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

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 202018
 
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Kevin Abrams, New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

Kevin Abrams – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS FRONT OFFICE AND SCOUTING CHANGES…
The New York Giants have announced the following personnel changes to their front office and scouting departments:

  • Kevin Abrams, a member of the organization since 1999 and the assistant general manager for the last 16 years, has added the title of vice president of football operations.
  • Mark Koncz, brought in by Gettleman as a consultant prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, is now the director of player personnel. Koncz was a member of the Carolina Panthers organization from 1994-2017 and was their director of pro scouting from 2000-2017. He worked under Gettleman when the latter was the Panthers’ general manager from 2013-2016.
  • Chris Pettit has been named director of college scouting after spending the previous 13 years as an area scout. He joined the Giants’ scouting staff in 2005 after spending the 2004 season as a scouting intern for the team. Pettit first worked for the Giants as a training camp pro personnel intern from 1998-2000.
  • Patrick Hanscomb has been named an area scout whose concentration will be the Mid-Atlantic area. Hanscomb spent the previous 10 seasons in the team’s pro personnel department.
  • Marcus Cooper has been hired as an area scout who will focus in the Southeast. Cooper spent the previous seven seasons with the Buffalo Bills, first as a player personnel assistant, then as an area scout, and last year as the team’s scout in the BLESTO Scouting Combine.

Beginning this season, each area scout will concentrate on a specific region. In addition to Hanscomb and Cooper, the Giants’ area scouts are D.J. Boisture (west), Jeremy Breit (regional), Steve Devine (Midwest), Donnie Etheridge (southwest), Ryan Jones (northeast), Michael Murphy (west), Steve Verderosa (regional), and Chris Watts (midlands). These eight scouts have all served with the Giants for a number of years.

Jeremiah Davis and Marquis Pendleton will continue to serve as executive scout and BLESTO scout, respectively.

“We talk all the time about the importance of working together and communicating effectively and efficiently,” said General Manger Dave Gettleman. “These appointments and promotions are well deserved, and we feel like we are well-positioned to move forward with the group of people we have in player personnel and football operations. All are collaborators and communicators and understand the significance of self-improvement to make the organization the best it can be.”

A complete listing of these positions is available in the New York Giants team administration section of the website.

NY POST Q&A WITH DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JAMES BETTCHER…
James Bettcher, the blue-collar guy now leading Giants defense by Steve Serby of The New York Post

ARTICLES…

Jan 202018
 
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Thomas McGaughey, San Francisco 49ers (August 1, 2015)

Thomas McGaughey – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – DAVE GETTLEMAN CHANGES DRAFT PROCESS…
The New York Post is reporting that General Manager Dave Gettleman is in the process of revamping the way the New York Giants approach the draft. The paper says he is breaking with his predecessors – General Manager Jerry Reese and Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross – in a number of key ways:

  • How players are graded.
  • How New York Giants scouts are assigned.
  • How the New York Giants draft board is assembled.

“We’re changing everything around in the department, from how we operate to the grading scale, everything,’’ an unidentified team source told The Post. “Everything. Nothing’s going to stay the same.”

The source told the paper that Gettleman wants more “checks and balances” in the team’s evaluation process as it is felt the Giants poorly graded a number of prospects that are thriving with other teams.

“We’re gonna have what I call a philosophical and method shift on how we operate, yes,’’ Gettleman told The Post. “The philosophy is the way of looking at players, and the method is how we set up the draft board… Putting your focus on different things, the board is gonna look very different. It’s actually something I learned in Carolina. There’s an old saying: Every man is my equal, in that I may learn from him. These guys taught me a different way of looking at it — not how to evaluate, not how to do it philosophically, but just a different way of setting up a board, and I think it’s terrific.

“My goal here is to just to do a better job to improve the evaluation process, to make it more concise, make it more clear as to the types of players we are looking for and we want to draft.”

The Giants have apparently promoted scout Chris Pettit to a “higher organizational role” in the process.

REPORT – THOMAS MCGAUGHEY TO COACH SPECIAL TEAMS…
The Sporting News is reporting that Thomas McGaughey is expected to become the new special teams coordinator for the New York Giants, replacing Tom Quinn. Ironically, McGaughey served as an assistant under Quinn from 2007-2010 with the Giants on Tom Coughlin’s staff.

The 44-year old McGaughey was hired away from the Giants by LSU after the 2010 season, where he served as Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Assistant from 2011-2013. He then went on to become Special Teams Coordinator of the New York Jets (2014) and San Francisco 49ers (2015). In 2016, the Carolina Panthers hired McGaughey as an assistant special teams coach and then promoted him to special teams coordinator in 2017.

ARTICLES…

Feb 212015
 
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (February 21, 2015)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Jerry Reese Addresses Media at NFL Combine: New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese addressed the media on Saturday at the NFL Combine. The video of the media session is available at Giants.com.

