Q: What happened to Jameel McClain out there?
A: He got a little stinger. So he's got to run through all the tests.
Q: What about Weston Richburg?
A: [Weston] Richburg has a little tendonitis and they decided to hold him out today.
Q: Tendonitis in what?
Q: How about Prince?
A: Prince [Amukamara] had a little strain in the groin area during one-on-one. So, naturally, he was out.
Q: Are you expecting Ereck Flowers back pretty soon?
A: Day to day. He's much improved. Whether they let him go tomorrow or not, I don't know. But he was much improved.
Q: What did you think of the padded practice, seemed like there was a lot of balls that hit the ground today, maybe today more than usual?
A: Balls hit the ground? Not necessarily, no. It was kind of sluggish, to be honest with you—as it usually is the first time in full pads. Their legs are covered etc. etc. But they have to learn how to handle that, and they will.
Q: Without the benefit of seeing the film, how do you think your offensive line held up?
A: I'm sure there was some good and some bad. To be honest with you, there were better runs than there were anything else. I thought that was something, if you want to build on, that was pretty good.
Q: While you were fully padded, did you want to do some more runs?
A: Well, we had an inside run drill, which we usually do fully padded. But otherwise it was blitz pickup and everything else. Nothing in particular to make it a run practice, if that's what you're asking.
Q: Do you feel like Jon Beason is under any restrictions?
A: Beason? Well, we're very aware and his snaps are controlled, and basically they're controlled by the number of people at the position. Obviously, if [Jameel] McClain is held out for any length of time, then that would affect the rotation.
Q: But you don't want to overwork him obviously.
A: Well, everybody has got to get ready to play, though. We keep talking about that, and you know what, we're taking every precaution—scientific precaution. Anything that has been discovered in our game by virtue of all the things we've looked at, we're doing it. So now we've got to go out on the field. When we're on the field, unfortunately, some things happen. I don't have any other explanation for you.
Q: We got screened at the end of practice, what was the game today? It looked like both teams lost because they all had to do pushups.
A: We took some receivers and DBs and challenged them to throw the football and hit the crossbar. It wasn't pretty. They all tried to kick field goals with the ball, and throw the ball up in the air. Take the ball and zing it. It was an eye-opener, let's put it that way. Not anywhere as competitive as the last thing we did.
Q: This seems to be an emphasis for you guys, though.
A: Compete. Find stuff to make them compete. Just compete. Just always something, in addition to the field, obviously.
Q: Your defensive tackles looked like they had a solid day. Do you think they had a good showing today?
A: I know they're working hard and they've improved their technique. Our footwork seems to be better. I think both the ends and the tackles rushed the passer pretty well today. Like I said, some runs squirted through, but they certainly did okay.
Q: How much negotiating goes on between you and Marvin Lewis as you get closer to these practices with the Bengals?
A: We set this up in the spring. It's been set. Practice schedule is set, everything is set. I'm sure there will be maybe one more phone call, but most of it has all been done.
Q: How limited or how much contact are those practices going to have?
A: Just practice.
A: Pads one day, uppers the next—yeah.
Q: With the game officials here, did they tell you there's going to be any extra emphasis on any part of the rules this year?
A: Well, they always stress whatever the new rules are and whatever the points of emphasis are. So, John (Parry) is prepared to speak about that as we've heard in the spring when the officiating crew is by. I'm sure we'll continue to hear.
Q: Mike Sullivan thinks that Eli's arm has looked as live as it has at any point that he's seen. Would you agree with that assessment?
A: Yeah, it was that way in the spring, too. I think there was a lot of grinding on the part of the receivers today. Then, perhaps, the idea that in some occasions they weren't where they were supposed to be kind of nullified some of the balls going downfield today. But, no question about his arm.
Q: With the more direct approach instead of the lob approach, could you have hit the crossbar?
A: I may have wanted to move it up.
Q: It was the crossbar not the upright?
A: It started out being the crossbar. The upright? Are you kidding? If we put a limit on it, we'd be out here all night.
