Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: Morning. How's everybody doing? Good. Hope you guys had a good Sunday. Got a big week ahead of us. Starting today, we're in full pads and going to be working some normal situations. Heavy emphasis on run game today. So, with that, I'll open it up.
Q: What do you look for specifically when you go to full pads?
A: It's all about fundamentals right now: leverage, hand placement, ability to separate when you're getting grabbed and held. We're allowing more things at practice: picks and twists up front, power rushes, attacking the defensive linemen when they jump up in the… Different things we're allowing. So, this is where the game is played. But today we're looking for good energy. We place, I'd say, rules on practice. We're not bringing them down to the ground. We got to take care of our guys. But want to be physical. Want to be in good position. Play with good leverage. Play aggressive. Move the line of scrimmage. Stop the line of scrimmage.
Q: Do you ever tackle to the ground in practice?
A: We may. We may with our twos and threes at one point here. Probably maybe in a week we have it scheduled out for that. But we'll see as we go if we need it.
Q: Brian, do you sense that the players are chomping at the bit to get the pads on?
A: Yeah, this game is – the offensive and the defensive line it's important position on our team. And we got to get those guys ready to go and learn how to play with our pads on. Quarterbacks throw a little bit differently with the pads. And they're excited. But you've always got to try to talk to them about their expectations and the things we can do and can't do. We only got a certain amount of guys on our team. We want to keep them as healthy as we can.
Q: Will (Guard) Jon Feliciano be back today?
A: He will not. Day or two away. But he'll be here this week.
Q: Is this still just like a heat sort of thing?
A: He's working through some things. So, he'll be hopefully tomorrow. But maybe the next day.
Q: Is his treatment just intravenous stuff?
A: Yeah, he's taking care of himself. They're working with him. He'll be okay.
Q: You gave (Guard) Shane (Lemieux) a couple of looks at center the other day. How did that go?
A: Yeah, good. It's a start. We want to try to create position flexibility for our front guys. And obviously with Jon out, you know with (Guard) Ben (Bredeson) and (Guard) Jamil (Douglas), we wanted to add Lemieux inside and get (Guard Joshua) Ezeudu some work inside there with the ones against (Defensive End) Leo (Williams) and (Defensive Tackle) Dexter (Lawrence) and guys like that. He did a good job. We'll work with him in there today as well.
Q: Is that something you see as a potential long-term migration for him?
A: I haven't gone down that road far enough. I just think position flexibility is so important, whether it's for Marcus (McKethan) at guard and tackle. For Jon (Feliciano) at guard and tackle. The more you can do up front, the better off it is for the player. The more opportunities they get.
Q: Coach, are you sensing some of the guys that missed some of the spring practices are maybe pressing a little bit too hard early on to try to catch up and maybe impress?
A: No. Again, it's just physical, mental. Physical reps where you have to do it over and over and over again, and you get different things. It's different than watching it on the screen or talking about it. I think it's good for those guys. I don't think they're pressing. I just think it's early for them.
Q: Coach, we're used to seeing a lot of 7-on-7 this time of the year. I don't recall really seeing that very much so far from you guys. Is there a reason you've been staying away from it?
A: Yeah, we've worked a lot of 7-on-7 in the spring. I like the quarterback to feel the people around him. There's a time and a place for it. In some of those spots instead of 7-on-7, we've worked individual technique whether it's 1-on-1, 2-on-2s, 3-on-3s. Today, it'll be a lot of 1-on-1 work toward the end of individual. But I think it's important for a quarterback to feel the people around him up front in particular.
Q: Brian, when you say that – obviously calling plays dead for what would've been a sack – is there a line between like you still want (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) to get rid of the ball to avoid getting sacked or letting him play though?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. You want to try to mentally in your head when you're playing quarterback play the game as best you can. Get the ball out when you need to get the ball out. But there's other times when I'll tell him, 'Look. Hold onto it and spin it.' Let's see how it looks downfield. Again, you're evaluating your roster too during training camp. So, you want to see a defense back – how is he going to be in the deep part of the field? Throw a bunch of gos on some corners, see how they react to it. So, we're trying to do everything for a reason. And some of that is evaluation purposes too.
Q: Coach, is developing position flexibility in the offensive line one of the bigger challenges of the pros than it is in college?
