Opening Statement: Good morning. We didn't' even practice yet and we're back together again. I can't imagine what you want to talk about today.
Q: How excited are you that you're going to be having the veterans out there tonight?A: I'm very excited. I've been looking forward to this as I'm sure every coach in the league has. Whether you want to focus on the original August 4th date or whether you want to try to ignore it, it was an issue for all of us because even though we have a 90 number, we do have some issues trying to balance everything up and then when you've got a couple of guys, as we do, that go on PUP the numbers are affected and yet you want to develop and move on with your players. You're just hoping that those 16 guys who are standing there watching are learning while they are. So what we'll do this afternoon is, I want to move them all forward at the same time and these people would not be ready to go in pads so we'll put our guys in shells for a couple days and all of our players will participate in practice and they all will get reps and the guys who are stepping out there for the first time this fall will be able to advance accordingly. So we're going to do that and then come back together and put the pads back on in a couple of practices ready to go.
Q: Kiwanuka has been cleared by the doctors. Will there be any caution on your end?A: Not necessarily. No, he's ready to go. He's chomping at the bit. He really is and we've been given medical clearance, period.
Q: You mentioned back in February that you thought Jacobs could've handled more carries last year. Is that still part of the plan?A: I think it is a part of the plan and we'd like to see that happen. I think between our runners we've always had two maybe three around here that have contributed and we're excited about having a chance to do that again.
Q: Travis Beckum lines up at tight end and sometimes moves into the slot. Could he do that full time? Is that a possibility?A: Well it's a possibility. You'd have to change some things in the run game to be able to do that but he had a couple of nice blocks down in the green zone last night that were pretty physical. He has a special skill set and certainly we'd like to take full advantage of that skill set. He's always been a guy that's been on special teams, a personnel combination kind of a player that you used accordingly. We've brought him inside to the fullback position this fall, we've put him on the edge and done that with him and then we've lined him up at the point. You certainly don't want to do that all the time and run the power or whatever right at him but he can do it.
*Q: He seemed to have a really good practice last night. *A: He had two or three real outstanding plays and I was glad to see that. In addition Ballard came along. He had a nice night. He blocked well last night. We're going to need people to be very good at what they do when called upon to do it.
Q: Are you any closer to signing Prince?A: I don't know what's going on today. From what I gathered yesterday, for example, we were prepared to have him in here right away. So I don't know, I haven't talked to anybody yet today.
Q: It has only been a couple of days but what have you seen from Herzlich?A: He's playing in the Mike spot. He has moved pretty well. I think he's moving better perhaps than he did a year ago. He's smart, competitive, he has played special teams so it's all about advancing. It's advancing for him. Everybody's cheering for him.
Q: Is he somewhere between where he was last year and before his diagnosis?A: Well I won't know that until we practice a little bit more. As you know he was a great college player. He had all the numbers to go with it.
Q: You finally got to wear full pads and now you're going back to shells? Is that something you just have to be flexible with? Has that been inconvenient?A: Well, once we knew about this August 4th thing I didn't focus on the guys not practicing. I focused on the guys practicing. When it came down to ok, these people are going to be available, now we've got to be smart about that, too. We try to be smart about everything else. So here's what we'll do so that we can integrate the whole group, move forward, advance, let these guys take snaps without standing around saying wait a minute you can't go, you're not ready for that play, you're out. I'm not going to get into that. We're going to do the smart thing.
Q: If the CBA is not approved do you have a plan?A: You've been pulling a bunch of that this fall. Here's what I think, Tuck asked me that, what's the plan if we don't, I said we're approving the CBA and you guys are all practicing today. I'm not going to look at that one. In other words, I changed this schedule in order to accommodate everybody and I have another schedule which, God forbid if we have to go back to, but we'll do it.
Q: Any updates on Osi practicing tonight?A: Nothing that I can report, no.
Q: Kevin Boss is out in Oakland right now. Are you hoping he comes back?A: Hope so. I hope so. The message is Kevin, come on, get in here.
