It's a busy time at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
On Monday, players reported for the start of the offseason workout program. The next nine weeks are intended to provide training, teaching, and physical conditioning for players. The program is broken up into three phases, building up to 10 organized team practice activities (OTAs) beginning in late May and minicamp from June 13 to 15. After that, they will break until training camp in late July.
Meanwhile, there are just 10 days until the 2023 NFL Draft.
Brian Daboll, the reigning AP NFL Coach of the Year, and select players spoke to the media to kick off the program. Here is everything you need to know:
View photos from the Giants' offseason workout program at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Coach Brian Daboll
🔹 Brian Daboll said he has talked to Saquon Barkley and Dexter Lawrence. He'll keep those conversations private. "I take it day by day."
🔹 They have a "high percentage" of people in the building. It's good to get off to a good start. They've had a few meetings already.
🔹 Daboll said they had a lot of draft meetings last week. There's good collaboration with coaches and front office. "Those are all productive conversations."
🔹 Daboll said they've made changes to the weight room this offseason as they always look for improvements. "I believe you do that with every area of the building, from the coaching side to the scouting side to the training side to the strength side to the cafeteria to, I'd say facility development. We've done a lot with our weight room and changed it around and it really looks good and think it will be more productive for the players, from stuff on the walls. You are always constantly -- scheme, you know, scheduling. It's a never-ending process, and we have talked about that at length the last few months and continued to try to improve every area we can."
🔹 Daboll said they had a brief team meeting this morning. It was a good time for new players to get to know the support staff. "I just try to let the new players put a face with the name and let those people that are involved with each of the departments tell them what they can do to help them because that's our whole goal, is how can we be good serving leaders; how can we help our players be the best they can be in the building, but outside the building. So, a lot of that is introduction to those type of people that work for us. There are just a few things here of kind of what we're looking for in phase one, and then they go work out and meet offensively. So then (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka can take some installs of core things he wants to talk about on day one and (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) does the same thing. Four hours is four hours, that's what we spend with them, a few hours working out and a few hours, up to a few hours in the meetings."
🔹 "This is the NFL. There's a lot of things on the business side. ... It's April 17th here." There's a long way to go.
🔹 Daboll said he talks to the team about "today" and not "yesterday" after a successful first season. He said they have a good group that understands where the focus needs to be.
🔹 "Teams win in this league." It's not just about collecting talent. Building a team is the challenging part.
🔹 Daboll said they learned a lot about Daniel Jones last season, and he learned a lot about them. He has the knowledge and language down. "Now it's adding new wrinkles here and there."
🔹 The draft and free agency are "intertwined" in terms of what they'll be looking for next week in the draft. "Joe (Schoen) and I evaluate the roster, seems like on a daily basis. You know, the draft is a little bit different than free agency. But there's been a lot of work done to it, and you know, who gets selected and when they get selected. I would say there's discussions when we had a player at a specific position. Does that lower the need, yeah, but that doesn't guarantee that you're not going to draft that player at that position because you don't need that position. I'd say that's not the case always."
Quarterback Daniel Jones
🔹 Jones said they have a "jumpstart" this offseason because they know the system, but you always have to start fresh. They're always evolving, adapting, taking things out, and adding them.
🔹 "Everyone's got their own situation." He's hoping for the best for Barkley. Everyone in the building knows the type of player and teammate he is, but there's a business side to it.
🔹 Jones said it's good to feel the energy of the new players. They bring a new skillset. He wants to get to know them and how they like to do things.
🔹 Jones said building chemistry with your center takes a lot of time in the classroom and on the field. He's excited for whichever player gets the job.
🔹 Daboll keeps a "pretty fast pace" in installing the offense. Jones joked you never have to worry about getting too far ahead.
🔹 Jones said everyone has a tremendous amount of respect for Saquon Barkley and Dexter Lawrence.
🔹 Jones said they have a mature locker room that understands the business of the NFL.
🔹 New tight end Darren Waller is "a clear mismatch, someone the defense has to worry about how they are going to account for him, how they are going to cover him, who they are going to put on him and how they are going to play it. I think that just adds an element to our attack and gives the defense something else to worry about when you have a guy that big and that strong who can move like he can and open up the field. Just gives them something to worry about. We'll be able to move him around, use him in certain places and take advantage of his skill set."
🔹 On having continuity with the offensive staff, Jones said they won't look past anything or skip steps, but they have a foundation. "It definitely gives us a little bit of a head start."
Safety Xavier McKinney
🔹 "The hand is good to go" after a tremendous amount of work and rehab. He doesn't think he will need anything on it this season, but they'll see how it goes.
🔹 Xavier McKinney: "I'm 100 percent, for sure."
🔹 Asked about whether he will need to wear anything on his hand this season, Xavier McKinney said, "Either way, I'm going to play at a high level."
🔹 McKinney said they didn't play well in the NFC East last year, so every team is the team to beat - not just the Eagles. It has been on their minds this offseason. "I don't really see it as just one team that we need to be worried about. I think it's all of the teams in our division. That's just how I see it and I think that's how a lot of us see it on the team."
🔹 McKinney was asked about former Alabama teammate and current Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts getting a contract extension. "First of all, congrats to J-Hurts. Obviously, he's my former teammate, so I know how he works. I know he's a really good guy, so he deserved every dollar that he got. I'm happy for him."
🔹 Speaking of former Alabama players, defensive back Brian Branch is No. 31 on Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospects list for next week's 2021 NFL Draft. "Yeah, it's always good to see the guys that -- I didn't get to play with BB but I know him pretty well. But it's always good when you see the Bama guys up there and you know when it's their time to finally get drafted and things of that nature. If we can add Bama guys, obviously I'm always going to be for it (laughs). But whoever we get, I'll be happy with it. But if we can add some Bama guys, I'll be cool with that for sure."
🔹 He is glad DC Wink Martindale is back. "I think we built a lot with him, with just everybody, the whole group as a defense, built a lot of good relationships. We understood how one another worked and we were able to build something special. I'm glad he stayed. I really didn't have any doubt that he would leave, honestly. Like I said, just happy that he's here and happy that he stayed and we can continue to build off of what we had last year."
🔹 Xavier McKinney said it "sucked" to see Julian Love go but glad to see he got paid. They still talk. McKinney said they're like brothers. "Our message to each other was just keep balling, keep playing and keep going and getting paid. But for the guys that we have here, the guys have already shown that we can step up. We've got guys in the room who have been in that situation last year and were in situations where they had to come in and step up and they did that very well. They did that at a high level. I have a lot of confidence in who we have in our room now and the guys that we will have bringing in, so I'm not too stressed about that and I'm really confident in who we've got."
🔹 McKinney reached out to defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches and linebacker Bobby Okereke after they signed. "Two great dudes. ... I know they're ready to go and add to what we have."
🔹 McKinney also reached out to Darren Waller before today. For him personally, he knows it's going to be a fun matchup in practice. "He's going to hurt some people on the other side of the ball. ... I'm glad he's a part of our squad."
Left Tackle Andrew Thomas
🔹 Thomas said entering the offseason healthy will hopefully translate well to the season. He said his focus has been strength, especially upper body.
🔹 His biggest advice to second-year right tackle Evan Neal for taking the next step is just tackle it day by day. Don't focus on results.
🔹 Thomas said he's starting to transition to the "vet mindset." He wants to be more vocal and take guys with him.
View photos of the Giants arriving for the start of the offseason workout program.