Q: It looked like they were going for the upright.
A: It's the way they were throwing the ball. I thought it was a rainbow.
Q: Cruz said last week about getting the pads on, it was going to be another step. Was this another rung in the ladder for him?
A: Yeah, I think he really got acclimated probably further than he expected, just in uppers. He went down a couple times with piles and that kind of thing. But I'm sure just handling the pads today.
Q: So nothing you saw today?
A: I didn't see anything that way, no. Not at all.
Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride**
Q: What have you seen in Larry Donnell this year as opposed to last year?
A: He's coming along, as far as just getting healthy again. As far as football is concerned, it's his commitment to focusing on the techniques in blocking—that's really improved. What we need to get him to do is really get back to where he was running routes. He's not quite there yet, but he's working towards it and he's done a nice job with the workload we've given him.
Q: Because of the Achilles?
Q: Do you have a handle on what he is and what he can be?
A: I think he can be a pretty special player, but there's a lot of improving that is going to have to take place in order for him to be that special player. The good thing is, he's working towards it, and he's starting to understand that he could be a pretty special guy as well.
Q: When you say special, in what way? A big time pass catcher or an overall player?
A: A big-time pass catcher, number one. I think we all saw the ability there last year. But also, not only be serviceable in the run game, but could be a very good run blocker in what we're asking him to do.
Q: After the Washington game did his injury slow him down?
A: I think so. I think the wear and tear of the full season—it's the first time he's ever had to go through something like that. Even in college, he was a quarterback to start off and then became a tight end. College seasons are much shorter than the professional NFL year, so through the course of the year and the wear and tear, and the banging day in, day out that he took, did slow him down through the course of the season.
Q: What has Jerome Cunningham shown you?
A: He shows that he can be an explosive pass catcher and route running receiver from the tight end position. What's been not necessarily surprising, but exciting, is watching him run block and watch how intense he is about it, and how he likes to finish blocks and move defenders off the ball.
Q: Larry had some great highlights but also some lowlights—dropping the ball, losing it. Is controlling his body an issue?
A: I think that's a big, big part of it. I always reference back to the fact that he hadn't played much football, and hadn't played the position very long. So the more he does it, the better he's going to be. It's been a huge emphasis on our part—having him carry the football the proper way. Knowing how to protect himself when he has the football in his hands and he's carrying it and running with it. There's little things like every time he was on the sideline or came out of practice—he's having a ball tossed to him and he's holding it with the tip high every now and then as I'm telling the rest of the guys the plays, I'm trying to knock it out. Just little things to have him remember that it is the most important thing—to hold it properly. That's the way you protect it the best, by focusing on it and focusing on doing it right.
Q: He got knocked head over heels a lot?
A: Often, when he would almost straighten his legs and at the waist. That's something that also we've talked about. He's got two options: he can lower his shoulder and run over the man—and that means you're bending your legs, bending your knees or you can jump over him. It's one of the two. No matter what you do, you have to protect the football. The tip of the football can never be here [down]—it's not protected, it's not secure, it's not strong. It has to be high.
Q: How big of a surprise was Daniel Fells last year? He seemed to be an extra guy but he made a lot of big receptions.
A: He did, he made a lot of good plays. Again, I wouldn't say it was a surprise because you know what you're getting with Daniel. You know he's going to be a consistent player, a consistent person, and a great leader in that room—being a veteran and having those guys to help them come along. Daniel makes the plays that are there to be made and then he impressed you every now and then by making one that you don't necessarily think he can make.
Q: Do you expect to have good matchups with your tight ends because of all the weapons you have in the receiving corps and running backs? Do you expect Donnell to have more favorable matchups?
A: Rather than have like a dime playing him, they have to worry about Shane [Vereen]. We'll see how it plays out, you never really know how you're going to get attacked by the defense. You prepare for all the different scenarios and you prepare based on what you see on film from the defense. That certainly could a scenario where because of all the weapons on the outside with Shane Vereen out of the backfield, with Rashad Jennings, that potentially you could get a good matchup at the tight end position. That's something that as coaches we study very, very hard to prepare for, but then through the course of the game, they can always switch up the matchups based on who they're being hurt by.
