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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, S Xavier McKinney

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Daboll: A lot of good work out there. We'll see what happened with (Offensive Lineman) Marcus (McKethan), take a look at that tonight. Give you guys an update the next time I see you. Obviously, a lower body but we will see where it's at. A lot of good things, tried to put the guys in a lot of different situations. Certainly, a lot to clean up on.

A lot of good situational work. A lot of things to clean up on but for the first scrimmage tried to make it as game-like as we could. We only did one live period. But got a lot of reps with a lot of guys and go back look at the tape and fix what we've got to fix.

Q: Was (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) shaken up at the end?

A: Yeah, he just tightened up a little bit. I think it was more of a cramp than anything. He's fine.

Q: What went into picking which group was going to do the tackling?

A: It was really the threes with some of the younger players. They will probably play a lot in the preseason and I didn't want it to be the first time they see live contact on Thursday night. So, most of the younger guys that were in there. We did a series with that and everything else was kind of thud tempo.

Q: It looked like especially in the first drive (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) was brilliant. It seemed like the offense had trouble handling that. What do you make of that and how did they handle that second drive?

A: I thought both sides competed well. It's good to get a lot of work against pressure as an offensive unit. It tests your rules to make sure everybody is doing the right stuff. So, it was good. There was some good on offense, there was some good on defense. They had really around two drives, around 34 plays total. So, I wanted to try to stress those guys. I think one play was 15 and the other play was 19 or something like that for the first unit. Which was the plan going in. A little bit hot, a little bit humid. It's what we needed, we need more of it.

Q: Do you try to tell the defense to not anticipate. Do you see sometimes where they jump something because they know it's coming?

A: No, I say play with instinct and play with feeling. Go after it. If you see something, trust your eyes and try to make a play. Defensive football is reactive football. The guys who can react quickly and make good decisions, take chances when they need to take chances are usually the tough ones to go against. I like the way they compete, I like the way they jump stuff. Got to make sure it doesn't go over our head.

Q: Do you think Adoree' almost had a pick six on the first play or should have?

A: It was close, it was close. Yeah.

Q: What did you think of the decision making by the quarterbacks tonight?

A: It was pretty good. I'm sure there are a few plays that they'd like to have back but overall, they did a good job with what we were calling and trying to execute. Certainly, you have not just those guys, but I'd say as a team, a long way to go. That's why you do these things. It was good to get the fans out there. It was a great support. There was a little bit different energy. You get a little bit more tired than you do in practice just because you're a little bit more hyped. I thought it was exactly what we needed in terms of the tempo of practice, the amount of plays that we had. I just think we've got to keep on improving our conditioning.

Q: Does a night like this help in terms of evaluation or of your individual players when you see them in this type of setting?

A: Yeah, I think it's part of the evaluation process. Is it more important? Not really. There's a lot of practices that we have that are sort of similar to this except this is a little bit more amped up, like I said, with the fans. We try to evaluate everything. From our walk throughs doing the right stuff to the practices without pads. Obviously, the practice with pads in this competitive atmosphere is always a good time to evaluate. Then we have the preseason games. Is it more important? I wouldn't say it's more important but it's a good tool to use, definitely.

Q: You wanted to see improvement from Daniel? Did you see that today?

A: Yeah, I thought he operated well. Again, I'm sure there are plays he would've wanted back, but I thought he did a good job with his decision-making process. Made some good throws. But certainly a lot to work on.

Q: How would you assess where the offensive line is right now?

A: I think they're gelling. The first unit is coming together. Again, you'll get the truest test of an evaluation from the offensive line in live reps. Where you can bring a quarterback down, or you can bring a running back down. But I think the guys are communicating well, they are working together. We still got a long way to go, just like every position, but I think they are moving in the right direction.

Q: What do you make of a play like when Daniel ends up hitting (Wide Receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) for a big play early, but (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) came in and was untouched? How do you view that when you go back and evaluate?

A: It just depends on again – can Daniel move up? Again, could he bring him down? Could he not bring him down? Is there a fault in protection? Is there a missed hot? Is there a missight? I don't overreact on those type of things. We'll watch the tape and see what went wrong and what went right.

Q: Is there a time where you can make a note of it yourself and say like, 'Okay this is now a cause for concern?' Or is that only when you get, like you said, live reps in games?

