Q: Did you get word on what happened to Preston Parker yet?
Q: I just saw Jerome Cunningham go off on a cart…
Q: Are you going to be in some kind of pads tomorrow?
A: Uppers, yes.
Q: You had two guys with cramps here, a guy with a hamstring injury. Does that concern you? You wanted guys to arrive in shape.
A: They're in shape. Evidently, they didn't hydrate well enough. One guy had had the runs, one of those deals. So, try as you might, you're still going to get these things. No matter who you try to blame, it's going to happen. It's 90 degrees.
Q: Has Cunningham shown you a little bit?
A: Yesterday he did well. I didn't think too many people on offense showed me anything today. He did a few good things yesterday.
Q: We hear a lot of the players saying "be where your feet are." Where does that come from?
A: Mindfulness. Mindfulness. If you're going to be in the gym, be in the gym. Be where your feet are. Stay in the moment. Take care of one moment at a time. While you're here, you deal with your football, deal with your job. It's all the same type of theme.
Q: Who came up with that? Where was it discovered?
A: Well, we studied it this offseason as a staff. We've always had lots of statements about things of that nature. It's just been reinforced more heavily, to the point where the guys are repeating it.
Q: Did James Jones come in as advertised?
A: Yes. Seemed like he was in good shape. Took some snaps today.
Q: Do you think he will acclimate more quickly. He thinks the offense is very similar to Green Bay.
A: The terminology, yes.
Q: Is his ability to do things in the red zone something that you liked?
A: Well, we'll see. Hopefully it's that, and in the field as well. It doesn't have to be just the red zone.
Q: What have you seen from Ereck Flowers and Landon Collins? The two rookies starting right from the get-go.
A: I haven't seen anything particularly good or bad just yet. It's very early. They're both working hard.
Q: Any word from JPP yet?
A: Not to my knowledge, no.
Q: Is Larry Donnell over the Achilles tendonitis from the spring?
A: He's practiced and he's done well with that.
Q: I haven't seen John Jerry that much. Does he have something?
A: He was sick yesterday, and kind of sick today but he kept going. He took some reps today.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara **
Q: To have young guys behind you in the safety positon, is that kind of worrisome or how do you address that?
A: Like I said, it's not worrisome now because we haven't played anybody. I think anytime we make mistakes, it's important to correct them before they get bigger later. I think the biggest measuring tool will be how we come out versus the [Cincinnati] Bengals.
Q: Landon Collins says, and your team says, that playing at Alabama in SEC is a different level of experience that a lot of guys have. Does that show up with him?
A: Yeah, for sure. It definitely shows that his coaches had a huge impact on him, just by how he carries himself around the facility and the type of respect that he gives and shows and just his work ethic on the field.
Q: Is that the kind of thing that makes an on-field transition a little easier?
A: Yeah, the SEC was known as the super conference, so they go against all the best talents like the NFL, week in and week out. You're going up against the best guys in the world. I would say Landon's mindset is ready for that competition and that pressure.
Q: You gave your glowing scouting report of Victor Cruz earlier in the month. Yesterday out on the field, and I don't know if you were matched up one-on-one with him at all in team drills or Odell, but if you were, what were your impressions yesterday?
A: He looked great. I don't remember if he [Cruz] caught any balls, but he looked great. He looked great running routes. It really doesn't seem like he missed a step. And man, Odell looked great, too. He looks pretty fast also.
Q: That one zig-zag up the field. If this was real football, would you guys be able to get him [Beckham] down in that situation.
A: It's funny you brought that up because we've been arguing about that since this morning. He [Beckham] keeps saying that I wasn't a factor and that he was more worried about DRC. It was on film and I think I would have got him because he did cut back. He just said like you touched me and we're not playing two-hand touch or whatever. I told him, alright, next time I'm going to give it to you. Let me clarify that: I'm going to hit you.
Q: I would imagine the fines are pretty high if you come anywhere near Odell in that situation.
A: Exactly right. I'd make it seem circumstantial or something, I don't know.
