**QB Eli Manning
Q: Did you see Plaxico Burress last night?**A: I didn't get to see Plaxico (Burress) last night. I heard he had a meeting with coach Coughlin and I haven't heard much about it. Obviously, I think he is visiting a few other spots and we will have to just see what will happen.
Q: Do you think Plaxico Burress will come back?A: I don't know. I haven't talked to coach Coughlin. I don't know how the meetings went. I don't know what the management and coaches are thinking. He was in for a meeting so they are considering it so we will just take it from there.
Q: How do you feel about Plaxico Burress coming back to the team?A: It is not up to me. They haven't talked to me about it so we will see what the coaches decide.
Q: How big of a benefit is it to have Plaxico Burress on the team?A: It would be nice. He is a guy who goes up and gets the ball and obviously makes plays. That is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket.
Q: Are you calling Plaxico Burress and lobbying for him to return to New York?A: No, I talked to Plaxico Burress a few weeks ago. More just to call him and see how he was doing and how his family was doing. It had been a while since I had talked to him so it was just to keep up and just give my thoughts about how things have turned out. I wished him well on his football career and wherever he lands. I don't think that it is a situation for me to lobby. He has been here before and it comes down to what coach Coughlin thinks. If he is mentally ready to come back and be a great teammate and if the ownership has put everything behind them and are ready to turn a new page.
Q: Do you think the team is ready for the hard schedule this season?A: Yes, I definitely think so. We have a lot of great talent and it is not about going to get new guys every year. It is about the guys that are here and getting the most talent out of the guys that we have. We have a lot of skills in the offensive positions and the receivers can make big plays. We have a number of guys that have to prove that they can be depended on week in and week out.
Q: How do you feel about facing CB Nnamdi Asomugha twice a year?A: Obviously he is a very good corner. We haven't played many times against him. We played Oakland a few years ago and we had success. He is a talented cornerback and we have to see how Philadelphia wants to use him. He is a guy that likes to play man to man and press coverage. Philly normally has not done a lot of that so if he changes that, we will see how they are playing. There is still 10 other guys on the field you have to worry about to.
Q: Do you have enough without key players not on the team?A: If not, then I don't know about who will be added. Kevin Boss is still up and we have to attack that and figure out the tight end position. We have young guys with Travis Beckum and our receivers are very talented. With Manningham coming on late in the season and having a bunch of touchdowns and a lot of catches and having Hakeem (Nicks) healthy, Victor Cruz and those guys. We have a number of wide receivers that have been successful and played well. We need them to continue to grow. We drafted a receiver and we drafted a running back so it is all about guys working together and coming together as a team, everybody playing well and doing their responsibilities. I think we have the manpower to be an explosive offense and score a lot of points.
Q: How do you feel about the New York Jets signing Plaxico Burress?A: I haven't thought about it much. It would not be like I would be watching them play except for when we play the Jets the next time. That's football, you see guys who have been on your team play on different teams. You get used to it so you just have to see what the Giants feel and what's the best spot for Plaxico (Burress) and where he wants to be.
**Coach Tom Coughlin
Opening remarks:Plaxico (Burress) and I did have a nice conversation. I was very happy that he came in and we visited. I told him that the conversation would be confidential and that will be my position on it.
Q: How do you feel about Plaxico Burress after the meeting?A: I just said, our conversation will be confidential. I did enjoy the conversation.
Q: Are you still considering brining him back?A: Possibly.
Q: Would he fill a need on this team?A: Sure, any team probably.
Q: Does the depth at wide receiver influence the need to sign another receiver?A: We have some young guys that we really haven't had the chance to see if they could contribute. Last year we certainly needed depth at the position.
Q: Were you able to tell if Plaxico is ready to be responsible from your meeting?A: I'm not really going to talk a whole lot about it.
Q: Not the details but can you get that from the meeting?A: I think so, yes.
Q: Did Osi Umenyiora come in today?A: Yes, he did. He was not able to get his physical yet.
Q: Is he healthy as far as you know?A: We will see.
Q: When will he have his physical?A: I would imagine tomorrow.
Q: Do you expect him on the practice field tomorrow?A: We will see.
Q: Any word on the number one pick?A: I haven't heard much today but he better get in here.
Q: Did you talk to Osi Umenyiora?A: I did. It was just a real quick conversation. We didn't have a chance to sit down and talk upstairs. He came in during the jog through this afternoon and I had a chance to see him and say hello. That's about it.
Q: Did you ask him where he was yesterday?A: No, I didn't.
