Jan 092020
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (January 9, 2020)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

JOE JUDGE INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Joe Judge was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at 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.

Dec 302019
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (September 8, 2019)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JOHN MARA ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara addressed the media on Monday after the team fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur and retained General Manager Dave Gettleman (video):

Opening Statement: Steve (Tisch), Dave (Gettleman) and I met with Pat Shurmur early this morning and informed him that we were going to make a change at our head coaching position. These decisions are never easy, particularly when you have someone like Pat with his character, his integrity, his work ethic. But at the end of the day, we just didn’t win enough games, and we believe that we have to move in another direction. It’s certainly not all Pat’s fault, he did a lot of good things here; in particular, his role in selecting and training Daniel Jones. It’s a difficult day when you have to do something like this. The first thing that I always think of is the effect that it has on so many good people and their families. But at the end of the day, it was a decision that we just felt like we had to make going forward. In terms of Dave, I know you’re going to ask me about that, but Steve and I decided to retain Dave and give him a chance to finish what he has started, which includes so many changes in this organization that people really don’t know about. We’ve made a lot of turnover in our scouting area, we’ve completely changed our grading system in how we grade college players, we’re deeper into analytics and technology than we’ve ever been before, and that process is ongoing. We’ve completely re-organized areas in our football operations, we’ve added a staff psychologist on a full-time basis, and we believe it would be a mistake to pull the plug on that after two years, particularly when you consider that Dave spent a good part of the first year fighting for his life. Personnel-wise, we’ve had some hits, we’ve had some misses, and we have a lot of young players who have shown some promise, but it remains to be seen whether they’re going to develop into quality NFL players or not. The point I’m trying to make is it’s not business as usual here at the Giants. We’ve made a lot of changes, changes that you don’t necessarily know about, and we felt like we needed to give it a chance to see if it’s going to succeed or not. All that being said, we need to win more games, and Dave knows that, and that’s going to be the challenge going forward. We’re going to start the coach search immediately. I’m not going to comment on specific candidates, but we will inform you as people are being interviewed. With that, I’ll take your questions.

Q: Why do you feel that you only needed to take one of the two prongs at the top between your coach and your GM, even though the call from the fans was to do a complete overhaul?
A: Well, I’m not sure that was the call from all the fans, but I understand the criticism that’s out there. But I just explained why I think we need to give Dave a chance to finish the job.

Q: Not much has gone right for this organization over the last eight years, the one playoff year, other than that–
A: I’m painfully aware of that.

Q: How much blame do you deserve for that?
A: It all starts at the top. So, yes, you can criticize me all you want, and it would be warranted because it all starts at the top. The success, the failures, and the last eight years have been pretty miserable. So, I’ll accept my share of blame for that.

Q: What specifically went into the decision to fire Pat Shurmur but retain Dave Gettleman, who built the roster that Shurmur was the coach of, especially when you credit Shurmur with helping identify Jones and develop him?
A: Like I said with Dave, I think we’ve had some hits and some misses. He implemented so many changes within our organization, we just felt like at this stage to pull the plug on all of that would not be the wise thing to do. I’m excited about what I see in the future for this team because of the young players we have, because of the changes that we’re making. With Pat, it ends up being as much a gut instinct as anything else. I just felt like we weren’t winning enough games, we weren’t winning the games that we should have won, and we just need to go in a different direction.

Q: Were there specifics in-game or philosophically with Shurmur that made you believe that he was more to blame than the guy getting the pieces and bringing in the personnel?
A: Well, it’s a collaborative effort when you have a coach and a general manager. They worked very well together, they were in sync on all the personnel decisions that we made here, but I just felt like there were so many games that I felt like we should have won, and we just didn’t get the job done.

Q: Was there a push and pull with you and Steve Tisch about this, or when you guys spoke—was it today you spoke with–
A: I speak to Steve all the time, and we’ve been in lockstep on this all along. Our relationship, contrary to what I read the other day, has never been better. We communicate on these issues, any issues regarding the team, all the time, and this has been a conversation we’ve been having for at least the last few weeks anyway.

Q: So, no one had to convince one another about the decision?
A: Absolutely not. That’s absolutely false, no.

Q: Is there a chance that whoever the next coach is would influence or factor into Dave’s role here, that the next coach would have some say over keeping Dave?
A: He’s not going to have any say over keeping Dave, but certainly I’m going to want somebody that’s going to be able to work hand-in-hand with him. Dave and Pat’s relationship has been terrific, they worked very well together, there was no personnel decision that has been made here in the last two years that Pat wasn’t fully on board with.

Q: Do you have any concern that Dave’s presence could have a negative impact on the pool of candidates?
A: I’m aware that that’s a perception that’s out there, but I don’t have that concern because I think once they meet him and get to know him, that won’t be an issue.

Q: Are you committed to maintaining the power dynamic that you’ve had with the general manager and director of personnel and–
A: I’m always willing to look at whatever’s going to improve the team, and if I felt that there was somebody coming in here as a head coach who wanted a different role and he could convince Steve and I that that would make sense for our organization, we would certainly consider that.

Q: Is Dave going to run the coaching search?
A: Dave and I will be involved in the coaching search. Steve will be involved as well.

Q: What if some of these candidates, you said that talking to Dave they won’t have a problem, but what if they do?

A: If they do, they do. We’re going to try to get the best candidates in here that we can, and we’re going to try to convince them why this is a good job opportunity for them. We’ve got a terrific young quarterback, we’ve got a young roster, we’re in the best cap space shape we’ve been in in many years. There’s a lot to this organization that I think would attract a lot of different candidates.

Q: Your past two coaching hires obviously haven’t worked out. Before that, a long time since you brought in Tom (Coughlin). What do you say to the questions about whether you guys are in tune with what it takes in the modern NFL to bring in a successful coach, given the last few hires?
A: That’s fair criticism. We’ve failed twice in a row now, and you have to keep working at it, try to find the right guy, that’s all. I’m not convinced that either of the past two coaches couldn’t have been successful over a longer period of time, but there comes a point in time when your patience runs out, your gut tells you that you need to make a change, and that’s what happened this time.

Q: You had specific criteria the last two coaching searches about who you were looking for, what you saw as the next head coach. Has that criteria changed a bit? If I recall, over the last two searches, you did not bring in any college head coaches, or anyone without any coaching experience in the NFL. Will that expand when you’re looking at new candidates?

A: There well could be college candidates here. I’m really looking for leadership, that’s the big thing going forward. Somebody who can come in and take control of this roster, help build a culture that is going to lead to winning. Somebody who is going to help us with our football re-organization during the process we’re undergoing right now. We’re looking for all those qualities from the next candidate.

Q: When you look at Dave’s stay here as GM, how do you balance, if you do, his successes with analytics and things behind the scenes that you outlined with the significant misses in free agency, if not a miss overall on a player, perhaps overpaying for others?
A: Well, we could have differences in opinion whether those were hits or misses. There definitely have been some misses, no question about it. I think that can happen to anybody. There were reasons for some of those personnel decisions. He does know that the batting average has got to increase going forward though.

Q: What’s your message to the fans in terms of how long this process will take before you see a winning team on the field?
A: Well, I’d like to think that we can start winning next year. It’s been too many years since we’ve had a winning team on the field. Nobody feels that more than Steve and myself. It’s not easy to sit in your stadium and watch fans from the other team, you know, and that’s happened too often this year. So, believe me, we live this every day, we feel it as much if not more so than the fans do, and we’re committed to try and get this thing right.

