Q: How did the visit with Steve Smith go?A: Went well. He came in here really upbeat. The guys were excited to see him. We just have to see exactly…it's going to be a long haul for him. Hopefully we can cut through some of that and see where it goes. That's all I can say. He looks good though.
Q: By long haul do you mean he would not be able to help at all this season?A: I don't know about that. I wouldn't say that at all. As far as I know it's August, but he's got a ways to go.
Q: How far along is he?
A: He's feeling good, feeling better, doing more, progressing, better.
Q: Would it have been better for him to be working out here instead of out inCalifornia?
A: Well he was training, he was working, he was rehabbing hard. Of course we didn't have him every day.
Q: Are you starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel in the Osi situation?
A: I hope so. I really do. I hope we get some closure on that chapter and start on the new one.
Q: Have you talked to him at all about getting back out there?
A: Always just from an encouraging standpoint. Let's get this stuff resolved and get out there.
Q: Were you aware of any issues with Osi's knee last year?
A: The concern last year was more hip oriented.
Q: After some of the things that have happened so far throughout camp, are you looking forward to this game to get back to some type of normalcy.
A: I told the players today, the game is right there. The competitive juices have to flow in everybody. Now, there's an awful lot of work to be done on the field and I'm sure every club feels the same way. Starting point is a game. Let's play a game and see where we are.
Q: Do you even address all of the off-the-field issues with the players?
A: Only where it impacts what they need to know, that's all.
Q: You changed the schedule. What is the reasoning behind that?
A: Yeah the reason is that if we're going to play in the North Atlantic then we're going to practice in the North Atlantic. That's all. The real reason was the objectivity. We've had nine practices. I think they've had few issues at all from a weather standpoint so we'll go twice in the heat of the day and then we'll decide next week whether we're going to do the same thing. Football has to train in the heat, so we'll train in the heat.
Q: Are you prepared for the game with the lack of practices so far?
A: Well at a certain point we put the pads on and we wear the pads every day. You kind of play your way into that. There's responsibility when you're doing that. I mean we don't practice to hurt each other; you practice to learn how to practice together in pads. That's where the difficult part comes in. You've got the young guys who sometimes don't understand even what the interpretation of the verbiage is so you get an occasional one of those things. The development of the physical part of it, you play your way into it. Have we had many practices? No. Are we where we should be? No. Would I use the word "crisp"? No. I'm looking for crisp but nobody on the ground. That's what I'm looking for and we're not there yet.
Q: How's James Brewer?
A: They called it a contusion I believe and he's gong to try to go in individuals and see where that goes.
Q: Marvin Austin?
A: Austin will practice.
Q: Has Amukamara had the surgery yet?
A: He has.
Q: Did it go ok?
A: I've never known one that hasn't.
Q: Are you at all worried that Osi will actually need this surgery or are you convinced that he'll be fine?
A: I am thinking that whatever is in the best interest of our team right now, that's the only thing I've thought about. We will manage whatever we have to manage. We've done it. Like I said, the hip – we couldn't practice both Wednesday and Thursday (last season) so we practiced one day under those circumstances. So if there's an issue here, we'll find a way to work with the issue. We'll find a way to get the player in the best position he could be in on Sunday.
Q: Do you believe that mentally he'll be able to put everything behind him and play?
A: I think he'll be able to. Whatever the behind you is. It's the season. It's time to go. Competitors feel it. They want to go.
DE Jason Pierre-PaulQ: How hard is it for a rookie to transition to the NFL game?A: As a rookie, you have to come in and listen to your coaches because your coaches know what's best. The game is going to be fast. When I came in it was real fast but it was able to slow down for me. When I came in and got extra work from the coaches on my days off, I processed all the information the coaches gave me so it was smooth.
Q: Was the game as fast and difficult as you thought?A: In college it was alright. I came in the first game so I was still learning in college. When I came to the NFL, I came to rookie camp and OTA's and things were explained to me. This year I missed out on OTA's with the whole lockout deal. I know all the plays and stuff so I think I will be alright.
Q: How do you feel going into your second season?A: I feel it. I know the plays more and when coaches ask me a question, I am quick to answer. Last year I hesitated. It got easy to me. It wasn't as tough as it was last year.
Q: Do you have a number in mind as far as sacks?A: Unlimited. That's all I can say. I want to get them all.
