Skip to main content
New York Giants Website

Giants News | New York Giants –

5 things we learned from media hour (8/6)

Before practice today, head coach Pat Shurmur, coaches and players spoke to the media. This is what you need to know from the pressers:

1. Manning and Odell rekindling the connection. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. are one of the most dangerous quarterback-wide receiver duos in the league, playing a big part in the success of the Giants. When Beckham Jr. went down last year, Manning lost his top target. Now fully healthy, Manning is getting back up to speed with his top wide out, even after practice.

"We missed a lot of time in the spring, just trying to get work on some routes where you might get to run it one time in routes versus air or run it one time during the course of practice," Manning said.

"We are imagining different coverages, different techniques, maybe I didn't work it to him on that side because of the coverage and you say, 'hey let's work now, I didn't get to throw it to you.' Just trying to get a few extra reps on things that we haven't gotten the opportunity to throw those routes in the course of that practice."

2. Defense is ready to be aggressive. Throughout the organizations history, the Giants have always had a strong defense. Now with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher at the helm on defense, the team will continue to have a strong defense.

"We are full speed ahead in terms of the process, both installation, how will we do what we

do more importantly than what the scheme is, how we work on a daily basis, how our meetings are, what the expectation is, jogging on and off the field, getting in and out of the huddle, breaking the huddle – all these little things, because the little things are the big things," Bettcher said.

"That's one thing that I really love about this group, is that they're building an identity and it's not like it's an identity of next year's team or last year's team or any other team, they're building their identity as of right now, and that is taking care of the details, being assignment-sound, having their eyes in the right place, communicating well pre-snap and post-snap, and I really like that about this group and the direction in regards to that stuff that we're doing."

Having an aggressive defense like Bettcher's also helps the offense get better according to Saquon Barkley.

"I think they're very aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. I think that that's definitely helped me as a rookie. But not only myself, the offense. Preparing for teams like that," Barkley said. "They disguise their schemes and their blitzes so well. Obviously, you got a talented, talented defensive core over there. Being able to watch them and practice against them and learn from them every day is not only helping them, but it's shaping me into a better player."

3. Eli is as healthy as can be. With the way that Eli Manning takes care of himself, you couldn't tell that he'll be entering his 15th year in the league. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula knows how well his quarterback takes care of himself.

"Eli does such a good job of taking care of himself physically, he starts in the offseason and just knows how to get his arm ready for the grind now, he's done a great job. Like you said, we've pushed the envelope a bit with his reps just because of the newness of what were doing, we want him feeling really good, not just about what he's doing but just getting him together with the guys that are going to be there on Sundays, the timing and all of the little adjustments that they're going to have to make," Shula said.

4. Saquon Barkley not looking like a rookie. Running back Saquon Barkley has been one of the most hyped rookies in recent Giants history and for good reason. Barkley has been impressing coaches and teammates all throughout camp.

"The thing that sticks out the most with him is his ability to be a total back. With everything we've asked him to do, he just looks really, really good," Shula said. "And that's hard to find in a lot of backs, as we know, in college, he wasn't just good at all those things, he was really good at all those things. That is kind of what were looking for - for him to pick up where he left off."

One thing that rookie backs struggle with is picking up blitzes. Head coach Pat Shurmur believes Barkley has been progressing well in terms of blitz recognition.

"He's done a very good job and because of our still of defense and pressure is in our DNA on defense and they're practicing it, he's getting a good opportunity to see lots of blitzes and lots of different types of blitzes. He's done a good job with that.

5. Offensive line questions starting to fade away. Going into the season, one concern for the team was the offensive line. Now after a couple of months of being together, the line has started to look good.

"I think they are doing a good job, like you said they are getting on the same page. The most important thing for that group is communication, and understanding what the defense is doing, for them to be able to pass things off," Manning said.

"Playing fast and playing as one in a sense but they are all working hard and they are all dialed in."