Q: You mentioned the fans from other teams cheering in your building. It was very pronounced this year. Have you ever been through an entire season where that consistently happened, with the Packers, to the Cowboys, to the Eagles?

A:  Probably not, it’s probably the worst. I think that’s more of the norm in the NFL now, when your team is not winning, your fans sell their tickets, and often times it’s the fans of the opposing team that come in. We had that situation when we were in Tampa, when we were in Washington, we had large contingents of fans down there. But listen, we haven’t been winning, the fans are getting fed up with that, and so they sell their tickets. I get that.

Q: You just mentioned that Dave knows his batting average in free agency and that personnel needs to improve. Worst case scenario, what if it doesn’t? Do you run the risk of hiring a head coach and potentially having to fire a GM a short time after and kind of throwing that power structure out of whack?
A: Yes, we do run that risk.

Q: How much did you weigh that these last couple of days?

A: Weigh what exactly?

Q: The risk?
A: That’s certainly something we are aware of, but I happen to believe in Dave. I happen to believe in the changes that he’s making here, and I think those are going to pay off.

Q: You said that you needed to see progress at the end of training camp when we talked to you. Do you need to see wins next year for Dave’s sake?
A: I’m not going to quantify the number of wins I need to see. We need to be able to put a better product on the field, that’s all.

Q: What role did Eli Manning’s early benching play into Pat Shurmur’s firing and the fact that you guys signed off on it. I’m curious how that process went?
A: It had absolutely nothing to do with this decision. How that process went, if I recall, Dave called me on Sunday evening after the Buffalo game. He said he had spoken to Pat and Pat wants to play Daniel. My only question was, do you think Daniel is ready? If you think he is ready, then whatever Pat wants to do. He’s the head coach, he makes those decisions.

Q: How important will it be that the next head coach has a background in developing young quarterbacks?
A: It either has to be that or it has to be his coordinator or his quarterback coach. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the head coach, I’m not ruling out defensive coaches here.

Q: You talk about wanting to find a coach with leadership. How hard is it to find somebody who is a leader but at the same time is not too totalitarian?
A: Obviously, it is pretty hard. Those people are out there. I’ve always believed that the toughest decision that Steve and I ever have to make in this business is finding the right guy to stand up here in front of the team and lead them and develop a winning program going forward. That’s what we are going to put all of our efforts into now, trying to find that guy. It’s obviously not an easy thing to do.

Q: What made now the right time of the season versus say during the nine-game losing streak? The Redskins and the Panthers were obviously getting a head start on their coaching search?
A: You can argue we could have done it earlier. I wanted to give him the chance, I held out hope, quite frankly, for quite some time hoping things would turn around. They just didn’t, so it just was a decision we felt we had to make.

Q: If that’s the case, if you guys had won yesterday, would that have made this decision tougher?
A: Probably not. It probably would have been the same decision.

Q: Is it fair to say you think the roster is better than what the record has been?
A: I think we could have won more games, yes. You’re playing a rookie quarterback, you’re playing all those rookies on the back end on defense. You are going to have some problems, but again at the end of the day we just didn’t win enough games.

Q: Considering the state of the roster, you guys are still in a rebuild. How reasonable is it to expect this team to be a significant winner next year, a playoff team?
A: I think we’ve got the answer at quarterback. I think we have a lot of good young players. We just need them to take it to the next level and hopefully the next coach will help them do that. None of them will be rookies anymore and again we have a very good cap situation and we’re picking fourth in the draft. We should be better next year.

Q: After the spending in 2016, I do recall you saying that that is not how you want to conduct business moving forward. You mentioned the cap space, how do you walk that line?
A: It’s a tough line to walk. In 2016, it paid off in that first year and then afterwards, not so much. The key is still the draft. You have to make good draft picks. You have to supplement that with making wise decisions in free agency. You can’t think that you are going to fix all your problems in free agency. It just doesn’t work.

Q: You said the last two coaches, you didn’t get right. What is your confidence level going into this search?
A: I think there are some very attractive candidates who will have interest in this job. I believe we will get it right this time.

Q: Are you bringing anybody in from the outside to advise? Ernie (Accorsi) is obviously a name that comes to mind?
A: No, I don’t think so.

Q: Is Ernie (Accorsi) going to be a part of the process again?
A: No, I don’t think so. I talk to him all the time, but he’s not going to be a part of the process.

STEVE TISCH ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch addressed the media on Monday after the team fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur and retained General Manager Dave Gettleman (video):

Q: As John (Mara) just said, there’s been some talk before this that there might be some friction between you two on what direction you saw this team going. Was there any of that?
A: There was no friction. John and I have been partners going on 15 years. As you know, the Giants, the ownership is unique. It’s the only team with two equal partners. We’ve been talking as partners for 15 years. We talked about these issues starting weeks ago, today, and we will going forward. Everything you and I read about friction, differences of opinion, I didn’t say it, John didn’t say it. I read it, but it’s not true.

Q: Did you feel like you had the very honest conversation that you needed to have?
A: I’ve got to say, I would characterize every conversation that I’ve had with John as honest, straightforward. I feel very comfortable expressing my opinion on a whole bunch of matters, and I know John feels very comfortable expressing his opinion. It’s a partnership and as I just mentioned, it’s the only true partnership between owners in the NFL. At times, it’s challenging, but the bottom line is it’s been hugely rewarding for both families and I think for the organization.

Q: Did you have to be talked into or persuaded to keep Dave (Gettleman) or was that just part of the process?
A: No. It was part of a process. At the risk of repeating myself, John and I have a very, very, good dialogue constantly. When I’m not here in the building, we speak three or four times a week, home games, away games, we’re constantly speaking, sitting with each other. So, to say that there’s any issues with our communication is a total mischaracterization.

Q: What are you looking for, what qualities do you want in your next head coach?
A: Leadership, an ability to put together a great staff, an ability to really work with the players, the rookies. I think it’s really important that the next head coach has to have a point of view, a very strong point of view, and he will be supported by ownership.

Q: How hard is it to balance being patient with letting the process play out?
A: I think patience is a virtue, I’m not the first person to say that. But at times I think patience can be tested. But I think if I stay very focused, I sort of have the same…I see the same goal line that John Mara sees. Sometimes, the path to that goal line may be a little different, but we see the same goal line, we cross it, and it’s been a very, very, functional relationship. It’s been hugely functional.

Q: What was the deciding factor in keeping Dave Gettleman? What was the deciding factor in the conversation that made you believe he should stay?
A: The deciding factor was, when John and I started talking about this literally weeks and weeks ago, assets, liabilities, good news, bad news, and at the end of the day we decided that we were going to jointly make a decision to keep Dave, to work with Dave going forward into the next season. As John mentioned just now, we have tremendous cap space. I can’t stand here today and say our next head coach is Paul Schwartz (laughter), but I think the search is going to be fruitful and I think we’re going to find a terrific number of candidates and the right decision will be made.

Q: When you look at the last eight years, and the failures that have gone on here and the failures of the last two coaching hires, what do you say to fans who question your ability and John’s ability to lead this organization back to success?
A: I say to the fans I totally understand your frustration, your concern, I read your emails, I get it. But, John and I make decisions that sometimes may not be popular, may not be supported by the fans, but we’re the ones making the decisions, we live by them. It’s been a very frustrating four years, certainly the record indicates that, those numbers don’t lie. Going forward, John and I want to make sure that those numbers change in the next season dramatically.