Q: Do you feel more pressure this season?A: Yes, I am playing every single down. Like I told coach, I'm here no matter what. If they put me in left end, right end, defensive tackle, I can play it all so it doesn't really matter to me. The more you can play the more you will be on the field.
Q: Which one do you prefer?A: I prefer the outside. If I have to play inside, I will.
Q: Does the left or right matter to you?A: No it doesn't matter. I'm good with both sides
Q: What do you think you are better at this year?A: I think I am better at both sides.
Q: What do you think you are better at in your game in general?A: I think I'm playing the run game really good. The passing game, I just have t
RB Coach Jerald Ingram
Q: How is Da'Rel Scott doing?A: Da'Rel Scott is doing a good job showing his speed out there on the field. I am happy about some of the things he is doing. I am looking forward to the first game to see how he is physically. That will be the question on him and how well he develops in our offense and learns the pass game, how he protects the quarterback. He catches the ball really well. He is a very fluid athlete. Based on what we have seen, we like him playing in space. Can he bring the physical game that we try to bring to people? We have a strong tradition about being tough in the backfield so I'm looking forward to seeing how he does starting Saturday.
Q: Is he really competing for the third spot on the depth chart?A: I think they all are. How fast he progresses will be the issue because it is hard for a young running back to come in and prove himself, it really is. There is so many things that a running back is asked to do here and learn. It is a complicated position once you get involved in first and second down pass game as well as third down pass game. Can he handle the reads and hits at this level? He has a lot to work on. He has some raw talent and we want to see what we can use and we will go from there.
Q: How good is his straight ahead speed?A: He has great straight ahead speed. He is a good space player right now. I haven't seen a lot of wiggle out there but he may have some but we know, in this profession, at this level of ball, those kinds of runs don't happen all the time. You play in a box at this level as a runner. You don't get the big holes so can he handle running in traffic will be the key.
Q: How did you address ball security with Ahmad Bradshaw?A: Every player in the NFL has a goal that they have to work on, just like when Tiki was here. You try to become a playmaker and you start and forget about the ball sometimes. A lot of his fumbles were trying to make things out of the box and that is something he has to work on this year. Having closure on the ball and playing attention to taking care of the ball. His style of running is kind of similar to Adrian Peterson the year before. That became his goal and he was able to lessen that. We all have something that we have to work on and improve and that is something that he has to work on this year that he can take care of the team as well as the ball.
Q: How much did Andre Brown change since the first time he was with the team?A: He looks quicker. He looks a little slimmer. He has great focus and things like that. We drafted him and he was able to show us talent that first year and then he had that Achilles injury. When a running back has an injury it takes time for the legs to heal. A lot of it was just the transition of college knowledge to pro knowledge. Some players adapt a little faster than others. He has taken the whole world tour and he has learned a lot of different offenses out there so he has grown up a little bit. Now I think he is going out there with a lot more confidence in himself where as he kind of questioned himself on everything a year ago. I'm pretty excited about him.
Q: How do you plan on distributing the ball?A: Obviously, you would love to have an even distribution or as much as you can. You know how it goes in the game, you are not keeping tabs and that's how it was when we had the three backs, earth, wind and fire. Whoever has the hot hand out of the first two, that is how it went to a certain degree and the certain plays that we had. Then you tried to fill it in and say hey, in this situation this is what were are doing. If we were throwing the ball an awful lot then it is going to be this guy because if you are not running the ball a lot and we are in three wides, we would want a little more scatter kind of guy. That is what you do but when you are in a power, pound it kind of situation, then you bring Brandon in. Then if you switch it up, the defense and the linebackers can't really gauge who is in the game. Then Brandon comes in and he pops one and for a big guy, he has speed and actually turns the corner sometime. You are always trying to bang against the defense in a lot of different ways and certain plays but we do want more of an even distribution.
T David Diehl TranscriptQ: Do you consider this training camp an adjustment for you?
A: It's definitely an adjustment for me. I'm playing a completely different position. The schedule and the way things are run are a lot different than the camps in the past. Each and every rep, it makes it that much more important. To make sure that you continue to make progress from the day before, because you only get a limited number of reps. The good thing is that we have a bunch of film time to catch up the young guys and the new guys who are just getting here and have time to go through corrections and do all of that stuff. The schedule is laid out the way that Coach Coughlin thought was for the best for us. It just makes you feel how important each and every day you come out here is, because you don't have those two practices.