Guard Geoff Schwartz **
Q: Was yesterday a big day for you, first day back and healthy?
A: Yeah, I took every rep, so that was even more than I thought I would do. More than I think we planned on. I felt good and we kind of just have to monitor the reps as we go along because the ultimate goal is to be ready to play Week One, not be ready to play the first preseason game. We'll see how it goes and monitor it. I was pretty pleased, yeah.
Q: The follow-up question would be are you limited in any way?
A: I'm limited in just sometimes it just gets sore or whatever. I'm not going to re-injure it. I'm not worried about that. It's just a matter of getting the strength back. I was really pleased with how yesterday went, at least the reps wise. I think we're all a little rusty, but I was pleased.
Q: It seems you guys were playing musical chairs in the spring. Do you guys have an idea, am I going to stay at right guard?
A: I'm fairly certain our offensive line is what we're going to keep going forward unless there are injuries or something happens. I think we have kind of kept the same group all of OTA's and obviously opened camp that way. There's always room for changes, it always happens. There's always competition. I think the group we roll out now is what we've been working with. I know we're confident, at least up front, that we can get it done.
Q: It's certainly different than last year.
A: Last year we had a lot of moving parts. I was new and we drafted Weston [Richburg] and Chris [Snee] retired. We had a lot of moving parts and this year it seems to be falling a little better. It just kind of is the way our whole offense is, second year, everyone is kind of more comfortable and we're moving a little quicker, a little crisper.
Q: I know last year you guys—because of your injury and Brandon Mosley had a back problem -- you guys had flipped the line at sort of the last second. Is there a point as an offensive line member where you feel like that you need to have five guys set?
A: I think the week of the third preseason game, you kind of treat that as like a game week. So, that's maybe the best time to have a full offensive line kind of what you know because you practice like it's a [regular reason] Wednesday, like a Thursday, like a Friday. That might be the general time. I don't know if you say like this day or that day is better to have a group. It's always better if you kind of keep the same group an entire camp obviously. You get used to playing with each other—the communication, the kind of bonding. So probably that third [preseason] week.
Q: In retrospect, last year, was that crushing that you got injured late and Mosley got hurt and all of a sudden you're flipping guys last second?
A: Well J.J. [John Jerry] came in and played well. Obviously, Weston was a rookie kind of out of position early on. I know it was different for him to play left guard. That's kind of the worst time to switch your lineups—I guess last year was after the fourth preseason game. You kind of want to be set going into that game [that] you kind of treat like a game week.
Q: There are a lot of people looking at the offense and saying Eli is playing better and you've got all these dynamic receivers. The question mark seems to be can the offensive line gel and get their running game going. Do you guys sit there and say it's up to us?
A: Well, offensively you kind of go where your offensive line goes, I think, especially running the ball. We have to run the ball better, there's no question about that, and we know that. We're going to do what we can to kind of bring that part up. We get the pads on tomorrow, I think, and we'll start building that up. Without pads on, it's tough to really judge how good you can become as a run blocker.
Q: Justin Pugh was talking a lot about toughness. Are you guys talking about that, too?
A: I think that kind of goes along with the running game. Not many offensive lines that run the ball well aren't considered tough. You can say that you want to be tough, but you have to go do it. You have to go out and practice it, you've got to go out and do it in games. And that's our goal, is to go out and do it. We can't just sit and talk about it. We just have to go do it by force.
Q: Are there any concerns about having a rookie on the left side?
A: I don't know. I honestly haven't thought about it too much. I think we're treating him [Ereck Flowers] like anyone else on the offensive line. We all have to be ready to go and so does he. It's an accelerated process when you're a rookie and things are coming in fast, but he's got a lot of things great things going for him. He's tough, he's athletic, he's smart. He's got a lot of good building blocks to get him to be ready for the first game.
