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5 things we learned at Giants media hour (5/11)

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Recapping five key takeaways from Friday's media hour at rookie minicamp:

Before the young Giants took the field for their first rookie minicamp practice, head coach Pat Shurmur and half of the team's draft picks met with the media (the other half will go tomorrow). Here is what you need to know:

1. SHURMUR TEACHING THE 'GIANTS WAY'

Running parallel with teaching new schemes to 61 players at rookie minicamp is Shurmur indoctrinating them into the culture he is looking to establish. The Giants' head coach has this time to do so before throwing them in with the veterans on Monday.  

"They are getting a chance to live out their dream of playing pro football," Shurmur said. "I think when we look at it, we have a mixture of drafted players, college undrafted players, tryout guys, and so we're going to put them through the paces for three days here and try and teach them.

"I think what's important is, and I've talked to the staff, I've talked to our current players, we want to teach our rookies the right way from the very beginning – here is your iPad, here is your locker, here is where you need to be, here is how you need to dress, here are the fields, 'please' and 'thank you' work, push in your chair. We want to really train these guys in the New York Giants' way and I think it's every facet of their life and then, certainly what is most obvious, football."

2. SAQUON SETTING OWN EXPECTATIONS

Certain expectations come with being the second overall draft pick. On top of that, throughout the process leading up to the draft, general manager Dave Gettleman said you have to envision a player taken that high wearing a gold jacket some day. And after drafting Saquon Barkley, Gettleman said of the former Penn State running back's abilities, it's "like he was touched by the hand of God, frankly." So how will Barkley, who played in front of 100,000-plus crowds across the Big Ten, handle the pressure?

"I know a lot of people try and set expectations for me," Barkley said. "No offense to you guys, but I set my own expectations. I don't care what anyone says in terms of that I have to rush for this or score this. It does not matter to me. I set my own expectations and have my own standards.

"If I follow you guys, not saying you guys but the media, and try and reach expectations of the fans and the media because I am a high draft pick, if I follow that, I will never become a great player. It starts with myself. I have to believe in myself, set goals for myself, set expectations for myself and continue to work for those goals every single day."

3. GIANTS LOOKING AT HERNANDEZ ON LEFT SIDE

The last time the Giants held the 34th overall pick, it turned out pretty well for them. In 2004, they drafted eventual four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Snee. Fourteen years later, they took UTEP's Will Hernandez, another guard. While the Giants hope for similar production, there might be one difference right away in which side Hernandez plays. While Snee played right guard from the jump, Hernandez could find himself on the left next to tackle Nate Solder.

It's a decision that will be made down the road, but Shurmur said the team will look at Hernandez "primarily" on the left side, where he played mostly in college. In March, the Giants signed veteran guard Patrick Omameh, who has started 24 games at right guard (plus three in the postseason), 20 at left guard, and one as an extra tackle.

"Guards have to play on both sides, especially young ones," Shurmur added. "That's part of a guard, learning it the right way; [Hernandez is] going to have to take reps on both sides."
Left or right, he will be in front of Barkley, whether they are on the field or in the lunch line.  

"Yeah, you see I just try to tell him to follow me wherever I go," said Hernandez, who first met Barkley at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I'll wait for him to get his food and then he'll walk behind me. Yeah, I'm trying to get used to it."

So what if anyone, a reporter perhaps, wanted to talk to Barkley? "He would have to talk to you behind me," Hernandez said. "Yeah, just walk across."

4. LAULETTA IN SAME BOAT WITH DAVIS

The Giants have now drafted back-to-back Senior Bowl MVPs, both quarterbacks. Richmond's Kyle Lauletta picked up the honor this past January in Mobile, Alabama, before being drafted in the fourth round a few weeks ago. Under a different regime, the Giants selected Cal's Davis Webb in the third round the year before. Now they are in the same line behind two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

"I mean, I'm always going to try to compete and try to perform as best I can," Lauletta said. "I don't really see it like [a competition with Webb to be the backup], and I don't think Davis does either. Like I said, we're all in this together, we're all in the same boat learning a new offense, so we'll definitely be close and be friends and help each other out as best as we can. Just try to help each other grow and try to develop, so as far as who's the backup and stuff, of course, both of us are going to compete and both of us are going to try to earn that spot, but that's so far ahead in the future I just don't think it's worth even thinking about right now."

SAQUON: I'M MORE THAN A RUNNING BACK

From now until long after the players are retired, the 2018 draft class will be dissected, including where Barkley went in the draft. That just comes with the territory of being the highest running back selected since Reggie Bush in 2006.

"[I'm] more than a running back, completely more than a running back," Barkley said. "That is why when people try and put the 'why should a running back go that high?' Obviously, you look at the past three years and the position of the running backs and what the Zeke's and the Le'Veon's have been able to do, they are more than a running back. I look at myself as more than a running back.

"I am not a guy that just lines up in the back field and is going to bang his head, bang his head, bang his head. I am a guy that is willing to do anything for his team. Whether it be a kick returner or a punt returner, running down on kickoffs, lining up in the slot, running a dummy play or a fake play, whatever it takes. I want to be an athlete, not just a running back. Obviously, I play the running back position but I want to be an all-around guy and an all-around player."

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