Q: Braylon Edwards?
A: I'm not talking about Braylon. That is somebody else's player. He is under contract and there is nothing to talk about that. There is a lot of chatter, a lot of false reports.
Q: You said a couple of weeks ago that you might not have all 10 of your picks on draft day. Do you still feel that way?
A: It could still happen. You never know what could happen. The next couple of weeks is going to get hot and heavy and we could package some picks and do something with them. So you never know. Things have to unfold. If you can try to make something happen, you try that sometimes, but usually things like that unfold right before you as it gets close to the draft. But right now we have 10 picks and if we have to use them all, we will do our best to pick good players with them.
Q: So do you feel more of that pressure to initiate something?
A: No, I don't feel pressure to do that. We have five picks in the first 100 picks. So we are going to get five good players right there. We feel like we can get five really good football players. I don't feel the pressure. We can stay where we are and just pick players. I don't feel any pressure to have to move up or package the picks or do anything like that.
Q: With the labor situation, do you have to plan a little ahead for next year?
A: I think we are cognizant of that. But we just pick good players. We don't worry about next year. We try to worry about the year coming up. And that is what is most important. We try to go that route; one year at time and try to not look too far ahead.
Q: Are you philosophically opposed to trading your No. 1 pick?
A: My philosophy is to do what is best. If it's best for us to trade our number one pick, we can do that. We will see. I'm not against that. But you always want to have your number one pick going into the draft.
Q: Generally speaking, where are the strengths in this draft?
A: The whole draft has strength. You ask that every year. It is a good draft. All drafts are good. You just have to look through there and see who fits your team the best. And that is why we are currently in meetings. And we are trying to find out who fits our team the best. And hopefully we will have some of those guys in our window when it is time for us to pick. But all drafts are good for us.
Q: Is the WR position a glaring need?
A: I wouldn't say that it is a glaring need. We try to upgrade all of our positions. We will try to upgrade our WR position just like we will try to upgrade every position on our team right now.
Q: Why isn't there a glaring need at receiver when you've lost players there?
A: Well because we have players there right now that we feel like are good football players. You lose players every year at different positions. And again, you just want to upgrade your team at every position, every year. And receiver is just no different from any other position. We will try to upgrade it just like we will try to upgrade running back, offensive line, defensive line, every position – tight end.
Q: A lot of those positions didn't lose players.
A: It's not like we have no one at receiver. We have some players that we like at wide receiver. I know there has been a lot of chatter about receivers and the Giants and the receiver position. We have good receivers on this team. There are other ways to win football games. We have a powerful running game. Actually I think our running game was number one in the league last year. Our offensive line will be in tact now for three years going into the new season. So I think we will be able to run the football. I think our defense has a chance to be better, so there are different ways to win football games other than having a receiver out there and throwing the ball down the field all of the time. We would love to have that, but if you can't get that, we will win games other ways.
Q: Is it important not to force that?
A: That is what I have been saying. We will do what is best for the Giants. We are not going to try to force anything. We are not going to just try to put a round peg in a square hole We are going to do what is best. There are other ways to win football games. Our QB is not a (rookie) anymore. He is a Pro Bowler. We'll put some of this on his back and our offensive line; everybody. We ran into - a couple of years ago people said that we didn't have a left tackle. David Diehl stepped in and played. So it is the perfect opportunity for somebody to step in and play and pick up the slack for us. But we will not try to force anything.
Q: Do you have a theory or philosophy as to how quickly receivers can contribute? Do you think that they, as rookies at that position, can contribute?
A: I don't think rookies come in and play in this league right away much. It is rare that rookies come in and impact at any position. But I don't know if anybody could come in and do a Randy Moss, but there are rookies – the young kid at Philadelphia (DeSean Jackson) played well for them – (Marques) Colston (in New Orleans) was a seventh round (pick). He played well as a rookie. So we hope that if we have to go that route, we hope a rookie can come in and contribute to the situation that we are in. But again, we have guys that we like on this team at receiver and we expect those guys to step up. And we expect our quarterback to step up and carry more of the load. And we will be ready to win football games no matter who we have out there.
Q: The Cardinals let it be known that Anquan Boldin is available for trade and they hinted pretty strongly that price-wise he would be similar to the Roy Willliams deal, which was a first, a third and a fifth. Are you comfortable compensation-wise with that price if that is what they were asking?
A: Well, for the right player you do whatever you can to make it happen. But we will do what is best for the Giants. And I don't know if that is the best thing for us to do – to package up a deal that valuable. We like our draft picks. We like developing players. And we want – I think somebody said are you trying to force anything – we won't force anything.