Q: Can you talk about the offensive line and developing the chemistry that you've had in the past?A: It's going well. David Baas is doing a great job of stepping in and really getting involved in the offense. It's nice having a veteran coming in who is very familiar with the terminology and the language of things. And also with William [Beatty] stepping in at left tackle, now getting his opportunity to start – these are things that we're consciously working on because we have to have that cohesion come week one when we play the Redskins. We're watching extra film, we're working, we're making sure that we're doing a lot of verbal communication to get everything hammered out here throughout practice. We're looking forward to finally play some live action. Obviously, when you're using so much communication, our D-linemen have been around our offense for so long that we're kind of giving them an advantage at times. But we're going to do whatever we need to do to get things right right now.
Q: How important is this first preseason game for the offensive line getting it together?A: I really wouldn't call it getting it together. I think we're doing a good job of playing and playing with one another and working. I don't think it's [getting it together.] I think it's just the communication and getting those things figured out. I have no idea, they haven't told us how many reps we're going to play. You just want to go out there and whatever the opportunities you have, you want to be successful and I have a feeling we're going to do that.
Q: What do you expect overall in this first game?A: It's excitement to finally get back to playing. Obviously, it doesn't have the regular season excitement, but it's been a long time since we've played a game. It's just nice to not be hitting your own players and your own defensive guys and to be able to go out there and not worry about your coach right behind you, especially for the young guys. This is a time where they get to go out there and just play and play the game that they love. It's exciting to get back to it.
Q: Is the physical part going to be a problem on opening day?A: We just went six full-padded days in a row, so I think we're getting the hitting in. The more you play, the more you get adjusted. I think all of us by now are pretty much adjusted to hitting and smashing and playing. We've done our inside run drills. We've done all of those things. I think we're on pace and we're on record. I'll tell you what, September 11 is going to be an exciting day.
TE Coach Michael PopeQ: It doesn't seem that long ago that we were all worried whether Kevin (Boss) could replace Jeremy (Shockey). Now, we have to worry about who's going to replace Kevin.
A: That seems so long ago now, I can't even recall. Thankfully you forget some of those things. But this is a part of the NFL. There's change. The rules approve it. The salary cap approves it. It's just something you have to live with. We train these guys and they move on then you bring the next group in and train them. That's what John Mara and the Tisch family pay us for.
Q: Do you have somebody in camp right now that can do all the things Kevin can do?
A: I don't know the answer for that just yet. We need to get them in the games. Playing against people that you know pretty well you doesn't get the same amount of physical activity and so forth that you're going to get in the game. I think it's going to take us a couple of games before we can answer that question.
Q: A couple of preseason games or regular season?
A: Hopefully preseason.
Q: Can Travis Beckum play tight end the way you would like?
A: He's disadvantaged because he weighs about 235 pounds. Most all of the guys that he's going to block at that position – his effort is going to be there, he's going to try, but the laws of science come into play. The bigger mass generally over the period of a three-hour game is going to win. He would wear down. It isn't our plan to use him like that on a regular basis like we might use a regular tight end. We will have to involve him there. We can't put a flag up that every time he runs in the game it's going to be a pass. He's done that for us. He did that last year for us. He blocked probably a little bit more from a space position which is where he played in college. His size – there's wide receivers in this game almost his size. We have to be smart in the way that we employ him. We can't ask him to do things that he can't physically do. He can try as hard as he can, but if he's getting overpowered by a much bigger man, then we'll try as best we can to keep him out of those situations.
Q: What's the alternative?
A: You use him in the slot. You use him to hold off the back side. You use him as a lead blocker. You use him as a pass receiver out in the back field. We'll have ways. They just can't determine that it's obviously going to be a pass. He blocked very well last year from that slot position in our running game. We were pretty well balanced. We kept a very close chart last year on how many times he was in the game and how many times we passed the ball and how many times we ran the ball. He did a very good job for us in those run situations. Then he was flawless when we threw the ball to him. He didn't drop a pass the whole time that we threw the ball to him.