Q: How much do you guys pay attention to what's going on with Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: Obviously when you don't have a franchise player here, you notice. He's a good guy to practice with, he makes guys better. Obviously it's disappointing that he hurt himself. But I don't know if we notice it much on film. We're not watching the defensive line, we're focused on what we've got to do to get better. But when you get to practice against guys like that, it can only make you better. It would have been good for Ereck to work against him.
Q: Do you look at the pictures and pay attention to that?
A: Someone sent it to me, but I mean, I don't know. He's my teammate, I hope he gets better. I hope he's back as soon as possible. I don't really put too much else into it.
WR James Jones **
Q: What made you sign here and what were your other options?
A: One of the main reasons was I wanted to get in a similar offense that I played in in Green Bay. I've had a real good relationship with Coach McAdoo, and I felt like I could come here and help this team be successful.
Q: What is it about the offense that you played in in Green Bay and that they kind of play here that makes you feel comfortable?
A: For me, it's a real comfortable offense for receivers. There really isn't a lot of thinking— it's just going out there and playing. They put a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks, as they should, because they're making the big bucks— but it [Coach McAdoo's offense] just allows you to go out there and play and not really have to think too much.
Q: When you look at the receiving corps that's here, how do you expect to fit in?
A: I'm just here to compete, man. You can't really get into who's going to make the team and who's fighting for spots. I'm just here to compete— I've been in the league for a little while, so I'm just here to compete, have fun, and enjoy my time while I'm out here.
Q: You said that you wanted to go to a similar offense, and now that you've gotten a taste of what this [McAdoo's offense] is, is it the same? Is it really similar?
A: It's similar. Obviously every offensive coordinator has their own tweaks in the offense, so there's a couple different things in this offense, but it's very similar to the Green Bay system and I was very comfortable out there and had some great years playing in the Green Bay offense, so I'm excited about it.
Q: Were you surprised that it took you this long to find a home? And what was it about here that drew you?
A: Once I got released from the Raiders, we had a couple of teams calling my agent's office, but we just waited and took the waiting game approach because I wanted to come to a situation that I felt best fit myself and this is the place that I chose.
Q: Did you know Eli at all before you got here?
A: No— I've just watched him on TV. I didn't have a relationship with him or anything like that, but I've gotten the chance to talk to him and meet with him, so I'm excited to get to work.
Q: You worked so much with Aaron Rodgers— what is it going to be like working with Eli now?
A: I'm going to have to see. I haven't even practiced one day, so I'm going to have to see, but you can tell that both of those guys are hungry to win and they both want to be successful. Just meeting with Eli, he seemed real passionate about the game— he wants everything to be perfect. He's already going through plays and stuff with me because he wants everything to be perfect, so I'm excited to get to work and see what type of quarterback he is. I'm sure he's one of those top-notch guys.
Q: You've been at the top— top offense, quarterback, stats. How anxious are you to get more of that?
A: Like I said, I'm just here to compete. If 100 balls come my way, they do. If two come my way, they do. I'm just here to help this team win the best way I can and be a leader of the team, helping those young guys in the receiving room. It's a great room in there with a lot of talented guys, so this whole situation can go either way. The main thing is just to have fun, compete and enjoy the time when you're out there on the field.
Q: You obviously know the concepts of this offense. I would imagine that the transition is going to be the terminology, or is the terminology similar to what you did in Green Bay?
A: I had a chance to meet with Ben McAdoo and go over all the play calls, and it all was second nature to me, so that was one of the main reasons I chose here so that I could just come into a training camp and not have to worry about learning a whole new playbook with new terminology. I can come in here and just hit the ground running, so I'm excited about it. Looking at the plays, it's a lot of the things we did in Green Bay, so it's all starting to come back to me.
Q: When you talked to the team and you met with Ben [McAdoo], what was your impression of what they had in mind for you role-wise?
A: They just told me they're going to give me an opportunity to compete. I told them that's all I can ask for— I'm going on nine years and who knows how much longer I'm going to play. They didn't really say, "Hey, this is going to be your role" or "that's going to be your role." They'll just let me compete, and we'll take it from there once that time comes.
Q: Did you keep in touch with Ben last year while you were in Oakland?
