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AUGUST 7, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their seventh summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.
GIANTS SIGN SAFETY JUSTIN HALLEY, WAIVE CHRIS HARPER…
The New York Giants have signed rookie free agent Justin Halley (Florida International) and waived/injured wide receiver Chris Harper.
Right guard Geoff Schwartz (coming off of ankle surgery), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery), linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked if there was an update on McClain. “No, he will be a while,” responded Coughlin. “He has had some issues in the past and they are trying to rule out a bunch of things. I’m not going to rush a guy back in, forget that stuff. It is just like a head [injury], we aren’t going to rush anyone back in who has an injury like that.”
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin) was limited.
Today’s practice was only a jog-thru. “The purpose is we went two hard [practices] in a row and we have a hard one tomorrow, so this would be the natural down curve and we thought this was the time to go with a mental day, a learning day, rather than anything physical so we can get something done tomorrow,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.
Some snippets from various media sources:
- With Geoff Schwartz out, the starting offensive line was left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard Justin Pugh, center Weston Richburg, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
- Landon Collins and Jeromy Miles were the starters at safety.
- Dominique Hamilton received some reps with the first-team at defensive tackle alongside Johnathan Hankins. The first-team defensive ends were Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Robert Ayers.
- Jordan Stanton also saw some time with the starters at right defensive end and inside as a pass rusher.
- Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings worked with first-team today; Andre Williams worked with the second-team.
- At one point Victor Cruz motioned into the backfield and lined up at tailback.
HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):
Q: What was purpose of this practice?
A: The purpose is we went two hard [practices] in a row and we have a hard one tomorrow, so this would be the natural down curve and we thought this was the time to go with a mental day, a learning day, rather than anything physical so we can get something done tomorrow.
Q: You’re hurting your reputation a little bit here running games and easing down here?
A: A new, changed scientific approach.
Q: Any updates on Jameel McClain?
A: No, he will be a while.
Q: Is there something structural there? A herniated disk on McClain?
A: No, but he has had some issues in the past and they are trying to rule out a bunch of things. I’m not going to rush a guy back in, forget that stuff. It is just like a head [injury], we aren’t going to rush anyone back in who has an injury like that.
Q: Is it his neck or his back or his spine?
A: It is in that area, I think.
Q: You haven’t been asked in a while. Have you spoken to Jason Pierre-Paul yet?
A: No, but I think I will speak to him [shortly].
Q: Shortly today?
A: I have not talked to him yet, but I am anticipating talking to him perhaps before the end of the week.
Q: What makes you say that?
A: I just have a premonition. So far my premonitions, none of them have worked.
Q: What do you think that conversation will be like?
A: If and when it happens, I am concerned about knowing how he feels. Where is he? How is he coming along? I won’t even ask about the extent of the injuries but I’ll let him tell me. Why isn’t he here?
Q: Richburg and Flowers obviously feeling good enough to be out there today; I know you didn’t go hard. Do you anticipate them being out there tomorrow?
A: I hope so. They are not going to get the full green light. They are going to be restricted, but I’m thinking they will be out there.
Q: I didn’t see Odell out there at all. Was there something to that?
A: No, nothing to that.
Q: What was your reaction to Shaun O’Hara’s comments?
A: I don’t have any reaction. I am not going to comment on that.
Q: Any update on Geoff Schwartz?
Q: Will you bring everyone to Cincinnati? Even guys who aren’t going to participate?
A: No, but they have to be ruled out of the game not to go. They may be ‘can’t work today but we’ll see’ kind of people and they will come.
Q: Do you have to prepare any differently even with the practices maybe than you would with the first preseason game because you are going out there and going against a [different] offense or defense?
A: That is the purpose. The purpose is to go and get good, hard work against someone else instead of beating on your own people.
Q: Do you think Victor is a no-go for that first game?
A: Probably, but again — ask me next week in the middle of the preparation for the game.
Q: But he will come with you?
A: Ask me next week after I get there.
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH PAT FLAHERTY…
Pat Flaherty addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com).
Q: I know you really can’t control it, but the level of frustration when you look and see three projected starters on the side yesterday, how frustrating is that?
A: I don’t think it’s frustrating. I probably have my feelings go towards those guys because I think, I believe, they want to be out there and they can’t be out there for various reasons because they’re injured. My feelings of whatever I have is really for those guys that they want to be out there and get better. As a group, we need them out there to get better. There are some things as a coach that you can control, there are some things you can’t control. The one thing that I always want to stay focused on as a coach is do the best job with what we have to work with and what I can control. That’s the players out there practicing at the moment.
