Q: How do you feel about Kevin Boss signing with the Oakland Raiders?A: Disappointing but it was something that occurred just recently. We were very much involved in that but the decision is the decision. I wish him well.
Q: How far apart were the Giants and Boss on a contract?A: I'm not sure of the details.
Q: How big of a loss was that?A: Obviously we would have liked to have him here. We have five guys in here that are now going to have to compete for a job.
Q: Do you need to bring another tight end to the team?A: You are always looking for whatever you can do to improve everywhere. That is never going to stop.
Q: How does this affect Bear Pascoe?A: We will see how that works out. He is bigger and he is stronger. Ballard is obviously here for that job and for one purpose. He is a little better with that and continues to develop Beckum into a consistent player. He makes a great play and then a not so good play. The guys that are here are going to have to prove to us that we can continue and run the offense we want to run. If we have to make adjustments, we will do it.
Q: How important was it to get Prince signed?A: The rookies should and need to be in here. If they are going to help you right away, then they need to be here. We didn't have an offseason so getting here and getting going is important.
Q: Is he here yet?A: He was supposed to land this morning but I haven't seen him.
Q: Do you expect him to practice?A: I do.
Q: How fast will he be able to catch up?A: It depends on how fast he can learn a new language. It is Chinese to him right now so he has a lot of work to do that way.
Q: Can you talk about the Bruce Johnson injury?A: Very sorry and very sad about Bruce. Bruce had two in a row, the ACL knee and now the Achilles. We were all stunned by it because there was no reason why it should have happened. He was just backpedaling. He was just doing something of that nature and all of a sudden this occurs. Why it happens, I always ask myself that. I feel bad for Bruce. Prince coming in here and we would like to stay at a healthy number at corner. The special teams aspect with corners, wide receivers and tight ends. Those guys are running all the time. Our numbers will have to stay up in those areas.
Q: How much do you think Prince can handle at first?A: I think you've got to give him the terminology first so that he has the understanding and there is nothing he is confused with from a verbalization standpoint. Then you have to just throw it at him. You will bring him to a point where he can help us and then you will assess how he can help us. After that it is continuous extra time devoted to getting there as fast as he can. He has a lot of classroom work to make up for. You figure four hours a day in the classroom since we have been here.
Q: How much are you concerned with Osi's knee?A: It is a concern but we are day-to-day until we see how that is.
Q: Were you aware of the injury?A: Yes, I was aware.
Q: Are you able to tell the veteran players who helped the younger players during the offseason?A: I know Chris Snee did the same thing with Brewer. He made an introductory sheet for offensive linemen and made sure he got it. Eli organized the practices and what they were going to work on. That type of thing. Those are the ones that I know of at this point. I can't imagine that Jon Goff didn't do the same thing. I just think any of the veteran guys would have in that position. If a rookie would have come up, I know they would have gotten extra help.
Q: Can you tell with some of your players?A: I can tell when you go out there. That's the problem when we meet and jog through, it goes real slow and it goes like that. That is the difference.
Q: What do you see in Ballard?A: He is a blocker. He is doing everything now. He is flanked out and he has made some nice catches and versatility would be good but at the point of attack, that is what he has to be able to do. He is 276 pounds, he has to.
Q: If Osi has surgery how long do you think he will be out?A: I don't know. I'm hoping he doesn't and we go from there.
Q: What role will Kiwanuka play this season?A: We will do what we can and on first and second downs and on third down, we will do what we can.
Q: How did he look last night?A: He looked fine.
Q: Is he a linebacker or will he bounce around?A: At this point, yes.
Q: If Osi is not here, will he play linebacker?A: At this point, yes.
Q: What are your impressions of Brewer?A: Athletic. He has a lot of work to do.
**RB Brandon Jacobs
Q: How've you been?A: I've been great. Can't complain.
Q: Did you approach the team about re-doing your contract or did they approach you?A: Well I kind of knew that we were going to be in a situation where we were going to have to do that in order to get some players in here to help win some games and when everything was all over with and done my agent and I sat down and talked X, Y, Z – what's the better situation – this, that and the other. Like I said, the Giants made it very fair for me in the situation that I was in and letting me know that they like me around here and they want me to be here.
