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Quotes (8/7): Coughlin, Fewell, WR Beckham Jr., WR Harris

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Giants players and coaches discuss Friday's training camp practice


WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Q: Looks like you’re getting a little closer…
A: Yeah, I am getting there. It is a process, but I am taking it day by day. Like I said, we have been running a little more and just looking forward to getting back out there

Q: When you come back from this game next week, will you be ready to go?
A: That is really up to the trainers. I am just trusting their medical opinion and waiting for that. It should be sooner, I am definitely getting close. I don’t know a time period exactly.

Q: What are they looking at to judge that right now? How do you judge when a hamstring is rested?
A: It’s something that is hard. It’s something that can reoccur very easily if it is not strong enough. You really just test the strength and the muscle groups around it. It’s almost that time…around the corner.

Q: Coach likes guys on the field. Has he been all over you?
A: It’s just how coach is. He would love to have me out there practicing and I feel the same. I love to be out there. I don’t mind if he gives me a hard time here and there.

Q: Is the reoccurrence of injury a big deal now? Do you feel like you can go out there and actually run?
A: A hamstring is one of those things where it’s that last leg that you need and you feel like you’re good to go and it’s just not there yet. You rush out there and you risk putting yourself back with another injury. It is one of those things that we’re all just waiting on, I’m sensitive to the trainers’ opinion.

Q: From a couple of weeks ago, how much more are you able to do in terms of treatment and training that you weren’t able to do then?
A: Definitely a lot more. I feel a lot better. It is kind of one of those things where you could wake up sore, wake up feeling good. It’s a day by day thing, so I am just taking my time on it.

Q: it seemed like yesterday you did a little bit of cutting. Is that the first time you did that? Are you able to plant yet or is it still not quite at that point yet?
A: I can definitely plant, I can do all that. I don’t feel like I can reach top, top speed. Just kind of holding off, trying to get some more strength, then we will be ready to go.

Q: Is that the first time you did that?
A: I think so.

Q: Do you think you will be healthy enough this year that you can reach top speed?
A: I feel like once I get back out there. I feel comfortable and allow yourself to open up. It is kind of one of those things you just have to feel comfortable with. Being a guy who really loves to use his speed and you don’t have as much, it kind of takes away from so many things. I just want to make sure I can get that back and the rest will develop.

Q: Is the comfort level from you internally from what you’re feeling or is it the comfort level from the trainers?
A: It is kind of both. We just trust each other’s opinion and we tell them exactly what’s going on. If they say you can go, then you can go. Right now, we are just holding off.

Q: You said you managed these things a little bit when you were in college. What is the most you ever missed being off the field sidelined like you are now? Is this new territory for you?
A: Definitely since college. I pulled my hamstring before last season and that was it. I came back. After I came back and it got stronger, I was fine. I played the rest of my season and didn’t have any problems with it. It’s kind of hard just being off to the side and just sitting there and have to watch practice.

Q: How long did you need to get back last year? How long until you felt you were yourself again?
A: I don’t remember a exact amount of weeks or days. I just know it took a little bit of time and it was kind of around the same time right now.

Q: How hard was it to watch that game and how hard is it going to be on the sideline this weekend?
A: It was definitely tough to watch the game. I remember I am at home and I’m watching every game as if I’m playing. One of my roommates, Corey Washington, scored and I remember trying not to celebrate too much but I was so excited for him and being able to watch all these others guys get out there and see the fun that they’re having

Q: Do you feel once you work this out you will have a productive year and not have to look back?
A: Absolutely.

Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: Seems like Marcus Harris had a pretty good day yesterday?
A: He had a few good days.

Q: Did [Harris] look like he belonged with the starters?
A: He had a pretty good day, how is that?

Q: What is it about [Harris] that sticks out about him?
A: He’s stayed out there. He is a tough kid. He has some nicks but he is out there every day, he works hard at it, he can go on special teams, he caught the ball well yesterday, as you saw, and he is usually in the right spot.

Q: How is Kelcy Quarles doing?
A: He has an ankle sprain, so he won’t play in this [upcoming] game.

Q: With guys like Harris, is that more about people finding guys like him and Victor Cruz or is it more of a credit to a guy like Eli, who can help bring them along in practice?
A: The person who takes advantage of the opportunity is where it starts. Certainly you have to have a complement around you to be supported by others, but to be able to come in and be focused, work hard, to stay out there day in and day out and be persistent the way this young man has done, that is a good thing.