Q: It seems like this time last year Larry moved up out of the pack because of the work he had done in the offseason, is that fair?
A: Not necessarily, no. Last training camp we were working hard to figure out who was going to be the best player and what they can do. We've talked about that with you and I and this group. Each guy has a certain skillset, and we're going to try and find the things that they can do and put them in the football game to execute those things. If you can do something that's going to bring in value to our team, you're going to get in the game to do it.
Q: In terms of him specifically, he seemed like a good offseason guy for you. A guy who took coaching well and advanced quickly as a result of that. So he misses May and June, what does that do for his development?
A: Well, where it hurt his development was physically, not mentally. He did a great job of being very locked in, in the meetings and on the practice field when he was with us and wasn't rehabbing. He did a tremendous job of making sure he was locked into the play and getting mental reps.
Q: If he gets back to where he was, is he going to be the guy who takes the majority of the snaps like last year?
A: You would love to have even more guys. The more guys, the better, because the wear and the tear through the course of the season isn't as heavy—it's not as heavy of a workload for each guy. The more you can have, the better off you're going to be.
Q: Has Jerome done enough to play himself into a role yet?
A: Right now the evaluation process is going on with everybody. I think he's done some very good things, and he's done some things where he can improve. He certainly warrants a shot, as far as getting playing time in the preseason and then you see where it goes from there.
Q: You mentioned the advancements Larry is making as a blocker, what specifically do you see in what he's doing now better?
A: As far as the technique is concerned? Not dropping his inside knee when he's working with the offensive tackle. Trying to keep his elbows tight. Those are all very important things and really it comes from having confidence. When your hands go outside, it's because you think the guy is going to go around you. When you trust yourself to get your elbow tight and punch your hands inside, that means you're trusting what you see and that's a very important thing. It's an area he still needs to improve on, but he's getting there. He's getting there and he's working with it. He's making mistakes and learning from them rather than just reverting back to what he was doing before.
Q: There was a play when he was split outside on a run play, in terms of downfield blocking in the run game, is that something he's still working on?
A: It's something that we'll ask him to do certainly. It'll be a part of our package. That's one thing that you always work on, but that's not the major focus. The major focus is the in-line blocking that we need him to improve on. And he is, he's getting there, he's just not there yet.
Q: To have Mike Sullivan back, how excited is he and how excited are you to have him back?
A: I think he's very excited to be back. You'd have to ask him as far as any specifics. But I can comment on what itit is to have him back. I think the comradery and the synergy that you have as an offensive staff is incredibly important. Having him back is a big part of that. Getting him back in the fold and he really got back in the fold pretty quickly and got to know the guys that he hadn't known before. Re-established relationships and working relationships with guys he had before, so it's been a nice addition.
Q: So far good for it looks like, physically?
A: Yeah, it's going well. I'm just happy to get my feet back under me, be back out here working hard. Missed the heat, missed the battles. I'm happy for 9-on-7, actually it's a blessing for 9-on-7 today. I just want to get out there and get my nose bloody a little bit, and get back in the swing of things.
Q: It's been a while since that's happened.
A: Yeah, I miss it. When you're doing something you feel like you were born to do, I tend to get excited about that. It's tough, but I like it that way.
Q: Aren't you supposed to try and bloody someone else's nose?
A: Sometimes that's the cost of doing business. You know they say, "you look bad, but you should look at the other guy," right? It's a huge respect factor.
Q: At this stage of your career, how important are those padded practices now than they were some years ago?
A: Well, I miss that. With the new CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement], I understand taking care of guys' bodies. Everything has changed so much. But the two-a-days, pads every day, banging every day—helps you, because think about the brand of football that you see during preseason. It's sloppy. Then hopefully the teams that get it figured out, hopefully they come out Week One looking good. Blocking and tackling is always at a premium when you're trying to take care of guys. So you take advantage of these full-padded days because you know that's the game. On Sunday, there's no tagging off. So, we need to work our craft.
