Chris Snee Talks Contract: RG Chris Snee addressed questions from the media yesterday regarding his contract. His current contract will expire after the upcoming 2008 NFL season.
“It’ll be something that, if it happens, obviously I’d love to stay here,” said Snee. “But for this year, I’m a member of this team and I’m looking forward to the season and we’ll face that when the time comes. Right now, my focus is on getting my body ready for the season.”
Snee was asked about LT David Diehl recently getting a new deal. “Obviously, I’m happy for him,” Snee said. “Anytime you see a fellow lineman and a good friend get something he deserves, I’m happy for him…I’m not worried if I’m next. I know my time will come.”
“I’m very happy with where I am,” said Snee. “I’m an employed member of this team for the upcoming season. I am not disgruntled or unhappy with my current deal. It’s one that I had signed and I really don’t think that there’s an issue to be discussing. I will be there and I will be ready to go.”
Brandon Jacobs Looking to Stay Healthy: HB Brandon Jacobs said yesterday that one of his primary goals is to remain healthy for the entire season. Jacobs missed five and a half games in 2007 with a sprained MCL, which he suffered in the opener against the Cowboys, and a hamstring injury, which he suffered in week 11 against the Lions.
“I think I’ve proven myself as far as me playing and I can get it done,” said Jacobs. “But there is a doubt in a lot of peoples’ minds whether or not I can stay healthy, so I’m going to give that to people too. There are doubts all over the place, man. You just have to beat them.”
“Somebody got blocked into the side of me in Dallas, that very, very, very, very seldom happens,” said Jacobs. “Then I jumped in the air against Detroit and pulled my hamstring jumping in the air. How dies that happen? I have no idea but it happened. It’s a freak thing that happened. I’m back to prove myself and show that I can go 16 games and do what I do.”
Jacobs also had offseason surgery on his wrist. “My wrist is good,” said Jacobs. “There was never nothing big about it, it was just something that had to be cleaned out.”
Mike Pope Addresses Questions About Jeremy Shockey: As expected, the number one topic of conversation when Tight Ends Coach Mike Pope addressed the media yesterday was TE Jeremy Shockey.
“We spoke about that right before the draft and through the winter a little bit, yeah,” said Pope. “A good way to look at that is the picture of Phil Simms (in 1990) in the tunnel out here (watching the Giants-Bears playoff game when he was out for the season with an injury). We all remember that shot. And Phil has said how difficult that was for him. I don’t think you can individualize this. Any player who’s a big part of the team and gets out of the roster for a period of time, it’s a terrific shock because that’s what they do. He had a lot to do with us getting (us to the Super Bowl) and it’s every player’s goal to play in that game and win the game. I know he was very, very upset about not being able to finish what we collectively started. I’m sure there was a lot of disappointment.”
“I don’t think he’s any different than other players,” said Pope. “Once the team gets back together and they get involved together, those things – whatever they have been – tend to become less of a factor and they eventually disappear. You start playing together, you start winning and the upside of the game is what you’re looking at, then things usually run fairly smoothly.”
“He said to me back before the draft that none of his problems were with our offense, with our players on the team, or how he was used,” Pope said. “He said ‘I dropped enough balls. I missed blocks.’ So he’s not self-cleansing here with this whole approach. He really is not. So I think those things really are unrelated to how he played. He knows he can play better. He hasn’t given up on self-improvement in any way shape or form.”
Pope was also asked about the speculation that QB Eli Manning was better without Shockey. “That’s demeaning to both players,” said Pope. “To think that one player has to be out of the picture before another player can surface, that’s ludicrous. Eli Manning has been on a constant scale of improvement; that’s very obvious…(Manning’s improvement) wasn’t (the result of) the absence of anybody; it was the ascension of some other players. You’d have to be pretty narrow-minded to look at things that way. This was not a situation wher the Vice President becomes president because something bad happened to the President.”
Notes and Quotes: Safeties Coach David Merritt says that heading into training camp, Michael Johnson is the starter at free safety and James Butler is the starter at strong safety.
