GIANTS CUT TWO TIGHT ENDS…
The Giants have cut tight ends Scott Simonson and Isaiah Searight, both of whom were scheduled to become free agents in a few weeks.
Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. Simonson spent time with the Raiders (2014-2015) and Carolina Panthers (2015-2017) before signing with the Giants in June 2018. He had his best season with the Giants in 2018, paying in all 16 games with four starts, finishing with nine catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. The Giants placed Simonson on Injured Reserve in August 2019 with an ankle injury, cut him from Injured Reserve in September, and re-signed him to the 53-man roster in November. He was placed on Injured Reserve again in late December with a concussion. He played in five games in 2019 with one start, catching just two passes for 11 yards.
The Giants waived/injured Searight in August 2019 with a hip injury and then placed him on Injured Reserve. Searight originally signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2019 NFL Draft as an undrafted rookie free agent but was waived/injured in May with a hamstring injury. The Giants then signed him in July.
REPORT – GIANTS ADD ANOTHER COACH… The Daily News is reporting that the Giants have hired Amos Jones as an advisory assistant to Head Coach Joe Judge. The 60-year old Jones has coached at the high school, college, and pro levels since 1981, his most recent experience serving as a special teams coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-2012), Arizona Cardinals (2013-2017), Cleveland Browns (2018), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019).
REPORT – GIANTS FIRE TWO SCOUTS… InsideTheLeague.com is reporting that the Giants have fired two of their area scouts, Ryan Jones and Donnie Etheridge. Jone had been with the team since 2000 and Etheridge since 2001.
NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE ASSISTANT COACHES…
The New York Giants have officially announced the team’s assistant coaches. The team’s coordinators – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham, Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, and Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey – were announced on January 17th.
“The first thing I was prioritizing was good coaches who had a deep concern for the players that they were going to coach,” new Head Coach Joe Judge said in the team’s press release. “It has to start with the relationship from the coach to the player and understanding that we’re working together. Next thing I was prioritizing was good teachers. We had to find guys who can paint that mental picture for a player and find a way to tap into how they learn and get the most out of them. To me, it’s a big trust factor with the guys I have on the staff. I have a personal relationship with a lot of these guys, professional relationships with nearly all of them. Guys who I have not worked with directly, I’ve competed against, I’ve known for some time. I’ve more than done my research on everybody on this staff, including the guys I’ve worked with. No stone has been unturned. I’m very excited about the group we have in here. I know they’re going to bring a lot to this organization. I know they’re going to be a great asset to the players they’re going to coach.”
The other 17 members of Judge’s 20-member staff are:
2016-2018: Assistant Quarterbacks Coach, New England Patriots
2013-2015: Coaching Assistant, New England Patriots
2007-2012: Linebackers/Special Teams Coach, Case Western Reserve University
2002-2006: Head Coach, Trinity High School (Ohio)
2000-2001: Running Backs/Special Teams Coach, John Carroll University
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: John Carroll University
Born: April 4, 1977
“Jerry is an incredible teacher,” said Judge. “He has done a phenomenal job of developing young quarterbacks in this league. He simplifies the game so the quarterback can play fast in terms of understanding our scheme and analyzing the opponent’s defense.”
Running Backs Coach Burton Burns
2020-Present: Running Backs Coach, New York Giants
2018-2019: Assistant Athletic Director for Football, University of Alabama
2007-2017: Running Backs Coach, University of Alabama
1999-2006: Running Backs Coach, Clemson University
1994-1998: Assistant Coach, Tulane University
1986-1993: Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, Saint Augustine High School (New Orleans, LA)
1981-1985: Assistant Coach, Southern University
1980: Assistant Coach, Booker T. Washington High School (New Orleans, LA)
1977-1979: Assistant Coach, Saint Augustine High School (New Orleans, LA)
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Fullback, University of Nebraska (1971-1975)
Born: October 27, 1952
“I’ve worked with Burton, so I knew first-hand the impact he has on the players he coaches,” Judge said. “He’s coached a number of great backs, he’s coached on a lot of championship teams, and he knows how to get the most out of his players. He’s tough. That’s one thing you’re going to find out about Burton right away. He’s tough. He’s hard-nosed, he coaches tough, he demands his players to play tough. But he has as deep a care for the players he coaches as anybody out there. They respond to him because they know he’s in a foxhole with them. I’m excited to have Burton here, very excited to have Burton here. I know he’s looking forward to working with the guys on the roster.”
Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
2018-Present: Wide Receivers Coach, New York Giants
2011-2017: Wide Receivers Coach, Denver Broncos
2010: Wide Receivers Coach, Carolina Panthers
2004-2009: Wide Receivers Coach, Buffalo Bills
2003: Wide Receivers Coach, Arizona Cardinals
2002: Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Florida
1999-2001: Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
1998: Tight Ends Coach, Auburn University
1995-1997: Tight Ends Coach, Northeast Louisiana University
1995: Wide Receivers Coach, Ohio University
1994: Graduate Assistant, Northeast Louisiana University
1994: Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Wide Receiver, Louisiana State University (1988-1990)
Born: September 15, 1967
“Tyke’s a guy I knew throughout the league from going against him,” Judge said. “He’s a guy that came recommended by a lot of people that I know very personally. But ultimately, the deciding factor on Tyke is you turn his tape on, and his guys play hard, they play fundamentally sound, he’s been able to develop a number of receivers in different systems, and ultimately, the video tapes are what tells you how a guy is coaching.”
Tight Ends Coach Freddie Kitchens
2020-Present: Tight Ends Coach, New York Giants
2019: Head Coach, Cleveland Browns
2018: Offensive Coordinator, Cleveland Browns
2018: Associate Head Coach/Running Backs Coach, Cleveland Browns
2017: Running Backs Coach, Arizona Cardinals
2013-2016: Quarterbacks Coach, Arizona Cardinals
2007-2012: Tight Ends Coach, Arizona Cardinals
2006: Tight Ends Coach, Dallas Cowboys
2005: Running Backs Coach, Mississippi State University
2004: Tight Ends Coach, Mississippi State University
2001-2003: Running Backs Coach, University of North Texas
2000: Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
1999: Running Backs/Tight Ends Coach, Glenville State College
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Quarterback, University of Alabama (1993-1998)
Born: November 29, 1974
“I think any position on offense is good for Freddie,” Judge said. “He’s got a lot of experience at different positions. He’s been head coach, he’s been a coordinator, he’s been a position coach. He sees it through a lot of different perspectives. What I love about Freddie is he brings an element of toughness and discipline to his room. He brings outside the box thinking a lot of times to how he approaches the game from a game plan perspective. I think he’ll be an asset to working with our offensive coaches and developing the game plan throughout the week. But ultimately, I’ve worked with Freddie, I’ve played for Freddie, and I’ve called against Freddie, and I understand what his players are about.”
Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo
2020-Present: Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
2018-2019: Offensive Line Coach, Dallas Cowboys
2016-2018: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Dallas Cowboys
Pro Experience: Offensive Tackle, Chicago Bears (2002-2005), Dallas Cowboys (2005-2010), Miami Dolphins (2011)
Collegiate Experience: Offensive Tackle, Boston College (1998-2001)
Born: October 8, 1978
“Continuity is very important, especially between the offensive coordinator and the offensive line coach, that they can be on the same page starting out,” Judge said. “One of the challenges of a new staff is getting on the same page and working through some of the differences that maybe we’ve had from past experiences but making sure we’re working to one goal. I’d say with Marc, the deciding factor wasn’t his past experience with Jason. The deciding factor was he’s a tremendous coach. His body of work as you turn on the tape and watch how his guys play with technique, execution and toughness is ultimately what the deciding factor was.”
Assistant Offensive Line Coach Ben Wilkerson
2018-Present: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
2015-2017: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Chicago Bears
2014: Assistant Football and Track Coach, North Shore Senior High School (Texas)
2012-2013: Offensive Line Coach, Grambling State University
2011: Offensive Administrative Intern, Louisiana State University
2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
Pro Experience: Offensive Lineman, Cincinnati Bengals (2005-2006), Atlanta Falcons (2007-2008), Florida Tuckers (2009)
Collegiate Experience: Offensive Lineman, Louisiana State University (2001-2004)
Born: November 22, 1982
Senior Offensive Assistant Derek Dooley
2020-Present: Senior Offensive Assistant, New York Giants
2018-2019: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, University of Missouri
2013-2017: Wide Receivers Coach, Dallas Cowboys
2010-2012: Head Coach, University of Tennessee
2007-2009: Head Coach, Louisiana Tech University
2005-2006: Tight Ends Coach, Miami Dolphins
2004: Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, Louisiana State University
2003: Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, Louisiana State University
2000-2002: Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Louisiana State University
1997-1999: Wide Receivers Coach/Co-Recruiting Coordinator, Southern Methodist University
1996: Graduate Assistant, University of Georgia
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Wide Receiver, University of Virginia (1987-1990)
Born: June 10, 1968
Offensive Assistant Stephen Brown
2020-Present: Offensive Assistant, New York Giants
2016-2019: Offensive Assistant, Dallas Cowboys
2013-2014: Assistant to the Head Coach/Special Teams Assistant, Buffalo Bills
2009-2012: Quality Control Coach/Director of Recruiting, Syracuse University
2006-2008: Student Assistant, University of Tennessee
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: None
Born: May 3, 1987
Offensive Quality Control Coach Bobby Blick
2020-Present: Offensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
2017-2019: Defensive Assistant, New York Giants
2016: Director of Player Personnel, Army
2015: Special Teams Coordinator/Director of Recruiting, Samford University
2014: Tight Ends/Slot Receivers Coach, Samford University
2014: Special Teams Quality Control Coach, Georgia Tech
2011-2013: Tight Ends/Running Backs Coach, Elon University
2008-2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant, North Carolina State University
2004-2007: Undergraduate Assistant, North Carolina State University
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: None
Born: September 8, 1984
Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer
2020-Present: Defensive Line Coach, New York Giants
2018-2019: Associate Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach, Penn State University
2014-2017: Defensive Line Coach, Penn State University
2011-2013: Defensive Line Coach, Vanderbilt University
2009-2010: Defensive Line Coach, Bowling Green State University
2007-2008: Defensive Line Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, University of Massachusetts
2006: Defensive Line Coach, Hofstra University
2005: Linebackers Coach, Villanova University
2004: Defensive Line Coach, College of the Holy Cross
2001-2003: Defensive Line Coach, University of Massachusetts
2000: Defensive Line Coach, Trinity College
1998-1999: Running Backs Coach, Trinity College
1996-1997: Running Backs Coach, Shippensburg University
1995: Running Backs/Tight Ends Coach, Wesleyan University
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Safety, Clarion University
Born: December 15, 1970
“I’ve known Sean through the business,” Judge said. “The most impressive thing about Sean is the players he’s developed through his time at both Vanderbilt and Penn State, among other stops in his career. Sean has a great energy about him, he has great command within a room, his players respond to him, they play hard and they play fundamentally sound.”
2020-Present: Outside Linebacker Coach/Senior Assistant, New York Giants
2019: Defensive Line Coach, New England Patriots
2018: Consultant to the Head Coach, New England Patriots
2013-2017: Head Coach, University of Arkansas
2006-2012: Head Coach, University of Wisconsin
2004-2005: Defensive Coordinator, University of Wisconsin
1996-2001: Linebackers Coach, University of Iowa
1994-1995: Graduate Assistant, University of Iowa
2002-2003: Co-Defensive Coordinator, Kansas State University
Pro Experience: Milwaukee Mustangs (1994)
Collegiate Experience: Defensive Lineman, University of Iowa (1989-1992)
Born: January 13, 1970
“There’s a lot of things (to like) about Bret,” Judge said. “I think Bret brings a great personality to the group, brings a great perspective on how he sees the game, he’s coached the front for some time, he’s coordinated defenses at a high level. Players respond to Bret in a positive way. He has a great way of teaching, he has a great way of getting the guys motivated, and he gets the most out of his players. He brings experience from the NFL, as well as college, so not only does he understand what’s going on in the league now, he understands what the players coming from college are used to and how to better translate the trends they’re going to see.”
Inside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer
2020-Present: Inside Linebackers Coach, New York Giants
2019: Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach, University of Tennessee
2018: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach, University of Tennessee
2014-2017: Outside Linebackers Coach, University of Georgia
2013: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of South Alabama
2010-2012: Director of Player Development, University of Alabama
2007-2009: Defensive Coordinator, Hoover High School (Alabama)
2005-2006: Defensive Assistant, Hoover High School (Alabama)
2001-2004: Defensive Backs Coach, Spain Park High School (Alabama)
1998-2000: Graduate Assistant, University of Alabama
1996-1997: Assistant, Tuscaloosa County High School (Alabama)
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Tight End, University of Alabama (1993-1995)
Born: March 19, 1973
“Kevin is just an old ball coach,” Judge said. “When I met Kevin, he was coaching at Hoover High School in Alabama. The next year, he was on the staff with us at Alabama. I’ve watched him progress through his career as defensive coordinator at South Alabama, his time in Georgia, his time in Tennessee. I think Kevin is a phenomenal football coach, and he coaches from the ground up with fundamentals, his players play sound and they play hard.”
Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson
2020-Present: Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
2016-2019: Defensive Passing Game Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
2007: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach/Director of Player Development, New York Jets
2006: Director of Player Development, New York Jets
Pro Experience: Cornerback, New England Patriots (1991-1993), Buffalo Bills (1993-1994), Philadelphia Eagles (1995), New England Patriots (1996), New York Jets (1997-1998)
Collegiate Experience: Cornerback, Clemson University (1987-1990)
Born: August 8, 1969
“Jerome has a great resume, he’s coached a lot of good players in a lot of good schemes,” Judge said. “I think the more you check around with Jerome, I talked to guys that he coached, the way they responded to him and the way they respected him in the room definitely said a lot about him as a coach.”
Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Anthony Blevins
2020-Present: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
2018-2019: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
2012: Cornerbacks Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2011: Special Teams Coach/Cornerbacks Coach, Tennessee State University
2009-2010: Cornerbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Tennessee State University
2008: Cornerbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Tennessee-Martin
2005-2007: Graduate Assistant, Mississippi State University
2003-2004: Defensive Backs/Running Backs Coach, Meadow Creek High School (Georgia)
Pro Experience: Defensive Back, Mobile Admirals (1999), Birmingham Steeldogs (2000), Birmingham Thunderbolts (2001)
Collegiate Experience: Cornerback, University of Alabama at Birmingham (1994-1998)
Born: July 23, 1976
“I’ve known Blev for some time now, and he’s coached on all three sides of the ball,” Judge said. “He brings great experience that he can contribute to a lot of different parts of developing players. One thing you learn working with the special teams is you’re learning how to develop techniques of a total player. He could easily have gone over to the offense and worked with a skilled position. He could have stayed on special teams and have been an asset. We thought right now, the best fit for Blev was to help with our defense and bring some experience he brought from the other sides of the ball and work with Jerome.”