Q: You don't get to control how that CBA goes, but it sounds like you'd rather go back to the old school way.
A: Yeah. You know, football is tough. It's combative and we like it that way. I would prefer the old way as opposed to the new way, if I had my choice. You weed a lot of guys out, you know who's really down for the cause.
Q: There's a lot of players in this league now who don't even know that culture. Do you find that strange?
A: Not strange, it changed earlier. I think I was in college when there was no back-to-back two-a-days. Then, shortly thereafter—a couple years in the league, no two-a-days at all. I think it's essential, yeah it's a tough game and people get hurt, but that's part of it.
Q: Can you quantify how you feel how at the start of camp, maybe as good or better than the last how many years?
A: Several years, several years. This is the first year I've come in and not been injured or going through the process of going through rehab. I feel strong, I just need more reps, I need more contact. New system, obviously, with Coach Spags, so the more reps I get, the more time in it is going to help me.
Q: That goes back to Carolina, too, certainly?
A: Absolutely. It's the fifth [defensive] coordinator, but from a physical standpoint, back to Carolina.
Q: I don't know if you feel younger, but you feel healthier?
A: Yeah, I mean that's the one side that no one really looks at. The years that I was on IR [injured reserve], I don't have those years of pounding throughout the season. I should be fresher and be considered younger than I really am.
Q: I remember talking to you back at the Super Bowl when you said "I can't wait to get in the room with Spags and try to foster that relationship." Where is it right now and how much have you gotten the chance to be together?
A: It's coming along quite fast. He's a guy who loves ball all the time--he's nonstop. We get a chance to hang out during the special teams period, where I'm a little less involved as I would be—so we get a little one-on-one time. I knew going into it that his scheme was going to be very complex. A lot is on my shoulders and that's something that I'm trying to live up to the expectations. For him, they're through the roof, but obviously my own expectations. I have a lot on my shoulders and I'm looking forward to it.
Q: We saw you the other day working in the corner with Spags one-on-one. Were you going over technique or philosophy—communication?
A: He's such a great coach that if he sees anything that you can work on, he's always going to talk about it. Whether it's footwork—that's our theme throughout the whole defensive room, is footwork right now. And then we're on the tackling dummy. Obviously, we're going to have some guys come over and work the drill—but getting me over there, "Let's take advantage of this five, ten minutes that we have. Get you over here and let's talk about knock back and the way that I see you tackling as opposed to the way I see you tackling right now."
Q: Are you comfortable with people saying, "If Beason is healthy, they can be good. If Beason is not healthy, we don't think their defense can be good."
A: Well, that's the best kind of pressure. You know it's an opportunity to do something great—when people put a lot on you. Obviously I think I can do a lot. I think, when healthy, I think we're a better team, a better defense. The pressure of that, it pushes me—it drives me to do more.
Q: Do you expect to participate in the first preseason game?
A: I better, I don't want to get dressed for nothing.
Q: But you'll be there right?
A: Yeah, I'll be there. The first preseason game is always a series or two, you never know. Hopefully it just goes well, whether it's four plays or eight plays or whatever it is—you just want it to go well.
Q: When people suggest that you're injury prone or not going to make it, does that bother you?
A: No, football is injury prone. You know it's seriously out of your control—that's the most frustrating part about it. When people say that this happens to one guy more than not, there's been great players that never were. High school, college players that never were, due to injury. So, I'm blessed, I'm fortunate to have come this far, to have the time that I have, I enjoy it. Now, I just focus on being in the moment and enjoying the very next rep because I know that's all that is guaranteed.
Q: I know it's several practices away, but are you looking forward next week to Cincinnati and what that could mean for this team?
