Q: This was the first afternoon in shoulder pads. How did it go?
A: It was good to have the pads on. They were frisky. I thought the energy was good. They ran pretty well, which was a good thing. That was the intent.
Q: That’s probably the first time Eli’s gone down on the field in practice in quite awhile. Did that put a lump in your throat?
A: No, because I think I saw most of it in and he just – I don’t know what he was doing - he was turning or something and slipped. He was fine.
Q: Did he collide with Andre Williams?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: How much do you expect, at this point, that the defense will usually be ahead of the offense or has a sort of advantage?
A: Yeah, they are. But there were some plays out there both ways. There were. Not as many runs this afternoon, unfortunately. The defense kind of controlled that.
Q: What do you think about the competition at kicker? How do you think both guys are doing so far?
A: Both guys seem to have done pretty well whenever given the opportunity. The kickoffs have been very strong. With the field goals, Josh (Brown) probably has the advantage. There’s a lot of power in that leg.
Q: Any update on [Odell] Beckham?
A: You’ll know before I’ll know, probably. He seems like he’s frisky enough out here. Today he was catching the ball from the machine and seemed to be moving around okay. So hopefully it’s not going to take too long.
Q: Would you keep..
A: I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. We’ll keep the best players we can.
Q: What have you seen from Walter Thurmond that you’ve liked so far?
A: I liked what Walter was doing in the spring, and I’ve liked him so far here in the fall.
Q: Sometimes you hear about guys who can only play in the slot versus those who play outside…
A: I don’t think so. I think when given the chance to be outside he’s done well. He’s done well on one-on-ones. The first one-on-one was today. I like him. I like his attitude. I think he’s energetic and positive.
Q: [Zack] Bowman comes from a team that forced a lot of turnovers. Was that something that attracted you to him? The Bears.
A: I think it was more than the team… It was more Bowman’s availability, the fact that he’s a veteran player. The first thing he tells you is, “I’ll play all the special teams.” He’s smart about that.
Q: How does Will Beatty look to you health-wise so far? How do you see him progressing?
A: He’s coming. Everybody’s asking that. You asked that two days ago, and again today. I don’t see a lot of change. But he is out there and he’s doing more than he was originally supposed to do, so I think that’s a huge plus.
Q: How do you see Ryan Nassib coming along this summer?
A: He’s had a lot thrown at him. He’s studied; he studied all spring. He does a tremendous job. He did that over the course of the summer. He was in here in the summer in our weight room. He’s learning. He’s progressing.
Q: Is the execution where you want it yet?
A: Some is there, sometimes it isn’t. That’s just kind of the way it is. The defense makes a play, the offense makes a play. It kind of goes back and forth and that’s to be expected, really. Like you said over here, the defense normally at this point makes a few more plays.
Q: What do you think you guys are capable of doing this year in terms of the secondary?
A: I think we will be real good, even the linebackers. Going through practice, watching film and seeing how they get in their drops and react. I can tell it’s going to be a fast defense that flies around and get to the ball.
Q: Tell me about your cleat collection that’s in your locker. How do decide which ones to wear every day?
A: It depends on the mood of the day. Some days if we are playing a lot of man to man, I tend to put on the faster superheroes because that’s a day I feel like we’ll have to do a lot of running. It just depends on my mood, you can tell by what kind of cleats I have on what kind of day it’s going to be.
Q: How many pairs do you have?
Q: Stevie Brown was saying you slow up on the route a little bit to get the quarterback to throw to your guy to catch up and get to the ball….
A: Yeah, something like that. I’m a baiting corner sometimes, it can hurt you or it can help you sometimes. That is a part of my game only on deeper routes like on a post or something I let you get a step or two in front of me depending on who it is. You can’t do that with everybody.
Q: How has it been building communication compared to past years in the league?
A: It’s been really good. That’s what our main focus is. We got new guys coming in but as far as the guys that have already been here, we have a pretty good group. They understand the system well, it’s just bringing the new guys up to speed and I thought they have been doing a real good job, staying with us, teaching us and going out there and putting it on the field.
Q: Have you ever been a part of a group that’s so deep?
A: I think that makes it better for the team as far as competition. Now everybody has to go out there and perform so I think that just makes it better for us.