Defensive Assistant Jody Wright
2020-Present: Defensive Assistant, New York Giants
2019: Offensive Assistant, Cleveland Browns
2018: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2015-2017: Director of Player Personnel, University of Alabama
2014: Running Backs Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2013: Passing Game Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach, Jacksonville State University
2010-2012: Graduate Assistant/Offensive Analyst, University of Alabama
2009: Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations, Mississippi State University
2006-2008: Graduate Assistant, Mississippi State University
2005: Volunteer Coach, Mississippi State University
2002-2004: Student Assistant Coach, Jacksonville State University
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: None
Born: July 21, 1981
Defensive Quality Control Coach Mike Treier
2020-Present: Defensive Quality Control Coach, New York Giants
2019: Safeties Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Marshall University
2018: Defensive Backs Coach, Marshall University
2017: Defensive Analyst, Marshall University
2016: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach, University of Tennessee at Martin
2014-2015: Graduate Assistant, Marshall University
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: None
Born: May 9, 1990
Assistant Special Teams Coach Tom Quinn
2018-Present: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
2007-2017: Special Teams Coordinator, New York Giants
2006: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
2004-2005: Special Teams/Outside Linebackers Coach, Stanford University
2002-2003: Special Teams/Tight Ends Coach, Stanford University
1999-2001: Special Teams/Linebackers/Tight Ends Coach, San Jose State University
1996-1998: Defensive Coordinator, College of the Holy Cross
1995: Defensive Coordinator, Boston University
1992-1994: Special Teams Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, James Madison University
1991: Linebackers Coach, Davidson College
Pro Experience: None
Collegiate Experience: Linebacker, University of Arizona (1986-1990)
Born: January 27, 1968
“The experience is important, but the success is more important,” Judge said. “(McGaughey and Quinn have) been doing it at a high success rate for a long time. The fact that they had a relationship working together already, I had a relationship with both guys from going against them and have known them within the profession for some time now. T-Mac and Tom do a tremendous job. I love the way they relate to the players, I love the way they coach their guys. You know when you go against their units that they’re going to be sound and they’re going to play hard, and that’s critical. I have a lot of respect for both of them.”
JOE JUDGE INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Joe Judge was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at a press conference on Thursday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Good afternoon and welcome. We began our search for a new head coach immediately after our season ended. I just wanted to make a few comments about that process. This was the deepest and most talented group of candidates that I’ve ever seen, and as a number of you have made note of, I’ve had quite a bit of experience in recent years in interviewing coaching candidates. We liked all of the coaches that we interviewed, we did not eliminate any of them from consideration. All of them made a great impression and were really interested in this job. We would have been pleased to have had any one of them as our head coach. For me, our search ended on Monday afternoon when we finished our session with Joe Judge. I have to tell you that this was perhaps the best coach interview that I have ever been a part of. When Steve (Tisch) met with him on Tuesday morning, he felt just as strongly as we did. Joe is someone who has certainly been on our radar for the last couple of years. When a coach works under Nick Saban and then finds his way onto Bill Belichick’s staff, that’s something that you take note of. Joe has been a part of three Super Bowls with New England and two National Championships with Nick Saban at Alabama. What came through in the interview was his poise, his confidence, his leadership, his knowledge of the game, what it takes to build a winning program, his ability to relate to players, and then of course, his work ethic. He’s a teacher, he’s a communicator, he’s somebody who demands and commands respect, and he just has a certain presence about him. For all of those reasons, on behalf of the Mara and Tisch families, I am very pleased to introduce Joe Judge as the new Head Coach of the New York Giants.
Remarks by Head Coach Joe Judge
Joe Judge’s Opening Statement: Thank you. First, I’d like to start by thanking the Mara and the Tisch families, Mr. Gettleman, Kevin Abrams, for this wonderful opportunity. I do not take it lightly the position I’m in and the people, the city, and the region I represent. I’d like to thank my family, my wife, my mother, my children, all of my close friends who have made each step of this process to enable me to be where I am today, which is just another step in the process of where we’re trying to go. I’d like to thank all of my former coaches that I have ever played or worked under for building in me the foundation of fundamentals that has allowed me to teach and instruct at a high level, to again put me in this position. I would like to start with (New England Patriots Head Coach) Coach Belichick, and (Alabama Football Head Coach) Coach Saban, (Former New England Patriots Special Teams) Coach Scotty O’Brien, (Former Mississippi State Special Teams and Linebackers) Coach Amos Jones, (Former Mississippi State Head Coach) Coach Sylvester Croom, (Former Mississippi State Head Coach) Coach Jackie Sherrill and (Former Lansdale Catholic High Football Coach) Coach Jim Algeo. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my own father, who was my first coach and taught me the most important lesson is you hold those you expect the most from at the highest standard. Now, I would also like to thank all of the players who ever played under me. They gave everything, that’s what I expect. I was very demanding, and I’ll continue to be demanding. But, you expect the players to be held to a certain standard and for all of the ones who have ever played under me to this point, I appreciate your work and your sacrifice to allow me to have this opportunity that I have today, and it’s just an opportunity. I have to make the most of it. That starts today.
Now, there is a question out there that I’m sure a lot of people are asking, and that’s number one – who am I? Well, maybe I can explain that a little bit better, but instead of saying, ‘Who am I,’ by telling you what’s relevant in this conversation with being the coach of the New York Giants— what I’m about. What I’m about is an old school physical mentality. We’re going to put a product on the field that the people of this city and region are going to be proud of because this team will represent this area. We will play fast, we will play downhill, we will play aggressive. We will punch you in the nose for 60 minutes, we will play every play like it has a history and a life of its own, with a relentless, competitive attitude. We will play fundamentally sound, we will not beat ourselves. That is our mission right here. I’m about caring for the players in the locker room. Let’s not forget there’s a human element to this game. Let’s not think that in professional sports that paying a pay check to somebody makes it absent of empathy. We need to make sure that we take care of the players in our locker room, that we treat them the right way, that we teach them the correct techniques, and that we put them in the right situations to be successful. We’re going to ask these men to come in and give everything they have every day. We’re going to demand it, and we appreciate everything they give us. It’s our responsibility to take care of them on a daily basis and make sure that when they are done with our game, they are better furthered for the rest of their career as a father, a husband, and a professional in whatever avenue they take.
Now, what this team’s going to look like. I mentioned earlier, I want this team to reflect this area. I want the people that pay their hard-earned money and the neighborhoods of New York, North Jersey, South Jersey, to come to our games and know that the players on the field play with the same attitude they wake up with every morning. That is blue collar, it’s hard work, it’s in your face. We’re not going to back down from anybody. We’re going to come to work every day and grind it out the way they do in their jobs every day, and they can invest their money in our program knowing it’s worthwhile. They put a Giants uniform on, they put a Giants hat or jersey on, that it’s not representing just the 53 on the field, but it’s representing their neighborhoods, their communities and their families with the values they have instilled in their children.
Now, at this moment, my priorities are pretty simple. I have an outsider’s view of this team, I’ve competed against the Giants, I’ve studied this team from the outside looking in, preparing myself for this job and opportunity, but I have to make myself fluent in a language within the building. I have to study the players, I have to evaluate the current coaching staff and give everybody a fair evaluation to make sure we make the right decisions, that I have a clear vision of what the path going forward needs to be, to help these players progress the correct way. Relative to staff, I do not have a staff in place. Yes, I have some names in mind, but we will talk to everybody, we will take our time. My priority is to put the right men around these players that they can come to work every day, they can be coached hard, they can be taught. I want good people. Before anything, if you’re going to work in an organization, you’re a good person. I don’t want any alternative agendas, I’m making that clear right now. There is not going to be a coach in our organization who has nothing but the best interest in the players at hand and isn’t going to come to work every day and put their butt on the line for the guys who are going to work hard for them. I want teachers, not presenters. I don’t want someone who looks fancy in front of the screen that can say it with a lot of different sales lines. I want teachers, I want old school people who can get to our players and give them the mental image of what it’s supposed to look like. I want them to demonstrate on a daily basis the work ethic of what it’s going to take to do it successfully day in and day out. Because over the course of six months of this season, it takes day in and day out to be successful. The margins of error in this league are too small. You cannot get by with some kind of magic scheme or new gimmick or think you’ve reinvented the wheel. The same things win football games that have always won football games. It’s fundamentals. Those fundamentals will start for us in the classroom. They’ll start with being in meetings on time, they’ll start with being on the field on time in the proper dress. They’ll start with knowing your playbook, they’ll start with being out there and stretching the right way and warming your body up the right way that you prevent any kind of soft tissue injuries on the field. Then they’ll carry over to the fundamentals on the field—it’s running, it’s tackling, it’s ball security. It’s a contact sport, you can’t get around that. It’s meant to be a physical game. It’s for tough people. We will practice with a physical attitude. We will practice in pads, we will practice live tackling—not to make a statement that we’re trying to be tough. We’re going to practice live tackling because I believe in doing it safely. You want to make your players safer, you start by instructing them how to do it. We’re going to work on everything we do. Everything we ask them to do at full speed on Sunday at a competitive level we’re going to make sure that we have practiced, corrected, and re-practiced before they have to do it at a live pace. There are not going to be shortcuts with what we have to do. It’s a tough division, it’s a tough division and the city is full of tough people and they expect to see a program, they expect to see a product, that represents them. I’m going to do everything in my power, every day, to make sure the people of this city and this area turn on the TV or sit in the stadium seats and are proud to say that we’re their New York Giants. Now, from this point forward, any questions you may have I’d be happy to answer to the best of my ability.
Q: You said yesterday in the statement that you guys were in conversation about where this team is and where it is headed and how you’re going to get there. My question is— how are you going to get there? A: Well, exactly what I just said a second ago. We’re going to start by showing up on time, by having a plan, for executing that plan. It’s going to be fundamentals. I’ll tell you this right now, and I’m sure it’s going to come up somewhere along the line—I’m not going to be the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator, or the special teams coordinator. I’ll work with all three sides of the ball. But, the primary focus I’m going to have as the head coach is I’m going to make sure we are fundamentally sound, we are situationally aware, and that we play with a relentless effort.
Q: I’m curious about your conversations with Dave Gettleman and your conversation about personnel, your input, his input, and how that relationship is going to work as you coach this team. A: I couldn’t have been more excited walking in here than sitting down with Mr. Gettleman. It’s been tremendous. Listen, from a scout’s view, from a coach’s view, the one thing that I’ve been privileged to do is my role in New England when I first went there was heavy on personnel. Being a special teams coach, you have to know every player on your team inside and out because you have to know who you can use with a limited menu. It’s kind of like when you’re hungry, you go to the fridge, your Dad says figure out a way to make a sandwich. You know it’s in there, but you’ve got to find a way because you’ve got to eat. So, I’ve got to know what everybody does so I can put those ingredients together and get the most out of it. So, what I’ve prepared myself for was leading into every draft I studied every player in the draft as a player and an athlete. I didn’t look at them as a receiver, I didn’t look at them as a tight end, I didn’t look at them as a linebacker. I want to know how they moved— are they stiff in the hips, are they a straight-line speed guy, do they use their hands, what kind of short area quickness do they have, what kind of top end speed do they have, do they turn down contact. So, I’m used to looking at things from a big picture perspective on players in terms of what they bring to the team as a whole. You can turn around and say, ‘How good is this guy as a running back?’ Well, there’s different kinds of running backs. I want to know what kind of athlete this man is and how we can use his toolset to our advantage.
Q: Obviously an outside perspective, what is your first impression of Daniel Jones from his rookie season, and then for his offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, what are you looking for from a coaching perspective? A: So, I’m going to answer both of those questions, and I don’t want to be confused in this, I want to make sure I make this clear, again, I have an outsider’s perspective. We have a lot of talent on this roster. It’s been assembled that way for a reason, I don’t want to sit here and try to give you expert analysis without having done my due diligence and homework to sit down and thoroughly investigate each one of these players. They all have ability. I’m excited to work with every player on our roster. Every player on our roster has talent, and every player on our roster will compete for whatever they get. Nothing will be handed out. In terms of the coaches, again, I want to reference back to I’m looking for teachers. I’m sure the next question is going to be something relative to, ‘What I look for in the offensive system?’ Well, I can answer that of all three systems—offense, defense, and special teams. Our philosophy is going to be to put pressure on the opponent to prepare for multiple things. Within that, we have to have personnel versatility and we have to have flexibility schematically to make sure that whoever we play, we can adjust our game plan to maximize our strengths versus their weaknesses. So, while there may be some games that we throw the ball 50 times, there’s going to be other times we may throw it 10 times and run the ball 45 times. So, I don’t have a crystal ball, Miss Cleo can help you better with that, but we’re going to look for the best system to help us week by week.
Q: Clearly, the Giants were very impressed with your work with two great coaches, Saban and Belichick, and that’s looked great for you on the resume. How are you different from them? The big thing everybody wants to know is, you’re not those guys, how are you your own man? A: Well, I think when you work with anybody, you try to grow as much as you can from them. You’re going to always have the opportunity to learn lessons if you pay attention and are willing to learn something new. I worked for two great coaches, Coach Belichick and Coach Saban, and there wasn’t a day I went to work that I didn’t come home with a full new education and I knew fully every day that there were coaches out there that would pay thousands of dollars to sit in a staff meeting and just hear the wisdom they were saying on a daily basis. I’d like to think I was not foolish enough to squander that. Both have a very unique style about them. Both have a world of knowledge. Both have a lot of the same philosophical views, and a lot of the same values. What I learned from Coach Saban was not an individual lesson. What I learned from Coach Saban is it’s important to address everybody, not only on the what they have to do, but how it should look, what we’re going to do to get there, and why it’s important. And what you find out when you’re coaching players, they’re not robots, and if they understand what the end result is supposed to look like and why it’s important, normally those players are going to take the principles you instilled in them and in the game make a player’s adjustment, and you’re going to learn more from the players than they are as a coach because they’re going to find a better way to do it in the heat of the moment with a certain adjustment. And as a coach, you have to have your eyes open enough to understand they’re making the correct adjustment, you have to find another way to teach in the future to give multiple options. That’s what I learned from Coach Saban, and that applied across the board. That was whether you’re dealing with a person, a player in recruiting, developing a player on the field, or schematics in a game. You better make sure everyone knows the full picture of what you’re looking for. What I learned from Coach Belichick was real simple—be flexible within your personnel. Don’t try to shove round pegs into square holes. Figure out what you have. Let them play to their strengths. Don’t sit in a meeting and tell me what you don’t have in a player. Don’t tell me they can’t do certain things, tell me what they can do and then we’ll figure out as coaches, because that’s our job, how we can use that. That’s our responsibility. Everybody has something they can do. How many castoffs do you see around the league in the NFL on another team that everyone says, ‘Wow, how’d they get that out of them?’ Maybe they just weren’t closing their eyes to what they could do. We have to, as a coaching staff when we get assembled, we have to make sure we’re sitting down, we’re patient with our players, we fully evaluate them, we find out what they can do to be an asset, and that we’re not foolish enough to not use them.