Q: Why do you think you guys will get it right this time?
A: Because I’m an optimist and I think we know what qualities, what kind of character we want in the next head coach. We’re very focused on that. There’s going to be a real priority to make sure the next head coach has strong leadership abilities and a very impressive track record.

Q: What’s your desire to be more involved? John is the day-to-day guy here, he hasn’t had a lot of success over the last eight years. What’s your desire to be more involved, if it is at all, in the day-to-day operations?
A: I am involved. I would like to be more involved, I will become more involved. So, going forward in 2020, the day after tomorrow. We have a great dialogue with each other. As I mentioned, it’s a very, very, functional, working relationship. Partnerships are hard, professional ones and domestic ones, but I feel we have a very good one and we always, with some differences of opinions expressed and communicated, we get to the same point.

Q: Does that mean you physically want to be here more? Is that what you mean?
A: Yes, I will be here more physically. But, the opportunities that John and I spend with each other in the same building, or the same stadium, or the same locker room will increase.

COACHING SEARCH NEWS…
According to media reports, the New York Giants have requested to interview the following head coaching candidates:

  • Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
  • New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels

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).

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN 13 PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have announced that they have signed the following 13 players:

Reserve/future signings:

  • RB Jon Hilliman
  • FB George Aston
  • WR Reggie White, Jr.
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • OC Tanner Volson
  • OT Nate Wozniak
  • DE Kevin Wilkins
  • CB Derrick Baity
  • LS Drew Scott
  • P Sean Smith

Except for Scott and Smith, all of these players finished the season on the team’s Practice Squad. Smith spend a couple of stints on the Practice Squad as well. Scott has spent time with the Raiders and Cowboys.

The Giants also announced that they have re-signed the following players who were set to become exclusive rights free agents:

  • OG Chad Slade
  • OT Eric Smith
  • LB Devante Downs

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
General Manager Dave Gettleman will address the media on Tuesday at 11:00AM.

Dec 302019
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (December 29, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

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.”

Aug 132019
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 13, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourteenth full-team summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

NFL UPHOLDS 4-GAME SUSPENSION FOR GOLDEN TATE…
The NFL has ruled against the appeal of New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate on his 4-game suspension for violating the League’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Tate can continue to practice and play with the team during the preseason, but he cannot practice or play during the first month of the season.

INJURY REPORT – AMBA ETTA-TAWO TEARS ACHILLES…
Running back Wayne Gallman (foot), wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (Achilles’ tendon), tight end Isaiah Searight (hip), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Brian Mihalik (burner), linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf), cornerback Deandre Baker (knee), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Tuesday.

Etta-Tawo tore his Achilles’ tendon in practice on Monday and is done for the year.

“(Gallman) has just a little bit of a sore foot,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s fine. He just needed a day.”

“(Asafo-Adjei is) in the concussion protocol, and so he’s working through that behind the scenes,” said Shurmur. “As he works through that protocol, there are stages. You can do work, the meeting room, then eventually progress to the field. He just hasn’t quite got there yet.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) participated with a non-contact jersey.

RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Mike Remmers, and FS Antoine Bethea were given the day off (“maintenance day”).

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS FROM GIDIEFOR…
It was a gray day with occasional sprinkles of rain today. Practice was in full gear before the public and press were let in. The players were in shells today. The offense was in blue jerseys; the defense in white; and the QBs in Red. The public portion of practice was held on the near field between the stands and the indoor training center.

I have written before that there is not much to make of practice in shells, because there is no hitting. Notwithstanding that I am going to report on my observations for the day.

The most exciting news for me was WR Darius Slayton, the Giants’ 6’1,” 194 lb, 5th-round draft pick from Auburn was on the field and very active today. He took reps with the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-teams and special teams, caught a few passes, blocked, acted as a decoy, caught a punt, and did not look overwhelmed with anything at all. He looked pretty damn good to me. I think the Giants are going to be hard pressed to let someone with all that going for him go. He has star potential in every sense of the word.

The second thing I want to note is the TE group. There are six TEs on the roster. It really looks as if Evan Engram (6’3” 240 lbs) is the 1, Rhett Ellison (6’5” 255 lbs) is the 2, Scott Simonson (6’5” 261 lbs) is the 3, Garrett Dickerson (6’3” 252 lbs) is the 4, C.J. Conrad (6’4” 247 lbs) is the 5, and then Isaiah Searight (6’4” 250 lbs), who was not practicing and is not doing himself any favors. This is a very deep group and as much good stuff as Conrad has been doing, he’s the smallest of the lot and it’s hard to see him beating out any of the 4 guys in front of him. Dickerson is looking pretty good and so is Simonson. Ellison is “Mr. Reliable” and Engram’s speed and catching ability make them clear favorites as the 1 and 2.

Looking at the WR group 87 Sterling Shepard (5’10” 196 lbs), 15 Golden Tate (5’11” 191 lbs), 18 Bennie Fowler III (6’1” 218 lbs), 2 T.J. Jones (6’ 190 lbs), 5 Da’Mari Scott (6’ 205 lbs), 12 Cody Latimer (6’3” 222 lbs), 13 Reggie White, Jr. (6’2” 212 lbs), 80 Alex Wesley (6’, 191 lbs), 81 Russell Shepard (6’ 194 lbs), 83 Brittan Golden (6’ 196 lbs), 84 Alonzo Russell (6’4” 218 lbs), and 86 Darius Slayton, (6’1,” 194 lbs) are all making noise out there. Of the 12 of them, every single one of them had catches today. However, Russell Shepard, Darius Slayton, T.J. Jones, Cody Latimer, Golden Tate, and Sterling Shepard all take reps catching on special teams so one would think that this gives them an edge.

Looking at the RB group (who practiced having the ball punched at, and stepping and hitting drills, right in front of us today), we have 26 Saquon Barkley (5’11” 233), 22 Wayne Gallman (6’ 210 lbs), 28 Paul Perkins (5’11” 213), 45 Rod Smith (6’3” 235), 39 Ellijah Penny (6’2” 234 lbs), and 23 Jonathan Hilliman (5’11 216 lbs). Gallman didn’t practice today, but it does seem clear that Barkley and Gallman (barring injury) are the 1 and the 2. Penny is the FB and plays special teams. Rod Smith is playing on special teams also. Smith, Perkins and Hilliman were getting their looks on 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-teams today. Is it possible that they keep Penny, Perkins, and Smith with Hilliman being the odd man out?

There was some sideline discussion about the value of keeping QB Kyle Lauletta over QB Alex Tanney today. Ironically, Tanney didn’t have a very good day today, and Lauletta was crisper. The core of this argument was that if you thought Kyle Lauletta had value as a backup, that keeping him on the roster to be Jones’ backup down the road made more sense than keeping Alex Tanney, who is a WYSIWYG player with little upside. I thought this was probably worth batting around as a discussion.

Another discussion was held regarding whether or not QB Eli Manning had it in him be named comeback player of the year this year.

I took a lot of play notes today, but there was no real hitting, except at the end of practice when someone ripped off T Chad Wheeler’s helmet and he struck back at who we couldn’t tell.