Q: What does it do coming off the big success last year?
A: I‘d just like to give an understanding of what it takes to get to the Super bowl. This team has done it so they definitely know that. You blend all of that together and put everyone’s mind together and go from there. I think I can make it better for a team atmosphere as far as learning how to go out there and do the right thing.
Q: Is this defense being led by the secondary?
A: We have some pretty good guys back there but you look at Jason Pierre-Paul and Mike Patterson and those guys can definitely get off the ball and it definitely makes it easier for the back end.
Q: Do you think this secondary measures up?
A: We got one of the guys that comes from over there that knows their system well that can come over here and teach it to us, he’s been in the Super Bowl.
Q: How are you adjusting to the area?
A: I haven’t had much time to go out and experience the area. Just coming in and coming to training camp. So far it’s been good; it’s hotter than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a little colder.
Q: Does it help your style of play to have guys like Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle back there?
A: For a corner like me, that makes me very happy. You tend to see some things and when you look at Antrel and you look at Stevie and you let them know you’re probably going to take it and you use that speed to cover hash to hash, so you know he’s going to cover deep so you can take more chances.
Q: Did you have to hold your breath the other day when you were taken off on the cart for x-rays?
A: No, I didn’t hold my breath at all. I mean, I know my body. You know when I had my injury I did not get carted off, I tried to jog off of the field, but it was just a precaution the trainers wanted to take, and I went by the rules. One way or the other, it is going to take a lot to take me down.
Q: How is it going for you playing the middle linebacker spot and making all the calls?
A: It has been a smooth transition. That is because of a lot of things. It is because of great coaches obviously. Great coaches know how to put me in positions and educate me on the defense like everyone else, but obviously there is a lot time being spent on learning this defense, and not only just learning what the middle linebacker does, but learning the concept and all of that. I put a lot of time into that. It has been a smooth transition.
Q: What is the biggest thing you have had to learn that is different from what you did before?
A: The 4-3 has some different things from the 3-4 in some aspects. The way they play coverages are a little different than I was used to playing them, so focusing on that aspect of it is probably the biggest part. As far as the run fits run is run. See ball, hit ball that is easy.
Q: Do you have a sense yet defensively of what you guys might do?
A: Oh I get it; you want me to give you the game plan. I get it. We are going to play football. Everybody knows Perry [Fewell] has an exotic scheme. He is an intelligent defensive coordinator. One of the best. It is going to be exciting. It is going to be something that will keep people out of their seats.
Q: The linebacking group it seems there are some guys that are interchangeable parts, but there are also guys who do some things specifically well… Does that make it even more important for you guys to learn the tendencies of everybody in that group knowing you could be out there with one guy one time and next series it could be another guy?
A: I think it is important for everybody to have a role regardless of what people like to claim as a starter or someone who comes in and does something. As long as we can maximize everybody’s ability, that just makes the defense better. When you have a lot of guys out there playing football, and everybody is fresh it becomes a more fun game at that point. As far as who will be playing and what role they will be playing, that is up to the coaches, but we are just out there identifying what we can do well and they will put us in position after that.
Q: What do you think of the rookie [Devon] Kennard?
A: I think Kennard is very smart. I think he is very smart and physical. I am excited about him. I have seen a lot of good rookies, and he is definitely one of the most impressive young guys that I have seen maturity wise and professionalism. I gave him a lot of compliments in that one sentence. I usually don’t do that much.
Q: What has he done to deserve [compliments]?
A: It is really difficult to catch on to things so fast. You know this isn’t college. We have more than five or six plays going in. There are about 40 or some odd plays or more. For him to be able to lock in and focus in and play the game at a fast enough speed, you have to be impressed with it, regardless of whether he was linebacker, defensive lineman or cornerback. I have seen rookies do stuff like that before, so it is pretty impressive to see it done.
Q: You have yet to play with Jon Beason with his injury and yours now….?
A: Technically I did, as soon as we came in Beason and I were side-by-side. A little bit.
Q: Do you and [Beason] need to play a preseason game or two to get that chemistry going?