Q: A lot of fans look at this hire and they regarded you as a non-prominent name. There were a lot of prominent names that a lot of fans out there wanted, maybe more so than you, so what do you think of the notion, what do you say to the notion that you’re not the preferred choice for a lot of fans? A: To be completely honest with you, I’m not really concerned about whoever interviewed for this job. All I’m concerned about is the opportunity I have in front of me and what I have to do going forward. And I’m going to tell my players the same thing, it doesn’t matter how you got there, it doesn’t matter how high-profile you may be or may not be, it’s what you do on a daily basis. If you’re in a position, earn it. Earn it every day. And I appreciate the opportunity, I’m working every day to earn it. And our players have to do the same thing. The best players will play. I don’t care where you got drafted, I don’t care if you’re an undrafted free agent, I don’t care if you’re old, young, traded, whatever you got there for. Everybody will have an opportunity every day to compete for a job on our roster. Every day. If you want to be on the field, be the best player. Outwork the guy in front of you. Prove your value to us, show you can handle the job, and we’re going to put you on the field and give you an opportunity.
Q: Could a culture—and I completely concede it’s an overused work, but I don’t know another better word to use in this example—when you look at taking over the New York Giants, what culture do you want to have in the locker room, and how will you go about making sure that is there? A: The only culture we’re going to have in that building, period, is a winning culture. And what that means is everybody comes to work every day, regardless of how they feel, and puts the team first, period. Whatever you have going on outside the building, you’re sick, a little bit of pain, you have discomfort, you’re upset, you’re mad, put all that aside. You come in, you put the team first. We’re going to ask our players at times to do things that necessarily may not be what they have in mind for themselves. But if it’s best for the team, they have to be willing to go forward with it, because that’s what a winning culture is.
Q: You’ve mentioned teaching a lot—I know you have a background in teaching. Could you just elaborate on how you plan to teach, and what you look for in teachers alike? A: Well, I would say teaching is just to inspire learning. And I think what we have to do is, we have to identify how our players learn. Everybody learns different. Everyone learns different. We have to make sure that when we teach we hit the full spectrum of students in the classroom, the full spectrum of our players. We can’t just teach in an old school or a certain way. We have to find whatever’s helpful for these guys to take the information and apply it on the field. Now, whether that may be old school lectures for some guys, or that’s more visual evidence through tape for other guys, or maybe that’s on their feet through walk-thrus for some others, we’re going to as much as what’s necessary to make sure we’re checking the box on every guy. And as a coaching staff, I expect our coaches to know who’s up to speed on what. Don’t tell me you taught the whole room and one guy screwed it up. I want to know what you did to hit that guy. You figure out what he’s a little behind on and you make up the difference. Figure it out, that’s your job. So, to me a teacher is, we talk about no child left behind, but I’m going to tell you right now, if you’re in our locker room, you’re going to get coached. We’re not leaving anyone behind in here. So, I want people that are going to treat the player as a person, find out what makes them tick, what inspires their learning, and make sure we accomplish it every day.
Q: We know about the endorsement that Coach Belichick gave ownership here about you. I’m curious, yes, it’s sort of two-fold, but one, what advice he had for you if you consulted with him and how that went? And I would like to kind of flip side, of all the things on your resume, you haven’t actually been a head coach if I’m correct? A: You’re absolutely correct in that. I’ve been a kindergarten PE teacher, I have not been a head coach (laughter).
Q: So, just how you sort of sold them with that asterisk on the resume that you were ready to be a head coach. A: So, I’ll start with the first one, the question about Belichick and his advice. I’ll be honest with you, the only advice I really sought from him as far as this opportunity, he told me just be yourself. And that’s all I know how to be. I think one of the things people ask me a lot is, ‘You worked for Coach Saban, Coach Belichick, what makes you different?’ Look, I’m myself. I’m going to be myself every time. If I’m anything else, everyone’s going to see straight through it. And if you lie to the team, you’re going to lose the team immediately. So, I’m going to always be myself. And that’s a little bit different than other people and that’s fine. I’m not trying to emulate anyone I’ve ever worked for, I’m trying to take what I’ve learned from them and what matches with my own belief structure and do it with my own personality. The second part of the question, as far as being a head coach, you can’t fabricate that experience. And as a young head coach, I’m going to lean on Dave Gettleman, I’m going to lean on the assistants I hire, I’m going to lean on having the right people in the building to fill in some of the blanks that I may have. I’m about transparency and honesty, so I need men in my building who are going to walk in my office and tell me the truth, and we can be on the same page. Now, we may have some disagreements at times, but we’re going to walk out on that field with those players and all have the same vision, same voice, and be on the same page. Relative to how to handle a team, I can tell you that with the experience I’ve had, I feel prepared as being a head coach. From a personnel standpoint, I talked earlier, I have to evaluate everyone from the draft, I have to know who the players in the locker room are. Not just as an athlete in that regard, but personally, because a special teams coach, it’s not just point and click and say go do it. There’s a lot of recruiting that happens at certain times, and you have to find out how every player ticks. And everyone responds differently at different times. And you’ve got your core guys that show up to work and they know they pay their light bill and they’re going to do it every day. But there comes a time where you have to go ahead and go to the starting quarterback and say, ‘Hey buddy, I need you to be the holder this week because we have an issue with an injury.’ You may have to go to a guy that’s a starting linebacker and say, ‘I need you to start on punt team for me this week. You haven’t done it since training camp, but we need you.’ Or you have to go to a guy in the middle of a game and tell him he now has to cover a kick on kickoff. The thing is you have to get to those people early on and develop a relationship with them, a relationship with the entire team to have them trust you to know that you have their best interest at hand and the team’s best interest at hand. So, when you come to them and you ask them to form a task, they trust you that what you’re asking them to do is going to benefit them individually, and as a team collectively. Along with that, look, I’ve had the experience and it’s been beneficial—I get to stand in front of the room every day and coach every player. Every player. When we’re at 90, it’s all 90. When we’re at 53, it’s 53, plus the 10 on practice squad. So, in different adages, I’ve been able to address the team every day. And again, you can’t address the team all in one message. You have to make sure you’re hitting everybody in the room. So, you gain the experience of what the pulse of the team is and what makes them tick. You’re not always addressing them after wins. A lot of times you’ve got to walk in after a tough loss. A lot of times you’ve got to walk in after a tough loss where maybe your unit didn’t play as well as it should have, and you have to grab the attention of those players and not only tell them how we have to correct what was wrong, but why they have to trust you going forward. So, there’s been a lot of experience through the years of having to do that on a daily basis. Special teams, one thing you’ve got to manage is time. Another thing is people. As a head coach, those are the two main things you have to manage, time and people. So, I’ve had experience preparing me for that. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not preparing to sit here and tell you a lie like I have all the answers. But I am telling you I’ll find out the ones I don’t know and make sure by the time we get to the players, they’re the right ones.
Q: This was obviously a goal of yours to become a head coach. Was there anything specific that you did to prepare for this? How much did you talk about being a head coach with Bill to learn how to become a head coach in the process? A: I think Bill understood my desire to become a head coach because of my involvement overall in a complete team. I never talked about becoming a head coach or walked around and advertised that as a specific goal. To be completely honest with you, I didn’t have a goal this year, specifically right now, of being a head coach right now. This opportunity is very unique. When I received the call from the Giants that they would like to interview me, that was very exciting. There’s 32 teams in this league, that’s not a lot. The reality is there are very few that have a chance at winning, the reality of that is there are very few of those that have a chance at winning that have tradition and history behind them. I don’t take this lightly, there’s not 32 great programs in this league. The truth is the Giants are one of (them) at the top, that’s what makes this job intriguing.
Q: In this interview, was there a moment when it clicked that your vision and the Giants ownership and front office’s vision aligned? What was it like the morning when you found at you were getting the job. Where were you, how did you feel at that moment? A: I’ll go backwards on that. When I received the phone call and Mr. Mara offered me the job, it was very exciting, it was very humbling. I was actually sitting in my office in Gillette Stadium at the time, I had returned the night before from the interview and basically went in the next day to resume work like I would normally do and make sure I was prepared for what was coming up next. It was very humbling, I think when you get past the initial wave of excitement, and then you realize the task at hand you have, you realize that it’s time to go to work. There’s people depending on you and that’s a humbling feeling. You have to show up every day and do your absolute best because everyone is depending on you to do your absolute best, anything less won’t be acceptable. Without going into too many details about the interview, I would say when we spoke about discipline on the team, that’s something very important to me. I think you need to have the fundamental foundation of discipline on your team, that you hold players accountable. It’s important to have good people in your locker room. It’s a family business for our ownership and it’s a family business for myself. My children have all been born in this business. Knowing that your passion is football, that your desire to win is what you truly love and that benefits your family and you’re representing something bigger than yourself. That moment right there is when it really clicked that this is where I belong and where I want to be.
Q: You just mentioned your family. What was their reaction, specifically your wife and kids, when you got the job? A: Very exciting, they were very excited. I have a 14-year-old who stays as current as he can on everything. So he is already looking to make GM moves, sorry Mr. Gettleman. He was telling me about the roster when I came home and things we can do. I have an 11-year-old who was kind of speechless when we told him at school, we pulled him out of class to let him know, he couldn’t have been more excited. I’ve got a 9-year-old back there, Emma Riley, and she has a gymnastics meet in Manhattan in a few weeks. She’s been talking about that all fall. Now she gets to have her meet but it’s also her new home, that’s a little bit extra special for her. I haven’t really broken the news yet to Ella because she doesn’t know she has to move but she is very excited to be a part of the Giants.
Q: When you talked about taking the job you said you wanted to be old school. Is that the way you were brought up or is that something that you learned from Belichick and Saban? It sounds very much like Parcells and Coughlin. A: We used to have posters when I was in kindergarten about sharing and telling the truth and being polite and all that stuff. The thing that I really learned from the great coaches later in my career was really that they reinforced everything that I learned early in my career. That it’s really the basics that carry over. There’s some minutia that gets caught up when you get into the flow of things. Everyone thinks there’s some guru out there with a magical scheme, everyone thinks there’s some short cut to being good. Everything I learned from coach Belichick and coach Saban reinforced on a daily basis that it’s the fundamentals. You don’t build the Empire State Building by washing the windows, you build it with the foundation and work it on up. Whatever your goal is at hand, you can put that in the distance and start working day by day to take a step forward.
Q: You hear coaches talk about how this is a timing business and sometimes you take an opportunity and you take it a year too soon or a year too late. Why is the timing right for you now to be standing here as the new head coach of the Giants? A: The only thing that’s relevant to me on this is the opportunity with the New York Giants. The timing is now and that’s the only time that is relevant to me.
Q: I know you said you haven’t studied all the players yet. Obviously, you know a little bit about the roster and that there hasn’t been a lot of winning around here recently. How quickly do you think you can turn this around? How big of a job is it to get this back on track? A: To try to get any team to win in this league is a tough job, they are all tough jobs. Every team is good, they are coached well, they have talent. There is a lot of parity in this league, it’s structured and built that way. Every job in this league has a tough job trying to get a win. I’m not into making predictions about wins. I’m a process-built guy, you focus on the process and you worry about the steps in place you have to execute to get to the end result. I’m not going to circle a number on my board and say we have to get to X number of wins to be successful. I’m worried about when these guys walk into the building in mid-April, what we have to do with them to get them working in the right direction to build from the ground up.
Q: A big part of your job will be dealing with reporters and especially answering questions after games. Just to kind of kick start that process, I’m curious in the last game, what went into the decision not to have someone returning that last punt? A: I’m not going to get into any specific decisions on schematics. I can assure it was discussions we had before the game and we called it according to what we thought gave our team the best opportunity to win. I appreciate the question. At this point, I’m really looking forward to everything we are doing with the New York Giants. That’s a question that’s probably better fit for Foxborough.
Q: You mentioned something about the things you learned in kindergarten that stayed with you. What did you actually learn by teaching kindergarten? A: When I got done being a GA (Graduate Assistant) at Mississippi State, which when you are a GA, it’s basically volunteering to be tortured and it’s the best experience you can ever have. I washed cars, I got coffee, I built playsets, I did everything I could do and on top of that, I got to coach football and learn. They kind of paid me 700 bucks a month, which didn’t even cover the rent even in Mississippi. What I learned coaching PE for three days in the West Point School District was the patience you have to have with children. I think I had five or six classes a day in a classroom, it wasn’t a gymnasium, it was a classroom. These kids would come in and I realized I had to have an organized plan with these kids that covered the full 60 minutes I had them. If I let any detail in that plan go to waste, it was going to be chaos. I had kids dancing on the window sills, I had kids peeing themselves, I had kids doing everything. I figured out you have to keep them busy. You have to be detailed and prepared on the front end to make sure that regardless of who your audience is or who your classroom is, you have to have something to keep them busy and occupy them mentally and stimulated that they want to participate in what you are trying to accomplish.
Video of Joe Judge’s post-introductory press conference remarks is also available at Giants.com.
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. The video is available at Giants.com.
DAVE GETTLEMAN’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of General Manager Dave Gettleman’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.
REPORT – THOMAS McGAUGHEY WILL REMAIN SPECIAL TEAMS COODINATOR… SiriusXMNFL Radio is reporting that Thomas McGaughey, who was hired as special teams coordinator by Pat Shurmur in 2018, will remain in the same position under new Head Coach Joe Judge.
