Q: How surprised or disappointed were you with the injury to Prince?A: Shocked is a better word. He did individual and as far as I know he took one play. So I have no idea how. He had some issues working out. He had no communication with us and he said he was sore in that area, too. Who knows?
Q: So this didn't happen last night?A: It happened last night.
Q: But he was hurting when he came into camp?A: No, he said he had had some issues, some soreness. I'm not quoting him now. All I know is, I'm being told secondhand that he did say that. Back to the original, it's shocking. It's most difficult. We've done this before. We've gone through this before. You wait and wait and wait and then you get a guy in here. We were very conscious of the fact that he hadn't been around, hadn't been here and so regardless of what we were dressed in we were going to make sure to take good care of him. He wasn't going to get many snaps but that's to no avail. So we're disappointed, very disappointed. The only thing we can say now is that hopefully he's on track to have a chance and recover. I think Beatty did this a couple years ago, it was 8 or 10 weeks and hopefully it'll be the same.
Re: practicing with the number of players currently sidelinedA: Well we're always going to juggle, we have other issues here, we've got issues and we have to keep some kind of balance so we can go ahead continue to practice like we want. To have the three teams, to be able to have that kind of depth and practice the way we are, you know our big guys are averaging about 21-22 plays a practice and there's still guys on the back end around 28 or 29. We could stay on schedule with that with a lot of snaps for everybody, but once you start picking away at it and you lose a guy here and you lose a guy there, you're talking about starting to reduce your snaps and when you start doing that you really have a lot of people that are going to be reduced and lose their snaps to be able to play in the games and do what you want them to do. So it's a double-edged sword.
*Q: With the injuries and the Osi situation are you concerned about the mindset of the team? *A: No, I think the mindset's good. The players are good about that. They're very good about that. We've overcome all this stuff. We'll do it again.
Q: You mentioned the Beatty timetable. Is it different for a cornerback?A: I'm sure it is. It's a lighter athlete. Beatty being an offensive lineman and having to be able to push like he pushes. Everybody's got to be able to run so we're just guessing. I don't know.
Q: Are you wondering at this point what else could go wrong?A: No.
Q: What have you seen out of Darius Reynaud that you did not see last year?A: He's in, I think, better shape. He runs much better. His mechanics even as a punt returner are improving. He has made quite a few plays here in preseason so I like what I've seen.
Q: He said when his agent called him and said the Giants wanted to re-sign him, he thought his agent was joking. Why did you want to bring him back?A: Because we thought he could help us. The player that we traded for, we thought he could help us.
Q: How shocked are you with Patrick leaving camp and how much does that throw the tight end spot off?A: I had no knowledge of any issues there. I wish him well. I hope he gets his situation under control.
Q: How much does it mean that the other tight ends in camp have to step it up?A: I'm sure if I was playing tight end I would think this gives me an opportunity to have more snaps.
Q: Would this have changed the way you handled the Boss situation?A: I can't speculate on that. I have no idea. I don't think anybody saw this coming.
Q: Is this something like he could be back or is he gone now?A: One step at a time. He's gone now.
Q: How has Aaron Ross looked so far?A: I think he's been good. He's had a few circumstances as is with all the players but he's spry, he's done a nice job back there in punt returns and he's been energetic, enthusiastic, his mind's been in the right place. I think he's done okay.
Q: You kept Mario Manningham down last night. Is that anything serious?A: No, just an ankle, he's supposed to come back today. I'm sure he'll be limited.
Q: Do you have any indication of when Osi might practice?A: No.
Q: How's the punting competition looking?A: It's not really heated up yet. It will.
Q: How long do you expect Devin Thomas to be out?A: I'm sure it will be until the time when they feel like he's not going to gain some kind of infection because of the taping, untaping, showering, all that. So, let's face it, it's a bad spot for a receiver because there are an awful lot of things that Devin could be doing out there other than that. It'll be a while, it'll be a while.
Q: Did he have surgery on that?A: I don't think so. No, I don't think you'd call it surgery.
