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Quotes (8/1): Cruz, Kiwanuka, Randle

Posted Aug 1, 2014

Giants players and coaches discuss Friday's training camp practice


Tom Coughlin


Q: Going into the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, what is it that you are looking to go in there and accomplish?
A: Well, it’s obvious that you don’t play a game without wanting to win. But it’s the overall picture of the organizational things, the substitutions, the penalties – holding them to a bare minimum; don’t turn the ball over, don’t make the game a sloppy game. Establish some of the things we’d like to do. For example, I’d like to be able to run the ball and be able to do that in the first game this weekend as well. I’m sure Buffalo wants the same thing. So we have those kinds of goals, the specifics about it we’ll present to the team. Coming out of camp – we have not been here very long – have an opportunity to play a game, see what people are like under those circumstances, the enthusiasm, the energy, certainly come out of the game without injuries, all those things.

Q: How many snaps do you expect your starters to play?
A: We’ll see. A lot depends on how the final version from the medical people comes to us. Some areas or positions are a little bit stressed and others aren’t, so we’ll see how that goes. But we’ll have a minimal number for the starters. Now there are many positions that we’re trying to establish who that is. It’s not a given. In that regard, maybe guys will be playing more.

Q: In the placekicking competition, are you going to try to get them an equitable number of opportunities?
A: I don’t know if that works out, but throughout the course of the preseason, I hope so. We’ll get a combination of kickoff and field goal and the next guy will do the same. Hopefully that’ll be the way it works.

Q: What’s going to be the quarterback rotation?
A: We have three and all three are going to play. Eli will start and we’ll go from there.

Q: How were the X-rays on Bennett Jackson’s ankle?
A: There’s no fracture, but it’s a significant ankle sprain.

Q: What about Will Beatty?
A: I guess it’s a headache.


WR Victor Cruz


Q: What are you guys trying to accomplish on Sunday?
A: To go out there and be clean offensively and be concise, and try to have as few mental errors as possible and we will see happens.

Q: What have you seen out of Rueben [Randle] so far at camp?
A: Rueben has been making some plays here and there, but mentally he is locked in. Mentally he is ready to go and has been doing a lot of good things. He is showing that he is ready to step up this year, so we will see what happens.

Q: Is that different from the last two years that he is more focused?
A: Not necessarily, I think he just made it as a point to show us, and to really make it a point of emphasis for him. He was focused in years past, but this year he has really come out and showed it.

Q: How?
A: By answering questions in the meeting room, answering more questions in the meeting rooms, and being there when coach is going through something. He is attentive and looking at things. He has shown that he is locked in.

Q: What kind of player is Odell Beckham?
A: I think he can be a great player. I think he is locked in and physically ready to go, I think he could be a really good player in this league.

Q: What have you seen from the two back-up quarterbacks, especially Ryan [Nassib]?
A: I see more assertiveness from Ryan. I see more confidence in his throws and more confidence in his decision-making. Obviously there is still a learning curve because he and all of us are learning a new offense. You can see the things he is comfortable with and he is getting a lot more comfortable as a quarterback out there.

Q: Do you ever marvel at how Eli [Manning] has been so sturdy and stayed healthy?
A: Absolutely, but that is just a testament to how he takes care of his body and how he takes care of himself. Some of it has to do with God blessing him to stay healthy and staying ready to go.

Q: How has the first preseason game for you changed over the years?
A: It has changed drastically. To go from a guy that gets in the game in the second half who is trying to get as many reps as possible to a guy who will only get 15-20 snaps on Sunday. It has definitely changed a lot, but it is something I have been working my whole life for, and I want to continue to work hard to stay at this position and stay in this area of expertise that I am in right now. I want to continue to be a consistent player and do all those good things.

Q: What specifically do you need to get out of Sunday?
A: To just get that football feeling back. I missed the last three games last year, so I haven’t played a game in a while. I want to get back to playing football again, getting hit again, and getting used to that contact again. I am ready for it.

Q: Is there a different feel to this preseason opener than to those of the past because of this new offense?
A: A little bit. It is a new offense, so we are excited to get out there and run our offense against someone other than ourselves and see how it goes and how other teams take and play it and what things we can do against other teams. As well as how we do against our own team to see what skills we have and see things that we can do right. It should be exciting for us.