Q: Did he seem ready to play?A: I didn't really spend an awful lot of time with him. I asked him how he was doing and he said fine.
Q: How do you feel about players missing practices and days?A: It is not what you would like. You would like everybody to be in a great frame of mind. It is basically what I said yesterday or the day before in a quote, I would like for them to come in. I would like for them to be excited to be a Giant. I would like to put these four defensive ends out on the field together and let them play together. I would like to be able to take the flexibility that is there and move people and force problems for the opposition as far as protection. That would be a very interesting challenge and great opportunity for our team.
Q: Why wasn't he able to get his physical done today?A: I believe it was after four o'clock when he came in or close to four, I shouldn't say after.
Q: Now that you've had one day like this, with a jog through and then a late practice, what do you think?A: We'll have to see more. But this is it now. What I think, nobody asked me when we put this together. This is what it is and if you're going to take full advantage of every minute, this is pretty much the way it has to be. You can flip it around. Do this in the morning, but that probably doesn't allow you to maximize things the way we are in terms of meetings. There's a lot of meeting time on this schedule, which as I said, once we get going, we should be able to correct in the morning. Tomorrow morning should be really, really good for us because we'll be able to look at this and study it and put it in front of the players and talk about fundamentals and techniques and things of that nature and then go ahead and install it in the afternoon and move one. Whereas, a lot of times you're stuck when you are in two practices, you're just hustling through one of them.
Q: It's only two days, but does being in a hotel feel like a camp?A: I don't know. All I do is go over there late at night and lie down, get up early in the morning and leave.
Q: Will you have to do things to manufacture that camp feeling that you get when you're up away in Albany?A: I don't think so. I don't think so. Most of our time is spent right here.
Q: How reactive are you at making your team after the moves teams in the division have made?A: What do you expect me to say? I'm aware of their roster.
Q: Will you make personnel decisions in response?A: Well, you hope your match-ups are good. That's what it's all about.
Q: Are you worried about the time your unrestricted free agents are missing? Do you want a decision from them soon?A: I do. I do, but it's meeting times that they are missing. They're not going to be on the field anyways. Anything they miss because of the way this thing is set up, perhaps not to the great extent that it will young people, Prince, but it will be a factor.
Q: What did you say to Matt Dodge about having another punter in camp?A: Competition, that's all. Competition. Help you focus.
Q: Weatherford's a proven punter in the league…A: It will be a good go then.
Q: Snee took some snaps at center, is that going to be a serious consideration?A: He can snap the ball. He did it mostly tonight, the whole the time with the ones. We rotate them around. They all snap. I was very pleased the way he jumped in there. He jumped in there and assignment wise, he was making the calls and all of that stuff. It's a plus. You need all of those guys to do that inside.
Q: How long until Koets is ready?A: Supposed to be ready when he got here. This was one today that hit me right over the head.
Q: Is it something different?A: It's the patella tendon (tendonitis). It's the same thing. (tendonitis resulting from his ACL surgery)
**DE Justin Tuck
Q: … Plaxico
A: I think he got a sense of that last night. A lot of guys came out of their meeting rooms to say hello. I think it was his first time in this facility to get the opportunity to see pictures of him up and things like that. So, I think it was a good overall vibe for him. Hopefully that coincides with him being back in blue one day.
Q: Are you optimistic?
A: I think we all are. Obviously we're not putting all our eggs in one basket. But, we understand that he has to make a decision and do what's best for him and his family. That's all you can ask for. Would we love for him to be here? Absolutely. Will we keep our fingers crossed in hoping that he ends up here? Either way I'm hoping that he has the opportunity to put all his past behind him and get back to doing what he loves.
Q: The reports this morning out of Pittsburgh, where he is now, were that you are very unlikely and the Jets are actually going to make a big push.
A: You could say the same thing about Philly. He might've seen the Eagles last night.
Q: So he's going to the Eagles? Is that what you're saying?
A: You know what I know. I wish I was a fortune reader or psychic or something so I could give you all quick news. So far that only worked once.
Q: … Plaxico
A: … He's a very athletic 6'5" who's not afraid. I told you that yesterday. Look around this league and show me that make-up. There's not many guys that can do what he's done.
A: I know what we have in the locker room. We stand a great chance of winning every game this year. It's all about us. It's not about what other people think.
Q: Did you call Osi last night?
A: I called him this morning.
A: We had a great conversation.
Q: Did you tell him to get here?
A: I did not tell him that.
Q: How was he?
