Q: How different is this offense from what you were doing the last time you were here?
A: It allows the receivers to get the ball in their hands and make plays.
Q: How similar is it from what you knew for two years in San Francisco?
A: They’re still both West Coast offenses, just different terminology and different signals. Just spreading the ball out, spreading the field out.
Q: The philosophy though is the same? Besides… it’s much more similar to that than what you had here at the Giants obviously, right?
A: Yeah, it is. Like I said, it gives us chance to get in space and make a person move and go for six. Just gives us a better opportunity versus when I was in San Francisco to when I was here in previous years.
Q: Will there be an adjustment since Colin Kaepernick was a guy that, when the play broke down he’d run around and make plays… obviously Eli’s going to work within the system. Is that going to be different for you?
A: No. It’s not like I didn’t work with Eli before so I know he can’t… he’s going to go through his progressions before Kaepernick. That gives us a better chance because he’s staying in the pocket, taking the hit for us. That makes us want to get open more.
Q: How are you doing physically?
A: I’m doing good, I’m going good. Every day it’s getting better. I’m doing good.
Q: What percentage, if you could put one…?
A: I’m practicing. I’m not thinking about the percentage. I’m out there practicing so I’m not really…
Q: Where is the confidence level in the knee right now? You said last time it was about you getting comfortable and confident. Where is it now?
A: I’m comfortable. I’m real confident in sticking my foot in the ground and going out there and just not thinking about it.
Q: Do you feel like you’d have more first team reps by now?
A: Yeah, you know, you’ve got to ease your way into it. I’m not looking at it now, I’m out just playing. Cuts are coming up and stuff, I’m just going out and taking care of what I can take care of.
A: It’s a new season, man. It’s been a new season for about two or three seasons now so I’m not really… I remember it but I don’t think about it. I’m just trying to make some more plays.
Q: Do people here remember it and say, ‘Hey, I really enjoyed that play.’ Do you get remembrance from it here with fans?
Q: We talked to the corners a little bit about the new rules. Do you notice a change in the way things are being called when you’re looking back at the videos and that sort of thing?
A: Yeah, but it’s preseason games and we’re going against our defense. It’s going to be a lot more things that can happen in practice versus in a game. We’re going to get a feel for it once that first… we’re getting a little feel for it now because it’s preseason but we’ll get a better feeling for it when the season starts.
Q: Were you happy that they were going to emphasize that?
A: Yeah. You’ve got to get open so it doesn’t matter.
Q: Last week I think you told us that you felt as though you still had to try to make the team. How do you size up the wide receiver spot right now, the depth chart and the guys that, quite frankly, you’re competing against?
A: I’m just going out and playing. I’m not worrying about that. I’m just going out and controlling what I can control. I’ll leave it up to the staff to make adjustments.
Q: Did you think it would be as much of a competition as it is this time?
A: It’s always competition. We aren’t in the 1960’s; you know there are going to be wide receivers out there. We aren’t just going to run the ball the whole game. I’m just going to what I’ve got to do. Just make plays.
Q: What was it like to see Plaxico Burress yesterday at practice?
A: We were talking about the old times. Just talking about old stuff, clowning around. Me, him and DT (David Tyree). I was glad to see him.
Q: You guys both have some Super Bowl memories you can talk about together, right?
Q: It’s a lot of history between the three of you.
A: Right. We’re just out there joking around. I saw Plaxico in the summer, we talked a little bit. It basically wasn’t talking about football; we were talking about life, our families and stuff.
Q: Have you been back to Indianapolis before this?
A: No, I haven’t.
Q: So it’s going to be kind of cool to play on that field in that stadium, no?
A: I’m trying to get some more plays. I’m not really thinking about that anymore, man. I’m just trying to make more memories.
Q: When you were asked about the pass reception you kind of said, ‘It’s over.’ Why have you been so eager to distance yourself from that?
A: Because the last… I played for the Giants, I was with San Francisco. Yeah, we’ve got a banner to show for it but the last two seasons, I’m going to say ‘we’ because I’m part of the team now, we really haven’t been up to our full potential. I don’t really believe in thinking about the old stuff. Let’s get some new memories, man. Let’s keep gaining from there.
