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Coaches give latest updates on Giants rookies' progress


Giants position coaches spoke with the media Wednesday and gave updates on the 2017 Draft class:

Nobody knows a football player better than his position coach.

From the meeting room to the practice field, that's who they spend the most time with at the facility. And that goes double for rookies.

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> Takeaways from post-practice interviews
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> Go inside the linebackers huddle

So when the Giants' staff met with the media on Wednesday, the assistants broke down the 2017 draft picks like no one else can. Here is what they had to say:


Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride:"He shows, very much so, a willingness to block and to finish. It's not pads [in OTAs], so that will change things to an extent, but I don't see him backing down. He has a toughness and a willingness to go against anybody on our defense, and I'm hoping that's how it'll be throughout the course of the season.

"He certainly has some development to go, but he has a good knack for [catching the ball] in the fact that he understands coverage. He understands how the leverage of the coverage is going to change how he needs to run his route. He came in with that, and it's continued to progress from there."


Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham: "I think any rookie, as they come into the league, they don't know anything about this league aside from the stuff they read in the media and see on TV. So I think it's important for them just to stick with what they've done just in terms of being a good football player up until this point. An organization in the NFL wanted them. To be humble there, listen to the players and listen to the coaches and just diligently work through the process. [Tomlinson is] a pretty even-keel guy. He'll be able to handle it. We will see how it plays out once the competition comes and the season comes.

"You never know with anyone. This league is unique. The day-to-day grind is very unique. Guys will just have to experience it. We will see where it goes from there. We wanted him for a reason. He's a good football player, and he comes from a good program. He'll just work through the process, and we will do our best to make sure we facilitate that as much as possible."


Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti Jr.: "The adjustment's been great. He's functioning, he's intelligent, he has the willingness to learn, and every day he's making progress. [The biggest challenge coming from his college system] is a couple things. Let's start with the fundamentals. The fundamentals of the footwork are totally different. Then you talk about the pass game reads. Not only is the scheme different, but the reads are different. Then you've got to look at the pass protection. We have multiple protections in the National Football League. Then let's talk about even being under center, taking a snap under center, and having a run game. So there are a lot of things, and he's done a great job learning it."


Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson: "I think he brings a lot to the table, but he's like all young backs that I know. Most young backs have to figure out how [they are] going to be good in all three phases in the NFL early. Number one thing: As I'm running the ball, how are my guys blocking so I can know my tempo and timing to hit the hole? Number two: What am I going to do in my pass protection to make sure I protect my quarterback? I have to do that. That's a key asset to be able to get on the field, and certainly in the NFL game, the blitzes and the pressures and multiple, so that takes a lot of time. And then last but not least: Where's my spacing in the passing game? Am I a check-down option? Am I a primary option? Where am I supposed to be? How does my quarterback want me to run this route? That is key.

"Every rookie that I know that has come into this offense is kind of slow and overwhelmed early; that's just part of the process. And then you start seeing them play faster. You can see it. They go, 'Oh yeah, I've got this now.' Then when they feel good about it, we'll give them a little bit more."


Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham: "Avery Moss, my buzzword is 'diligent.' He is very diligent in working in the classroom and on the field. He's a rookie, so he's learning to work through the system and work through the meeting time and the grind of the day-to-day in the NFL. I think on the field he's definitely shown why we wanted to get him, and I think we'll see how it plays out in the competition in training camp."


Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari: "It's still early, but right now we've got him at right tackle. But again, he's a guy that has versatility. He could go to guard. He has played a little guard in his career, but obviously left tackle [mostly in college]. Right now we like him at right tackle. We're trying to get him as many reps as possible, just again, so when training camp comes, these young rookies are ready to compete."

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