A: Yeah, I don't know. Could be. When I was at 'Bama, we did the same thing. But that's how (Head) Coach (Nick) Saban wanted to cross train guys and things like hat. I just think it's important. You only get so many guys to go with. We do the same thing with receivers or secondary guys. You learn the inside; you learn the outside. You learn the Z; you learn the X. There's injuries all the time. And people have to step up. I was just meeting with (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) KT this morning about position flex and saying, 'Hey, can I add another position for you? I'm moving you around to this spot. And do you feel comfortable with that? Or is it too much and it will make you play slow?' So, I think you talk to your players and the ones that can handle it, you try to do that with them.
Q: Brian, which KT?
A: The first KT. 89. (Linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux don't have KT yet. KT has got KT.
Q: It looked like you pulled back a little bit on 89 on Saturday...
A: Yeah, that was part of the plan relative to him coming through spring, and he had a good few days. So do some individual work. But he's fine.
Q: What did he say when you said, 'Can I add a little something for you?'
A: He said, 'Oh, yeah.' And he had that big smile.
Q: Now, are the players honest with you? Sometimes, they say what you want to hear. If you're saying, 'Listen, I think this would be good for you.' And they're like, 'Nah, I'm not ready for that.' …
A: I think that goes back to the relationship part of the business. You want them to tell you the truth. It's like quarterbacks. You know, 'Daniel, do you like this play?' 'Yeah, it's great.' And then two months later it's like, 'I didn't really like that play.' Because he got more comfortable with you. We're trying to fast track that with the players. They're the ones that are out there playing the game. And I want to be able to be able to do things – whether it's on the kicking game, defense, offense – that the guys feel comfortable with. And if they don't feel comfortable with it, give it a chance out here and let's see how it looks after maybe two, three, four times, if it doesn't look good, throw it out and work on something else.
Q: Do you have less flexibility with regard to a (Wide) receiver like Kenny (Golladay)?
A: No, KG's… I would say (Wide Receivers Coach Mike) Groh has done a good job with these guys. They have a lot to learn. The receivers in our system, I'd say, have a lot to learn. A lot of different positions to play. And I just think that early on in camp when you're thinking a little bit, there's a lot of things going through your head. And maybe you don't play as fast. I'm not talking about KG in particular. I'm just talking about receivers in general with the way we do things. And then, that's why we'll give it another week or two, and things will settle down a little bit. But it helps them learn the whole concept of the play as well, which is important when you're playing against zone teams with spacing. Where to be. How to be there. You're always getting looks at different mismatches when you put KT in the slot and you're looking at (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes), then you put him outside. You're trying to get an evaluation of your team right now, too, to make good judgement on that.
Q: Brian, what type of feedback have you gotten from your players about the Guardian Caps?
A: None. Yeah, they've all – they've worn them. We've been out there, and we haven't had any discussions about them.
Q: How have you seen the rookie class embrace expectations about playing and what's going to being expected of them?
A: They've done a nice job. There's a lot to learn as a rookie. We've talked about this in spring. Just where to go, what to do, expectations off the field. (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I have communicated with them several times about expectations, foundational pieces for us. You know, this is our first class that we drafted. They've all done a nice job relative to things off the field, how we want to approach things and then taking care of themselves, learning from some veterans. And they've done a nice job on the practice field competing. Got a long way to go, but I've been pleased with how those guys – all of them – have done. And (Director of Player Engagement) Ashley Lynn has done a really good job with our rookie developmental program. We've got to keep grinding. It's a long season.
Q: What do you think about the fact that you have a chance to probably have five rookies playing almost starting type roles? That's a lot.
A: Yeah, I'm not that far ahead. I just – we'll play the best guys, whoever that is. Whether they're drafted in the first round, whether they're a 10-year veteran. We're going to try to put the best guys out there. And if it's five rookies, if it's 10 rookies, when you're a coach, and you're a position coach, too, the veterans on the team have more experience. They know what to do. You feel comfortable with them. And the older I get, the rookies that maybe don't know as much about what to do but have some really good talent, you're going to have to live through some growing pains with them when you're developing them to get them to where you want to get to. But we're going to play the best guys that we think give us a chance to win, whether it's, again, rookie, 10-year veteran, first round pick, free agent. That's just how we're going to approach it.