Notes:

  • RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Mike Remmers, and FS Antoine Bethea were given the day off.
  • WR Sterling Shepard practiced without any bandages on his hand and wore the yellow jacket for the scrimmage portions of practice.
  • All plays were being run with cards.
  • RB Saquon Barkley made a nonchalant one-hand grab.
  • WR Bennie Fowler made a beautiful catch down the right side from QB Eli Manning.
  • Eli Manning had more reps than the rest of the QBs today.
  • WR Brittan Golden made a good grab.
  • CB Ronald Zamort made a good play against WR Bennie Fowler on a QB Danel Jones pass break up.
  • TE Garrett Dickerson made a beautiful grab up the seam from QB Daniel Jones.
  • TE C.J. Conrad made a nice grab from QB Alex Tanney, who missed on a bunch of throws today
  • Both punters had a spell punting today. I thought 17 Ryan Anderson punted much better than 9 Riley Dixon. He seemed to have better control of the ball and more kicks with a tighter spiral. Dixon had more shots go out-of-bounds today too.
  • WR Golden Tate crash-landed on a sideline pass and caused some concern, but he got up and shook it off and kept playing.
  • QB Eli Manning made a nice throw that WR Cody Latimer reeled in on the right side.
  • WR Alonzo Russell and WR Russell Shepard each made a nice play on comebacks throws by QB Daniel Jones.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta made a crisp throw to WR Da’Mari Scott up the middle.
  • TE T.J. Conrad dropped a QB Daniel jones pass.
  • QB Daniel Jones was intercepted on a pass to the right side.
  • LB Ryan Connelly made a nice break up against QB Daniel Jones.
  • WR Alonzo Russell made a nice grab on the left side from QB Kyle Lauletta.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Nick Gates was the first-team right guard and Chad Slade the first-team right tackle.
  • The second-team tackles were Chad Wheeler at right tackle and Paul Adams at left tackle.
  • Julian Love started at free safety with Antonio Hamilton starting at cornerback along with Janoris Jenkins.
  • LB Ryan Connelly received first-team reps.
  • QB Eli Manning connected with WR Bennie Fowler on a deep post pattern.
  • The kick returners were WR Cody Latimer, WR Brittan Golden, and WR Darius Slayton.
  • QB Eli Manning hit both WR Cody Latimer and WR Golden Tate on passes down the field, but neither could come down with the ball.
  • QB Eli Manning connected with TE Evan Engram on a 20-yard gain.
  • WR Darius Slayton made a nice catch on a high pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • DL B.J. Hill beat RT Chad Wheeler to the inside for a “sack.”
  • CB Grant Haley “sacked” the quarterback on a blitz.
  • LB Tae Davis got to the quarterback untouched on back-to-back “sacks.”
  • QB Kyle Lauletta missed on a deep out to WR Reggie White, Jr., but then connected with WR Darius Slayton over the middle.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta connected on a 60-yard touchdown pass to WR Reggie White, Jr. over CB Henre’ Tolliver.
  • WR Sterling Shepard was active catching the football despite his thumb injury.
  • WR Golden Tate, WR Darius Slayton, and WR T.J. Jones returned punts.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta connected on 20-yard pass to WR Alonzo Russell.
  • LB Oshane Ximines “sacked” QB Daniel Jones.
  • S Jabrill Peppers picked off a pass from QB Kyle Lauletta intended for WR Alonzo Russell.
  • LB Nate Stupar intercepted a pass from QB Daniel Jones that was deflected.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins knocked away a QB Eli Manning deep pass to WR Cody Latimer.
  • QB Daniel Jones connected down the field with TE Garrett Dickerson.

GIANTS CO-OWNER JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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:

Mar 262019
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (August 17, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

PAT SHURMUR ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL ANNUAL MEETING…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday. Some topics of note (video):

  • On trading wide receiver Odell Beckham: “It is business. We didn’t want to get rid of Odell. We traded Odell and we got value. There are many things that I admire about Odell. I wish him the best… We are building. Obviously, Odell is an outstanding player, but it is a business and (General Manager) Dave (Gettleman) addressed that. I really believe that we got good value in return. I am one of those that believes a trade can be good for both parties. We came to an agreement with Cleveland and we sent them an outstanding player. We got good value in return… He is an outstanding player. It was business. The notion that we were tired of Odell is not accurate… We certainly talked a lot about (the trade). I am on board. I really believe that we have a plan. We have a way that we want to make our team better and we feel like this trade is something that will help us do that.”
  • On acquiring safety Jabrill Peppers: “Our impression is that he is a first-round pick. He is an outstanding player as well. He can play safety. We were looking to help ourselves on defense. He is going to step in and play good football for us.”
  • On losing safety Landon Collins: “Landon played really good football for a very long time. That is what happens in business. He went and signed a very lucrative contract. We wish him well. I said it earlier. Anyone that has ever played for me or that I have ever worked with that are no longer with us, I wish them all the best. I hope they go to their teams and win them games. The same can be said for Landon.”
  • On acquiring wide receiver Golden Tate: “I am excited about him. His skillset is like Sterling (Shepard’s). When we run the ball, they are gritty blockers and you can play them on the edge and in the slot. Then, when you throw the ball, they have both done good work in the slot and have had production outside. You can play both guys wherever.”
  • On acquiring guard Kevin Zeitler: “He is all about football. He has that old school feel. He came in and visited me. He was wanting to know about iPads and making sure he got a lift in that day. ‘Oh by the way, can you direct me to a realtor so my wife can get going?’ He is very task-driven. He came in with four or five things he wanted from me. He is a really fine pass blocker and an outstanding run blocker. He will be a solid piece for us at that right guard spot.”
  • On the offensive line as a whole: “I think we are making progress, and I am really pleased with how they progressed at the end of last year. To this point, we added a really good player. We are going to continue to do that. I think we also shined a bright light on the fact that it starts up front and we are going to do what we can to address the offensive and defensive lines up front as we move forward.”
  • On acquiring safety Antoine Bethea: “He is a very accomplished player. I watched the tape and I see why. You only have to meet with him for a few minutes to feel that leadership that he processes. I think he will help make our back end much stronger.”
  • On the 2019 NFL Draft: “I think there are numerous good players in this draft. We are putting our final evaluations on this class. We have done a heck of a lot of work on all the quarterbacks that we could potentially draft. As much work as we did last year. We will just have to see in the final analysis how it stacks up. There are some really good players in this draft…Our plan is to add more good football players. That is the plan. The diet that doesn’t sell is to eat less and exercise more. No one will buy that book. We are just trying to add more good players. We shined a bright light on some positions of need a year ago and we are going to address some of those needs.”
  • On the draft and the quarterback position: “We have options. We have some good picks and we have things we need to do to make our roster better. I think we all understand Eli (Manning) is closer to 40 than 20. At some point, there will be a new quarterback playing for the Giants. We will just have to see what happens.”
  • On if there is an urgency to address the quarterback position: “There is an urgency to get better at all positions. There are quarterbacks at other teams playing at the age that Eli is. The important thing for us is to make our team better. Have Eli play as good as he can. The draft and free agency drive where we make those changes. That is how we look at it… We are getting ready to play this season and make our roster as good as we can make it. Along with that, we all know that at some point there will be another quarterback playing. We will do the best we can to make the quarterback position the best it can be… If we are winning games, we are not disrupting anything.”
  • On how quarterback Eli Manning can help a new quarterback: “I certainly believe that Eli does everything the right way behind the scenes. I believe that a young QB could value that just by seeing it. That is part of Eli’s charm. How well he works and how well he prepares. How professional he is with doing his job. Any professional from any profession would value from seeing that. If we add a new player, it is not Eli’s job to train him. It is Eli’s job to be the best Eli he can be. It is the player’s job to recognize that it is a great example and take advantage of it. The important thing is Eli be the best Eli he can be. Play outstanding, winning football and don’t worry about that. Quarterbacks learn from each other and if we bring in the right guy, he is going to study Eli and learn a great deal just being around him. We have coaches to coach the players. Eli’s responsibility is to play winning football. I have been around him and I see the way he works. If a young player wants to study and learn, he will learn a lot. A guy that has done all the things that Eli has done, if we draft a quarterback and he becomes the future, being around Eli will only help him.”
  • On improving the defense: “Pass rush is something that we all want. We all want guys that can affect the quarterback. Being an offensive coach, I know how difficult it is for the quarterback to function when he is being rushed. We need to get someone who can affect the quarterback. There are a lot of them (in this draft).”
  • On the high number of touches running back Saquon Barkley receives: “We don’t track that. It is a good thing when he touches the ball. I do think the ball needs to be spread around. In games where you look at the final stat sheet and see six or seven guys touched the ball, I think that is the way you want to play offense.”
  • On whether the offense can improve without wide receiver Odell Beckham: “I think when you play offense, you try and get the most out of the players you have. You have to use their skillsets. I do believe that it takes a village to spread the ball around. The quarterback gets the ball out. We have a lot of fine players on offense. We will spread the ball. Unfortunately, Odell was hurt at the back end of the season and we were able to score our most points of the year. We will find a way.”
  • On tight end Evan Engram: “When he got healthier, he was able to produce in a way we think he can. He had production when he was in there, but then he got hurt a few times. By the end, he was feeling good, running well and playing well. That is a function of Evan doing his thing… He can block. I think he can block better than you do. I think his whole game improved when he became healthy. He is a willing blocker.”
  • On cornerback whether cornerback Sam Beal can start: “We feel like he has those skills. He is doing a really good job coming back from that shoulder surgery. He had an excellent fall in getting himself ready to go.”