Q: Have you talked to Boss since yesterday?A: We went back and forth. I left him a message. He left me a message. I left him a message and then I didn't hear back from him.
Q: Long journey back?A: Yeah. I'm glad to be here. There's no other place that I want to be.
Q: Were you worried that you wouldn't be back here?A: I didn't know. I just let my agent handle it. I really wanted to be here. I love New York. I love this organization, the coaches here, my teammates. I always wanted to come back the whole time we've been off.
Q: You were talking a lot about the Dolphins.A: It's all in the business. I really didn't know about the Dolphins, but now that I'm here, I'm happy.
Q: What are your impressions of free agency after your first time through it?A: It's just a process. Just like you said. This is all a business. I've been put through it and I got pushed right in it. Like I said, just got to take it slow and see how it happens.
Q: Is the business surprising in that you go in thinking you're going to get 'this much' and at the end you get 'this much?'A: Right, it really is. We didn't get what we expected to get, but I'm happy with what I got. I love the Giants and I wanted to be here and that's what I wanted.
Q: Did it mean something to you that Brandon accepted less?A: He loves me and I respect him more than anything for doing that. He called me when he did it and he's like, 'I want you here.' Like I said, this is where I wanted to be.
Q: It was a risk on his part. He could have signed it and you could have ended up somewhere else.A: I don't know anything about it.
Q: Did he tell you that you owe him anything?A: No. He hasn't yet.
Q: But you're expecting it?A: Yeah, of course. I'll give him whatever he wants.
Q: How are you physically?A: I feel great. I've been in Miami with the best trainers there. I trained with Pete Bommarito (sp?) for two, three months and I feel tremendous.
Q: Did you have a cleanout or something like that?A: In February. Yes, I had the one in my left ankle. It was nothing really wrong with my ankle, just a lot of junk in it. Like I said, I feel great. My ankles feel tremendous.
Q: How curious are you to see how the offensive line is going to shake out?A: We lost a lot of great guys and then Richie [Seubert] and Shaun [O'Hara]. The guys we've got, I'm sure they have talent and I can't wait to see what they have.
Q: Do you hope that Bear Pascoe remains at fullback?A: We have a great replacement. Bear did great last season. I think if he has to do the job this year, he'll be fine.
Q: When you heard that Jason Snelling was coming to visit, did you take it as a sign the Giants might be moving on?A: No. We have two different talents. He's a big back, just like Brandon [Jacobs], I guess. It was no threat to me. Like I said, I just do my part. All I can hope is that the Giants [like] what they saw in me and gave me a contract.
Q: Is there an upside to sharing the load with Brandon?A: Of course. We kind of take it to that part, just because it keeps us healthy and you last longer in the game. You have to look towards the end of your career too.
Q: What do you think about the DeAngelo Williams contract?A: He's a great back. The Panthers have a different situation with that than us and I guess they handled it that way.
Q: When you went into this did you look look at him and look at you and say you should be valued in the same range?A: We're the same talents. Like I said, he's a great back. He does a lot of the same things I do. I felt that way too, but like I said, it's a business and the situation I was in, being a free agent.
Q: Would you be okay with Brandon Jacobs getting more carries?A: That's fine. Like I say, he's a big brother to me. I'll share whatever I have with him. Like I said, keeps us healthy and makes the team better.
Q: Were you hearing a lot of lobbying? Were a lot of guys calling?A: A lot of teammates were. They really wanted me back.
Q: Anyone do anything creative?A: No. Just Brandon [Jacobs], he called every day.
Q: Before he signed did he say, 'I'm not going to sign if you don't come back?'
A: No, he didn't. Like I said, we talked every day. He wanted me back and I could tell.
Q: The fact that you couldn't practice until today, did that enter into why you signed when you signed?A: No. I didn't think about it that way. Like I said, I've been training as hard as I can regardless of when I can practice. Like I said, it didn't factor into it.
Q: Some guys in your situation have signed one-year deals to show themselves. Was that a consideration?A: Yeah, sure. I just wanted to come out and give it my all – whatever contract I had, how much ever it was. I'm going to give it my all every time I touch the field.