Q: Do you expect to be no-huddle for a lot of those snaps that you are on the field?
A: I do. I think we are going to put us right to the test, and see how well we know the offense, how well this thing can perform at a high level, and I think right out of the bat we will be, maybe not no-huddle, but a little bit more up-tempo.
Q: How much do you prepare for Buffalo?
A: It is a little different obviously, but you just have to watch the film as much as you can, get individual guys that you are going to be going up against for however many plays that it may be. You want to try and just get a bead on it. You want to try and get a leg up on it. That’s all we can do right now is get some of the tendencies they do from a coverage standpoint in the secondary and take it from there. We know we have to be locked in in order to go out there for however many plays we get to be successful.

Q: Have you ever been to the Hall of Fame?
A: Never been. I am excited to go though.

Q: Who are you looking forward to seeing?
A: All of the statues of the heads that you see and I am excited for Michael Strahan, Andre Reed and all of the other guys getting inducted. It is amazing accomplishment. It will be something that I will use as motivation.


DE Mathias Kiwanuka

Q: Have you talked to David Wilson at all with everything that’s going on?
A: I talked to him briefly. Obviously what happened was disappointing. I don’t know the extent of everything that’s going on. I’m just praying for him and hoping for the best. I know that it’s a difficult injury to really recover from 100% but I trust 100% in the doctors. They got me through it. I don’t know how similar [the injuries] are, but I believe that if any organization can bring a guy through it, it would be the Giants.

Q: How did you know it was okay to come back?
A: Every doctor who told me I couldn’t come back finally signed off. At the end, that’s what you do. I’m not a medical professional so I can’t look at an MRI or look at an X-ray and say ‘okay, this is good’ or ‘this is not,’ but you have to trust the personnel that you have in place. Here in New York, there are obviously great doctors but they don’t take any risks. They flew me around to see all the different doctors that were the leaders in their specialty and putting all the heads together is how we came up with the diagnosis.

Q: Since you’ve been back from your injury, have you had any stingers or burners?
A: Yeah, the first year coming back was tough. It was a tough adjustment. Some symptoms that continued on, but it’s been awhile since I’ve had those same kinds of symptoms so I feel good about where I’m at now.

Q: How good is it going to be to finally see another team on the other side of the ball?
A: That’s the best part of getting to this point in camp. You go out and have been hitting each other, running around, playing against your own offense for so long. Now it’s time to actually tackle, go to the ground, play like a real game. Even if it’s only a couple plays here and there, it’s fun to get in that same atmosphere, to put the pads on, and play against somebody else, so I’m looking forward to it.

Q: Are you feeling any extra pressure on yourself or from anywhere else that you have more responsibility?
A: Of course. One, just being here in New York brings you that kind of pressure. Two, the season that we had last year -- no one wants a repeat of that kind of performance. And then being elevated to this kind of role here, being an older guy, everybody keeps trying to point out. The pressure is on. It’s always on but this year is a year for us to do it. We have the talent. There’s no more excuses and we can go out there and get a championship if we want to do it.


WR Reuben Randle

Q: Pretty nice practice yesterday, especially your fade route for the touchdown. Can you tell that things are really starting to come together with it?
A: Yeah. I think we’ve been comfortable with everything, that’s going good. We’re playing a lot faster now. We just have to understand the concept that we’re putting in. That’s what happens when you go out there and play fast.

Q: How much of the offense do you believe is installed? Coach Coughlin said a little under 50%, is that true?
A: We still have some things that we’re putting in. As far as what we’ve put in so far, we have a grasp and understanding of what’s going on. I think it’s time for us to install more and get everything in.

Q: There’s been a lot of hurry-up and no-huddle offense. How much of the offense is that?
A: Yeah, we do that every day. Whenever coach wants us to pick up the tempo, we can do that.

Q: Do you think you’re going to come out with that style on Sunday night?
A: I’m guessing so. We worked on it a lot and wouldn’t be surprised if we do. I think we are prepared to do that.

Q: What do you guys need to get out of Sunday?
A: Live reps. It’s the first time that we can get some live contact. Having a positive outlook on the way we play offense. Make sure we come out and play fast and make some plays.