A: I don’t know about me. We build chemistry in the film room. We build it on the practice field too, but just understanding how a person thinks is the most important part. How they play that comes together, but if I know what Jon sees as a scheme, then I know how to play off of the scheme. I learn that in the film room. I learn all of those things. I wouldn’t say it is a need. What we need is him to be healthy and be who he is, and take his time to get to where he needs to be. Not just what we need, but what Jon needs. More importantly the game will come one way or another.
Q: How do you look at that preseason as a veteran?
A: To be completely honest, I do not look at things that I do not control. I don’t control how many snaps coaches put me in or how many games they put me in. If they call my number, I will go. That is that for me.
Q: How do you balance giving your input and becoming a leader while being a newcomer to the team?
A: I think I just continuously be myself. Whatever I feel at that moment is what I express. If I feel at the moment that isn’t right, then I do not say anything. I don’t think anywhere I have been or anything I have done, I don’t structure it off of how people view me in situations rather than he can’t say something because he’s new or he can’t say too much because he is trying to be a leader. I just try to be myself. At the end of the day it becomes something for someone else then that’s what it is, but to be it is just trying to be me.
Q: Coach [Jim] Hermann said he liked the toughness of this group… Do you get that same feeling?
A: I get that same feeling. I get that same feeling with a lot of the players. They are hungry. A lot of guys are hungry. When you have that much hunger in that many big bodies it becomes damage on the other side.
Q: Linebacker has not been a position of strength on this team for a couple years now… Do you know that and what do you think of this group…..?
A: I did not know about what you just said, but I know this group is good. I have been around good linebackers, and I have been around good groups, and this group has all of those things intact for it. I mean it is going to be strength. I don’t know what the past is, but I know what the present is, and that is what we are going to do.
Q: Tom said he saw you in the weight room and said he was really impressed. He said it looked like nothing had ever happened to your foot. Is that how you feel?
A: Yeah. Well, any time you’re dealing with an injury you have to worry about everything else. It’s a chance to get stronger and still work the other leg. Different lifts you can and can’t do but you just try to maximize the time that you have and still try to get better.
Q: What are you able to do on that foot now? How much can you run? Can you run at all yet?
A: We’re on the underwater treadmill so the water is up to here, so it’s about 90% off the body. We’re just being really smart about it. You have benchmarks, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to start doing this at six weeks, get a little more aggressive.’ I think I’m a little superhuman a little bit, I heal a little faster. At the end of the day hey, six weeks, that’s what the timetable calls for, so you listen and try to do right.
Q: Jameel said the most important thing is that he gets to work with you in the film room and that he can sense what kind of player you are and what you’re thinking. Is that what you’re getting from those film sessions?
A: When we got here in the spring obviously we got a chance to play a lot of reps together. You’re dealing with a guy whose got a lot of playing time, a veteran guy that’s played MIKE linebacker so he’s vocal. He’s not afraid to speak up and right away you get that connection. The thing I’m most impressed with is Spencer, Herz and especially Jacquian, everyone’s coming along. I feel like they’re primed, they’re ready to have a breakout season. Watching that, especially from that good vantage point, the sideline, you see the guys talking, communicating, making plays where it’s more instinctive. I think we’ll be pretty scary as a group this year.
Q: How comfortable would you be if you didn’t get any preseason reps at all and then went into the lineup opening day against Detroit?
A: Unfortunately I’ve done it before and I hate it more than anything because you want to get that cohesiveness with the guys that you’re going to be playing with. You’re expected to play every single down. I am. That’s where the conditioning, the cardio, all that stuff comes into play. If you want to play at a high level more consistently, you have to have that game shape, that football shape and that’s what you miss when you don’t have training camp. That’s why you don’t just show up on the eighth and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to play football.’ That part of it is always tough. Mentally I think I’ll be OK. I can handle it.
Q: Are preseason games still in play for you at this point based on the benchmarks they’ve given you or is that ruled out?
A: I would hope so. Obviously you don’t win in the preseason. You’ve got teams that go 4-0 and then end up not making the playoffs or some teams lose every preseason game and wind up winning it all. You don’t put much stock in them but you need them to get ready. The one thing you can’t simulate, even in practice, is tackling. Live speed tackling to the ground is something you’ve kind of got to do. You start off the first preseason game a little sloppy and by the time the second, third preseason game rolls around you’re good and you’re back into that normal routine.