Q: Were Cincinnati and Washington in the mix?A: Towards the end. It wasn't really too much. Like I said, I've always been a Giant the whole time.
Q: Was it emotionally trying?A: Yeah, of course. It's just stressful thinking about it. Like I say, all I can do is stay healthy and keep getting better off the field.
Q: Do you have any goals this year?A: Of course. You always want to be better than last year and I just want to make this team a better team as much as I can – running the ball, protecting Eli, or whatever's on me.
Q: Have you done anything in the offseason to get better at protecting the ball?A: Of course. I've worked on just the strength of holding the ball in my hands, everything. Wrist protection, everything.
Q: You've always been a guy who's run with a chip on his shoulder. Will this contract lessen some of that?A: No. Like I said, I touch the field, you're going to get everything you've gotten. I love this game and regardless of how much money I have, I'm always going to give my all.
Q: Tom Coughlin said there might be times where it's smarter to go down and not fight for extra yards to risk turnovers. Is that going to be difficult for you?A: Of course it will. It will be a change. I'm always going to fight for an extra yard, regardless. I just have to keep [the ball] close to my body, keep [the ball] tight.
Q: Is there a way to fight for the extra yard and protect the ball?A: It's like a habit, putting [your arm] up in the air, sort of like this, when you're trying to fight for an extra yard and use your shoulders much and just tuck it away.
Q: Was your wrist also a factor towards the end of last season?A: Yeah. I had a small fracture in it. Like I said, I feel tremendous now. There's nothing wrong with my wrist, I'm able to cup the ball now with my left. I can't complain or use it as an excuse for my fumbles. Like I said, I'm fine now.
Q: Is this enough prep time for you?A: Of course. Like I said, I'm ready. I've been on the field since we left. I've been wanting to play football. That's the love of my life.
Q: When can you actually put pads on? You still have to wait?A: I'm not even sure. Yeah, I guess.
Q: Will you or have you bought anything to reward yourself?A: Not yet.
Q: Is there one thing you're thinking of?A: I just want to take care of my kids.
**DL Coach Robert Nunn
Q: How's Osi?
A: Osi's been good to me. He's been fine. He's been in meetings and participating in meetings. He's been very good.
Q: Was he at the walkthrough this morning?A: Yes. He was there.
Q: As his position coach, do you talk to him about what's going on?
A: Very little as far as that goes. I just talk to him about being ready whenever this thing gets started.
Q: Do you operate as if you're going to have four defensive ends?
A: Sure. Yeah, that's the way it stands right now. So that's what we're doing, preparing for that. That's basically all we talk about. I don't get involved with that. I'm just ready to get him in here and go to work.
Q: You know the situation obviously. I can't imagine the possibility that you could come in here one day and find out your All-Pro defensive end is off your roster. Is that worrisome at all?A: This guy, he's played at a high level for a long time. We had a very good year; had a very healthy situation last year. We'd like to build on that. Obviously we want him here. We'll see where that ends up.
Q: Is it weird in the sense that you lost Barry Cofield and you're going to have to rely on a young kid inside? How troublesome is that?A: Any time you lose good players and productive players it's a concern. But it's an opportunity for someone else. We just want to continue what we built on last year and continue to improve.
Q: What have you seen from Marvin Austin and Linval Joseph?
A: So far, outstanding. Linval's in very good shape. Not having the OTA's is a big concern for a guy like him. He seems to have worked on the things that we talked about before he left. He made some improvements – much more suddenness, good quickness coming off the ball. With his size and strength, he's got a real chance. We'll see when the pads come on and once he gets started in a preseason game. Marvin is showing the explosiveness that you saw as a junior, a very explosive player. Technique-wise he's a long way away. That's obvious that it was going to be that way because he missed all the OTA's and all the offseason training. Right now we're sitting in a pretty good situation with the young guys.
Q: What's reasonable to expect out of a kid who hasn't played football in a year?
