his finger on it like I’m saying it. There’s the commonality, I think—you’re a player, you’re a football player.

Q: How bad is Ereck Flowers?

A: He doesn’t seem to be bad. It’s a hip flexor issue. This morning he was sore, but by the time I caught him in the meeting room, he was doing this [stretches leg]. Hopefully, it’s just a short amount of time.

Q: Is it something that happened during the practice yesterday?

A: No, a couple of days ago.

Q: So he played through it for a little bit?

A: He tried to, yeah.

Q: What have you seen out of Robert Ayers and can he be that dynamic presence?

A: Robert has played well. He’s been a really good soldier, he’s been a good teammate. He’s grabbed guys and talked to them, whether it be in the meeting rooms or out here. He’s worked hard. I’ve seen nothing but good things out of him.

Q: Chykie Brown looked like he walked off. Anything on him?

A: I’m not sure what it is. They said something about a foot or possibly a shoe issue or something. Hopefully, that’s it. He’s been doing pretty well, he’s been flashing a lot. I’d like to see him stay with it, he’s very motivated.

Q: Can you talk about Justin Pugh’s versatility and what he brings to the table?

A: Well, he’s obviously played left tackle in college. He came here and played right tackle. In the spring we moved him to left guard knowing full well that he would have to move around. So, we thought today would be a good day to put him at left tackle. [Geoff] Schwartz came back out, so we had Schwartz out there. We had John Jerry out there so that he could do a little something with the right side as well. His versatility—he’s a smart player.

Q: I know he’s only a rookie but how vital is Flowers to your offense at this point because you lost Will Beatty?

A: He’s a first-round draft choice. The left tackle from last year tore a pec, he’s out there trying to learn how to play. He’s important.

Q: You’ve been using Devon Kennard as a pass rusher, do you envision him doing that?

A: I hope so, but he’s playing linebacker. You see the pressure packages, so he comes in the packages.

Q: If you have to replace the sack total from JPP, is he going to add to that?

A: I hope so, I hope there’s lots of guys who will add to it. I hope that we develop more people that are effective as pass rushers, no matter where they come from–secondary, linebacker, up front.

Q: The first skirmish seemed to be heated but quick.

A: That’s the way they usually are.

Q: You have any problem with that one?

A: Oh yeah, I’ve got a problem with all of them because they’re out there swinging. I’ve been hurt firsthand by a guy who broke his hand in a fight.  In the old days they used to wrap it up and play with it, they don’t do that anymore. I was upset about the fight and losing their temper and all that stuff. The bottom line is you can’t afford to do it, to lose a guy.

Q: Did you have to say something or did they self-regulate?

A: I usually say something to everybody.

Q: Gently, right? Nice, calm tone.

A: However it comes out, it comes out. Sometimes not so gentle, sometimes it is.

Q: This morning Jerry Reese said that he spoke to JPP yesterday, have you had that chance to speak to him yet?

A: No.

Q: Is that disappointing that you haven’t had the chance?

A: As long as he’s talking to Jerry [Reese] or somebody in the building, it looks like there’s a chance that the communication thing will open up and when that does, I’ll end up on the phone, I’m sure.

Q: How did Adam Gettis do today?

A: He had a good day yesterday, I’d say so-so today.

Q: Why did you decide to go that direction without Flowers, with Pugh at left tackle and Gettis there?

A: Because Gettis played well yesterday and we thought this would give him a chance. If he was going to catch our eye, this would be a good way to do it.

WIDE RECEIVERS COACH SEAN RYAN…
Sean Ryan addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com).

CORNERBACKS COACH TIM WALTON…
Tim Walton addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: With Victor and Odell back on the practice field, can that help your group get better? Can everyone make everyone better?

A: Oh, without a doubt, it is a great pleasure to have those guys out there because our guys have to work, they have to be really prepared. Those are two elite receivers in the league that have a lot of credibility, they are very competitive, they have good ball skills, they understand coverages and they know how to run routes, so when you go against them every day, that helps us get better so we can be better prepared for Sundays, going against guys with that experience and that athletic ability.

Q: What tells you that DRC is healthier right now than he was last season?

A: He has been able practice. The thing I look at is for the guys to get better, we have to practice every day. We have to be on the field and guys have been working hard on trying to do that and given the condition to be able handle the games on Sunday, he has taken a great step forward with that.

Q: Prince said he wanted to take a little shot at Odell the other day saying, “I would’ve hit you.”

A: It is good competitive fun, guys are working hard together. That makes both sides of the ball better. You have two experienced guys that understand how to play the game and that makes you go full speed and play with great effort with a great respect for each guy on the other side of the ball.

Q: Tom said yesterday that DRC and Prince really haven’t had a lot of opportunities. There hasn’t been a lot of down field passing in this camp so far. Do you expect that to happen and do you need that to happen?

A: Oh yeah, it will happen. It hasn’t happened against those two guys where they have a lot of opportunities now, but they are going to the fourth day of camp and they will definitely get opportunities to go in. That is what we need to be good at. We have to be good at playing the ball at the top of the route and finishing down field in the pass game, so that is a thing we will get a chance to evaluate and they need that work on it and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get that in.

Q: Tim, I’m curious how does it work as a secondary when the cornerbacks have so much experience, especially the two starters, and the safeties have very little and yet the safeties make the calls?

A: Well, it is a trust factor. Coach Merritt has done a great job with those guys. Those guys are developing and it is a family atmosphere, guys trust each other, guys work together, guys believe in each other and then guys help each other out. We’re doing this thing as a team, so everybody works together and those guys are doing a good job and …communication. You know those guys are growing up fast and they are doing a good job. If we have confidence in them outside so we are good with what they are doing.

Q: I think it was Spags who said he almost asked the cornerback to sort of let [the safeties] do the talking. Are you guys still doing that?

A: Yeah, and they are directing the show and we just communicate with them. They are directing the show and we let them do it to let them get the confidence of doing it. We have the experience outside for those guys but we don’t want them to ever step on their toes or try to do it for them, we want them to develop that communication on their own and we just communicate back with them, not communicating for them.

Q: Is that tough with those guys though?

A: No, [because] we understand leadership. Spags tells us how he wants it done and that is how we are doing it, so it is easy for guys to buy in. That is the thing that is good for the group of guys on defense. Spags sets the tempo of how he wants things done; guys are following it really good so we understand the plan of, “You have to get that development with those guys now so when the time Sunday comes, we are already in a good position with that.”

Q: That is nice to do now on the practice field but come September 13, can you envision that changing a little bit?