Q: For you specifically, do you see yourself getting in a preseason game?
A: I would hope so. Based on how I feel, the way things are going you want to keep making baby steps. If you go too fast, you have a setback and now all of a sudden you’re pushing that timetable of September 8th so we want to be smart about it. Obviously I’m going to do what they tell me, but I would love to get in during the preseason and get some reps.
Q: You said obviously you’ve been unfortunate in some situations. You know what rehabbing from an injury is like. When you look back has there ever been a spot that maybe you came back too soon, maybe you pushed it too quickly and maybe you learned from it now?
A: Not necessarily too fast but a lot of times when you have an injury you’re deficient somewhere else and you compensate and something else goes. That’s why you try to do your best in terms of the rehab and also in the weight room, making sure everything else is really strong because that’s what’s going to take the pressure off my toe.
Q: You said this was going to be a scary group. In the past couple years linebacker really hasn’t been a strength for this team. Are you guys aware of that? Is that a conscious thing that you’re trying to change?
A: I think you look at the team last year, very veteran defensive line. We go as they go and this year you bring in some key pieces, guys who have some playoff experience, Super Bowl experience, guys who have played a long time and you still have guys that are young at the linebacker position. We know about it. You look at what we did last year at the tail end of the season and obviously what we’ve done this offseason on the football field, you see it start to come together. Guys are really confident and that’s the most important things – know that you know and once you see it, go and make a play.
Q: Coach Herrmann said that he thought this group was tougher than last year and he was talking about some of the guys who have come back, the guys who used to be young guys and now they’re not. Do you see them tougher?
A: Yeah well, you know what, it’s a learning process for everybody. You have guys that got thrown into a starting role for the first time so there’s going to be a curve there as opposed to guys like myself and McClain who have several years of experience playing in the NFL where you get comfortable and you understand the grind of what it takes. I really feel like that group, that class of what is it, 2010, 2011, collectively they’ve really come along. It’s been scary to watch what they’ve been able to do. Today should be an eye-opening experience in terms of linebackers. It will be really physical and guys making a lot of plays.
Q: Jerry Reese said that maybe the defense was a little underrated last year, maybe flew under the radar. Do you think you guys had a good season defensively?
A: I think we finished well. I think we finished in the top 10 in total defense. Based on where we started, dead last through the first four or five games, it was a huge turnaround. It’s still, like I said, with a lot of injuries, a lot of new faces this year so there’s going to be some change there but I think it’s some good changes.
Q: What about the voice of Tuck did you lose? How do you go about filling that void in leadership?
A: Everyone’s a leader, to be honest. You’ve got Indians and you have chiefs. If you know your role, just do your job consistently, that’s a leader. I’ll take that guy over anybody who is the vocal guy or the guy who’s trying to bring another guy along. Just do your job. That’s the best thing you can do as a leader. Obviously we lose a great leader in Tuck but I think, if we can get guys on the same page doing one thing at one time, we can be really good.
Q: You put a lot of care into maintaining old injuries and making sure they don’t come back. Does the foot then throw a kink into that or does it make it harder to pay attention to some of the other stuff?
A: If you can’t toe off, then there’s a calf. If the calf goes, then there’s the hamstring and the glut. Everything’s connected and interchanging. You learn that stuff as you train. You do what you can to try to take pressure off one injury but that part of it is still going to come once I’m able to get back on the field, apply pressure into the ground and obviously develop that muscle endurance. That’s the best and biggest key.
Q: Does that six weeks include conditioning those other parts of your body to be ready to play?
A: Yeah. I’ve been here, I stayed here during our break in July. I’ve done what I can in terms of conditioning. The good thing is I felt like I was in really, really peak shape coming into the offseason program and throughout OTAs. I was playing at a very fast pace consistently. Hopefully it’s not much drop off.
A: Yes, he does. He looks good. I don’t see any limitations. I don’t know about what percentage he’s at -- that’s hard for me to calculate. But I see nothing that shows any kind of limitations. He really came in in good shape, good condition, good frame of mind, and is off to a really good start.
Q: Is there a different dynamic in your room without Justin Tuck there?