A: It varies with each situation. We'll have to just see how it all unfolds here when we get more into padded practices. When we get into when the live bullets start firing we'll know more. He's coming here in a good frame of mind, in good shape. He's not where he needs to be, but he's in good enough shape to get in good shape. Everybody in the room has worked hard. We stress that to the guys that left here. When the draft took place, we stressed it to Marvin about the conditioning. More so than ever it's crucial this year. They've all come in in good shape. Marvin's certainly in a good position.
Q: At defensive tackle, how much can talent make up for lack of technique?
A: Talent makes up for a lot of things – even bad coaching.
Q: At defensive tackle, more so than say the offensive line, can you rely on sheer quickness and talent?
A: Yeah, that makes a big difference. A guy that who has explosiveness and quickness and bursts. He's been very impressive so far.
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul told us that despite the flashes that we all saw last year, he felt like he played slow. Do you think that's true?
A: There were times he did play slow. I think he was just unsure and not confident. He's another one that with the offseason and the OTA programs, I think he would've benefitted a lot from that. He's another one that's come in here in very good condition. He's off to a very good start. Then again, it's hard to really know where you are at the defensive line until you get pads on and can start going against live competition and get into the preseason. We'll see where we are once that comes.
Q: Do you see enough from last year with JPP to kind of feel like the athletic ability can translate into …A: There's no question. This kid is talented. He's a very unique player. I've been around the league 12 years and I have not coached one that he compares to. He's kind of his own guy – how strong he is and how talented and how much range he has. We've got a long way to go to get the technique that he needs to have to reach that potential. I can't say anything else about him. He's always wanting to do what you ask him to. If he continues to do that, things are going to work out for him.
Q: If he's slow because he's thinking do you try to encourage the old aggressive thing – if you're going to make a mistake, make an aggressive mistake?
A: Yeah, we talk to him about that. We continue to rep in individual periods and half speed drills. You see his confidence growing. The guy, he's got some special ability. We just have to continue to work on it. It really set him back, the offseason program and not having that and the OTAs and those type things.
Q: Without that, are you doing anything different?
A: Not really. Probably spending a little bit more time on things that you would have already covered in OTAs. It affects you a little bit as far as their individual periods. You'd like to have more individual time. But, you're still stressing the same things. It's the fundamentals of football. It's the same thing that these guys have had stressed upon them for their entire football careers. You just wish you had a little more time to do that, just like the things that we do in the offseason.
Q: Mathias said he's not nervous at all. Are you as a coach a little bit nervous? Are you a little weary?
A: I guess. That's a hard question to answer. You know it's there. But he's been cleared medically. Mathias is in great condition. He takes great care of his body and is prepared at all times. We'll see where it goes. I can't say that I don't think about it at all. On the same hand, it's not restricting anything we're doing.
Q: Can you even say right now what you foresee his role to be?A: Mathias, I can see doing a lot of different things. He's a guy that can come out there and stand up and the next day you can put him back down and he's not going to be lost. He's very talented. The best thing about Kiwi is he's ready for whatever. Let's go. We'll see how his role unfolds here as we go and we learn our team. It's just very unique, as everyone knows. No one's been here in this league. We're learning our team as we go and we'll see where he fits in.
**OL Coach Pat Flaherty
Q: What does it mean to see such key players as Richie and O'Hara go during the off-season this year?
A: We all, as coaches, say play the game above the X's and O's and they came to work above the X's and O's because they really felt in their heart because of the way this organization is. They put every ounce of energy both physically and mentally into what they did in the meeting room and also on the football field. It really hurt them what they went through, it hurt everybody, but as we all well know—we have to move on. We have to adapt our personality as an offensive line group each and every year. This year is no different from that standpoint.
Q: It seems that Will Beatty has been groomed for this left tackle position since he's been drafted. Is he ready to take over that spot for David Diehl?
A: Yeah, we still have to get the cobwebs out a little bit. There's a guy that's going into his third year that is missing time. When you miss time in the NFL--precious practice time from being injured, you have to accelerate the process to try to make up for that time. That's what we're trying to do at training camp and he's responding. When he's here and we have our hands on, there is nobody that works harder in the classroom or the football field. What we try to provide with all of our young players is that when you're not here, you need to continue to develop and study.