A: They will be ready by then. That is why we are doing it now and like you said, communication is a two way street. Obviously if something is going on, those guys have enough experience out there that they know how to help them out if the time comes when it’s needed but for the most part we are trying to let them run the show and they are doing a good job at it and like you said, if we communicate back and forth, we will all be on the same page.

Q: As you get to know Prince and DRC as a combo and I know the nickel is going to come into play, can they be as good as they will need to be in this division and for this defense to do what it’s going to need to do?

A: Yeah, we can be. The thing that we have to do is take it one day at a time. We need to prepare and practice each day to make sure we develop because it is a new system, it is a new scheme, you are playing with new guys, so have to make sure it all blends together and we can be as good as….they are talented guys, they are smart, they understand the game, they have toughness, but each day we come out to the practice field we want to make sure we get better because we are going to be playing against some other good teams and good players out there so we want to make sure we control what we control and that is making sure we get better each day on growing on all the little things we need to do.

Q: DRC said it is a cornerback-friendly defense. My take on that was he probably has the opportunity to make some plays?

A: Yeah, it is a multiple defense. We are going to have opportunities over there to make plays but what happens is, is you have to understand all facets of the defense because when it is your time to cover, we need to be able to do that. When it is time to pressure, when it is time tackle, so it is a deal where they are going to be very involved with the overall scheme with the defense. The thing we stress is being complete football players.

Q: Where do you stand at this point with your slot cornerbacks? Do you feel any closer or better about that spot at this point?

A: We try to have competitions at all positions. It is really early right now, so we have a long time before we play and what we have to do is evaluate the strengths and areas of improvement that each player needs to do. Even at the spots at corner, we try to create competition so we can evaluate. We move guys around so we can evaluate and try to see what works best together, what guys’ strengths and weaknesses are and now you get a chance to see it in live action. In OTAs you are just in shorts, so you can’t really tell what people can do until this time of the year, so we need to just give that process time to develop and get a true evaluation of it.

Q: Jayron Hosley said that when you walked in the door you kind of broke him down and built him back up. What have you thought about his progress since you [arrived]?

A: He is doing good. The thing about it is it starts with confidence and technique and the approach to the game, study habits, so we start from ground zero and go through the steps of getting to be a good player. We just go through each day to make sure we are having building blocks and he is a very coachable kid, he is buying into it, he is working, improving each day and I just try to give daily feedback on what I see. I try to be honest with him and he is taking a good step so far.

Q: Is it even more important for a guy who admits that he kind of lost his way a little bit last year?

A: Well, here is what happened. To go and develop and to go where you want to go, you have to first of all admit where you are. We have to always operate in an honest manner and he has…what he started to do he mentioned that to me. The first thing with that is starting to gain confidence back. But how do we do that? It is about doing all the little things, alignment, communication, study habits, all the little things that prepare you so when you get on the field you are prepared for the things you are going to see and he is doing all the little things to take that approach. I can see a change, I wasn’t here last year but I can see a step forward on his approach.

SAFETIES COACH DAVID MERRITT…
David Merritt addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: It’s a little early but do you have any more clarity on what you have back there?

A: No. I’ll tell you, you look at these young guys and you’re still trying to make sure you figure out who’s going to be the leader, who’s going to be able to stand back and make the calls and make the adjustments that we need on game day. When you pull your eyes back and you look at it from a depth perspective, we have rookies on the field. I mean, the one guy that we have that is a veteran is Jeromy Miles, and Jeromy just came to us from Baltimore. As far as clarity and who’s going to be the starters right now— right now, it’s still wide open.

Q: How long would you figure that would take to develop organically?

A: We’re going to have to get into some preseason games. When you look at the practices, it’s great going against our guys every day, but once you go into the preseason games, you’re able to play against opponents, and you’re able to go against other offenses that are playing against our first defense– you’ll be able to roll some guys in and out. Then, hopefully it will clear up right away.

Q: Does that become next week in Cincinnati? Does that help you accelerate the process?

A: It does, it does. Always when you’re going against an opponent, that’s going to be a great eye opener for a lot of these young guys that never played in the NFL, such as a Landon Collins and Mykkele Thompson. So, once you go against an opponent, again, that’s going to clear up a lot of things. Not only just the first preseason game. You go into the second, and then hopefully by the time you roll into that second preseason game, going into the third for sure—hopefully you have this thing solidified.

Q: This early in camp, how important was it to have Miles in here, not just a veteran with these young safeties but with Spags’ system. Is he kind of like a coach?

A: He is, but you know what, it’s different. I heard the young man say yesterday, he said “Coach, this defense is different.” It’s because we’re not Baltimore. The thing is that some of the things they did in Baltimore, and coach Spags would be able to talk about that, it is different because Spags wasn’t the [defensive] coordinator. So, when you look at the defense they ran in Baltimore, it’s a completely different defense that we’re running here. For Jeromy, some of the techniques he understands, some of the words, some of the lingo, but as far as overall package– it is completely different.

Q: You said in the spring that you were looking for which guys work well together. Are you starting to get any clarity on pairings or anything like that?

A: Today, for instance, I am going to throw in Bennett Jackson. He is going to be out there with the ones, and then I’m going to try Mykkele Thompson out with the ones. The thing is that when you look at these linebackers and the corners, they need to feel comfortable about who’s going to be back making the calls. So, there’s no one that has a job that it is walking in saying “Hey, this is your starting job”. Even hough a lot of people want to put it on Landon Collins, right now, there is no clarity. I still recall the days of Kenny Phillips, when he was a first-round draft pick. Kenny Phillips had to come in here and had to fight and try to get on the field. As we all that were here understand, you had Michael Johnson and James Butler, a free agent and a seventh-round pick, that started that entire season. I’m still looking for the chemistry and hopefully that will kind of iron itself out over the next few weeks.

Q: Do you look at just chemistry or do you look at abilities and being able to balance each other on the field? Or do you just look at guys who play well together?

A: Of course you have to look at their abilities, but at the same time, I can have a guy who’s out there [that is] big, strong, and fast, but if he’s making mental errors, that’s going to kill you. Versus the guy who may be a little less athletic and who can go out there and make the calls and put himself in the right position. My greatest example is the one that I just gave. You’re talking Kenny Phillips, by far, was a better athlete than James Butler and Michael Johnson. But, when it came to chemistry, who was going to be out there on the field meshing this defense and the guys feel confidence in, it really goes back to two guys working together and therefore being on the same stream, being on the same accord. That’s my greatest example that I draw on as a coach from my own experience.