Q: Is it going to be weird going back in this position? You said, you have to make this roster. Back in 2011 it wasn’t like that. Is it going to be odd going back there, really, like you said, needing to make the roster on the verge of the cuts.
A: Going back to?
A: No, it’s ball. Just ball, just go play ball, man. Don’t worry about anything else. Like I said, leave it up to them. That’s it. Control what I can control.
Q: Do you think you’ll be healthy enough this month to show what you can do? To make a real good case for why you belong here?
A: Yeah, I will.
Coach Tom Coughlin
A: He did.
Q: Is that part of the evolution?
A: We like this, see more and more. He caught a nice ball over the middle and in the green zone.
A: I think it has helped him. He appears to be one of those guys, he’s a football player. He likes to be physical, he learns well, he plays special teams, and he plays on defense. I think that experience has been good for him.
Q: There didn’t seem to be a lot of passes downfield today. Was that sort of what you are running installation-wise today or is that just the way it shook out?
A: That is more or less the way it went. We had one earlier on with Mario Manningham and the ball was underthrown. That was disappointing. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. Today wasn’t one of those days, evidently.
Q: You have Beckham doing more and more now….
A: He just said that. That question just came up. He has done more team plays and hopefully that will keep going.
Q: Is he still in consideration to play on Saturday?
A: We will see. I haven’t really talked to anybody about that. We will see about it.
Q: How do you assess Manningham’s progress? Where is he?
A: That is not an easy one. Some days it is better than others. I think he is growing in some confidence, but we have been at this for a while and would certainly like to see him at his very best over a period of time so we can assess what we could expect. He is working at it, he’s working hard, but certainly I think there can be more.
Q: Are you expecting
A: Yeah, I think Will Beatty will get his first plays.
Q: Will he [Will Beatty] play as much as the other starters?
A: Probably not. It will be his first time playing, so he will get the normal first time load.
Q: Are you encouraged that the line is coming together now with guys coming back?
A: I thought, for example, in the 9 on 7 today, that first group did a pretty good job. I didn’t think the others were quite as good. Am I encouraged? I want to be encouraged. We just have some ways to go.
Q: How is
A: He has had a pretty good week, I think. I thought his game was a little better.
Q: Is that a jump for him from practice to the game?
A: It’s not a practice to the game. Being in the game and being as productive as you like and eliminating errors and just overall production improving from that standpoint. He is a big, strong guy that has had lots of time in the classroom and some work on the field as a backup. We certainly would like to see him just kind of take off and be the player we hope he is going to be.
Q: Any separation with the tight ends yet on the depth chart?
A: Not really. Some days they kind of stand out and on different days different people seem to be doing better. We would like to see more consistency in the whole deal.
A: I’m very pleased with I’ve seen thus far. Obviously, there’s a lot of areas to clean up and fine-tune. Cut down on a lot of the penalties, especially in the defensive backfield, and eliminating a lot of the big plays: big play run and big play pass. Overall, I think we’ve been doing a great job in keeping a team out of the endzone, which is always our number one priority as a defense. So far, so good. Guys are hustling and guys are making plays when an opportunity presents itself and we’re creating turnovers, which is good.
Q: When you go up against a guy like [Andrew] Luck, is it kind of a measuring stick?
A: Absolutely. I think Luck is an elite quarterback. He’s an outstanding young and rising star in the league. I think he possesses great tools and great poise as a quarterback. This is going to be the best test that we’ve done thus far this year with the receiver tandem they do have.
Q: Is it going to be interesting seeing Hakeem [Nicks] out there?
A: Yeah. It’s always going to be good to see Hakeem. I’m happy for Hakeem. I think he landed in a blessed situation. More important, alongside Reggie Wayne. I’m a longtime friend of Reggie Wayne. I understand his work ethic and his craft. Hakeem having someone above him to lay down the foundation, lay the law down, is going to help him increase his game just that much more. I’m excited to see Hakeem but there are no friends out there on the field and I know he understands that. I know he feels the same way about us. This is home for him. I’m just looking forward to the game, it’s going to be a great battle.
