Coach Tom Coughlin
It’s nice to be outside. What a beautiful day.
Q: Tom, did you feel the team was closer together after that bonding trip last night?
A: They had a good time last night. They enjoyed themselves. They were appreciative.
Q: How was the head coach’s game?
A: Lousy at best.
Q: Is that something you plan every year? Maybe surprise them at some point?
A: That was a surprise for them last night. We’ve done it in the past. We’ve done different things. We’ve taken years where we haven’t and we wanted to do it this year because we have so many new guys, so many young guys. We needed a little team building session and we thought that would be a good idea. It was a good idea.
Q: Tom, how much did you accomplish with a lot of the red zone stuff you were able to do?
A: We’ve worked down in there. We’ve worked two or three days down in there. Hopefully, it’s a little bit better than it was. We’ll see. It’s sporadic. The defense makes a play, about every third play the offense made a play.
Q: How would you characterize, in the red zone there, the connection between
A: Today? We’re trying to get better with it, that’s for sure. It certainly isn’t midseason form.
Q: Coach …
A: He seems to be doing well. He’s getting more confidence and feeling better about himself. I think he’s doing better.
Q: Tom, what are your thoughts on the camp that
A: You know, I think first of all he had an excellent spring. I think there’s a thing that everybody has to understand is you really have to take advantage of your snaps because we’re using four quarterbacks every day. Certainly he’s trying to grasp everything and be in the right place at the right time with the ball, et cetera. He’s trying to get better. As is everyone else out there.
Q: I guess what I was asking …
A: I’m not answering that question. I’m not ranking anybody.
Q: Tom, what are you expecting from Prince this season and how is it going to differ from …?
A: I think he’s much more in tune with what we want him to do. He feels better, he’s growing in confidence, he’s made a lot of plays here in the preseason. I’m expecting him to have a real good year.
Q: Is that just a factor of him having another year under his belt?
A: I think so. No doubt what I would say. Coaching, understanding, all of that.
Q: …players midsing practice for several days in a row. Their ability to catch up, is it based on the position they’re playing? The individual? What factors into how quickly they …?
A: Well, they catch up. in fact they don’t miss anything except taking the reps. If they’re smart, what they do is by position, they’re listening to the corrections. They’re trying to visualize themselves in that position … corrected. If they’re very attentive and alert and understand the circumstances that they’re in, then they really do not lose any of the mental time. It’s the field time that they lose and hopefully as soon as they get to comeback thy catch up. It might be a day, it might be two days, it depends on how it is.
Q: Tom, how anxious are you to see your first round pick get out there and block on Sunday? Where is he right now as far as …?
A: He’s working just like the rest of them. He’s practicing, being corrected. He’s athletic. He does a lot of good things. I’m anxious to see him play against someone else and then evaluate how he does. He’s had a week where he’s played primarily on the left side, he’s played on the right side, he’s played on the left side. He’s able to handle all of that and we look forward to seeing him play period.
A: He’s a defensive tackle that, really, we need to see him in the fashion that we anticipated when we drafted him. He’s done well this camp rushing the passer and we really would like to see him do a good job against the run.
Q: Coach, with Boley and Blackburn leaving, what does this linebacking corps have to do to kind of fill their shoes?
A: Step up and meet the need. We’re talking about trying to stop the run and that’s where it starts. We have some athletic guys that can run, but I think we’ll do well against the pass. We need to go ahead and find out about those other areas.
Q: Where is
A: They say he’s getting closer.
Q: Tom, would you feel comfortable with linebacker by committee, playing all five or six?
A: If it works out to where we can clearly identify something they do in a superior fashion to the others, be it a specific situation, or overall, I’d be ok with it. They’re all going to have a lot of work. They’re all special teamers, they’re playing in a lot of different capacities. Whether it works out that way or whether we combination it, we’ll have to see.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: What have you seen from
A: With Josh Brown, you see a consistent veteran kicker and he would have liked to have two of those kicks back… So it’s something to work on this week.
Q: The one where he missed the field goal?
A: The one before that wasn’t struck as well as he had liked to and the one after that was obviously missed. Those are the two that he would like to have back. Under that distance, you have to make them all.
Q: When he was signed this year, were you concerned at all that he only played four games last year?