Q: Do you ask the linebackers and corners about that, who they’re comfortable with?

A: No, I don’t. The corners just go over and just listen to the call. As far as the linebackers, as a former linebacker, I don’t try to bother those guys because they have enough on their plate trying to get the defense and trying to get the front. They just need to make sure that we control the rotation and control what coverage you’re going to be in. So, I don’t ask.

Q: What has Bennett Jackson shown you? Obviously he was out in the spring a lot. What do you like?

A: Bennett, this kid, when he sees the ball—it’s simple: see ball, get ball. When that kid sees the ball, he goes and gets the ball. This kid’s ability to put his toe in the ground and go and burst out of his break, you guys see it out here, he’s able to make plays. He’s making production and production, as Spags has said over and over, production is at the ball. This kid is able to get his hands on a couple of balls and passes already here. By far, more than any other safety I’ve had in camp so far. When you see this kid doing those things, I’ve told them all, I’ve said “Look, the relentless meter and what we preach as far as running to the ball, guys—you have to handle that. I can sit up here and I can try to come out here in a skirt and be your cheerleader and pump you up “let’s run to the ball,” but eventually that has to come from inside of you. Bennett Jackson is one of those guys who’s a self-starter and he’s able to go out there and perform and do the things that we’re asking him to do. On top of that, he’s able to relentlessly run to the ball, which is a plus.

Q: You moved him out of necessity. Do you think he’s better-suited at this position than corner?

A: I do, I do. I think Bennett came in as a corner and then, near the end of camp, we tried to move him in as a nickel last season. He did fairly well in there, as a nickel. The kid can play corner, he played corner at Notre Dame as well. The fact that he’s a big kid and he’s learning the safety position, as we all know, with these safeties—you have to be ready for three safeties to be on the field. This kid who can go down and cover a slot receiver is going to be huge for us, if he’s one of the guys that we decide is going to be in there with the first group. So, it was out of necessity at first moving Bennett. He’s able to pick up the defense and being able to regurgitate it back to us, it’s been a plus for us.

Q: How much of a game of catch-up has it been for Nat Berhe? Over the first few practices, has he made any strides?

A: He’s made some strides. Nat, he missed the OTAs, he missed minicamp. So for him to come back in training camp, it’s just like him starting at the beginning—which it is because he missed so much time in the offseason. So, it is a learning curve for him. You’ll see him out today and running around and he’s picking it up though. But, he’s definitely behind the eight ball right now a little bit.

Q: Is he gaining any ground?

A: Well, you know what? Two practices, three practices—he’s moving slowly. Snail’s pace.

Q: You said you’re going to get Mykkele Thompson with the first group, what are you seeing from him so far?

A: Smart kid. Mykkele is one of those kids that is able to take it from the classroom and it appears, so far, take it to the field. Even with the checks that we have on the backend. With him being able to think and being able to maybe be a quarterback on the field—that’s what I see from him. He’s a smart kid. Hopefully, he’ll be able to control the coverages today and along with the heat, we’ll see if he can think.

Q: It’s very early, but do you see Jackson being a productive member of this secondary and possibly starting?

A: I see him being a productive member of the secondary. As far as starter, again, it’s wide open. There are not starters right now. Giving him an opportunity yesterday, he went with the first group, today he’s going to go with the first group. I told him, “Once you get in there and you’re able to step into a first team role, don’t give it back. Don’t sit up here and have me turn around and throw another guy in there. If you’re in there as a starter with the first group, hold your position.” It’s very early, again, we have no starters, but we have that first team, second team. I told them, “At the end of the day, however Mr. Mara, however Mr. Reese, however many guys that Coach Coughlin decide to keep, if it’s four—you’re all going to be starters. You have to think of yourself that way. You cannot look at yourself as a backup.” So the one thing that I like right now is rotating these guys around because no one has a position locked down.

Q: Will you work Thompson with Jackson today with the ones?

A: Yes sir, that’ll be the group that you’ll see out there today with the ones. Hopefully these kids can go out there and perform and do the duties that we’re asking them to do.

Q: One of the things that we’ve noticed in practice is that you guys run your fits in both first and second groups at the same time. What’s the benefit of that?

A: The benefit of that is when you’re out here and going through jog-through, going through walkthrough and we’re trying to get the guys to have multiple reps in practice. A lot of times its hard having one team out there and sending them through five or six plays then the second unit gets out there for five or six plays. What we do is we stack them, you go out there and stack your position. Therefore, you have the first and second team out there running the same reps that the guys would get if they’re waiting. It’s just a time saver, which has been good.

Q: Physical or mental reps?

A: Both, definitely.

Q: Some guys have said that maybe Landon is a little more advanced because of where he went to college. Do you feel that way?

A: Well, if he had gone to NC State (Merritt’s alma mater), then he would definitely be advanced, but I won’t get into that. As far as Alabama and all the schools, that to me, he’s coming from a good program. Landon has the ability to probably be able to receive more information and to be able to go out and perform it because of the system that he came from Nick Saban, who was a long time NFL coach, so the fact that he had that system down in Alabama, I would probably say that he may be a little more pro-ready than some of the other guys who maybe have come from a smaller school, such as I won’t say that blue school in the state of North Carolina.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

RELATED ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants do not practice on Tuesday. They return to the field on Wednesday but that practice is not open to the public. The next practice open to the public will be on Thursday from 2:30-4:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only five remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Thursday, August 6: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM
Jun 162015
 
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Owamagbe Odighizuwa, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 16, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants three-day mini-camp was held on Tuesday. Like the Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices, no live contact is allowed, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis, still in walking boot), offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from pectoral surgery), DE Robert Ayers (sprained ankle), DE Damontre Moore (recovering from shoulder surgery), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice or fully practice.