A: I spoke with Ben every once in awhile. I never thought I'd be playing for him again, but I spoke with him a couple of times. Ben and I had a really good relationship in the seven years that we spent together in Green Bay— he's an unbelievable coach and an unbelievable guy, so I'm glad to be playing for him.
Q: You said that you wanted to come to a familiar playbook, but did your relationship with him help you choose here?
A: Oh, yeah— when I got a chance to talk to him and he sat me down to discuss things, it definitely helped me make my decision.
Q: Did you talk to him before you made the decision?
Q: When you walk into a room, not many rooms have Cruz and Beckham…
A: For me, I come from Green Bay where we had Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings, and also we had Jermichael Finley. All in the same offense. So I come from a talented offense and we all were involved— we all had a chance to make some plays and some people caught more balls than others but we all had a chance to make some plays. So when I look at a room like that, I get excited, because when you put a bunch of receivers like the ones we have in that room on the field, it's tough to stop. I've been a part of offenses like that where defenses have big problems stopping a lot of weapons— especially if you are rotating in and out guys that have been successful in this league. When I look in the room, I'm excited— a lot of talented guys in there, and it's going to be a tough offense to stop.
Q: You had some of your best career years out in Green Bay obviously— what is it about that offense that is similar to what they're doing here that just speaks to receivers?
A: Like I said, it's just a comfortable offense for receivers. You can just go out there and play and not have to think about making a lot of adjustments. What you see is what you get, so you just go out there and use your ability and you're able to make some plays. But then again, it's always [about] the guy throwing the ball, too, so if you have a good general back there throwing the ball, as we do, you know the offense is going to be successful.
Q: What did you think of the Beckham phenomenon last year?
A: Well, I'm a comedy movies guy, so I don't really watch too many sports, but he's a talented dude. Some of the catches he made are unbelievable and you'll probably never see those again. So I'm excited that I look in the room and he's in that room, because he's a talented player. I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing these guys work, too.
Q: In order to compete, you have to put your best stuff on tape, so how long do you think it will take you and Eli to develop a proper chemistry that will let you show your best stuff?
A: I don't know, man. Time waits for that. The more reps we get out here, whether it's just routes on air or getting some team reps— that's all going to have to come with the flow of practice, so it could take two days or it could take two years. I don't know.
Q: What did you think of your year last year?
A: It was an average year. We, as an offense in Oakland, were just trying to find our way, so to me, I was just trying to help the team. Whenever the ball came my way, I tried to make a play, but it was a rough year in general.
Q: How much does it feel to you that you're sort of back to square one, trying to make a team again and starting from scratch? Is it that feeling to you or do you still feel like a veteran here?
A: Like I said, I'm going on nine years. I'm a veteran in the game, so for me right now, it is just about having fun and coming out here and competing with these guys. I really don't think about making the team or going out there and trying to show people out. I just go out there to compete, have fun, and the chips fall where they may.
Q: How's your health?
A: I'm perfect. I'm ready to go. I'll practice today, so I'll get out there and run around a little bit. I've been working hard so I'm excited about it.
Q: As a veteran, people always wonder "How much does he have left?" How much do you have left?
A: Yeah, that's the name of the game. But I don't know— we'll see. I don't want to put any limit on me, so we'll see. I feel good right now and I'm going to go out there and run around today, so hopefully I'll have a good practice.
Safety Landon Collins **
Q: What kind of adjustments have you already had to make to go through this [camp]?
A: Just the knowledge of the game and being in the right spot, that's about it.
Q: Spags said a couple weeks ago that safety are the most important guys in this defense. Do you agree with that or what does that mean to you when he says something like that, being that you're a safety?
A: I agree with him because we're the quarterbacks of the defense in the back and you have to be able to put everyone in their positions, from the linebackers on back. We can help everybody know, we're the last line of defense. So definitely.
Q: Are you and Jon Beason the most vocal, are you the heart and soul? The head that has got to deal with stuff out there?