NEW YORK GIANTS INTERVIEW KRIS RICHARD…
The New York Giants officially confirmed that they interviewed Dallas Cowboys Defensive Backs Coach/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard for the team’s head-coaching vacancy on Thursday. The Giants said Richard met with team President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara, General Manager Dave Gettleman, Vice President of Football Operations and Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams, and “other staff.”
“A very impressive guy and we really enjoyed our time with him,” Gettleman said on WFAN later in the day.
The 40-year old Richard has served as Dallas’ defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator since 2018. Before that he served in a variety of roles with the Seattle Seahawks, including defensive coordinator (2015-2017), defensive backs coach (2012-2014), cornerbacks coach (2011), and assistant defensive backs coach (2010).
According to media reports, the Giants have also set up interviews with the following head-coaching candidates on Friday and Saturday:
FRIDAY: Former Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy
SATURDAY: Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
SATURDAY: Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale
Per previous media reports, the Giants have also requested to meet with:
New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels
New England Patriots Special Teams Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Joe Judge
DAVE GETTLEMAN HITS THE AIRWAVES…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman was interviewed by the following stations on Thursday:
DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media on Tuesday (video):
Opening statement: Good morning. Before we begin, I would like to wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year. Over the past weeks, there has been much speculation over the futures of Pat Shurmur and myself. Every day is a job interview in this industry and we accept that. So, I understand the question of why was Pat dismissed and I was not. Just to be clear, there were substantive discussions between myself and ownership regarding my job performance and vision moving forward over the past few weeks. So, John (Mara) and Steve (Tisch) made their decisions and here I stand. Before we go any further, I just want to be clear— Pat Shurmur is as fine a man as I’ve ever worked with. There are many reasons why the New York Football Giants are in the current state, and I take my share of culpability. As John said yesterday, I have had misses. However, given where we started in December of ’17, we’ve made progress in many areas on and off the field that we are encouraged by and see as a sound foundation for the team to come. Finally, one more point before I take questions, the person in this position must be willing to make tough decisions and I have certainly shown the willingness to do so. However, be assured, no decision is made in a vacuum. We believe in collaboration among ownership, coaching and personnel. With that, I will take questions.
Q: What is the state of the franchise? Is it about now, is it about the future, is it about patience, is it about urgency?
A: We feel like we’ve addressed it. When I came here, I had two major goals. Number one was to find a quarterback, and I really believe we’ve done that. Daniel (Jones) had a terrific year, came on, did some great things and we have seen great things for him in the future. The second accomplishment I had as my goal was to set the team up for sustained success. So, over time since I’ve been here, we have regenerated, we have rebooted, so to speak, and done a lot of things behind the scenes that needed to be done. John alluded to them yesterday. We have completely redone our scouting situation, how we look at college personnel, how we look at pro personnel. We are in the process, we have hired four computer folks, software, and we are completely redoing the backend of our college and pro scouting systems. As John alluded to yesterday, we have hired a fulltime clinician. We are doing a lot of things behind the scenes. In terms of being forward thinking, we have also in the last few years (been) ramping up the analytic and technology piece. So, that’s where we’re going. I know that sometimes it’s difficult, the instant gratification piece. But that’s where we’re going, and I really feel good about the direction we’re headed.
Q: I know previously you spoke to a team employee about the Leonard Williams trade. Can you talk about the thought process of trading a top seven pick and multiple other draft picks to bring Williams in when he was going to be a free agent at the end of the year?
A: Basically, you know, it was a three and a five. If we sign him it moves up to a four. The thought process was, I really believe that as much as the style of play evolves, there are basic truths— you have to run the ball, you have to stop the run, you have to rush the passer. If you are seriously deficient in any one of those three areas, it makes it tough. It’s going to be tough sledding. By bringing in Leonard, we looked at it, we obviously evaluated the film, by bringing him in, we felt he could be a disruptive force inside. And, he has been. He has been.
Q: Couldn’t you have gotten him at the end of the year?
A: Well, that’s hypothetical. I understand what you’re saying, I really do, but at the end of the day, we felt good about him, he did what we wanted him to do, and he wants to be here.
Q: Why not wait until free agency?
A: Because now we know what we have, and we were willing to do that.
Q: So, you were willing to give up two draft picks, whether it’s three, four, or three, five, in order to get that information?
A: Exactly. We felt we needed him. Again, we felt good about it and we feel, and he’s proven, he’s disruptive in there. He improved our rushing defense with him in there, he buzzes around the quarterback, we’ve just got to get him to finish now. But, the bottom line is we felt it was worth the deal. The juice was worth the squeeze.
Q: You have said a few times when you’ve talked to us about how you believed in Eli Manning. It was not a mirage, you said he had several years left in him. Looking back, was it wise to use 23 million in cap space for a player who was given such a short…he only played two games and then he was a backup and a mentor. Were you blindsided that it was only going to be two games, and if so, would you have done that differently?
A: Here’s what I would say, we really believed in Daniel. We didn’t know he would come that fast. Again, you’re talking about a kid who played at Duke, in the ACC, and like I said, we had taken at six, we didn’t blink. We just didn’t realize he would come that fast. At the end of the day, it was time. It was time. Eli was great with him. Who better to learn from and who better to have his back? Eli is a pro’s pro. A big piece of being the head coach, being the quarterback, the general manager of the New York Football Giants, is speaking with you folks and getting the message to our fans. That’s a big piece of it. That’s another reason, who better for Daniel to learn from than Eli Manning. So, to answer your question— no, we’re fine with it.
Q: Do you have any regrets over the Odell (Beckham Jr.) trade? If not, why not?
A: Really and truly, we’re not going to know about that trade for two years. Two rookies, and Jabrill (Peppers) is only in his third year. We’re really not going to be able to evaluate that trade until two years. You come back in two years and hopefully I’m standing here, we can have that conversation. I’m being honest, you have to wait. People immediately want thumbs up or thumbs down. Right now, we are excited about Dexter Lawrence, Oshane (Ximines) and Jabrill (Peppers). We’re going to find out.
Q: Are you willing to give Leonard Williams the significant big contract that he very clearly wants?
A: I don’t discuss money, I don’t discuss contracts, I don’t discuss negotiations.
Q: Do you have any assurance that he won’t test the market?
A: He was in my office yesterday and he told me he wants to be here.
Q: Do you feel like you are giving him a lot of leverage by trading for him?
Q: How much do you feel like you have to sign him? Otherwise those two picks go just for the information that you then can’t use.
A: If we hold our water, we will get a third-round comp (compensatory pick).
Q: I understand changes had to be made when you first came here. They were made at a rapid pace. Looking back, was the process a little too quick because it upset whatever continuity you maybe wanted to keep in the locker room and upset the chemistry?
A: No, I don’t feel that way at all. We had a culture issue that was well documented, and changes had to be made. You had an operation that had one winning season since 2012. The definition of insanity, so no, to answer your question.
Q: How do you rationalize the recommitment to analytics when the night after you drafted Saquon Barkley you mocked the concept?
A: Here’s what I would say to you about that. I did that kidding around. You turn around and learn very quickly, I’ve learned there are no throw away lines here. You guys will take anything and do that. In terms of the analytics and devaluing the running back and this and that, Saquon’s special and that’s what I should have said. Saquon’s special, he’s an outlier. We are committed to being forward thinking. We are committed to being the best in every area. We are making a determined effort to move that way. We are in the process of that process.
Q: When you traded Odell, we asked you why you didn’t call the 49ers. You said whoever picks up the phone to make the phone call gives up leverage.
A: I talked to the 49ers.
Q: We asked you why you didn’t shop around for a better offer than the Browns. You said whoever picks up the phone to make the call loses leverage. In your in-house interview, you said you picked up the phone to call the Jets for Leonard Williams, you initiated the conversation. Why?
A: Because I heard rumors. I had heard rumors that he was available. So, I called to ask, I called Joe and said, ‘hey Joe’ and heard all over the place he’s available.
Q: So my question was going to be did you feel like you lost leverage by doing that?
A: I felt like we got trade value. When you’re in the trade business, you want to get to a win-win. Most people are savvy enough where it’s going to have to be fair.
Q: Yesterday, John Mara said he expects results, more results, better results in 2020. He thinks the team should be better and will be better. How close is this team right now to being a playoff contender in your mind?
A: It all depends upon how quickly the puppies come along. We have a lot of young kids. We led the league in snaps by rookies. A big part of it is how quickly they come.
Q: When you look at the coaching process and hiring a new coach, obviously, you are looking at the college and pro guys. What are some of the benefits of a college coach? Because they tend to handle both duties of GM technically and also coach. How is that dynamic when you are interviewing guys coming from the collegiate level?
A: One of the things that I find interesting is we are getting younger and younger players in the league. These kids we’re drafting are 21 years old, they have been in college for three years. In Carolina, I drafted two kids that were 20 years old. The (Tremaine) Edmonds kid that Buffalo drafted was 19. You are drafting younger kids so to take a college coach now, I think he would have that advantage of having been connected to these college kids for so long. Understanding the culture and what they’re at, what they’re about and where they’re at. I appreciate that as far as him being the GM. Obviously he has his recruiting war room and he’s the one doing that. It’s a collaborative process, everything is a collaborative process. This is a monster up here and anybody that’s doing it on their own, it’s difficult. I would say to anybody, any college coach that we talk to, I’m here to help him. One of the things that I’ll tell you is we’re all support staff, we really truly are.
Q: There’s been some speculation that there may be some coaching candidates who might not want to work with you in your situation, not knowing whether you have ownership’s support for multiple years. Is that something you’ve heard at all? Do you have any concerns that maybe candidates will say no?
A: I don’t understand the notion that I’m tough to work with. I think it would be from people who don’t know me. Obviously, as we move forward in the coaching search, it’s the dating game. There will be an opportunity for them to look me in the eyes and say, ‘Hey Dave, what up?’ I don’t understand that. I really don’t. I don’t know where it’s coming from. I would say this. I went to Carolina, Ron (Rivera) was there. I didn’t fire anybody there and three years later, we were in Santa Clara at the Super Bowl.
Q: What if it’s because they don’t believe running the ball, stopping the run and rushing the passer are their three (priorities)?
A: That’s part of the conversation. It’s just part of the conversation. We’ll see.
Q: In April, in an interview with Steve Politi, he asked if there was a culture problem, and you said ‘Not anymore’ with a smile, according to what Politi wrote. You now have a season where you have four wins, more than half of your losses are by two scores at least, and you did have some locker room issues this season. But it’s clear you think the culture is somehow better. Why?
A: Part of the problem is when you lose year after year after year, you need to get that winning feeling back. In terms of culture problems downstairs this year, I know this, I saw a team that came out, practiced hard every day, and played hard on Sundays. I’m not sure where that comes from. First time it’s ever been mentioned to me, and I’m through that locker room all the time on a daily basis.
Q: You don’t think with Janoris Jenkins you had an issue with the locker room this year, and some other players?
A: What Janoris said, he said. He came out and he said what he said. He’s it. He was it.
Q: Do you feel like you’ve been put on notice a little bit from John Mara yesterday? He said you need to have a better batting average in free agency and all that. Do you feel like you’ve been put on notice this year going into 2020? As far as your job status.
A: Oh absolutely. We’re all on notice. We truly are.
Q: It’s different from a first-year GM to a third-year GM.
A: Right, absolutely. I feel that pressure every day, whether I’m in my first year or 15th year.
Q: You’re going to have a lot of cap space. Are you planning on being very aggressive?
A: Well, first of all, whatever amount of money we end up having, you have to put $20 million and put it to the side, put it in a passbook savings account because you want to be in a position in-season to do extensions. If an attractive player is there, you want to have the cap space to make the decision, instead of saying ‘We can’t afford this guy, we can’t afford that guy.’ So, you take $20 million aside. You build the team through the draft. Free agency is really to a certain degree, and I’ve said it before, free agency is to set yourself up so that in the draft… You address issues with free agency so that you can set yourself up in the draft so you take the best player available.
Q: I have a few. One, you said Leonard Williams improved your run defense. The Eagles controlled the ball on the ground both times you played them, 239 yards, four touchdowns with a guy named Boston Scott at running back. I’m curious why you think he improved the run defense? Two, why don’t you talk and take accountability more? It seemed like Pat Shurmur was out in front kind of taking all of the bullets, and then of course gets fired and you do not. Third, why should players, free agents, trust you when you say you didn’t sign a guy to trade him, and then you trade him? Why should people trust what you say?
A: You hit me with three. You got your money’s worth. The bottom line is with why should people trust me, why shouldn’t they? We made the deal with Odell. At the beginning of the year, I told him, ‘Come in, we’ll get it done,’ and we did. It’s as simple as that. Then from that point on, you make decisions. What was the next question? Oh, the run defense? It takes more than one guy. That’s my response to that. You have a number of people playing defense. Football is the ultimate team game. You can’t pin an offense’s performance or a defense’s performance on one player. What was the third question?
Q: Why don’t you talk publicly more and take accountability when things are going wrong?
A: Here’s what I would say to you. We looked at it. We probably need to address it, and it may change next year. But there are very few GMs that talk in-season. Most GMs, and I did this in Carolina, I did not talk. Once the season starts, to me, it’s about the players and coaches. It really is. Even in the Super Bowl season, I was behind the scenes. The only time I talked in the Super Bowl season once the season started was in the first or second week of the playoffs when Ron was getting inundated by requests. So, I stepped in for 20 minutes one day before practice. But that’s it. I really and truly believe, and if you go around the league… you know, I was feeling guilty about it. I felt guilty that Pat was up there taking the bullets. So, I turned around and had Pat Hanlon go around the league and see what people are doing. Most GMs, if the GM talked in-season this year, it was because of a big deal. That was it.
Q: You made one. Leonard. That was a fairly high-profile deal.
A: Well, we didn’t talk.
Q: Just to follow up on something Ralph (Vacchiano) asked earlier. I know you talked about are you worried about certain things turning off coaching candidates, and he mentioned being difficult to work with, I think more of what he was getting at was, you’ve been put on notice. You’re clearly on the hot seat entering 2020. There’s uncertainty that this coach may not be working for the GM that hires him in 2021. Does that concern you in terms of potentially turning off prominent head coaching candidates?
A: I think that the power of this franchise, this is an iconic franchise, the power of this franchise and the stability of this ownership will allay the fears of any coach that thinks about that.