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

As expected, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, was a no-show. Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn said that he has met with Pierre-Paul a number of times this offseason. “I have been in touch with him and he came up here and we met with him for a few days,” said Nunn. “We have been in touch with him throughout… I have fed him some of the stuff as we’ve gone and progressed through and he was here and I met with him probably four or five times, maybe even six or seven times. We kind of implemented some of the stuff and how it is going to be introduced when we get to training camp. I thought he had a very good grasp of it when he left… All of my contact with JPP has been positive… He seems to be in a very good place mentally and working out and keeping in very good shape.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line remained LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, OC Weston Richburg, RG Geoff Schwartz, and RT Marshall Newhouse.
  • Brandon Mosley saw some reps at right tackle with the second team.
  • First-team defensive ends remained George Selvie and Cullen Jenkins.
  • Kerry Wynn, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and Jordan Stanton saw reps at defensive end with the second team.
  • Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn remained the first-team defensive tackles.
  • The starting linebacking corps was J.T. Thomas, Jon Beason, and Jonathan Casillas.
  • Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor remained the first-team safeties.
  • QB Eli Manning hit TE Daniel Fells for a touchdown on a seam pass, beating S Landon Collins. (Video)
  • Manning then found RB Shane Vereen for a short touchdown reception.
  • RB Andre Williams looked good catching a pass out of the backfield from QB Ryan Nassib. (Video)
  • LB Uani’ Unga intercepted a tipped throw from QB Ryan Nassib.
  • WR Corey Washington made a one-handed reception on a deep throw over CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
  • CB Prince Amukamara had good coverage on a deep sideline throw to WR Geremy Davis.
  • S Justin Currie tipped a pass intended for WR Marcus Harris and S Mykkele Thompson intercepted the deflected ball.
  • QB Eli Manning hit WR Preston Parker down the middle of the field for a touchdown.
  • On the next play, CB Prince Amukamara intercepted Manning. (Video)

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Any difference for you for what you do in OTAs versus mini-camp?

A: Not really. What you do is you have a 10-day series of objectives and you get to the camp and you revitalize your objectives. Present it as we did this morning to the players and talk about how important these three days are and what they lead up to. Set a theme whereby you jump on that again on Thursday afternoon.

Brad Harrah and Bobby Hart, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Brad Harrah and Bobby Hart – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: It looked like the defense was playing a lot better today… Are they progressing according to schedule or is there even a schedule?

A: Sure, there is a schedule. They have had a whole lot thrown at them and they have done decently with it. They worked didn’t work as good as at the end of last week and that is probably why you saw better here today.

Q: Is Odell [Beckham Jr.] just not going to do anything this week?

A: I don’t think so, but he was running around on the field out there. He seemed to be doing okay.

Q: Is it hard to get a bead on what you have here with three of your best players not participating with Odell, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul?

A: Is that one of those rhetorical questions? Yes. I mean, I can see what we can do. At least I got to see Odell for a while, but there is no doubt. You have a lot of timing involved. You have a two-minute drill you are trying to time things up. You are trying to create some – ball gets out the quarterback hands quickly. I don’t know exactly what the issue was here today, but the offense wasn’t very good in the two minutes.

Q: Do you play it safer with Odell for the purpose of this being a June mini-camp?

A: No, whatever the medical people tell me is what we do. If he could go, he would be out there.

Q: [Defensive Line Coach Robert] Nunn was saying he has had contact with JPP and senses he is up to speed as much as he can be without being here… Do you have a sense of security…?

A: All I know is that he is not here. That is all I know. He has been here for a couple of days. He spent a couple days in the classroom. He seemed to do well with the information that was given up to that point, but since he has left, he obviously has received nothing. All I know is that he is not here.

Q: Can you comment on the Stony Brook guys?

A: They are no doubt happy to be here. They are working hard. There is an awful lot of stuff. Michael [Bamiro] has been around a little bit, so he has grasped what we are doing a little quicker. We are getting some things done with the other guy. Will [Tye] is doing okay.

Q: You had Bamiro at guard a little bit today?

A: He has been playing some guard. Either way.

Q: You have been moving the linemen around whether it is between guard or tackle?

A: Normal for this time of year. Probably for training camp, too.

Q: Is it just to see what the best fit for guys is?

A:  [It is to] make sure they well versed in playing whatever position we put them at. We are looking for versatility. We are looking for combinations.

Q: What is Devon Kennard’s status?

A: He warmed up and did some things. It is a hamstring.

Q: Having gone through the hamstring with Odell, does it change at all? Are you doing anything differently?

A: We approach it the same way, but we don’t have our head in the sand. We know the guy has an issue. I think the training room is well aware of that.

Q: Why not keep him inside? What is the thinking behind that?

A: He works with the trainers. He does some work on the side. He jumps over there and gets on the JUGS machine. Plus, why have him inside when the football is out here. He can absorb information based on the fact that he knows the play. Sees the coverage, knows what the reaction should be and benefits from the corrections. That is why he is out here.

Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Steve Spagnuolo addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

It has been great to be here. I can’t remember the last time we spoke. It might have been during Phase 2 or OTA’s, but it is great to get out on the field with the guys. That is when you get a true feel for what you have, where you are at and where you are going. We are in the middle of that and I look forward to continuing it. The way Coach has it structured the next three days I think will be exciting for us and hopefully when it is all said and done, we feel real good.

Q: Do you have a better handle on what your roster is and the talent on it?

A: I think better than when we began. I think I have mentioned this before; it won’t be until we get to the third day of training camp that we play real football. We can tell a certain number of things to a certain point in these practices. Certainly from the chin to the hairline if people are getting it. We say we are evaluating everybody on their ability to learn, which we can get a feel for that. Footwork you can get a feel for and hand placement and things like that defensively. I was talking about this with the D-line this morning – footwork is different when you don’t have any protection and pads on than when you are pressing up against people and doing the things you need to do when you have pads on. It is an ebb and flow. It is a 50/50, but do I have a better feel than I did two months ago, yeah. The answer to that would be yes.

Q: Have you had much contact with Jason [Pierre-Paul]?

A: Yeah. Not as much contact as I would like, but he is doing well. What is really hard when you come in new and you have a player in that situation is you want to start a rapport and a relationship, coach-player, and friendship. It makes it a little bit difficult, but we have all been through this. It is part of the league. We will just keep grinding away.

Q: How much will JPP’s absence put him behind?

A: He is going to be behind because there is a lot we are doing right now, but he had been around for a period of time. He did a little bit of the mental work, which I greatly appreciated. I thought that spoke volumes to who he is and what he is about and how important it is to him. Because it is new – terminology is big in this league on both sides of the ball. Hopefully he is up to that challenge and we can get up to speed real quick.

Q: Do you consider JPP an elite pass rusher?

A: He looks pretty elite to me. The simple answer to that would be yes. Anybody can put a highlight film together and make a play look great. If you just watch tape with JPP out there, it is evident to me that he is an elite defensive end and fits a 4-3 system, which is exciting.

Q: Would you like this to be a more aggressive Giants defense than what you have seen in previous years?