A: Not just me and [Jon] Beason, but the safety next to me, whether it be Coop [Cooper Taylor] or Nat [Behre] or Jeromy [Miles]. Anybody that's next to me, us and Beason are the most vocal guys on the team. We get everybody in the right spots.
Q: How do you sort of view the safety position, the competition this summer, and how do you look at it personally knowing that there are a lot of guys that are going for these jobs, but you're the one who gets to at least start there with the first team?
A: Just competition. You go in there not knowing what's going to happen. They could pull you to the second team, you could be on the third team. It's always a mental thing for me. You have an open mind because you never know where they're going to put you at. Just be ready and don't let it set you back.
Q: What has the adjustment been like for you from the college game to the NFL so far?
A: Not a very big adjustment. The only thing is the knowledge of the game. The speed is kind of depending on the players that we practice against. That's about it.
Q: Do you feel like you're up to the task? It's not too fast for you?
A: No, it's not too fast for me. I feel like it's not too fast. I can read, I'm very keen on what's going on. I pay attention a lot and I pick up the defense very well. It gives me the chance to worry about what the offense is doing and not trying to make play calls.
Q: There are a lot of young guys back there, is there anyone in the safety room that you can lean on or is it just everyone is in the same spot because there's a new defense here?
A: In the secondary, I lean on Nat [Behre] and I lean on DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] and I lean on Coop [Cooper Taylor]. That's the older guys, they've been here. They've been playing special teams and, with DRC, he's been playing. Those guys you can always count on to pick up the defense and all the coaches, so they help me out and push me throughout the day.
Q: What kind of advice does DRC give you? He's obviously a cornerback, but he does understand what it takes.
A: He says, 'man, it's out there, just go grab it and keep playing balls out and nothing is going to stop you.'
Q: Did you notice an uptick in intensity from spring practices to the first training camp practice yesterday?
A: With the offense, yeah. They definitely picked it up. Different tempo, they were moving the ball fast. Eli [Manning] was definitely getting the offense quick to the line and trying to get stuff run.
Q: What's the challenge for you when they move a little bit faster?
A: Just getting lined up. When they get lined, up know where their strength is at, know where the weakness is at, defense and offense, so I can know where to help.
RB Rashad Jennings **
Q: What do you expect from this team and this offense in your second year in it?
A:I expect a whole lot from this offense. We've got talent across the board and we're comfortable in uncomfortable situations now. We know the playbook, we can command a lot from each other. We understand how to control the line of scrimmage, so it's something that we have and will continue to build, called chemistry. You're never going to win a trophy with the word chemistry on it, but that's going to be the reason you win a trophy, so with that being said, I have high expectations.
Q: How long did it take to get comfortable with the guys? Did it take a while to get used to the offense?
A:You just have to get this energy and sync with everybody. Knowing the playbook is important and then the personnel beside you. Understanding where the soft spots are in the offense, how to puncture the defense, you know those little things just take time. You can't force that. We've had a year last year of ups and downs, like I said always, we did some things very well. They were always being overshadowed by what we didn't do so well. Now we get to eliminate all those pre-snap penalties, post-snap, worry about playing physical, being poised and sound, and having a good time. Like I said, we have the personnel to get the job done, so I'm excited.
Q: Do you expect an expansion of the playbook? Is there going to be more in it?
A:Yeah, I mean everything. Obviously the gameplan per team, but we will be able to show a little bit more in our playbook and add on some of the things that we did last year. We have a lot in the tank that we didn't even get to last year, so, yeah, you'll see a lot more.
Q: What's your confidence level running behind this offensive line that has players at new positions from what they played last year?
A:Confidence is high. We've got a group of guys that's clicking quick. We moved some guys around a little bit and everybody feels comfortable in their position. Really, we're focusing on day to day, never look too far ahead, and one of the biggest things that I think that the entire team kind of heard and has taken on is: be where your feet are at and when you're in practice, be at practice. When you're in the classroom, be in the classroom. This offensive line has taken this approach.