Q: You said earlier talking about the Leonard deal that you felt as though the draft assets you were giving up were worth the player coming here. Then, in a later question you talk about how to build a team, and the team needs to be built with the draft. So, how do you explain the–
A: The contradiction? From your view, yeah.
Q: I don’t think it’s just me. There’s no question that you’re contradicting the idea of giving away assets versus protecting assets so you can build a team.
A: Leonard is 25 years old, he’s young, he’s about to enter his prime. I felt that what he gave us with the potential that he gives us was worth those two assets.
Q: What do you say to the Giants fans who’ve seen nine wins the last two seasons, four this season, and you’re generally kind of telling us today that everything’s okay?
A: I’m telling you everything’s okay? Is that the vibe you’re getting? It’s getting better, and this is frustrating for all of us. I’m not happy about this. Ownership’s not happy, we’re all frustrated. But unfortunately, it takes time.
Q: I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to think about this, but for you personally, you mentioned some of the changes behind the scenes, but for you personally, how do you anticipate you’re going to do things and be different and be better, because I’m sure you want to be better moving forward? So, what kind of changes, and how do you anticipate you’ll be better next year?
A: Well, I know this may sound crazy, but I met recently with a big analytics guy. I’m going to learn from my mistakes. I never stop asking myself the question, ‘What could we have done differently? What could we have done better?’ That question never stops getting asked. I always ask that question. We evaluate, we re-evaluate, we go backwards and forwards with it. And that’s what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to talk to other GMs, inside and outside the industry, and continue to grow.
Q: If I recall from your first press conference, one of your big themes was ‘hog mollies,’ the offensive line, your top priority. It wasn’t good the first year, had some moments this year, where do you stand in that rebuilding. What pieces do you have? How much more work do you have to do?
A: That part of it has been frustrating. George Young, may he rest in peace, used to call that the ‘Dance of the Elephants,’ and those five guys have to work together as a unit, and if they don’t, it’s messy. We feel like, unfortunately, Pio (Jon Halapio) got hurt again, he tore his Achilles as you guys know, so now he is not going to be ready until camp most likely, but we feel like we’ve got some good pieces there, and they’ve just got to continue to work together and improve. We’re always going to look to add, we’re not afraid to draft over anybody, so we’ll continue to work that.
Q: You stated that you can turn things around pretty quickly, but in the last three years, your record says what your record says. So, why would this year be different in your mind in terms of winning?
A: Well, I just told you, these young kids are getting better. That’s what this next roster building season is about. It really is. I would say this to you, when you’re talking about teams that get turned around quickly, take a look at what they started with first. Okay? Just take a look.
Q: You mentioned before that you felt guilty watching Pat go up there every day–
A: It was hard.
Q: Well, like you said, when you felt guilty about that and then you said we should have a study to see what other GMs do. But why did that matter to you, if your gut tells you you’re feeling guilty?
A: I talked about it with Pat and we decided to stay the course.
Q: Your job is in the biggest media market in the country, so you realized coming in that there are probably certain obligations. Are you concerned at all that your lack of availability to the media at large over five months projected a vibe of weakness to the fanbase? And if not, why not?
A: I’m concerned about that very much, and that’s why we’re going to address it.
Q: One thing that John Mara mentioned yesterday is that he would be willing to listen to a coaching candidate, that he could be convinced that that coach could say, ‘I want more personnel say than a coach typically has here,’ that he’d be open to that. How do you feel about that?
A: Number one, whatever’s in the best interest of the New York Football Giants, I will do. Whatever’s in the best interest of the club. Number two, what I would say is there were no major decisions made without everybody’s opinion. For some reason there is a—we’re collaborative here. We are collaborative.
Q: What type of head coach does this team, this franchise, need at this point?
A: We need a head coach that can bring together a staff that’s enthusiastic. We need a head coach with leadership. We need a head coach with intelligence, and one that can connect with these players. That’s what we need.
Q: Do you understand why a lot of paying customers are skeptical you can get this job done?
A: Do I understand why? Sure.
Q: With Daniel, you sound very optimistic about him, there obviously were a lot of reasons to be optimistic, but the turnovers, obviously the fumbles, 11, I think, 12 interceptions, why do you think that’s correctable?
A: It’s legit, what you’re saying is legit, obviously. In later games, he did a better job. He had a bad run, and in later games as you watch the pressure around him or whatever, you see him feel it better and have two hands on the ball. He cut it down the last handful of games. He knows it, he’s going to work on it. He’s that kind of a kid.
Q: If the personnel decisions are collaborative, how come you get credit for drafting Daniel and for what he looks like, but Pat (Shurmur) does not?
A: I have no idea what you’re talking about. Very frankly, no idea.
Q: Just a couple of housekeeping questions, you talked to the previous staff, did you ask anybody to come back?
A: Here’s what we did, when I spoke to the staff yesterday, there’s a number of housekeeping things. Number one, we told them they’re under contract and they are welcome to use the facilities. Number two, we will certainly recommend, suggest, that the new head coach speak with them. Number three, we will send them all to the Senior Bowl because that is the ‘job fair,’ for lack of a better term, in the NFL. We have a couple of our young coaches that are probably going to coach in the East-West game that we’re going to send. Yes, I think that’s it.
Q: They’re free to pursue offers?
A: Oh yeah, that’s right, the other thing. They’re free to pursue other opportunities. They’re under contract, obviously, so if it’s an offensive line coach and he’s going for an offensive line job, theoretically we could block it. We will not do that.
Q: Is Eli (Manning) officially done with the Giants?
A: I haven’t spoken to him yet. He took some time, and I’m assuming he’s going to get back to me.
Q: How would you grade yourself over the last two years?
A: Over the last two years? Not good enough. Really, it hasn’t been good enough. It will get better.
COACHING SEARCH UPDATE…
According to media reports, the New York Giants have requested to interview the following head coaching candidates:
Former Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy
Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale
Dallas Cowboys Defensive Backs Coach/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard
New England Patriots Special Teams Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Joe Judge
Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels
The 56-year old McCarthy was fired by the Packers in December 2018 after serving 13 seasons as head coach of the franchise. With the Packers, McCarthy was responsible for a 125–77–2 (.618) regular-season record and a 10–8 (.556) post-season record, winning one NFL Championship in 2010.
The 56-year old Martindale has served as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator since 2018. Before that he was the linebackers coach for the Ravens (2012-2017), defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos (2010), linebackers coach of the Broncos (2009), and linebackers coach of the Oakland Raiders (2004-2008).
The 40-year old Richard has served as Dallas’ defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator since 2018. Before that he served in a variety of roles with the Seattle Seahawks, including defensive coordinator (2015-2017), defensive backs coach (2012-2014), cornerbacks coach (2011), and assistant defensive backs coach (2010).
The 37-year old Judge has held mainly special teams titles with the Patriots since 2012, including special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach (2019), special teams coordinator (2015-2018), and special teams assistant (2012-2014).
The 50-year old Bieniemy has served as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator since 2018. Before that he was the running backs coach for the Chiefs (2013-2017), Minnesota Vikings (2006-2010), UCLA (2003-2005), and University of Colorado (2001-2002). He also served as offensive coordinator at the University of Colorado (2011-2012).
The 43-year old McDaniels was interviewed by the Giants for their head coaching vacancy two years ago when the team decided to hire Pat Shurmur instead. McDaniels is best known for serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during two stints with the Patriots (2005-2008 and 2012-2019). In between, he was head coach of the Denver Broncos (2009-2010) and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach of the St. Louis Rams (2011). McDaniels served in a variety of roles with the Patriots from 2001-2004 before becoming offensive coordinator.
There is also rampant media speculation that the Giants will interview Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule, who was an offensive line assistant with the Giants under Tom Coughlin in 2012. Rhule has served as head coach at Baylor for three years (2017-2019). Before that, he was head coach at Temple University (2013-2016).
Giants coordinators + position coaches, most if not all who are under contract for next year, have been told they can look elsewhere while Giants are in coaching search. Some good coaches available. Some could still return. Team will recommend new coach grants them an interview.
JON HALAPIO TORE HIS ACHILLES…
General Manager Dave Gettleman confirmed that center Jon Halapio tore his Achilles’ tendon late in the season-finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. Halapio, who underwent successful surgery today, is currently scheduled to be a free agent this offseason.
NEW YORK GIANTS FIRE PAT SHURMUR, RETAIN DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The New York Giants have fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur after his team finished the 2019 NFL season with a 4-12 record. Combined with his inaugural season with the Giants in which he finished 5-11, Shurmur was 9-23 (.281 winning percentage) with the franchise. Ironically, Shurmur was also 9-23 in his two years as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2011 and 2012.
At the same time, the New York Giants have also announced that they are retaining General Manager Dave Gettleman despite him shepherding the franchise through the same 9-23 disaster the past two years. The Giants hired Gettleman as the team’s new general manager in late December 2017. Gettleman hired Pat Shumur as the team’s new head coach one month later in late January 2018.
“(Team Chairman and Executive Vice President) Steve (Tisch) and I have had many extensive discussions about the state of the Giants,” said team President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara in a prepared statement. “This morning, we made the very difficult decision that it would be in the best interest of the franchise that we relieve Pat of his duties. The last three seasons have been extremely disappointing for the organization and our fans. Pat has been a successful and highly-respected NFL coach for 21 years and he is not solely responsible for our record. But we came to the conclusion it is best to have a fresh start with the coaching staff. We very much appreciate how much Pat has done for this franchise. He is a man of character and integrity and the team has conducted itself with pride and professionalism.
“As owners, we take full responsibility for our recent poor record. It is our goal to consistently deliver high-quality football and we will do everything in our power to see that there is a rapid and substantial turnaround.”
“The last two seasons have been a continuation of what has been a very difficult and disappointing period for our franchise,” said Tisch. “It is never easy to part with someone the caliber of Pat. But John and I came to the conclusion that we need a new voice in the coach’s office and made the decision to bring in new leadership.
“We understand how frustrated our fans are. They expect more from us and we expect more from ourselves. Our focus now is on developing and improving our football team so that our fans can enjoy the winning team they expect and deserve.”
“Dave Gettleman is our general manager in 2020 and hopefully for many years after that,” Mara said. “We believe he is the right person to lead us going forward. Dave has a long record of success. We think he’s capable of putting a great team together and he’s going to get that opportunity. To the extent we need to make changes in personnel or the way we do things, we’re going to discuss that.”
“Although our record didn’t reflect it this season, we believe Dave has assembled a strong nucleus of young players that will help us compete for championships in the future,” Tisch said.
Mara and Tisch said they will immediately begin their search for a new coach.
“The search will be extensive,” Mara said. “We understand this a very big decision for our franchise. We’ve had three losing years in a row and, quite frankly, we have lost some standing as an organization. When you have three losing years in a row as we have, you face a lot of criticism. A lot of it is deserved. It’s up to us now to turn that around and get back to where I think we should be.”
JULY 26, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.
INJURY REPORT – COREY COLEMAN TEARS ACL…
Wide receivers Corey Coleman (knee), Darius Slayton (hamstring), and Alex Wesley (PUP List – unknown) did not practice on Friday. Neither did tight end Evan Engram (“managing his workload”).
The Giants announced that Coleman tore his ACL in practice on Thursday. “Corey Coleman unfortunately hurt his knee yesterday, so we’ll just have to see where it goes for him,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I feel bad for the guy because he’s worked really hard… So most likely (he will be lost for the season)… He’ll go through the process. He’ll get second opinions and all that stuff… He was a guy that had a chance to be in there and compete to either start or have a role.”
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (fractured thumb) was limited in practice, not catching any passes. “(Shepard will) be back soon,” said Shurmur. “It’s the tip of his thumb. He’ll be out there running around today. I’m not concerned about that one at all… no surgery.”
Linebacker Markus Golden (cramps), cornerback Grant Haley (cramps), and wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin) left practice early.
Some snippets from various media sources:
George Asafo-Adjei and Chad Wheeler received some first-team reps at offensive tackle.
S Michael Thomas sacked QB Daniel Jones on a blitz.
QB Daniel Jones started 5-of-6 during 11-on-11 drills.
CB Ronald Zamort made a nice diving break-up of a pass from QB Alex Tanney.
CB Grant Haley made a leaping interception off a QB Kyle Lauletta pass tipped by CB Corey Ballentine, who also tipped away another pass from QB Alex Tanney.
LB Tae Davis saw a lot of reps with the first-team nickel defense, along with LB Alec Ogletree.
LB Ryan Connelly, WR Reggie White Jr., and S Sean Chandler received praise from Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey.
QB Daniel Jones threw a nice deep pass to WR Russell Shepard, who made a fingertip grab for a touchdown, beating CB Julian Love. Jones finished 11-of-13 with eight straight completions.
QB Eli Manning threw a nice deep sideline pass to WR Golden Tate over CB Julian Love.
LB Oshane Ximines “sacked” QB Daniel Jones off a rollout.
WR Brittan Golden scored a long touchdown, but was injured on the play and left the field after being knocked over by CB Antonio Hamilton.
WR Russell Shepard had an active day catching the football from QB Daniel Jones.
LB Lorenzo Carter flashed in run defense (setting the edge) and as a blitzer (with a “sack”).
Julian Love saw reps at nickel corner with both the first- and second-teams. He also played safety with the second-team defense.
GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The transcript of Dave Gettleman’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.
HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available 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:
With the 6th and 17th picks in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected quarterback Daniel Jones (Duke University) and nose tackle Dexter Lawrence (Clemson University), respectively. The Giants also traded up into the first round, the 30th overall pick, and selected cornerback Deandre Baker (University of Georgia). In exchange, the Giants traded away 2nd (#37 overall), 4th (#132 overall), and 5th (#142 overall) round picks to the Seattle Seahawks.
QB DANIEL JONES SCOUTING REPORT: Jones is a junior entry and a 3-year starter at Duke. He was mentored by David Cutcliffe, who also coached Peyton and Eli Manning. Jones has classic quarterback size and is a good athlete who can hurt teams with his feet. He has decent but not great arm strength. Quick release. Jones is a fairly accurate quarterback who throws with good touch on the football. Jones is very competitive, smart, tough, and hard-working. He has a high football IQ and reads defenses well. His decision-making has been inconsistent at times.