A: I am not going back or passing judgment on any years. I think we all can agree in here that if you are going to be good on defense, it needs to be aggressive. If you look around the league – I was very fortunate to be a part of one the past two years down south on I-95 [Baltimore Ravens] that is aggressive and physical. I think all good defenses in this league function that way. We would like to get to that point as well. How and when and where we will get with all that, we will see as we go. It is pretty tough to stress physical when you can’t really do physical out on the field. I think the mindset is there, but we will just see where we are at when we get to training camp.

Q: What did the experience in Baltimore do for you?

A: That could take a long time, and I say that in a positive way. Early on it was a rough period for me, but it was great that first year to just sit back and communicate with [Ravens Head Coach] John [Harbaugh] on head coaching things, work with the defense, see things from just sitting back and not being involved in a lot other then recommendations. The second year being back as a position coach, sometimes I think that is good for head coaches and coordinators to do periodically. You grow to appreciate the job a position coach has to do. Being around that system, which really is pretty different than what I had been used to with [former Eagles Defensive Coordinator] Jim Johnson, here in New York, what we took to St. Louis and New Orleans, etcetera, it was nice to get a new perspective on scheme. I am talking more about base defense than sub-defense. [Baltimore] is in what they say is a 3-4, but it is more of an under scheme. We will pick apart what we think are the meat and the good things from that and try to add them in. If you try to do too much, it won’t be any good. I thought it was very valuable. I am indebted and thankful to the people there. [Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti, [Ravens General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and certainly John, who is a close friend of mine.

Q: Do you take anything from the 2007 Giants defense when guys didn’t have the light go off in regards to your system until the third game and can you apply that to this team?

A:  Definitely. It is a little bit of force-feeding right now. I do think it is important to be multiple in this league because offenses are multiple and you have to have an answer for certain things. There will come a point as we get closer to that first game when we are going to have to make a decision and say, ‘This is it.’ If we do too much, we become less as a unit. You are always weighing that out on either side of the ball in anything you do in this league, is the too much, ‘don’t let their mind clutter up their feet’ is one of the sayings. I will always go back on that. I did even the other places I went to. We will be careful of that. I think our guys are handling it right now. There is a ways to go. We are going to make those kinds of decisions as we go along the way here. That is why we are fortunate that we still have four preseason games. Thank God. I wish we had another one to figure all that out. That will be an important piece of it, especially early.

Q: Was that a lesson you learned in 2007 about installing a new defense?

A: No, we had used that a lot before. Going back to that, I will tell you this, I am not sure we had as much in then as we might have now or we did in after that. Obviously at that particular time – the one little element, I know you all remember this, my friend Michael [Strahan] wasn’t here for most of that. He was an integral part of the whole thing. [Strahan] and I have talked about that. It took a little while for him to get going, and yet when all the pieces fell together, I think we did pretty good.

Q: How much do you feel like you have grown since the last time you were a defensive coordinator?

A: The hope is, and I think I have said this before, we grow more in anything. It doesn’t matter whether it is coaching or life, we always grow more in adversity than we do in the good times. I believe that. Especially if you go through the right way and look back and use it the right way. I think sometimes I probably had too much experience. I had too much defense. You can have too much of that, too, so I am always careful of that. My hope is that I am better at this position than I was the first time. I guess we will find out.

Q: A lot of people in your position use the word ‘humbled’ … Do you think that is appropriate for you or is there another word?

A: I am probably not the right one to ask. This is how I feel about everything I have been through, especially being in this league. To me, this profession I am in and the ability to have been in is a blessing to me. I have never taken it for granted. I never thought I was anything better than just a normal person trying to work hard at a job, so I hope the ups and downs that I had been through weren’t what I needed to be humbled. That would be my hope. Whether it is true or not, I don’t know, but I do know it opens your eyes. It reveals who you are and what you are made of and the people you are around and what they mean to you and what they are able to give you through the tough times. I don’t know if humbling is the right word or not. It is an education if you use it the right way. I have spoken to people before about the past and I know this much, when you are in the middle of it, you have two choices: you can either be bitter or you can get better. I made a conscious decision in my mind to get better. I hope I have done that.

Q: How do you feel about the safeties on the roster and the progress the younger guys have made?

A: Young. There is youth and inexperience there. It doesn’t matter what system you are in, in my opinion, defensively, those two particular guys [at the safety spots] are really important. Everyone else relies on them. The quicker we can get to the other nine trusting them, the better off we will be. I am not sure we are there yet. I think it is going to be a work in progress, but we will get there. Guys can do it. That is why I wish we had another 10 OTAs. The players don’t want to hear me say that, but it would be helpful.

Q: Do you feel any better about the safety position now as compared to how you did heading into the offseason program?

A: Right now it is a challenge. Challenge is probably the best word. It is a challenge for our patience and our trust in them. Everyday it gets better, I can tell you that. I do think everyday there is a trust gained there from linebackers to corners and back to the safeties. Those are the guys that really need them. I think our other guys who, the non-safeties that rely on them, are doing a good job being patient and letting them try to work through it, rather than trying to overstate them or jump the gun and make the call, so to speak. I have asked them to do that and I think that is important. We have a long ways to go in my opinion.

Q: What can we expect from the Giants defense this year?

A: I will let you know in a couple of months. I know where you are going with it, but I am not a predication guy. I don’t make those kind of bold statements. I will say this, I believe we are getting everything out of them right now. I have no qualms with the effort and the attendance has been great. I know we are working through one issue. That part of it has been great and that is all you can ask for right now. I think I mentioned this to you before that the main focus, one of the first things I said in the meetings, was to make sure the number one goal is that we are better today than we were yesterday. I think if we live by that and able to accomplish part of that, then we will be okay.

Q: Are you starting to see the identity of the defense take place after showing them the past great Giants defenses and defenders?

A: A little bit. It is hard to see it until you are competing against somebody else. The idea there was that if they could embrace the tradition, the great tradition of New York Giants defense, then they could be proud of it. If you are proud of something, then you tend to protect it. It has been fun working through that. We showed, since we last talked, I can’t remember the timing of it all, but one day we did the 1986 NFC Championship Game. Then we have some other games. We were talking about this two days ago. I have saved some for training camp. We have some players we still need to put up there. To me, it is fun; look, we are all rallying around together as a unit learning things. I test them every once in a while to see if they remember. They don’t always remember. They are getting the point. They like it, too.

Q: Who are your best students?

A: Mark Herzlich was outstanding. I think he had typed up, ready to go the next day. I had to make sure he didn’t tell anybody else because he made it easy. He had his cheat notes and he was ready to roll. Mark was great.