Q: But still you can’t build continuity when you have guys coming in and out. How do you comb that over, if you comb that over?
A: You try to do it with the things that those guys can do, whether it’s walk-throughs, in the meetings, trying to keep that continuity. You’re not getting 100 percent, as you mentioned, you just get the best of what you can do, whether it’s sitting in a chair and talking about things and letting them call things out in the meeting rooms. We try to keep that exercise going each and every day.
Q: Where do you stand at right tackle at this point? I saw the other day you rotated Newhouse and Schwartz..
A: We just want to make sure that we get guys working at various positions because if something else happens at a position, you want to be able to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this.’ So we’re going to let guys work at positions and see how they do and one of them was Geoff at the time. Now he’s not totally healthy right now so for him to go out there for Marshall really is not the best indication we can get at this point, but we’ll continue to work with that. So right now, Marshall Newhouse is the starting right tackle and we will have other options. I think the more competition you develop, and that’s what we’re trying to do as the New York Giant offensive line, which we’re going to also get a starting five and always have competition right nipping at their heels. I know we’ve used a term here ‘the next guy up’ but, really, what that means is you’re ready to take over because you’re pushing the starter.
Q: Prior to the injury bug starting, Justin (Pugh) and Weston (Richburg) spoke about being tougher, being like that 2008 line. Are you seeing that from them yet?
A: Yeah, I’m seeing that. You can’t—we have a saying in our offensive line room and I’ll share it with you, “We talk with our pads.” I know they are sharing that with you, I heard that before and that’s fine, but it’s not going to get done just verbally talking about it. You have to do it with pads. One thing I have seen each and every day by these guys is they are coming off the ball better with their pads. We always have to work on our leverage on our pads and if we continue to progress like that, we are going to be a good offensive line. We are talented enough. I know sometimes we question that, but we are talented enough. Whether or not we do it, I’m part of that equation as a coach.
Q: How is Brandon Mosley coming along? I see him getting worked into the mix.
A: He is out there at tackle now. We are trying to keep him in one spot. We moved him and worked a couple reps at the guard position and it is a little bit different out there at tackle in terms of the pass protection, so he is getting a feel for that with his technique, he has some work to do.
Q: Missed practices at this time of the year, what do they mean, especially for Flowers?
A: Well, it is critical, it is. It is nothing that you take lightly with a young player. The only guys that you would actually kind of, as a coach, breathe okay with is a guy that is a veteran, a guy that has played year after year after year. A young player needs every snap that he gets, so my job is when he’s not in there, in particular in our jog-throughs and walk-throughs, is he’s right beside me and he’s telling me his assignment so he’s getting mental reps. Mental reps aren’t going to get the job done, you have to get out there and physically do it. Obviously, right now he can’t physically do it, so we’re going to do whatever we can to keep getting him ready to play.
Q: Do you have a sense on when you will get Flowers and Richburg?
A: No, I don’t. I think Ronnie (Barnes) can answer that. If you ask me, I’d say my fingers were crossed for today, but that’s asking me. I have no idea. I’m just hoping that the guys get back sooner than later but when you get them back you don’t want that reoccurring. Ereck is a little different now. He wants to—he’s chomping at the bit, he’s in my ear, and I say, ‘Hey, listen, you’ve got to understand we have the best training staff in the world.’ And I said, ‘They’re going to put you out there when you’re ready so you don’t re-injure it.’ It’s no good to get out there and then go back to square one now. So he’s missing some time now but the objective is when he gets out there, he’s not looking back, he’s going straight ahead. So when that is, I really couldn’t tell you.
Q: Were you aware of the tweets by Shaun O’Hara questioning the offensive linemen?
A: I don’t have one of those accounts. I don’t even know if I can pronounce it but I can’t say. I’m not going to stand before you and say I don’t read your articles because I do when I have time, but when I come in the morning, and whatever time it is right now and whatever day it is, I haven’t done that.
Q: Did you hear about it though?
A: What are you…
Q: He’s basically questioning the toughness, saying offensive linemen shouldn’t be sitting out practice coming off a day off basically.
A: That’s one man’s opinion from that standpoint. When you get into the inner circles and really into our organization and all the discussion we have with Coach Coughlin each and every day from head coach to assistant coach, I don’t question the toughness because I know and I understand what they’re going through. Now I don’t know what Shaun’s saying, but maybe he’s saying, ‘Hey, listen. Sometimes if you have a little bit of soreness, you have to play through it,’ but that’s different. These guys don’t have that, they have an injury and that’s why they’re not practicing. One thing in training camp that I know is in Shaun’s back of the mind because we’ve always talked about it in our room with all those guys, you have to develop the calluses on your hands, you have to develop the soreness with the pads and next is going to be a little stiffness and all those things that come with playing this game that they love to play. If they don’t love to play it, okay we’re missing the boat there somewhere. That’s what you have to be able to do —you do have to work through some hurts and some pains, you do. The injuries, that’s totally different. That’s controlled. So whatever the opinion is, mine is if they’re injured and they’re hurt, my job is to make sure they get the mental reps.