SY’56’s Take on QB Daniel Jones: Fourth year junior entry. A three year starter and two time team captain. Despite playing with inferior talent both up front and at the skill positions nearly every week, Jones put together a productive career as both a passer and rusher. The prototypical quarterback when it comes to size and playing style showed glimpses over the past two years of what a first round QB should look like. His NFL-caliber mechanics from head to toe give him the look of a professional passer and him being coached by David Cutcliffe, the college coach of both Peyton and Eli Manning, only helps strengthen the notion of how ready he is. Jones pairs that with toughness and grit that doesn’t come around often. However, there were constant red flags in his tape that are hard to ignore. He didn’t see things well and his decisions were too inconsistent. There just seemed to be a lack of a true feel for the pocket, the defense, and angles. Jones checks a lot of boxes but there is a lot of gamble in the team that takes him even though he comes across as a “safe” bet to some.
*I wanted to like Jones more than this, I really did. I have a thing for tough quarterbacks and I do think he brought his teammates to another level. That’s a trend that can really make a kid break out in the NFL. While I do have a 1st round grade on him and I do think he can be in play at 17 because of the position he plays, I think NYG may need to steer clear here. Jones has enough arm strength, touch, and athletic ability. But there isn’t a quick mind here, he doesn’t see everything a top tier QB does whether it is coverage or pass rush based. After a long time scouting him, he is a pass for me.
NT DEXTER LAWRENCE SCOUTING REPORT: Lawrence is a junior entry and a 3-year starter at Clemson. Lawrence is a prototypical run-stuffing nose tackle with excellent size and strength. He often needs to be double-teamed. While Lawrence can generate a power rush, he lacks dynamic pass rush moves.
SY’56’s Take on NT Dexter Lawerence: Junior entry. A blue chip recruit that made an impact right away, winning the ACC Freshman of the Year Award in 2016. He then went on to earn two straight 1st Team All ACC placements even though his production wasn’t anything noteworthy. Lawrence can be a missing piece to a defense that struggles against the run. His mere presence demands attention from multiple bodies and he is no slouch when it comes to pursuing the ball. Even though he is almost always the biggest and most powerful player on the field, Lawrence needs to shore up techniques and be more consistent. He is not an every down player, but certainly one that can dominate in stretches.
*If there is one non-QB I think NYG may be looking at with their 17th pick, it’s Lawrence. He fits the bill with what Gettleman wants up front and the trade of Harrison left that NT role wide open. Lawrence was the piece that made that loaded Clemson front go. I can remember seeing him play as a true freshman and at that moment in time, I said he was ready for the NFL. There is a rare combination of size, speed, and power to go along with more awareness and intelligence than you may think. Big time potential here that can change a defense right away.
CB DEANDRE BAKER SCOUTING REPORT: Baker was a 3-year starter at Georgia. He is an average-sized corner with average overall athleticism. However, he plays with fine instincts, football smarts, and confidence. Baker plays bigger and more athletically than his numbers indicate. He can play both man and zone coverage with equal adeptness with fine awareness and reaction time. He is a physical and aggressive player both against the pass and the run.
SY’56’s Take on CB Deandre Baker: Baker was a three year starter for the Bulldogs that progressively improved as a prospect from the beginning of 2017. The two-time all SEC defender (1st Team in 2018) brings the kind of confidence and swagger that can take on the numerous challenges of playing cornerback in the NFL. He can be left alone on an island and stick with anyone on all levels of the route tree as well as make plays on the ball like a receiver. His issues can be correctable, mainly the technique-based and mental ones. The lack of power presence can be an issue at times but in a league where contact is allowed less and less in coverage, the corners that can get the job done via instincts, agility, and speed stand out a bit more.
*Another safe pick here that may have a limited upside, but at this position you just want reliable. That is Baker is a nutshell. I love the competitive spirit, the swagger he shows on the outside. Do I trust him against a Michael Thomas on an island? Probably not. But at the end of the day that isn’t the job of a #1 corner on most teams. He can fit in to any coverage scheme and any role, right away.
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN AND HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR: (Video)
Gettleman: It’s a wonderful thing when need and value match. We are thrilled to get Daniel (Jones). He was up there with everybody else on our board in terms of value and he was just perfect for us. I really believe in this kid. I really believe he is going to be a really nice, quality quarterback for us, for our franchise. He understands what’s in front of him. We’ve spoken to Eli (Manning) and talked to him and Daniel is coming in here to learn. Learn how to be a pro, learn how to be a professional quarterback. He’s the right kid for us. He’s just the right guy, he has the right head. He’s a very mature kid. I have no doubt he is going to come in and do everything he can to prepare himself to follow Eli.
The second guy, we got me a hog mollie! Dexter Lawrence, he might have been the biggest player in the draft, I don’t know. He’s a quality run player and he’s more than just a two-down run player. This kid can push the pocket and he can have an impact on the pass rush. That’s why we took him at 17 and we are thrilled. He is a great kid. All three of these kids are great kids. We had Dexter in here and he can play the one, the three and the five. He’s versatile, he’s got hips, he can flip to rush the passer and we are thrilled to have him.
The last guy we traded up for we feel is the best cover corner in the draft, the kid from Georgia, Deandre Baker. We feel like we got three guys that are going to impact this franchise for a long time.
Shurmur: Yeah, I don’t have anything other to add than Jones, for us, he’s very accomplished, he’s very smart, he’s very talented and when we spoke to Eli, I told this to Eli a couple times already, it’s not his job to teach the next quarterback that comes in here. It’s his job to be the very best player he can be and then the quarterback that we bring in, it’s his job to be smart enough to learn from Eli. And I think that’s the scenario that we are presented with. So we are thrilled. Here’s a guy that has played a lot of football, but he’s still very young, he’s tough, he’s competitive and he really has all of the things we are looking for. Good decision making, he has a sense of timing, he is an accurate passer, he’s athletic and mobile, which is important in today’s game. So we are thrilled about him.
Dexter, I was with (Vikings DT) Linval Joseph, who all of you know, in Minnesota and he sort of reminded me of him. He’s sneaky with the pass rush, but he’s really good on first, second down and the run game stuff. Tremendous human being and he’s a big guy and I think you win with big people
And then Dave did it, he got Deandre Baker. He’s a cover corner. The thing that impressed me most on tape was how stinking competitive he is. He’s very confident and he’s very competitive and I think when he’s faced with a challenge of a good wide out, he’s going to accept the challenge. Again, as Dave mentioned, the fact that our board met with some of the needs and some of the things that we wanted to answer, we were fortunate enough to get those three players. So we are thrilled to have them and get them in here as quickly as we can and get them going.
Q: Was Daniel Jones your best player available at 6? Did you have a higher grade on him than Josh Allen?
Gettleman: First of all, it is legal for guys to have the same grade. So when we set up our horizontal, they were on the same line.
Q: At what point did you realize he was your guy?
Gettleman: For me, it’s been a while. It’s been a while, to be frank with you.
Q: What stuck out to you?
Gettleman: I loved him on film. I absolutely loved him. I loved everything about him. And then I went to the Senior Bowl and I watched him that week and I (had) decided to stay for the game. During the season, I had gone to see Dwayne (Haskins) at Ohio State, I had seen Kyler (Murray) and Will (Grier) play each other on that Friday night game (on) Thanksgiving weekend in West Virginia, so I had seen those two play each other. I saw Dwayne play in the Big (10) championship game in Indianapolis, so I’ve seen those three guys play and to me it’s really important to see quarterbacks play. Watching them on tape is one thing, seeing them in the environment is definitely, I think, very important. Saw Drew (Lock), Daniel, Jarrett Stidham, (Gardner) Minshew, (Trace) McSorley, all of these guys were at the Senior Bowl, so I decided to stay. I made up my mind that I was staying for the game and, frankly, he walked out there and I saw a professional quarterback after the three series that I watched, I saw a professional quarterback. I was in full bloom love.
Q: How much of your decision was Daniel Jones the quarterback on the field versus Daniel Jones, the person he is off the field?
Gettleman: That’s a nice piece. Obviously, (Duke Head Football Coach David) Cutcliffe, he’s a hell of a coach. He didn’t fall off a turnip truck yesterday. The kid has been well trained. The huge part of this, and I’ve said it before, a big part of this is his make-up. Every single kid that was taken in the first round has had very little adversity. So, we get into it and we talk about this when we have our meetings – and the scouts and the area guys will go out, the regional guys are out, (Director of College Scouting) Chris Pettit is out, and we talk about what kind of adversity has this kid ever had. That’s what you want to know, because what kind of adversity and how they’re going to react, which is huge – and very honestly, how they’re going to react to you guys. Not because you’re meanies, because some of you are nice, but really because of the volume – it’s the volume that’s different. Now, that’s a big part of it. That’s like a bonus here. This kid is really talented, a really talented football player, and the head makes him more better.
Q: Forgetting about the head for a second, what about his talent level did you like more than the other quarterback prospects?
Gettleman: I just thought his pocket presence and his poise were really important to me. I’ve been saying it for a long time: if you can’t consistently make plays from the pocket, you’re not going to make it in the NFL. You’ll be just another guy. You look at Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, they consistently make plays from the pocket. That’s what this kid can do, and he is not by any stretch of the imagination an average athlete. He’s a really good athlete. This kid can extend, make plays with his feet, buy time in the pocket. He’s got feel. He really has all the things you’re looking for.
Q: Does he remind you of Eli as a player? Or, how is he different?
Gettleman: That’s hard for me because very honestly, I didn’t scout Eli in college. I watched film of Eli. After we took him, I thought it would be a nice idea to watch some film. Back then, I was a pro (personnel) guy. Similar in that they both were playing, at that time, Eli at Ole Miss at that time, both playing in difficult conferences with maybe fewer players around them. Eli had a wide receiver that probably ran a 4.65 (40 yd. dash), and he had a little scat-back running back and an okay offensive line. Daniel had about the same thing.
Q: Do you think you could’ve gotten Jones at No. 17?
Gettleman: You never know.
Q: And you weren’t willing to risk it?
Gettleman: I was not willing to risk it.
Q: Is the goal for Eli to start 16 games next season and for Daniel to sit 16 games next season?
Gettleman: The goal is for Eli to be our quarterback, yes.
Shurmur: I told Eli when we visited, it’s your job to win games and keep this guy off the field.
Q: It’s a challenge almost.
Shurmur: Well, not necessarily. I don’t think you need to challenge him that way. I wouldn’t phrase it that way, but that’s the kind of things you talk about when you put quarterbacks together.
Q: When did you know Daniel was the right guy for this organization? Did you have a similar process as Dave?
Shurmur: Yeah, I went through the process. I probably spent more time even this year than last year on the quarterbacks – from watching them play, to interviewing them, all multiple times, to doing all the research on them, because I think it’s important to put these quarterbacks through the full process. We took a trip down to Duke and visited with Coach Cutcliffe, and he kind of connected some of the things, because there were some comparisons to Eli, and I’m not sure I would share them. How is he similar? How is he different? I knew by watching him play that he was tough. That’s very high on the spectrum for me, is toughness, and Daniel has that. As we went through it, when you watch guys throw – and there’s some very talented throwers, very talented, very accomplished quarterbacks in this year’s draft. It’s quick that you can fall in love with them at each exposure, but by the end of it, we really felt like he was our guy, and I felt the same as Dave.
Q: If I’m not mistaken, that was the week of the owners meetings, so you weren’t at his Pro Day, but were with him privately a couple days later. Do you get a different feel when you’re with a guy privately rather than at his Pro Day?
Shurmur: Yeah, but we had private meetings with all the quarterbacks. We had private meetings with them at the Senior Bowl. So, we had many exposures with all the quarterbacks in question, but yeah, I think when you’re with them privately, you get a feel for who they are. I think it’s really important to sort through how they’re wired above the neck. It’s so important for a quarterback. That’s why all these exposures are very important.
Q: Can you talk about where (CB) Deandre Baker is going to fit into the equation? You have (CB Janoris Jenkins) Jackrabbit, you have (CB) Sam Beal, who I believe you said if he was coming out this year, he’d have a second-round grade. Where do you anticipate he can fit in?
Gettleman: He’s going to walk on, he’s going to compete for a starting job.
Q: Is he a slot cornerback? Can he play the nickel?
Gettleman: He’s really an outside guy, but he can play inside. We see him as an outside guy.
Q: When you look at Daniel Jones’ production, his production is not there. Is that a product of him playing at Duke, or is there something about the numbers that says something about him?
Shurmur: For me, I think when you watch him play, you can’t just look at the raw numbers and say this guy can do it or can’t do it? There’s reasons why a ball is complete or incomplete. I really wouldn’t share with you why that is. I thought he was very productive, I thought he was competitive and gritty, and he helped his team win football games. It’s not a fair comparison sometimes, so you have to watch the player compete and work with what he has. I thought he did a heck of a job leading the Duke football team.
Q: When did you talk with Eli and what is his reaction?
Shurmur: I’ve spoken to Eli throughout this process.
Q: When did you tell him that you were going to draft Daniel?
Shurmur: As it was happening. I spoke to Daniel and Dave called Eli. All along, we’ve spoken to Eli about how we are evaluating quarterbacks in this year’s draft, and there is a decent chance there may be a new guy here. It doesn’t bother Eli.
Q: Dave what do you think his reaction was?
Gettleman: He was fine. I told him it’s your job, let’s go.
Q: If Eli thinks he can play multiple seasons, does this end that possibility here?
Gettleman: Absolutely not. Maybe we are going to the Green Bay model, where Rodgers sat for three years. Who knows? It’s one of the deals where it doesn’t make a difference what position it is, you can never have too many good players at one position.
Q: Are you saying you drafted a quarterback number 6 and he might sit for 3 years?
Gettleman: Who knows? I may go out there in my car and get hit. You don’t know. We drafted a quarterback that we believe is a franchise quarterback. We feel he’s a franchise quarterback.
Q: If Eli plays 3 more years, wouldn’t you take somebody at 6 to help Eli do that?
Gettleman: It’s the same question, ‘why didn’t you wait until 17?’ We don’t know. Life’s too short, you don’t know how this is going to work. It’s people drafting defensive tackles when they already have two stud starters, why are you doing that? It’s where value fits and meets the draft pick.
Q: Have you considered extending Eli so he is not a lame duck quarterback?
Gettleman: That’s a hypothetical.
Q: Were you as enamored as early with Daniel Jones as Dave was?
Shurmur: I tried to slow my roll with all the quarterbacks. My first exposure to all of them was their tape. With the way technology is you can watch every one of their throws or any of their actions. As I got to know them, I wanted to go slow on them. I wanted to be deliberate. John Mara and Dave Gettleman said they wanted a consensus on this. I wanted to give them an educated answer as to who I thought was going to be our guy. I was very deliberate about it because this was going to be a big draft pick. We drafted a guy that we think can start and be a starter for a very long time, and when he gets on the field, we will see.