Q: How are the other guys doing – Ballard and Bear?A: Still a little bit early to tell. I think they're trying. They're trying to develop this technique that we teach here, but it doesn't happen overnight. What we have to be able to do at our position – this is not new knowledge – is go 40 yards on a screen pass one play and you have to block a Julius Peppers type player the next, or a Ware or Spencer or somebody. The thing they have to be able to do is develop a technique that will work for them when they get all different sized players to block. Some guys are very, very quick. They have to develop a technique that will give them a chance there. Some of them just try to overpower. That technique is a little bit unique and it's going to take awhile for them to be good at that. I think it could be well into the preseason before we know if either one is going to be good at doing that or good enough to do that that we can maintain the majority of our offense from the past.
Q: How were you planning to use Ben Patrick?
A: I have no idea. He was here one day and gone, so I have no idea what we would have done with him. I never really saw enough. He didn't know enough of our offense to determine what positions he could play and what we could ask him to do.
Q: Is it conceivable that your starting tight end is in somebody else's camp now?
A: I don't know that. The salary cap now determines… Any veteran that you get that's been out there for awhile is going to be expensive. Can you afford to do that or not? In a perfect world you'd like to be able to do that. I'm not up to date enough on where the salary cap change has made. Should I be looking at other players that might be? Not yet. It could happen, but I don't think there's a design right now for it to happen. Something would have to occur that would be irregular. Somebody just had too many guys and let someone go or whatever.
Q: How tough was taking Kevin's call?
A: It was difficult. Some players just because of the human beings they are you get a little bit more attached to. It doesn't mean that you don't have good feelings about the other guys. You coach them all the same. You push them all the same. He came from Philomath, Oregon. Not disrespectful to the people in Oregon, but you can't even find his town without four modes of transportation. Come from there to where he ends up right now, you've got to be proud of him and happy for him in that aspect. He really did make himself into a player and he made himself into a valuable player to us and to other teams. That's the part of free agency that's difficult for us to swallow as coaches. But, it's happened. We'll stay in touch as best we can along the way. I think we'll always have a good bond like I have had with Jeremy and with Ben Coates and all those guys going all the way back, Bavaro, all of them. You stay in touch with them, but with the time and space that's involved with getting your team ready for next week you're not pen pals.
DE Justin TuckQ: When you talk to Osi…A: I know what you guys know, which is absolutely nothing about his situation. No one knows when it's going to end; no one knows where he's headed. I don't worry about it. It's going to take care of itself.
Q: When you talk to him, does it seem like he wants to get back on the field as soon as possible? Is he getting tired of the situation at all?A: He definitely wants to get on the football field, but I don't think he's in any rush. I think he's taking it day by day.
Q: You guys have said that it isn't a distraction, but we're here asking you questions all the time—A: Well that's the distracting part: you guys. If we didn't get asked about it, it wouldn't be an issue. But since we have to know the news--everybody likes the latest—we get asked about it. That's the distraction part of it.
Q: When you guys are spending all this time together, do you guys talk about some of the expectations for this year? Maybe from the outside…?A: The expectations are embedded. We don't have to talk them. We know what they are.
Q: Do you worry that the outside expectations aren't as high as the inside?A: Really? When are we ever worried about what other people think? Could care less.
Q: What's the biggest difference you see out of Jason Pierre-Paul?A: Confident. This early in the season, you just feel—you can kind of get the feel of it. He knows what he's doing a little bit better. He's more confident from having a year under his belt. He has a kind of a swagger about him before he's going on the football field, knowing what is expected of him and going and doing it.
TE Daniel CoatsQ: How do you feel about trying to fill in for Kevin Boss?A: I feel like he's one of the premier tight ends in the league but I feel like I don't have to live up to him or anything like that. I'm just going to go out and do my best and be me.
Q: There are so many hopefuls at tight end right now. There's no one guy. What are the dynamics of that room like?A: It's nice. We all know we have a chance and we all know if we come out here and compete and do things right, we could be the guy. And it's exciting that way. Some people might say they're not but there are some places where you go in and you're fighting for number two but it's a rare opportunity when you can go in and be the guy.
Q: Sometimes you're fighting for number three.A: Yeah or just to be on the roster so it's nice to have it open. It makes the way for somebody to make a name for himself to be that next Kevin Boss.
Q: How quickly did things come together between you and the Giants? Had they been in touch with you before Ben Patrick retired?A: No. I was just out there on the market, got a call that morning, came out that afternoon and worked out. Thank goodness things went well and here I am.