A: You know what, this isn't my first time scrimmaging against another team. I wish they were coming here. It's a little different—it's going to be more chippy because it's chippy at practice here. You see scuffles break out and it's your own teammates, so imagine if it's an opposing team. So you know, trying to keep a level head and not being too prideful, in terms of when a guy holds you or pushes you—the little extra stuff. Cincinnati is a chippy group, which is why we're going up against them. They're tough against the run and they run the ball extremely well. They've been in the playoffs the last four years, so it's a great opportunity to get an early gauge and get some live action. Because it'll be faster, it'll be more physical.
Q: Last year, one of the questions was about the Giants against the run, what are you guys doing to be better against the run?
A: First off, stopping the run always boils down to being accountable, being where you're supposed to be. Then, doing your job—we have a new saying: "plus." So, don't just be in your gap, make sure that you go out there, you do your job, but also want to make the play—want to be the guy who's going to stop a play on third down that's going to get us an extra possession and win the game. We're doing a lot in terms of swarming to the football. Guys running in the huddle just constantly, constantly trying to get in shape to play at a very, very fast and high level.
Q: Are you still thinking about the toe?
A: Seriously, I never feel it. So, when I get out there and play, I try to completely put it out and not think about the fact that I might have orthotics in or I have a plate in my shoe. Just play ball, and I feel fine, I feel natural and my feet—it's keeping up and it's coming along.
Q: You have orthotics?
A: Right, because it's preventive medicine, too.
Quarterbacks Coach Mike Sullivan**
Q: Last summer with Eli there was an emphasis on footwork. Is there something this year that there is an emphasis on mechanically or is it still the footwork?
A: It always starts with the footwork but I think it is just really having the reads, having the concepts become second nature and having that level of comfort and confidence that the player is going to be where we want them to be. That he is going to trust his feet, as we like to say, in terms of the timing of the system and nothing beats experience. There are no shortcuts, there is no way to kind of go around that and you've got a true professional like Eli who really buys into doing all the little things that really makes it easier to improve.
Q: What else can be done besides reps to get that done and to get that familiarity?
A: Certainty the reps out on the field and then the things that we can teach in the classroom. There is great dialogue that we have in our meeting room and certainly a guy with his experience and his background…and there is a couple of them in terms of being able to say anything [and] ask anything. Those quarterback meetings…Ben (McAdoo) is certainly heavily involved in those meetings and it's like another coaching meeting, so it is a lot of fun. Between the execution on the practice field, that preparation, what we do in the meeting room and then him taking care of his body, which he has done a tremendous job, of I think that we will be ready to go.
Q: How is your comfort level with the offense and is it odd that the guy you are trying to help and teach knows more of it than you do?
A: It has been exhilarating. I just can't say enough about working with Ben McAdoo, what a detail-oriented, great teacher, very comfortable relationship and it is exciting. There [are] so many concepts about this scheme and I think Eli has really bought in and it has been a lot of fun to work with him. We didn't really have to break through any of those barriers as far as establishing who we are and what we are about. We have a little history together so that has made it a lot easier so it has been a lot of fun.
Q: Does he have more options now? You look around at the talent level. Are his choices greater?
A: I think there [are] a lot of players that we are counting on. You look at certainly the receivers; Victor Cruz who is coming back and looking strong, Odell Beckham and Larry Donnell and so many of the players and younger guys, the addition of Shane Vereen out of the backfield. [It is] definitely nice to have those so he has been trying to spread the ball around and work on different reads, if you will, and that is certainly [a good thing].
Q: What have you seen from Ryan Nassib so far?
A: I think Ryan is a very, very hard worker [and] very competitive. I mean he is a gym rat, excellent…you talk about knowledge of the system, that guy, he is as sharp as a tack. He is someone from a mobility standpoint, the ability to extend plays and if he has to scramble, he has that as an asset and he is getting better [with] some of the things with his release and vantage point and tightening that up and getting the ball out of his hands faster. He has been doing that, so we have been very pleased working with him and I am excited to see what he does here in the preseason.
Q: Is that the emphasis with him? Getting the ball out faster?
