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Quotes: Coughlin, Baas, and Connor

Posted Jul 28, 2013

Coach Coughlin, Center David Baas, and LB Dan Connor speak to the media on the second day of Training Camp.

Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: Did something happen to Hakeem Nicks?

A: I guess he had a little tightness in the groin and they held him. I really don’t know much about it. I went over to find out, and, of course, it’s autograph day, so I really didn’t get much of a response.

Q: What happened to Tyler Sash?

A: Sash cramped.

Q: In the team drills, the offense did much better today. Would you say that’s a fair assessment?
A: We didn’t have one on ones yesterday. They did alright today. It’s just getting started. The ball went down the field pretty well in that drill and that’s something we do have to work on.

Q: How important is it for your defense to establish an identity this season and what identity do you want that to be?
A: Physical, New York Giant defense; tough, physical and hard-nosed defense. We’re not that far removed from that and hopefully we’ll get right back to it. You have to get an identity. You have to represent something. You have to be there week in and week out. You have to have that kind of consistency and you have to control the line of scrimmage. You have to stop the run first before you can rush the pass and we’re capable of both, but we’re certainly going to get tested in both areas.

Q: Sometimes the light goes on for a second-year player. Do you see that in Rueben Randle?
A: I’ve seen some good things out of Rueben. Hopefully he’ll keep it up.

Q: You guys drafted him very high.
A: He’s worthy of it and his spring was better and then he came back lighter and he looks good. He seems to be more serious, more intent. He had a lot to learn in that first year and it looks like some of the messages are getting through.

Q: You don’t talk about weight that much with receivers, but was that an issue?

A: No, not at all.  But, obviously, he’s decided that he feels like he can be faster or whatever.  He always came back at his assigned body weight.  A little bit lighter this year. 


Q: Andre Brown, another guy, who you said has lost a bit of weight during the offseason.
A: No, I didn’t say it that way.  I said he came back.  I don’t know what I said, but his weight is good.

Q: Do you see him and David Wilson splitting carries?

A: We’ll see. I’m sure. Sometimes we need three.  We’ve had three around here before. 

Q: Will Hill got the second suspension.  Are you sitting there saying, should we keep him, or is there any doubt that you didn’t want to keep him?
A: I’m not going to go into that.  We were disappointed and hopefully Will is going to get his life straightened out.

Q: How have you felt the cornerbacks have been looking?

A: I’m excited to see this camp evolve in that area.  We have Aaron Ross back.  We’re looking for improvement in our secondary play overall.  It’s early, so we’ll see.

Q: You’ve used the word ‘consistency’ or ‘being more consistent’ repeatedly here in the beginning.  That can be vague. What specifically do you mean or what specifically do you try to tell the team about …?
A: Fifty-two points, zero the next week.  Just a consistent championship level of play.  From all aspects.

Jeff Feagles: Coach, you ran a fake field goal.  Is there any reason why you would think you have more confidence in No. 5 (Steve Weatherford) than No. 18 (Feagles)?
A: There are a lot of reasons, yes.  He can get to the edge, maybe.  He didn’t throw it as well as you did, though.


Center David Baas


Q: How do you feel out there?
A: Good. My goal was to be out there and be with my teammates and with all the stuff … it was definitely something I was looking forward to. I’ve got to be smart about it. They have me on limited reps right now, but we’ll manage that and there’s nothing like getting back out to football and getting used to the things that you’ve done for a number of years.

Q: Between yourself and Chris Snee right now, obviously there are limitations. How difficult will it be to truly get ready for the season not getting all of the reps that you would like to get with your teammates?
A: I don’t think it will be a problem. Just because both of us… We’re not out there wondering what’s happening. We can still react the same way that we always have. We know the game plan. We know the offense. The biggest thing is just… It’s like riding a bicycle. Once you get going out there and doing reps again, you remember your steps, hand placements, but obviously we can always get better. So that’s one thing that we want to do is go out here and improve that. But I don’t think there will be any issue in terms of if you miss something that it’s going to be a problem.

Q: Do you think you need some preseason snaps together as an offensive line?
A: Absolutely.

Q: How many will it take?
A: I don’t know that number, but that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be out here during camp, just because you definitely want to be able to work with your teammates and make that bond. We have that, but it’s always good to be out here to help the young guys, too, and when they’re getting the reps you can teach them. It’s like an extra coach if you’re not in there. So there are always positives to being out here with your teammates. You never want to be watching from the sideline, but you do your best to be out there as much as you can.  