Q: How much of the emphasis is on stopping the run before pressure defense?

A: It always comes before, in my opinion. Now we do have run-pressures, which I hope help. When you are talking about stopping the run, it does come back to the guys up front. It doesn’t matter what you draw up on the board, in my opinion. Guys up front have to do it first, then the second level behind them have to do it next, then when all else fails, you have to have guys in a position that those plays don’t become big plays. I totally understand what you are saying. It is not all about pressure and blitzing. That is not necessarily the answer. It is about fundamentals and playing good, strong, solid, physical football up front to stop the run. That will be a focus. Tough to do now when all you have protection-wise is a helmet.

DEFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBERT NUNN…
Robert Nunn addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What have you seen or heard from JPP?

A: Well, obviously he is not here but I have been in touch with him and he came up here and we met with him for a few days. He has got a start of what is going to be expected when he gets here in the beginning of it and we have been in touch with him throughout and that is really all I have to say about it. Obviously we’d like to have him here, but I don’t get involved in that, but he has got some of the stuff that we dished to him when he gets back.

Q: So he has a playbook and can go over it?

A: Not all of it, but I have fed him some of the stuff as we’ve gone and progressed through and he was here and I met with him probably four or five times, maybe even six or seven times. We kind of implemented some of the stuff and how it is going to be introduced when we get to training camp. I thought he had a very good grasp of it when he left and when he gets here we’ll start and that is where we’ll begin.

Q: Was that all at the beginning of the offseason program when you met with him? Or was it something recent with him coming into town?

A: Yeah, it was right near the beginning.

Q: Do you expect him to pick up sort of where he left off? At the end of the year he was playing at that JPP level.

A: Yeah, you would hope so. His numbers increased there at the end. I thought he did some good things throughout but just didn’t have the numbers to show for it, and I have said that over and over, sacks are a little overrated, but his quarterback hits and his pressures, he was doing some good things. They were counting for him in a lot of different ways and he took advantage of some opportunities there at the end and got his numbers up. His tackles had to be up there in the top of the league. I don’t know where he was, but he had to be top two or three as far as the production and as far as in the run game and his pass production there at the end. I think it is just coming in healthy and in the right frame of mind and getting ready to start, he is going to be behind but that is where we will start.

Q: Do you get the sense that he is going to come in with the right frame of mind?

A: All of my contact with JPP has been positive. It is what it is; I don’t get involved with the business side of it. He seems to be in a very good place mentally and working out and keeping in very good shape. His weight was in a good place and so we’ll see when we begin.

Q: How hard is this defense to pick up? Is that really the part that he is missing now?

A: Yeah, there are wrinkles that you have got to be here to pick up and he has got to take it from the classroom to the field, but those things, we will begin in training camp and we will make it work.

Q: Is there still ample time with training camp in your mind?

A: Yes, if he comes in with the right frame of mind and in good shape, he will be ready to go.

Q: When you are evaluating the defensive front, if it were a lesser player, it would be easy to kind of put that player out of your mind. But I would imagine when you are evaluating right now, it is the opposite; it is imagining what it will be like when he is there. Is that fair?

A: Yeah, there is some of that. When we have a player that is as talented as him, he is not out there right now but the guys that are here are doing a hell of a job. They are doing exactly what we have asked them to do. Coaches told them and I have told them that we can’t get caught up in that; we don’t have anything to do with that. Who is here is going to work and they have done a good job with that.

Q: When Steve Spagnuolo was here the first time, he had a heavy rotation of defensive ends that could sack the quarterback; he had Strahan, Tuck and Osi. Beyond JPP, what do you have and what do you like about what you have?

A: The one issue is that some of the guys are limited right now because of injury so they haven’t been out there. We haven’t been able to evaluate that yet because some of them are not out there. The ones that are out there are doing what we ask them to do and some of that stuff that you are talking about will all take care of itself once we get into training camp, once we start out there with live bullets flying and then that will settle and take care of itself as far as the rotation and how we rotate people.

Q: Where do you see Cullen Jenkins fitting in? Is he a tackle, an end or is he both?

A: I think he can help us in a lot of different [ways], it all depends. We are letting him work more at end for one reason, because of numbers, but I can see him doing some more work for us out there. At his age and stage in his career, we have to take care of him and move him around a little bit. I have been very impressed with him at this point. He got the calf last year and was off to a good start but he never was the same after the calf injury. He has come in here healthy, good frame of mind and we have moved him around a little bit and will continue the next three days to move him around a little bit. We will try to take care of him during training camp and get ready to go.

Q: What have you seen from some of the new guys?

A: Selvie is solid, he is a solid pro. He played well last year in Dallas and he has been steady. Some of the other guys, Jay Bromley has got to continue to improve with technique, Kenrick Ellis has got to continue to improve and I think they have made the effort to do that and we have to continue that.

Markus Kuhn, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Markus Kuhn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: What does Markus Kuhn need to prove to you guys?

A: He has got to continue to do what he is doing. He has given us some quality reps last year and I have been very impressed with him during the OTAs. The thing he has got to do is produce when we get in pads and that is the same way with Jay, Kenrick and that group right there. When we get in pads and, like I said earlier, when the live bullets start being fired, production is going to tell us a lot about who is going to be playing and how the rotation is going to work.

Q: Has that been the thing with him? You have seen it maybe on the practice field but it hasn’t always translated to the live bullets?

A: He needs to increase his production but we all need to do that. He is a steady hand and a very good leader in the classroom, very good leader in our room. He is a quality guy and he has got it in front of him this year, this will be a big year for him.

Q: How high is the ceiling for Johnathan Hankins?

A: He really surprised a lot of people with his pass rush. Everybody thought that he was a run stopper coming out but those sacks were legit. He had some legit numbers and a lot of quarterback hits and pressures, came up big in some key situations and I really like where Hank is. He has got to continue to improve with technique. That is where his big improvement has got to be going into training camp but I think that it is a very good situation. He has got a chance to be a solid player for a very long time in this league.

Q: Is that pass rushing ability of his something that just happens when he sees an opportunity or more when you free him up?

A: I think that people underestimate him as a pass rusher. He wasn’t a great pass rusher coming out but he has really worked on a few things that have really made him effective. When they left him one on one the guy took advantage of it. When those guards have to block him one on one, he is powerful and deceivingly quick. He has got better speed and quickness than what people thing he does.

LINEBACKERS COACH JIM HERRMANN…
Jim Herrmann addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What have you seen so far from J.T. Thomas?