JOHN MARA AND STEVE TISCH ADDRESS MEDIA AT NFL ANNUAL MEETING…
New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meetings in Phoenix:

Sep 022018
 
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Davis Webb, New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK SIGN CLAIM SIX PLAYERS OFF OF WAIVERS…
The New York Giants claimed the following six players off of waivers on Sunday:

  • WR Kaelin Clay (Buffalo Bills)
  • OC Spencer Pulley (Los Angeles Chargers)
  • DE Mario Edwards (Oakland Raiders)
  • CB Antonio Hamilton (Oakland Raiders)
  • CB Michael Jordan (Cleveland Browns)
  • CB Kamrin Moore (New Orleans Saints)

The 26-year old, 5’10”, 195-pound Clay was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has spent time with the Buccaneers (2015), Detroit Lions (2015), Baltimore Ravens (2015–2016), Carolina Panthers (2017), and Buffalo Bills (2017–2018). Clay has played in 20 regular-season games with two starts, accruing just six catches for 85 yards. He has experience returning both punts and kickoffs.

The 25-year old, 6’4, 308-pound Pulley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Chargers after the 2016 NFL Draft. Spencer started all 16 regular-season games for the Chargers in 2017 at center. He also is able to play guard.

The 24-year old, 6’3”, 280-pound Edwards was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Raiders. He missed most of 2016 with a hip injury. In three years with the Raiders, Edwards has played in 30 regular-season games with 24 starts. He started 14 games in 2017 and finished the year with 27 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Edwards is a very good run defender.

The 25-year old, 6’0, 190-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has played in 12 regular-season games with no starts.

The 25-year old, 6’1”, 200-pound Jordan was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2016 NFL Draft. He was claimed off of waivers by the Browns in September 2017. Jordan has played in 20 regular-season games with three starts.

The 21-year old, 5’11’, 203-pound Moore (Boston College) was drafted in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.

For an overview of the the current roster, see the Roster and Depth Chart pages of the website.

NEW YORK SIGN CUT SIX PLAYERS, INCLUDING DAVIS WEBB…
To make room for the waiver-wire pick-ups, the New York Giants have waived or terminated the contracts of the following players:

  • QB Davis Webb
  • WR Hunter Sharp
  • TE Jerell Adams
  • OG John Jerry (contract terminated)
  • DE Josh Banks
  • CB William Gay (contract terminated)

The Giants drafted Webb in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft and Adams in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Jerry was with the Giants since 2014, starting 56 regular-season games for the team.

NEW YORK SIGN EIGHT PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have officially signed the following eight players to their 10-man Practice Squad:

  • RB Jhurell Pressley
  • WR Alonzo Russell
  • WR Jawill Davis
  • TE Garrett Dickerson
  • OT Victor Salako
  • LB Avery Moss
  • LB Calvin Munson
  • CB Grant Haley

All eight players were waived by the team on Saturday. The team still has two more open spots on the Practice Squad.

NEW YORK POST AND DAILY NEWS INTERVIEWS WITH JOHN MARA…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Monday.

Aug 282018
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Tuesday due to injury were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (concussion), offensive guard Nick Gates (foot), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

“No update (on Vernon),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Same as yesterday, so we’re just working through his ankle.”

Linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) remained limited. “Connor did well and he did a little bit more today as well,” said Shurmur. “He’s on the right path as well.”

TEAM PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no press availability to the team on Wednesday. The Giants play the New England Patriots in the preseason finale on Thursday night. Teams must cut their rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday.

Jul 262018
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 26, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – GIANTS STILL EVALUATING SAM BEAL…
Not practicing on Thursday were defensive tackle Damon Harrison (unknown), defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), and cornerback Sam Beal (shoulder).

“We’re evaluating what’s happening with (Beal),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He was out here – and you saw him the last day of the rookie camp. He’s got a little thing going on with his shoulder that might need to get fixed…We knew there were some issues with his shoulder when we drafted him…Possibly (out for the season) – we’ll see.”

“(McIntosh) was going through a medical issue coming out,” said Shurmur. “We’re trying to get that rectified. We’ll just try to get him out there as quickly as possible.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • First-team offensive line: left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • Second-team offensive line: left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler.
  • Third-team offensive line: left tackle Malcom Bunche, left guard Nick Gates, center Evan Brown, right guard Chris Scott, and right tackle Jarron Jones.
  • First-team defense: defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson, nose tackle Robert Thomas, defensive end B.J. Hill, outside linebacker Kareem Martin, inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, inside linebacker B.J. Goodson, outside linebacker Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, strong safety Landon Collins, free safety Darian Thompson, and cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Second team defense: defensive end Kerry Wynn, nose tackle A.J. Francis, defensive end Josh Mauro, outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, inside linebacker Mark Herzlich, inside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, outside linebacker Connor Barwin, cornerback B.W. Webb, safety Andrew Adams, safety Curtis Riley, and cornerback Donte Deayon.
  • Third-team defense: defensive end Josh Banks, nose tackle Tyrell Chavis, defensive end Kristjan Sokoli, outside linebacker Avery Moss, inside linebacker Calvin Munson, inside linebacker Thurston Armbrister, outside linebacker Jordan Williams, cornerback Grant Haley, safety Michael Thomas, safety Orion Stewart, and cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta underthrew a deep ball, allowing cornerback Eli Apple to recover and punch the ball out from the intended receiver, Amba Etta-Tawo, who had beaten Apple deep.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins blanketed wide receiver Cody Latimer twice in a row. Then quarterback Eli Manning underthrew Latimer deep and Jenkins picked it off.
  • Tight end Evan Engram blew past safety Landon Collins, made a one-handed catch, and scored. The Giants had Engram lining up quite a bit outside.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams also made a one-handed reception on a crossing route.
  • Returning punts were wide receivers Kalif Raymond and Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris broke up a few passes in 11-on-11 team drills.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. saw quite a few snaps from the slot position.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threaded the needle on a pass to tight end Jerell Adams.
  • Linebacker Alec Ogletree was very active, including defending a number of passes.
  • After practice, Odell Beckham, Jr. worked with fellow wideout Cody Latimer. Quarterback Eli Manning also threw passes to Beckham after practice.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Thursday 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 Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com. Coach Shurmur also sat down with Bob Papa for an exclusive Giants.com interview (video).

