*Giants coach Ben McAdoo talks Training Camp changes: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Ben McAdoo today began his training camp-opening news conference with an unusually-revealing 546-word statement that was unlike almost anything he delivered in his first season as head coach. He ended it by telling the assembled reporters that he "appreciates everything you do for us and for this league and for this team," a conclusion he prefaced with, "before we open it up and I get to my normal guarded self."
But for McAdoo watchers, this was anything but customary. Here, in part, is what he said to the media:
"In our first team meeting we covered a variety of topics. First, I let them know how much I appreciated how they took care of their business in our 'prepcation.' We had six weeks, and we don't have to answer any questions about guys being on the ticker. We stayed off the ticker, we did a great job with that. It just shows that we have talented men of integrity in the program.
"We talked about the journey ahead before we focus on one day at a time. So we took a big picture look at the calendar and the schedule. Really, it's a schedule that we've all dreamed of; it's a great opportunity for us. I think we have maybe five weeks that run like a normal week, so we'll be all over the map. We have a lot of challenges and opportunities ahead and we're excited for it. We took into consideration a lot of things when looking at the calendar year – the whole year. We put a plan together with a fine-tooth comb for these guys and it's going to give us an advantage to play our best football and our best football is needed when the weather turns. We have more days off than we've had in the past, which is necessary. We have REM days, we have hydration and nutritional improvements, strength and conditioning, and practice loads. We're all going to be looking at - mental conditioning will be a big part of it. We're excited for the calendar year ahead.
"Then, we talked about dialing it back down and just focusing and taking things day to day from that perspective there. We did review our goal, we talked about it. We talked about the calendar years may flip, some faces may change, but our goal doesn't. Our goal stays the same and we like being that type of organization that chases our dreams that way. We talked about how we're going to get there, and that's really the big thing for us. Proving ourselves to ourselves, striking a balance between confidence and reality, and our youth and experience must gel – that's going to be important for us.
"And to hit home, we hit a poem "If" by Kipling, and Frasier the Lion was a story we told for our experienced players, our 26 year olds and above."
McAdoo touched on numerous subjects in his "unguarded" Q&A with reporters, including…
*He said all 90 players reported for the opening day of camp. The first practice is tomorrow.
*Running back Shaun Draughn, signed in the offseason, will begin camp on the physically unable to perform list because of an ankle injury.
*McAdoo said it's "too early to tell" what the strength of the roster is. "I think we'll find out here; Saturday the fifth (of August) will be a big practice for us. We'll have a chance to hit a lot of situational football with pads on. Get some one-on-ones and things like that in. I think we'll start to really learn a lot about ourselves then."
*On returning the same five starting offensive linemen from last season.
"We went out and did our homework on the draft class and the free agent class and we felt we can make the improvements we needed to make in-house," McAdoo said. "So we're confident in those guys and trust that they're going to do everything they need to do to put themselves in the best position to get better. We trust the coaching staff to improve and we're excited to get them going."
*On carrying over confidence from the 11-5 season in 2016 in a new year:
"It is a new year. That's part of the reality of it," McAdoo said. "We have a lot of guys in a lot of different situations and it's not like riding a bike. You have to prove yourself every day in this business, let alone year to year. There's a number of guys in our locker room that are on one-year deals. Whether it's players or coaches or whatever the case may be. I mean, we're all on a day to day deal. Someone else could be standing up here tomorrow if I go out and do something stupid today. That's just the nature of the business. So we all have to put our best foot forward and handle ourselves like pros and handle ourselves day to day."
*On why he chose to read "If" to the players:
"We have a youth group and an experienced group," McAdoo said. "We have players ranging from 21 years old to 36 years old. That's a big age difference. The good teams merge well and gel well and we need to do that. We need to understand what the other person's going through. Empathy is a big part of that and it really carries over as one of our values. A 36-year-old understanding what a 20-year-old is going through and a 20-year-old trying to understand what a 36-year-old is going through, and it's not easy."