A: Yeah, there always is. There was when we lost Osi [Umenyiora]. When we lose those guys, you hate it, but that’s part of the business and you just have to move on and other people take those roles. We have a healthy situation in the room. Now all we have to do is get out there and perform.
Q: Is Kiwi one of those [leaders]?
A: Oh definitely. Kiwi has been a solid leader for a long time. Leading by example and leading in the classroom. I’m excited about where Kiwi is right now. His frame of mind and when the pads come on, he has to perform and produce.
Q: Does it get quieter or does Jason [Pierre-Paul] still take care of that as far as keeping everybody noisy and laughing?
A: That room is not quiet much. They cut up, but the one thing about that group is that they work hard. They do work hard. They worked hard in the offseason, they worked hard in OTAs. They’ve worked since they’ve left here. I like where we are right now.
Q: What have you seen from Jay Bromley so far and what do you think his role can be?
A: He’s real raw. Really needs to work on his technique and he needs every rep he can get. But he’s very eager, has a great attitude, good personality, fits in the room. He’s off to a good start but he needs time. Again, it’s hard to tell anything until we get pads on with linemen. So we’ll see where it goes once the pads come on, but I like where he is as far as his eagerness and he is very aware, on top of everything, has picked up on everything, done an outstanding job picking up the defense. He’s a really exciting prospect.
Q: How important are guys like Markus Kuhn and Johnathan Hankins to you this year? It seems like they’re going to really need to provide some depth between Cullen [Jenkins] and Mike [Patterson].
A: Yes they are. I’m really excited about those two. Johnathan really did an outstanding job in the offseason taking care of himself. He’s always in great shape. Those guys did as well as they could do in OTAs and mini-camp. At the start of training camp, they are right where they need to be. I’m excited about those two and once the pads come on, we’ll see. But I think we’re going to see positive things out of them throughout the year. They can provide a lot of depth. I think we have a healthy situation there at tackle with Cullen and Mike P and where they are mentally, how they’ve approached everything, their leadership. But hey, we have to go out there and do it when the pads come on. Everything has been good since the offseason. They’ve done everything they can do. Now we just have to go out there and produce.
Q: Will we see Cullen at end at all this year again?
A: Oh yeah, we’ll move him around in different game plans. It’s great to have a guy like that - that can move around. Throughout next week we’ll start moving guys around in different rush packages and different packages. You always have to rep guys in different positions because you never know what’s going to happen with an injury during a game. So we’ll start that probably next week.
Q: Both of those starting tackles obviously have been around for a long time. Do you see them as still being at the top of their game?
A: They’ve shown nothing so far that shows me any different. Like I said, it’s hard to judge without getting pads on when you’re getting live bullets getting shot at you and then recovering, and see how their bodies hold up. But they’ve come in both in outstanding shape. Mike Patterson did a great job in the offseason with his weight and his training. That’s all positive right now until we can get into pads. That’s when the true story will be told.
Q: I know it’s kind of tough to tell without the full pads on, but how do you think the guys did against the no-huddle with that tempo?
A: Good. You know we can always improve there. I thought we were a little late a few times getting lined up, but we need that. We need that as much as we can get it. Especially those younger guys. With the veterans, there’s not much you can fire at them that hasn’t been shot at them before. I like where we are. We’ve still got a lot of ground to cover, but so far it’s been solid.
Q: What do you see from Robert Ayers?
A: Solid veteran. He’s come in in really good shape. He lost a little bit of weight from the OTAs which I think has been a good thing. He’s showing a little bit more suddenness, a little bit more quick twitch. He’s a tough kid. I liked him coming out when he was at Tennessee. I’m excited about where he is. Like I said, I think we have a healthy situation with that group. But it doesn’t matter what I think now, it’s what happens when the pads come on and how much we produce.
Q: In retrospect, how amazing was Mike Patterson? Did he surprise you guys last year at all? Did you think he was going to do as much as he did?
A: No, I kind of thought he did. I followed Mike all the way back from USC. He was a great college football player. He was unbelievable in college. He’s had a solid career. He’s a true professional, very quiet, comes to work every day as a ‘lunch-pail’ guy. He came in and had a couple of big games. We played Philadelphia and he had another game that I can’t recall right now, but he had a couple games where he was a factor. He really helped us. He’s a pleasure to be around and he’s just a true professional.