Q: How’s the chemistry developing amongst the secondary with a couple of new faces in there?
A: I wouldn’t want it any other way right now. I think so far, so good. I think we’ve been gelling excellent. Not just good, but excellent. As a defensive back unit, I think our chemistry is definitely where it needs to be and it’s going to continue to rise. We’re friends on and off the field, which is always something you need when you’re dealing with people on an everyday basis. We all love each other and we all play for one another. More importantly, we all understand what we have at task right now, which is to go out there and see the ball and get the ball.
A: I think with the point of emphasis on the rule, especially in the defensive backfield, it makes us fine tune our skills just that much more. I wouldn’t necessarily say gamble but I would say believe what you see. I think we have guys who played in this league for quite some time back there. Guys that have seen everything a team is going to throw at you. Whatever your eyes see, trust and believe it. As long as it’s within your technique, your rules, and assignment, just go ahead and go get it. If it’s not that, we’ll live with the mistake, work through it, and hopefully we’ll make a play to cover up for it. We don’t pull back any punches. We’re going to be a very aggressive defense. We’re going to be a ball-hawking defense, and that’s something our coaches are emphasizing right now.
Q: Is it helpful for you to have a guy like Walter Thurmond around as a pure nickel back to keep you out of that spot?
A: Yeah that’s great. Having Walter here is a huge plus and a huge asset for our defense. He’s a phenomenal player. Not just nickel back, but a player. You talk about special teams, you talk about just being a corner on the boundary and being a slot/nickel. He can do it all. More importantly, his intellect with the game. That’s something I learned about Walter. Within OTAs, his knowledge and intellect of the game was very, very high and is someone I can definitely relate to on and off the field.
Q: You’ve talked in the past about getting a certain kind of guy here. Is he [Thurmond] the kind of guy you were talking about?
A: Absolutely. I think he’s a guy that wants to be the best. You go out there and ask him ‘Who’s the best nickel back in the game,’ he’s going to say himself. But if you ask him if he’s satisfied with being nickel he’s going to tell you by any means ‘no.’ That’s the kind of attitude we need and the kind of player we need on the field with us at all times. We have a great combo of corners and great combo of safeties. I think this is, like I said, one of the first times I’ve been around a complete team that can get it done at every angle as well as contribute and have them be the players that we need them to be.
Q: When you say complete team, do you mean defensive backfield?
A: Defensive backfield, yes. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had to roll down and play the nickel pretty much every year, I think outside of my first year. I think we have guys in place that can go. If we want to run three safeties, we can play three safeties. If we need to play a nickel corner or dime, we have the guys to do so.
Q: I know you’re focused on your own stuff at practice but have you had a chance to look over at the receivers? Have you seen any of the flashes of the old Mario Manningham getting his old speed back?
A: Definitely. Mario has definitely come along battling the knee injury. So far he’s doing a great job. He’s making our guys compete out there. A lot of times they get frustrated because Mario makes up his own routes, but I’m like, ‘That’s just ‘Rio.’ He’s the kind of guy that’s going to get open any way he can. That’s something that I know and something that I love about him as a receiver. He’s never satisfied with the corner getting his hands on him and trying to make a play.
Q: He doesn’t talk about that great catch at all. But I’m sure when you think back…
A: I’ll talk about it. I think that catch is the reason why we have the ring, hands down. With the exceptional throw from Eli [Manning] and him just making that catch, playing the safety position, the safety couldn’t have been in a better situation. I still don’t know how he caught that ball with [Patrick] Chung flying down the way did and even taking the hit and keeping his feet in bounds. I think it’s a play of a lifetime.
Q: Have you talked to him about it? As soon as it was over ,he didn’t want to harp on it.
A: We’ll discuss it briefly. Just as players, you come up and congratulate him but you don’t stay on it too long. You don’t stay on it too long because we want more plays like that to come around. Although you give him a pat on the butt and tell him good job and let him know how much we appreciate him for that catch, we’re looking for more of those catches. We’re never satisfied with one, two, or three. We want five, six, or seven. That’s our mentality.