A: He is very athletic. That is what I like about him. He will be a great addition to our teams. Special teams and athletically as a linebacker he can cover. He is tough. He is going to fill that role, both in base and in sub. We can do a lot of different things with him.

Q: Do you see him getting any time at the middle linebacker spot or mostly weak side?

A: In our base, he is an outside linebacker and in sub, we play him some in the middle. It is a very fluid deal in sub defense, so he can play in or out.

Q: What kind of improvement has Devon Kennard shown from his rookie year up until now?

A: I think number one, he is more confident in himself as a player. He knows now he can play in the league. That takes you a long way. Just refining his technique and his footwork and trying to get the best of both worlds.

Q: Where do you see Jameel McClain fitting in?

A: I think Jameel is versatile enough. He has played all three positions, so he can play in and out. He is a tough guy, which is good, so you want him in there in the run game. He is athletic enough to play in subs. It gives us a big luxury because we have a lot of guys that have played NFL snaps and to me as a coach, that is luxury to have because a lot of times you don’t have that as a linebacker coach. It is nice to have them where you can do anything.

Q: Is it possible that your three best guys might be Jon Beason, Jameel McClain and Devon Kennard, but they might not be the three best guys to have on the field at the same time?

A: I think to me, when you go out, you are going to put the three best people on the field. Why would you have the best guys standing next to you? Whatever the position is… Who are the best guys? Those are the guys that are going to play. That is what the players are striving to be. They are striving to be the best three linebackers, the best four linebackers. To me, that has always been true, ever since I started coaching. The best guys are going to play, especially at the linebacker position, since they are all very similar.

Q: Do you feel like the talent you have top to bottom in your group is the best you have had since you have been here?

A: That is a true statement. Nothing against those other guys. I don’t want them to feel bad. Talent-wise, yes.

Q: Because you can do so many things?

A: Yeah, they are versatile guys and what is really nice is they are veteran guys. They have played NFL snaps. You have a lot of guys who have played a lot of snaps in football, in real games. That is good to have.

Q: Without Antrel Rolle, many people are expecting Beason to be the leader of the entire defense… Do you think he is capable of doing that?

A: Yeah, he is a born leader. He has always been that way since the day he got into the league. Since he was at Miami, he was a leader. I think he likes that role and he wants that role. You want a guy like that.

Q: Are J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas similar to you?

A: They are both very athletic guys. They are different kinds of players, but they are both very athletic and can move well. You like that. It is hard right now for me because you don’t have pads on. You will find out a lot more once the pads go on. With their body of work in the NFL, they are both tough guys who can play.

CORNERBACKS COACH TIM WALTON…
Tim Walton addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How physical do the corners have to be in this defense?

A: Well, it all depends on the coverage situation but what we try to preach is we want guys to be able to tackle [and] we need guys to be able to tackle. This league is about finding matchups and they will try and go after the weak links and guys that don’t do it, so we try to preach that we are going to have all our guys solid at tackling and being physical and getting off blocks and doing all the fundamental things that come with football, we have to get that down.

Q: We know from years ago when Steve Spagnuolo was here that he has a very aggressive defense up front. Are they aggressive in the secondary, too, in a way that the corners try to attack the receivers?

A: Yeah, that is the thing. The guys like it and it is fun for them to get a chance. You know how it goes, you either apply pressure or you feel it. Steve has done a great job with a history of doing things and the guys here have embraced it, they love the system and they love what he is doing. As a coach, I try to make sure that I rely on the message and rely on the techniques and be his voice of making sure we get done on the backend what he needs to get done for the defense to be successful.

Q: It does seem that the more you attack and apply pressure, the more defensive players are happy?

A: Yeah, and now we’ve just got to be good at executing things. Whatever he calls, that is the job on the backend. You are usually dealing with four, a lot of times five or six DBs, on the field at one time, so that is a big number of guys, so we have to be on the same page and the cohesiveness and the chemistry and all that stuff is critical to our development and our success.

Q: One of the guys the last couple years has been Jayron Hosley that just seems like they are constantly trying to bring his talent out. What have you seen from Jayron?

A: He has it, he has the talent. The thing we talk about is confidence. We have to make sure the confidence is there and the consistency is there and all of those things, so that the talent is showing on a daily basis. We don’t want to be up and down with it, so that is the thing we talk about and we work on, is trying to be consistent with it and getting confidence so you can play at a level that you would like to play at on a daily basis.

Q: Was he a guy that you felt like you had to break down a little bit once you got here to kind of get him back to where he felt like he was on a level playing field?

A: Well, everybody for me started in the same boat because they are all new to me. Even the guys that had been here and had been playing a lot, it was a new situation, there were going to be some changes and some differences on how things were. That relationship was starting from the communication and what we expect and the approach we are going to take was kind of done with everybody but with him, I know he has that talent and it was more of confidence and being able to be consistent so that we know what we are getting everyday from his body of work.

Q: Do you see him as a guy who can play inside in the nickel or is he mostly an outside guy?

A: He would probably be outside right now. Who knows what he may end up doing, but right now, to get confidence, you also want to start at one spot and kind of go from there and grow with it. You don’t want to throw a ton on his plate, start with one thing, let’s do that well and we’ll progress from there.

Q: What about Prince can he still improve?

A: Oh yeah, he definitely can improve just in techniques in general. When we play press technique, that is always a constant thing because with his talent, he is going to see different guys, he is going to see smaller receivers and bigger receivers, and you have to be able to change that up based on the guys you see and be effective with it. Also just on his ability to play fast and trying to show him to be able to see formations, see tendencies, see splits and being able to let that put you in the right position and be able to play up to his maximum potential all the time. That has a lot to do with the understanding of the situations, of formation or splits and things like that, because he has played a lot of football so he understands and those are the things that can help him grow so he can play fast all the time because he has some real talent.

Q: A year ago DRC came here and the idea was he was an elite corner who would be following the best receiver. In year two, what do you sense from DRC where he is and what you guys want out of him?

A: Yeah, well, he definitely has to be that guy. The thing about it that we feel good about is hopefully we have two guys that can be that and that is the confidence and level of expectation that we have is that he definitely will be that guy and a guy that has that ability, and we need to build on a consistent basis. We also feel that Prince has the ability to do that, also, and that is where we become better as a football team where we can have that with both guys because that gives you the ability that you can handle the matchups.

SAFETIES COACH DAVID MERRITT…
David Merritt addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How is Landon Collins coming along?