Q: With all of the injuries and surgeries you’ve had, do you think you’ll be full-go or do you think you’ll have to manage this throughout camp and throughout the season?
A: No. I’ll be full-go, for sure, but we’re going to be smart about it and if there’s sometimes where we’ve got to cutback a little bit then that’s what we do. We want to make sure we’re ready to go this season because there are big things ahead of us and we’re really excited.

Q: How banged up were you at the end of last year?
A: I don’t really like to talk about too much just because you see a lot of other people that talk about their injuries… My big thing is basically no matter how many surgeries or injuries I have I want to come out here. You’ve got to prove it every year. So that’s my goal. That’s why I did the best I could to get back in shape and I’ve got to come out here and prove it each and every day.

Q: Did you have these procedures at the same time?
A: They were kind of spread out a little bit, but we did the majority of them at the beginning and then maybe one when we got back up here.

Q: Is there any part of your body that is totally healthy?
A: Yeah. I feel really good. I have to admit with things like that you might have your doubts, but just working with the Giants’ medical staff and doing the right things, we haven’t had any problems and I don’t intend on having any problems any more.

Q: What was the mileage with this checkup?
A: I don’t know, but it was much needed.

Q: It was a full service one?
A: I’ll just say I definitely needed it and it’s only going to help me in terms of flexibility and just being able to do normal things that I had limitations on last year. It was definitely something that needed to be done and I’m glad we did it.

Q: What was the injury last year?
A: There were a lot of them, but I won’t comment on that just because the medical staff can kind of take care of that or coach Coughlin, if he wants to specify. There was plenty enough to go around.

Q: Tom Coughlin said he was going to give us a printout.
A: Just don’t laugh. I feel like that’s the offensive line. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through. I know Snee and myself are usually or can be in the news about the injuries, but so many other players go through all of these injuries and we just want to be out there playing for each other and winning and just getting better and getting more consistent. That’s what coach Coughlin was talking about because that’s what we need in order to have a successful season this year.

Q: Chris only had the one surgery. He had the easy offseason.
A: You have to ask him about that, but those types of surgeries are not too easy to come back too quick, but he fought through a lot and that’s definitely something that we all kind of can look at each other and know that we did that for each other last year and we’re going to continue to do it in the future.

Q: Snee said that he ran harder than you even though he’s not practicing.
A: He can say whatever he wants. Until he gets back out on the field, he’s got nothing to say to anyone.