A: I think there is a ton of areas of emphasis and he still has to get the, "Be ready to go at a moments notice." That is the mindset and that is the way he prepares, which is great. He is not in the mode of, 'Oh my gosh, I'm in grad school.' He prepares as though he is going to be called upon and takes it up [notch] in that regard. I think that whether it is footwork or tightening up his release or any little, tiny thing, he is looking to improve everything, so I wouldn't just limit it to that one area. He is looking to get better in all areas.
Q: You guys always had a veteran behind Eli during your first time here. I know this is a new look at Ryan but do you have any sense of whether if anything happened to Eli he could step in and get the job done for a little while?
A: Yeah, you know you are always hoping that your backup quarterback, if called upon, is ready to win, is ready to go ahead and do the things that are going to help you be successful, and certainly he is the backup quarterback for a reason because there are certain things he might not be able to do. [However], certainly from the standpoint of a person who would be competitive, who would be prepared, would work very hard and give everything he has, we have great confidence that he will continue to develop and be ready to go if he is called upon?
Q: How has being an offensive coordinator made you a better coach?
A: You know, it is interesting to see when you have the perspective of the entire operation: the run game, the pass game, the protections. I certainly can appreciate the responsibility and the pressure that Ben is under and having gone through that, I kind of try and find different areas and ways to make his job easier, to try to have a perspective of some of the bigger picture things, of lessons I learned and mistakes that I made, things that worked well and just to focus on what can I do, especially from the quarterback's standpoint, to help him to be at his best so it helps the rest of the offense flow smoothly.
Q: With Tom Coughin, it always comes up every year whether the game has passed him by or if he is up with the latest things. How have you seen him evolve as a coach and keep up with the times and what is your opinion about that?
A: I think Coach Coughlin certainly has core values, he is a man of great integrity and honor and the way his style of football…the discipline, the belief in team above self that has not changed. He has in a lot of ways tried to do various thing to…whether it is the music we've got at stretch or just some of the various things behind the scenes that I don't necessarily want to get into, but he has definitely been on the cutting edge and you look at just the openness of having the veteran quarterback and now with the new system and all that is going on there, I think he is always looking to evolve and grow. It stresses to us as coaches that the day you stop learning, the day you are so set in your ways, is the day that it is time to move on, so he has been very energized and it has just been a thrill for me to be back.
Q: Did you ever you think six or eight years ago that you would see a Giants practice with Tom Coughlin with music on the field and big guys catching punts?
A: It has been great and there is more to come. We have a few more things in store, so it should be a lot of fun.
Q: What about your year as a consultant. Was that sort of a year off?
A: It was an opportunity, first and foremost, to reconnect with my family and spend more time with my daughters, and I spent the time to work with Derek Carr to help get him ready for the draft, which was a lot of fun. Of course, David's younger brother, went out to California and helped train him and work out with him and I was pleased with the progress he has made and wish him well as long as we don't play him. I did some online work and that just gave me a chance really to take a step back and without all the pressure, to see the games it is just amazing. There is so many…when you take that vantage point, you can see some of the mistakes that are made and of course you fill the spiral notebook with ideas and it is not necessarily X's and O's as much as just ideas and thoughts of how you can be better prepared should you get another opportunity. I feel very fortunate to have a chance to be back and not just back but to come back home with big blue.
Q: Do you still have that book?
A: Oh, yes. My manifesto, my lessons learned and that type of thing.
Q: The goal for Eli last year was 70% completion rate, which he hasn't really backed off when you ask him about it. Is that just something that is put out there as something to shoot for or is that an attainable goal?
A: Eli has always been very goal oriented. He has always been someone that has had high expectations for himself and I would say this, he is certainly going to do everything and has been and will continue to do everything possible to achieve those goals that are going to help us win. I think that it comes down to however many passes we need to win, that is what we are going to want to complete. However many big plays or touchdowns or adjustments in the run game or protections or whatever needs to be done, he is going to do. I don't know if there is any set number or those certain indicators that help you win. We all know that if you protect the football, if you are able to have a certain amount of yards you are able to rush for or efficiency on third down or red zone or QB rating, those are all objectives but ultimately it just comes down to winning and I think that is all that really Eli cares about. In fact, I know that is all he cares about.