A: I think the best evaluation will come when we play the game. Again, everything is important. But when you're actually bringing down guys and tackling and quarterbacks are live, that's when you get the best evaluation.

Q: What are your thoughts on the communication level from the secondary? Especially with the threes and a lot of young guys.

A: Yeah, much like I said about the offensive line, I think that's when those guys are making progress. Particularly with our defense – there's a lot of communication that goes into things. And the more you play together, the more it gets better.

Q: Coach, (Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodaux) drew a holding penalty tonight. He seems to have drawn a lot of those in training camp so far. What does that indicate to you as far as him being a problem?

A: Well, he's tough to block. He's done a really great job these last few practices of getting his feet underneath him. He's got a variety of pass rush moves. Again, he's a rookie. We'll see when the reps become live. We all watched the game last night. There was a lot of things to correct off of that game. We certainly looked at that already as a staff and as players and as coaches in our meeting room. He's a good young player. He's got a lot to work on. I hope he draws more of them.

Q: What's your overall takeaway from tonight and what you accomplished?

A: I thought it was a competitive practice. I think the guys were a little bit more upbeat. It's natural with the fans out here and the music going. But certainly, there's a lot to improve on, I think. I think we're moving in the right direction, but we're a ways away. And I think we have to improve our conditioning level. That's why we did those two long drives. And I think everyone can get a feel for where they're at individually. But collectively, that'll be a point of emphasis this week.

Q: With Kayvon, has there been anything that surprised you about him that maybe you didn't know coming out of the draft that's kind of taken you aback?

A: No. He's a humble guy. He knows he doesn't have all the answers. I think he relies a lot on the veterans, and (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew (Wilkins) is doing a good job with him. He's been a good teammate, and everything that we've kind of researched on him, so far, it's been right on point.

Q: You talk a lot about the value of live reps. Do you have a plan on how you're going to handle the preseason? In particular, just the first game.

A: We will talk about that after this game and see where we're at and how many each group is going to get. Maybe it's an individual basis – that'll be something over the next few days that we really iron out.

Q: Some of the plays maybe they looked disjointed a little bit. Does some of that have to do with you running your stuff offensively and (Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale) Wink's running his stuff defensively – you and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka). And the idea that you're not necessarily matching up against what they're coming at you with. When you guys put together your plan tonight, it is attacking the defense you're going to see, or are you working more on what you guys have in your playbook?

A: You're asking if it was like a gameplan thing?

Q: Yeah. I assume you have a gameplan for your own defense. But does that contribute to some of the things that maybe don't matchup?

A: I think that's the great thing about training camp. You don't gameplan, and you don't anticipate. You just go out there, and you trust your rules. And you see what you got to fix on both sides of the ball – whether it's turning a guy free, whether it's a screen for 20 yards on a third down and long situation, whatever that may be. A missed protection. There's certainly things in every practice. That's what training camp it for: to improve fundamentals and techniques and to improve upon your assignments against whether you want to call it un-scouted looks or different situations. That's why communication is so important really in every area of the field.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: Where would you say that you've made the most improvement from the offseason through the beginning of camp?

A: I think a lot of it is specific to this offense, to the scheme we are installing and plays we are running. I think every day you make progress with that kind of stuff as a group. Personally, you've got things you are working on, but I think collectively as a unit in the pass game and the run game, you're getting on the same page. I'd say from a chemistry standpoint, from an overall understanding of the offense, of seeing things the same way, I think that's where we've made the most progress and that's what we'll continue to focus on.

Q: How comfortable are you in your mind with this offense?

A: I'm getting more comfortable every day, I think. We're still early in the process. We've got a lot of work to do. That's certainly my mindset, I think that's (Head) Coach (Brian) Daboll's mindset and the whole group's mindset. We've got a lot of work to do and we're eager to do it. I'm comfortable and continuing to work to get more comfortable.

Q: How excited are you to take this offense out for a test drive in the preseason and how much work do you think you need in those games? You don't have a long history of playing in the preseason. What's about what you want to get out of the next couple of weeks here?

A: I'm excited for those opportunities. I think, like I've said, there's a lot we need to continue to work on and keep making progress on. The preseason's an opportunity to do that and a game situation gives you an opportunity to prepare for a game – obviously it's not the same level of game-planning, but we will prepare for that and go out and try to execute in a live situation. I think that's a good opportunity for us and I'm excited for it as well as our whole group.