Q: How do you think your camp performance has been so far?
A: It’s been pretty decent. Some things that I can still work on and get better. But as far as what I wanted to accomplish, playing fast and making plays, I’ve been doing that.

Q: Is it difficult watching David [Wilson] on the sideline?
A: Of course. He’s a competitor and he wants to be out there. Unfortunately, he can’t right now. It’s up to us as his team to keep the positive energy around him and make sure he doesn’t get down on himself and have his back.

Q: Did you see him [David Wilson] save that bird yesterday?
A: Yeah, I was wondering what he was doing until I saw him put it down. I didn’t know what was going on.

Q: Is it more pressure on you this year because [Hakeem] Nicks is gone?
A: I don’t know about pressure but there’s a lot more responsibility. I have to go out there and prove myself. Go out there and make those plays.

Q: Do you feel more comfortable now that you’ve been around for a while?
A: Yeah, I’m definitely more comfortable going into my third year. You get your feet set in and just go out there and play a lot faster. You have the confidence in the team around you and they have the confidence in you.

Q: Do you like the fact of more responsibility? Is that something you welcome?
A:Of course. I think that’s what you come to the NFL to do. You don’t want to limit your reps when there are more reps you can get. This role has been something I’ve been waiting for.

Q: How confident are you in having a big year this year as the team has you penciled in as a starter?
A:I’m confident in my ability. It’s just up to me to go out there and get the job done. It’s as simple as that. I don’t want to add any more pressure to myself. Just go out there and play football.

Q: How much has Odell Beckham been frustrated and how much have been trying to help him?
A: It’s frustrating and I know it is for him. He wants to be out there but he has to get healthy. My job is to keep the humility and not let him get distracted with anything outside football. Just let him focus on that.

Q: How anxious are you guys to see a different color uniform on the other side?
A: Very excited. We were just talking about how excited we were and the feeling of football is back. Just to go out there and to play in actual game is exciting.

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about the offense’s quick and short passes. Is there still that big play possibility with a long pass downfield?
A:Yeah, definitely….when the offense knows what the defense is in. We have to gain the confidence from coach to call those plays. The more plays we make, the more we’ll have the opportunity to do it.

Q: What kind of receiver can you be?
A: I’m just trying to be an overall receiver. I want to go out there and get the job done. …

Q: How excited are you for the role that you have now?
A: Very excited. I think this is really what I’ve been waiting for. I have more opportunities and there’s more plays to be made.

Q: You talked last week about the picks and how you said all of them could go down. How do you change that?
A: The biggest thing was not being on the same page. That’s what led to turnovers. This year we have to communicate with each other to make sure we’re on the same page.

Q: Do you prepare for this differently knowing your role is expanding?
A:
Yes, of course. I want to make sure the turnovers from last year are cut out. The amount we had last year was unacceptable. So this year we had to do something different.

Q: How do you prepare for this starting role differently?
A:
Just made sure I was more focused and came in ready to get the job done. Whatever was thrown at me, I wanted to adjust to it.

Q: Before camp, we talked to you and you said you liked the offense. Now that you’ve been in camp 10 days or so, does the offense fit?
A: Yes, it fits everybody. Coach did a good job making sure we were all on the same page and putting us in the position to make plays.

Q: Do you have to guard against getting hit too high or too low based on the two series that you’re probably are going to have on Sunday?
A: Not really. You just have to go out there and play football. It’s not about being too high or too low. It’s the first game of the year, just have to go out there and have the energy and make plays.

Q: Whether you have two touchdowns quick or two three and outs, do you have to temper that because it is a new offense?
A: I don’t think we’ll get too high or too low in whatever situation it may be. Whether it be two series or a half, it’s going to be about running something and get something out of the reps we get.

Q: How about yourself? Is this an offense that fits your needs as a player?
A: I love it. Coach has put us in position to make plays and that’s what we love to do as receivers. We have a lot of short routes but they also let us go deep. He puts his gameplan in that fits his players. That’s what we all like.

Q: Have you ever been to the Hall of Fame before?
A: When I was a rookie I went.

Q: You had a little tweak the other day. Is there anything with that?
A: It’s good. Just a hamstring.