A: Well I don't think Osi's mad. I think he realizes this is a business and he's doing what's best for him. You can't blame him for that. A lot of people have different opinions on how to handle the situation. You might not see eye-to-eye with how he handled it. He has to do what's best for him. That's all I tell him to do. My biggest concern is that he doesn't do something that's going to hurt Osi. We all know he can play this game very well. I just want him to have the opportunity to do that for as long as he wants to do it. I'm not one of those guys who's going to be saying you need to be here. That's not my position. I'm going to give him my stance on it and he can take it for what it's worth. He knows what I'm saying. He knows I'll always be here to support him. That's what our conversation was about.
Q: do you think he has any regrets about what he said in his affidavit?
A: We've all been in situations where we wish we could take stuff back. Osi's a smart guy. He knows what he's doing. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a quicker end to this decision. That's just me being optimistic, I guess.
Q: It's kind of hard to take a sworn affidavit back though. Is it beyond the point of repair already?
A: I don't think so. We've all seen worse, worse than this situation between Osi and the New York Giants. A couple years ago Michael Strahan was in a similar situation. He might've had a little bit more (leverage?) being a future hall-of-famer. You've got to understand, we just got out of a tremendous business deal with just being able to come out here and play this game again. It is a business. I think a lot of people get caught up in the loyalty to the game and things of that nature like the Giants in this situation. We're definitely loyal to the team. But, in Osi's situation, he feels as though he needs to do this. Who am I to say he's wrong for doing it?
Q: Contracts aside, how can all four D-Ends co-exist?
A: How about me, Kiwi, Osi, and Tollefson? It's not about stats. None of us are "I" guys. We want to win. We know that having four very quality defensive ends in this league, especially how we like to play, puts us in that much better position.
Q: Who do you think has an advantage because of the lack of an offseason, offenses or defenses?A: I think we will both be on the same page right now. It is going to be a learning process both offensively and defensively. Right now we have to move at a pretty rapid pace and that is going to be a lot tougher for the younger guys as opposed to the veterans but that is what we are here for. We are here to help them out and help ourselves out. We are a unit.
Q: Are you anxious to get CB Prince Amukamara into camp?A: Absolutely. I have seen some of Prince's film and he is a great player and I'm pretty sure he is a great person. You want to have everyone here but at the same time it is a professional business. He has to make sure that he takes care of himself on his end also.
Q: Did you work out in Miami with Plaxico Burress?A: I wasn't where he was. He was at Perfect Competition and I was in Miami.
Q: What do you think about Plaxico Burress?A: I really haven't heard much about the meeting but in my personal opinion, I would love to have him as a teammate. I played against him several times and he hurt us several occasions but to be on the same team with him would be great. I would be excited to have him here.
Q: Are the players talking about Plaxico Burress in the locker room?A: Guys talk about it. We know that he will definitely be an asset to this unit. You can't help but notice his physical attributes to the game. I'm pretty sure he has been through what he has been through and is going to come here and be a leader. He is going to be an outstanding player for us and most of all, he is going to be Plax (Plaxico Burress).
Q: Will you be playing in a different role since S Deon Grant is no longer with the team?A: I'm not sure yet. That goes a lot with game planning. Deon (Grant) was a very key asset to our defense last year and if he is not here, I'm not sure if they are going to have someone step into his role or go into the more traditional safety look. I'm not sure yet.
Q: What would you prefer?A: It doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm coached up and my assignments are put out for me, I will play wherever they need me to play.
Q: Does it scare you to go on the field without being able to practice this whole offseason?A: When you are a ballplayer, you are a ballplayer. I feel you can miss a lot and still come back. You may not be where you need to be but it won't take so long to get back to that grinding stage. We are all professionals and I'm sure everyone took care of their bodies during the offseason to make sure they got in the best shape possible but like Ray Lewis said, the only thing that can get you in football shape is football. Right now is just the mental aspect that we have to get back to.
**LB Mark Herzlich
Re: Learning from the veteran players
A: That's the good thing about the linebacker room, everybody is helping everybody. We're all competing against each other but still there's help going on.
Q: How do you describe this whole process for you? Has getting out there today and last night put any closure to one part and started up a new process?
A: I think it has put a little bit of closure to the whole campus story and everything. Obviously I don't want that to go away. I'm very proud of what I went through and want to help as many people as possible. But for the next 28-30 days, it's all about learning the plays, executing on the field, and making plays.
Q: … Is that kind of solace for you at this point, you're back in your element the way you want it to be?
A: I'm not where I wanted to be yet because where I want to be is on the New York Giants 53-man roster. So, there's still more to go. That's obviously a big accomplishment if I get to that point.
Q: Were you hoping to go to the Patriots or the Giants?