We do have a sense of urgency today as an offensive line because we can practice football now with the pads on.
Q: It seems like this put you in a pretty good mood?
A: I’m always in a good mood. I know sometimes you judge it as other things but I’m in a good mood. I am in the mood to accept the challenge as our offensive line to get the job done.
Q: What are you expecting to see from your guys today?
A: I’d like to see holes that are 10 yards wide and the quarterback being able to stand there for 10 seconds. But it’s not going to happen against our defense, we know that. What we expect to see is the effort and technique from our offensive line to get better on each play. It’s not going to be exactly what you want to be expecting from the season because it’s still a work in progress. One thing I’m expecting to see is great effort and leverage.
Q: You have had change before but not this much. Has it been different in the room with all the new guys there?
A: The difference is learning the new names and that’s the challenge for me. But I did that really quickly. The next step is saying, “The New York Giants signed you, let’s go. This is going to be the way you play and this is the way you learn. It’s your job to learn the offense and execute.” When a mistake is made, the challenge for a coach, I look in the mirror fast. Something I’m saying is not getting across to this particular player. But being different is a great challenge. We’ve had challenges in the past but this group can form its own identity and personality. I’ve said this before, each team, each year, you’re going to find out what their personality and demeanor is all about. Now I have new guys and I’m excited about it. I have my own expectations and the coaching staff. To see a development, that’s what’s going to be neat.
Q: How’s Will Beatty looked to you so far?
A: Will Beatty’s working. Anytime you’re at work playing football and putting the pads on, you’re going to get better. The thing that we don’t want to happen is regress with his rehab. He’s handling both things pretty well, as expected.
Q: Do you see him close to where he was before?
A: I don’t know if anybody’s close right now. He’s got a ways to go but is progressing day to day. He’s progressing more now day by day than standing on the sidelines.
Q: Before the broken leg he [Beatty] was struggling. How can you assess that and your confidence level in him as a player?
A: He’s not that player, he was a different player. That starts with me coaching. To be able to coach somebody, he has to be out there on the practice field. If he’s not practicing the day to day drills, then that sets you back. Which affects your techniques on Sundays. The flaws are magnified. That’s what happened. This year, we’ll see. He’s attacking and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Q: How’s your communication coming along amongst the starters?
A: Communication is good and improving each day. It’s a lot of communication out there and it starts with Eli [Manning] to the offensive line. Then the offensive line to one another. I think it’s going to be a work in progress because most of the time we have a different type of terminology.
Q: You lost a bunch of veteran leadership last year and this year. Does that make your job tougher?
A: No, it doesn’t make my job tougher. It makes somebody else step up. They’re going to step up on their own. This their offensive line. I coach them but they’re the ones on the field. I’m not going to be on the field playing on Sunday, thank goodness. In terms of leadership, that’s got to develop. You can say you’re a leader but you have to show it. I’ve had communication with certain guys about that and they want to. But it’s a work in progress to become a leader….They’ve experienced what good leaders were in the past. I anticipate, we’re not going to miss a beat.
Q: Do the centers hold more responsibility in the offense?
A: It’s a little more responsibility. We want them to be more verbal and take more control than in the past. Some offenses the quarterback does it. There’s always some combination, no matter how you identify it with the quarterback and the offensive line. It starts with the center and the quarterback communicating with what they see.
Q: Do you mean he [Center] can override?
A: In any offense you can override. One of the things we have to do as an offense is break the huddle, get to the line of scrimmage, and get ready to play. It’s your approach, it’s between your ears. Nobody’s making you do this. Let’s do this the best way we can. One of you said that I’m excited, well I’m excited most days. If we as coaches can make one of our players a little bit better, that’s exciting to me.
Q: What gives Brandon Mosley the opportunity to win the job at RG?
A: Consistency. He has to be consistent. Somewhere in your career as a player, you have to get off of the waves. It’s going to be some peaks and valleys but you need more peaks than valleys. You have to be consistent as an offensive lineman. For example, you really don’t want to be noticed. Most of the time when the offensive line is noticed is not for a good reason. So don’t be noticed. When you’re watching a game or practice and you see Mosley, Schwartz, Jerry and nothing really stood out: you’re pretty decent. When I’m watching practice and something immediately stands out, then I have to go fix it. The less blurts an offensive lineman has, the more consistent he is.