A: Not necessarily. It was a different year as far as kickers. I don’t think anyone changed kickers until week 13 or 14. It was deep into it because guys made kicks and then the young guys made kicks. I think there were three new rookies on rosters and so there wasn’t a lot of turnover. Usually, there’s more turnover. Usually a guy like Josh, who didn’t make a team, would have been picked up earlier, so I think that was a surprise to everyone. We didn’t really focus on that part of it.
Q: Is there still a competition at punt return?
A: It’s wide open. We’ve got Rueben. We’ve got
Q: Hosley had some work there last year?
A: Yeah. He had the first three this time. So he only had one opportunity. But we’ve got to try and get those guys who we think have a shot and enough reps to see what we’ve got back there.
Q: What did you think of some of the rule changes this offseason? Did it affect any of the stuff that you’re trying?
A: Not really. I think the field goal rule is a good rule. It’s not doubling up. A lot of times there are four guys on one or four guys on two guys. You see a lot of injuries right there. It’s all safety driven and we’re good with all of it.
Q: How excited were you to get a punt block on the first series?
A: I wasn’t very happy because the first punt return we didn’t block it very well and we got nothing and then we got a re-do and re-do’s are always nice. …and we took advantage of it.
Q: What have you seen from
A: He’s looked good in practice. We’ve just got to see him in the game when it is full speed live tackling. He does have the ability to make people miss and he is explosive. So we’re excited to see him and hopefully we get some balls that we can return.
Q: It was a weapon for you with
A: Yeah. We expect it to be the same way with whoever we put back there. David did an excellent job, but I think there was good blocking too.
Q: When you have a new kicker or any part of that three-part process, there is an acclimation process.
A: There is. Yeah.
Q: How has that been going?
A: It’s gone really well. I think Zak and Steve have done a good job. I think they’re better than they were last year, so that made the transition a little bit easier. With the kicker, you’ve got to have enough time to see the ball and the ball is on the right spot, right lane, right tilt, so we’ve been pleased with that.
Q: Why are they better than they were last year?
A: They keep working. It’s a never-ending process, so they’re always striving to be the best they can be and they just keep working at it and got better.
Q: Is Josh like other kickers you have worked with?
A: They’ve been easy. The guys I’ve had have been pretty easy. Easy to please. It’s tough because, regardless of the snap or the hold, it’s all about the kick and so they know the pressure is on them to make the kick. People don’t see the hold. They don’t want to hear about the hold. So we’ve got to do a good job of having a good snap, good hold, so we can have a good kick.
Q: There is a lot going on in a short period of time involving three people.
A: It is, but we get a lot of reps at it and we have a lot of practice. It’s a very important job for Steve and Zak. They’ve got to continue to improve.
A: When they train in the offseason in San Diego, Josh had trained with him. So they’ve had some prior experience together.
Q: How much does Steve help in general? Do you feel like guys follow him and push themselves a little bit more?
A: Yeah. He does fancy himself as a bodybuilder, but it doesn’t get any punting points. His job is still to punt the ball with great location and hang and distance. But I think ever since I’ve coached special teams, regardless of the level I’ve been at, you always try to really reinforce those guys that you’re a member of this team and the way they can see it is in the weight room. We want to be below the radar and we work just as hard as everyone else. We’re not going to sweat. We’re not going to get hit. We’re not going to do the things that the other guys are doing, so at least they see that you’re putting time in… Zak is a tremendous worker too and Josh has been really following those two guys, so it’s pleasing to see how they work.
Q: Of the new guys you’ve had join the team, has anybody stood out special teams wise?
A: Damontre Moore. He does a good job of listening and he tries to do exactly what you tell him to do. He’s athletic and then there are unusual traits that he has just with his size. He creates matchup problems, so I’ve been pleased with him. More mental in the meeting room than anything else. Cox has been good. This has been a pretty good young group as far as their attention to detail.
CB Terrell Thomas
Q: Do you think you might play on Sunday?