Q: When you look at your slot receiver what are the five most important traits that you want?A: There are some fundamental routes that they have to learn very, very well. Obviously quickness, knowledge of the game, how to work in the middle of the field, is he a big play threat, what's his run after the catch ability like, how consistent is he, how smart is he, being able to maneuver in traffic.
Q: Does he have to be one of you toughest guys?A: He has to be one of the most consistent guys.
Q: Is Osi's situation injury related?A: I can't tell you. You've read everything. There's nothing I'm telling you. I said it in the beginning, I have nothing new.
Q: Are you running out of patience?A: Thank you for leading me into that one. I would like to think that this will be resolved shortly, I hope, and he'll be out on the field. I'll stick to what I've always said.
CB Prince AmukamaraRe: breaking foot
A: I have never broken a bone in my body and I have never had surgery before, so it's definitely a little adversity I'm going to have to deal with. I still have high expectations with the Giants and high expectations for myself, so it's just all about focusing on the things I can control and getting better in my rehab, and still staying in the playbook.
Q: How did this happen?
A: I was in press coverage and the receiver just stopped and I stopped with him and I just came out of the cut and I don't know if he stepped on my foot or anything like that. What was funny about it was that we repeated that drill like five times right before I had to do it live on the receiver end and there was no problem. It was just one of those random injuries.
Q: Who was the receiver?
A: Duke (Calhoun).
Q: Realistically, if you're out a couple months, do you still think you'll be able to contribute?
A: I have confidence and I'm sure the Giants have confidence in me, too. It's up to me still. I still have to continue to grind in the playbook and be ready whenever I'm healthy.
Q: When will you have the surgery?
A: I don't have a date set, hopefully soon; the sooner the better.
Q: Is it extremely painful right now?
A: No. I can't put pressure on it right now; I can hobble a little bit, but I can barely even do that.
Q: Are they telling you how long it might take?
A: No, they haven't been able to say yet…
Q: …right from the beginning here to get going…
A: I'm really down on myself. I feel like I let the team down and myself down, but I can't worry about that too much. I just have to continue to move forward and continue to persevere and that was pretty ironic because that was one of the words that Coach Coughlin used today, so that hit home with me. I just have to use that as motivation.
Q: Did you know as soon as it happened that something was broken?
A: No. I felt like there was something wrong, but I continued to be in the next play and played on it. After that, I realized something was wrong so I told someone about it.
Q: Have you gotten a chance to speak with Will Beatty at all?
A: No, not yet. I heard that he had a similar injury, so I'm definitely going to talk to him. I talked to Ahmad Bradshaw about it.
Q: What did Ahmad say about it?
A: Just continue to hang in there and do well in rehab and keep up with the playbook.QB Eli ManningQ: How long does it take to build chemistry with a new receiver?A: With a new receiver it depends. It depends on how quickly he grasps the whole offense and how quickly you trust what they're doing. Most of the guys here have been here a year besides Da'Rel [Scott]. Most guys have had some time, had a training camp and some live games. Some of them know what they're doing offensively, know the schemes. It's still about repping, seeing their body movement, seeing how they come in and out of breaks and what some of their moves are to set up their breaks.
Q: When you lose a reliable guy like Kevin Boss, how do you approach working someone in at that spot?A: We have Travis Beckum. We have Bear [Pascoe]. Jake Ballard's been here. Those three guys have all played in games, have all done some stuff, they know what they're doing. It's just a matter of working, getting them reps, getting them different looks and walking them through things. Praise them when they're doing well. If they clean up little things, coaching points, that's what the coaches are doing, that's what I'm trying to reinforce to make sure everything's being done just how we want it.
Q: Are you disappointed by not having Kevin Boss?A: Kevin's one of my good pals and a good friend and a great player for us. He's great in the red zone, caught a lot of touchdowns, had a great feel of the offense – knowing what to do to with the plays – just knowing the ins and outs, the feel of the game. Definitely disappointed about that, but I know he wanted to come back, but sometimes other things come into factor. I'm happy for him on his new contract, but disappointed he's not here as a Giant.
