Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride
Q: Tom Coughlin has said a couple of times that it would be nice to find the next Victor Cruz. Do any of these guys have that kind of potential?**
A: I think they all bring a different element and different, basically, skill set. So if you're looking for the exact mold of Victor Cruz, everybody's a little bit different. But they all have something that's special that they can bring to the table. The book's still open on all these guys on as far as can they develop into one of those guys who can be an explosive playmaker, but they definitely have it in them.
Q: How much has Victor Cruz's reps and role changed since Hakeem Nick's injury?
A: We have specific things that we do with him. Typically they're on the field together, so they're doing opposite things. So his routes and his reps haven't adjusted as much as some of the other guys.
Q: How do you evaluate Ramses Barden, especially when he makes catches with defenders draped over him?
A: That's part of his skill set. That's part of what he can bring to the table. Yes, this is something that he can do that maybe a shorter guy, a small guy, a guy who doesn't body up a defender as well, that guy might not be able to do. He still has areas that he needs to improve on such as creating separation from defenders and things like that. He's working hard at that. He's doing a good job right now.
Q: Do you think because of Barden's injury last year that he never really got it going?
A: No. By time he was back on the field, I think he was full steam ahead.
A: He's a pretty bright kid. I wasn't in the room with him every day, coaching him every day like I am now. Coach Ryan could probably speak on that more than I could. But I think mentally he's sharp. I don't think mentally that took a toll on him.
Tight Ends Coach Mike PopeQ: You are working with a whole new cast of characters.A: Yeah.
Q: What's that like?A: I told them today that not only do they not know what they are doing, but I don't know what they are doing. I don't know what I'm doing. This is a crash course for guys that haven't had the opportunities that we have had in past years where we could meet with these guys. These new guidelines that we are working under really, really do make it difficult for us to transport the knowledge to these guys. And the fact that we are, by design, having to move along very rapidly, it is beginning to all run together for them. We are in our third day today and today was just not very characteristic of Giants football. We have to be much better than that as we move forward. And it is the mass of information that we are giving them – it is just beginning to become a mix for them. So it is hard to tell exactly whether they are capable of playing because they are not sure exactly what they are doing. And with just helmets on, you can't get very much technique work done. So it needs to be assignment work, but today our assignments were not very good. So we have many miles before we sleep.
Q: I know your draft choice, Adrien Robinson, is not here. But do you have high expectations for the JPP of tight ends?A: To be honest, I don't know enough about him yet. Because I didn't scout him and evaluate him as he was a player in college except on video tape. But I do think he is very, very talented. I think that part of the evaluation is…. But he is raw, as a lot of these young guys are, coming from not very much of a football background. So talent wise I think that we are right on with him. So I'm kind of encouraged going forward. I wish he was here now, because this is valuable time that he is missing. And these are almost irreplaceable. Jake Ballard went through the same thing when he first arrived here because Ohio State is on this same graduation system. And so he was set back. So we do have some prior experience with this – how difficult it is even for very young guys to come forward and to catch up with missing all of these practices.
Q: Do you communicate at all with him?A: Oh yes, yes. We talk almost on a daily basis. We try to provide as much information before he left as we legally could. But these are new rules and guidelines that we are operating under. So I can't go out there and work with him. If I could, I probably would have tried to have done that over the past weekend. Because in order for us to see if he is going to be able to help us this year coming up, he needs to catch up very rapidly. Because training camp will be here before we know it. We would like to think that is about the third revolution of them hearing these same things. For him it is going to be only the second – at best.
Q: Can he be here for the mini camp?A: He will be here for the vet mini camp, yes. I think he is free the eighth of June. I believe that is the last day of his class at Cincinnati.
Q: How is Martellus coming along?A: Other than the hamstring injury, he is making progress. He catches on. He is not a rookie player. He understands the transference of language from his former team to this team is always going to be a little difficult. But he is beginning to make those adjustments. He weighed in at 291 pounds last week. So I think that is probably a little too big for his legs to carry. We run a lot more than he might have been accustomed to. Plus we are in the middle of a weight program and the combination of those two things has caused him, especially, to have some problems with his hamstrings. He can't afford to miss time, either. Because he needs every possible rep he can take.
**Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann
Q: Seems like Keith Rivers can do a couple of things for you?**A: He's played multiple positions at Cincinnati. They sub-packaged him at the Mike. Their base package he's an outside linebacker. We'll pretty much do the same. Right now, he's learning the spot. It's very similar to what he did at Cincinnati. Little differences here and there.
Q: You had Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker. Is that job up for grabs or is that his job to lose?A: The good thing is that we have competition. The young guys are good, young players. Mark Herzlich is out there. Jake [Muasau], he's doing good. We're experimenting with Greg Jones on the outside and inside. We do have some good young players. It's good competition. Just keep competing and the best player will play.
Q: What prompted moving Greg Jones to outside linebacker?A: We're down a guy because Clint [Sintim] is not practicing. We need to put three out there, so the first three practices were Jake on the inside, the Mike, Jones on the outside, the Sam, and we'll switch here. We'll try a couple of different guys.
Q: What prompted the team to give a guy from a small program like Jake Muasau an opportunity?A: I know he came from a small program, but he probably should've played at a higher level of college ball. He's a big-body guy, very intelligent for a guy coming in trying out. He was able to come out and improve every day and understand the concepts and he has really good movement. When you have a guy like that that's a bonus… He's going to have a legitimate chance to make the team.
Q: He played a lot of outside linebacker in college…A:I think at his college he played outside, he was on the line of scrimmage. This is the first time he's been on top of the ball, and it's been natural for him. Sometimes that's a hard transition.