LB Dan Connor

Dan Connor
July 28, 2013
Q: You’re already used to the mindset of what it’s like wearing a new uniform?
A: Yeah, every time I go home, I know I get some grief for it, but yeah, Dallas might even be more of a rival so I was getting it big time last year. 
Q: How do you see your role this year playing with these guys? Do you think you’re in a good spot?
A: Yeah, I’m in a good spot. We have a lot of good young linebackers. It’s a good situation. I’m so comfortable here and, just how they run the organization, it’s a comfort level, it’s a system I play better in. I’m more of a 4-3 guy than a 3-4, which I was in last year, so I wanted to get back into that 4-3. I’m just more comfortable playing it. 
Q: Do you sense that this is a wide-open hunt at linebacker?
A: Yeah, you sense it every year. I mean, any team you’re on, it really is. The coaches say it and it’s the truth. There’s no jobs given out. The players who’ve been around for a while and are older, they’re looking to replace them, and the younger guys are hungry. It’s always competition. The coaches create an environment where you know that if I work hard and I produce, they’ll play me. No one is ever comfortable with a job. This linebacker position in particular, it’s an open job, anyone can go for it. It’s just who will excel and make plays.
Q: Are you more comfortable in the middle than on either side?
A: Yeah, probably more comfortable in the middle. I’ve done both, Will and Sam in the past, so it’s no different. The 4-3, they’re kind of interchangeable, the body types are all the same. At 3-4, those outside linebackers start to look like defensive linemen, they’re grown-man looking. 4-3, we’re all similar body builds, 230s, 6’ 2”, each guy can play each position. 
Q: Obviously you have a new start, but the Philadelphia incident probably didn’t help.
A: No, it didn’t help at all. It was a tough situation, kind of a misunderstanding at the airport. I was flying out to a wedding in Pittsburgh, a friend of mine’s wedding, and I had a pocket knife in my bag that I didn’t even know about. I hadn’t seen it in over a year so I was a little shocked when they pulled it out. But it’s something I have to deal with now. I was here all offseason, I was able to lay a foundation, hopefully the coaches got to know that that’s not the kind of guy I am. But, you know, same thing. I’m responsible for it and I have to accept any punishments handed out. 
Q: Were they understanding here? Were they disappointed?
A: Definitely disappointed. It would be shocking if they weren’t. They don’t want the bad publicity, I don’t want it on myself and, being a new guy here, I don’t want to put a scar on a city, a bad mark on a city that doesn’t even know me that well. It’s just unfortunate but, you know, at the same time, it’s my fault and I’ve got to prove to everyone that I’m not that type of guy, the type of guy to get in trouble. That was the first time I had been arrested, so it was definitely pretty embarrassing for me. 
Q: Was it a dinky little pocket knife? A Swiss army knife?
A: It was a spring loaded one. 
Q: It was just something that you had deep in the bag that you had forgotten about?
A: Yeah, a toiletries thing. I packed from Dallas and we drove from Dallas to Jersey, my wife and I, and it was in the bottom of junk I hadn’t seen in a while. 
Q: You were probably more surprised than they were?
A: I was surprised, I hadn’t seen it. I thought I lost it. So I was surprised to see it again. And then, I knew it was going to be a long day. 
Q: Did you make it to the wedding?
A: No.
Q: Can you talk about the competition at middle linebacker and how you feel kind of having to work your way up?
A: It’s an open job right now. They’ve got the starters out there doing a great job the first day.  Those guys worked hard all offseason and they’re doing a great job, they’re smart, young players and productive. But, like any other position, there’s an open job, everyone’s going to compete for it, you find out at the end of training camp, looking back, how you did and if you were good enough to get to the top. 
Q: When you work with the second team, do you want to see how you would do with the first team?
A: This will be my sixth year, I’ve played and started enough in the past to know how I would fare against the ones, so when I watch myself on tape, it’s not as much who I’m going against as much as my technique, my reaction, my key and diagnose and I can break myself down, no matter who I’m playing. That’s how I improve. Obviously, you want to go against the ones, try yourself against Eli Manning and see how you do, but, you know, where they put you, you have to do the best with that situation. 
Q: Are you a special teams guy, too?
A: Yeah.
Q: When you look at the division, the NFC East, a division that’s been considered one of the best in the League for a while, do you still view it as the top division in the League?
A: It’s a great division. I was in the NFC South my first four years and we still look at this division. It’s big, tough, kind of old school football. It’s always a battle when you go in. last year was my first time playing in it and that’s how it is. You play these teams twice and it’s a dogfight every time. There are no breaks at all, where you can beat up on a team, they’re four very competitive teams. 
Q: You guys are the only team really without a mobile quarterback, how does that change, defensively, going against three guys that can scramble kind of at will. 
A: Eli can move too, but I don’t know if he can move like RG3, but yeah, those teams give you a whole different set of problems. Through the offseason we’ve been preparing for mobile quarterbacks, the read offense, riding that hand off where the guy can pull it out. We’ve been preparing for it and hopefully we’ll fare good against it. All you can do is work in practice and prepare and then hopefully you can play well against them.
Q: What are some of the college programs you’ve watched? Things like the pistol and the run option?
A: We haven’t watched it as players. But I know the coaches, I think they met with people and watched tape, I’m not sure exactly who. You’d have to ask them. Colleges, they’re whose facing this the most and they know, they’ve figured it out. This was relatively new to the NFL so the NFL is kind of a step behind. I think, going into this year, people have a much better understanding as to how they try to attack you. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone fares against that type of offense. 
Q: Do you think this year will be a test to see if it’s here to stay?
A: Yeah, that’s a good point. I think it will. If it can get through this year, with everyone researching all offseason, if it can be successful this season, it will be an offense that will stick around for a long time. At least until the trends change a couple years from now. But it will stick around longer than just a one hit wonder. 