Q: Just curious of how serious the discussions with Arizona were about trading for (Cardinals QB) Josh Rosen?
Gettleman: There was no discussion. I admitted I had reached out and told them if things happen, then we might have an interest. That’s it.
Q: Do you see Lawrence as a rotation with (DT B.J.) Hill and (DT Dalvin) Tomlinson? Or, do you see a guy that can play with all three of those guys across the defensive line?
Gettleman: We can play them all three across at the same time.
Q: When you traded (DT Damon Harrison) Snacks, you moved Tomlinson to the nose because you said that was the spot he was best-suited for…
Shurmur: That was the unintended consequence of that, but I would say this, when we play base defense, you have a five-technique, a three-technique and a one-technique, and we can certainly play all three of those guys. Then when we get into our even fronts, certainly there will a little bit of a rotation there, I think, which is good. Again, we can’t have too many good quarterbacks. You can’t have too many good corners, and when it comes to defensive linemen, you can’t have too many good front people. They’ve all got to compete. We’re really thrilled about him. If you haven’t been around him, this is a big human being. He moves well, he’s sneaky quick, and I think he’s going to be a really good addition to our front.
Q: He’s 345 pounds and has a screw in his foot. Did that play into the process at all?
Gettleman: Medically, he’s cleared.
Q: He’s only had four sacks in the past two years.
Gettleman: He was playing on a bad foot.
Q: So you attribute it to that?
Gettleman: Here’s what I want you to understand. This is where numbers don’t tell all the story. Defensive tackles can affect the pass rush if they get consistent inside push. How many times have you guys watched a game, and the ends come screaming off the corner, and the quarterback steps up, and there’s nobody there. You get inside pass rush, those ends come screaming off the corner, they’re going to affect it, and if the guy is getting push, the quarterback is going to step up and Dexter will give him a kiss.
Q: But who are the ends screaming off the corner?
Gettleman: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Oh and by the way, (LB) Lorenzo Carter had 5.5 sacks last year.
Q: But the Giants two most recent Super Bowl teams had around 50 sacks.
Gettleman: I was with them.
Q: But you know both of those teams really affected the quarterback.
Gettleman: Rome wasn’t built in a day, it wasn’t built in a day. This takes time.
Q: Daniel Jones was booed by Giants fans at MetLife Stadium tonight. What would you tell those fans who are angry and upset that you picked Daniel Jones?
Gettleman: In time, you’ll be very pleased.
MEDIA Q&A WITH QB DANIEL JONES:
Q: Is this beyond your wildest expectations to go to the Giants?
A: Yes, I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations going into tonight. I was just excited to be here, and however it worked out I was going to be thrilled. I’m certainly thrilled to be in New York and I can’t wait to get started.
Q: What do you think you did to impress the Giants?
A: I think I was confident in myself and showed the best version of myself throughout the process. The process is a long one where you are going to be tested in a number of ways. I think more than anything, I stayed confident in myself and stayed true to that.
Q: What is your relationship like with Eli Manning?
A: He’s been up at Duke a couple times to throw with his guys and workout so I have gotten to see him then. I have been down to the Manning (Passing Academy) camp a couple times, so I got to know him through those two things.
Q: I know you’ve been busy so far, have you heard from him tonight?
A: No sir.
Q: When did you know you were the Giants pick?
A: When they called me, 20 or 30 minutes ago.
Q: Did you have any inkling from your meetings with them that they liked you at (pick) six?
A: I thought they went well, and I certainly feel like I connected with them. I certainly liked them a whole lot, I wasn’t sure how it would work out. The draft is a tough thing to predict, I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations. I thought the meetings went well, I thought we connected and that certainly made me confident. Like I said I didn’t have any expectations or any idea what would happen.
Q: How do you feel about the possibility of sitting for a season behind Eli?
A: I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to learn for a young quarterback. He is a guy that’s had a whole lot of success in the NFL and there is a reason for that. I’m looking to understand that and do my best to learn as much as I can from him while he’s in New York.
Q: How do you feel being viewed as his successor?
A: I’m going to be myself and not try to be Eli or be anything but myself. I think staying confident in that and staying confident in who I am is what’s going to be key to that process.
Q: What was your interaction like with the head coach when you met him?
A: I thought it was great. I think we connected and he is certainly someone who I have a lot of respect for and he’s been a really good coach in the NFL for a long time. So getting to know him and being able to interact with him through this process was great and I thought it went well.
Q: For those of us who haven’t seen you, what do you do well?
A: I think physically, I can make every throw on the field. My accuracy is certainly I feel a strength of mine, and I think I have the athleticism to extend plays and play outside the pocket if I need to. So physically I think I can do both those things well.
Q: What can you get better at?
A: I think I can get better at times making that decision to lay the ball off or throw it away. Coach Cut (David Cutcliffe) at Duke said understanding when to stop competing, understanding when a play is over with. I think I can do better with that.
Q: How much did Coach Cutcliffe talk about the Manning brothers over the years?
A: Yeah, we certainly did watch a whole lot. It was cool going to Duke and being with Coach Cut and being able to hear those stories from when Eli and Peyton were in similar positions to me. Whether it was my first year there, second year, whenever it was just hearing those stories and being able to learn from some of those experiences was an awesome perspective for me and certainly a great situation.
Q: The Giants wanted a quarterback that has faced adversity before. What adversity have you faced?
A: If you look back at my recruitment, I came to Duke as a walk-on, a guy who wasn’t recruited very heavily and I think that was part of it. Not being immediately obvious that I would play college football somewhere or at the level I thought I could, but it worked out and Coach Cut gave me the opportunity to walk-on and I eventually earned a scholarship, but I had to overcome it and I’m glad it went the way it went and I wouldn’t do it any other way.
MEDIA Q&A WITH NT DEXTER LAWRENCE:
Q: What were your interactions like with the Giants? Did you have any sense that they liked you in the first round?
A: Yeah, just my first meeting. I felt that, especially the first time I met them. Every interaction with them was pretty good. I was just being myself, honestly. That was kind of my goal throughout this whole process. Making a team like me for who I was, and not being somebody that I’m not. I feel like with the Giants, we were vibing a little bit. I’m just happy right now.
Q: When most people think of you, they’re going to think of Snacks (Lions DT Damon Harrison). Are you playing like Snacks?
A: I feel like my game is very powerful, a smart player, non-quit effort kind of guy. That’s just my mindset every play, and how I want to attack every snap.
Q: What was your reaction to finding out you landed in New York and with the Giants?
A: I grew up a New York Giants fan. So, it’s a great moment. My goal is to come in day one and challenge the defensive line as being the greatest unit in the world kind of thing. That’s just kind of what my mindset is going to be and what is has been since I’ve been in high school. Let’s not settle, let’s go get it. Right now, I’m real happy to be a Giant.
Q: How’d you end up a Giants fan?
A: Growing up watching the D-line, (former Giants DE) Justin Tuck, and (former Giants DE) Michael Strahan, and (former Giants DT) Fred Robinson, (former Giants DE) Osi Umenyiora. Growing up just watching them kind of inspired me.
Q: You had six and a half sacks as a freshman and only four the next two years. What was the key as a freshman, and what happened the last two years?
A: As a freshman, nothing changed with anything. I feel like my sophomore year, I was battling an injury playing on one leg kind of deal. My junior season, I got my confidence back a lot more the second half of the season. The first half of the season, I was kind of timid on it a little bit, but I’ve gotten over that hump.
Q: Do you consider yourself a pass rusher?
A: I do consider myself a pass rusher. I just got to unlock it, that’s all. A lot of times, I didn’t set myself up for things. I know that’ll be the difference, and that’s a big focus of mine is to stop all the doubting.
Q: What was the leg injury?
A: I got a screw in my fifth metatarsal, but that had healed. The problem was they did a nerve block in the back of my leg and it irritated the nerves in my leg and I couldn’t do a toe raise or push-off with it or do anything with it for like a year and a month.
Q: When did you feel like your old self again?
A: I felt like my old self probably halfway through my last season. Like the first half I was a little timid and I wasn’t quite confident with it and then I just had to sit down and talk to myself and be like, ‘You know how you felt playing on one leg, you got both of them back, take advantage of it. Just go out there and use it to the best of your abilities.’
Q: How much did you have to answer to the suspension throughout the process?
A: Every meeting, everywhere I went, every media source. But it was something I had to deal with. It was unfortunate that happened to me. I was innocent, but God had a plan for me and I felt like that helped people learn who I truly was. It got people to know me, I got to express myself. I had the choice to go to the media, I didn’t have to, but I wanted to so that I make the narrative kind of deal and not let people put their little spin on things that they do. So I mean it was really unfortunate, but I had to change my role as a player and I had to become a coach and support my team and make sure their minds were right and just be there for them and just let them know that it’s good, I’m still here and just play like you’ve been playing the whole season.
Q: What can you tell us about Daniel Jones?
A: I like him a lot. Playing against him when we played Duke, I gained a lot of respect for him. He did not quit and he’s deceptively fast. His arm is really accurate, I feel like a lot of his balls were dropped so his stats weren’t really there watching film, but I think he’s really special.
Q: Did you have any sort of bet with (Christian) Wilkins and (Clelin) Ferrell?
A: No, I wouldn’t say we had a bet. We were just all excited for each other. It’s something that we all worked hard for. The reason why those guys came back was to prove who they really were and that’s what all of our goals were me, Austin (Bryant), Clelin and Christian, just go in to this next season and give it our all and play balls out, play like you got to prove yourself right and others wrong kind of deal.
Q: How impressive is it that you have three guys from the same school, on the same line drafted in the first round?
A: It’s great. When I saw that those guys were up I could not stop smiling. I teared up, I felt like I got drafted with them kind of deal. It’s just special that bond that we have and it’s something that will never be broken.
Q: Your first game you get to face Ezekiel Elliott, how do you feel about that?
A: That will be fun, that will be fun. He’s a great running back and I’m ready to compete and help the Giants win some games.
Q: What do you weigh now?
A: Right now, I am 344. My playing weight is going to go down. I’m trying to play between 342 and 335. I’m trying to get my body fat down, that’s really been a focus of mine. I know becoming a pro that’s your number one objective, taking care of your body and that is just my mindset with the right food and the right exercise and everything.
MEDIA Q&A WITH CB DEANDRE BAKER:
Q: When you are sitting there towards the end of round one, did you think your phone was not going to ring?
A: No, I just kept faith, I kept praying. I knew somebody was going to give me a chance. The Giants called and they made my day.
Q: Did you have an inkling that the Giants would be interested in you?
A: I met with them at the combine but that was my only meeting with them. I didn’t know they were going to draft me, I’m just happy right now.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?
A: A confident player who is always going to come work. A guy that teammates can always count on to be there on Sundays and any other day of the week. A player that my teammates can count on.
Q: Do you feel you were the best corner available in the draft?
A: Yes sir.
Q: Why is that?
A: Just by the production I put in, and the consistency throughout the years I played.
Q: You weren’t a guy that lit up the combine, how much do you think what you did on the field mattered to the Giants?
A: It mattered a lot. I didn’t have the top numbers at the combine, but nobody’s game film can match mine, nobody’s production can match mine. The Giants knew that, and they took me with the 30th pick.
Q: Do you remember the last touchdown you gave up?
A: It was 2016, the only touchdown I gave up in my career.
Q: What was it?
A: It was a back-shoulder fade from the 1-yard line against TCU in the bowl game.
Q: Does that say something about you, that you can go back and recall what happened on a play from 2 and a half years ago?
A: It just says that I’m up to date and I study the game. I watch the things I did wrong more than the things I did good.
Q: If there was a knock on you it was that you didn’t get enough interceptions?
A: It’s hard to get interceptions when you are not targeted much.
Q: Did you hear from Lorenzo Carter?
A: Not yet, I know Lorenzo Carter is probably trying to call me right now. I have a million calls at one time right now. I’m just waiting to call them when I finish everything.
Q: What is your relationship with him?
A: That’s my boy, ever since I stepped on campus at the University of Georgia. My first day on campus he took me under his wing. I played a couple years with him, that’s my boy.
Q: Have you looked the Giants cornerback depth chart yet?
A: I know a few people. Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) and one more person, but I forgot his name. I know Jackrabbit definitely.
Q: Do you expect to come in here and start?
A: I just want to come in and work. Wherever I land at on the depth chart, I’m ready to work. Go out there and compete with the guys and hopefully get a chance to help my team.
Q: What was it like being in the green room?
A: It was a dream come true. I knew one team would call me before the first round was over with. When the Giants traded back up (into the first round), I kind of had a feeling.
Q: Are you mostly an outside guy or can you play the slot too?
A: I can play outside or slot. I can adapt to any situation. Wherever the team needs me to win that’s where I will go.
Q: Do you consider yourself a shutdown corner?
A: Of course.
Q: How do you define the term shutdown corner?
A: In college I covered the opposing team’s number one receiver that’s how I got the term shutdown corner. In the league I just want to come in and work with my team.
DAVE GETTLEMAN’S 2019 PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman held the team’s annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):
Opening: Good afternoon. I would like to begin by thanking our Director of College Scouting Chris Pettit and the staff, Chris Mara, Kevin Abrams, Mark Koncz, Pat Shurmur and the coaches for all of their diligence in putting together this year’s draft board. I really can’t thank them enough. With the college draft a week away, we are coming to the second part of what I call the roster building season. Football is the ultimate team game. While it may be difficult for some to understand, building a roster is not just about collecting talent. It is not just about how fast, strong or talented a player is, but does he fit athletically, intellectually and culturally into what you are trying to accomplish, that is to win a Super Bowl.
Recently, there was an article in USA today written by Dan Wolken. I recommend that everyone read it. What he did was, he was discussing two of the premiere college basketball programs in Duke and Kentucky. The article was written after they had been eliminated from this year’s NCAA tournament. The final paragraph really put what I believe into a nutshell. And I quote: ‘As long as Krzyzewski and Calipari are still coaching, they are going to get their share of the best recruits every single year because of the pathway they have established to the NBA. Both programs have discovered in the tournament that elite recruiting and good roster construction don’t mean the same thing.’
As Lou Lamoriello most recently said, ‘players win games, teams win championships.’
The only major transaction I have not talked to you guys about since the last press conference was about Sterling and getting him extended. Obviously, we feel Sterling is a very important part of who we want to be moving forward. He earned this contract and we are thrilled to have had the ability to get him extended.