Q: Is that price forcing it?
A: It could be. It could be.
Q: For anybody available?
A: Maybe not for anybody available; maybe not for anybody available. There are a couple of guys that might be worth that price.
Q: Will you look around before the draft at the trade possibilities?
A: We have been looking around ever since the season was over with. So we are always looking around. We are not just sitting up there on our hands. We are looking around. We are looking around to upgrade our team at every position, to try to make our team better. But again, we are not going to force anything.
Q: How much have you looked around at the Rutgers receiver – (Kenny) Britt?
A: We looked at him the same as we looked at everybody. He is a nice college prospect. We have looked at him just like we have looked at the rest of the nice college prospects. We have interviewed him. So we have looked at him as well.
Q: Is the receiver position in this draft as deep as it has been in some time?
A: I wouldn't say that.
Q: There seems to be a fairly big consensus that this draft is deep at wide receiver.
A: Well, everybody has different opinions about the draft. There are some nice receivers in this draft. There have been some nice receivers in every draft for me. So I wouldn't say this draft is better than other drafts.
Q: Did you talk to the receivers on your roster who have been mentioned in trade rumors, such as Domenik Hixon?
A: Well that happens every year. During the offseason there is always chatter and there is always false chatter. And so when there is false chatter I guess it is part of my job to go back to our players and say, 'You know what, don't believe that stuff because it is not true.' And you have to do a little bit of damage control but that is part of my job, I guess. I don't like it but it is what it is. People put false stuff out there. I don't like it but it is what it is.
Q: Is it tougher for a wide receiver coming out of college to make the adjustment to the NFL game than other positions?
A: Well yeah. It is a tough position to come in and play right away because defenses are so different in the NFL. And you just can't line up there and think you can run your route because defenses change. As soon as the ball is snapped, the defense changes. You have to read defenses on the run. So it tougher for young receivers to come out and do that. So the whole game is different from college football. But it is probably a little more difficult for receivers to come in unless you just have a Randy Moss kind of guy where you can just throw it up and he can go get it. It is difficult for receivers; it is difficult for all rookies, but it may be a little more difficult for receivers.
Q: Thoughts about including any of your defensive linemen in trades…
A: Anything can happen in personnel, but I don't think you work so hard – you work to try to shore up your defensive front and make it deep and then you give them away as soon as you get them. I don't think we are interested in doing that. But anything can happen in personnel.
Q: In all of your draft history is it safe to assume that you have never set out to draft for need over value?
A: I don't know what other people have done in the past, but we try to get value in any class. I say that every year, we try to get value and need with our picks.
Q: Regardless of position?
A: Regardless of position. We try to pick the best player and we are conscious of what our needs are and we definitely want to pick for value.
Q: What if the best available is not at a need position?
A: We picked a defensive end a couple of years ago and we had a Hall of Famer and a Pro Bowler. And a future Pro Bowler as the third guy and we still picked a defensive end. So if the guy is a good player, we will still pick him.
Q: You have five picks in the first 100. Will there be a lot of phone calls between now and the draft?
A: There are always a lot. Everybody is jockeying, saying 'Would you guys – do you want to move up, do you want to move down, are you interested in taking our spots?' So we get phone calls like that every day, all of the way to the draft. So we have a list of who wants to do what. And if something fits us, we will say, 'Lets call so and so and see if they want to move down or want to move up' or, 'They said they want to move out of this spot.' So there is a lot of that going on right now.
Q: A lot of the times a lot of those calls are made in the last day or even hours before the draft. Are you anticipating a very intense, hectic Saturday morning and afternoon since the draft is starting later than it has on Saturday?
A: Well I think everybody will have their ducks in a row. The draft is a little bit of a tense time because it used to be 15 minutes. Now you have 10 minutes on the clock. So it could be pretty intense for the 10 minutes that you are on the clock. But I think everybody will have their ducks in a row and ready to go on draft day and not a lot of deals going on before that time. The day of the draft I think the deals are in place. But there are obviously deals made while you are even on the clock. I don't think people will be blowing your phone up at that time.
Q: The league is a copycat league. Given his success last year, will there be a Larry Fitzgerald effect in pro football?
A: Well again, you would like to have a big Larry Fitzgerald, the kid at Houston, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson from Detroit – you would like to have those kinds of guys. But Larry Fitzgerald's team didn't win the Super Bowl.
