Head Coach Brian Daboll
So, first thing, congratulations to (quarterbacks coach) Shea and Emily Tierney. Late last night they had their first child, a little girl. He hasn't had much sleep but he's here at practice today so congratulations to them.
Q: Do you feel bad about getting on Quarterbacks Coach Shea Tierney at practice yesterday then? Were you not happy?
A: I'm not happy most of the time (laughs).
Q: How's Ryder Anderson doing?
A: He won't be out there today but he'll work through it.
Q: What about defensive tackle Leonard Williams.
A: Rest Day. He'll probably have another one today.
Q: Those guys are usually out on the field for rest days, right?
A: Yeah, I'd leave it to the trainers, too. I think whatever's best for the player. Whatever treatment they're using or rehab or cold tub, whatever that may be. I think (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff do a really good job of communicating whatever we think is best for the guy.
Q: What's the plan or idea behind operating with three quarterbacks?
A: Each year's different so sometimes it's four, sometimes it's three. (We) felt comfortable with he three (that) we have.
Q: In a lot of places, it was portrayed that last training camp you set up QB Daniel Jones for adversity to see how he would respond. Are you still taking that approach?
A: Look, here's what we do. We sit down as a staff (and) sometimes I sit down on my own and not let anybody know what's going on, see how they react, whether that's a coach, whether that's a player. Again, all the substitutions and things that we do in training camp, which I know is important to you all, all of it is planned. Maybe it's for a personnel matchup, maybe it's to see a reaction. So, everything we do, we try to map out and plan the best way that we can. This year is different than last year but certainly we have a lot of conversations. Sometimes I'll just spring something on a coordinator in a certain situation or a player to see their reaction in a competitive situation. But every year's different.
Q: Is it still slanted against Daniel because he's the starter?
A: No, no. I wouldn't say any of that. I'd say you try to put players in different positions and that's the job of a coach and that's what I try to do.
Q: What were you getting on Dexter Lawrence about?
A: I don't know, that was a few practices – I think somebody asked me that. I don't think you were here that day. I can't remember. It's practice, it's competitive. I love (defensive tackle) Dexter (Lawrence).
Q: Back to Daniel. From our perspective it looks different than it did at this point last year. What much different does it look from your perspective?
A: I don't even think of it like that. I didn't think of it that way last year, and I don't think of it that way this year. Go out there, practice (and) coach the things we need to coach. Put him in different situations (and) see his reactions. Like I said last year and I'll this year, I have a lot of confidence in him, he's done a good job, he works hard, and he learns from his mistakes, like you want all your players to do.
Q: What impresses you about him this year?
A: Well, we're in day eight of training camp. I think he's operated our offense. Certain plays I know he'd like to have back, we'd all like to have back. He's a consummate pro, he tries to work every day, he tries to improve and that's what we're going to need from him.
Q: What do you look for when a guy gets beat in one-on-one drills?
A: One-on-ones are really about fundamentals and techniques. It's competitive all the time because it's one-on-one but it's not real football. You're trying to improve techniques and fundamentals. One-on-ones for an offensive lineman are hard. One-on-ones for defensive backs against receivers are hard but you're trying to just improve techniques (and) fundamentals. You go back, you watch them, you coach but that's really what one-on-one's are for, really the individual technique part of it. Who gets beat and who doesn't get beat, that's going to happen all the time. Particularly in certain drills you know that it's more skewed toward one side of the ball, but you need to do them to improve your techniques.
Q: What do you look for when someone gets beat in group sessions?
A: Just move on to the next play. It's going to happen, it's football. You're going to have a bad call as a coach or a bad decision or a bad play as a player. It's about the next play so our next-play mentality is important.
Q: What have you seen from Evan Neal's technique?
A: I think Evan's done a good job, like I said a couple of days ago. He's improved, he's got the right mindset and we'll just grinding along with him.
Q: What do you think of Jalin Hyatt so far?
A: I'd group him with all the rookies. Some good, some bad, some things to learn from but he's really in the same category as all the rookies that we have.