A: In the NFL. I wasn't very picky with teams.
Q: Did you root for a team?
A: Yeah, everybody's going to be upset, but I was from Philadelphia. You know how that goes. But, my dad has always been a Giants fan. So I get some solace from that.
**RB DJ Ware
Q: Is it kind of tough for you, because if Ahmad comes back, that's competition for you, but your friends with—do you have a word of emotions maybe?A: It's cool. Like I said, it's business, we all understand that and if he comes back then we're going to be competing every day all day and I will be working as hard as I can to compete for playing time or if he comes back he's definitely going to be trying to get that playing time so it's one of those things we just have to see what happens.
Q: If he does come back how ready are you for…?A: Oh man, I'm ready. I've been working out all off-season. My body feels good, no injuries or anything. I mean I'm ready-my mind is strong, my body is strong and just ready to figure out what is going to happen.
Q: If he doesn't come back, they've got to sign somebody. Do you think just you and Brandon can pick it up?A: Yeah, I think me and Brandon…He's a different style running back. He's a big guy that can pound and I'm kind of in the middle between him and Ahmad. I've got a little speed and I can run over people sometimes and try to run away from them, too, so it looks like it'll be a good combination with both of us, with a one-two punch and it remains to be seen…
Q: Is it all about opportunity?A: Um, it's all about I guess the football gods. They bless my life, they help me out. You've got to work and prepare and make sure you're safe and you know, they're ready for you. You play forward, lots of injuries happen and you have to shake it off when injuries happen. You've just got to be prepared mentally and physically so that when the opportunity comes, you make the most of it.
Q: How concerned are you about the offensive line from the center, off to the left side-it's going to be all new.A: I mean, we lost the guys that we love and are a big part of our offense. They'd been here for awhile and worked good together and now these guys have got to build that bond, go out there and get to work and make sure they understand each other, play off each other and respond.
Q: You've been here a number of years, I think most guys have still…A: Um, you know when I got here, I got here the year we won the Super Bowl, with Derrick Ward and Brandon and Ahmad and the outcome was like, it's indescribable you know how good my team was, and I worked my way up. It's kind of like been one of those things where every year, a guy was here longer than me so he's next in line, and I just can go out here and control what I can do and go out there and compete and I've just got to go out there and make something happen.
Q: Brandon has been lobbying pretty hard to get Plax back in here. What do you think he's going to do about it, what is the big conversation?A: I just asked him what he thinks was going to happen, and he doesn't really know. He wants Plax back, that's his guy and Plax brings another (dimension?) to the offense. …but you know, we have great receivers now and I don't want to take anything from him, but they're going to go out there and compete whether we have him or not, so I think we'll be okay either way.
**C David Baas
Q: How are you looking at this opportunity?A: I think it's a great opportunity, I'm really excited. It's a fresh start and it's a great organization and a great group of guys and I can't wait to get started.
Q: Do you think you fit what they want to do?A: Absolutely. I think hard nosed, get the grind and I'm a smart guy and I'll be able to pick up the playbook pretty fast. I feel like I have a good fit here, yeah.
Q: We always hear about chemistry being important on the offensive line. How are you going to be able to handle that with the short training camp?A: I think we have to handle it. Like you said, it is a short period. There were some changes and you respect the guys who were here. I know Shaun and Rich had been here for a long time and I know it's a sudden change, but I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to get to know the guys and work with them and just go out there and play football and win a championship.
Q: Is it hard to replace a player, or players, who were very popular? They go out one day and you come in the next.A: Yeah. I want to reiterate again that I have the utmost respect for them and I know it was a weird situation. That's part of the business. I have to come in here and I have to do a job. I'm going to do everything I can to gain the trust of my teammates, especially the offensive line, and show them that I deserve to be here.
Q: Jerry Reese didn't seem to have any reservations with you picking up center…A: I know I'll be able to pick it up. I mean in San Francisco I had six different coordinators in six years and six playbooks. It's a new playbook, but you transfer things and it should be a smooth transition.
Q: In the beginning of the process were you looking at playing center or playing guard? What was the market like for you?A: Truthfully, it was both. Being versatile and being able to play left guard, right guard, center, I think that's one thing that the Giants liked. I'm willing to do whatever, but right now I'm focused on center.
Q: Do you feel more comfortable at guard or center?A: Truthfully, it doesn't matter. I just want to win. I've played both so I'm able to do both. Whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do.
Q: Did you think you were going back to the 49ers?A: It was such a weird situation with the lockout that you always had that possibility. That's moved on. I'm here. I'm glad to be here. I'm ready to get started.