Q: We didn’t see [Harris] much on the practice squad last year. How much since then has he gotten better?
A: Well, he has gotten better enough to be recognized. He is working hard at it. He did a nice job the other night (in the game), too.

Q: Do you think [Larry Donnell] has separated himself at all?
A: I think they all are fighting for opportunities, for play time and for recognition. Larry has done some very good things and we are hoping he continues to do that.

Q: How much has the pecking order changed? Will you continue to rotate everybody through?
A: They will be rotated through again. Kellen Davis is a guy that got work late in the game the other night, and he’ll get more work this week, too.

Q: Will Adrien [Robinson] get any reps with the ones?
A: He gets in there once in a while with the ones. He was in there the other night with them. When two tight ends are on the field together, he was in there.

Q: What’s your plan on how many reps the ones and twos will get? Usually they get a little more in the second game, but since you have five preseason games…
A: If there is a normal role, I suppose you are describing it. Our guys will play the same amount or maybe a little bit more than they did before. I still want to see, if we can, everyone who is dressed. If they are able to play, I would like to see them all.

Q: How difficult is to gauge the kickoff return unit when everyone is putting the kickoffs out of the endzone… There is nothing you can do, right?
A: No, but in a way, you are saying that if it’s the fifth preseason game, it might be a good thing. If you were going to take the fifth preseason game, you might say let’s put the ball down on the 25-yard line and go. Obviously that is where you get some people nicked. As you progress, you are right, you do need to see it, but it has given us an extra week of practice. Whether it happens this week or not, it is going to happen.

Q: Are you encouraged to see a little bit more out of [Odell] Beckham yesterday?
A: He is getting better. The [training staff] is doing a lot with him, and I think he is responding pretty well the next day. He is not that sore. I think he is close.

Q: He didn’t seem to catch passes from a quarterback though… You had mentioned that as a possibility. What was the thinking behind that?
A: We didn’t have any quarterbacks to throw to him. We were trying to get you out there to throw to him. He has been working with the trainers. They throw the ball to him. It’s not a big thing. It is the idea that he runs some routes, I guess, are what [the trainers] really want to see, whether there is a ball involved or not.

Q: Do you think [Jon] Beason is getting a little closer?
A: Well, he is running, which is a good thing.

Q: Is he still on pace to be back for the opener?
A: We’ll see.

Q: Is [Geoff] Schwartz back today?
A: Yeah, he is going to work today.

Q: What is the plan with [Will] Beatty… Is he going to get a chance to play Saturday?
A: No, he is not going to play. He will play the following week, but this week they are going to hold him.

WR Marcus Harris
Q: You went down for a minute last night. Are you OK?
A: Just an awkward fall on DRC’s foot. It was a … ball and I tried to break it up so he didn’t get the interception, but everything is fine.

Q: Will you be out there today?
A: Yeah, it’s just a little swelling so it’s nothing to be worried about.

Q: I think it was the first time you actually heard the ‘Soup’ chant yesterday.
A: It was pretty dope. I thought they were saying ‘Cruz,’ but it was pretty cool.

Q: Getting in there with the ones and getting in there with Eli, how much did that mean to you yesterday? Do you feel sort of a pressure to respond when you get that opportunity?
A: I don’t feel pressure because in the league I’m a professional receiver. I believe it’s expected that if I’m with the ones, I expect to play like the ones. But it felt really good. It helped my mindset a lot. Being undrafted and being on the practice squad last year, being able to get the shot to run with the ones is very important to me.

Q: When you were on the practice squad, how often did you dream about taking first-team reps?
A: I dreamt about it every day, but I treated my practice squad reps like they were game reps so that hopefully one day I could get one-team reps like I did yesterday.

Q: Did you have a sense when you came here and they signed you to the practice squad that it was going to be a journey for you to get to this point? Or did they just kind of say, ‘we’ll see what happens?’ Was anything talked about as far as the future goes?
A: I knew it was going to be a journey, just off of my performance in practice, just giving my all every play. But I knew I still had to earn it; it wasn’t just going to be given to me. After OTAs, I got a good vibe from the coaches so I just knew I had to come out here and work in camp.

Q: Yesterday you got the opportunity on kickoff return and obviously when you guys are in that mix with receivers, contributing on specials is going to be huge. Did you feel like once they started putting you out there that, ‘you know what – this opportunity has become even more real and I’ve got to make sure that I show them that I can do more than just catch passes?’
A: Most definitely. Kickoff return is what I really like. In college, that’s what I really did. I’m just glad that they are giving me the opportunity to try kickoff returns this year. Hopefully during the game, I’ll get the opportunity to go back there deep.