Q: What do you think when you hear him say he wants to be Offensive Rookie of the Year?
A: I know he said that yesterday. That's something that's obviously important to him, but I'm not really focused on any of those type of things. It's just really getting better each day and learning the playbook. He's got a long way to go, just like all the rookies do.
Q: Do you think that puts pressure on him?
A: You'd have to ask him.
Q: I asked your opinion.
A: I already told you what I thought. I'm focused on today (and) getting better.
Q: How have you seen cornerback Deonte Banks handle the ups and downs so far?
A: Really just like all the other guys. Everybody's had a bad play or multiple bad plays and people have had good plays. So training camp is about learning from your plays, learning from your mistakes, correcting your fundamentals, improving on your strengths, then really honing in on some of your weaknesses to try to make them your strengths.
Q: How has Micah McFadden improved from last year?
A: He's been dependable, he's been out there. He's had a lot of reps. He's done a nice job in there, he's one more year in the system and he's a competitive guy.
Q: Is wide receiver Parris Campbell practicing today?
A: Yeah, he'll be out there. (Linebacker Jihad Ward) Haddy will be out there. He'll be doing something, probably not the whole practice. (Guard) Jack (Anderson), he'll be out there. Not today but he'll be out there. It's not anything long term.
Q: Was that what you were asking?
A: Again, each player – I think our staff does a great job of individually analyzing each player and then we've got to do a good job of making sure that we take care of them when we have to take care of them to make sure they can be ready for the long haul.
Q: Anybody else not practicing today?
A: Azeez (Ojulari) will get a rest day today. Other than that, no.
Q: Did you work out anybody yesterday?
A: We did. We worked out a few guys today this morning too. Like I've said before – nothing right now.
Q: One of your more intriguing free agent signings was Amani Oruwariye. What have you seen from him?
A: He's been a consummate pro. We've thrown him right in with the group, he's done a good job with our techniques, I think (Defensives Back Coach) Jerome's (Henderson) done a good job with him, he's battling out here (and) competing. A competitive spot like a lot of positions that we have.
Q: What do you think about John Michael Schmitz? Can you see the nastiness and toughness that his college coach raves about?
A: I think that's more when we get into preseason games. It's really about technique (and) doing things the right way. He's a pro as a young player. He meets a lot of extra time with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones). I think he's improved each day but he's in the category with all the rookies. A long way to go.
Q: What do you want to see from your right guard position?
A: I think, it was a few days ago. The days are running together but it's whoever plays the best. That's why we're putting them out there, we're giving them different match ups, different looks. A guard, an interior offensive lineman's job is to keep the pocket firm and get movement at the line of scrimmage. So, they'll get a lot of opportunities to do that and whoever are the best two or three or however many it is, that's who we'll go with.
Q: So you consider both spots open?
A: I consider almost every spot open on our team.
Q: Not left tackle.
A: Not left tackle (laughs). Again, we're trying to make it-- that's what's training camp is for – as competitive as we can. Some of that is just 'let's see this player against this player.' So, you can't move everybody around so maybe you move one person one day and you don't want to see him all the time against one particular player, so you either move a guy on defense or you move a guy on offense and then you put another guy in there to see how he matches up against a guy. Some of that's one-on-ones but a lot of times we try to do it in team, too, so we can get a good evaluation, not just against one player. So, when we're out there in one-on-one's I ask the coaches to make sure they are trying to mix and match guys so we can see how they perform against each other.
Center John Michael Schmitz
What's does it mean to you to be running with the ones a lot here already?
A: Yeah, I mean, no jobs are won, what day are we on? What practice? I mean we are just a couple of practices into fall camp. Right now, my main focus is just to continue to keep getting better each and every day and gain that trust with that o-line room and that offense to just prove that I can be out there, and I can make the calls and just be urgent with it.
Q: Does it mean anything to you, putting you there multiple days in a row like obviously at the beginning you were going back and forth.
A: I don't really kind of focus on that. My main focus is really on just taking that one thing, that you focus on every day, which could be a technique, could just a mental standpoint of it, and just keep getting better at it. That's how I am looking at it.