Q: How much does this offense make it reasonable to think that number can be realistically attainable?
A: I think there are components of the offense where we are looking for completions and trying to get the ball out of his hands and if there is a completion there, we are going to take it. Heck, when you've got a guy like Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Shane Vereen and some of these guys that can do a lot of damage…a 70-yard gain is a 70-yard gain whether the ball is in the air for 50 or one yard and we had a great run, so whatever it takes.
Q: Will you be able to go today?
A: Not today, we're just going day-by-day. It's getting better.
Q: What is it that's still bothering you? What do you have to do to get it better?
A: Hip flexor. Really, just the treatment. When it first happened, I wasn't able to lift it, but now I can lift it up. So, it's getting better, I should be practicing soon.
Q: Coach said it happened a couple days before, so you practiced with it a little bit?
A: Actually, it happened the day before, but I just fought through it. Then the next day I did it again, I guess it got a little worse. I had to start getting treatment.
Q: Have you ever dealt with anything like this before?
Q: Does that concern you, it's kind of a new thing you're going through?
A: No, I mean I've never been hurt. One time I came back in a week and a half after surgery. I usually heal pretty fast and do pretty well, so I'll definitely be out there really soon.
Q: Do you find that you're still able to advance taking the mental reps or do you lose something not being out there?
A: You know, just not being out there, when you're out there, you're actually getting better at it than being off not getting the reps. I wouldn't even think of it like that. Once I get back out there, I'm going back to work and getting to where I want to be.
Q: How did you think your first couple days went?
A: I think they went pretty well, pretty well.
Q: What were you working on specifically?
A: Hand placement, my hand placement has gotten a lot better. Just overall technique.
Q: This is obviously a big day with full pads for the linemen. Is it disappointing to be missing?
A: Yeah, definitely disappointing. Any practice you miss, it's disappointing.
Q: You think it's going to be difficult for you to play in the first preseason game?
A: No, I should be fine by then.
Q: You think so?
Q: That would be disappointing, I'm sure.
Q: Who have you been leaning on to help you out here?
A: The whole offensive line. Everybody has really just been coming together and helped. I've made huge progress—it's way different than when I came in for OTAs. Just made progress and looking to continue making more progress.
Q: Where do you see that progress? What part of it, in particular?
A: Just getting the plays down and getting better at certain techniques, certain blocks.
Q: Have you been able to talk to Will Beatty?
A: Yeah, I've talked to him.
Q: What advice has he given you?
A: It's just embracing the grind, keep grinding and it's going to get better. Things are going to slow down and stuff like that.
Q: Does he serve as a player/coach to you?
A: All the players help me. Even a second-year guy like [Weston] Richburg—he's helped me a tremendous amount. Everybody is just there and helping each other.
Q: What's it been like going up against some of the guys? Much more of a full speed than you've seen before.
A: It's good work, it's good work. Everybody here—it's a different level, everybody here is legit. And you get good work from anybody that they put out there, so it's going pretty good.
Q: Is the speed something you've seen before or is it a different level?
A: You know, it's good. I mean, it's not crazy like some people say. It's definitely even slowed down a little bit as I've been here.
DE George Selvie**
Q: Accounting for absence of DE Jason Pierre- Paul
A: You know a lot of us have to step up without Jason. He's a big part of the defense and so without him being here, everyone has to step up and do a better job of what they do. With that, we're just hoping for him to come back soon but until then, we just have to do our job.
Q: What kind of contact have you had with Pierre-Paul?
A: I talked to Jason. He's doing well, he is just trying to get healthy, so we're just waiting on him to get healthy and come back and join the team.
Q: Are you confident that Pierre-Paul will be here at some point this season or do you just not know?
A: You know, that's all up to him. That's out of my control. He has to feel like he's healthy again and when he's ready to come back, he'll be back.