Q: Do you know anybody here at the Giants?A: Yeah, I know some of the guys. I've been around my class and I played against Justin Tuck in college. I know Michael Boley. Snee was a year ahead of me. I met Eli today. It's not a big deal, I'm not going to be standoffish. I'll make sure that I get to know the guys. I'll get to know them throughout this camp. Work with them, and that's the best thing to do.
Q: You and Eli are going to have to spend a lot of time together…A: Yeah. That's fine. Basically, everybody says the center is the second quarterback so I have to make sure that we're on the same page at all times, that we have the best chance to win.
Q: You played for a fiery coach in San Francisco and now you get to play for Coach Coughlin. What are your thoughts on having him as a coach?A: I'm excited. I love him. I haven't been around him but a couple of hours. I think it's a great opportunity and I think he's a great coach and I can't wait to get started.
Q: The Giants didn't know they had a hole at center until Tuesday. At what part in the process did you realize the Giants were interested and were you surprised by it?A: No, I wasn't surprised by it. I think that there were quite a few teams that were interested in me. Last season I just filled in at center and did a good job and I know I put good tape out there. I'm just glad that it worked out that I'm here.
Q: You played some guard in the past, but have you been a center for a while now?A: Last season.
Q: Just last season?A: Yeah, I kind of have been back and forth from left guard and right guard and then last season I played center.
Q: What do you like about center?A: It's a lot of responsibility, but I like that challenge. It's still a hard-nosed position. You're still going to get your pulls and your different things like you do at guard. It doesn't matter to me. I'm still going to get after it.
Q: It seems more complicated. Not a problem?A: No.
Q: What's the pronunciation of your last name?A: It's boss. I'm David "Boss" and there is also Kevin Boss. Everybody gives me the bass, but it's boss.
WR Domenik Hixon
Q: It's been a long time for you. How anxious are you to get on the practice field for real later today?A: Very anxious. This is something I've been waiting 13 months for. I've been preparing and it's kind of like a dream come true all over again.
Q: It's also a big opportunity obviously, barring any other moves, there's a hole right there at third receiver. Is that something that you're looking forward to trying to get?A: Absolutely, every time going into training camp when you were training in the off season you're looking to be the number one. That's what I train for every year and that's my goal. Whether or not that happens, that's a different story.
Q: Do you have any reservations about where you are physically or are you not even worried about the knee anymore?A: I'm not really concerned. Yesterday going through the physical, I talked to the doctors and they felt I was 100 percent. We're just going to keep a close eye on it and make sure it doesn't swell up or have any setbacks. I feel 100 percent.
Q: What do you think about the idea of Plaxico coming back?A: I think it's a great idea. Great guy, played with him and I had the chance to know him personally and he's a great guy so him coming back wouldn't be a bad idea.
Q: Did you see him at all when he was in the building yesterday?A: No I didn't. We were in a meeting.
Q: It certainly would affect you and the other receivers too. It might knock guys down a notch. How do you juggle wanting him back with how it could affect your playing time?A: I think in the receiver room we want to win ball games. Whatever helps us do that, that's what we want so that may be so but at the end of the day we're winning and our goal is the Super Bowl. If we have to take a step back, that's fine if we win ball games.
Q: Does this team need Plaxico?A: That's a great question. I think it's one of those things we're going to have to wait to find out what happens. If we get him, great, if not, he'll play somewhere else and do well there.
Q: Is there a lot of talk about him in the last couple of days amongst the receivers?A: Yeah there has been. We're all anxious and things are falling into place. Everybody in the NFL is making moves. We're anxious to see what the Giants are doing.
Q: Is it odd coming to training camp not knowing exactly where you're going to fit in ultimately when everything shakes out?A: Yeah, it's something that's different. It's the first year of this happening and guys can't practice until August 4th and different things like that. So it's something a little different and something we'll have to get used to.
Q: Do you still see yourself as a valuable contributor to special teams.A: Absolutely. Definitely on special teams and as a receiver.
Q: When you go out there tonight are you going to have any kinds of limitations whatsoever?A: No. I feel like 100 percent. A couple of bumps and bruises along the way. The past couple of months I've been running around. Yesterday for our little conditioning deal I felt good. I'm excited to go up against the best guys in the league.
Q: Will you at last keep an eye on it if you start to feel something and be careful with it and not rush it?A: Yeah that's something that we discussed yesterday, not getting a set back, or if it does swell for some reason, before it gets worse we'll go ahead and stop it there and analyze it and let the doctors do what they do.