NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday, April 15th, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:
- Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
- Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
- Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
The team’s OTAs will be held on May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, and June 10-13. A rookie mini-camp will be held on May 3-4 and a mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 4-6.
PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday:
Good afternoon. As you know, today started our offseason program. Guys were energetic and excited to get going. We had alternating running and lifting. We had good meetings so it was a good first day. I am looking forward to getting this thing going for the 2019 season. We have the draft here on the horizon but we like the group of guys that we have assembled to this point. Just put them through the paces and get them prepared so we can put them through the OTA’s and the mini camps to work our way toward training camp.
Q: Did everyone show up today and did anyone tell you they were not going to be a part of this?
A: We had one player that is showing up today and he let me know that. Other than that, we had everyone here.
Q: Can you share who that was?
A: No. As you know, this is a voluntary. This player had a prior arrangement and he let me know way ahead of time that he had something he had to take care of. He is arriving today so he will be here working tomorrow.
Q: How different is this from last year in regards to what you are trying to accomplish? What is the biggest difference?
A: Well, we certainly know the players much better. By playing a season, we know the areas we need to improve. I talked to the team about finishing. I felt that we did some things throughout the games that were good. We just have to do a better job of finishing. The schemes and the systems, things we like to do schematically, are more ready to go for the players. They can watch themselves on the cut-ups. Anything you do on the second time around, you will be smoother. The idea is that you get off to a better start starting next season.
Q: Is Sam Beal 100 percent and ready to go?
A: Yes, he is ready to go. He is bright-eyed and ready to go. He is coming back from a shoulder surgery and has rehabbed it well. He is 100 percent at this point so he will be able to take part in everything we are doing.
Q: How much easier is it at this point now knowing the strengths and weaknesses you have in your players?
A: It is a huge advantage. To be able to know what the players can do, we have a lot of really good players. A lot of players that were young last year had an opportunity to play more than they typically would. You get a chance to watch them and see their development, you can project and see the improvement they are going to make this year. It really helps, also, if you have not worked with a player, I think back to the offensive line and how we had it structured last year. We made changes to it. Having worked with players, seeing their strengths and their weaknesses, it helps you more even as we get ready for the draft.
Q: What are your thoughts on where your secondary is right now? What types of challenges does that present having some new guys in there and having a lot of changes?
A: We have made a lot of changes, especially bringing in Jabrill and Antoine Bethea, but we still have Michael Thomas, Kenny Ladler is still here, Kamrin Moore and so is Sean Chandler. There are some guys that were here a year ago. Michael Thomas is a special teams captain and he probably played more safety a year ago than we anticipated, so he has some experience. Kenny is an experienced player and then we have the young players Moore and Chandler, they have done some good things for us. At safety, we have brought in two guys that we anticipate being starters for us, Jabrill and Antoine. They are bright guys and they will get going here quickly. At corner, we have Jackrabbit, who looked good today, and I am anticipating he will have a great offseason. Sam Beal is here and we signed Michael Hunter. Then we got Antonio Hamilton, Tony Lippett and Henre’ Toliver, along with Grant Haley. It is a good group. A lot of young players that have a lot of experience. We just have to see how it comes together so we can determine who our three corners will be in the starting rotation and then really our two starting safeties and the primary backup.
Q: This is the first time you addressed the team since the season ended, did you talk or address the team on any players that left the team? Odell? Landon?
A: No, I think the important thing was bringing the group that we have here together. We talked about why our players left from a year ago and how we wish them well. While they were Giants, we were rooting for them and doing everything we could to get them better. We are rooting for them now that they are out of our building. We crossed that bridge then. As we move forward, I think it is important that we move forward with the group we have.
Q: Do you think you can come out of this draft with two or three defensive starters right away?
A: That is the idea. We have some high picks, so you look to get some guys that can help. A lot of times, guys that are significant role players function in roles as starters. We are looking at everyone we pick to be able to contribute. That is the exciting thing about the draft. There are plenty of really good players at all positions. We are going to pick guys that we feel can contribute.
Q: With Dwayne Haskins visiting and your players in the building, can you branch those two together and see how he fits in with other players in the building?
A: We try and keep that part separate. We have a couple more days of visits, as you know. It just so happens that Dwayne is in today. It will be somewhat separate. They really are not allowed to be involved too much with what we are doing. His visit will be similar to the ones we have had with the quarterbacks we have already brought in.
Q: Do you trust that Eli will handle this situation OK being in the last season of his contract and what might happen the next couple weeks? Do you feel the need to talk to him?
A: I don’t feel the need to talk to him about his contract. Eli does a great job of staying in the moment. He was here today and we got going. He is excited to get into this, the second year of our system and build on what we did the last half of the season. Eli is really terrific at staying in the moment. Right now, it is offseason training. Just trying to get comfortable with his receivers and try and master his decisions. I think that is where he is at. I don’t feel the need to talk about that with him.
Q: Just curious with the commitment to Sterling Shepard that you have made, do you see much more potential than what he has already shown?
A: Certainly. He still is a young player. I saw some things from him last year that were improvements. He is very durable, very sturdy. He is good in all phases of the game. He blocks well, catches the ball well and is very competitive. In all aspects of playing receiver, you have to continue to improve and ascend. We really like the football player in him, too. The competitive nature and the durability. All the things that he brings to a receiving corps. I am not saying that in comparison to anyone, that is just what we have appreciated about him.
Q: This team has a much different look this year as it did a year ago. How would you compare this team right now to the one you had a year ago?
A: It is hard to say right now. We liked the moves we made. With regard to our trades, we felt that both teams got value. We were able to add safeties to fill in for Landon leaving. We added an offensive lineman up front with Zeitler. We added pieces. That is probably a better question to answer later in the offseason, but we like the players we are working with. We look forward to adding a few players from this year’s draft.
Q: Where is Jon Halapio in his return from surgery?
A: Pio is back. He is working and getting ready to go.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum: