Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Look, we kind of talked yesterday about the start of training camp. Obviously, we're going to continue today, day two. We're still in helmets and shorts right there. We'll continue some red area work today, in the higher red area, continue right there and again, right now, we're still focused on really the fundamentals, the communication and getting our guys in football shape. With that being said, are there any questions I can answer?
Q: Kelvin Benjamin, we saw what happened yesterday. He made some comments to certain members of the media last night about not getting a fair shot. What exactly happened with Kelvin?
A: I'm not going to go into any specific situation with a player. I always have respect for the player and anything we share between the player and the coach and then, obviously, we're going to keep between us right there. I want to make sure I respect anything we say in confidentiality when we talked with him. That being said, guys, there's 32 teams that make roster moves every day, this was really no different. We decided to make a move we thought was best for the team and that's going to be the category that falls into any move we make. We're always going to make a selection that's best for the team. I wish him well. I wish him the best of luck going forward. No ill will, and I hope he has success.
Q: How did you react to the quote where he said that you were know-it-all who cusses all the time and kind of made it personal?
A: The cussing part? I mean, look, I've got some colorful language. When we're out at practice, you watch, you guys can figure that out. Listen, I know how to clean it up at the right time. I don't curse in front of, you know, my wife. I don't curse in front of your kids, your wife, grandmothers, my mother, whatever it is. To be honest with you, I can't specifically tell you exactly what it is, but it's a little bit different when you're out there, kind of heat of the moment in practice, teaching. Sometimes colorful language happens. You know, one thing I do have is a rule here, we're never going to attack anybody personally. So, there are certain things, maybe cuss words, whatever, we're never going to direct them at a player. There are certain times you have to use something for emphasis, or something comes up and a certain amount of energy on the field at the time, however, we're never going to attack any player personally. I don't care if you say a cuss word or anything else, we're never going to do that. We're always coaching mistakes, we're correcting the position by helping the person. We're never attacking the person.
Q: Joe, you said 32 teams make roster moves, but you don't usually see a scene like that. Do you wish that was handled differently through communication before you guys got on the field yesterday?
A: Look, sometimes things happen a certain way and you just got to keep going. Everyone makes moves in different ways. Things happen with circumstances. I'm not going to overanalyze or dissect what happened specifically yesterday with one move. Things happen differently all the time, so guys, it is what it is. I wish him well.
Q: How do you think the offense looked yesterday? [Quarterback] Daniel Jones and [Wide Receiver] Kenny Golladay, specifically?
A: Yeah, I thought there were a lot of positives to build off with day one. The first thing that stuck out was the players and the condition they were in. Our guys really moved around well yesterday. They responded to the training regimens and a much different look than we had last year, to be honest with you. Last year, day one, we had a lot of guys that were further behind physically than they are right now. I think that's just, for a lot of guys, it's being in the system for a year and understanding what you have to do day in, day out in terms of practice and how we want to train to play in the game. I think for the new guys that came in, we've done a good job explaining that and getting them incorporated through the spring and their summer training of what they're expected to do to make sure they come in ready. I was really proud of the conditioning part, the test, the way the guys came out and made it and it definitely carried over.
Q: What did you see out of [Tight End] Evan [Engram] last year and where he can improve this year?
A: The one thing I'll say with Evan, I've always noticed from day one, is this guy comes to work and does everything that's asked of him. He does it with a positive attitude. He's a guy we have a lot of expectations for internally. He's a guy that we rely on for a lot of things. He brings a lot of leadership to our team. He's a positive attitude guy. He's someone that the team knows him through how he works and prepares that they can rely on. He's a positive influence on our locker room. I'm excited to have him on the field. He's a guy that comes out every day and just improves a little bit every day. Right now, that's all we're asking from all of our players. In terms of any kind of projections and what someone can do, we can all do our jobs better. We can always make sure we help each other along the way. It's our job to give information and guidance to take that next step and that's for every player.