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:

ARTICLES…

Mar 262018
 
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Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins (September 17, 2017)

Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN SAFETY MICHAEL THOMAS…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent safety Michael Thomas (Miami Dolphins). The 28-year old, 5’11”, 195-pound Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2012 NFL Draft. After spending most of two seasons on the 49ers’ Practice Squad, Thomas was signed to the 53-man roster of the Dolphins in December 2013. In five seasons in Miami, Thomas has played in 56 games with 25 starts. In 2017, Thomas played in 13 games with two starts and finished the season with 27 tackles and one pass defense. He was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2017 with a knee injury. Thomas is a versatile player who has experience both at both safety spots and nickel corner. Thomas doesn’t make many plays on the football with only six career pass defenses and one interception. But he is a very good special teams player (55 special teams tackles in four years) who was also captain of the special teams in Miami.

ARTICLES…

Jan 262018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (January 26, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

PAT SHURMUR INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Pat Shurmur was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at press conference on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Shurmur’s contract is reportedly a 5-year deal, running through the 2019 NFL season.

Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Good morning. As soon as our season ended, Steve Tisch, Dave Gettleman, Kevin Abrams and myself started this process of finding and identifying our new head coach. We were looking for someone with intelligence, leadership skills, a presence, a professional demeanor, and the right philosophy on how to build a team. It did not matter to any of us whether it was an offensive or a defensive coach. We did a considerable amount of research, which included speaking with executives and coaches, past and present, around the NFL, and players, as well. We were able to identify some great candidates, but it struck me that the name that constantly came up with just about everybody that we talked to was Pat Shurmur. We had some very impressive interviews with six different coaches. We had much discussion back and forth about each of these individuals. We did some more research, and we ultimately decided that Pat was the right man for this job. Pat has had considerable success as an offensive coordinator. He’s had prior experience as a head coach. He’s worked under some great coaches. He has an impressive record in developing young players, particularly quarterbacks, and he’s got an excellent track record as a play caller. And he’s very well‑respected by the players that he’s coached in the past. It also became apparent to us very early on that Pat and Dave share a similar philosophy in how to build a team, and that was no small factor in this decision. So in sum, he checked all of the boxes for us. For all of these reasons, we believe that he is the right coach at the right time for this franchise. So now, on behalf of the Tisch and Mara families, it is my pleasure and honor to introduce the new head coach of the New York Giants, Pat Shurmur.

Remarks by Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
First, I’d like to thank John Mara; I’d like to thank Steve Tisch. I just met Jon and Laurie. I’d like to thank Dave Gettleman, Kevin Abrams. It’s an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of the New York Giants. As I mentioned recently, and I think it happened in one of the earlier articles, this is an iconic franchise. I understand most of the history. I walked by four Super Bowl trophies. As we go forward here, I’m looking forward to leading this organization, and I want to be the coach. I understand the responsibility that comes with being the coach.

I’m taking over a team that was 3‑13, so we’ve got to own that. There’s a lot of work to be done. There’s changes that need to be made. But running parallel with this press conference, I’m hiring a staff of guys that will help us get to where we need to be, and I think that’s the important piece.

I’d like to thank some other people. My wife Jennifer is here. We’ve been married for 27‑and‑a‑half years. She’s the strength of our family. She’s actually an East Coast girl. She grew up in Poughkeepsie. Her father was a Giants fan growing up in Waterbury, her mom was from New York, so this is somewhat of a homecoming, and she really is the strength of our family.

We have four children. Our daughters are here today. And they cry a lot. Anyway, so I have ‑‑ I’m crying because I’ve got three weddings on the horizon at some point, and they won’t be in a K of C hall.

Anyway, our three daughters are here today. We have four children:  Allyson and Erica, who live in Philadelphia, so they’re going to fight our battles on away turf. They live in Philly and we are very proud of them. Our daughter Claire is here, as well. She’s a freshman, will be a sophomore next year, and then our son Kyle is back in Nashville. He plays quarterback at Vanderbilt. They’re terrific kids. They’ve made great choices. They’ve spent their senior years in different towns; give plenty of free advice. ‘Dad, if the quarterback played better, we’d have won; that play where you hand the ball off and run it up the center, I don’t like that play.’  A lot of free advice, but much more unconditional love.

I’d like to thank my mom back in Michigan. My mom and dad did a heck of a job raising us. They taught us how to compete. They taught us how to have compassion. They taught us how not to let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. And so, I appreciate them and love them.

I’d like to thank the Minnesota Vikings. We went there two years ago and quickly became very close to the people up there. Mark and Zygi Wilf, obviously Kevin Warren, Rob Brzezinski, George Paton, and then certainly along the way Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. They are an outstanding organization. I want to thank the players, as well. They are an old‑school operation with an eye on the future, and they do it right. And if we’re going to get to where we need to be, at some point we’re going to have to play them and beat them. So that’ll be a challenge for us.

Now regarding me, you have hired a career coach. You’ve hired a guy that doesn’t know what he would do if he wasn’t doing this. You’ve hired a guy that wants every day to interact with the staff, the coaches, the players, and I really do feel like my role is to make everybody as good as they can be. And I think if we do that on a day‑to‑day basis, we’ll get to where we want to be, and that’s re-establish the winning tradition and put ourselves in a position to win championships. And I understand that’s a journey.

You’re going to try to all figure out who I am. Some would say I’m a little serious. Alright, I get that. But I do think this is a serious business. It’s played and coached by adults. We just happen to do it with a young person’s enthusiasm, and I think that’s important. Some will tell you I have a healthy sense of humor. Those are the people that know me. I’m okay laughing at myself, and I own all that. Most people will tell you that I’m competitive and gritty, and that’s the overachiever’s mindset in me. I feel like we don’t know it all, and I look forward to learning something new every day. Those of you that do know me, though, I have zero tolerance for people that don’t compete. I have zero tolerance for people that don’t give effort, and I have zero tolerance for people that show a lack of respect. And I think that’s something that you’ll know about me as we get to know each other better.

But the people and the players that know me know that I’m willing to give them a hug at the end of a hard day. That’s a little bit about me. I can’t wait to get going. As you know, we’re in the process of hiring a staff. Some of those names are public, so I have no problem commenting on that. As we put the staff together, we’ll try to get you that information in a timely way.

And I learned in my last shot at being a head coach, information travels off your thumbs very quickly, and we as coaches needed to learn ‑‑ in the old handbook it was, ‘Say nothing and be very guarded.’  I don’t feel like that’s necessary anymore. So I’ll try to answer your questions. Unfortunately, the answer to a question might be, ‘It’s between me and the player’, and then you can find out what the player thinks; know what I mean?  So I get that. But I’ll try to be open. We’ll try to answer your questions in really any situation, except for those things that involve Giants’ business that make no sense to be public.

