Sep 212022
 
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Adoree' Jackson, New York Giants (September 18, 2022)

Adoree’ Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. In that 19-16 victory for the Giants, Gano was 4-of-4 on field goal attempts, including from distances of 31, 36, 51, and 56 yards. The 56-yarder ended up being the game-winning kick. It also tied the record for the second-longest field goal in team history. Sunday’s game was the fifth in which a Giants’ kicker had two 50+-yard field goals. Gano has four of them.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (maintenance day), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), DL Leonard Williams (knee), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), and S Dane Belton (unknown) did not practice on Wednesday.

OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) and OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf) were limited in practice.

I’ll just start with Thibs (Thibodeaux) and Azeez,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “They’re getting close. They’re going to take some team reps today. So, I think they took a little bit last week, but they’re going to take more this week. They’re getting close, so we’ll see with them. I’d say they’re still day-to-day even though they’re on the close side. Leo’s rehabbing. Again, Leo’s a quick healer. He tells me he’s a quick healer. So, I’m not going to put it past Leo to be ready to go. Would it shock me either way? No. But he’ll stay in; he’ll get treatment today during practice, so you guys know. I that’s the best thing for him. And then ARob (Aaron Robinson) I think is really a wildcard. He’s getting better; he’s walking around. But I’d say I won’t know that, probably any of us won’t until the end of the week… (Wan’Dale is) getting better. Close. For this week, I’m not sure.”

I got really involved today, so I really was able to open it up and do some things,” said Thibodeaux after practice. “But today (I) had a lot of progress. Was able to open it up and do a lot of things. So yeah, today I’m definitely confident.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contract of offensive lineman K.C. McDermott. The 6’5”, 311-pound McDermott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent 2018 on Jacksonville’s Practice Squad and 2019 on Injured Reserve. McDermott split time between the Jaguars’ Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2020 and 2021. Jacksonville cut him in late August 2022. The Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad on September 12th.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Sep 152022
 
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Jihad Ward, New York Giants (September 11, 2022)

Jihad Ward – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), OL Devery Hamilton (illness), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), and CB Nick McCloud (hamstring) did not practice. Robinson underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday and has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), OC Jon Feliciano (lower leg), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), and S Jason Pinnock (shoulder) were limited in practice on Thursday.

S Dane Belton (clavicle) fully practiced.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday afternoon (12:15-1:45PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll, position coaches, and select players will also address the media.

Sep 062022
 
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Leonard Williams, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS RE-STRUCTURE LEONARD WILLIAMS’ CONTRACT…
With the Giants being over the 2022 NFL salary cap, the team was forced to create additional cap space. They did so by re-structuring the contract of defensive lineman Leonard Williams. According ESPN, the Giants converted $17.88 million of Williams’ base salary into a signing bonus, while adding a voidable year. This created $11.92 million in cap space against the 2022 salary cap. Williams’ cap hit for 2023 is now over $32 million.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have signed WR Marcus Johnson to the Practice Squad. The 28-year old, 6’1”, 207-pound Johnson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Eagles (2016-2017), Seattle Seahawks (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2018–2020), Tennessee Titans (2021), and San Francisco 49ers (2022). The 49ers cut him in late August 2022. Johnson has played in 41 regular-season games with 12 starts, accruing 51 catches for 839 yards and three touchdowns.

The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contract of WR C.J. Board. The 6’1”, 181-pound Board was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Tennessee Titans (2017), Cleveland Browns (2017-2018), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2018-2019). The Giants claimed Board off of waivers from the Jaguars in August 2020. He surprisingly played in 14 games, including four starts, but only finished with 11 catches for 101 yards and no touchdowns. Board was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021, elevated to the 53-man roster for a couple of games, and then signed to the 53-man roster in late September. He fractured his forearm in Week 6 and was placed on Injured Reserve. Board played in six games with one start, finishing the season with four catches for 51 yards.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), and OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf) were limited in individual drills in practice on Tuesday. “They’ll probably be out there,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “We’ll see. We’ll just keep rehabbing them. But they’ll be out there I think today… They’ll probably do a few things individual with coaches.”

Daboll said he is still not sure if either player will be available on Sunday. When Thibodeaux was asked if would play on Sunday, he responded, “I don’t know. Right now, it’s day to day. It could really go either way. We’re just waiting to see where it is when the time comes.”

WR Darius Slayton (excused absence) was the only player not on the practice field.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Aug 222022
 
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Davis Webb, New York Giants (August 21, 2022)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

KAYVON THIBODEAUX TO MISS 3-4 WEEKS WITH MCL SPRAIN…
The news could have been far worse. According to various media sources, linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee during Sunday’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. There is reportedly no damage to the ACL and meniscus. Thibodeaux is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, meaning he could miss the regular-season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

“I’d say it’s day-to-day really,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll on Monday. “I’m not forecasting when a player can come back or not come back. I know he’ll come in and get treatment. We’ll take it day-by-day, and when he’s ready to go out there, that’s when we’ll put him out there.”

DARRIAN BEAVERS DONE FOR THE SEASON WITH TORN ACL…
The news was not good for linebacker Darrian Beavers, who suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. He is done for the season.

AUGUST 22, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 25-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (the video of the press conference is also available on YouTube):

Q: (Outside Linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux. There’s a report out there. I know we just got a text on it, but it’s a sprained MCL?

A: Yeah. MCL. Yep

Q: And a quick follow up. When you look at that play with (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew Wilkins last night, is there something technique-wise that Thibodeaux could do different to maybe avoid a situation like what happened last night?

A: Yeah, those are tough blocks – the blocks that are coming from across the line of scrimmage within the tackle box. You got to see it, and then you’ve got to do a great job of trying to play with your hands. So, it’s unfortunate that KT went down. But that’s part of the game.

Q: That last play – the way you guys defended that – who came up with that, and how much have you actually practiced that?

A: We try to practice as many different situations. We practice a lot of them offensively, what we would do in that situation. Defensively, there’s different ways to defend it. I think that (Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale) Wink has done a really good of implementing his stuff, along with the assistant coaches that we have. And (Outside Linebacker Tomon) Fox sitting there on the sideline and defending the sideline when they have no timeouts, that was a good play. It was a good hit. We want to make sure it’s clean. He led with the shoulder. But it was good situational football, a good call by Wink and well executed by the players.

Q: And one other just game question if I could, why’d you go for two there? You said there was some confusion there.

A: There wasn’t, I wanted to go for two relative to the kicking situation. You know, (Kicker) Graham (Gano) was out, and I just thought it was a good time to work some two-point stuff, and it was a good time to kick (Punter) Jamie (Gillian) even though he hasn’t really been kicking very much. And (Safety) Julian (Love) holding and doing all those things, you never know what could happen. I mean last year we were involved in a game where an opponent’s kicker got hurt pregame, and basically, they had to go for it every snap. So just kind of trying to work some different situation with the players relative to what we were dealt with with Graham going down there.

Q: There was a timeline reported on Kayvon three to four weeks and that you were hopeful for Week 1. Is that accurate? Are you feeling that optimistic that he could play in the opener, or is there a chance that he does not?

A: I’d say it’s day-to-day really. I’m not forecasting when a player can come back or not come back. I know he’ll come in and get treatment. We’ll take it day-by-day, and when he’s ready to go out there, that’s when we’ll put him out there.

Q: Did he go into the city this morning for an MRI? Like what was kind of the timeline for events there?

A: We took care of that stuff yesterday, this morning and had our medical meeting here this morning with the doctor and (General Manager) Joe (Schoen), kind of normal what we do after every game. So, fingers crossed. Hopefully his rehab goes well, and he can get out there as soon as he can.

Q: With Kayvon, what kind of training camp, now that it’s over, what kind of training camp did he have? And how important is this missed time? Do you feel like he got all the work he needed whenever he does come out? Like how valuable is this missed two weeks to him?

A: I think every time you miss a practice, it’s great value to be out at practice. You try to simulate it as best you can to gain live reps, but as many repetitions as any of our guys can get – whether it’s a rookie or a veteran – I think that helps them. It helps each unit, so again, KT’s been doing everything we’ve asked him to do since he’s been here. He’s been a good teammate. He’s worked extremely hard. So, certainly time missed, you never want to miss time. He has the right attitude. The right approach. He’ll rehab as hard as he can rehab and be ready to go when he’s ready to go.

Q: So, who do you look to to fill those spots? What have you seen from some of the next guys in order? Whether it’s – I know we know (Outside Linebacker Azeez) Ojulari will be on one side. But filling Kayvon’s shoes, whether it’s (Outside Linebacker Jihad) Ward or (Outside Linebacker Oshane) Ximines. Who do you look to there, and what have you seen behind Kayvon?

A: Yeah, I think Drew’s done a good job with all those guys –those edge guys. From top to bottom. I mean Fox had a really good night last night, too, setting the edge, playing physical. (Outside Linebacker Quincy Roche) Q and (Oshane Ximines) Big X, Jihad – Haddy – and all those guys have really done a good job of understanding our system and making the most of their opportunities when they get in there. It was good to have Azeez back, too. He had 10 reps, caused two holding penalties, looked good out there for the first time.

Q: I want to ask you about Graham’s situation. Do you need to bring in a kicker maybe for the preseason game against the Jets or can you kind of get by with maybe Jamie doing it if (Graham) he’s not ready to go Sunday?

A: Joe and I are going to talk about that. We’ve had preliminary discussions on it. We’re possibly going to bring in a kicker; you don’t want to wear Jamie out – the different angles he has to kick from. So, we’re in the process of talking about that, and we definitely could bring one in.

Q: And I wanted to ask you a quick question about the offense last night. (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) seemed very effective. He was on the field for, I think, 20, 21 snaps with (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay). It didn’t seem like they even looked at each other. Was that a level of concern? Was that by design? What was going on there?