Q: You talked about what he [Mosley] needs to do, what has he shown you so far that shows you he’s the guy that’s getting the first opportunity there?
A: Yesterday what I saw was more consistency. Every day’s a new day, and every day we want a little bit more consistency…those guys are pretty good that we’re blocking, we have Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins. They’re as good as there are in the league and that’s a great challenge for a guy like Brandon Mosley.
Q: Football’s football, but with a dramatically different offensive scheme, are there different techniques that the offensive lineman have to know better than others to adapt to the new offensive scheme?
A: There’s different concepts, and with that there’s a tweak in some of the techniques. But really, with your meat and potato offensive line techniques, run blocking is vertical leverage, and getting vertical. Pass protection it’s not only vertical leverage, but it’s moving your feet and staying in between your defender and the quarterback. Now they are the techniques that we preach. As simple as they sound, that’s where you have to start. Is it complicated because of a new offense? Is it different? Somewhat. But most of it is going to come back to the foundation of your position, and the foundation of offensive linemen is blocking. How do you get better at blocking? Work on practicing football.
Q: Is there any rust that J.D. has to shake off?
A: The rust, well I think he’s had some WD-40, I think he’s greasing pretty good. Each and every day he is. The first part of it, was it mental rust, was it physical rust? Probably. But I don’t see the rust anymore. He just has to go out and play. He’s excited now. The guy has been in the league, but when you see a guy like J.D. and Geoff and John Jerry and Charles Brown and guys like that that are in there, they’re excited about the opportunity.
Q: You’ve had guys with pretty good personalities in the room, is Geoff Schwartz the next in line for that do you think?
A: Personalities is a general term, as in we’ve had some guys along with some other positions and personalities with whatever they do, you know, taking the keys to somebody’s car and putting stuff on somebody’s roof and things like that, I don’t know them well enough to be able to say that. But in terms of personality of Geoff and all of our guys in the room, their demeanor as in terms of what it takes to run this offense and what it takes to be good for the New York Giants, they are proud to be New York Giants. I sense that as their personality, and I think that’s the most important.
Q: With J.D. Walton we haven’t seen him in a while, he hasn’t played in a game for almost three years. What does he bring to the table in your eyes?
A: I think his number one strength is his toughness. You’re going to see that when we put pads on. He’s a tough guy that knows his position and he’s going to give you everything he’s got to execute each and every one of his blocks. If someone’s going to make a tackle against J.D. Walton, it’s not going to be because of lack of toughness.
Q: Weston brings a very different kind of skillset from J.D. in that regard
A: I don’t know if it’s very different, it probably is somewhat a little different as far as the way they are built and the level of experience right now. But if and when in fact Weston continues to develop, he’s going to be a good offensive lineman…but he’s got to get in there and grow into that position. There’s a sense of urgency about being able to grow into a position, and the only way you’re going to be able to do that is if you have an opportunity to continue to play and we all have gone through growing experiences that aren’t so good. You just have to learn from them. In fact, Justin Pugh, as I mentioned before, what he did in 2013. He was able to really adapt to the things he learned out there on the field and tried to make sure it didn’t happen again. Once you can eliminate repeated mistakes, you’re on a good track.
Q: How about the jump he’s made going into his second year, Pugh, has he made the jump?
A: Yes, he has and it started in the weight room. His approach this past few months, started in February, and has been a difference. I saw it for the first time when he came back. When he came back he was stronger, weighs more, but more importantly is stronger. What he has between his ears in terms of wanting to be good, that’s always been there. He wants to be the best at his position.
Q: Chris Snee was always the strongest offensive lineman, who takes over that?
A: Well, when Chris was in the weight room he was like a magnet. The guys who wanted to work got around him and he kind of asked some guys to work with him to, whether it was Justin Pugh, Eric Herman, or Brandon Mosley they always competed with Chris. Do those guys lift more than Chris, I really don’t know, but I know this: Chris always did a great job of sharing his experience and motivation with those younger players. As…did Shaun O’Hara did. When they were playing, if a youngster wanted to learn, they were there to help.