That being said, certainly thrilled to be here, and I’m certainly thrilled to lead our organization back to the path of winning. With that, I’ll take your questions.

Q: What did you learn in your first stop (as a head coach) that makes you feel you’re better equipped to be in this spot the second time around?

A: Good question. I mentioned this one before, too. Everything Cleveland, I wish I knew then what I know now. I think when you’re doing anything for the first time, there’s things that happen that you adjust to that if you’ve done them before, and I’m being a little bit vague here. Some of it’s really not specific. But obviously once you’ve done it before, you have the resources, and you’ve made those decisions. You’ve made those calls. You’ve done the things that you say if I do that again, I’ll never do that again. And I think I learned that.

Q: What do you think your relationship with Eli Manning will be, and in the interview process how strongly were you saying, ‘I want this 37‑year‑old quarterback to be back here’?

A: Well, first off, I think the relationship is going to be very strong. I’ve watched him, competed against him, admired how he’s played over the years. Got to spend some time with him this summer in the Manning Academy setting. I’ve already spoken to him on the phone and he’s an outstanding football player, and I can’t wait to get to work with him. I’ve admired the way he’s handled things. I sort of like a calm approach to the position. Looking forward to getting to work with him.

Q: How do you win that locker room?  How do you get that locker room playing for you, playing hard?

A: Yeah, with regard to the players, I really do believe it’s about the players. We used to have a thing we said in Philadelphia, and then certainly when we went to Minnesota that, ‘It’s not the plays, it’s the players.’  I think what’s important is we’re going to establish the right way to do things. We’re going to establish what we want as a New York Giants football team. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to inspire the players to see it our way, and I think that’s an important thing. There’s reasons why the Giants slipped to 3‑13, and we’re going to find out what some of those reasons are behind the scenes, and we’re going to try to get them fixed at the beginning. Now, I will say this:  When it comes to coaching and playing, you work together, and I think what’s important is we establish at the very beginning the way we’re going to do things, what we expect, and then keep talking about why it’s important so that they believe it, as well.

Q: Are you planning to call the plays?

A: I do plan to call the plays, yes.

Q: What’s your plan offensive coordinator wise?

A: That’s a little bit behind the scenes right now. I’m not avoiding that. That’s a work in progress. But I’m going to hire ‑‑ with regard to all of our coaches ‑‑ here’s what I was looking for and some of them are here in the building. There’s not six or seven guys becoming head coaches every year, and I don’t think you need to sweep the whole place clean. There’s some really good coaches here, and I want to first keep them. There’s other guys we’re looking at outside the building that are, number one, career coaches, outstanding teachers, communicators, and so we’re looking for those type people. Some of them are currently not quite available, but we’ll make sure we get a staff full of guys that can inspire our players.

Q: I know you’ve been to Mobile, but how much have you looked at film of Eli Manning and Odell when he was healthy and really start studying this offense, and Davis Webb as well?

A: Yeah, I’m very familiar with the offense, very familiar with the players, and again, I look forward to visiting with them. Certainly this time of year we can’t talk schematics, but I’m looking forward to once we get through today, really getting a chance to get to know the players. I think what’s important is, you know, we’re all sort of what we believe and what our experiences tell us, and so I think what’s important when you’re talking with players that have had success, sit down and start to communicate – here’s the things that they did well, here’s the things that I believe in, and let’s do the things that work best for us. And so that’s going to be the process as I go through with all the players.

Q: When you look at this team last year at 3‑13, do you still see a lot of talent there? A lot of the same players returning from the 11‑5 year the year before. Or a lack of talent, or was it other issues that caused it?

A: Well, I think we’ll get into whether there were other issues. There are a lot of very talented players on this team. I think every team has that. And then every team goes through seasons. A year ago in Minnesota we had a lot of injuries, and again, they didn’t become part of the daily conversation, but we found our way to be 8‑8, dealing with a lot of adversity. This year we won 14, and we made some changes, although they may not have seemed to be big changes, that can do that. Now, I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen in a year, but I do know this:  Every year is different. Every year you have new players. You have new coaches. And the challenge is then when we get going here the first part of April is we work together to put together a team that has the chemistry to go out and compete and win, so that’s what we’re looking to do.

Q: What is your evaluation, following up on the Eli questions, about where Eli is at in his career, how much he might have left, and how that would factor into what might be done with the second pick in the draft?

A: Yeah, I think those are all questions for down the road. I’m sure we’ll talk about that up until the draft. You know, I watched Eli throw a little bit this summer, and I walked away saying, ‘He looked really, really good.’  He looked fit. He was throwing the ball well. The ball had good velocity coming off his hand. And again, I think he’s got years left. How much, I don’t know. But I think he has time left, and I look forward to working with him. With regard to who we’re going to draft, you know, I’m not ducking that question. I think that we’ve got to travel down that road of evaluation to see what happens there. But I think what’s important is we have a guy here that’s helped this organization win Super Bowls. He’s an outstanding player, and I’m really looking forward to working with him.

Q: I’m just wondering if you’ve given some thought to the type of identity, the type of culture you want to build within the locker room.

A: Yeah, I think what’s important, and I alluded to it, we need to have a tough, gritty team that knows how to compete. I think what’s important is when we put the roster together, we want to first accumulate 90 players that love to play football. Now, certainly they’re going to have to have the skill and ability to do it, but we want to put together a group of 90 and then eventually get to 53. I think sometimes the good answer for a young player is, ‘I really don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have this game.’  And I think it’s the absolute greatest game in the world. And so we need to find guys that love to play the game, and then we’ll decide whether they’re good enough, and then we’ll take it from there.

Q: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your defensive coordinator James Bettcher and what you think he’s going to bring to the team.

A: Yeah, I’ve known James for a while, and I think he’s a rising star in the profession. He’s played ‑‑ they’ve played outstanding defense in Arizona for a very long time. He’s a little bit multiple in his scheme, which I think is good. Everyone I’ve talked to, he inspires the player. He’s got a great presence, and we’re really, really fortunate to have him be with us. Very hard to score against. They find a way to put pressure on the quarterback. They do a good job in their coverage schemes, and they’ve been good at stopping the run. He’s had a top‑six defense the last three years, and for whatever reason on the teams I’ve been on, I’ve crossed over against them.

Q: You say he’s multiple in his schemes. Do you envision more of a three‑man front here?

A: I think that’s talked about often, three‑man front, five on the line, four‑man front. I think all defenses play a version of that throughout the game. Even teams that play five on the line, you know, they’re in nickel 60 percent of the time, so it’s a four‑man front. So the ability to be multiple in my opinion, as long as you can still remain fundamental, is something that’s hard on an offense, and I’ve faced that through the years.

Q: What would you say to a Giants’ fan base that isn’t disappointed with the past season, it’s furious and expects a quick turnaround?

A: I get furious. I get quick turnaround. I do know that what’s important is we get better every day. With regard to players, if each player swaps, so to speak, makes us incrementally better, that’s what we’re looking to do. You know, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. So we’re going to do that. And I think what’s important is we just every day work toward where we need to be. Then it won’t be a three‑pointer at the buzzer. Then we will have established a team that can sustain that over time.

Q: Do you have a philosophy at all in dealing with a locker room where probably a result of the losing was the in‑fighting, the back‑biting, the players not getting along and that becoming public here?