A: Almost is not good enough in this league. They didn't win. He was outstanding but his team didn't win. So there are other ways to do it. The Steelers – they have won two Super Bowls here recently and they didn't have a big Larry Fitzgerald on their team.
Q: Do you think you're deep enough at wide receiver?
A: I think we have enough quality football players on our roster. Again, we always try to improve that, but we have quality players on our roster that we can win football games with, no question about it.
Q: How would you evaluate Mario Manningham as a rookie?
A: We still have high hopes for him. He was hurt early on though the preseason, so he got a late start. So we expect him to know what pro football is all about now and come into the offseason stuff and make a big improvement. So the jury is still out on him but we still like him. And hopefully he will improve.
Q: Can he play the X spot that Plaxico played?
A: We think he can play any of the spots. We like Mario. We like Steve Smith. We like Hixon. We like our tight end. So we have guys – I think people are panicked a little bit about the receiver. I don't think we are panicked about it. We are not panicking about getting a receiver. We have good players that we can win football games with; we have pro football receivers on our team right now. So we are going to try to improve it. But sometimes if you can't do that, you go with what you have. You win with the hand that you are dealt and don't look back.
Q: How do you get a guy that is smaller to do the same stuff that Plaxico Burress did?
A: Well, I don't know if he can do the same thing that Plax does. Their body types are different. But again, there are not many teams in the National Football League that have players with the body type like that. They are very few and far between. The Colts --- they didn't have big guy; they won a Super Bowl a couple of years ago. There are different ways to win Super Bowls. If we don't have a big receiver,we will try our best to win it in other ways without having a big receiver as a factor.
Q: Would like the tight end to be more athletic?
A: I think Kevin Boss is a really good athlete. Darcy Johnson came on and did some things late in the year. I like our tight ends and we have some young kids that we hope will step up. Michael Matthews is more of a blocking tight end. Maybe we will do something in the draft as far as a tight end goes. We will look to improve every position.
Q: Have you made any adjustment to being a GM? Do you look at tapes differently?
A: You always want to go out. And I still go out. Thursday night games really help me going out. So I still go out and catch a bunch of Thursday night games because you can leave Thursday morning and get out and you can come back Friday morning in time for practice. So I still get out as much as I can on Thursdays. Sometimes there are some Wednesday night games. So I'm still out, but I substitute being out with watching a lot of tape in the office. And so I still get to see a lot of football players.
Q: Do you watch more tape now?
A: I don't watch more tape because when I was director of player personnel I watched all of the tape. But now it is impossible for me to watch all of the tape. I try to watch the guys in our window that we like and try to watch as many guys as possible – even guys that we like as free agents – I still try to take a peak at those guys.
Q: Do you kind of cull what your scouts are telling you and say, "Give me 100 guys that I really want to focus in on" and then watch film of them?
A: Yeah, and we lean on our scouts because they do the work. They are the unsung heroes of this organization, any organization, because they go out and do the grunt work and get these guys lined up. 'We like these guys, we don't like these guys.' So they give me an idea of who we like and I try to look at as many of them as I can.
Q: How many workouts do you go to?
A: I went to a couple of pro days, but during the Combine most of the guys work out. It is not like the old days where you went to the Combine and half of the guys don't work out. Most of the guys work out at the Combine. So it is invaluable to get to the Combine and see the guys work out at the Combine. So you can try to put the Combine and what you see on tape if you didn't get to see them live. So you try to piece it all together and have a vision in your head what guys really look like; what his body of work is.
Q: After losing Derrick Ward, would you like to add another running back?
A: We like the running backs that we have. Brandon is Brandon and Bradshaw, obviously, he will get more touches now. So he is champing at the bit to touch the ball more. So he will start out as number two, but he has got to earn the number two spot. Danny Ware is the guy who we think has a lot of potential. Obviously there are good players in the draft as well. So we feel good about our running backs.
Q: When you look at a receiver and he has a problem with drops, do you factor in that you have Mike Sullivan as your position coach?
A: We try to factor in everything. Why is he dropping the ball? He may have a vision problem. What is going on around him? Is his team playing well? Is he having some type of conflict with his coach? You try to factor in as many factors as we can to figure out why the guy is dropping the ball. If you think the guy is – we call them "A" catchers and "B" catchers – if a guy is an "A" catcher and all of a sudden he is dropping the ball, it seems like probably there is something wrong on the outside that we don't see; we don't generally see. So "A" catchers just don't become "B" and "C" catchers unless there is probably something wrong.