Q: Have you spoken to him?A: I haven't. I have not spoken to him. I know he's got a lot going on, but I'm sure I'll talk to him soon.
Q: Are you concerned with some of the things that have happened since camp opened – two linemen getting cut, Osi, Boss, and the injury to the number one draft pick?A: No. I think everything's going smoothly. I think the offense, we were doing a lot of good things and guys were getting better. There's always parts of camp when you have good days or some days when things are a little tougher – inserting new plays where things have got to go. But I think so far, guys are playing fast. We have a number of receivers, we've got a good grasp of the offense, rotating a lot of guys in. They're all making plays and doing good stuff. Tight ends are doing well. I feel well about what we're doing. We just have to work better and keep working and getting better.
Q: Steve Smith and Kevin Boss were two guys who you trusted. With those two, how long did that process take?A: Both of those guys have been here four years. Both played well, but we have other guys. Beckum is going into his (third) year now. We have Mario Manningham, Hakeem [Nicks] going into their third and fourth year. We have guys who have been here who can step up. A lot of those guys have made big plays for us, just need to get on a more consistent note and everybody doing it right every time on and on every play.
Q: Do you see Bear Pascoe and Travis Beckum being interchangeable, one coming in one play, one the other? Can they replace Kevin Boss?A: Beckum he doesn't have the size of [Kevin] Boss, but very fast, gets in and out of his breaks well and has a good understanding of the offense and doing things really well. He'll give us some different things that Kevin [Boss] didn't have and there are some things that Kevin [Boss] did better. You find out what guys do well and use their skills to fit the offense. With Bear, the guy knows the offense, a hard worker, he's played every position for us from fullback to tight end so you can use him in a lot of different ways. It will be interesting how we mix things up. Jake Ballard, a guy [who's] big and strong, good blocker. We have some tight ends. We'll have to mix things up. Both of them should be able to play well for us.
Q: What impressions have Henry Hynoski made on you?A: The first thing is he has a pretty good grasp of what's going on from day one. He likes playing fullback. He doesn't care much about getting many carries, which as the Giants fullback you're not getting many carries in the past. He's a tough kid, obviously. Once you get into the game and a live defense, you'll find out how tough fullbacks are and how much they like sticking their head into things. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, which has been nice. He seems to have a good understanding of what we're doing, of the schemes and is not making many mistakes. That's always a good start for a new guy in.
QB Coach Mike Sullivan
Q: Steve Smith's not here. Does that affect the way your quarterbacks approach the season?
A: Right now we're trying to get into a rhythm. These guys haven't been together without the OTAs and mini-camps. There's a history Eli has with Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks. Now it's just a matter of having some of the other guys fill in those roles and get in the same groove like the other guys. All of us are getting back into the concept of football. I think right now it's just a matter of us trying to get re-established in our system and get a good rhythm for the quarterbacks and the team.
Q: Ryan Perrilloux is kind of the guy that no one knows a lot about.A: Ryan Perrilloux is an exciting young prospect, athletic, strong arm. He was in a system in the UFL last year which is very similar. So, from a learning standpoint, he's a step ahead of what most young prospects, young rookies, first year players would be. He shows a great attitude. He's been making some good plays and unfortunately a few bad plays, but we'll work on that. Besides that he's good.
Q: What do you think not having Kevin Boss here will mean for Eli?A: Well obviously Kevin Boss was a great target for us in both the Green Zone area and out in the field. We talked a little bit earlier about chemistry that Eli had. It's just going to be a matter of somebody else having to step up and fill that role. From the standpoint of what we do, we're going to have to feature what the other talent and some of the other prospects like Travis Beckum can do. Some of the other players, Bear Pascoe, are going to have to step up and fill that void.
Q: What are you looking for in regards to the backup quarterback situation?
A: He's got to be somebody that can carry the load; that can go through and in the event that, heaven forbid, something happens to Eli he can come in there and we don't have a huge drop off. Obviously Eli's expertise and his experience and his command of this offense has been tremendous. He needs to improve. It's going to be a learning curve for anybody to come in without those reps to be able to play at that same level. It can't be a scenario in which if there is a circumstance which we would have a backup quarterback step in and we'd have to change drastically what we do. We like to have as minimal drop off as possible.