A: Yeah, I think ‑‑ well, first off, I admire how resourceful people are at getting information, so I don’t really believe there’s any secrets. Okay, so I think what you do is you start initially with the locker room by developing relationships with those guys that love to play football, and you’re constantly talking to them about what it means to be a good pro. For a receiver to be a good pro sometimes is even though you’re frustrated that you didn’t get the ball, you’ve got to make sure you keep that in check. Or for whatever reason. Maybe you’re a defensive lineman that’s not getting as many sacks. They need to understand that the pressure you’re putting on the quarterback, even though you didn’t sack him, is just as important. Two quick examples of being able to just constantly communicate with the players. We as coaches are educators. We work with the players, and it’s important that we inspire them to play their very best. And some of that is going and talking about those types of issues.

Q: We talk about Odell Beckham Jr., here, and the role he has in this offense. I know you have a previous relationship with Eli. Do you have a previous relationship with Odell?  Have you had a chance to talk to him yet, and what do you envision for him in your offense?

A: Well, he’s a tremendous player. I went through the evaluation process at the time I was in Philadelphia and he was high on our draft board. We loved him as a player, and really pre‑draft stuff, we loved everything about him. I’ve watched him play and compete, and when you throw all the other stuff out and you watch him on the field, he’s outstanding. So it makes sense to throw him the football. I’m just going to say that right away. If I didn’t acknowledge that, then you’ve definitely got the wrong guy up here. But I think what needs to happen now is I need to get to know him. I need to get to know what makes him tick, and I get to ‑‑ I need to talk to him about what it is that we’re looking for for a guy that plays for the New York Giants. And I think those are the things that go back to relationship building that need to happen very, very soon.

Q: John Mara mentioned that you and Dave Gettleman have kind of a similar philosophy how to build a team, and when you were sitting in that interview, as the Giants were saying, ‘This could be our guy’, what were you saying, specifically talking to Gettleman about building a team, what made you say, ‘This is for me’?

A: As soon as he said, ‘Everything starts with the offensive line.’  And I think there’s a great example of that, what we went through in Minnesota. We didn’t change the oil up there, we changed the transmission. We went and got two free agent offensive linemen, we drafted a center that played like a veteran, and we transformed the offensive line that helped us do the things that helped us win 14 games. And so I think it’s very important, no matter how good your offensive line is and your defensive line, you have to address those issues constantly because if you can’t block them and you can’t pressure the quarterback, this game gets really, really, really hard. I know that about Dave. I know we have a serious mindset when it comes to doing what we can to upgrade in those areas. And some of it may be just inspiring a player on the roster to play better than he’s played, you know, and that comes back to coaching. And then we all know that every once in a while, you need to get some new players.

Q: What’s your first priority here, first couple priorities once you’re done here today?

A: Well, there’s a lot kind of running parallel right now. I certainly want to get a feel for the passion in the building. I came in yesterday, and I had an opportunity to walk around the building. There’s a lot of people here that when you shake their hand, you know that they’re fully committed to us winning. So keep that going. We’re certainly in the process of putting our staff together, and then we’re also running parallel with that. The player evaluation phase as well as the player acquisition phase, which is free agency and the draft. All that runs parallel. Once I get the full staff in place, then we’ll start talking about our scheme behind the scenes, and believe it or not, there’s a lot that goes on, and we’re just a few weeks behind that.

Q: Did you look at this as inevitable becoming a head coach again, or did something spark interest again this season?

A: What I learned about life is nothing is inevitable, and there’s no use planning for it. But I’m thrilled to be here. I feel much more prepared to do this than the first time around. And again, I try to learn something new every day, and I’m learning something about this situation that will help me as we get our team ready to play.

Q: Am I correct that in Cleveland you called the plays the first year and turned it over the second year?

A: Yeah, but I was still involved the second year, as well.

Q. Is there anything concern about the head coach with this look (holding play sheet in front of face), not seeing?

A: What look is that?

Q: You know, having that play sheet in front of you and not being involved with the whole thing.

A: No, not at all. I think when you put a staff together, there’s people upstairs ‑‑ there’s constant communication ‑‑ the reason we wear headsets is we’re talking to each other, and if it was just the head coach and nobody else, then I would say, yeah, that’s tough. But the way that we’re going to put the staff together, there’s constant communication, and we’ll have experienced people in all the roles necessary. It’s been done before. You see teams around the league doing it. Why guys do it and then eventually give it up or whatever, that’s their decision. You know, it’s football.

Q: Is there anything that intimidates you about coaching this hallowed franchise or working in this number 1 media market?

A: No, I’m not intimidated. I’m only ‑‑ I would say this:  The only thing that frightens me is anything that affects the health and welfare of my kids and family. Other than that, have at it. I’m ready to go.

Q: Most people when they look at the Giants, all they care about is ‘Are they getting back to the playoffs, when is it happening’, or are you just going into this year saying, ‘Let’s be competitive again and we’ll take it from there’?

A: Like I said, we’re going to do what we can to get better each day, and how fast that happens, I’m as impatient as the fans, and I understand that. But we’re going to try to get better each day. As I mentioned, we have a lot of really good players on this team. We’re going to get some new ones, and we’re going to try to put together a team that can go out next year and win games.

Q: You mentioned throwing out all the other stuff. When it comes to Odell that hasn’t been easy. How will you handle a player whose behavior hasn’t always reflected positively on the organization?

A: Yeah, well, this is sort of a clean slate deal right now. As I mentioned, we need to sit down and talk. When things happen, there’s typically reasons for it. I learned that by coaching the quarterback. You know, I was ‑‑ I’ve said this, I’m at peace with a wide range of emotions, and so when you coach other positions, you can kind of fly off the handle and that sort of works. With a quarterback you’ve got to constantly keep saying to him, and this helped me when I started coaching quarterbacks, what did you see, why did you do that; all right, let’s talk about it. And I think with all things Odell, we just need to start talking and find out why things happened, and if they’re not what is by our standards, then we’ve got to find a way to get him fixed.

Q: How do you envision the offense that ‑‑ how would you describe the offense that you’re bringing in?  You have a West Coast background, but you’ve obviously ‑‑ how would you describe your own offense?

A: I don’t know, we were a top‑10 offense this year. I think we have an offense that we’re going to constantly try to do the things that our players can do well. So once we quickly learn what our players are good at, then we’ll ‑‑ but I do have a West Coast background. My last three years in Philadelphia, I was with Chip Kelly, and so the tempo and being able to play fast, there’s advantages to using that strategically. When you can run the ball like we did this year, and we developed a core set of runs, then the play actions are meaningful and that’s how you can drive the ball down the field. So try to use all those things. And then when they’re trying to destroy our quarterback, certainly the screen game is something that’s very important. So I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s a label for it. We want to play good offense. We want to play New York Giants offense.

Q: You seem to be smitten with Eli. What were your thoughts about Davis Webb when he was eligible?

A: Yeah, good question, Davis Webb. We went through the process on Davis Webb, and we thought he was an outstanding player. We liked how competitive he was. He’s got size. He’s got good arm strength. We felt like he was a guy worthy of being drafted and having a chance to be a starter someday. Again, beyond that, I don’t know much about him. There isn’t much tape out there on him that I was able to see, and so he’s another player that I’m looking forward to getting to know.

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 CONFERENCE CALL…
The transcript of General Manager Dave Gettleman’s conference call with the media is available in The Corner Forum.

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