Q: There's been a lot of talk from the receivers about a lot more options on the routes that they are doing. I think Dabs kind of put that a little bit to rest that it's not the just freelancing at the end of routes – there are things that you are looking for in the specific routes. For you, how much more do you have to develop that rapport with the guys to know what you are seeing and making sure that you are seeing what they are seeing in terms of body language or what the defense is doing on specific routes in this offense?

A: I think that's important. Like Dabs said, it's certainly not a freelance type of offense or mindset. There are certain options and certain things to look for from their standpoint and from mine as well. I think that gives receivers an opportunity to get open and use their creativity, use their understanding of route running to do that – to get open. It takes some time. It takes the reps on the field. It takes messing it up and correcting it in the meetings and then doing it right. It takes getting different looks from the defense, so you have those opportunities to talk about it, correct things and move on. That's something we are continuing to work on through camp and that's the passing game – it's about getting on the same page, it's about me understanding them, them understanding me and making sure we are seeing things the same way.

Q: Why do you think (Wide Receiver) David Sills is playing so well, and do you and him have a particularly strong chemistry? I know you spend a lot of time together in the offseason. Do you think that that pays off in times like this?

A: Yeah, certainly. I think he's a tremendously hard worker first and foremost. I think anyone in this building would tell you that and knows that very well. He works as hard as anyone, and he's put himself in a good position. He's put himself in a position to make a lot of plays, and he's done that. He's a smart player. He understands what the quarterback is looking for. He understands how to get open from a receiver standpoint. He's a technician when it comes to his routes, so he's at a high level at all of those things. and he's showed up on the field with how well he's played. I think the guys in the building – teammates, coaches, support staff – I don't think people are surprised by that watching him work day-in-and-day-out.

Q: You've obviously worked with a lot of different coaches already in your career. I'm curious if (Head Coach) Brian Daboll is already in the process of getting the best out of you. If so, how is he going about doing that?

A: Well, going into year four, I think I'm a more experienced player. I think I'm a better player than in years past. I feel more comfortable from that standpoint in what I'm seeing and diagnosing what I'm seeing and making decisions. As it relates to this offense and this scheme, it gives a quarterback a lot of options, and it allows for a quarterback to use what he knows and distribute the ball based on that. I've enjoyed working in this offense so far, and like I said, we've got a lot of work to do. It's been fun working with Coach Daboll and his staff and working in this offense.

Q: Your first start was the game that (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) got hurt. I don't know that you've played with him probably when he's been 100 percent. What have you seen this summer and how exciting is it to play with a fairly healthy, fairly viable, Saquon Barkley?

A: Yeah, it's been fun to watch him work. He's a guy a lot like Sills who comes in and works every day. Obviously, we've been training a lot together this offseason. How dedicated he is to making sure he's ready to roll come this time of year, I haven't been surprised by how he's looked to start camp. I'm excited to work with him. He brings a lot to our offense from obviously running the ball and using him in space to make plays. He's an explosive player, a smart player and a guy that works really hard. From a quarterback's perspective that's always fun to work with.

Q: What can you say about (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney's development, and what are some differences you've seen in him from last year to this year?

A: I think KT's done a great job coming in and picking up on the offense, learning the scheme, playing different positions, and bringing what he does well to the table. He's a dangerous guy with the ball in his hands, and we've got to find ways to get him the ball. He's an extremely talented player and brings a special dimension to our offense.

Q: (Quarterback) Daniel Jones used the word explosiveness when he was talking about you earlier. Your coaches used it in camp as well. I'd just like to ask you; what does explosiveness mean to you and do you feel that you have it going on?

A: Probably just a burst. Trusting yourself when you are making that cut and how athletic you can be in and out of your cuts. Something I probably lacked last year. I mean, most of last year. I kind of felt like I had it back especially after the (New Orleans) Saints game and had the weird step on someone's foot. But that's the way I train to be strong, to be explosive, and I feel like that I'm getting that confidence back. But it's one day at a time, and this is where you experiment, try new things and try to add to your game in camp.