Q: What have you been able to do with the new center to get him ready?
A: It's all mental with David Baas. When he gets out there, as soon as they get everything ironed out (hopefully by tonight's practice), and we're able to get him out there, we're going to put him right in. There are going to be some things that won't be as smooth as you want, but he's going to be the guy that is snapping balls and making calls. You'll have David Diehl on one side and Chris Snee on the other so there is two guys that have been in our system that will be a lot of help to him. From what I can tell right now from being around David Baas, he's an intelligent guy and an extremely hard worker. He's a veteran and takes things home with him and he does study. I'm excited and looking forward to him.
Q: He hasn't been able to take a single snap, though, is that correct?
A: Yes, he hasn't done anything on the field at all. Everything is stand and watch. He just watches the meter on the field. He's another guy that is bored—he's interested, and rightfully so.
Q: How physical do you think the offense will be this year?
A: We have been physical in the past. In the last eight years someone told me in the last seven years we have been right up there. We were number one in certain years. That has not deteriorated from those times, I don't have the stats right here ,but it takes a quarterback, a running back, tight ends and everything—not just the offensive line. The physical aspect is mostly mental. I really believe that as a veteran you don't get old, you get more savvy. You can utilize a lot of things to get more savvy. Shaun O'Hara was injured in the 2010 season and his play was not nearly what it was in the past because he was injured. Richie's play was phenomenal for a guy who did what he did at left guard, and moved into center and started playing. That says a lot for what he's done over the years and paying attention to the center position. He is as physical as anybody we've had inside. Shaun was dearly missed because that gave us the opportunity to put Richie at left guard. The youth, if they know what they're doing and they're more powerful and their legs are a little bit stronger then help yourself. We anticipate that no matter what the age of our players. We don't get caught up in that age thing.
Q: Are the offensive line changes a bigger issue this year versus years past?
A: It's a concern in the sense that you have to be able to communicate more. We start in the room and we've always done that. As we start in the process of installing and get in the meeting rooms, I go in there and I install, but I also get them involved and talking in the room and carry that to the football field. You have to be able to communicate. It does take some chemistry sometimes. For example, when you have played against an adjacent lineman over the years, it's a physical communication; you don't even have to talk. That is something we'll have to develop.
Q: Can you develop that in this short timeframe?
A: You have to. There's no can; you have to. That is a challenge you have and that is a challenge you take on as a group. We know what has to get done, we know what it is going to take to be successful; there's no excuses. There is a reason for everything, but there are no excuses for anything. That is the motto we have. We are not going to make an excuse. We're expected to protect Eli Manning and open holes for Ahmad and that is what we're going to do.
Q: How do you think Stacy Andrews will fit in?
A: I think he should fit fine. There is a guy that just came aboard, and he is going to be catching up every day even though he has played and he is a veteran. I am excited to see him in pads. I have watched him on tape over the years, but I am excited to see him in pads, too.
Q: Will Stacy Andrews be a tackle?
A: He will start out at tackle. We want flexibility with all of our players.
Q: Do you think he is more of a right tackle?
A: We haven't decided yet, I haven't seen enough of him to determine that. Right now, he has the veteran knowledge to be able to go back and forth between right and left. He's going to be the compass of this team.
Q: He came in here around 318. Is that where you want him, or is that too much weight on him?
A: What I said to Stacy is to get with Jerry Palmieri and find a weight. What impresses me about the guy is that he didn't come out here weighing 345, 350. The more years you play and the leaner you are, you know you are taking care of your body.
Q: If something happens, is Snee going to possibly move over to center during the season if there is an injury?
A: There's always a possibility for that. He knows what it takes, being a Pro Bowl player moving into center. He could be a tremendous center day in and day out. There are very few blips on the radar that he has caused in practice and I anticipated that. In terms of his snap blocking. Getting your hand out between your legs and then going to block, but he's an option that we can turn to. Chris is an unselfish guy. Amongst Kareem and David, that room looks like a true veteran leadership right now.
