(Coughlin called an end to the team’s minicamp after a brief offense, defense and special teams jog-thru this morning)
(TC quipped) It was a heck of a practice. I’m glad you are all here to talk about that. We beat the rain; we got here in the rain. The speed down the field was really good. We covered well today – there were a lot of good things.
Q: What did you tell them about their vacations?
A: I told them all of the essentials. Count the days until July 26. In this day and age it is about nutrition, about rest, about taking care of yourself; about crossing those days off the calendar. And really, it is not like the old offseasons where we may have had 14-15 weeks. We are into our ninth. So as far as trying to rest a little bit and then pick back up, no, you wouldn’t be able to do that. You have to be ready to change direction and do those kinds of things. I did cite some of the examples in this little time where we have maybe a three-day down time and then go and practice once and have – like the other day – two backs had a hamstring after taking three days off. So anyway, all of those things have been said this morning. We talked about our schedule and what is in front of us and just wrapped it up for the program – the offseason program for the veteran players. And then the rookies are here for another week.
Q: What is the biggest positive you have taken from the offseason program and what still bothers you the most?
A: I’m not going to go into any positional details or anything like that. That is what remains to be seen. The positives are that we had a chance to work with – again get everyone back together after three and a half months and go through a regimented program – all voluntary – in which everyone was here with the exception of two guys. And make some progress; a lot of these young players have made good progress. I have seen good progress with our veterans. I’m talking about basically (Chris) Snee and (David) Baas and guys that have had surgeries and that are coming back strong. So those are very positive. And then the opportunity just to, again, work with our players – with some of the new players that are here, not only just the rookies but also the free agents that we signed. Get an idea of how those talented people might be utilized.
Q: The rookies’ learning curve met your satisfaction?
A: Well, there is a lot to learn. The more you throw at them, the more difficult it is for them. They work at it, now. They have been a good group that way. So I don’t have any complaints about how they work. It is just that it is new. The language is new; lots of things being different. You have to understand pro football is cumulative. You have to be one of those guys that can retain information and use it in the same sequence again the next time that situation arises. They haven’t had enough yet. They have it twice in OTAs and in the minicamp; they will get it a third time in camp. So hopefully that is going to be a time when they will retain.
Q: Is (Terrell) Thomas on a course to be ready for the training camp?
A: Well, I’m sure he will be limited. But he has made good progress and he did some individual this last week, which was good.
Q: You have had a lot of turnover in many years here. Do you ever get used to it? And what is your key to kind of getting past it?
A: Well, it is pro football. It is the way it is today. And it is doing a good job with our evaluations – bringing the right people in here and getting them integrated into our offense, defense and special teams – the way we do things – what our expectation levels are, what our values are. And the more we can be with them and around them, then the better you are going to feel about it.
Q: Will Thomas be a consideration on safety?
A: I would like to see him just get a green light to go. We will decide where he is going to help us the best at that point in time.
Q: What are your thoughts on the linebackers? What did you see there in general?
A: They actually had a good spring. And the good thing about them, they are very unselfish. They work hard; they study hard. If I called for a one hour meeting, those guys were probably going to meet for an hour and a half to two. It is just the way that group is. They have been good. So we’ll see. I have seen some growth and I have seen a lot of good things happen out here. They are going to have to. It’s going to have to happen.
Q: How do you feel about right tackle?
A: I feel good about watching (David) Diehl come back and practice well. I feel good about the young kid coming here and showing us the kind of natural skill and ability that he has. We have some other guys that have performed at that spot, and have done a decent job. So I’m okay with that. We get into the kind of situation they are cast into - not even shells on – and it is not an easy thing, obviously, working against the defensive front and so on and so forth. So you can’t always make real good observations about that – or judgments. But let’s see what happens when we get back and get the pads on.
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