Q: Are you a little disappointed? I know you were looking forward to playing with him.
A: He's going to be here, so we're just waiting for him to come back.
Q: As a defensive lineman, do you get excited about practicing in full pads?
A: Yeah, it's basically going to be the same thing as when we have on shorts, but we've got on the pads so we have to hit. So go out there and just get after it a little bit, and go out there and hit a little bit, and get physical.
Q: Did you think you would be back with the Dallas Cowboys?
A: Did I think I would be back with the Cowboys? Are you talking about during free agency? I was just going to go for the better decision for me. If it was with the Cowboys, if it was over there on the west coast or east coast, I just wanted to go with the best place I would fit.
Q: Why did feel like this was the best fit? Did Pierre-Paul tell you that one of the things you need to do was come here?
A: It was just being back with Spags (Steve Spagnuolo). I got drafted by Spags in St. Louis and just coming back here and being with Jason, and a great defensive line. I liked the defense. I thought it was a great opportunity for me here and that's why I decided to come here.
Q: How much of a change have you seen in Spags from St. Louis until now?
A: In St. Louis he was a head coach, so it was different. I see him as a defensive coordinator now. He's more hands on with us and stuff like that. It's great to have him teaching this defense the way he wants it to be taught.
Q: When you came here for a free agency visit, did the front office talk about your tryout?
A: We talked about it but it wasn't long. I don't want to remember that. I was going into my fourth year in a rookie minicamp, so that wasn't too great for me, but you know we talked about it for a little bit but that's in the past.
Q: That didn't seem like it was the highlight of your life.
A: Yeah, exactly.
Q: Is there an adjustment period when you come to New York?
A: The city is the city, that's off the field stuff, so it's just different for me. I'm from the south, so it's way different for me.
Q: You don't know the old school NFL with the two a days. As a young player who's trying to develop, do you wish the practices were more physical?
A: You know what, I think at some points you do. It would be extremely challenging from what I heard from some of the older guys who talked about how it was back before this CBA. I do think from a physical standpoint, I think it would be pretty beneficial to have those two-a-days, but we've got to play with the hand we're dealt. That makes it more important for us to go out in our single practices and get as much work in and as much progress in as we can.
Q: What's your anticipation for Cincinnati like?
A: I think it will be real physical, especially against their front seven. They're good players and it'll be good for us to see somebody other than guys we've been practicing against for a couple weeks. It'll be nice to actually change it up a little bit.
Q: Do you anticipate the whole intensity and chippiness to go up?
A: I'm sure the intensity will be ramped up quite a bit. That's all I've seen. We've never experienced it, but we've seen fights and stuff from other teams. It'll be physical, I'm sure, which we're excited about.
Q: Do you think you'll be an instigator or a peacemaker?
A: I'm going to play some football and that's my goal. Play football and get everything going with the offensive line.
Q: Will it be nice to go up against someone new?
A: It's always nice to go up against someone new. It'll be a good challenge to see somebody new like that.
Q: Has there been any talk about fights? The last time the Giants did a joint practice…
A: I heard it was with the Jets, so that might be a different story. I'm sure we'll address it somewhere in the near future, but nothing has been said as of yet.
Q: Have you had an opportunity to get to the next level and to block Beason?
A: Yeah, a lot of our outside zone stuff, I'm able to get up to the second level and block some athletes at the linebacker position.
Q: Just curious what you're seeing in Beason?
A: He's a very smart player. We're making a lot of checks and he's kind of able to pick up sometimes what we're doing. Sometimes we're able to trick him, but he's a great player. Very smart, very strong, very quick. You'd be surprised at his quickness. He's a very quick player—instinctive player and it's fun to play against someone that good.
Q: Does it help you?
A: Oh yeah. Anytime you're playing against the best, that's what you want. You want to play against the best players possible and Beason is one of them. That's good for me, it's good for all of us.
Q: It's not like a rookie or anything?
A: No, it's definitely not a rookie. He's established himself as one of the best in the game.