Q: If Beatty is ineffective, will Diehl play left tackle?
A: There is always the option of David doing that. Right now, David Diehl is a guard and he needs to focus and concentrate on his technique at guard because it's been awhile. We moved him last year and he moved in there, but it takes awhile.* *It takes somebody moving inside and protecting the ball a little bit from that standpoint. William Beatty has to earn this job also. He has not earned this job in the NFL, but in saying that, he has the proper attitude and that's what it's going to take to be a football player and somebody you can count on, but he still has to earn that job.
**OT Stacy Andrews
Q: How do you see your opportunity here?A: It looks pretty good. I'm just coming in to get all the plays down and see how it goes from there. Wherever they want me to play, that's where I am going to bury my head in the books.
Q: Did your brother tell you about playing for the Giants?A: He spoke highly of the Giants since day one and continuously. When he found out that I had the opportunity to come out here, he was very excited.
Q: Did you drop weight on purpose?A: I didn't feel like I had to. It was the offseason and I played in a basketball summer league and I hit it hard this offseason. I feel like I'm in tip-top shape.
Q: Do you think you have a shot at being a starter?A: As of right now, I am just getting the plays down and see where that takes me. I'm just trying to learn everything I can whether it's right guard, left guard, right tackle or left tackle.
Q: Where do you prefer to play?A: I like tackle more than guard but if the opportunity comes, then I am going to take that.
**C David Baas
Q: How do you see yourself fitting in on the offensive line?A: We have been unable to participate the last couple days so I just have to get my head into the books and transfer over what I know from other playbooks, get the calls down and just make sure that I can do as much as I can to prepare myself so that when I do get out there on the field, it is a smooth transition. Of course, it is going to be little things here and there that I am going to have to be able to correct but that takes a little bit of time and practicing it with the guys.
Q: What really transfers from one playbook to another?A: A lot. It depends on what system you are in. It doesn't take that long especially once you start seeing it. I was glad that we were able to come out here and watch practice and you are like 'oh yes, that one was like that.' That was good because if we were stuck inside, it would make it a lot harder.
Q: Do you think the New York Giants style of offensive line fits you?A: Yes. Absolutely.
Q: Is there a different side of you once you are on the field?A: I get out on the field and it is definitely a different mentality. You have to be that way in order to have success.
Q: Have you been frustrated not being able to play?A: Absolutely. You want to be out there with your teammates getting that gel, timing and cadences and all those different things. You want to be able to do that but you understand that they have to finish what they have to finish to get us out there. You have to have all the rules down to be safe and you understand that, but you do want to be out there. You hate watching from the sideline.
**TE Travis Beckum
Q: How do you feel about your development so far?A: I always thought that the only way for me to be at my best is the chances for me to get those reps. My opportunity and the more time that I am able to run those routes, the more I am going to be able to perfect it as far as that and blocking as well. Like I said, the more reps, the better and now I am getting that opportunity so I am trying to take advantage of it.
Q: Have you gotten a lot of reps in the past?
A: I would say not as many but I think that guys are put in different positions especially me coming out of the backfield now and out of the slot and the Y. I think different positions are key for me, especially moving me around. Like I said, I am just trying to take advantage of it.
Q: How do you feel being in the middle of the field?A: Whatever we need, I am willing to do and get the job done. That's what the NFL is about, if a guy goes down, somebody else needs to step up. I think they brought a couple good guys in to try and help us and all we are trying to do is get better each and every day.
Q: How do you feel the Giants will use you this year?A: I don't know. As far as now, I am kind of everywhere. I have been out wide and I have been in the slot and at the Y and in the backfield. I am moving a lot more in the motions and slides. It is something different but I am definitely excited about learning it and going forward in this camp.
Q: Are you comfortable moving around?A: Yes, I think that I was really big in college with it. It is something that I have been doing since my sophomore year in college is moving from the back field or from the slot. That's when I am at my best is when they get me out moving in space and I can take advantage of the opportunity.