Q: You’re already used to the mindset of what it’s like wearing a new uniform?
A: Yeah, every time I go home, I know I get some grief for it, but yeah, Dallas might even be more of a rival so I was getting it big time last year. 
Q: How do you see your role this year playing with these guys? Do you think you’re in a good spot?
A: Yeah, I’m in a good spot. We have a lot of good young linebackers. It’s a good situation. I’m so comfortable here and, just how they run the organization, it’s a comfort level, it’s a system I play better in. I’m more of a 4-3 guy than a 3-4, which I was in last year, so I wanted to get back into that 4-3. I’m just more comfortable playing it. 
Q: Do you sense that this is a wide-open hunt at linebacker?
A: Yeah, you sense it every year. I mean, any team you’re on, it really is. The coaches say it and it’s the truth. There’s no jobs given out. The players who’ve been around for a while and are older, they’re looking to replace them, and the younger guys are hungry. It’s always competition. The coaches create an environment where you know that if I work hard and I produce, they’ll play me. No one is ever comfortable with a job. This linebacker position in particular, it’s an open job, anyone can go for it. It’s just who will excel and make plays.
Q: Are you more comfortable in the middle than on either side?
A: Yeah, probably more comfortable in the middle. I’ve done both, Will and Sam in the past, so it’s no different. The 4-3, they’re kind of interchangeable, the body types are all the same. At 3-4, those outside linebackers start to look like defensive linemen, they’re grown-man looking. 4-3, we’re all similar body builds, 230s, 6’ 2”, each guy can play each position. 
Q: Obviously you have a new start, but the Philadelphia incident probably didn’t help.
A: No, it didn’t help at all. It was a tough situation, kind of a misunderstanding at the airport. I was flying out to a wedding in Pittsburgh, a friend of mine’s wedding, and I had a pocket knife in my bag that I didn’t even know about. I hadn’t seen it in over a year so I was a little shocked when they pulled it out. But it’s something I have to deal with now. I was here all offseason, I was able to lay a foundation, hopefully the coaches got to know that that’s not the kind of guy I am. But, you know, same thing. I’m responsible for it and I have to accept any punishments handed out. 
Q: Were they understanding here? Were they disappointed?
A: Definitely disappointed. It would be shocking if they weren’t. They don’t want the bad publicity, I don’t want it on myself and, being a new guy here, I don’t want to put a scar on a city, a bad mark on a city that doesn’t even know me that well. It’s just unfortunate but, you know, at the same time, it’s my fault and I’ve got to prove to everyone that I’m not that type of guy, the type of guy to get in trouble. That was the first time I had been arrested, so it was definitely pretty embarrassing for me. 
Q: Was it a dinky little pocket knife? A Swiss army knife?
A: It was a spring loaded one. 
Q: It was just something that you had deep in the bag that you had forgotten about?
A: Yeah, a toiletries thing. I packed from Dallas and we drove from Dallas to Jersey, my wife and I, and it was in the bottom of junk I hadn’t seen in a while. 
Q: You were probably more surprised than they were?
A: I was surprised, I hadn’t seen it. I thought I lost it. So I was surprised to see it again. And then, I knew it was going to be a long day. 
Q: Did you make it to the wedding?
A: No.
Q: Can you talk about the competition at middle linebacker and how you feel kind of having to work your way up?
A: It’s an open job right now. They’ve got the starters out there doing a great job the first day.  Those guys worked hard all offseason and they’re doing a great job, they’re smart, young players and productive. But, like any other position, there’s an open job, everyone’s going to compete for it, you find out at the end of training camp, looking back, how you did and if you were good enough to get to the top. 
Q: When you work with the second team, do you want to see how you would do with the first team?
A: This will be my sixth year, I’ve played and started enough in the past to know how I would fare against the ones, so when I watch myself on tape, it’s not as much who I’m going against as much as my technique, my reaction, my key and diagnose and I can break myself down, no matter who I’m playing. That’s how I improve. Obviously, you want to go against the ones, try yourself against Eli Manning and see how you do, but, you know, where they put you, you have to do the best with that situation. 
Q: Are you a special teams guy, too?
A: Yeah.
Q: When you look at the division, the NFC East, a division that’s been considered one of the best in the League for a while, do you still view it as the top division in the League?
A: It’s a great division. I was in the NFC South my first four years and we still look at this division. It’s big, tough, kind of old school football. It’s always a battle when you go in. last year was my first time playing in it and that’s how it is. You play these teams twice and it’s a dogfight every time. There are no breaks at all, where you can beat up on a team, they’re four very competitive teams. 
Q: You guys are the only team really without a mobile quarterback, how does that change, defensively, going against three guys that can scramble kind of at will. 
A: Eli can move too, but I don’t know if he can move like RG3, but yeah, those teams give you a whole different set of problems. Through the offseason we’ve been preparing for mobile quarterbacks, the read offense, riding that hand off where the guy can pull it out. We’ve been preparing for it and hopefully we’ll fare good against it. All you can do is work in practice and prepare and then hopefully you can play well against them.
Q: What are some of the college programs you’ve watched? Things like the pistol and the run option?
A: We haven’t watched it as players. But I know the coaches, I think they met with people and watched tape, I’m not sure exactly who. You’d have to ask them. Colleges, they’re whose facing this the most and they know, they’ve figured it out. This was relatively new to the NFL so the NFL is kind of a step behind. I think, going into this year, people have a much better understanding as to how they try to attack you. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone fares against that type of offense. 
Q: Do you think this year will be a test to see if it’s here to stay?
A: Yeah, that’s a good point. I think it will. If it can get through this year, with everyone researching all offseason, if it can be successful this season, it will be an offense that will stick around for a long time. At least until the trends change a couple years from now. But it will stick around longer than just a one hit wonder.