Q: Where were they when they called you?A: I was sitting at home on my couch in Utah. It's nice to have a chance to fight for a job again. You forget how rare of an opportunity this is.
Q: When they called you did you get here that day?A: Oh yeah. You know there were a couple connecting flights but they called me and I was on a plane within the next two hours.
Q: Did you have your bags packed?A: Yeah, I don't have exactly all the clothes I would like but I just threw some stuff together and got here.
Q: Did you anticipate playing this season?A: Oh yeah. I definitely don't plan on sitting on the sideline or anything.
Q: When camps opened and you weren't on a roster, is this what you thought would happen?A: I definitely like to stay optimistic and I had a good feeling that something was going to happen. I didn't know when, I didn't know where, but given the opportunity I'm going to come give my all, try to make sure I'm with somebody so thank goodness things are still going right.
Q: Can you bounce around a little bit or are you strictly a tight end.A: I've played fullback for a couple of teams too so I feel like I can move around and play wherever they need me to and I'm willing to do whatever they need to have me do.
Q: So they haven't asked you to play anything else yet?A: No, we're still trying to feel each other out but I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help the team win.
Q: Looking forward to Saturday?A: Oh yeah. I can't wait. With the lockout and everything, you forget how much fun we have playing these games and how lucky we are to do the things that we do so I'm more than excited.
Q: Do you feel like you're up to speed enough considering you haven't been here very long?A: Yeah. I've been in the league about four years now and it's the way the job is. In the end it's all football.
Q: You were a starter for a while with Cincinnati right?A: I was.
Q: How did that not work out? How did that end?A: A couple injuries at the wrong time and there's always somebody bigger, better, faster coming up. I just happened to fall into one of those circumstances.
Q: So last year when the Bengals drafted Gresham you went to Denver? Is that how it worked out?A: I actually played the first seven games with Cincinnati and then got released and sat for four weeks and then I finished the year with Denver and then I started camp with Denver. Then, in the whole chaos of after-lockout free agency I got released and then here I am.
Q: So is this kind of a fresh start here?A: Yeah, I think it's a breath of fresh air to come in and have a total clean slate to actually come in and be able to fight to be a starter and to really make a big opportunity for myself.
T James Brewer
** Q: …you got carted off?
A: That was more of a precautionary measurement. I think it was pretty much normal at first and they wanted to further exam.
Q: Did it frighten you right away? Did you think maybe …
A: No, because I've had sprains and stuff before so I kind of know the symptoms that come with that as it happens. It was just really sore.
Q: So individual drills today?
A: Yeah. It's individual plus, so pretty much if I feel good, I'll do more. If it hurts, then we'll cut it back. Right now, I'm pretty much full-go.
Q: Do you know what the percentage chance is that you will play in the game? If you're not going to, and you're told you can't play, does that hurt you?
A: For the first part, as far as I know, if I do get to go I should be good to go for Saturday. If I can't play, it definitely would hurt just not getting that experience.
Q: We talked a lot about how the rookie class is behind without having the off-season program. How tough has it been these first couple weeks trying to get back into everything off the fly?
A: I think the biggest thing is always just come to play. It's the biggest jump from college to the professional level of learning this game and stuff like that. Physically, I was ready. I had been working out so I was in shape when I got here. The biggest thing is just missing the OTAs and getting the chance to learn the offense before I got in here and having to learn, as you said, on the fly.
Q: How much did you get teased for going off in the cart?
A: No, I mean I caught some flak from some of the guys, but I think they were mostly concerned with if I was ok or not.
Q: Did they take you for x-rays?
Q: Did you step wrong?
A: It was during a play. His knee came down my way and just hit really hard.
Q: What is the intensity like as far as being with the coaches and having information thrown at you?
A: At first it's kind of overwhelming, because there is so much that you have to learn and there are so many concepts that you've never heard before. Honestly, I feel--ten days into camp—I feel pretty well. Today we were talking in the locker room about how the number of missed assignments has climbed down drastically from practice one to Monday's practice.
Q: Can you tell that they're scaling things back?
A: No, definitely not. We're getting put into everything. At first, we were putting in what felt like twenty plays a day, I thought. Now it's toned down. For the most part, we have the majority of our plays installed and we focus more on those.