Q: What was your focus today?
A: My main focus today was to just be loud and be urgent up front. Just continue to keep getting better as an o-line and the main thing for me is to communicate upfront and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Q: What's the biggest thing you have learned so far about the pro game since the pads have come on?
A: You are competing in every single play out there. I am going against some of the best d-line there is. It's just an opportunity to keep getting better and just improve my game out there.
Q: You mention the communication, how has that improved? I know it's only been eight practices but how have you seen that going yourself?
A: I'd say each and every day just gain more confidence out there. Keep getting more confident in my calls and putting the offensive line in a position to succeed out there and me and DJ (Daniel Jones) seeing things the same way as an offense.
Q: I feel like being loud kind of stands out to me. When you said to be loud as one of your focuses. Is that not natural to you or why be loud?
A: In a game you have got fans screaming at you. You are going to have to communicate down the line making sure the left tackle and the right tackle know the call. Just to be loud up front.
Q: Every offensive lineman always says cohesion, the same five guys thinking together is the big thing. You have different guys rotating at center, left guard, right guard, so how is this offensive line going to get on the same page?
A: Not only an offensive line, cohesion isn't whoever starts there the first game. It's collective as a whole, as a whole o-line unit. Making sure everyone is on the same page, knows what we are going to do out there, our mission, our goal at the end of the day.
Q: (Offensive line coach) Bobby Johnson said in the spring that it would be an eye-opener when the pads came on and you had to block (defensive tackle) Dex(ter) (Lawrence II) one-on-one. Has it been an eye-opener for you?
A: Dex is a great player. All-Pro last year. Great opportunity to go against him every day in practice. Continue to perfect my craft, learn from him, and at the end of the day get better.
Q: Your former college coach is under some heat from some of your former teammates saying that he mistreated them, toxic culture. Wondering what your response to that is and where you see what your experience in the program was like.
A: Right now, my main focus is with the New York Giants, with this team. I'm not going to talk on behalf of (Minnesota Head) Coach Fleck. I just have nothing but good things to say about him anyways.
Q: He (Minnesota Head Coach PJ Fleck) said that you are a great guy off the field, but you become this nasty guy on the field. How do you describe that transition that takes over you as you go on the field?
A: It's just when you strap up the helmets and the pads come on. It's kind of just a click. A click of just something that, I don't know, kind of comes naturally now. I don't know how to say it.
Q: Is that your blood (on your jersey) or someone else's blood?
A: Could be both (laughs).
Q: Did you set a goal coming in that 'I want to be the starter on week one?'
A: I would just say the main goal was to help out the New York Giants in any way possible to succeed at their goal. If it was starting, if it was just having an impact, that's all I would say.
Q: Now what would it mean to you if you are the starter on day one?
A: Right now, I am just really focused on continuing to get better. Like I said we are early in camp still. Continuing to just communicate with my offense, and my offensive line, get to know each other more, and build that cohesion up.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to (tackle), Evan Neal, after practice? He walked off.
A: I did not yet, no. No.
Q: Does the rotation of guards next to you, how does that impact you that you have a different guy to your right and left every day?
A: At the end of the day, I mean you have to be ready. I'd say you just have to be ready for anything. You never know what's going to happen in a game. You never know who is going to be out there. Substitutions can happen, and injuries can happen. You just got to be ready to go.
Outside Linebacker Azeez Ojulari
Q. You were frustrated or maybe even distraught at the end of last season that you couldn't stay on the field, and you told us you were going to look into doing some different things. What did you do, what did you change to make sure that you could stay healthy this year? What did you add to your routine?
A: Really just more stretching. More stretching incorporated some yoga into my routine, and those were the main two things that I really added.
Q. Whose idea was the yoga?
A: I talked to some people around, teammates and stuff, but for me, I just wanted better for myself. I just want to do whatever I can to help myself and my team.
Q. Did you add or lose any weight from last year?
A: No, same. Same weight. I don't think the weight was an issue. It's just part of the game.