Q: Assuming you feel as well as you have been, in probably about three years, maybe even longer. What's do you want to get out of the next couple of weeks in training camp here? How do you want to approach the pre-season games, things like tonight? Joint practice? How much work do you need? How do you balance getting to September 11 in top shape as opposed to the risks of a little bit of wear?

A: First, I do whatever (Head) coach (Brian Daboll) asks me to do. That's just how you be a leader and be a team player within practices, within preseason games, within joint practices. Just work on your craft. Get better every single day, get the conditioning down, get your body mentally and physically ready for a 17-game season.

Q: I know it's still early in camp, but did it feel good as an offense to move the ball pretty well so far this week? Some touchdown drives in these 11-on-11's with pads on?

A: Yeah, it felt good to get out there. For me personally I didn't really get to experience this last year with rehabbing. But it feels good to get out there. We are doing some great things, but I also think the defense is doing some great things. That's what you want to do. If you want to be a competitive team both sides got to compete. Some days it's going to be offense, some days it's going to be defense, some days it's like we really don't know. We kind of have the arguments and conversations. Whether it's me and (Safety Julian) J Love or (Safety Xavier McKinney) Zay and Daniel after practice. At the end of the day, we are just coming out here trying to compete and trying to get better every single day. 

Q: This hasn't been a good red zone offense the last few years. Tell us why it should improve with what you are seeing with Daboll and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka. Do you expect more of an expanded role in the red zone this year?

A: There's not really much to expect right now. We obviously worked on it a little bit so far in camp, and we are going to continue to work on that. If you want to win games when you get to the red zone you've got to find a way to score points. That's something that coach is harping on, that's something that we are fully aware of. At the end of the day, myself, (Wide Receiver) KG (Kenny Golladay), all of those guys on offense, we've got to be the ones to make the plays. The way you get better at that is by being aware when you are down there and also practice trying to execute the best you can.

Q: If you don't mind, when you are saying "be aware when you get down there", what exactly do you mean by that?

A: Just more aware. Meaning, when you are there it's like, "alright guys we've got to find a way. We've got to find a way to punch it in, find a way to get in the endzone, find a way to walk away with some points." That's what I mean by that.

Q: I know it's only been a handful of plays when you've taken some tosses, some runs to the right-hand side and (Offensive Tackle) Evan Neal has been out in front of you. Just curious, I know what you said when you first saw him back in the spring, but what are you seeing from the rookie when he gets out and space and you are getting tossed the ball in space.

A: I'm excited to play not only behind him but the offensive line and continue to work with (Offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and all of the offensive guys. Evan's been doing a great job coming to work every single day. He's a freak. He's athletic ability is insane and how big he is. When he walks in the room, you notice when he walks in the room. Like I said, for all of us, every single day we've just got to keep improving and keep getting better. I really think he can have a great future, but we just have to keep the main thing the main thing and keep building brick by brick and day by day. 

Q: You have been a consistent supporter of Daniel Jones in your time together. Just curious what your impressions have been of him in this camp, and have you noticed anything different about his approach?

A: No, he comes to work every single day. He's out there making plays for us. It's his third offense in how many years, it's year four or something like that. I would say he's coming in every single day trying to get better. He's continuing to do a great job leading and rallying the guys up. Getting us ready to practice, and eventually when we're out there to go out and play a game, he'll do the same thing. 

Q: Along those lines, you've never really been a fully healthy running back with Daniel Jones at quarterback since he came in as a starter a couple of years ago – that was the game you hurt your ankle. Do you feel a responsibility and urgency to help him rise to the next level of success? Maybe not as a quarterback but as a successful player and a successful team.

A: I don't just feel that for Daniel, I feel that for the whole offense in general. Not saying its pressure for me to do this and do that. I know what I can be. I know what I'm capable of doing. If I'm able to go out there and do the things that I'm capable of doing, it's going to make life a lot easier – not only on Daniel, but I feel like on everyone. If we all go out there, if we all go out there and do what we are capable of doing, it's going to make life easier for every single one of us. We just got to come in every single day, continue to get the playbook down and continue to work. All the work that we put in will pay off later on.

Q: On another topic, RB Matt Breida's touchdown the other day. What was the reaction in the room, what was the reaction on the field, and did you get to see his GPS numbers on that? That looked pretty fast.