A: We’ll see. You know, I’m still just building blocks and just trying to knock them down, taking big steps every day, trying to get better on my technique, getting my feet beneath me, keep building my confidence, keep building (…)
Q: Is there anything you’re thinking ‘I’ve got to slow down’, are you worried about-
A: Not at all, not at all. You know I worked my butt off doing my rehab, made progress, kept improving throughout the whole process. The only reason why I would slow down, given it’s my third ACL, lots of trauma, I had two surgeries in one year, still want to give that a chance to fully heal and not come in too early, make sure (…)
Q: So how has it been out here in practice? I mean, have you been able to go full throttle, what has that been like?
A: Yes. You know, I’ve been limited in some ways, hesitant at the same time, and that’s part of the process. That’s why we’re out here in practice, to get better, to work our technique, to build confidence, that’s what I’ve been doing. Each and every day I feel myself being a lot more confident in playing. I’m not thinking. The basic thing now is just getting my legs underneath me, getting back into football shape, getting used to cutting all over again because I came in and strained a hammy right away so kind of lost all that training I had back in California so just taking it slow and taking it one day at a time.
Q: Have you been able to make the cuts on the knee, are you totally confident?
A: I am, I am totally confident. I have made the cuts and I think watching it on film, seeing myself, I’m not looking down, I’m not hesitant to put my knee on the ground and I think yesterday was a big day for me to get out there on the turf and make cuts and wasn't hesitant and each and every day I want to come back and practice. My knee’s not swollen up, it’s not hurting and that’s the biggest thing. Getting through practice is easiest and the next day when you have the (…) issues I’ve been healthy throughout the whole process so that’s a great sign.
Q: Are you further ahead now than where you were right before you got hurt last year?
A: No, I was definitely ahead of schedule and ready to go last year. Last year was a fluke accident, I don't know if my back played a role into it or overcompensating but I was definitely farther ahead body-wise, obviously, I’ve practiced maybe four to five days and continue to keep building on that.
Q: Because it looks like right now, the last few days, you’ve done so much that we’ve seen, and we probably saw with you right before you got hurt last year.
A: Yeah, I mean, in the spring I was ready to go. I was cleared by the doctors. This year it was a little bit more slower, obviously because the third ACL, but confidence-wise, mentally I felt way more prepared last year. This year, now, you know being with (…) football for two years, it’s kind of like I’ve got to get used to playing again, got to get used to cutting, covering, working on my eyes and on my zone, and technique and all that is good, it’s the man press that gives me a little problem, which is common. You know, I haven’t played in a long time, you’ve got to sharpen your tools, and get used to being in that position, getting my legs underneath me as well.
Q: So when you finally go with your live action in a preseason game, and come through that, is that when you know in your head ‘okay, it’s back’?
A: No, I’ll know out here on the practice field. And I keep building that every day. I talk to Cough Coughlin, Ronnie Barnes every day, tell them exactly how I’m feeling, what I can do, and we’ve just been increasing it every day. And like I said, on the next day when I wake up, there’s no swelling, there’s no tendinitis, there’s no soreness, so I’m out here in practice. I’m sharpening my tools. I think I need to get out there in the preseason game to get that live experience, go through different competition but it’s exciting.
Q: What’s the plan for Sunday, are you going to go…
A: We don’t know yet. We’re just taking it one day at a time. What’s today? Wednesday? We’ve still got a lot of time before Sunday, still got the last minute, still got two more preseason games. There’s no rush in getting me out there but if I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go.
Q: Has there been a move you’ve made over the last few days that’s been especially confidence building or especially breaking down one of those blocks-
A: No, it’s more just I’m not thinking about it, that’s the biggest thing. Only I know that. The coach can look like ‘oh, he’s looking fluid, he’s not looking down, he’s making that cut, certain angles’ and all that, but mentally I’m not thinking about it and that’s the biggest thing for me.
Q: When do you think you got to that point?
A: Probably like the third practice, to be honest with you. The first couple of days I was just about 50%, just getting out there, they wanted to make sure my knee was fine and hamstring was fine. But the end of last week and the start of this week there’s definitely a lot of confidence going forward.
Q: Is there an anticipation that you will keep doing what you’ve done the past couple days, lining up on the slot?