Q: (O’Hara’s) around here a lot, though. How much is he in the guys’ ears in regards to..?
A: That’s a great question. I think all those guys—first of all, whether it’s Shaun or Richie (Seubert) or Chris (Snee), they love the New York Giants. You guys have heard it before, once a Giant, always a Giant and those guys are going to do everything they can to help this organization, whether it’s with players or outside talking to the fans, whatever it is. I’m sure they’re going to—the one thing I’ve always, as a coach, told the younger guys is reach out to the veterans, watch them, absorb everything you can, see what kind of passion they have because the true veterans have been through it. The veterans are going to reach out to the retired guys possibly from that standpoint.
DEFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBERT NUNN…
Robert Nunn addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com).
Q: What kind of correspondence have you had with DE Jason Pierre-Paul?
I’ve spoken to him on the phone. I’ve texted him back and forth and mostly about things other than football. The first thing you know, it’s been talked about before, and it was a tragic thing that happened, major accident. Everybody has their beliefs on what happened, what should have happened, and make of it what they want to, but the guy went through a tough thing. It was a tough situation to be in so when I talk to him we talk more about where he is from a mental standpoint. I texted him back and forth, just to let him know that we’re here for him. Whatever he needs, we’re here for him, and his response has been, “Coach, I’m good, I want to get myself right, and I’ll be back.” That’s kind of where it stands. I don’t know any more than what you guys know from that standpoint. Most of my conversations with him have been about things other than football.
Q: Do you have any idea on when to expect Pierre-Paul?
No. Everybody is guessing. Nobody knows right now, and he texted me just this morning to tell he’s good today. I kind of keep up with him like that. Every day or every other day I’ll shoot something at him with text. Again, it’s all usually about something other than football. We talked about we miss him in meetings and busting his chops in meetings and we kind of laugh about it. That’s kind of where it goes. I don’t know any more than that.
Q: How do you balance the confidentiality established with Pierre-Paul and sharing information with the organization?
Jerry (Reese) and I talk almost daily when I talk to him. If he (Pierre-Paul) asks me not talk about it, I don’t talk about it, but we don’t really get into that. It’s not anything everyone knows, you know. I just want to know where he is from an emotional and mental standpoint, and we’ve told him, everybody in this building has told him, we’re here for him. Whatever you need, just let us know how we can help, and so that’s been the conversation, but there’s really not any more to it other than that. He shoots me a funny text every so often and I’ll shoot one back. Some of the guys have talked to him, I think, and texted him about the meetings and we have some laughs. He’s not here to defend himself when we bust his chops and so we laugh about that. It’s that kind of conversation.
Q: Do you have to prepare as if you have to move on without Pierre-Paul?
We’ve talked about it in our room as far a defensive line room and that’s kind of been how it is. We’re going on and he’ll be here when he’ll be here and those other guys have a great opportunity and we’re going from there.
Q: Are you at the point where you’re sending Pierre-Paul defensive information?
I haven’t lately. We’ve discussed a little bit of that but I haven’t been sending a lot of stuff yet. He’s got up until the accident happened. He’s got most of everything in front of him, so when the time comes, we’ll get on it, and I’ll spend day and night doing that, and getting him ready to go.
Q: Do you get the sense that Pierre-Paul misses being here?
There’s no question, yeah.
Q: Do you know the extent of Pierre-Paul’s injury and if he’ll be as effective as he once was?
I don’t really know any more than what’s been printed. I told him that we’ll just tie one hand behind his back because he’s that kind of player. We joke about it a little bit like that, but I don’t know. I don’t know anything more than you guys know as far as the extent of the injury.
Q: Were you expecting Pierre-Paul to have a big year?
Oh yeah. He’s been an outstanding player. When he’s been healthy, he’s been as good as there is in the league and so we were all looking forward to that. Hey, it was a crazy thing that happened, but it happened. It was an accident, a horrible accident, life-changing experience, and so we’re going to move on from there and make the best of it.
Q: How do you plan moving forward? Do you have to plan as if Pierre-Paul is not going to be here?