Merritt on S James Butler: “James, for his first time playing a full season as far as getting play time on the field, I would give James definitely an A. James played well enough for us to win the Super Bowl. You take just the Super Bowl itself and look at that kid’s production in that game alone, the biggest game of his career, the biggest game of my coaching career, he played his butt off. If you just go back and evaluate him, not from the TV copy, you go back and evaluate the film here in Giants Stadium you will see that James Butler made tons of plays. Yeah there were times up and down where maybe James was out of position, but once again you take a young man who has never been out there on the field and now all of a sudden he is having to play multiple plays there are going to be some things that are going to happen maybe a little fast. I truly believe that is what happened to him on the field a couple of times, but for the majority of the time James Butler was in the right place, he put us in the correct defense as far as the coverage, and he played his butt off for us.”
Merritt on S Kenny Phillips: “The thing is that Kenny came out early as a junior, but you know what? This kid, in the classroom, has shown unbelievable recall for the defense and what I mean by that is that we put in things back in the mini camp early and he is able to recall it back to me and here it is a week or two later. That is one thing when you are dealing with safeties because they are the quarterbacks of the defense, they control all the coverage, they get them in and out of checks, and this kid was able to recall a lot of the information and things that we had spoken about weeks before. As far as his smarts and his intellect I am very, very excited about that. Now there is some stuff as far as on the field that I will work with him with as far as understanding angles and how he approaches certain routes and things like that, but that is my job as a coach. As far as his God given ability mentally the kid is very good.”
Cornerbacks Coach Peter Giunta on Corey Webster: “(I am) very confident, very confident that he will continue to develop and get better and better. He is a very hardworking kid and he has been here a lot in the offseason working hard to get better and I see that as a positive. The only thing that would hold him back would be any kind of injury stuff, but he was healthy last year and I look forward to him having a great year this year.”
Giunta on Terrell Thomas: “He has size, speed, and athletic ability, which was very attractive. The other thing was he came from a pro style of defense in Pete Carroll’s system (at USC) that he had in pro football with the Jets and New England and Minnesota. He put a lot of things that we do as far as press coverage and playing inside as a nickel and blitzing so he has experience in a pro style defense, which was attractive to us…he is a little bit further along than some of the kids that just play one technique or they just play a certain style of coverage. He played multiple coverages and was asked to do a lot of different thing which helps accelerate his progress.”
Linebackers Coach Bill Sheridan on the competition at weakside linebacker: “I think going into the spring practices (Gerris Wilkinson) will be (the starter), just because he is coming back and Danny Clark is coming from outside. I think both of them understand that the position is wide open and Bryan Kehl would be considered in the mix, too. We are not going to necessarily pigeonhole Bryan as a SAM or a WILL, so I think he will do some of both in the spring and if he can make a splash he will be considered as well.”
Sheridan on Mathias Kiwanuka: “I think he will be much, much further along (than last year). I think when he got hurt he had showed so much improvement every week and I think he would have continued to go and get better had he not gotten hurt and been able to play for the rest of the season. I think he is a lot more confident in the schemes and the Xs and Os. He will continue to just get better with becoming familiar with playing the position and the pass coverages. I anticipate him being an excellent player.”
Sheridan on Bryan Kehl and Jonathan Goff: “I did like both of them going into the draft. I had evaluated both guys and I had gone to Jon Goff’s senior workout at Vanderbilt. They are both big. They are all of 6-2 plus, almost 6-3, they are both 240 pounds. So just walking in the door they are great size guys and both of them are really smart. Maybe you hear that all the time and you think it is trite, but it is so much easier to win with guys that are really smart, and they are. We interviewed them both at the combine and watching film with them, and they know football, they can talk football, they can explain football, and in the short time that I have had to visit with them and meet them here they understand exactly what we are installing. They can reiterate back to me what I just told them five minutes ago, they understand when we go and do some walk-thrus and jog-thrus, and even in the rookie mini camp they did a great job. They are really smart guys.”
Defensive Line Coach Mike Waufle on DE Osi Umenyiora’s run defense: “Osi has really improved on is his run defense. He is very consistent at it. In fact, I was showing the rookies a particular alignment today which Osi plays. He is playing really well.”