Q: You've seen Eli from both sides, the target side and the quarterback side. How long does he need to kind of get comfortable with somebody? Is he a fast person when it comes to the chemistry part?
A: They did some work in the offseason at Bergen Catholic and getting together in Hoboken. As I mentioned earlier, some of the history he has already with Hakeem for example and with Mario Manningham and even some of the work he had last year with Victor Cruz. I think it definitely is a situation where we have to maximize every single opportunity that we get out here at practice. I think he is a quick study. I think there's just such a level of anticipation he has and command with this offense and the decisions he makes that he really does a great job of reinforcing some of those concepts and principles to the receivers to help everybody get on the same page.
Q: David Carr. How much catching up does he really have to do? He's been out of the offense for a year.A: There's been recollection. There's been a lot that David has been able to remember with what we've done. Him being in the system for two years has its advantages. A lot of the terminology and a lot of the verbiage comes back to him.
Q: Has the system stayed the same mostly in the last year?
A: Pretty much. There's always going to be things in the offseason that you sit back and take a look at what you can improve on and what you can add. Essentially, it's a very similar system. So, it's just a matter of him trying to dust off the cobwebs and get back in the groove of our offense.
Q: How do you split up their throws in practice?
A: Well, as I mentioned earlier, we're trying to make sure Eli gets the maximum amount of work and he gets back into a good rhythm and gets into a good groove to identify who the top receivers are. He's getting the majority of the reps. Of course, there's Sage Rosenfels, who came in with us last year and was able to have a good understanding conceptually of what we do. But, without any OTAs or mini-camps, this is really his first opportunity to put this to practical use. So, he's making the most of those opportunities. I think when you look at David and Ryan, David having been with San Fran last year and Ryan being brand new, those guys both have exposure. They have some familiarity with what they do. But, it still comes down to the matter of those guys making the most of the opportunities that they get. Every rep is precious, especially given the fact that we lost out on those OTAs and mini-camps. The main focus as always would be to get Eli in the position where he's feeling good about the receivers and getting a good rhythm and comfort level in anticipation of what they're going to do and how they're going to react.
Q: Is there a pitch count for Eli, so to speak?A: Not necessarily. I think what we look at as we divide the reps right now with the depth of the offensive line, we're able to go three deep and typically those reps will be divided along the lines of a third, a third, and a third. In certain instances and certain scenarios, we'll give him more reps as the situation will dictate. That kind of comes from the head coach.
Q: I know you're on the other end of things now, but some guys are making plays out here for your quarterbacks – like Reynaud. Your eyes are lighting up. Are you excited by what you see?A: I really am. I think there are some young guys and there's no question things are different. There's some different faces out there, a lot on both sides of the ball. There are some voids to fill. But, when you see a guy like D-Rey make some plays, who was with us as a returner last year, and even stay inside with some stick moves.. And you see a Victor Cruz and some of the things that he's bringing to the table. Some of these young guys, Sean (Ryan) is doing a heck of a job with them. You do get excited about seeing someone that can fill that void. The people who are here are here. Those that aren't, you can't worry about that. It is exciting to see a guy like D-Rey, who definitely steps up to the plate.
Q: D-Rey, he's got a nickname. That's a good sign, right?
A: That is a good tip.
OT Will Beatty
Q: What was your foot injury like last year and what was your experience with the injury?A: It was a painful experience. Going into the season and the first game, you want to do so much and have so many goals set forth. Then having to break my foot and recover from that injury. It was a learning experience for me.
Q: What did it feel like?A: You're out there and you're sitting in a boot and cast and you are not being able to walk. Everything you want to do on the field requires you to walk. The treatment and rehab wasn't the easiest thing I had to go through. It was something that I had to do to get back on the field. For Leigh Weiss and everybody taking care of me, it turned out to be a good thing. I don't know why but the Lord blessed me and I just take what comes.