A: I think that’s the goal. We have a great plan to get ready for week one, and the plan is just to keep getting better every day. Wake up every day with no soreness, get through a practice, get through a week, get through two weeks, and get through a preseason game, you just keep building like that. The mental aspect of the game, and I’m a veteran, that’s the easy part. It’s the physical being out there. And once I can prove that to the coaches and the medical staff and myself, I think everything else will take place.
Yeah, the boot’s gone.
Q: That’s got to be a good sign, right? Or you just weren’t comfortable?
A: The boot is for whimps, man. I’m not a whimp. Nah, I mean I’m just taking it as it goes. The first day was obviously the worst and I’ve been grinding til about three in the morning, since it’s happened. Just trying to get better. The training staff here, the medical staff, have been doing an exceptional job of just keeping me up to date, keeping the mobility. Strengthening up, ice and stim. Everything they can do, to try to get me to a speedy recovery.
Q: How did it happen again?
A: How did it happen? Doing one on one drills. As I was trying to jump up for the ball, I stepped on
Q: Do you think you’ll be ready for the start of the season?
A: That’s not a question. That’s not even a question. Yeah.
Q: You’ve had injuries before, where do you rank this one? Not that big of a deal?
A: Well, when it initially happened, definitely the worst. I didn’t think anything could feel worse than me running into the camera against Carolina, but I think this definitely topped it. Once it happened, my foot was just trembling, shaking, I really didn’t know what to expect. Like I said, I heard a couple of popping sounds and it kind of scared me. I know myself and once I got the clearance of it, the x-rays were negative, it’s a low ankle sprain, then I know I can push myself. I know how far I can go. I’m not going to do anything where I can hurt myself and I grind. I grind all the time. Like I said, I don’t even like missing practices, so I do everything I can do to get back in shape, to get back in form, and get out here with my guys. If it means staying up til three o’ clock in the morning every night, then that is what I’m going to do.
Q: If it was going to happen, were you glad it happened with enough time that you can still get ready for the opener, that you have in a couple of weeks?
A: Absolutely. Like I said, I’m just going day by day and if I didn’t need the boot, I wasn’t going to walk around with the boot. That’s just the way I look at it and I’ve been strengthening my ankle, my calves, each and every day. I do it when I’m in meeting rooms, I just do it all day long. Like I said, the training staff here has been phenomenal. Those guys have always done an excellent job. I can’t really contest that too much, because I haven’t been in the training room too much and I don’t like being there, either. Those guys do an exceptional job, credit to all those guys also.
Q: There’s three weeks before the season, you’ve got your ankle, JPP with his back, Justin hasn’t been in, a lot of guys with injury issues hanging over their head, is that a worry?
A: No, that’s not a worry. Injuries are going to happen in this league and my injury is not going to be a factor. I’m sure Tuck will be fine and we’re all hoping and praying that JPP will be fine by opening day, but we don’t have any time frame on that. That’s something you definitely ask Coach Coughlin or JPP about. We have guys that are willing to step in and fill their roles. That’s what it’s about and that’s what our team is about. We all compete, but at the same time we’re all each other’s backbone. If one guy goes down, the next has to fill in and we’re not expected to be missing a beat. Those guys who have been filling in so far have been doing an exceptional job. If it’s Kiwi for JPP, or if it’s Mundy for myself, it doesn’t matter who it is. Those guys have … so we understand. We see what’s going on every day and those guys have been doing a phenomenal job.
Q: If you are missing some of the key guys …?
A: We don’t expect any drop offs. That’s what gives a championship caliber team because you’re going to have injuries in this league. It’s about the next man stepping up and filling in and holding his own, which our guys have been doing an exceptional job of so far.
Q: Yesterday Tom had said forget about week one, I hope Antrel’s back next week. Is there a chance you could see some preseason time still?
A: That’s my goal. I don’t know what everyone else’s expectations are, but if I can play, I’m going to go. It doesn’t matter if it’s this week, doesn’t matter if it’s next week, doesn’t matter if it’s week one. I’ve never been the kind of guy that is going to milk an injury. If I can go, I’m going to go. If I can’t go, if I’m going to hurt myself, or I’m not going to give the team the best performance I can give them, I’m not going to go. Right now, like I said, it feels a million times better than it did initially. Just a lot of praying at night and a lot of hard work at night. I’m just happy I’m as far along as I am now.
Q: Compared to the knee last year, was the knee worse?