Q: How fine a line is it between a guy having fun out there and doing something stupid? Like (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) runs for a touchdown, dunks over the crossbar and everyone goes, 'Ooh' and 'Ah'. And I'm sitting there going, 'And if he tore his Achilles or.'
Q: He got a flag too.
A: Yeah, you hope they don't get hurt. But they got good juice out there right now. You better not have jinxed us now.
Q. Does (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) coming on do anything for a defensive back? Better for you guys too?
A: I mean it's just football. I don't know, it's just always different when the pads are on rather than when you are just going in jerseys. Especially for us as DB's (defensive backs), just more surface area for us to hit and play with. It's like you are playing a game and you finally get that first pop. Then it's like ok, you feel good, you get feet wet type of thing. So, it's always nice to pad the pads on and get a little thump.
Q. The defense seems ahead of the offense here. Do you take anything away from that?
A: We are all just taking it a day at a time. Just trying to gain our strides when we can. So, for us it's not about yesterday or tomorrow it's just about today to see what we did wrong. Although things make look well there are always corrections. Wink always says, nothing is as good as it seems, nothing is as bad but in the middle lies reality. So, for us, it's just trying to figure out where we can improve each day.
Q. What do you see from (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson?
A: I have been liking A-Rob since I met him. I know when I came and signed here, then we drafted him, I just looked up his highlight tapes. I liked what I had seen from him and been liking him ever since. He works hard, he's a guy that just goes out there and does what he has to do. I just appreciate A-Rob and his competitiveness.
Q. What do you think about a safety calling plays?
A: As long as I get the call, I don't really care too much who calls the plays.
Q: Is it unique now?
A: It's different from everything. Whether it was in college or in the (National Football) league.
Q: You're saying you've always had a linebacker calling plays?
A: I've always had a linebacker making calls. It's cool to have a DB representing us and being able to make the call. I like it, they get it out to us, and it's just good for us because we are always communicating anyway with each other, as are the linebackers. It's just nice having somebody in our room, knowing how (Safety) he (Xavier McKinney) talks or knows what he is saying. We can just give him eye contact or look to figure out what's going on and being able to give us different signals to help us out.
Q. How much does that affect you guys? Having a defensive back's perspective calling plays?
A: We all meet together. So, at the end of the day, we all come in and get those extra reps in to try and figure out how we see things. I think that's the beauty of us coming together and being a collective and a whole. Just trying to make sure we are all on the same page at the same time.
Q. What kind of opportunity does this create for you being the number one cornerback on the team and being able to shut down number one receivers every week? As far as raising your profile, Pro Bowls, and your next contract.
A: I feel like every year is always an opportunity of a lifetime. I feel like it's just the same thing for all of us out there. We always get an opportunity to present ourselves and play for one of the greatest organizations in the league. I think we just take it as a blessing and understand that we can be doing a lot of different things, but the Lord brought us here to be able play ball and we just want to go and do that for Him.
Q. What have you learned about (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes)?
A: It's crazy, I've known Darnay since I was in high school. Even when we got to SC (University of Southern California) he was supposed to come there, but he went across town, which I don't blame him. I've learned that he is just a good dude. A good genuine dude and a good wholesome guy. Goes out there and sticks to the script, no matter what may happen his faith never waivers. He just goes out there and competes man. I can respect that. I just appreciate him a lot, the way he works and comes in every day.
Q. Can you talk about his physical skills as a corner?
A: I mean you all see it. He is out there doing his thing. Like I said, every day it's not like he is worried about the past or the present. He is just trying to focus on the day by day and getting better. That's what we preach. If you ever hear him talk or ever hear him speak, you know how he carries himself you can tell that's a smart intelligent man. He goes out there and carries it the right way on the field and off.
Q. Have you seen growth in his game?
A: I've seen growth in him as a person and that displays in his game. So, I get to see him coming into his own and just doing his thing. Doing what he loves to do, probably what he has been doing since he was in Calabasas High School. It's just cool seeing somebody from the whole journey perspective. I've known him since I was 17, 16, and I'm about to be 27. It's like 10 years of knowing him and getting to see him at the highest level being able to play and compete, it's just awesome to see.