Q: What was the hardest part of the recovery?A: The hardest part was having to stay focused. You are still in meetings and you are still taking notes and doing things like that but you are not able to get on the field. You are not playing Sunday but you still have to stay focused so when you are back out there you don't miss a beat. That was just from me being in the meetings and making sure I am wide awake and having a cup of coffee beside me.
Q: Was it hard to cut or move?A: You just had to know that the doctors did their jobs. Having surgery and still feeling it but you are ok. It is that mental block that even if you cut or down block, you will still be ok.
Q: How can you relate those things to Prince?A: He just has to stay mentally focused. Just make sure that he knows he is surrounded by a good team of doctors and specialists that will take care of him to the best of their abilities. Knowing to trust the coaches and their decisions and they want our safety. They want us to play for many years and just the safety of the team. Just know that everything is going to be alright.
Q: What is the pain like when you first get it?A: The pain is like you twisted an ankle. I was still walking on it and I was like I am. That next morning you're like, yes it is broken.
Q: How did you break your foot?A: I don't remember the exact play.
**TE Travis Beckum
Q: Do you feel like you can be an every down tight end?A: There is not a reason why I shouldn't. I'm doing it in practice and getting those reps. I think that is where I lacked as far as the blocking the first two years as far as the reps. The more reps the better.
Q: Is blocking or catching an issue for you?A: That's not an issue. Whatever they want me to do, I am willing and able to get it done.
Q: How much were you caught off guard when Ben Patrick decided to walk away?A: I heard that he needed to go home for something yesterday morning. I haven't really looked online to see what happened. Obviously everybody has their issues, no matter who you are. Maybe his were stronger and he needed to step away from the game but best wishes to him and I hope everything is well. As far as us, we have to resume and continue to move forward.
Q: How much would it have helped if he was to come back?A: I don't know. I think the coaches feel comfortable as far as who we have now. I think they are always going to put us in the best positions to have success so I am really not too worried about that. Obviously depth is crucial, especially in the NFL and at our position. I think what we have now, they are comfortable with and they are on their p's and q's as far as what to do and what we need to do.
Q: Do you feel like you are a bester blocker?A: I do. For me honestly, I feel like I am a good blocker especially in space. With coach Pope's technique because obviously I am going to be blocking a lot of defensive ends and I am going to be undersized but with technique I can make up for that. I am willing to try it and I am willing to do it. I am excited about it and it is a challenge for me and I look forward to challenges.
Q: Blocking in space means that you have to be on the move right?A: Yes I will do that. I did a lot of that last year and a lot of people didn't realize that but until you sit down and actually watch film, you really won't be able to tell that I was a good blocker. As far as the Y stuff and us not moving, I just have to get my technique right and it is not something that I have done a lot as far as the last two years. Coach Pope has brought a new technique to me that makes it a lot easier as opposed to blocking in college.
**WR Domenik Hixon
Q: Practicing very other day…A: That's what we had kind of game-planned to do, kind of play it by ear.
Q: Are you having any problems with your knee?
A: No, not at all. It's pretty much just getting back and doing football things. You don't want to overexert your body and kind of be slow and do all those things from the beginning.
Q: Is that what they're telling you or are you going slow?
A: I'm just doing what they tell me.
Q: So you feel like you could go every day?
A: Yeah, absolutely.
Q: Tom's made it clear that the number three receiver job is open. Steve's not around obviously. There are a couple young guys. He mentioned you the other day as somebody. Can you win that job practicing every other day?A: I think so. The thing is, you're getting ready for the games and preparing yourself that way. It's not anything that I'm taking off, but if they needed me to practice every day or do anything like that, then I definitely would do that. Hopefully by Carolina, the start of the preseason games and things like that, I'm starting to show that.
Q: Do you think you'll be able to play in the preseason?
A: Yeah. They're doing a great job …
Q: There's a lot of younger, newer guys like Darius or Victor that Eli's throwing to in the slot. Do you feel after a year off that you can pick right up, or do you have to re-build the chemistry with Eli?
A: I feel like we kind of picked up from where we left off and that's a good thing. I feel real good about it.