Q: How important is it as a running back and as an offense to have those guys set? What kind of benefit can it have for you?
A:It goes back to what I was saying earlier about chemistry. When you're consistent, any position, especially offensive line, you get to understand where those little hidden yardages are going to be. You can expect how they're going to position themselves and another thing as an athlete, this is the National Football League and people forget that. We're playing against some good guys, so even matchups, and one on one matchups, knowing how the offensive line is going to go against that defensive end, that nose guard, that tackle, or whatever it may be, that helps. Chemistry and consistency helps out a lot.
Q: What do you expect in terms of your role versus what it was last year with Shane (Vereen) now in the mix and Andre (Williams) with a year under his belt?
A:You said, "What do I expect my role to be?" We'll see. My mentality will never change, you know what I mean? I mean this to my heart when I tell people you can't let opinions of anyone dictate your attitude or how hard you work, and whether it's good or bad, I'm not concerned. The only thing I'm concerned about is helping this team win a championship. However they decide to expose me, I'm ready. I encourage every single running back to have that mentality to come in as a starter. I told Dre (Williams) that last year, I told Shane that this year, so whoever's out on the field, that's our guy.
Safety Nat Berhe
Q: At what point were you back to being yourself. I know you were pretty close to being back to doing stuff at the end of minicamp. When did you start to get back out there?
A: Maybe about, maybe two weeks after I felt pretty much 100 percent. Doing drills and stuff at EXOS in LA [Los Angeles]. They did a great job with getting me back, and that's it.
Q: What's your goal for this training camp? How do you view it?
A: Right now, I've got tunnel vision. I'm just coming in, when it's my time to go out and get reps, I want to do it the best I can and just see what happens from then on.
Q: How surprised about the calf injury were you? What can you do to prevent that from happening again? Have you had trouble before?
A: That was one of those freak things that happened. I've never had a calf injury before, so it was kind of hard to deal with. So I've had a lot of time off to kind of figure out who I am as a player and stuff like that. And to prevent it, I think it's just—I've been doing a lot of calf raises and stuff like that, and staying loose, stretching a lot, and that's it.
Q: Are you 100 percent healthy?
A: Yeah, yep.
Q: Do you feel like your opportunity is the same now compared to the spring?
A: Like I said, I feel like we're all starting at the same place right now because the pads come on. Like I said, that's when the real football starts.
Q: Have you gotten any sense from the coaches, there was a lot of talk about the combinations—who works best with what guy. Have you gotten a sense that it's going to be set pairings or is it going to be a rotation?
A: Right now I couldn't tell you. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a rotation-- trying to see who fits well with who. I think we'll just go from there.
Q: Are you working strong and free right now or are you working sides?
A: Just sides, right side and left side.
Q: Do you have a side?
A: Right side.
Q: When you guys are in the room, do you try and think I fit best with this guy? Does that happen?
A: I think everybody in the room wants to be on the first team, that's just how it is. It's really hard to get a feel really until the pads come on.
Q: Can you compare your opportunity now to what it was last year? I have to imagine it was a different perspective coming into camp and to see the names that were ahead of you. A year later it has to feel different.
A: Last year, I just wanted learn as best I could from the guys that were ahead of me. I had guys like Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, and those guys are veterans in this league and proved themselves in this league. I just wanted to pick up as much as I could from them at that point.
Q: What did you pick up?
A: Basically, just stay confident, do a lot of self-talk. Antrel [Rolle] was big on that. I remember he would come out here every day and say he was the best. He would just be talking to himself, and that was huge for me. I've seen him in the weight room doing the same thing. A lot of it is just self-talk. You're here for a reason, and you just gotta believe it.
Q: At the end of minicamp Coach Spags, and Coach Merritt said they're still waiting for somebody to take charge at safety. What makes you think you can do it?
A: I feel like my skillset, being so compact, and just the way I like to play football. I'm not in the coaches' heads, I don't really know what they're thinking. So, the best thing I can do is come out here and play the best that I can, and do what I'm used to doing—and that's playing football.