This is a pre-draft presser, so let’s talk about the draft. Let the games begin.
Q: You said this is a really strong draft. What about it makes you say that? A: Frankly, we have pretty much set the board. We are tweaking it a little bit here and a little bit there. The scouts went home. I sent them home for the holiday. It gives me a chance to do some work on my own, some additional work. The board is really basically set. I am looking at it and we have more players rated as first, second, third or fourth-round values that I have had in any draft. This is my eighth draft as a GM. In terms of the volume of players on the board, this is the thickest.
Q: Is selecting a quarterback a priority for you? A: The priority is to select the best players. Last year, we could not pass up on Saquon. He was the best player in the draft. You can’t do that. We have had this conversation before. Eli is closer to 40 than he is to 25. We can do that math. At the end of the day, we are going to take the best players.
Q: At number six, do you need a gold jacket guy or is that too far down? A: For me, you are riding on the edge. There are gold jacket guys that never got drafted. That stuff happens. It is still about value. Who is going to give you the most value at that spot? When you start reaching for the need, you get into trouble. You can never have too many good players at one position.
Q: Is it important to look at every pick you guys have, you have 12, that you need to get 12 starters or do you take the approach of looking at first round talent and seventh round talent? A: If we get 12 starters in this draft, I would have one hell of a time on Cape Cod. All kidding aside, having 12 picks is crazy. One of the things I have talked about is that you don’t want to draft a player that you are going to cut. Every guy you draft, there is a reason you are drafting him and a reason that he should make your club. First, second, third round draft picks at the very least, you are looking for a big rotational player. Everyone talks about the way the league is going down, 65-70 percent of the time you have your defensive sub package in. You can easily make the argument that your nickel is your starter. You can make that argument. Your third wide is your starter. That is what you are looking at. Guys that walk on the field and help you win now. Anything after that is a huge bonus. Earlier, David Diehl was a fifth round draft pick and a 10, 11-year starter. That is what you are looking for.
Q: You mentioned that you have a lot of value in rounds 1-4. Does that give you more flexibility if you want to move around? A: Absolutely. Obviously, every position is different. There are some positions that are thick throughout. Some positions, it gets thick late. Some positions, you are thick, nothing, thick. It varies. Obviously, when your turn is coming up, you have to give it a look, especially when you have a number of guys that you can look at with equal value at different positions.
Q: You’ve said before that a franchise QB has to be one that you love because it is such an important position. Does that also apply to the second first-round pick? There could be a guy that you like but the value is there. Could you see yourself not being in love with a guy but taking him with that second pick or is this too important of a position? A: With as heavy as this draft is, to answer that question, we are at 17 so I would be shocked, very surprised if there was someone there that I did not like.
Q: Could it be a guy that you are in love with? A: Absolutely.
Q: Are you talking about QB specifically? A: Who knows?
Q: At 17, you said you would be shocked if there was someone there that you didn’t like? A: A player, yes.
Q: Not a QB? A: It could be. It could be a corner, a wide receiver. It could be a sports writer.
Q: QB is so important that you don’t want to force it but if he is sitting there at 17, the value might be just too good. A: The value might be too good for what? If we have a QB rated in the first round, we love him.
Q: Is there a lot of ‘what ifs’? A guessing game? A: It is so crazy now. You read all the info and you have 85 mock drafts. There are about 20 guys that are in everyone’s first round. History tells you, you can bet the ranch that those guys are going to go. Times have changed. My very first draft, I was an intern with the Buffalo Bills. And Norm Pollum, who recently passed away, he has a legal pad and at that time there were 28 teams. He had 28 teams and 28 names. He turns around and gives it to me. He says take a look. I am looking at it and he says, that is the draft. He had 26 of them. That is when people didn’t have phones and there wasn’t a whole series of smokescreens and lies. And people just kibitzed. At the end of the day, you can’t count on teams taking this guy or that guy. You just have to relax. It is just a process. You relax and see what happens.
Q: Is there a better chance this year of marrying value with the position of need? A: Yes, because it is about volume.
Q: You said that if you have a QB with a first-round grade, it means that you love him. I am curious if there are traits that lead you to a guy like that? A: A lot of it is physical ability to play the game. One of the things that I really believe is, this is not taking a shot at anyone so don’t twist my words, please. Being a quarterback of a team in this type of market is a load. It is a mental load. You have to really vet out the background of these guys. Just like being the head coach of this team is a load, being a quarterback is a load, too. It is more than just looking at a guy’s physical talent. It is about his makeup. A lot of you guys were here Eli’s first year. He starts the last nine games of the year and there were a couple games early on, the Baltimore game, where he was what, 4 of 15? Something like that. He is there and then we are playing Dallas in the last game of the year. We are on the six-yard-line going in and we have no timeouts. There is 12 seconds left in the game and he has the cojones to audible to a draw. If we don’t score, we lose the game. You have to have a mental toughness about you to play the position here in New York. Or to play the position anywhere. That is a huge piece of it. It is important. If you don’t think it is, you need to re-think it.
Q: Getting the 17th and 95th picks were a big part of the return in the Odell trade. Any extra pressure knowing that those guys will be compared to him? A: No, not for me. I don’t mean to make light of it, but no. We are going to get good players with those picks.
Q: You have the 12 picks, two in the first round. You want to get every draft right. Does the draft pick at the top, you said you put extra value on them. Does that put extra importance in getting those right? A: There is pressure getting it right every year. Even last year, we had five picks. That is all we had. There is no less pressure or more pressure with 12 than there was with five. It does not make a difference what job you have. You have pressure and deadlines. There are people that look at you, I look at you and say, how do you do that? You have a 4:25 start. The game ends at 7:15. You better get your crap in in about 25 minutes but you don’t have time. By the way, the game just ended and you have to run down and get interviews. You guys have pressure. It is what you do. You just roll with it. That is what I do. I don’t feel that pressure.
Q: Is it valuable for these QBs that you evaluate to have handled adversity in the past to see how they have handled it? A: Exactly. It is a hell of a question. Back in the fall, I was talking to Pat (Shurmur) and we were having that conversation. He said, there are a lot of guys that never had adversity. You will have adversity up here. I don’t care how great a player you are. I could sit down over a year and you could give me any Pro Bowl player. I can make you a 25, 30 snap tape and you will look at it and say that you have to be kidding me, he is getting paid that kind of money. You have to be kidding me, he went to the Pro Bowl. Then, I will make the other 25-minute tape and you will say, oh my God. Everyone has adversity. Everyone. Who is mentally tough enough to say, OK, it happened once, it is not happening again. With a lot of these guys, it is a very legitimate question. You have to dig so deep to see where they have had adversity. It is painful but it is part of the evaluation.
Q: Do you need a defensive playmaker in this draft? A: You sat there and watched it. We went 4-4 the second half of the year and we had three games that if we make a stop, we are 7-1. Obviously, you can’t have too many playmakers. You talk about roster construction, I have always been a big believer that if you look at the great defenses, they have a lead dog in every level. A legitimate playmaker at every level of their defense. I said it at the postseason presser and I will say it again, we need some defensive playmakers.
Q: Do you have a lead dog on your defense right now at any level? A: Ogletree. Alec. Our two safeties that we brought in, Antoine and Jabrill. Antoine has been a lead dog. We are getting there.
Q: Upfront is where you think you need? A: Listen, we are thrilled with B.J. and we are thrilled with Dalvin. We have to keep adding to that mix. The young guys on the outside, Lorenzo made a lot of strides last year. We are getting there. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Q: If you had a QB rated in the first round, is there any reason why you would wait to the second pick to take him? A: Depends upon who is available. If you would have said that last year, I would have given you the same answer. You would have seen what happened. We will see.
Q: Is it important to have that battery going from defensive tackle to center to QB to RB where you want your lead dogs to be before you build outside? A: I don’t know. I don’t think football is any different from any of the three other major sports. Strength up the middle is critical. Your lead dog can be an outside linebacker or an outside pass rusher. What you want is talent. That is what you want.
Q: Is between 37 and 95 a place that will be hard for you to watch 60 players come off the board? A: Yes, it is. It won’t be fun.
Q: What position has impressed you the most in this draft? A: The wides (wide receivers) are real thick. The offensive tackles are thick. The secondary is thick. Corners and safeties. When I say thick, I am talking about up and down the draft. Rounds 1 through 7.
Q: How does what people in front of you do complicate things and change the dynamic of what you are going to do? A: We are going to sit there and see what is cooking at six. We will go from there.
Q: Have you had any conversations with the Cardinals? A: I am not going there.
Q: There are only five teams that pick ahead of you. A: Look at that, you have done the math.
Q: The guy you pick will be ranked higher or not that much lower at all because you don’t have to. You won’t force that for any position at all? A: No. You are up at six.
Q: If you don’t have a QB in the top six, you aren’t taking one with that pick, is that safe to say? A: I am just saying I won’t force a pick. You can’t draft for need. You will get screwed every time and make a mistake.
Q: So a QB is not its own special category? A: No, it is not.
Q: When you look at this draft, is there a chance you get to six and all of these top stud defensive players are gone? A: A chance that they are all gone? No.
Q: Do you see a spot this year where there is a drop off? A: It is a really good draft. I fully expect, if we don’t move, at six and 17, we are going to get a really good player. I am not going to panic. It is going to be a good player. I do not want to sound arrogant.
Q: Do you have your guy right now hoping he is there at six? A: We have to finish doing the board. We are still screwing around. I have an open mind.
Q: Any gold jacket guys in this draft? A: Yes. I don’t want to put a number on it. This is a draft that has been well ballyhooed by the volume of players and the depth. It is legit.
Q: What do you think about this QB class? A: It is good. Thick.
Q: Better than last year? A: I am not going there. Come on now.
Q: Ernie Accorsi always says that you draft QBs to win Super Bowls. Are there any QBs in this draft that you think are Super Bowl ready? A: There are a couple of really good quarterbacks in this draft, yes.
Q: What is the level of urgency to land a franchise QB right now? A: If you put a lot of pressure on it, you are going to make a mistake. I am not going to put a level on that. You let the draft come to you. We went into last season with Eli and thought he had plenty left. He proved that. We will just see how it goes.
Q: What about the level of urgency to get the KC model in place? A: I said ‘the KC model’, people have been doing that for years. This is just the most recent one. How about the Green Bay model with Rodgers and Farve? He sat two and a half, three years. That is what you would like to do. Eli is a pro’s pro and you guys know that. To allow a quarterback to learn at the feet of Eli, it would be a sweet deal. Kyle (Lauletta) is working on that right now. Don’t forget about Kyle. You would prefer that be the situation. You would hate to take a young kid and just throw him in there.
Q: As you continue to construct this team, do you feel that you can win now and in the future? A: We won two more games than the team did the year before. Then, you had all those games where we lost by a point, two points. We lost eight games by a touchdown or less. The NFL is tight. A few more players get you over the top and you win more.
Q: You have hit on small college guys before. What do you have to see on film to judge them? A: A million years ago, I am scouting at Kutztown State and I am looking at John Mobley. It is October and everyone since August was telling me to go to Kutztown, have you been there yet? I said, what do we have here, Superman? So I went and watched John play. The closest Division I school is Penn State. I had to ask the question and I tell the scouts this all the time, if I am watching John Mobley, can I picture him starting at Penn State. That is the litmus test. When scouts talk about DI, II, I-AA, will he start at a big DI program. They all go to big DI programs, so they should be able to answer.
Q: Will you move if there is urgency? A: Look at my history. I have traded up a bunch of times in Carolina. Last year, we had to sit. We only had the five picks. I was not going to take picks from this year’s draft to move up in last year’s draft. We are going to do what we need to. If the situation calls for it and there is guy there that we feel can really help us but he is a few picks in front and we are not confident or comfortable that he will fall to us, if we feel the need, we will make the move. I am not afraid to do that.
Q: First four rounds are loaded ,would you move some picks in the back and try and get into the first four? A: It is possible. You may. Anything is possible.
Q: Does that include moving picks from next year’s draft? A: Maybe.
Q: How does the dynamic change when you have two first round picks? A: I have never had that. It is fun. I am excited about it. It is weird. After you make that first pick, you can’t go get dinner. I am excited. You are going to draft two guys that you will have for five years, which is a big help with the cap now a days. I am looking forward to it.
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:
NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN BENNIE FOWLER, TONY LIPPETT, ZAK DEOSSIE…
The New York Giants have officially announced the re-signing of unrestricted free agents wide receiver Bennie Fowler, cornerback Tony Lippett, and long-snapper Zak DeOssie. It had earlier been reported that Lippett and DeOssie had already agreed to terms. Lippett signed a 1-year, $810,000 contract.
After signing late with the Giants in October 2018, Fowler surprisingly played in 10 games with five starts, finishing the year with 16 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. The 6’1”, 212-pound Fowler originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Broncos (2014-2017), Chicago Bears (2018), and New England Patriots (2018). Fowler has played in 55 regular-season games with 10 starts. He has 72 career catches for 897 yards and six touchdowns.
The Giants signed Lippett in to the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in three games, with no starts, and was exposed in coverage. A former wide receiver, the 6’3”, 192-pound Lippett was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. In three years with the Dolphins, from 2015 to 2017, Lippett played in 25 regular-season games with 13 starts. He missed all of the 2017 season with with a torn Achilles’ tendon. The Dolphins cut Lippett before the 2018 season started.
DeOssie is one of the NFL’s most consistent long snappers, being voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. DeOssie was drafted as a linebacker by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He is now strictly a special teams player. In his 12 NFL seasons, DeOssie has only missed four games (all in 2015 with a wrist injury). Aside from his long snapping duties, DeOssie also excels in punt coverage.
MORE DAVE GETTLEMAN MEDIA INTERVIEWS FROM MONDAY…
Aside from New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman’s media conference call on Monday, he also participated in the following media events on the same day:
CURTIS RILEY VISITS THE GREEN BAY PACKERS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent free safety Curtis Riley visited the Green Bay Packers on Monday. The Giants signed Riley as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans in March 2018. Riley surprisingly started all 16 games at free safety, finishing with 75 tackles, 5 pass defenses, and 4 interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown). However, he was often a liability against both the run and the pass.
The 6’0”, 190-pound Riley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Titans as a cornerback after the 2015 NFL Draft. Riley spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury. He played in four games in 2016 and seven games in 2017 with no starts.