Q: What about being that up back guy? You were out there with [Quintin Demps] yesterday.
A: By any means necessary to be on the field, I’m down.

Q: What did it feel like during that game on Sunday to look at the stats sheet and see yourself as the leading receiver?
A: I didn’t really run to the stats sheet; I’m just glad we got the win. Somebody brought the stats sheet to me. I knew I had a good game, but I also knew I had things I had to improve on, so that’s what I’m working on in practice.

Q: How important was it for you to bounce back up from that injury yesterday?
A: Oh, it was big. I couldn’t stay down too long. There’s a lot of receivers out already so I had to get up and get back on the field.

Q: What are some of the things you do need to improve on?
A: Everything. Route running, catching, blocking. Any receiver can improve on anything every day.

Q: You must be aware that Coach [Coughlin] is saying good things to the media about you and whether or not he’s seen them in the film room, you must truly sense that there’s a real opportunity here for you to get a spot on the 53. How real is that?
A: I don’t even know what to say because you dream about things like this and right now I feel like it’s at my feet and I just need to keep going and going and get better.

Q: How much of a boost do you think you gave yourself in that game in Canton?
A: I think I gave myself a big boost. I am comfortable with my team, going against them in practice, but what you can do against a live opponent that you have no clue how he’s going to play you [is different], so I think I helped myself out. I think we all did, [everyone] who had a good game.

Q: Victor [Cruz] said yesterday that he pulls for the undrafted, small school guys that are fighting their way onto the roster. Does it help you to have a guy like that who came in the same way you are to where he is now?
A: It’s a great thing to have guy like that because he knows exactly where we’re coming from because he was us before. It’s just like a big ego boost because – he’s a great friend, don’t get me wrong – but he’s also a great person to look up to. I respect him a lot for it.

Q: We’ve talked a lot to Victor [Cruz] and Rueben [Randle] about the spots within this offense that they feel like fits them best. Is there a spot that you feel like fits you best or can you play anywhere?
A: Not at all. I think I can play inside, outside; I can play any spot. I feel comfortable with everything. As long as I know it, I can do it.

Q: Have you spent time studying all the spots? Is that just based on necessity, you think?
A: Yes. Especially for a person like me, I have to know it all. The more you can do – that’s what they tell us every day. Coach [Sean] Ryan told me the more that I can do, I’ll get my shots.

Q: Your nickname, Soup, people seem to gravitate towards that; it’s very catchy.
A: It is, and now everybody calls me that, even some of the coaches. It’s pretty cool.

Q: The coaches call you Soup, too? That’s pretty cool. They weren’t calling you Soup on the practice squad.
A: No, they called me Harris. 18, 18. Who is that?

Q: Where’d it come from?
A: My friend Jeremy Maclin gave it to me in high school and it just stuck with me.

Q: Do you know why he started calling you Soup?
A: Yeah, I do.

Q: You don’t want to say? Is it because you like soup?
A: Yeah.

Q: Have you talked to Maclin at all?
A: I talk to Mack all the time, every three days or so.

Q: Is he paying attention to what’s going on with you up here?
A: Yeah, he is. He texts me all the time, checks in on me. He’s like my big brother, so it’s good to have him behind my back, too.

Q: Is there a point where you have to turn the friendship off?
A: Oh definitely, game day when we play the Eagles. Battle of the 18s.

Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell

Q: Back in the spring you spoke about some new principles that you were going to install into your defense. It looks like your guys are getting their hands up a little bit more, you’re also getting some really good coverage on the back end. Is that kind of what you hoped to see from the unit?
A: Yeah, I think we’re starting to grow in some of the new schemes that we’re trying to run. I think we’re learning each other. I’m learning their talents, they’re learning our calls and we’re trying to bond together. It’s starting to come. We have a lot more work to do but things… it’s looking like what we would like for it to look.

Q: Do you think the linebacker position is now becoming more specialized in terms of down and distance or do you really hope to have three linebackers that could play every single down?
A: I think that position been specialized for several years now. We think that we have three backers that could play every down. I think Jacquian Williams has made great strides since his rookie year and he’s performed like he’s a three-down player thus far in this camp. That’s a plus for us. Jameel McClain, he performs like a three-down backer. That’s a luxury for us. If we don’t have to take a backer off the field on third down, then so be it. I do think the position has been specialized for several years now.