Right now that’s what we’re doing as far as a group and everyone. We’re all pulling for him in that room. Everyone in there is very close and stays in touch with each other, and so we’re all pulling for him to be back, but right now we’ve got a job to do and that’s what we’re doing.
Q: How do you see filling that right defensive end spot?
The situation right now, as far as the defensive ends, we’ve got a group of defensive ends that have come in here with the right frame of mind, and I really feel good about the rotation. Right, left, starter, non-starter, we’ve got a good group, and we’re going to keep building every day and stacking successes. Young guys come in and are doing what we ask them to do, and I like where we are. Preseason games will tell us where we stack up as far as against other offenses, but I like where we are going into this practice here Saturday, and going to Cincinnati next week and we’ll see where we stand.
Q: Do you have to tweak the defense because of the absence of Pierre-Paul?
No, not necessarily. Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) has his package and we’re putting it in and we’re putting it in as best we can. We’re going to continue to tweak it and adjust it just like we would if he was here, he’s not here. No we haven’t changed very much.
Q: Have any of the defensive ends jumped out at you?
In certain areas they’ve all jumped out. I really like where Robert Ayers has come in from a mental standpoint. Kerry Wynn, when he got his opportunity, he made the most of it as far as production. Kerry Wynn, when the pads come on, he’s a different player than when the pads are not on, and I’ve coached players like that.
Q: Does Wynn become a different player when the pads are on because of his strength?
Yeah. He’s a strong, young player and they all do some things that the other ones don’t. Owa (Odighizuwa), you know we have to get him in better condition but he’s showed some good things. He’s a strong kid that wants to do what you ask him to do. Damontre (Moore) has come in and done some good things. They all have something that they can do that maybe somebody else doesn’t do. The group of defensive ends, I like where they are. George Selvie is a professional, hard-working, every day he shows up, does what you ask him to do, and that bleeds through that entire room.
Q: Did (Jonathan) Hankins show you enough as a pass-rusher last year?
Oh yeah. He kind of started showing up a year ago, when we would get in one-on-one pass rush, he was doing some good things, and he got his opportunity and took advantage of it. If he’s producing, he’s definitely going to be in there. He’s definitely going to have that opportunity to get in there in some rush situations.
Re: playing Hankins on third down passing situations versus lining up with four defensive ends
A lot of that will be controlled by down and distance. If it’s a truly long yardage situation, then Jonathan probably won’t be in there just because of what you can see. He’ll be in there, he’ll have some opportunities.
Q: Why have the defensive ends been moving inside? Is it because it’s early or do you want to see what guys can do in those spots?
Both, it’s early and you know we can get some of those other guys some opportunities. We’ll continue to tweak that and look at it and give everybody a shot.
Q: Have you seen any early indication that you’ll be better against the run?
It’s hard to tell until you get in real games. When real bullets are fired you is when find out. I know we challenged them, we’ve challenged them to come in here, and we have to be able to stop the run better than we did last year. I like where we are, Hankins has come in here in a great frame of mind, and I can’t say enough positive things about where he is. Markus Kuhn has come in and is ready to give himself a shot. Jay Bromley, the one thing I love about coaching Jay is when you give him something to work on, he works on it every day. He tries to correct it as you talk to him each day, each practice, and Kenrick Ellis, they’ve got their opportunity in front of them, so we’ll see when the real bullets fire.
Q: What is it that you see in Kuhn that is giving him an opportunity?
He’s got himself in that position. Markus didn’t have a lot of production last year but he still did some things that caused production. There are a lot of those times that the defensive tackles, there’s hidden productivity, now there’s also some times he has to make some plays that he should have made. That’s the thing that we talked about in the off-season, he and I did, and it’s some things that you have to improve on. He’s gotten himself ready to have that opportunity going into preseason.
Q: What is different about Kuhn this year?
Foot quickness, I think he’s continuously worked on that, and his agility inside and his balance. He seems to be further along than he’s ever been with the foot speed and the quickness. Markus is another one, you give him something to work on, and he’ll work on it over and over. He’s a lot of fun to coach.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:
- Defense takes the day as injuries keep on coming | Giants training camp practice report by James Kratch for NJ.com
- How limited are Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz at Giants training camp practice? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com
- Giants QB Eli Manning feeling, looking as good as ever at training camp by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News
- Pitching experts help Eli Manning build arm strength by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record
- With the world watching, Odell Beckham Jr. prepares for an encore by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com
- Giants keep their faith in cornerback by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record
- Mykkele Thompson on competition at safety, being born in Italy | Giants rookie check-in by James Kratch for NJ.com
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The eighth training camp practice will be held on Saturday from 2:30-4:30PM but it is not open to the public. 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 four remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:
- 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