Q: I know they’re different injuries, but
A: The knee was worse because it lingered so long. It took me maybe about eight or nine weeks to actually get the fluid out of my knee and so forth. With this, initially this was one of the worst pains I’ve felt probably in my lifetime, to be honest with you.
Q: You’re not wearing a walking boot today, do you have any sort of brace of anything on it today?
A: No. I have nothing on it.
Q: Worst you’ve felt in your life?
A: It hurt that much. Like I said, one of my biggest pet peeves for myself is to lay on the ground, especially after being injured, or having something of that nature take place. Like you said, I tried to get up and walk off. I took three steps and I said I couldn’t bear it. For me to tap out like that, you must know it’s something, excruciating pain.
Q: What’s been the difference with you in this camp? You’ve had a good camp, people are noticing, is there something you did in the offseason or you’re just having a good camp?
A: It’s just having an understanding of the offense. I haven’t done anything major that was different from last year, just being able to play faster and make more plays.
Q: Do you expect a bigger role?
A: Yes, I expect a lot for myself, just go out and make those plays when the opportunity does come, I don’t know how many opportunities I will get, but when they do come, I will have to make the best of them.
Q: Can you talk about the difference from last year to this year in terms of your progress?
A: Just my maturity level, what it takes to be a pro, inside the classroom and also on the field. I feel like that was a step that I needed to take in order to prove myself to the coaches that I am ready to accept a bigger role so they can depend on me to make those plays.
Q: I heard last year people say, “well, he’s giving effort but he could give even more.” Is that something you feel, you’re giving prime effort, 110 percent all the time now?
A: I wouldn’t make it to the point, that’s not even a question; it’s a wasted thought that anybody would have said that. My job is to go out and play up to my capability as fast as possible.
Q: What’s the potential of the wide receiver trio of you, Victor and Hakeem?
A: It’s very high. We all expect a lot of each other. We all depend on each other to go out and do our jobs, understand our role and what we all bring to the table and work that into the best of our abilities.
Q: What are you doing right now?
A: I’ve been doing all my rehab inside but now I’m able to get out on the field here and do some different drills and stuff. We pick it up every day a little bit and I’ve just got to intensify over the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the field as soon as possible and playing some football. Like I said, I’m going to do everything in my power, I’m very diligent in everything I do to get back on the field at the earliest convenience. Whenever that is, whenever that may be, I’ll be ready and conditioned, ready to go.
Q: Are you on the schedule that you expected to be on at this point?
A: Yeah. Like I said earlier, with this rehab process, there are certain structures as far as timeframe, but we’re making good progress and we’re in a good stage here, where we’re at now. I’m very encouraged and the people, trainers, I’ve got the best trainers helping me out, and doctors, they’re very encouraged too.
Q: When Ryan D’Imperio retired yesterday did he announce anything to you? Have you guys been talking much?
A: He just told me before right after he let the coaches know that he retired, his heart wasn’t in it anymore. You have to respect that, you can’t play the game if your heart’s not in it. Like I told the guys before, Ryan approached the game with a lot of class, a lot of intelligence, he did a great job for us while he was here. Heck of a nice guy, so I wish him the absolute best, wherever this route takes him now. He was an absolute pleasure to work with over these last couple of weeks. He’s definitely got some football talent so if he ever decides to play again, I’m sure there’s a team out there for him.
Q: A lot of guys on this team, JPP, Tuck, Nicks have injury things kind of hanging over them a little bit. Does the number of them worry you at all? Do you ever think, “wow, there’s a lot of guys hurt right now”?
A: It’s just part of the NFL, it’s just football in general, at any level there are going to be injuries. It’s just a matter of doing the proper rehab, working through them. You’ve got the right guys in your corner helping you out so you can get back on the field at 100 percent when you’re strong. We feel confident that all of these guys will be back here at some point and be major contributors to our football team like they always are. Just picking up right where they left off.
Q: In the event that some of them are not, do you ever look around and think that this is a deep team behind the core guys?
A: We’ve got so much depth at every position at all levels. We’ve got extremely talented guys and that’s why were so fortunate, one guy gets hurt and the next guy can step in and do a great job also. That’s the one thing about the Giants.