Q. Did any hydration stuff change?
A: I don't think that was a problem. I think I was well hydrated, just things happen. It's part of football. I'm ready to work this year. I'm ready to go.
Q. Now that you are healthy and out there, is there joy in being able to use your talents and not being impeded by injury?
A: Yes, ma'am. Definitely. It's very exciting to be out here and practice with my teammates and just be available for my team. Just out there working hard every day, just trying to get better.
Q. (Defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) has made it clear to us how much he likes your game, pass rushing in particular. What has he shared with you or what have you learned from him about that kind of situation?
A: Yeah, Coach Wink, man, he coached a lot of great players before me. I'm just ready to work and do everything I can to the best of my abilities for the team and for his defense.
Q. Carl Banks I think on his podcast threw out a big number – 15 sacks – as a possibility for you. I think there were only five guys last year who made that number. Do you think that's a possible number?
A: Man, I'm just trying to do what I can for the team or whatever I can, no matter what it is, to just help the team win. However, I can be productive for the team, I'm just trying to do the best I can.
Q. Your sack-efficiency numbers are huge, sacks per snap or sacks per game. DO you ever allow yourself to think, 'If I stayed on the field, that would have been a really huge number?'
A: I don't even try to look at the numbers. At the end of the day, I just want to win and help my team be the best. When I'm out there on the field, (I) just try to be the best I can. Whatever it is, just make plays happen, just try, whatever it is, to help the team win, man, and the defense get better.
Q. Isn't that the best way you can help the team win, by getting a lot of sacks?
A: I mean, that's part of the way. There're other ways – forced fumbles, TFLs, setting the edge. It all works together.
Q. Talk about the excitement or potential of you and (linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux playing 17 games together and what it could do for this defense.
A: Yeah, it's very exciting because we work so hard. Every day at practice, we push each other, we battle. We just want to be great. You can see the potential when we're out there practicing, and we just want to make sure we're all ready to go and just ready to fight and win.
Q. I put words in your mouth; I said frustrated or distraught. How would you describe how you felt at the end of last season, not being able to contribute fully?
A: Everything happened for a reason, but it sucked. It's in the past now and I'm focused on this year and put that behind me and (I'm) ready to go this year, for sure.
Q. Wink is always dialing up exotic blitzes for the linebackers. Has he dialed up anything special for you coming off of the edge?
A: No, I feel like there are so many. (Inaudible)
ILB Micah McFadden
Q. How's camp been going for you so far?
A: Pretty good. I think the team's just getting better every day. Personally, getting reps with the ones and kind of splitting reps right now but like I said, just attacking every day and staying on top of learning the defense.
Q. What ways do you think you've improved since last season? How did that happen?
A: I'd say this offseason just kind of working on getting my feet underneath myself in the pass game, working on my drops and getting into coverage, reading routes and trying to implement that into my drill work. I'd say that's probably the main thing I've been working on.
Q. Do you feel that you're an improved player? Especially in coverage?
A: Yeah, definitely. I think that's been a big impact and obviously, just having a year under my belt with the defense and having the same scheme and the same group of guys around me. I think it's helped a lot.
Q. You broke up a pass from tight end Darren Waller. Is that where you figured out that you made your strides?
A: I'm sure in the future we won't have a linebacker in that situation again (laughs), but just trying to get better with that type of stuff.
Q. How big is the difference in your comfort level this time of year versus last year?
A: I'd say it's drastically different. Obviously just understanding the playbook and not having to learn a new system or anything like that. Like I said, just having that year under my belt and being able to react and play a little bit faster and now, diagnose offensive schemes instead of trying to learn just the defense.
Q. Do you set your goal to be a contributor, or do you want to be a starter?
A: Without a doubt, I think everyone on the team wants to start. That's definitely one of my goals but obviously, just help the team win in any way that I can.
Q. Does it help having (linebacker) Bobby Okereke out there with you?
A: No doubt. No doubt. (He's) an experienced veteran. Somebody that can just give pointers throughout the day and little things that you can think about while you're practicing. I think that helps a lot. It goes a long way having somebody like that play next to you, for sure.
View photos from Friday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.