Q. Do you guys have any competitions in the DB room? Like whom is going to make the most picks during camp because he is in the lead so far.
A: Yeah, he is kicking our butts. I think our competition is who is going to be the best DB out of the day. It's just like a me versus me mentality but at the same time we know we are competing with each other. I think that's the best thing about having that competition with these types of guys. It's going to hold each other accountable. If I'm not doing something right, they can tell me or vice versa. Then us competing like, "who can make the most plays by the end of the day?" it's not like we are jealous or envious. If you see somebody make a play, we are out there running and celebrating with him because we know that it's going to bring energy to everybody. It's just cool having that competition in the room.
Q: Does this year feel a little strange with (Cornerback) James (Bradberry) and with you being one of the older guys now, do other guys come up to you and try to pick your brain all the time?
A: Yeah, they do. The crazy thing is I remember when we were playing (Hip-Hop Artist) 50 Cent in the locker room and (Running Back Jashuan) Corbin, and I asked him, "do you know who this is?", he thought it was west coast song. I said, "nah this is 50 Cent" and I think the song was Many Men or In Da Club, it was one of the old 50 Cent songs. I asked him what year he was born, and he said, "2001". It was shocking because the song came out when I was three. I remember when it was 2001, I was in the first grade, and I remember wanting to be like 50 Cent. I had the video games, the tank top, and everything. So, it was crazy that he didn't know who that was. I think that's the strangest thing. I mean I came in and they thought I was super young and now that the roles reversed, I'm not old but in the middle, and they are super young like 20, 21. It's crazy just to see the difference in the age gap.
Q: How is it possible that you only have three picks in your career? You are a guy who I feel like you are always around the ball, in college you had the ball. What do you chalk that up to?
A: I don't know. I can't even explain that. I'm just glad I at least got three. I am fortunate enough to have that. I want to get more but, when opportunities come your way and they present themselves I just have to make the most of them. That's where it lies, just the opportunities. If I have my hands on the ball, I just make that thing come down with it. I have to do a better job at that, and we'll do a better job at that.
Q: Can you pitch any better than 50 Cent?
A: For sure. You've seen (Outside Linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux. He gave him a shout out when he threw, he said, "At least I threw better than 50". For sure I can throw a little bit better than that.
Q: How do you feel like training camp is going so far?
A: It's going good, a lot of excitement out there.
Q: What's different for you with the whole offense and coaching staff?
A: First off, the offense is totally different. A lot of moving parts, as you can see. (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Coach is putting people in different positions at all times, keeping the defense guessing. (It's) very receiver friendly. Now, we are just working on getting on the same page as far as receivers, running backs and then (Quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ. Right now, we are having fun out there.
Q: What makes the offense receiver friendly?
A: It just gives you a lot of freedom. You don't have to be so cookie-cutter or do what's on the paper. You can go out there and kind of make the route your own.
Q: When you are making the route your own, how do you ensure the timing of it?
A: That kind of just goes back to being on the same page as DJ, talking to him, going over during film sessions and really just taking what the defense gives you. As long as you're on the same page and you see the exact same thing that DJ sees and feels, then it should time out perfectly.
Q: You guys never really got on that same page last year. What makes you think it's going to happen this year?
A: Last year, there were a lot of injuries involved. I think this year is a little bit better as far as just the training staff, strength staff and then coaching staff taking care of our bodies and then us as players doing the right things on and off the field, and extremely well on the field.
Q: They always say perception is reality. In Detroit, you're a third-round pick, overachieving putting up huge numbers. Last year, you come here with a huge contract. Did the huge contract weigh on you at all? Were you trying to meet those expectations?
A: No, not at all. It was just a lot of different moving parts last year. It was last year.
Q: How much does the zero touchdowns bother you? When people bring you up, that's the easy thing people bring up.
A: It was disappointing, but like I said, a lot played a role in that.
Q: (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney didn't have one either. It's almost impossible to think of, that Kadarius didn't have one either – the two of you guys. Is that something you guys have talked about, getting off to a fast start this year?
A: Every offense wants to get off to a fast start but to be honest, we haven't even been talking about last year.
Q: How are you health wise?