Q: Besides Jacquian being healthy, what have you seen as the biggest difference between his rookie year to now?
A: Just confidence in his run fits, confidence in his coverage ability, his knowledge of his assignments, executing his assignments with speed, coming back with feedback, knowing the other positions, saying, ‘I know he was supposed to be here, this is what I did,’ and being able to have a good football conversation about what occurred on that play.

Q: What about the safety spot? There are some defensive coordinators in the league talking about playing five of them at once. They seem to be of growing importance with the way that the league is going.
A: I wish we had five. I like safeties because they can match up versus tight ends, they can match up versus backs depending on their skill levels. We have five in camp. Can I put all five on the field? I think we have some corners that will compete for those jobs, so I’m not saying that we’re in that position, but I do like that safety position and having those guys be that hybrid type person for you.

Q: You’ve had these guys on the field for two or three weeks now in camp. How good do you think this defense can be?
A: There’s a perception and there’s reality. On paper we look good. The reality is that we’ve got to bond, we’ve got to grow, we’ve got a lot more learning to do and the reality will happen in the season, in the preseason, as we face stiffer competition. I don’t want to make any predictions. I don’t really know because we’re not competing against the offense, we’re competing against ourselves to be better, to be the best that we can be.

Q: You’re saying, ‘On paper we look good.’ In the past would you always have said that or on paper do you like the way this looks better?
A: I like the way this looks on paper because I think we’re stronger at linebacker than we’ve been in the past, especially if Jon Beason returns, but I still like the backers that we have. I like Jameel McClain, I like Jacquian Williams. Devon Kennard, he’s been a very pleasant surprise for us. I think some of our young players, the Spencer Adkins kid has performed well. We’ve strengthened ourselves there and that’s why I like them on paper.

Q: What about defensive backs? It seems that you have a strength in that area, too.
A: I think that’s a good group back there. I think they have some pretty good chemistry. Now, can we get them to play together?

Q: What’s your impression of Walter Thurmond relative to what you expected?
A: Competitor, we call him The Quiet Assassin, so he’s more quiet that I expected him to be, but he’s the assassin, he loves to compete.

Q: He has a reputation as a strong slot cornerback. Do you feel like you could use him on the outside as well?
A: We feel like we can use him on the outside, but boy I like him in the slot. I think he is a very strong corner. I think his reputation precedes him. He is a strong, good slot player. He can play corner, he can line up… he can actually… he can play that position too. I like him as a football player. Great competitor.

Q: What makes him so good in the slot?
A: Just knowledge, know how. It’s the ‘it’ factor. People try to describe ‘it,’ He’s got ‘it.’ He knows how to play that position.

Q: I would think having the quiet assassin at the nickel makes Antrel Rolle very happy at safety.
A: Yes, it does. Any time I want to put him in his place, I say, ‘I’m going to put you back at nickel.’

Q: In the past you’ve said that but you have had to stick him back there. Are you pretty certain you’re not going to have to do that this year?
A: Where is… where’s the wood, right? We’re trying not to do that, yeah. We feel confident in the development of Walter and we’re trying to develop several other players so that we can allow Antrel to play that safety position.

Q: How good can he be being a safety 100% of the time?
A: That’s up to Antrel. We’re giving him all the reps back there, he uses the term, ‘I’m getting my eyes back.’ So he can now see the field instead of seeing down in the box and the perimeter. Now he sees the entire field. I think that’s important for him to develop that to become as good as he can be as a safety.

Q: You mentioned the perception versus the reality earlier. That’s been talked a lot about with Damontre. The perception was that this guy was going to come in here last year and wreak havoc. What is the reality for Damontre now and how far has he come from last year?
A: He continues to grow every day and takes advantage of each opportunity he has to get better. He can’t afford to have setbacks and when I mean setbacks, not only physically but mentally. Being into every practice, growing as a football player and then he’ll reach his true potential. That will be the reality of him. If he doesn’t do that, then we’ll be wondering all the time,’ When is this guy going to develop?’

Q: He talked about the attention to detail and the idea of becoming a student of the game. Is part of that just being as young as he was when he came in here last year? This was a young guy who hadn’t turned 21 yet.
A: Yeah, a little bit of it is youth and then a little bit of it is the pro football game. We ask him to do much more than they did in college, not only defensively but on special teams. He’s got to contribute from that perspective, so there’s a lot of details from the special teams as well as defense that he has to master.