Q: Did it help to know that some of that money may be going toward your buddy?A: Oh no question. No question about it. I know he played really well last year and the year before that. Given the lockout and everything that happened, no one knew what was going to happen with anybody especially the free agents not knowing if you were going to be free after 6 years or 4 or whatever the case was. He was going to want to be compensated for his work. Given the fact that I said that I would be willing to do it, I want to win. It's not about money and everything else. I want to be able to get out and win games because at the end of the day you could be rich as you want to be and not win any games. That doesn't help you out. You'll just be an unsuccessful former player with a lot of money.
Q: So what does he owe you now?A: He doesn't owe me anything. He just needs to get in that big arena over there and do what he's got to do and be productive. That's all you ask of him. He doesn't really owe me anything.
*Q: The natural feeling is to want to be the man but it looks like you and Ahmad are going to split the loads. Are you fine with that? *A: I can take the whole load, no question about it. I've done it before but the way this league runs you've got to have two backs. You've got to be able to have two healthy backs in order to win. I think we've got more than two actually. It doesn't matter who is out there first. That doesn't bother me. I just want to win.
Q: Coach Coughlin said that you need more carries this year. Ahmad said yesterday that he'd like to share more carries this year. Do you have a goal in mind for this year?A: Realistically, I want to have a lot of carries, no question about it. I want to have a lot of touchdowns and a lot of yards. That's the only way that I can answer that question because that's the only thing that matters.
Q: So what's a lot? Is 200 carries a lot? Is 1,000 yards a lot?A: 1,000 yards is a lot, definitely. That's something that I will be aiming for. I'm not going to actually tell you my goal but it is around that area and 200 carries is a lot as well. I don't know if that can happen with two backs for either of us but whatever happens, happens. I want to come out, I want to win games, I want to be successful as a team.
Q: What are your thoughts about the reshuffling of the offensive line?A: First off, I played with Richie and Shaun for six years and they've been some of the best guys in the locker room to me. I've enjoyed every minute. I've enjoyed going to battle with those guys. We're going to definitely miss them. Not only the type of play that they gave us on the field but them as people in the locker room and their personalities. Those guys are going to be well missed.
Q: How is your health really this year in comparison to other years?A: I feel like my one-year-old Quinn. I'm healthy. I feel really good. I didn't beat on myself that much. I worked out and I worked hard. I didn't really beat on myself that much like some other guys might have done. I feel really good. I feel faster. I'm just ready to get out and play some football.
Q: There is word this morning that Kevin Boss has signed with the Raiders. What does that mean for this team?A: Well, we'll miss a good tight end. No question about that. We've got guys here that have talent and we'll bring it out of them the best we can. Given the situation, a bunch of new guys will have to pick up the offense and learn blocking schemes and route patterns and so on and so forth but that's what these coaches get paid all this money for too. So they've got to come out and work as well.
Q: Was it upsetting when Plaxico didn't sign here?A: It was very upsetting but I understand where he was coming from. He wanted to come back here. After two years of telling me this and that his mind kind changed a little bit but no matter what happened to him in the last two years the man still wanted to be compensated in a good way so he went where the most money was.
Q: So he told you he wanted to come back to the Giants?A: He said he didn't have a problem with coming back but he wanted to be compensated for the type of play that he's going to give.
**TE Travis Beckum
Q: Did you hear Kevin Boss wouldn't be returning?A: Yes, he kind of said that he was headed back to Oakland because they offered him an offer he couldn't turn down so he had to take advantage of it. It is never personal in the NFL. It is just a business. There are no hard feelings towards anybody. He just did what he had to do to take care of him and support his family.
Q: Do you feel you will move up on the depth chart?A: Like I said yesterday, most of my reps last year were when Kevin was in the game but we are down a tight end. People have to step up, especially when people leave.
Q: Are you ready to be an every down tight end?A: I'm ready to do whatever I have to do and whatever they ask me to do. I think that I have done a good job with whatever they asked me to do. I took advantage of everything, whether it was coming out of the backfield, at the Y or being in there during goal line. Whatever they asked me to do, I am willing to do it.
Q: What do you need to work on this season?A: Just being consistent. I think a lot of times you saw spurts and I look to capitalize on those opportunities and consistently do that every day.
TE Jake Ballard
Q: How did you react when you first heard about Kevin?
A: When I first heard, I was sad that he's not coming back. We're all going to miss him a lot; he's a great player and a great guy. We're all happy for him and we think he'll do well.
Q: Does it open up possibilities for you guys?
A: With Kevin gone, there is a big void that needs to be filled. All those tight ends are trying their best to get better every day and we'll see where it goes from there.
Q: How are things going for you this year? As a second-year player, are you more aware of what's going on?
A: Absolutely. Being around here and being able to practice here allowed me to get buffed up and learn the plays and really learn the position. This year's camp is a lot easier for me—more concentrating on the little things instead of assignments. That helped out a lot.
Q: What are the one or two most important things you learned from either watching or listening to Kevin?
A: Probably his work ethic. Kevin works hard and he's smart. He knows what he's doing every play, and just the way he approaches the game is probably what I took out of it the most.
Q: You've been known primarily as the blocker. Do you think you can make strides as a receiver as well?
A: I think so. I ran a lot of routes this off-season, trying to work on my speed and my cuts. I'm trying to be more of a two-way threat than just a blocking tight end, but I know that's where I'm going to go on the team as a blocker and I'm going to have to keep trying to get better at both aspects of the game.Q: Were you guys expecting Kevin to come back?
A: I kept in contact with Kevin, I talked to him every couple days. He really didn't know; he never really gave us any inside info on anything. We tried to get it out of him, but it really wasn't our business so we just supported him along the way and he went with what he thought was the best decision.
Q: At what point did you find out?
A: Coach Pope came in this morning and told us.
**QB David Carr
Q: The way you divvy up snaps in the preseason is always funky with quarterbacks. You have to fight for everything. I'm sure you're very interested to see how they divvy it up, how much Eli needs, and Sage, and you, and whoever.
A: That's one of the other things is just talking to those guys. They didn't really expect to have me. I didn't expect to be here. Even the coaching staff, Sully and Kevin, they're excited to have me here and I'm excited to be here. But, at the same time they have to kind of get well, how are we going to do this? I think we're in the same boat, honestly. It'll be interesting to see, moving on, what goes on.
Q: With the lockout and everything, you're dealing with a lot of guys who haven't been around football for awhile. Does that make it much more difficult for backup quarterbacks?
A: I think it's tough, yeah, to come in and kind of get those guys going. It seems like it's more teaching. At my position, usually, you kind of come and guys have gone through some OTAs. You're not trying to coach them up on the way out of the huddle as much. I'm not saying they don't know their stuff. It's just it's their second day, their third day being out there. It's going to take more for me as far as the coaching aspect. At the same time I'm trying to learn the system again. It's going to take a little bit more, but I'm confident. We'll be fine.
Q: How would you characterize what happened with the 49ers? It seemed like there was a chance there and nothing materialized.A: I kind of knew from the spring that it wasn't going to be a situation where I was going to get to compete for anything. That was kind of frustrating for me all the way back then. This was last spring. This was before the season. As far as how they were giving the reps out and what not. That was the tough part for me. I kind of wanted to come back to New York then.
Q: But they brought you in. What was the understanding when they brought you in?
A: What happened was when the general manager that was there brought me in the understanding was that I was going to compete. Then he ended up getting fired and they brought in a new general manager. They have their own ideas. I kind of just got washed up to the side.
Q: Could you sense that early that you should've stayed where you were?
A: When that happened, yeah. I was like, man, this is not going to be good. So yeah, at that point, you know it's kind of going to be a tough deal.
Q: … They weren't waiting here for you. You must feel very fortunate that you have a do-over here.A: I actually was very happy, especially with the timing of it all – even with all that went on last year, still feeling like I was going to get the chance. And talking to Harbaugh, I think he was straight up with me. He said that anybody that's in camp is going to get the chance to compete for the job. I just happened to not be in camp. The timing of it, I'm glad that this was available because this is something I feel comfortable in and I think I could do well in.
Q: You didn't really miss all that much.
A: Exactly. It's not like they were in OTAs and they were in all the other stuff. We're all kind of doing this together.
Q: There was nothing on the field.A: Exactly. It's a good situation I think; probably the best as far as the timing of it all and what could've happened.
Q: If you go into the new place you have to learn the system; you're going to be behind.A: Yeah, not knowing what's going on, you're already behind. Here, there's nothing like that. I have a little bit of an edge.