A: I feel good. I'm in a good spot right now.
Q: Do you credit the strength staff and the coaches in the spring, and how they brought you along in the spring to how you feel right now?
A: Yeah, I would say the strength staff, training staff and then Dabs – I feel like they are putting together a good plan. They are really easing us into it, not so much easing into it as far as reps and everything, not trying to put everything on you right away.
Q: How much of that is preventative more than anything else? The fact that you were on the sidelines in the spring. Like, 'Okay, he probably could go out there but it's probably better off holding him back at this point'?
A: More so I think just being smart. It's a long season and then on top of that with training camp coming up, I guess they just wanted to make sure I was ready for training camp.
Q: Were you limited because of an injury from last year or was that something new that popped up?
A: We're not going to talk about all that.
Q: How has your relationship with Daniel Jones grown?
A: I feel like it was growing a lot last year and it's just continuing to grow, as it will. Throughout the years, I feel like it's going to grow more.
Q: Did you do anything differently this offseason training wise or anything like that?
A: I actually stayed up here the majority of the time, just with DJ.
Q: Are you a chip on the shoulder kind of guy? Are you a guy who feels like you were at the top of this league, led the league in touchdowns I think, a guy who feels like I have to prove I can get back to that level or are you not somebody who wears that chip on your shoulder?
A: I would say a chip on the shoulder. I'm not really trying to prove anything to you guys or anyone really. It's all about self-motivating myself and just being in competition with myself to be honest. Just going out there and doing what I know I'm capable of doing.
Q: You said you stayed up here and worked with Daniel. How much were you able to do? You were obviously going through some physical stuff at that time, what were you able to do and why was it important to do that?
A: That's just how much it means to me, to be honest. Just going in the training room doing little stuff, working out here as far as in the weight room and then just throwing with DJ. Of course, you take your time off during the week or during the weekend to go do your personal things as far as travel and everything, but I just made a point to myself that I wanted to be up here and just really focus on my body a little bit more.
Q: Did you want to be here or where Daniel was?
A: We had all talked about it, so we were pretty much here.
Q: Even with the new offense, do you feel all that extra time, all those extra reps paying off when you get out there in practice now?
A: Yeah, but there's a difference when it's me and DJ just throwing, and we are calling the play and then when we're out there during training camp practice and there is a defense in front of us and there's moving parts. It's a little bit different.
Q: How do you think the offense has looked?
A: I feel like it's good competition on both sides of the ball. I definitely like what we're doing. Today was the first day of pads. It was good to see the running game going a little bit – getting the ball to (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley). That's exciting.
Q: Is there somebody in a Brian Daboll offense that you feel like you are playing that spot? Whether it was in Buffalo, Miami or Kansas City?
A: No. I'm just my own player. I've got all the faith that Dabs is going to put me in the right position. When he puts me in the position, I've just got to make plays.
Q: All the presnap motions, (Wide Receiver) Wan'Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney running around do you almost feel like you're standing still when they motion?
A: No. I'm pretty sure the defenses in the league, they know I'm not going to get an end-around or a reverse or anything like that (laughs). Just stuff like that, it gets the defense thinking and gets people out of position. I like it. I don't have to do it at least, but I like it.
Q: Do you feel like all the moving around on offense makes you guys smarter football players off of the field as opposed to being stagnate to a certain amount?
A: I think it gives the credit to the coaches as far as getting your guy open and not just leaving them in one spot – moving around a little bit so now a defense has to react. I just give that credit to the coaches. To answer your question, you do have to really be in that playbook to know line up on this side just to lineup into this formation. There's a lot to it but once you get it down, it's fun.
Q: That goes even if you're not the guy in motion – you have to know what those guys are doing?
Q: What do you think about the overall wide receiver group and how explosive you are going to be?
A: I like it. You've got KT (Kadarius Toney), you have Wan'Dale, you have myself, you have some tight ends that are going to step up and make some plays for us, you've got Saquon coming out of the backfield, whenever (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep is ready to get back out there. I feel like we can do some things.
Giants Fan Fest returns to Metlife Stadium
Free and open to the public, the Giants Fan Fest will feature a Blue & White intrasquad scrimmage, autographs by Giants Legends, and a fireworks show.