Q: You said you saw a couple fast receivers out there – did it bring you back to last year?
A: I am not sure about that, but there were a couple of fast guys out there this morning.

Q: Where were you in the process last year with Odell [Beckham Jr.]? How did that evolve and what did you see from here?
A: We had our pre-[combine] meetings. There are a lot of holes until you do the combine, pro days and the interviews. We talked about him a little bit, just pre-combine.

Q: Did anything here sway you or really define your intentions towards [Beckham]?
A: He was fast and he caught the ball. He really caught the ball nice. We call it arrogant hands. He had that. That caught our attention and he was really fast.

Q: Odell told us at the Pro Bowl that he played the last half of the season with two torn hamstrings. Is that accurate or is that an exaggeration?
A: I don’t know about that. I think he is trying to be a hero. I don’t think he could play with two torn hamstrings and run fast like that.

Q: I assume if he would have had that, you would not have let him play…?
A: I don’t think so. I think our doctors would have caught that.

Q: To clarify, these were [injuries] that happened at the beginning of the year that healed?
A: According to our doctors, it was healed up. He may have gotten fatigued later in the season. I don’t think you can go out there and run like that if you have a couple torn hamstrings.

Q: Where are you with Jason [Pierre-Paul]?
A: We are talking, but that is all I am going to say about that. It really is not appropriate to talk about where we are with respect to that, but we are talking.

Q: Have you had discussions with Eli [Manning] that you could share?
A: It is inappropriate to talk about that, too.

Q: How difficult is it to evaluate these spread quarterbacks who don’t do a lot of the things you are asking them to do at this level?
A: I think it depends, if you have a run-spread, you have seen in this league that the spread offense works. If you are going to run that, then I think you draft those types of guys. If you draft a spread, read-option quarterback and ask him to drop back and read defenses, I think it would be difficult for him. He would have to – it would be a big learning curve, I think.

Q: How would you describe the balance of risk/reward with guys putting up great numbers at the combine to knowing if that is going to translate to being a great football player?
A: With us, like most teams, it is what you do on the field. [That] weighs the most when you are evaluating a player. You just fill in some holes and some of the blanks with the running and things they do at the combine, [such as] the interviews. What they do on the field carries the most weight with us.

Q: I know you don’t want to say specifically what is going on with JPP, but in the past when you have used the franchise-tag, it has been a way to buy time for a long-term negotiation. Do you have any philosophy with allowing that player to be on the tag all year long, even if it [takes up] a lot of cap space?
A: I am not going to talk about that. We are just going to keep our options open with respect to that. Sorry about that.

Q: How much healthier are you guys in regards to cap space than you have been the last couple of years?
A: I think we are in pretty good health. We are headed in the right direction with respect to the cap.

Q: Is it a concern to you at all with how that money gets distributed?
A: I think we will be able to do what we need to do. I think we will have enough money to do what we need to do in the offseason, as far as free agency goes and whatever we decide to do with the other guys.

Q: Do you take a look at [Marcus] Mariota just in case he winds up in your division?
A: We look at everybody.

Q: Do you look at specific players and say we may have to face them, so do you look at them with a different eye that way?
A: We are evaluating him if he is there when we pick at nine. We are evaluating him for that, not necessarily if he is going to be in our division or something like that. We are evaluating him as a prospect right now.

Q: Have the changes to the conduct policy changed the way you guys evaluate off the field concerns? Have you noticed any change in that regard?
A: We always try to weigh the options of what a guy’s off the field issues are. Sometimes we have taken chances on some guys who have had some issues. We have taken guys like that. You have to weigh the options.

Q: Now they come in with a strike against them because of the new policy… Does that change the way you weigh that?
A: I say this all the time; if a guy has a blotter of things, they usually don’t change that. Again, these kids are really young and they make some bad decisions. You can’t kill these guys, 18,19, 20-year old kids for decisions they make.

Q: How do you look at this year’s draft and where do you see more depth than possibly other positions?
A: There are good players in this draft all over the place. I don’t really have one position that is deeper than the other.

Q: How do you assess your offensive line going into the offseason now and the possibility of moving [Weston] Richburg and [Justin] Pugh around?
A: We are going to continue to build our offensive line just like we are going to do every position. I think we still have some work to do there. We are going to continue to try and build our offensive line.

Q: When you look at Richburg, do you see him as a center? Coach [Coughlin] said the other day that he is going to compete for center…?
A: He played center in college. We had some injuries early on, so we put him in there at guard. He really didn’t get a chance to compete for the job. He will get a chance to compete for the center job.

Q: Getting back to the issue of prospects with character questions – because of the fact now they are trained on how to answer questions, I s it getting more difficult to judge the sincerity of these kids?
A: They are really good. We had interviews the last couple of nights. They are well-versed in what they want to say. It is a little tougher right now. We have some crafty questions that we can get the right answers.