A: I didn't see the GPS numbers on that, but Breida is definitely a fast guy. I'm excited to have him on the team. He's been doing a great job helping me learn the playbook. Obviously, this is his second year with the playbook. He does a great job. He's a great vet, a great running back, and I'm excited to play alongside him.

Q: Are you smiling more? Do you feel more joy being a part of this program, being healthy? How is that impacting your overall demeanor?

A: Definitely smiling more. Not just for me personally, just trying to do a better job of living in the moment, taking it day by day, being appreciative. I get to come in and play for the New York Giants and play the game that I loved as a little kid. Sometimes you can lose sight of that with the ups and downs, with the injuries or whatever is being said about you. At the end of the day, if you keep the main thing the main thing, you can go out there and perform at high level and be who you are and let your true talents show. On that note, I think the coaches, everyone in the facility is doing a great job of keeping the energy up and keeping the excitement up. We're just trying to build every single day.

Q: Obviously (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson is going to be a big part of this defense, tell me what you're seeing from him so far.

A: He's done a great job of just making sure that he's doing his job, he's been making plays out on the field, and he's been locked in every step of the way. I trained with him in the offseason, we were in Tampa Bay. I already knew what it was going into this training camp, I knew how he would perform, and he's done very well for us. He's continuing to improve each and every day.

Q: Obviously we don't know what's going to happen with the weather tonight as far as fans in the building. Presumably, you guys will have a full house tonight. From your perspective, if you guys get out there and start running some offense-defense, are you looking forward to the idea of being out there in the Stadium calling plays?

A: Most definitely. Obviously, it'll be our first time everybody as a group, out there in the stadium. It's going to be fun. I know the energy is going to be up, we're excited, and we're ready to kind of get that little first glimpse of how we're going to be playing and know what we're going to be doing. So, it'll be fun, and we're looking forward to it, hopefully, we don't get rained out or anything like that, hopefully, we can just be in the stadium the whole time.

Q: Just as a follow-up, do you look at it as a test run for yourself with calling the plays in the helmet and getting guys in that setting?

A: No, I see it as the same. Obviously, we're going to have some people in the stands but, it's just kind of another practice to be able to communicate the calls and do what I have to do to make sure we execute on defense. Like I said it's going to be fun, I'm looking forward to it, everybody else is too, we're just ready for that time.

Q: How effective do you expect this defense to be this year?

A: Very effective, like I said before we've got a lot of playmakers on our defense, a lot of guys that can do a lot of things very well. We've got a great defensive coordinator calling the calls so, it's going to be fun, you're going to see a lot of guys flying around, a lot of guys making plays and getting after the ball. That's something we pride ourselves on as a defense, so it's going to be fun. We're still working, we're still getting better and improving, but you know we're going to have a lot of fun with it.

Q: Do you think the new defense has given you and the rest of your teammates more creativity?

A: Yeah, I think so. I've said it before of just kind of letting us play loose and letting us play free. Not being afraid to make a mistake or mess up or have a M.E. (mental error) or have a pass completed on you. (Defensive Coordinator) Wink has done a great job with relaying that to us, and communicating that he doesn't really – if you have a M.E. or if somebody catches on you, you know it's a next play mentality for us and that's how we treat it. I think we have a really resilient group, a lot of guys that if something bad happens we just move on to the next play and keep playing and try to get the ball back for our offense. That's the ultimate goal for us. It's going to be fun and we're not too worried about if anything bad happens, we just know we've got to keep playing.

Q: I have a big picture question since you're going to be in front of the fans tonight. At this time of year whenever there's a fan fest practice, they always seem to cheer for the offense and when the defense makes a big play, it's almost met with groans because the offense failed. I'm just wondering, you guys on defense – do you notice that and how you react to it that the fans at this point of the season seem to be predominantly rooting for the offense.

A: I'd say defense wins championships (laughs). But I think the game is obviously an offensive game. Obviously, people want to see a lot of touchdowns, but we know as a defense we've got to go out there and execute and play defense. We don't really worry about if we make a play and no one gets excited. Obviously, we're still practicing against each other too, in the games when we make those plays, we know our fans are going to go wild for us when we make those plays on the defensive side, and the same on the offensive side. We're practicing against each other and were competing, so we don't worry too much about that stuff, we just try to go out there and compete with one another.


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