Q: You don't have to re-learn him or what he wants? He doesn't have to re-learn you?A: No, I don't think so. I just got called old today at lunch.
Q: By?A: By JJ (Jernigan) and Duke Calhoun.
Q: A rookie called you old?
A: We were talking about Plax and Toomer and he was like "you were here?"
Q: So now what's he going to suffer?
A: That'll be on Twitter later on probably. But, re-learning and doing all of that, I think is pretty much the same thing we've been doing with a couple of tweaks here and there.
Q: How do you feel about the slot?
A: I feel comfortable there, to be honest with you. I've been watching Steve for the past four years do it. I took a lot of things that he did well and tried to incorporate that into my game.
Q: What's the toughest part of playing in the slot?
A: Playing in the slot has a lot more contact with linebackers and different things like that. You're expected to block linebackers. That'd probably be the biggest difference.
Q: Do you know when the trainers are going to elevate the schedule to where you will be allowed to go every day? Do you know that?
A: I don't. That's something that like I said, we've just been trying to take it one day at a time and just progressing. Like I said, eventually I'll be every day.
Q: Talk to Chase lately?
A: I did text him a couple days ago.
Q: How's he doing? Does he have any nibbles?
A: Here and there, but nothing until __. It's kind of a tough situation.
Q: The short timeframe for free agency?
A: Exactly. It's a short window for everything that happened. A lot of things are happening fast.
Q: You got yours done before.A: That's a blessing there.
**CB Terrell Thomas
Q: How is the team handling all the stuff going on?A: We knew it would be different. It is unfortunate with the injuries and the stuff going on with the cap and the Osi situation but we are not going to let it distract us. We are going to keep going out there to practice and play football. It is apart of the game and it is unfortunate, hopefully the injuries are minor and get to come back. It is apart of the game and somebody has to step up and fill that role.
Q: How will these injuries affect you?A: It affects our depth as far as special teams and our scheme as a whole. It is doesn't affect me and Corey as far as playing corner and it may affect the scheme a little bit more, what we like to do but it shouldn't affect us that much.
Q: Does not having three safeties affect what you will be doing?A: A little bit because we lost the third safety and we lost a corner and he was supposed to be moving to that corner or safety role. It was really a nickel role and it was unfortunate but we will find a way to fill that hole.
Q: Has that been addressed?A: No, not at all. It is only training camp. We are not worried about that right now. We just keep practicing and working on our techniques and getting ready for Carolina.
Q: playing 16 games at corner?A: It is preparation. You have to take care of yourself. You are going to play injured, I played injured many times and I don't make any excuses. It is a grind week in and week out. You have to strengthen yourself. You have to do the proper things in rehab and massages and what not. All those things help you to stay healthy and able to play week in and week out.
Q: Have you ever had a foot injury?A: I have never had a foot injury. They are tough to come back from because they are still sore. That can be from anything, a misstep, over training, off balance, the turf, the grass, the cleat. It could be from a number of things.
Q: Did you see when Prince got hurt?A: No I didn't.
**CB Aaron Ross
Q: You think Prince will be able to help in the second half of the year?
A: I think so, as long as he stays on top of the mental part of the game. We drafted him for a reason in the first round, so we know his physical ability is better than most. As long as he's on top of the footwork, everything else will fall into place.
Q: How concerned are you about the depth situation, now that you have lost two?
A: It's a big issue. Losing Bruce Johnson was huge and then losing Prince on the second day—that's huge as well. Like I said, team depth at corner is really important right now, especially how fast corners go down throughout the season. Losing those two guys is really big.
Q: How much would it help to bring a veteran in, or do you guys just want to stay with what you have here and hope somebody emerges?
A: I think that's for the front office. Whatever they decide to do I'm pretty sure is going to work for the team.
Q: You were a guy who contributed as a rookie on the team. What did you tell Prince?
A: Yeah, I told him that he is going to be a big help to us. Going down the road, we get nicked up pretty often with all the press-man that we do and running all day. We play a lot of nickel package. We need a lot of depth at corner right now.
Q: Do you guys even have enough bodies to run the drills the way you want to do them?