Q: Do you need to sort of get him in against a first team tackle in these preseason games and get him in there? There seems to be a difference between a first team tackle and a second team.
A: I don’t feel we have to do that. Will we do that? Will we expose him like that? Yeah, sure. We go in with a plan each and every preseason game. Depending on what our plan says, that’s how we’ll play him and rotate him. Will he have that opportunity? Sure.

Q: It seems like you’re trying to get Prince to be more aggressive towards the ball and make more interceptions. How is he dealing with that?
A: Prince has improved so much. I chuckle because they went after him pretty good against Buffalo and I thought he responded well. I do think that with each opportunity that we have to throw the football at Prince, he will get better and better. I remember his first play as a rookie against DeSean Jackson, I think it was, and he went up and snatched one out of the air. I was like, ‘Woah.’ We thought it was the second coming. He is coming, he’s not the second coming yet. He is coming and, again, with each opportunity that he takes in practice to improve that skill, he can be as good as he would like to be.

Q: With DRC on the other side, do you anticipate Prince having a very busy season?
A: It can happen that way.

Q: Do you think Kennard is better than what you could have imagined when you saw him and when you drafted him? Has he proven to be an even better player than he was when you looked at him on film and when you drafted him?
A: I would say he exceeded my expectations from this standpoint – a young guy that played a number of different positions, really the defensive end at SC. He played a number of different positions. Came in and was very mature, extremely football smart and very poised as a young rookie. You don’t find that a whole lot, so yes, he did exceed my expectations.

Q: Can this defense function correctly without the vintage JPP of 2011?
A: We need all of our pieces to function to be a good defense. I’m not putting it on one person, I’m saying we all must contribute for us to be good.

Q: He’s an important guy.
A: They’re all important. JPP is a special player. We need for him to be special.

Q: From what you’ve seen so far in the three weeks of camp, he’s says he’s back 100%, have you seen that and do you expect that this season?
A: I’ve seen growth out of him. I’ve seen a much better attitude. I’ve seen the old JPP. I think, and you can ask him, he didn’t really get to participate in camp last year. This year he’s participating in camp and if you notice before the practice begins, he’s out running routes, covering. That’s the old JPP. His attitude is good. His work ethic has been very good. He’ll continue to develop and I’m sure he’ll re-gain his form.

Q: He has talked in the past about when he wasn’t performing well it wasn’t fun. Do you sense that fun is back for him?
A: That’s why I said he’s running routes before practice. He’s having fun again in football. Jacquian and he, he can’t cover Jacquian, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him out there. Jacquian can cover him, so I tell him, ‘Hey JPP, you better leave Jacquian alone.’ But he’s having fun playing the game again. When he’s got that smile on his face, then he’ll get that hunger in his eye as we build up towards the week for games, and I think you’ll see the guy perform like he can perform.

Q: You seem very upbeat. Do you feel like you have enough here…?
A: I like to think I’m an upbeat guy most of the time. I’m excited for football. I can smell it in the air. We have a preseason game coming up. I like the players that we have. I think we’re doing the right things trying to keep them healthy. I’m positive about the season.

Q: Do you think you have to do a lot of compensating or do you think you’ve just got to get them in the right spots and you have the players?
A: I have to let the preseason games tell me that. When we practice… we practice against each other so much that you can build a false confidence. When we play some other people and I get a feel for the defense, then I can answer that much better.

Q: How do you build on the state of the pass rush?
A: Well, we only played the ones 16 plays last weekend. I really can’t comment like that. We only played the ones about 16 plays so obviously the guys, you mentioned Tuck, those guys are gone. There is a new group and I’m going to let those guys establish who they are and what they bring to the table.

Q: Are you able to put an emphasis on something specific this year maybe more than last year? Last year you were trying to get settled at linebacker and trying to get a leader there. Are you able to put an emphasis on different things this year because of that?
A: I don’t know how to answer. I apologize. It’s kind of one of those questions that can go a number of different ways, so I’ll, what do they say, I’ll defer.

Q: How often do you find yourself checking in with Beason?
A: All the time. He’s in my ear and I’m in his ear all the time. I hear things on the field, calls on the field that I go to him and say, ‘I wish we could change that. How can we make this better?’ We’re communicating all the time.

Q: So he’s present with you even with him not being out there?
A: He is present. He is listening to every call. He’s like a microphone in my ear all the time. Yeah, he is present.

Q: Are you confident, more confident, that you will have him as this preseason moves on and you’re getting ready for Detroit?
A: I’m optimistic but I don’t know.

Q: You haven’t seen anything that’s changed the optimism that you guys had in the spring?
A: No, I have not.