1. 'Funny things' can happen in the draft.
Heading into his ninth draft as general manager of the New York Giants, Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Over the years, Reese said he has learned that "funny things can happen, so expect everything to happen." Holding the ninth pick this year, it is the highest the Giants have drafted since 2004.
"If you draft at nine, whoever it is, it is a premium position, regardless of the position that he is," Reese said. "If you draft at nine, it is a premium position, regardless of what it is. It doesn't matter what position. If you draft him at nine, he is a guy you expect to come in and play and play quickly."
2. 'Zero doubts' in Cruz's mind for Week 1.
Victor Cruz, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year in Week 6, updated his status on Thursday, saying that he has been running straight ahead for about a month and the next step is cutting.
"There is not a doubt in my mind that I will be back out there playing on the field," he said. "Obviously it is just a matter of getting myself back to 100 percent. As of right now, there is zero doubt in my mind that I will be playing in that first game and continuing to be at 100 percent, playing at the level that I like to be playing at."
3. Berhe: 'I wouldn't be here if I couldn't play.'
Nat Berhe earned his stripes last season as a rookie on special teams. Now the fifth-round draft choice and third-year pro Cooper Taylor are the only two returning safeties currently on the Giants roster. Berhe was asked about people on the outside worrying that the Giants don't have any established safeties.
"It's funny to me," Berhe said. "It's funny how like last year people were calling for young guys to play, and they wanted us to play. And now that we have the opportunity, it's like, 'Oh, my goodness, the young guys are going to play.' Like everybody is scared. It's kind of funny to me. I wouldn't be here if I couldn't play."
4. Thomas looks like a 'WILL' linebacker.
The Giants bolstered their linebacker depth this offseason by signing veteran free agents J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas. On Thursday, Reese said the team believes they are "upgrades" and "will battle for starting positions." Reese was asked further about Thomas and what position he would play, saying it's up to the coaches, but he looks like a weakside linebacker to him.
5. Odell wants to improve on controlling his emotions.
Odell Beckham Jr. set the NFL ablaze last year with his incredible catches and record-setting performances, as he earned AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. But there is a fine line in the NFL when it comes to sparking a team, which is one thing Beckham said he can improve in Year Two.
"A lot of the unnecessary stuff," Beckham responded when asked what he wants to focus on. "Taking my helmet off or doing anything to draw more attention than what is necessary are definitely things I need to work on, but it is just so hard when you are so passionate about something. It is hard to control your emotions. The biggest thing for me is just controlling my emotions and doing whatever we need to do to win."
6. DRC and Prince are taking charge of secondary.
Former Giants safety and defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle signed as a free agent with the Bears this offseason, leaving a leadership void on defense, specifically the secondary. Additionally, the Giants have a new defensive coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo, as well as secondary/cornerbacks coach Tim Walton.
"It's only the first week, but guys like DRC [cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] DRC have been taking a lot of charge and so have I," cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "But I think guys are just trying to find their roles right now."
7. Prince wants to be the No. 1 corner on the team and in the league.
Amukamara, who suffered a season-ending torn biceps against Indianapolis in Week 9, said he has been full-go in running and lifting during the offseason workout program. That will help him in trying to accomplish some of his individual goals in his fifth NFL season.
"My expectations never change," he said. "It's always to be the No. 1 cornerback on this team and then hopefully become the No. 1 cornerback in this league. I want to accomplish all -- from Pro Bowls to All-Pros -- and hopefully just keep getting more and more interceptions, personally."
8. Giants look at former Cowboy Dwayne Harris as more than a returner.
The NFL schedule was released this week, and the Giants' opener will pit Dwayne Harris against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, in his old stadium during a primetime matchup on Sunday night. Harris, who signed as a free agent with the Giants this offseason, spent the first four years of his NFL career in Dallas.
"This is going to be a game that sets the tone for the rest of the season for me," Harris said. "It's going to be a game that puts the chip on my shoulder, and I'm pretty sure the guys in the locker room agree with that. This first game is a division game, and it sets the tone for the season."
Meanwhile, Harris, who is an accomplished return specialist, said the reason he came to the Giants was that the team looks at him as a wide receiver and thinks he can contribute offensively. Harris also prides himself on being a "great" blocker because he doesn't "mind going in and doing the dirty work."
9. Richburg has "no idea" yet if he will play center; time at guard helped his overall game.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, coach Tom Coughlin opened the door by saying that Weston Richburg will have every opportunity to compete at center, where he played in college before the Giants drafted him in the second round last year. The 2014 starter at center, J.D. Walton, was released this offseason, making room for someone to step into the role. Whether or not it will be Richburg is to be determined, but he did say on Thursday that his time as a starting guard last season helped him see the game from a different angle and will help him should he assume the center position.
10. Pugh headlined the QDTC.
From his MMA training with Chuck Liddell to talking about his new adopted dog Murphy and cracking a Canadian joke about CFL star and new teammate Brett Jones, third-year pro Justin Pugh highlighted Thursday's string of media availabilities in the auditorium at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. But when it got down to the X's and O's, Pugh preached versatility, citing Giants great lineman David Diehl. Pugh said the reason the Giants drafted him was because he told them he was willing to play any position across the offensive line. With that said, Pugh did say that he loves his time at right tackle, but he wouldn't mind playing guard. "I want to win," he said.
Photos of the Giants speaking to the media