A: We do. We just lost two and we have eight in right now, so guys jump right in. Michael Coe jumped right into the spot and he's doing a great job.
Q: Have you been told that your role might change or expand because Prince is out?
A: My role really hasn't changed at all.
Q: How much can you relate the experience that you had sitting out with an injury and how frustrating that has been?
A: I really haven't had a chance to talk to him, but I can sit down and talk to him about two years worth of injuries. I have a lot of wisdom behind injuries that I would like to share with him.
Q: How is your health?
A: I've been doing pretty well. I came into camp in shape and I feel really good this year. I'm healthy, I'm ready to go out; I feel like my old self. I have my balance back, my speed back, so I'm ready to go.
Q: When is the last time you felt like that?
A: Rookie year; 2007, maybe 2008.
Q: You're still your old aggressive self out there, don't you think?
A: Of course. I feel really good this year.
Q: Did you do anything this year to make sure you were healthy?
A: No. Last year I was healthy, it was just unfortunate it happened. I really didn't do anything different.
**WR Victor Cruz
Q: Is your goal to be the third receiver this year?A: That's definitely a position I'm striving for. That's my goal, that third receiver position. I kind of just do my best, do the best that I can do. I understand this offense a lot better now this year. Just trying to show the coaches that I'm comfortable. The coaches and the whole staff will make the decision.
Q: Certainly a lot to live up to after last preseason.A: Definitely. Last year was a bit of an adjustment too because I was coming into a new offense but that first game in last preseason was amazing and you always want to kind of follow that up with a good performance.
Q: Tom seemed to say that you were in the right place meaning your assignments were right, is that what you're seeing?A: Yeah, I think I'm seeing that. I'm understanding the coverages a little bit better this year and I understand what my reads are as far as route running and I'm a little bit more comfortable in that sense. I think it's coming together for me a little bit better this year and hopefully I can get that third spot.
Q: So last year when you were making plays were you just kind of doing it on instinct?A: It was mainly instinct. A lot of those plays were conversion routes where if the defense was playing a certain coverage I would just convert it to a go route and that's what basically all those touchdowns were on those conversion go routes but now I'm in the slot, I'm playing more, I have to read more defenses and kind of read between the backers and safeties and stuff like that. Every day I'm getting a little bit more and more comfortable.
Q: Did you play in the slot at UMass at all?A: I played the slot at UMass as well and I got lucky because we had a concept type of offense at UMass and here is similar concepts and stuff like that, meaning concept as far as no matter where you're at on the field, let's say you were lined up outside, whether you were lined up there or on the other side you would have the same exact route. It was all concept like if there's a hook here, post here, slant in, no matter where you're at there still going to be those same three routes.
Q: How hard was it to be shut down early last year?A: It was pretty difficult.
Q: It was probably something you could've come back from.A: Yeah, yeah definitely. I trust the staff here and I trust everybody in the training room and they were honest with me and told me what my span was as far as recovery and things like that but it was tough coming off that preseason and hopefully looking at getting some time during the regular season and hopefully they can insert you somehow and then for that to happen and to be down for the rest of the year it was pretty tough.
Q: They certainly could've used you to when the receivers started falling.A: Yeah exactly and as the season progressed to see those guys one-by-one started to go down, it was kind of hurtful to see that. Especially for them, you never want to see somebody get injured and then for me I could've probably stepped in and helped the team out.
Q: We were always getting emails about why don't they put Cruz back in?A: Yeah people asking me on Twitter, all kinds of crazy things but I was like just settle down, be patient, I'm on IR and there's nothing I can do about it but it's a new year so hopefully I can change that.
Q: Just in your interviews here you seem to be more relaxed. Do you feel that way?A: Yeah a little bit. Mainly that comes from just being comfortable, knowing the offense, knowing how your skill relates to the offense and what pro's and con's you bring to this offense and I feel like I bring a lot of pro's and I feel like I can do some good things in this offense. Obviously, there are still a lot of things I have to work on because you want to get better every day, nothing's perfect, but day in and day out I just try to get better.