A: Good. The rookie pitfalls that they all fall into, which is thinking you can come in here and that you know it all. Then you find out you don’t know much of anything and he has a situation now that he feels the pressure. He has to make the calls and get everyone lined up and he talked a good game as far as what he had to do at Alabama and I believe that. Now when you are trying to line up grown men who have wives and children at home and they need that call from you, it is a little different than lining up a freshman. The call has to be right. Right now, he is slow to go, which was expected, but he has to pick it up quickly for us to be successful.

Q: How hard is it at that position to come in as a rookie and start right away?

A: I think it is extremely hard. You are the ‘the extension of the defensive coordinator.’ Whatever call comes in, you need to be able to hear the call, accept the call and then spit it back out to your fellow teammates. For a rookie to come in and have that pressure, to be the extension of the defensive coordinator, I know we have the right one doing it, but it is extremely difficult.

Q: From what you have seen early on, do you think he is capable of doing that?

A: I do, I really do. He is starting to realize that these missed alignments and the minus plays, I have to cut those out of my game in order for the guys around me to trust me. That is what he wants to be. He wants to be a leader. Okay, we are putting him out there. I think he is going to be ready to go, definitely, for Dallas.

Q: How has Cooper Taylor come along after missing the year?

A: Cooper is coming along well. Mentally, I never doubted Cooper would be able to pick up the defense. It is just now getting Cooper’s body to move in the proper direction once he receives the call and allows himself to line up and just see what is happening in front of him. The mental part, Cooper is fine, but it is now the physical part. We have to make sure the durability factor – he has to be durable for us because he has missed the past two seasons. Mentally, I am not concerned about him. Physically hoping that he will be able to step up and be durable for us.

Q: How much has it hurt Nat Berhe not being able to get on the field?

A: That hurts tremendously because all the reps that Cooper and Landon and Mykkele [Thompson] and some of the other guys have taken, Nat would have been right in there with all the other guys. By him standing on the sideline and taking mental reps – I understand you are taking mental reps, but it is different. It is not the same as putting your body through the motions and making your body react to different movements that the receivers are stemming at you. It is going to definitely hurt him and set him back a little bit, but hopefully he can come back at training camp and be ready to fight for a starting job.

Q: How is Mykkele Thompson coming along?

A: Mykkele, I knew was a smart kid. He came here and he is a cerebral kid, that is for sure. He is going to take what I say literally and take my word for it and go out and try to execute it. Now I am starting to see that the kid actually has some football awareness, where I didn’t think he had much of it when we first started off. The [missed alignments] that started at the beginning of rookie mini-camp and OTAs have drastically gone down. Mentally, he has excelled past my expectations.

Q: Are you eager to see how he holds up physically?

A: Absolutely. Long arms. We did a drill the other day where he was having to punch a bag and escape from the blocker and to see his arms and the extension of his arms, that was good to see. I am definitely interested to see him in the pads.

Q: How has Bennett Jackson handled the moved from corner to safety?

A: It has been good. You are going from the outside where you are playing on an island and then all of sudden, you go to a back end position where you have to see the formation and play, the moving parts, and put people in the right position. Jackson, in his situation right now, there has been a learning curve for him, which has been hard for him. It has been a struggle at first, but out of all the guys, that is one kid that when he puts his foot in the ground, he can go. He can go. I am looking forward to seeing Bennett at camp with pads on because I truly believe he will hit as well.

Q: Has anyone else caught your eye here in the spring?

A: To be honest, the guys that you just named are the ones that I am focusing on. Justin Currie has done a great job, as well, our free agent. Big kid, as well. I am interested to see what he can do once the pads are on his shoulders and hopefully he will be able to be a thumper for us. Those are our crew. Those are our guys.

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR TOM QUINN…
Tom Quinn addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: Have you seen enough from Dwayne Harris to get an idea of how he is going to fit for you?

A: I had really a good idea before he came in, having faced him for so many years. He has done a nice job assimilating himself and getting the returns down, so we have seen enough, we are pleased.

Q: Do you envision returning kicks and punts being his primary duty?

A: He is going to be a ‘big four’ player, so he will be on all four of the teams and he will make a very good contribution. His coverage skills are equal to his return skills, so that is the nice thing about getting this kind of player.

Q: Do you feel that you have a little deeper of a candidate pool for the return jobs?

A: Well, we always want a deep pool because you know at any time one of those guys can get hurt and we need to put someone else in, so we are always trying to develop depth.

Q: Any of the young guys in particular jumping out at you?

A: As far as coverage guys or return guys?

Q: Return guys

A: Odell has caught punts before but hasn’t done much the last couple of weeks. Edwards, an undrafted player, is starting to make some strides, but we will see once the pads come on and when we go in preseason games.

Q: What do you see from Corey Washington?

A: We just need him to get better so he can contribute on all four. Right now he is a two-team player but we would like to see him on all four so you maximize that roster space and that if he is dressed on game day.

Q: Are the two you are talking about the return games?

A: Yeah, he has primarily been on punt return and kick off return. We would like to develop some of his coverage skills on punt and kickoff.

Q: Still the middle of June, but how do you feel about your overall group?

A: I feel good about them right now. We got some new acquisitions at the linebacker spot and we got some safeties in, which are nice, and getting Bennett Jackson back has been pleasing. The young kid from Texas, Thompson, has done some good things; he is long and has real good speed, so I think he can be pretty versatile for us. Obviously Landon (Collins) has done a nice job in what he have asked him to do, so [I] am pleased with the overall group.

Q: With the change in the extra point kick, will that change the way the kickers are going to be working in training camp?

A: We have always done it. We had two games with it in the preseason last year, so we are well versed in it. We start them at the 15 and then move back from there. It is something that we are used to and it will not be a problem at all.

Q: This isn’t something the linemen seem to excited about. Do you sense that at all?

A: The field goal protection, there are some violent hits that occur. The ante will be raised with the rule and the way that it is written. Points are points, so the guys will be eager to get out there and to get points.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following video clips of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning on TE Will Tye: “I think Will, he catches the ball very well, that is always a good thing for a tight end. He seems to be running good routes. He is still getting a feel for the offense and all the ins and outs and going through what a lot of rookies go through in learning a new offense and a lot thrown at them. You see him working every day and in there and competing and making some plays, so that is good.”
  • Will Beatty on his pectoral injury: “It was a freak accident. It wasn’t, I mean I was lifting heavy, but it wasn’t my max. It was just something like, ‘What happened?’ I just don’t really know what happened. I know that I got to go into the recovery looking towards the future rather than the past.”

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