A: Look, unless you’re calling a screen pass or a jet sweep, you really don’t have – you can put guys in spots and think the ball might go there as a first read. I think Daniel did a very good job of throwing the ball where he needed to throw it, making good decisions, playing on time, playing under control. That’s the unique thing about a receiver or a skilled player – you’re not guaranteed to get all these looks. It’s predicated, at least how we do it, it’s predicated on how the defense plays and our read progression. I thought Daniel did a really good job with that.

Q: With Kayvon’s knee, I know doctors can do the original test on the knee in terms of seeing if it’s stable or not to give the early insight into if it’s a potential torn ACL or anything like that. As a coach, when you get that initial report, do you allow yourself to feel any sense of optimism, or do you kind of push all that to the side and wait for a full confirmation with an MRI?

A: I kind of wait until – I think you can start thinking about a bunch of different things. The trainers come over and just tell you they’re out, and you know they have to go through their, whether it’s X-rays or MRIs or whatever other tests that the players need to go through. You go to bed. You get up. You have your meetings. You get the information you need to get. And whatever it is, I think you just deal with it. You have a plan on what you have to do to help the player get ready to go. In this case, he’s going to be ready to go whenever that is. On the other hand, if they’re out, you got a lot of empathy for those guys that do get injured that are out for a significant amount of time.

Q: It seems to me when watching your offensive linemen – pretty much whoever is in there – that they seem to be doing a good job of communicating and passing off guys with all kinds of tricks and things up front that there’s not a lot of confusion up there. In the past, that’s been a problem. You haven’t been here in the past, obviously. But do you see the same thing in, whether they physically win the play or not, they’re at least in the right place in understanding what each other is supposed to be doing?

A: Yeah, I think we’ve made progress with that since we’ve been here. We certainly have a ways to go of that. But I do think our centers do a good job of communicating. You know (Offensive Lineman) Max (Garcia) did a good job for not being in there (at center) a whole bunch of communicating. And (Tackle Will) Holden, who really hasn’t, well now he’s played all five spots. He was able to do a good job of communicating with the players around him and getting everybody on the page for the most part. That’s the challenge of offensive line play is trying to get five guys to act as one because if one part of it breaks down, it makes all five of them usually look bad. And that’s where, offensively, that’s where we want to start, and the same defensively, is up front. Our defensive line and our offensive line have to set the tempo for our team, and that’s what we work towards every day.

Q: One other thing, you always mention smart, tough, dependable. Smart is always first, I’m sure that’s for a reason. Is that especially important with this offensive line because you can get guys who aren’t high pedigree guys but if they’re smart, is that really crucial to what has to happen up there?

A: Yeah, for us, absolutely. Not just the offensive line but since you’re asking, yeah, it is. Smart, being able to communicate well, again having toughness and being dependable, that’s important really for every position but, in particular, the offensive line and you adding on top of that the communication factor that I talked about, all five of those guys trying to act as one. That’s important because it’s a very tough position to play. It’s physically tough, and I’d say it’s mentally challenging too with the variety of looks that you get down in from a defense.

Q: We got the official word about (Inside Linebacker Darrian) Beavers obviously with the torn ACL, a low for him, what was that like when you were trying to meet with him and talk to him about what the next step is going to be?

A: I’d just say for these guys, and I’ve said this before, you just have a tremendous amount of respect for the players because you see them on away games, or you see them early in the morning on their off days on how much they take care of their body. Obviously, it’s their tool, and whenever something like that happens, there’s a wide range of emotions for every player and I’d say each player is different. You try to be there and be supportive and do the best job that you can in that regard. What’s next, and having your mind on what’s next and helping the players in any way that you can, so it’s tough. (Offensive Lineman Marcus) McKethan had one, and then now Beavers has one. For young players, that’s tough, particularly for guys that were developing and doing a good job in camp with a bright future.

Q: Just one quick thing off of that, he’d been getting a lot of time with (Inside Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) being worked back in, Blake getting his action last night. Do you feel like Blake is in a position to kind of accelerate towards the opener, or are you still in that status quo for him?

A: Yeah, we’ve been working him back in, he had 10 reps, maybe a little bit less than that, but was active, was where he was supposed to be, read the offense well. I has a lot of confidence in Blake.

Q: I want to look forward for a second here. This week you’ve got a joint practice with the (New York) Jets. I want to know what went into that for you, how much were you aware of it being sort of a big deal? I know it was a long time ago at this point, but the last time that these teams did have a joint practice.

A: I’ve heard some stories about that, about the last one. It was a while back, right? I have a tremendous amount of respect for (Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh) Coach Saleh. I really got to meet him at the owner’s meetings back in March or April whenever it was, and then when we talked about potentially practicing against one another we kind of went around and around, I think they have a game tonight if I’m not mistaken against Atlanta (Falcons), so we ended up doing just one instead of two just based on their schedule and our schedule. Anytime you practice against a team, you want to get good work in. Practice the right way, it’s almost like you’re practicing against your team. I’d say it’s pretty competitive but you still want to take care of one another knowing that you only have so many guys, you want to try to keep people up, stay away from the Quarterback, and having the conversations I’ve had with Coach Saleh up until this point, they’ve been good. We’ll revisit it after his game tonight, make sure that we’re in line of what we want to do relative to the schedule and the injuries that each team has, and make sure we’re doing what’s best for our players and get something productive out of it.

Q: And what kind of stories did you hear about that last practice?

A: There were some brawls here I heard.

Q: The coaches were yelling at each other, so I was curious if you were aware of that.

A: No, I didn’t hear that one. I just heard it was a couple of brawls in there. We’ll to try to stay from that.

Q: In less than three weeks, you’re going to be playing your first regular season game. You’ve been going at this for eight months now, do you have any idea where you are with respect to being ready for that first game?

A: Yeah, I think what you try to do is focus on each day and improve each day and improve from game to game. It’ll get on you quick, but you have to take care of what’s in front of you today and improve those things and keep building on it, and that’s the way we approach it. We don’t look too far ahead, don’t look too far behind, learn certainly from our mistakes and try to build to be better each day.

Q: Is there any area that concerns you other than injuries?

A: Yeah, look you’re always trying to get better. You’re never where you need to be, particularly early in the season, you’re still trying to find out. Even in the first couple of years, some of those championship teams that I was fortunate to be a part of, the first couple of games, you’re still trying to figure out exactly what you are. Keep improving. It may not be exactly where you want to be early in the season. You’d like to get off to a fast start, but there are some games in September that are really important to get off to a fast start, but I think your fundamentals, your techniques, the big things that you need to do in every football game, but particularly early in the year, the blocking, the catching, the getting open, and being on the same page, those are critical because you really don’t know. You can watch a team in the off-season and study them, but each team evolves every year. They might have been one thing one year and you think you’re going to get it the first couple of games and they’re turning into something else, using players a different way. So, it really comes down to being good technicians, good at fundamentals, doing the big things right, ball security, and those types of things.

Q: What do you attribute to the amount of injuries you guys have had so far and is it becoming overwhelming to deal with so many, including some key guys?

A: I think injuries are a part of the game. You never want guys to get hurt but that is the nature of playing a contact, physical sport at the highest level. Certain things happen and some of them are out of your control. I’ve been a part of this league for a long time and coached guys that have been injured. Again, you’re empathetic towards those guys, but you try to build a deeper roster as you can so that the next guy’s up. With that being said, you never want guys on your team to be hurt or on the other team for that matter. It’s their livelihood and you have empathy towards that, and you try to do your best to eliminate as many injuries as you can, but it’s a physical, physical sport with a lot of contact and people moving at high speeds, and unfortunately you’re going to have some of those.

Q: I just have one for you here Dabs. As you put together your wide receiver depth chart beyond (Wide Receiver Kenny) Golladay and (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney, you’ve had big performances from (Wide Receiver) Collin Johnson, (Wide Receiver Alex) Bachman, (Wide Receiver David) Sills (V), are you just looking for the next three of four best guys or do you want a variety? Like do you want a fast guy, you want a tall guy, do you want a diversity of skill sets across the room or do you just want the next five best players regardless of if there’s repetitiveness?

A: Yeah, I wouldn’t say the next, I would just say the five best or six best player or seven best, however many we’re going to keep. The guys that have been out there and producing, Collin Johnson, David Sills, they’ve stepped their game up. And they’re right in the mix, not just to make a team but to play. So again, like I said, everybody’s got to earn their job, earn their role, do a good job of the things they need to do, and make the most of their opportunities when they get them.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media availability to the team. The Giants return to practice Wednesday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Aug 192022
 
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Brandon Brown, Joe Schoen, and Sterling Shepard; New York Giants (April 20, 2022)

Brandon Brown, Joe Schoen, and Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
Due to mounting injures on the offensive line, the Giants signed offensive linemen Josh Rivas and Chris Owens on Friday. To make room, the team also waived defensive lineman Christopher Hinton and placed wide receiver Robert Foster (hamstring) on Injured Reserve.

The Giants signed Rivas as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. They waived him last Sunday.

The 6’3”, 305-pound Owens was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. The Steelers waived him on August 16th. Owens has experience playing tackle, guard, and center.

The Giants signed Hinton as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Giants signed Foster as a street free agent in March 2022 after being waived by the Dallas Cowboys. The 6’2”, 196-pound Foster was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bills (2018-2020), Green Bay Packers (2020), Washington Football Team (2020), Miami Dolphins (2021), and Cowboys (2021-2022). Foster has played in 30 regular-games with seven starts, catching 32 passes for 642 yards and three touchdowns. Most of his production came in 2018 as a rookie with the Bills.

AUGUST 19, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), OC Nick Gates (leg), and OT Matt Peart (knee) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Matt Breida (unknown), RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (knee/leg), WR Darius Slayton (unknown), TE Andre Miller (broken right forearm), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), OC Jon Feliciano (right arm), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OL Joshua Ezeudu (unknown), OC/OG Ben Bredeson (elbow), OL Jamil Douglas (ankle), OL Garrett McGhin (unknown), DL Leonard Williams (unknown), LB Jihad Ward (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (lower right leg), CB Cor’Dale Flott (groin), CB Rodarius Williams (unknown), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone) did not practice on Friday.

WR Robert Foster injured his hamstring late in practice and was placed on Injured Reserve later in the day.

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER BRANDON BROWN…
The transcript of Brandon Brown’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Video clips of the media sessions with the position coaches are available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.

Jul 302022
 
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Jihad Ward, New York Giants (July 29, 2022)

Jihad Ward – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 30, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Day four here,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “Different situation today. Been pleased with the coaches, the players, their effort, their energy. Just like a normal training camp, you go out there, you work. You come in, you correct it. Good communication. So, try to have a good day today… (Today) is the high red zone and what we call the fringe. So, right when you pass the 50, a little bit past there. So, it’ll be some good work today. Keep on hammering on those situations, and once we get into pads, we’ll ramp up the physicalness, the blocking, the holding the point. But right now, we’re trying to take care of one another and be smart.”

INJURY REPORT…
The following players remain on injury lists:

  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), OC Nick Gates (leg), and OT Matt Peart (knee).
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring)

(Ojulari is) working through it,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. “I don’t want to give you a timetable, but he’s gotten better.”

OC Jon Feliciano (heat-related) and TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown) did not practice.

WR Kadarius Toney (maintenance day?) did not participate in full-team drills.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants will not be in full pads until Monday.
  • 1st-team offensive line: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Shane Lemieux, OC Jamil Douglas, RG Mark Glowinski, and RT Evan Neal.
  • However, Shane Lemieux also moved to first-team center with Joshua Ezeudu at left guard.
  • WR Richie James saw some first-team reps, including in the backfield. He also made a nice back-shoulder catch on a pass from QB Tyrod Taylor.
  • WR Collin Johnson picked up sizable yardage on one completion early in practice.
  • CB Aaron Robinson knocked away a pass intended for a tight end.
  • Playing with the first-team defense, ILB Darrian Beavers “sacked” the quarterback on a play where S Dane Belton also knocked away the pass.
  • LB Oshane Ximines got around RT Evan Neal for a “sack.”
  • Other “sacks” were picked up by DL Leonard Williams, OLB Quincy Roche, and Elerson Smith.
  • After connecting with TE Daniel Bellinger over the middle, QB Daniel Jones threw a deep pass to WR David Sills that was picked off by a leaping S Dane Belton in the end zone.
  • QB Daniel Jones then made a good throw to WR Kenny Golladay in the end zone that he bobbled and then was knocked away by CB Adoree’ Jackson.
  • There was a fight involving OC Shane Lemieux and DLs Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a red-zone touchdown pass to WR Kenny Golladay in the back of the end zone. On the play before this, Jones and Golladay also connected on a pass that set up the touchdown.
  • CB Darnay Holmes punched the ball out of RB Saquon Barkley’s hands. S Julian Love recovered and return the fumble for a touchdown. Holmes has three interceptions and one forced fumble in four days of practices.
  • On his final pass of the day, QB Daniel Jones threw a bullet to WR Wan’Dale Robinson for a red zone touchdown against CB Darnay Holmes.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor completed a touchdown throw to TE Andre Miller down the sideline. Taylor also threw a touchdown to WR Collin Johnson.
  • WR Robert Foster made an over-the-should catch for a touchdown on a pass from QB Davis Webb.
  • RB Jashaun Corbin scored from two yards out at the end of practice.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Saturday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

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…
The New York Giants do not practice on Sunday. The team will return to practice Monday morning (10:00-11:45AM). That practice will be open to the public. Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

May 142022
 
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Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants (May 13, 2022)

Daniel Bellinger – © USA TODAY Sports

DAY TWO OF NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP…
The second day of the New York Giants three-day rookie mini-camp was held on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The final day will be on Sunday, although there will be no on-field work on that day.

Again this is more a teaching camp,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “We are going to see them in individual drills and skillsets that they have, and when we go competitive periods, just making sure we are taking care of one another…They are pretty amped up, they want to go out there and compete. But teaching them tempo is another thing that you have to do.

So again, these guys, just to get from the locker room to there or from the locker room to the cafeteria, you’ve got to take all that stuff into account, how to log into their iPad and get into film. There’s so many things for these players. They are moving from different spots. It’s the first time for some of them just on your own. Sometimes there’s a lot of family members that help out in college. We are taking it slow and we are going to try to help them grow off the field as well as on the field.”

PARTICIPANTS…
Draft Picks (11):

  • OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux
  • OT Evan Neal
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson
  • OG Joshua Ezeudu
  • CB Cor’Dale Flott 
  • TE Daniel Bellinger
  • S Dane Belton
  • ILB Micah McFadden
  • NT D.J. Davidson
  • OG Marcus McKethan
  • ILB Darrian Beavers

Signed Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (13):

  • RB Jashaun Corbin
  • FB Jeremiah Hall
  • TE Austin Allen
  • TE Andre Miller
  • OG Josh Rivas
  • DL Christopher Hinton
  • DL Jabari Ellis
  • DL Antonio Valentino
  • OLB Tomon Fox
  • CB Darren Evans
  • CB Zyon Gilbert
  • S Yusuf Corker
  • S Trenton Thompson

New York Giants “Veterans” (7):

  • QB Brian Lewerke
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • RB Antonio Williams
  • WR Austin Proehl
  • WR Travis Toivonen
  • OL Devery Hamilton
  • OL Roy Mbaeteka

Undrafted rookie and veteran tryout players (53):

  • RB Master Teague
  • RB Travis Levy
  • RB L.D. Brown
  • FB Jake Molinich
  • FB Isaiah Johnson-Mack
  • WR Jahcour Pearson
  • WR Daylen Baldwin
  • WR Marcque Ellington
  • WR L’Liott Curry
  • WR Gehrig Dieter*
  • WR Jaylen Erwin
  • TE Cameron Butler
  • TE Tommy McIntyre
  • TE Nate Becker*
  • TE Isiah Macklin
  • OL Matt Allen
  • OL Cain Madden
  • OL Navaughn Donaldson
  • OL Kary Kutsch
  • OL Baer Hunter
  • OL Barry Wesley
  • OL Ben Adler
  • OL T.J. Storment
  • OL Uzoma Osuji
  • OL Ryan Nelson
  • OL Noah Zerr
  • DL Markell Utsey
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • DL Chris Agyemang
  • DL Dennis Johnson
  • DL Antwaun Jackson
  • ILB Joe Beckett
  • ILB Will Evans
  • ILB Emmett Rice
  • OLB Jaylin Bannerman
  • OLB Tabarius Peterson
  • OLB Isaiah Gay
  • OLB Ray Thornton
  • LB Josh Watson*
  • DB Justus Harris
  • DB Al Young
  • DB Dishon McNary
  • DB Walter Neil
  • DB Jared Leake
  • DB Brandon Easterling
  • DB Gage Kreski
  • DB Jordan Mosley
  • DB Tobias Oliver
  • DB Lamont Wade*
  • DB Amari Carter
  • PK Jonathan Doerer
  • P Kirk Christodoulou
  • LS Jack Maddox

* Veteran

GIANTS SIGN SIX 2022 DRAFT PICKS…
According to media reports, the Giants have signed six players from their 2022 NFL Draft class, including OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (1st round), OT Evan Neal (1st round), ILB Micah McFadden (5th round), NT D.J. Davidson (5th round), OG Marcus McKethan (5th round), and ILB Darrian Beavers (6th round).

Remaining unsigned are WR Wan’Dale Robinson (2nd round), OG Joshua Ezeudu (3rd round), CB Cor’Dale Flott (3rd round), TE Daniel Bellinger (4th round), and S Dane Belton (4th round),

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The  transcript and video of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Saturday are available in The Corner Forum and 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…
The third day of the rookie mini-camp will only involve classroom work. “We won’t be doing anything on the field (on Sunday),” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. The Giants hold the first of their Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices On May 16-17.

May 132022
 
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Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (May 13, 2022)

Kayvon Thibodeaux – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP BEGINS…
The first day of the New York Giants three-day rookie mini-camp was held on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Good to be out here with these guys,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “(The players) got in last night. Had some meetings today with them. Really going to be kind of a short practice…a little bit over an hour. Have some more meetings. Very similar in terms of scheduling tomorrow. It’s good to get with these guys and start working with them and see what some of the stuff they can do in the classroom. Really, more importantly, and just ease them into things outside on the field.

“It’s for (the players) to get to know us, us to get to know (them). There’s only a couple days we’ll do stuff on the field. There’s a long way to go, as they can see. We’re not going to overdo it in terms of the installation and give them a ton of things to learn. I think it’s really important, particularly the trial guys, to minimize the package, not motion and shift and do all these crazy things, and just see who can perform out there. And maybe we find a couple guys in terms of the tryout guys. Look, these guys have probably not been doing a whole lot of true football work, so we’ll ease them into things.

We’ll have an hour, hour and ten minutes (of practice). Almost half of it will be some type of walk-through. We’ll do some individual drills. We’ll get about 15, 20 minutes of individual stuff. We have seven-on-seven period and we’ll do 14 plays of that today. That’s it.”

PARTICIPANTS…
Draft Picks (11):

  • OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux
  • OT Evan Neal
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson
  • OG Joshua Ezeudu
  • CB Cor’Dale Flott 
  • TE Daniel Bellinger
  • S Dane Belton
  • ILB Micah McFadden
  • NT D.J. Davidson
  • OG Marcus McKethan
  • ILB Darrian Beavers

Signed Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (13):

  • RB Jashaun Corbin
  • FB Jeremiah Hall
  • TE Austin Allen
  • TE Andre Miller
  • OG Josh Rivas
  • DL Christopher Hinton
  • DL Jabari Ellis
  • DL Antonio Valentino
  • OLB Tomon Fox
  • CB Darren Evans
  • CB Zyon Gilbert
  • S Yusuf Corker
  • S Trenton Thompson

* DL Tyrone Truesdell, who had reportedly been signed earlier, failed his physical and was not officially signed.

New York Giants “Veterans” (7):

  • QB Brian Lewerke
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • RB Antonio Williams
  • WR Austin Proehl
  • WR Travis Toivonen
  • OL Devery Hamilton
  • OL Roy Mbaeteka

Undrafted rookie and veteran tryout players (53):

  • RB Master Teague
  • RB Travis Levy
  • RB L.D. Brown
  • FB Jake Molinich
  • FB Isaiah Johnson-Mack
  • WR Jahcour Pearson
  • WR Daylen Baldwin
  • WR Marcque Ellington
  • WR L’Liott Curry
  • WR Gehrig Dieter*
  • WR Jaylen Erwin
  • TE Cameron Butler
  • TE Tommy McIntyre
  • TE Nate Becker*
  • TE Isiah Macklin
  • OL Matt Allen
  • OL Cain Madden
  • OL Navaughn Donaldson
  • OL Kary Kutsch
  • OL Baer Hunter
  • OL Barry Wesley
  • OL Ben Adler
  • OL T.J. Storment
  • OL Uzoma Osuji
  • OL Ryan Nelson
  • OL Noah Zerr
  • DL Markell Utsey
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • DL Chris Agyemang
  • DL Dennis Johnson
  • DL Antwaun Jackson
  • ILB Joe Beckett
  • ILB Will Evans
  • ILB Emmett Rice
  • OLB Jaylin Bannerman
  • OLB Tabarius Peterson
  • OLB Isaiah Gay
  • OLB Ray Thornton
  • LB Josh Watson*
  • DB Justus Harris
  • DB Al Young
  • DB Dishon McNary
  • DB Walter Neil
  • DB Jared Leake
  • DB Brandon Easterling
  • DB Gage Kreski
  • DB Jordan Mosley
  • DB Tobias Oliver
  • DB Lamont Wade*
  • DB Amari Carter
  • PK Jonathan Doerer
  • P Kirk Christodoulou
  • LS Jack Maddox

* Veteran

GIANTS SIGN TWO MORE ROOKIE FREE AGENTS…
In addition to the 11 undrafted rookie free agents already signed, the Giants have officially signed two more:

  • RB Jashaun Corbin, 6’0’’, 221lbs, 4.58, Florida State University (Video)
    Corbin is is a north/south runner who does his best work between the tackles. He is a patient runner with good vision. He has some shiftiness to his game and can run through tackles. Corbin also can catch the ball out of the backfield, but he needs work in pass protection.
  • OLB Tomon Fox, 6’3’’, 260lbs, 4.79, University of North Carolina (Video)
    Fox lacks ideal athleticism, but he is instinctive, productive, and plays hard.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The  transcript and video of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Friday are available in The Corner Forum and 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:

Apr 302022
 
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Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State Aztecs (November 26, 2021)

Daniel Bellinger – © USA TODAY Sports

On the final day of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected:

  • TE Daniel Bellinger (San Diego State University)
  • S Dane Belton (University of Iowa)
  • LB Micah McFadden (Indiana University)
  • DL D.J. Davidson (Arizona State University)
  • OG Marcus McKethan (University of North Carolina)
  • LB Darrian Beavers (University of Cincinnati)

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on TE Daniel Bellinger: Senior entry from Las Vegas, NV. Three-year starter than earned Honorable Mention All-Mountain West honors in 2020. Bellinger has the tool set and ability to play the traditional Y tight end spot. While his skill set is more receiver-friendly, he does show enough upside and ability to create impact as a blocker. He plays a twitchy, sudden game and understands his role well. Bellinger may not have the man-strength quite yet to have a big role, but he should fill the back end of a depth chart early on. He is a plus-athlete with some sneaky upside to him when it comes to getting open and making things happen after the catch.

*It would not surprise me one bit to see Bellinger sneak into the end of round two. The triangle numbers are really solid, and he didn’t drop a single ball over his last two seasons. I just wish he got more looks in the passing game at San Diego State. He will likely be a year two guy at earliest because he had a hard time with defensive linemen in the Mountain West. I think NFL guys will eat him early on.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on S Dane Belton: Junior entry from Tampa, FL. Two-year starter that earned All Big-10 honors in both 2020 and 2021, first team in 2021. Belton played a hybrid safety/linebacker role that saw him involved in the box more often than not. He has a sturdy, strong frame with plus-power and straight line speed. He factors well in pursuit sideline to sideline and had a high success rate as a tackler. Belton started to turn a corner as a junior in coverage. He showed quality ball skills and plus-body control out of his breaks. He shows minimal wasted motion once he made up his mind. He can get into trouble when trying to forecast routes and throws, as he seems a step behind mentally and shows tightness in his hips laterally. He projects as a nickel or dime safety that can creep up toward the line and he will be a weapon on special teams.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on LB Micah McFadden: Senior entry from Tampa, FL. Three-year starter that earned honorable mention All-Big 10 honors in 2019, first team in 2020, second team in 2021. Also a third team All-American in 2019. McFadden is a well-put together, quick and sudden linebacker that flies all over the field and brings a high success rate as a tackler. He can defend the inside run with stout power and will get to the sideline against the outside running game. He excels in pursuit. McFadden does have the occasional lapse in concentration and will over-pursue his intentions, leaving him vulnerable and top heavy. He does not factor well in man coverage, as his hip tightness and eager mentality can be easy to toy with. He projects as a solid special teamer that could develop into a rotational inside linebacker in a 3-4 front.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on DL D.J. Davidson: Fifth year senior from Mesa, AZ. Took an additional year off between high school and college. Three-year starter that earned second team All-Pac 12 honors in 2021. Davidson will best project to a zero-tech in a 3-4 front. There, his natural power and ability to two-gap will be used most effectively. In an even front, he will not offer much as a pass rusher, but he could fit into a situational role as well. Davidson can play with quick feet in addition to a hard-to-move presence against the run. He has a natural sense to feel blocks and flow to the ball. He needs to work on lower body bend and techniques so his pad level can be better. The lack of leverage wins will eat him up at the next level. Davidson needs to fully buy into fixing his body and skill set for a couple years before he can be trusted.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on OG Marcus McKethan: Fifth year senior from Barnwell, SC. Three-year starter that has the body of a tackle but played right guard all three seasons. Two-time Honorable Mention All-ACC. McKethan looks like a tackle prototype with elite girth and length from head to toe. His power and lockout game are enough to stop professional defenders in their tracks right away. The issue with him revolves around reaction time and bend. He does not keep the feet active post-engagement and he will always struggle to win the leverage battle. McKethan is a project that a team will want to develop in undrafted free agency most likely, as the holes in his game are both hard to fix and far away from being pro-ready.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on LB Darrian Beavers: Fifth year senior from Cincinnati, OH. Spent 2017 and 2018 at Connecticut before transferring to Cincinnati. Four-year starter between the two programs. Second team All-AAC in 2020, first team in 2021. Was also a Butkus Award Finalist in his final season. Beavers brings a unique tool set to the table and it was used all over the front seven in college. He primarily lined up off the ball, but he saw over 250 snaps along the edge on-line over his three years at Cincinnati. The heaviness in his hands and overall ability to play both stout and fast should get the attention of versatile defensive schemes. He does not play very sudden and there are too many inconsistencies with his tackling and aggression in space. There won’t be a fit for him in every scheme but at the same time, he can bring versatility to a multiple-front defense that others cannot.

*I have in my notes from the 2021 season that Beavers “…looks like an old school Steeler or Patriot…” Some make the mistake that Baltimore (Martindale/Ryan) went after the same personnel. I don’t agree. Martindale wants a bit more speed and twitch in his linebackers and even though Beavers tested OK with times, he doesn’t always play fast. I will say this though: He is an alpha. Beavers is a mean, powerful dude and he did line up all over the front seven. That said, he was not a very successful outside rusher.

Media Q&A with General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video):

JOE SCHOEN: Daniel Bellinger was our first pick today, tight end out of San Diego State. A guy that we liked, size, speed, athleticism, should be able to help us on special teams, was in Senior Bowl, was at his pro day, too, and a guy we’ve liked throughout the process.

Dane Belton, another guy we liked, the versatility in the player, he’s got ball skills, he can play from depth and down in the box, can pay nickel.

So the common theme you’ll hear is versatility on a lot of these guys.

Micah McFadden from Indiana, another guy with very good size, speed. He was a captain, he’s athletic. I think he’ll help us out. He can play inside, outside, and he’s a good blitzer as well. Again, another versatile piece.

D.J. Davidson, see him more as a nose, out of Arizona State, be a good depth player that has some upside. We are excited about working with him inside, again, trying to add some depth up front there.

Marcus McKethan, another guy obviously we spent some time with, the North Carolina kids. Huge human being. Very good size, length. Again, some versatility, he’s played tackle and he’s played guard. Again, going to add depth and competition to the roster. We’ll probably start him at guard, but he does have tackle flex.

Darrian Beavers is another guy that we really liked, versatile piece, he played inside and he played outside. I was at his pro day. He did some stuff as an outside rusher and that looks like something that may be part of the package. Like his versatility to be inside, outside, and play on special teams.

Excited about the young men that we added today. Again, everybody is going to come in here and compete, no matter where you were drafted, and these guys are no different, so we are excited about the players we added.

Q. A few of the guys said that they had 30 visits here, the tight end had dinner with Brandon Brown. Did you identify these guys early and then honed in on? How does that process work?

JOE SCHOEN: Typically, that’s what happens. When I first got here, the first meeting with the scouts was in February. So we kind of identified players that we were interested in and then who we needed to get around a little bit more.

A lot of these guys — not to show my hand in the future, but you guys are good at tracking this stuff — but, yeah, we want to feel comfortable with the individuals as well as the player, and I think pretty much all these guys we spent significant amount of time with, whether it was coming here or going to see them.

Q. What did you think of your first draft? Anything surprise you?

JOE SCHOEN: Have to reflect on this tomorrow and throughout next week. It’s just different. You come in with a whole new staff, so you have a process in place, but where you used to look for answers when you had questions, you’re looking to different people, different scouts in the room that you haven’t worked with, and our staff did a tremendous job. The coaching staff did a tremendous job.

So just still getting to know our roster as it is. Again, not being around a lot of these guys for a while, getting to know the new coaches. That’s just all that will come with time in working with each other. But overall, it was a good process, and I really enjoyed it.

Q. Joe, did this go very much like you’ve been accustomed to the last four years in Buffalo and other places, or did you have to adjust this year?

JOE SCHOEN: It went pretty much how I would plan it to go. The only difficult part was with the players being in here two weeks early with the next head coach. So our schedule when we typically would have had an uninterrupted meetings for a week or two with the coaches involved, those days were a little choppy. We had to move our schedule around.

Overall, the process will stay the same that we had this year. It will start now. May and June, we’ll already start looking at the players for next season, and our scouts have already gotten a list of the Top-5 UFAs, Top-5 players from their areas. Next week, I may take a week, but we’ll start looking down the road what the players look like through free agency and the draft next week.

Q. You have a pretty big class with 11 players. Do you anticipate bringing in many undrafted free agents — how big of a class do you anticipate?

JOE SCHOEN: As soon as the Draft is over and we can start working on that, we will. We still have – defensively, I think is where we are going to have to add. Again, when we got here, where the roster was, we had to add a lot of pieces, and there’s only so many resources. So we did the best we could this weekend, and we’ll continue to do that in free agency.

Again, players might have gotten drafted over somebody else, so what that means is maybe next week there’s going to be some cuts and may be some veterans that are on the street because they drafted over players on their current roster. We don’t play until September. Our location in the claim order, the final cutdown will be important or as players are cut.

The roster is never finished. It won’t be finished during the season, and we’ll always be looking to upgrade.

Q. Doesn’t seem like you found a replacement for James Bradberry in this draft class. At some point, does the contingency plan to keep him become the plan?

JOE SCHOEN: We are going to work on that. We have had some conversations. I’ve talked to his representative. We’ll see where that goes. I don’t have a definitive answer on that right now, but we are working towards some contingency plans.

Q. When would you like to have an answer on that?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m not going to put a timeline on it as we are working through this. So I don’t know how long it will take, but we are working through some things.

Q. For years, people were saying fix the offensive line. Since you two have been here, I think you’ve brought in six free agents, drafted three guys, you have guys coming back who have been hurt, you have veterans. Do you have enough bodies?

JOE SCHOEN: I think so. We’ve got some big bodies, too.

I think I told you guys at the Combine, we had maybe five healthy bodies, offensive lineman, on the roster, and that’s my point. There were several holes, and we didn’t have a lot of depth throughout the roster.

So start there, start up front, let’s see the best version of Daniel Jones we can, and it starts by hopefully keeping him on his feet. And that’s going to help Saquon and that’s going to help the receivers because he’ll have more time to get him the ball. I think we upgraded the offensive line, which hopefully we did. We’ll see how the competition in training camp goes. But, yeah, I’m happy where we are with the depth overall.

Q. When it comes to the war room, when you were setting up who is in there, how many guys, the way the whole setup is, here in years past they have had coaches, coordinators. Did you put into the process who you wanted in there, why it was important to do certain things?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I definitely wanted to be inclusive with the group. Those guys did a lot of the work. We had our pro department in there, too, so they could see the process and some professional development to see how the process works. And our pro scouts also sat in on some of the college meetings.

I’m a firm believer in that, we talk out loud, we have conversations, try to think big picture the best we can. And if I can surround myself with as many of those people as I can, it’s just going to bring ideas and we’ll all be better.

As for the setup of the room, I may want to change that a little bit. There was a different board this year, and I kind of like more of an open area in the middle, I’m a big pacer, where I can go to the scouts and talk to them. That’s something we’ll work on next year.

But as for the coaches, you may not have seen them, but they were in and out, coordinators, position coaches. If it came down to two guys on defense, Wink may come in, or Kafka came in a few times for the offensive guys.

Q. I was going off the other night when you said you had not seen Wink yet.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I had not, and specifically that night, because it was 5 and 7, it was back to back, so without having any commotion or distractions in there, we thought that was the best way to do it, and they kind of knew what we were going to do anyway.

Q. Do you anticipate making any changes to the personnel staff, subtractions, additions?

JOE SCHOEN: I haven’t even thought about that yet. I’m about ready to fall asleep on this microphone.

Q. In Buffalo, you concentrated on developing offensive lineman as well as drafting or acquiring starters. So have you brought that same kind of plan to the Giants, and is that where some of these picks are coming into play?

JOE SCHOEN: Really across the board, we have a really good coaching staff, and I think X’s and O’s are very important as a coach, but also developing players. And Bobby Johnson has a very good track record from my time with him, as does Dabs and Shea Tierney. You bring in guys in that are wired the right way and have traits, they are all hands on deck in terms of developing these guys. That’s just the O-line, but the defense, we have some good coaches over there, too. A lot of these players have upside.

Again, once you get in the second and third round, those players are in the third round for a reason, or fourth round for a reason, or sixth or seventh, when you take those guys, they are there for a reason. Nobody’s perfect. So the best we can do in terms of developing those guys and accentuating their strengths is what the coaching staff will try to do.

Q. What were you trying to accomplish in your first draft, and how successful were you with the goals that you came in with? I know things change as you move along.

JOE SCHOEN: Versatility, I mentioned earlier. Guys that have versatility, we wanted to add depth at competition to the roster, which I think we did. Again not every guy is going to come as a starter. It takes time. Guys have to develop. And Pat’s question, just develop and good coaching. Over time, you have to have depth players and frontline players. I think the idea was to get the best we could. Defensively, the guys with versatility. And offensively, as you’re around Brian, you’ll see, he’ll take the pieces and whatever we have and develop the offensive scheme around those pieces that we have, and Wink kind of adheres to the same philosophy.

Q. A big picture, team building question. Where do you stand on the theory of building a team to compete in the division against the teams that you’re going to be facing twice a year for the next — forever year?

JOE SCHOEN: You have to pay attention to that. There’s a lot of good D-Lines in our division, and I think that’s where the emphasis on the offensive line early on was important to us.

Yeah, we definitely always — I was in Miami forever, and they had Gronk there for awhile, how are you going to defend this guy, when they had Gronk and Hernandez. So you’re always paying attention because you have to play that team twice a year. And the ultimate goal is to win the division, and the rest will take care of itself is. Yeah, we’ll always be looking at that.

Q. When a guy like McKethan has some flex but mostly plays guard, would you rather him have the versatility to play both, or sometimes does a guy have a position and you’d rather hone in on that?

BRIAN DABOLL: You’ll see here in OTAs when you guys are around and in training camp, we are big believers in mixing and matching as many people as we can early on because you can only get so many to go to a game. And the more you can do, the more you can do.

Most of the players, unless you’re really, really, really good at one spot, and that probably goes throughout our team offensively and defensively, is as much versatility as you can have, the better it is for the team.

Q. On the defensive side of the ball, guys have multi-versatility. How excited are you that you can change your defensive scheme because of the diversity of the skillsets?

BRIAN DABOLL: Wink, he’s pretty diverse in what he’s done the past few years when he was in Baltimore. We are still working through some things, just figuring out what our guys can and cannot do.

So we’ll see. We’ll take it kind of day-by-day on that. But I think the smarter you can be as a football team, the better you are in terms of being able to put your best foot forward.

Q. I know Bobby Johnson was at the UNC pro day and worked those guys out. How valuable was getting his input and letting him get in there and coach them up?

BRIAN DABOLL: That’s always valuable. The process, Joe talked about this, the communication we’ve had from the scouting department, the coaching staff, the people that set up the trips, it was very well organized, thought out.

This morning I was watching a bunch of Zoom calls of potential guys we could pick. The coaches put a lot of time and effort into it. There were weekends off that they had they were out on the road, and the same thing with the scouting department. It’s been really good interaction with both sides.

So 11 picks, 11 players, we’ll throw them out there with the rest of the guys on the team when they get here and let them compete it out.

Q. Do you think you have an offensive line now you can work with and get done what you need to get done on offense?

BRIAN DABOLL: We’ll see once we get pads on and things like that. I know the guys are hard working. They are smart. They show some toughness when you watch them on tape. The people that we’ve had in the building are dependable. It’s been good to go into meetings with Bobby and Tony (Sparano) and those guys. They are eager.

Again, let’s not make it more than it is. Your job is to protect the inside part of the pocket and the width of the pocket and get moving in the running game, but that position you need five guys operating as one unit. And that is what will be really important.

You’ll see. I know I will get a lot of questions on it once we get out in OTAs, and I’ll tell you right now, there are going to be a lot of guys mixing and matching. You can write the lineup down each day, but it’s going to change from day to day.

Q. Guys have strengths and weaknesses, but evaluating players, guys are kind of the same, you say we want this guy, we want this guy, is there just something inside you that says we think he’s right for us?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I would say after all the preparation, Zoom calls, interacting with the kids, going and seeing them or having them in your building, you’ve got enough information where you say, yeah, I’m good with this kid, can we all see the film, I’m good with this kid as a person and his ability to learn football and what he’ll bring to the organization. We try to get all that information so when we turn the card in with anybody, we are at that point.

BRIAN DABOLL: If they are close, you know, sometimes there is a gut feeling. It’s like when you’re getting ready to call a big play in the red zone, you like two plays and you’re anticipating something coming up. There’s a gut feel at times. Some of that is the same with when two guys are close, but the preparation leads you to that decision usually for the most part.

Q. Sometimes is it just like, you know what, close your eyes and say, I think I want to coach this guy?

BRIAN DABOLL: Three times this past week, Joe flipped a coin and decided who he was going to pick. We were calling heads and tails over there.

No, it’s a lot of work that goes into it. Joe has talked about it. I’ve talked about it. When you put a lot of hard work into it and you feel prepared, then you’re comfortable with the decisions that you make.

Q. When you get into the middle rounds, how much do you lean towards traits? Some guys rated well on tests. Was that a big factor, or did that happen to be the case?

JOE SCHOEN: After Wan’Dale being undersized and Flott, I figured I better go big guys today. You take that into account, but when you look at guys with developmental upside, if they have height, speed and character, the history of those guys developing is a little bit higher than others. Definitely when you get into day three, you do take that into account. It is important, I think.

Q. Knowing you had Daniel under contract and Tyrod to back up and you had Davis Webb, do you sit there and say, quarterback is not a priority this year?

JOE SCHOEN: I wouldn’t say we didn’t say it wasn’t a priority, because we did do work on those guys, and I think I said it yesterday that I had seen all those guys play live, and we did send a quarterback coach and coordinator to spend time with those guys and Zoom and other things.

Again we are going to evaluate the entire board across all positions, and when we think the time is right, regardless of position, we’ll pull the trigger if we think it’s best for us.

Q. What is it you guys think that you can get so much more out of Daniel Jones?

BRIAN DABOLL: I’ll just speak on the few weeks that I’ve been around him. I’ve been very pleased with how he’s approached things. He’s an intelligent — he’s picking up the stuff really well. Again, the pieces around him, we have a lot of work that needs to be done but I’m encouraged with my interactions with him up to this point.

Q. I asked you last night about the tight ends, you said it depends on the player?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah.

Q. You got one?

BRIAN DABOLL: We got six. Just trying to figure out exactly what they do. I’ve had years where I had Marty Bennett and Gronkowski and other years with Charles Clay, who is a completely different type of guy.

I would say we have a variety of guys right now on the roster, some bigger-type receivers. Some a little bit more blockers. Running around with shorts on, it’s good to see their movement skills and how they can track a ball. But once we get to training camp OTAs when they have to do things a little more quickly, we’ll figure that out.

But I would say we have a mix of guys that can get down in a three-point stance and block some defensive ends, and that’s getting harder to find each year. It’s just the nature of the game. If you have young kids that play football, you see how the game is being played. It’s a spread game. A lot of RPOs, even from the earliest stages, and then you get into high school, and I don’t need to talk about the evolution of game right now, but that’s kind of what it is.

You go to college and you see the same thing. It’s not — you’ve got to look at offensive linemen a little bit differently. You have to look at cover players a little bit differently. It’s a completely different game than it was even 22 years ago when I started, and I think you have to evolve as a coach, too, both how you evaluate players and how you design scheme.

Q. Joe, what would you tell Giants fans you think you accomplished with this draft?

JOE SCHOEN: I think we added competition and depth. Hopefully as many of these guys turn into starters as we can, but again we are not going to hand anybody anything. We want them to come in, compete, work hard, and, again, we want to see progress. I’ve said that since day one and I think this will lead us to that.

Media Q&As with Draft Picks: Transcripts of the media Q&A phone call sessions with the draft picks immediately following their selection are available in The Corner Forum:

Saturday’s Media Sessions with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal: The video and transcript of Saturday’s media sessions with the team’s two 1st-round draft picks are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com.

Saturday’s Media Sessions with Wan’Dale Robinson, Joshua Ezeudu, and Cor’Dale Flott: The video and transcript of Saturday’s media sessions with the team’s second-day draft picks are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com.

Apr 282022
 
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Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (April 28, 2022)

Kayvon Thibodeaux – © USA TODAY Sports

With the 5th pick and 7th picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux (University of Oregon) and offensive tackle Evan Neal (University of Alabama), respectively.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on Kayvon Thibodeaux: Junior entry from South Central Los Angeles. Three-year starter that came out of school as a topflight, 5-star recruit and delivered. Earned 1st Team All-Pac 12 honors all three years, won the 2020 Morris Trophy, and landed on both the 2020 and 2021 All American squads. Thibodeaux has a long, explosive frame that can bend in and out of small creases with tremendous power and strength. His lockout game combined with a strong initial burst consistently gives him initial positional advantages on blockers. Sometimes, that alone is good enough as he can work through the shoulder of a blocker with consistent ease whether he is rushing the passer or defending the run. He is equally productive against both. Where Thibodeaux struggles, however, is when he is matched up against pro-caliber size and power when it comes to secondary rush moves. He needs to show more technique refinement and continue to try and strengthen his base, which plays small and gets too narrow at times. His lack of body control will cause issues as well when it comes to reaction-based action. His tool set is top shelf, but he is far from a finished product and will need to fix a lot prior to being labeled a dependable player.

*I am going to try and not make this too long because the Thibodeaux fans get really offended, really easily. First off: I have 800+ grades on my master sheet along with another 400+ “training camp body” labels. Thibdodeaux is in the top 15. So yes, I do like him, and I do project him to be a very good football player in the NFL. A starter with high, sky-high, upside. There is some Harold Landry in his game. That said, I do not see him being the All-Pro or even perennial Pro Bowl type. When it comes to the “effort” shortcomings, this is NOT a guy that walks up and down the field. He does NOT play with the “I don’t care” label. There is more to effort than sheer hustle, however.

My issues with Thibodeaux revolve around what he did against his best competition. If he lost initially, if he got locked onto, I did not see the secondary moves. I didn’t see the secondary wiggle to try and re-gain a position. The contrast between him and the other top 5 edge guys in the class in that department is obvious. He also had too many dumb penalties. When it isn’t easy for him (he matched up against some awful OTs), he got frustrated and immature. He didn’t pin his ears back and elevate his game. To me, that is effort and mental toughness that just isn’t there. It is a crucial, borderline vital trait to playing the edge.

That is where I left it with him. And then hearing how he talks about himself and a contract. I have a saying “…he works at his craft like he is above it all already…” simply rubs me the wrong way. Enough that I would be too nervous to use #5 or #7 on him with the other guys available. That is all.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on Evan Neal: Junior entry from Okeechobee, Florida. Three-year starter at three different positions (LG, RT, LT). A 2019 Freshman All American that ended his career as a 2nd Team All American and 1st Team All SEC honoree. Neal, a team captain, is lauded by both the on-field coaches and support staff inside the walls. His attention to detail, intelligence, and work ethic have helped him deliver on his 5-star recruit profile out of high school. The fact he started right away as a true freshman for Nick Saban along the offensive line, a rarity, and progressed each season of his 3-year career while playing 3 different positions speaks volumes about his mental game. The obvious with Neal is the elite physical tools. His size is second to none, his power comes easy and natural, and the explosion within his blocking can put him in a rare tier of offensive line prospects. He did struggle with consistency throughout his career, as he showed low body awareness in several situations. He often oversets, leading to balance and control issues. Defenders were able to shake him off too many times. Neal’s upside is as high as it gets but the constant new-position he dealt with every year may have thrown off some important development. That versatility may help his outlook to some teams but once he is drafted, his true value will come when he settles into a position. Neal can eventually be one of the best linemen in the game.

*Prior to the start of the year, I had nearly no-doubt Neal was going to finish in the 90+ tier. But this is where you have to toss pre-conceived notions out the window when watching the tape. The truth is, Neal did not take a step forward. There are shortcomings within his skill set that arose weekly. The positive? These are all very correctable issues, and we see them corrected all the time. He has some of the same issues that Tristan Wirfs did coming out of Iowa in 2020. Wirfs was my OT1 in that class with a similar grade and is now an All-Pro. Neal can get on that path just as quickly, but I think he needs to settle into a position and remain there for a couple years. That hasn’t been the case since he was a high schooler. NYG would be an ideal destination for him. Insert him into the RT spot week 1 and they could have a top tier OT pair within a year or two. I would be excited to get this kid in blue.

Media Q&A with General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video):

JOE SCHOEN: First start off, we’re ecstatic with the two players we got, obviously getting Kayvon Thibodeaux, a really good pass rusher at five, we are excited about that. Thought of getting him there with Azeez on the other side and the pass rush is important to us, so two young pass rushers on the team now that we are definitely excited about.

Evan Neal, again, I’m sure it will come up, but starting off we’ll be putting him at right tackle. Obviously, we really like his versatility, 40 career starts in three different spots in the SEC, only missed one game in his career with COVID. So both 21 years old, young players, both still have upside to develop.

But, you know, it worked out great. We are happy with both of the players that we were able to procure tonight.

So open up for questions.

Q. Joe, what was it like sitting at five, three tackles, you obviously love Kayvon, how much decision-making, not just the players but the order?

JOE SCHOEN: We have been through these scenarios a million times. We had seven or eight cards, and we just kept switching them back and forth based on different scenarios, and this is a scenario we went over. And if there were tackles on board and the pass rusher, we were going pass rusher knowing we could get a tackle at 7. We were ecstatic when that scenario came up.

Q. Did you say Neal would be starting at right tackle?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m not saying starting. Yeah, we are going to — we are going to work him at right tackle, yes, knowing he has versatility to play left or play guard, which was attractive to us.

Q. Kayvon at the Combine said you gave him a hard time in interviews to see if he could handle it. What has been your impression of him?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we spent a lot of time with him. We met with him at the Combine, I flew out there for his pro day along with a couple other individuals, and we had him in here for a visit.

He’s a very outgoing individual. He’s got a lot of personality. I’m sure you guys will enjoy your time with him meeting him, but a really good kid, likeable kid, works hard.

We had a good — Brian and I had several conversations with some of his coaches the last couple of days. We FaceTimed him last weekend and we got to know the kid maybe more than any player in this draft. Liked the personality and liked the player.

Q. You say you got to know him more than any other player in the draft. Is that because there was more you needed to know about him and how that personality would fit here?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, and it worked out that way, too, that I was able to get to his pro day and go to dinner with him. You can only do with so many players during that time, he was one of the players I was able to go to dinner with at a pro day, plus spend time with him here, plus at a Combine. There’s a lot of players and only so much amount of time.

Evan Neal is the same way. Had dinner with him here. I wasn’t able to go to pro day because of the owners meetings, but we had him in the room at the Combine too. A lot of very good interactions with both prospects.

Q. The physical traits that stood out to you about Kayvon and about Evan, what stood out?

BRIAN DABOLL: They both have good size, good length. Kayvon is quick off the ball. I think he has a wide variety of pass rush moves, but he can also set an edge for us on our defense, and it’s no secret we play multiple schemes with Wink as our defensive coordinator, and we envision Kayvon being able to do a lot of different things for us. He’s going to have to come in here and earn it, but a productive player the time he’s been at Oregon.

Evan has played multiple positions. He’s long — it takes a guy the long route to go to the quarterback. He’s got long arms. He’s a big, massive man, played multiple positions, had a lot of people down at Alabama that I trust and had a lot confidence in him and had a lot of good things to say about him and along with Bobby Johnson and Tony Sparano, the guys that have looked at him, we thought very highly of him.

Again, this situation that came up, Joe and I, we’ve been meeting the last three or four nights going through as many different scenarios as we can. He carries these magnets in his pockets and pulls them out. He had them in the draft room and moving them around and all that, and we did as many different scenarios as we could. I thought we were well-prepared for tonight, and when it fell the way it fell, we already had that in the plan.

Q. Brian, people think that the Giants stepped into pretty much the best-case scenario. How would you describe how the top of the Draft went?

BRIAN DABOLL: I credit Joe and his staff, along with the coaches, everyone putting so much time and effort. Even till last week, we were watching some guys in my office, Joe and myself and about eight other people for seemed like 12 hours a day, we just watched three guys.

We’re excited about what we have. Again, a lot of work to do with these guys. There always is when you draft young guys and come into your program, but certainly excited with their talent and also the type of people that they are.

Q. Joe, how many conversations did you have today about possibly making a trade back, and at what point did you realize you weren’t going to do that?

JOE SCHOEN: We had probably three teams that had talked about potentially moving up, and it was more to seven — there weren’t a lot of calls — actually, there weren’t any calls on anybody coming up to five. We had some conversations in a scenario where it was really six guys we coveted, and if one of them weren’t there, if all six went, then we would have probably considered moving back. But any scenario where two of the six guys we liked were there, we were going to stay. That would have been really the only chance we would have moved back in that scenario.

Q. In general, were teams low balling and reluctant to pay too much to move up just in this draft just in general talking to people?

JOE SCHOEN: I wouldn’t say that. You know, the two trades I had in place, it was like, hey let’s prepare, so if we’re on the clock, it’s already done, no haggling. With the two teams I talked to, it was fair. We both agreed it was fair. One of the teams actually called me and said, hey, we are out because a certain position was depleted that they were going to come up for.

We also had a contingency plan if our six guys that we liked were gone, we had a seventh, and if we had to make a pick and we couldn’t move back, we were prepared for that.

Brian is not kidding around. We had every possible scenario based on how the top of the Draft went, and it was really a unique draft. Typically you have an idea of who is going to be first and second, and there were rumors of it and rumors of who was going to go third, but you didn’t really know. Everybody was kind of speculating on that. So we were prepared for a lot of different scenarios.

Q. What would you say were differentiator when you had your choice of a couple tackles? And also, at some point, a hip injury or something, some people had mentioned that with regards to Neal — did you guys have a look at that, and would that factor in at all?

JOE SCHOEN: What he’s talking about, us sitting in an office and watching multiple players, multiple times. And I think if you asked around the league how everybody saw those tackles, you’d get a bunch of different opinions.

We did a lot of work on those guys, but after the pass rusher, after Thibodeaux, there was quite a drop. We like the tackles very similarly, so we thought it was best to let it play out and get the pass rusher first.

On the medical, a lot of times teams share medical grades, and, you know, I think it was 52 percent of the league, there was only 8 percent that had issues with anything with Evan. And circling up with that, I think that was a rumor that was out there, but the majority of the teams in the league, again, he started 40 career games; he missed one game because of COVID.

Q. Did you have to look into that again?

JOE SCHOEN: Our medical staff did a great job. They were on it. Before any of that came out, we went through all that and they mentioned what some teams had concerns with, and our doctors looked at it and they were fine with everything. His play history backs that up.

Q. How does not getting a corner impact James Bradberry?

JOE SCHOEN: That doesn’t affect James at all. I’ve said it all along, there are contingency plans. We still have three picks tomorrow night, a fourth, two fifths and a sixth. There are plenty of picks to be had.

Q. Joe, would you say even though the tackles were very close, would you say Neal was your No. 1 tackle?

JOE SCHOEN: They were very close, yeah. We had them side-by-side.

Q. So why did you pick him?

JOE SCHOEN: Because Ickey was gone at six.

Q. In terms of the other tackles —

JOE SCHOEN: We thought there was a drop off in pass rushers, and those two were still there, so it played itself out.

Q. There was a report earlier today that you guys were not going to pick up the fifth year on Daniel Jones. Is that true?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes, we exercised Dexter’s fifth-year option, and then we did not do Daniels.

Q. How does that affect the Draft? Are you looking for a quarterback now?

JOE SCHOEN: We are always open to all positions, but that doesn’t really affect our draft status. We met on it today, and it really doesn’t affect what we think about Daniel. We really like Daniel and the work he’s been putting in. And we are excited where he is, and we are excited to work with him. It was a decision we thought was best for the New York Giants at this time.

Q. What did Wink say? Have you spoken to him yet?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, he gave me a fist pound back. Yeah, look, the Draft is an inexact deal, and you go through as many scenarios as you can and you prepare yourself. I’m not going to say it’s like preparing yourself for a game as a play caller.

We felt very comfortable yesterday. The defensive guys went out golfing today, and the offensive staff went out and did another thing. We felt comfortable. Credit to Joe and the scouting staff. They put the time in, along with the coaches. It was a team effort. Feel like we have two good players to help us, and now it’s going to be their job to come in here, work hard, learn how we do things, and help them develop.

JOE SCHOEN: Can I ask a question? I haven’t seen Wink, what is he wearing?

BRIAN DABOLL: Not a hat surprisingly. He’s got like a golf shirt on. Business casual for coaches tonight. First time I’ve seen them in normal clothes since I’ve been here.

Q. Your first time in the hot seat, what was the experience like for you in the war room?

JOE SCHOEN: Daboll was talking about it before. It was like when you go call a game, you’re at ease because you have all your third and five calls. If it’s third and plus 10, here are my calls we practiced all week, and we got it.

So when you’re up there, you’re calling a game. We had been through so many scenarios, the exact scenario that played out, we’ve been through it probably 15 times this week. We would stay in my office and move stuff around, what do we do here, what do we could here. We had a couple rhymes in place for different scenarios. It was very seamless. It was easy because where we were at five and seven, it was easy to plan for that and narrow your focus.

Tomorrow and Saturday may be a little bit different. You’ve got to look at our picks further down in the third round. Tomorrow might be easy for the first pick because we know if there’s four players that we like, and we are going to get one of those four if we stay where we are.

So overall it was good. Again, preparation, we have been through the draft process together, Dabs and I. Their taff did a phenomenal job like he said. They were very helpful and put in a lot of time and effort not just watching the film but Zooms. These guys were on Zooms with these prospects for like an hour, and we had a process in place and a test in place at each position that the coaches were given of these kids.

We took that into account when we talked about how they did on the football test they were giving them, how they learn, how they pick up information, how they communicate that information. It was a pretty extensive process, from the medical to the coaches to the psychological on all these guys, and I think our process will lead us to the best decisions ultimately.

Q. Do you think that the offensive line is finally fixed?

JOE SCHOEN: We haven’t been in pads yet. I hope so, but again, there’s going to be competition across all positions, and I feel like we’ve upgraded it from where I was here and we had four or five offensive linemen when you got here, and we’ve added some veteran guys we like, Jamil Douglas, Garcia, Feliciano, Glowinski. We are happy with those guys, Gono. And then now adding Evan Neal, I think it’s an interesting group and there’s some interior depth. And Matt Peart, when he comes back, all of a sudden, I think we could potentially be operating from a position of strength at that position.

Q. Did you recruit Evan and did the guys at Alabama help you in the process?

BRIAN DABOLL: No, didn’t recruit them, but certainly you have relationships in this business, whether it’s from team to team in the NFL or in this case, college teams. Obviously I know a lot of people down there. So they were very helpful. They are big proponents of Evan, rightfully so. He’s a good player, but you’re also trying to get to know the person and how does he treat the GAs and how is he in the cafeteria and the type of people that we want to build our program with, and he fit it to a T. And on top of that, you have to be a good football player and have some talent and love the game and love to compete.

We are happy he’s in our program, but now he’s got a lot of work to do.

Q. When you were on the clock, was there any conversation in the room about where to go?

BRIAN DABOLL: I’ll jump ahead of Joe. No, I told you he was prepared. There was not a lot of talking at all. It was calm, composed. And I think you can be that way when you’re prepared, when you put the time in and you have the conversations before they happen.

Again, I can’t tell you how many different scenarios we went through the past week, so we felt however it was going to unfold, that, you know, we would be ready for whatever decisions we had to make.

Q. Kayvon said on the TV when they were interviewing him on stage that before he got on the plane to go to Vegas, someone from the Giants FaceTimed him. Was it you?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, Joe and I talked to him, again, just to say hello and wish him the best of luck in the draft process. We had good meetings with him. Good player. Just wanted to wish him luck.

Q. Can you talk about work ethic, his motivation, affinity for his brand, some people were concerned about that. Was there anything that eased your mind, something that you felt the need to look into or saw anything like that?

BRIAN DABOLL: I think you look into everything, but we sat down with the young man. He came up here on a visit, at the Combine. Joe did a Zoom. Did another Zoom with him. We felt very comfortable with him, his approach, both as a young football player and as a young man.

Q. Do you like coaching guys with big personalities, and how do you handle that?

BRIAN DABOLL: I like coaching good guys. Everybody has a different personality. When you’re coaching in the National Football League for 22 years, you come across a lot of different characters, and as long as they love football and they are a pro on and off the field. I have six kids, and they all have different personalities. And that’s the job of a coach, too, to learn your players, what makes them tick, how to push them when they need pushed, how to hug them when they need a hug. Felt very comfortable with him.

JOE SCHOEN: And these athletes are changing. The NIL stuff, these kids are making a lot of money in college. Freshmen in college, some are making $100,000, $200,000. It’s a different athlete and a different experience as a college football player, and we have to evolve and understand that kids are going to evolve, and what they have been exposed to when they were in college is going to be a little bit different.

Also with Kayvon, he had a serious ankle injury. And a lot of people, with his draft status and draft stock, could have hung it up and said, we’ll call it a season and I’m not going to play anymore. He fought back. And we talked to several people at the school, and he worked his way back and practiced, and a lot of people — he didn’t necessarily need to do that.

Q. Of the top tackles, Evan is the only one who played extensively at right tackle, how much did that come into play knowing you wanted to put him at right tackle?

JOE SCHOEN: It helps when you’re going to draft a player at number 7 and you get to see him do what you’re going to ask him to do. That makes you feel good. We definitely went back, we studied his tape from last season when he was at right tackle and even watched some of the stuff at guard. His versatility is important. One guy goes down in a game, it helps the eight guys you take on game day. If a guy can move around like that and help you out, that’s an added plus, too.

Q. Joe, you went to dinner with Kayvon. Before his pro day?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, Korean barbecue place. You have to ask him about it. I had never been to a Korean barbecue place before. It was a lot of fun.

Q. We see one side, one personality. Is he the same personality-wise in a different setting with you, or did you see a different side of him that appealed to you?

JOE SCHOEN: One-on-one, when Dabs and I just met with him on his visit, yeah, he’s very calm, cool, collect. And when I had one-on-one experiences with him, and when he’s out and about in front of you guys, you might see a little bit more personality on him. But all in all, a really good kid and got to like him throughout the process.

Re: Sam Prince announcing the selection at No. 5

SCHOEN: How about my man Sam?

DABOLL: We gotta mention Sam. You talk about juice.

SCHOEN: That’s the type of juice we’re looking for.

Media Q&A with Kayvon Thibodeaux:

Q. Congratulations.

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Thank you, it’s been a blessing.

Q. You had said on stage that you were getting on a plane and you got a FaceTime from the Giants, what was that like and was that kind of the sign for you that something was happening?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: They were surprised that I answered. But you know me I’m always authentic with it, so just being able to have that last minute conversation gave me that idea that yeah, they really care.

Q. Why are you made for New York? Why is New York the perfect landing spot for you?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Because I’m hungry. I’m really competitive and hungry and I feel like New York is the pinnacle of a dog-eat-dog world.

Q. Did you spend more time with the Giants than other teams or did you spend a lot of time with a lot of teams?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I spent the most time with the Giants, definitely.

Q. What did you think about getting to know (General Manager) Joe Schoen, (Head Coach) Brian Daboll and (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) and the other guys here?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It was really dope because we really got to build a foundation, I don’t want to say relationship, but we built a foundation, and now I have a real understanding because when I get there, I can go to them for anything.

Q. What did you think you had to prove to them or were there any questions you felt like they needed answered when you kept going through the process and meeting them at different points?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I don’t necessarily know if there was anything specific that they needed answers, but I answered all of the questions without them asking. I was able to lay it all out on the line and I think they respected my delivery.

Q. There has been much said about Wink’s defense being multiple. How do you fit into that?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I’m a smart guy. I feel like his multiple defense is really going to give me the opportunity to be versatile and kind of just show everything I bring to the team.

Q. What’s your relationship like with (Former New York Giants Defensive End) Michael Strahan?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: He literally is one of my mentors and he’s been talking to me throughout this process. He actually came to visit me when I was on my visit with the team, so seeing him out there that was really dope because he’s given me wisdom and he even was able to speak on my behalf because we have built a relationship over the year.

Q. How valuable will it be to have that resource when you get here do you think?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It’s really dope because he has literally walked in my footsteps and can show me the ropes on the field and off the field.

Q. What are the Giants getting as a player out of you?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: They are getting a leader, they are getting a competitor and they are getting a guy who wants to win at any means.

Q. Did you think there were any misconceptions about you in this Draft process? Obviously, the Giants didn’t buy in to those, but did you think that you’re a little bit misunderstood as a player and a person and as a prospect?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I feel like anything that was said about me before this point is history, and now all we’re focused on is the future.

Q. What do you remember about the dinner you went on with Joe? He was talking how you took him to Korean barbecue for the first time.

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Exactly, I took him to my house and we were able to break bread and do everything that we needed and I let them know that I eat, right. It was really dope, we got to break bread and we really got to build that relationship.

(celebratory noise) My bad, I’m sitting here with (Giants Tackle) Evan Neal and we’re sitting here – and it’s time.

Q. What’s that like to be there with Evan and knowing you guys just got picked together? I would imagine in your mind, you guys will be together for a while?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: When you think about it, it’s a blessing when you have a complete competitor on the other side of the ball that you’re going to be able to go against every day knowing that you’re getting better because he’s getting better because we want to.

Q. It’s been said you’re probably the best edge rusher in the Draft. How are you against the run?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: You’ve got to watch the tape.

Q. What do you say to that notion that your motor did not always run hot, that you took plays off? What do you say to that?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I say that the Giants believe in me, and me and Evan are going to go to work, and this is probably one of the greatest moments of my life.

Q. Who is going to win the one-on-one reps in rookie minicamp?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It’s going to be 50/50 every time. He’s going to hit me with an upper cut and I’m going to hit him with a right hook. He’ll hit me with a jab and I’m going to hit him with a stomach hit. We’re going to keep going back-to-back.

Media Q&A with Evan Neal:

Q. Did you talk to the Giants a lot through this process and did you have a feeling they were going to be a team that might take you tonight?

EVAN NEAL: Yeah, they had the fifth and the seventh pick and so I knew there was a possibility I could end up at the Giants for sure, but I’m just thankful they gave me an opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.

Q. What was your reaction when they were on clock at five and didn’t take you?

EVAN NEAL: Hey, man, I was happy for Kayvon (Thibodeaux). I clapped for him. It’s a lot of uncertainty but I just controlling the things that I can control.

Q. What do you think of, you played right tackle obviously before you played left tackle. They are going to start you out at right tackle. What do you think of that? Is that a good spot for you?

EVAN NEAL: Yeah, I’m comfortable at all the tackle spots for sure.

Q. Do you know Andrew Thomas?

EVAN NEAL: I don’t think I’ve ever met him.

Q. What would you say to Giants fans that you’re bringing to the table as an offensive lineman if you’re describing yourself?

EVAN NEAL: The Giants are going to get a guy that is going to come in every day and work his hardest to be the best that he can be and just ultimately help the organization win.

Q. What were your reactions when the health rumors were coming out the last couple days about you?

EVAN NEAL: I was kind of shocked a little bit but at the end of the day I just control my controllables. I can’t control about the information that leaks out, but I played 41 games at Alabama, I didn’t miss a game, I didn’t miss a snap, I only missed one game due to COVID, so that’s your answer there.

Q. When you were sitting there just now when Kayvon was on with us and you see his personality busting out all over the place, what’s your reaction?

EVAN NEAL: He’s a funny guy, man. I’m just excited to continue to get to know him and spend time with him and compete against him.

Q. Do you get a sense that he’s the kind of guy that’s going to be talking to you in practice snap to snap?

EVAN NEAL: I really don’t care whether he does. I’m going to talk with my shoulder pads (Laughter).

Q. How would you describe your personality?

EVAN NEAL: Pretty much a laid-back guy. I’m kind of more of an introverted extrovert by nature, more reserved, quiet, but just talk to me. I’m a people person. I’m definitely a cool guy.

Q. Are you a better pass blocker or run blocker?

EVAN NEAL: Man, I feel like I’m good at both, honestly. I played well and I played at a high level at both, just turn on the film. That should give you your answer.

Q. You’re a real country boy. How does it feel playing in New York?

EVAN NEAL: A little bit of a culture shock, man, but I’m excited. I’m a country boy, but at the end of the day, I know how to fit in well with the city, so I’m just excited.

Q. Got some Alabama guys up here. Have you heard from them yet?

EVAN NEAL: Yeah, Xavier McKinney, when I was on my Top-30 visit, I got a chance to chop it up with him for a little bit. It’s going to be pretty cool being able to play with him.