Q: Do you have every intention of having Jon Beason as your middle linebacker next year?
A: Jon is under contract. We will see where that goes, but he is under contract.

Q: What do you see from the kid from Washington, [Shaq] Thompson?
A: He is a good player. He is versatile. I think he has played a lot of different positions. He has played linebacker, he has played some safety and some running back. He is a Swiss Army knife-type of guy.

Q: Do you envision him in the NFL at one of those positions?
A: I think the more you can do in this league, I think whoever takes him, he will have a chance to play any of those positions.

Q: If you think back to this time last year, could you have known what you were getting with Odell?
A: We thought he was a good player, we really did. We thought he was a terrific player and he obviously had the injuries early on and everyone was down on him a little bit. We tried to put him back in there a little too soon. With those hamstrings, you just have to rest them and let them heal.

Q: When you are picking in the top-10, does it change anything [because] it is obviously more of an investment with that guy?
A: If you are picking in the top 10 or the top 12, you should be getting… That is how the system is built. You should be getting better players. If you are picking last, the players are not the same quality as the first 10 or 12 players. If you are picking high in the draft, you should get better players.

Q: Does that increase the pressure on you and your staff to not make a mistake picking a guy up that high?
A: No, we work hard on the ninth player just like we would the 32nd player. We work hard on it.

Q: How do view it after picking a receiver last year picking ninth and the potential to go back to that position… Do the odds of that happening decrease because you went in that direction last year?
A: Best player available. We will take the best player on the board.

Q: It is obviously a quarterback driven league… Do you get calls about Ryan [Nassib]?
A: I can’t talk about that. That is inappropriate to talk about that. I can’t speak about that.

Q: How do you feel about the safety position going into next year?
A: I think we are going to try to upgrade that position just like all the other positions. We are going to try to upgrade every position as we go. Free agency, the draft, we will try to upgrade very position.

Q: Do you view [Cooper Taylor] and [Nat Berhe] as guys who could step in there as starters?
A: They are going to get a chance to compete. Cooper, obviously, needs to stay healthy. I think both of those guys will get a chance to compete at that position.

Q: What did you learn from having the draft a little later in regards to how you adjusted your schedule?
A: I think with the schedule you have a little bit more time. If you are out of the playoffs, you have a little bit more time to start your evaluation process. We are working hard like we always were.

Q: The receiving position is not a huge need if Victor Cruz is back and healthy… Where is he in his rehab and how much can you count on him being the old Victor Cruz?
A: When a guy has a big injury like Victor had, you can’t put all your eggs in his basket. Our doctors said he looks good. I see him down in the training room working out with our trainers and doctors and he looks good. Until you get out there – his game is quickness. Until you get out there and move around, you never know how he is going to recover from that. We are hoping and praying that he comes back 100 percent and be the Victor Cruz that we know, but you can’t put 100 percent in that basket.

Q: Do you have to plan for a plan B with another receiver just in case?
A: We will upgrade receiver. We will try to upgrade that spot as well. If Victor is back and Odell and Rueben [Randle], that is a pretty good core. There are a couple of other guys [such as] [Preston] Parker, there are some more names, [Corey] Washington and there are some young guys. If there is a good receiver, we will draft him.

Q: After the season ended some of your guys stuck around and kept going as if they were in the playoffs, as it might be a benefit next year… Do you see that as a benefit?
A: It is good to see the guys hungry and want to get right into the offseason and start working. We want to be in the postseason, so to see some of those guys hang around, it shows me what kind of dedication they have and how hungry they are to get back into the playoffs. We like that. Obviously there are some rules now with the offseason program with what they can do with the coaches, but some individual stuff they can do on their own – we have had a lot of guys in there.

Q: How much of a priority is it for you guys to fill a role of what David Wilson was going to give you?
A: He is a little different. We have some big bangers. David was a fast, quick guy who could catch the ball out of the backfield and return kicks. When you lose that dynamic type player, I t stings a little bit, but it is football and we will try to replace that position.

Q: How do you feel Ryan Nassib is progressing?
A: I think Ryan has done a nice job. I think if Eli got dinged up in some kind of way during the season, I think he could jump in there and help us win games. I think he has done a nice job. He prepares himself as if he is going to play, so he has done a nice job.

Q: Rueben has had some ups and downs throughout his career… How do you feel about him and how comfortable with him are you right now?
A: I think Rueben gets banged on a lot. Sometimes he should get banged on, but I think he gets banged on sometimes a little too much. I think he is a good, young player and all he needs are some chances. With Odell and Victor, I think he will get plenty of chances.

10 things we learned from GM Jerry Reese by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Giants.com Interview with Giants Officials: Video clips of interviews with the following New York Giants officials at the NFL Combine are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
  • Executive Scout Steve Verderosa (Video)
  • Scout Chris Pettit (Video)

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants have no choice but to slap franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News