Q: Because he's obviously so talented and his skill set, he seems to be a lightning rod here. Fans feel like he can do a lot more. do you sense that external pressure because of his talent?
A: I think there's always external pressure and external expectations. We have to keep our focus very narrow and keep it on the present. We can't do anything about six months from now. We have to go day-by-day, so the expectation is come to work every day, do your job the best you can, be detailed in how you work and put yourself in a good position.
Q: What do you remember about 11 months ago when you get word [Safety] Xavier [McKinney] is going to be out the first 10 games of his career? What's your initial reaction to that? I know you move on and you'd rather move on, but it's a downer.
A: Well, the first thing is you hate it for the player. You genuinely feel bad for any player when they get hurt. We all want to make sure we all put our players at every position to be safe and stay on the field. Now, I know how much it means to him. He's a guy that definitely loves the game. He comes at it and works extremely hard. He's very attentive in the meetings. He's a great communicator with us in terms of what he does and doesn't understand and what he needs help with. He was really having a good day of practice when he got hurt. For us, when you get that news, you see him go down, you don't know exactly where it's at. Initially, you go through practice and make some adjustments, but in the back of your mind, you are thinking about the player whether it's – focus really when we found that he was going to be out the duration of, 'OK, what can we do to help him along the way?' What you can't have is, put someone on the backburner and think when they come back, we'll go ahead and start all over again. So, for us, the focus with [Xavier] was just keep the movement every day. He'll do physically what he can do with the trainers and strength coaches. Mentally, as coaches, we have to keep him involved and that includes extra meetings, some of the virtual meetings where our guys are a little bit more on their feet and walking around and kind of getting some of the things simulated. We teach in different ways, so we don't always teach sitting in a chair. We want to make sure we can simulate as much as you can for him to keep him progressing and he did a great job. We gave him assignments last year to kind of give him a preview of the personnel and some scheme-based things and that really helps grow the player to understand the opponent and how they have to shape their thinking around getting ready for a game. It changes every week. He did a really good job for us the last week (of the season). The other thing about him too is you want to give these players and these situations a platform to have to present to their teammates. It gives not only them confidence in the material they're studying, but they'll talk to their teammates about the communication in practice and it gives the teammates confidence to understand how they're preparing and just seeing the progression. But we did get him back later in the season. The goal was to build him in over time and make sure that he was set to go, that he was ready to go. When he was, he was able to make an impact for us down the stretch.
Q: Those last games, particularly those last two games, did that give you a taste of, 'ok, this is the kind of player he is?'
A: We didn't need that to see he was going to be the player we thought he was going to be. He had a lot of potential and he works hard. That was really the first time that he was able to physically go out there and do that for a moment to give himself an opportunity to make some plays.
Q: We saw [Quarterback] Daniel [Jones] and [Wide Receiver] Kenny [Golladay] get some work in after practice. How important is it for a quarterback and wide receiver to start to work on their timing and their rapport?
A: Well, it's critical for any position, but especially for the skill positions with the quarterback. Everyone's unique, so we have to understand that everyone runs routes differently. As much as Daniel, [QB] Mike [Glennon] and [QB] Clayton [Thorson] work with our receivers and learn those players, that just helps them play with more anticipation and play more aggressively and deliver the ball where it's going to be. It's training camp, so we're all working on our fundamentals, our communication, but I keep talking about the chemistry within our units. These things we have to build on, so whether it's Daniel with the receivers, whether it's the safeties watching extra tape, the corners making sure they're on the same page communication-wise anticipating the motion or shift pre-snap, whether it's our linebackers working with the front, the offensive line getting extra tape and watching blitz pickup reels right there. It's critical that everyone puts in extra time at this point to really go ahead and make up some extra play. The reality is the way the rules are right now – and they are what they are – it's a shorter day for the players, it's only an 11-hour day. Our guys are generally in for a 7:30 start, they're leaving at 6:30. There's a lot of time on the back end. We preach to our players that the things you really need to manage are your time and preparation. Everyone needs personal time away, time to rest, time to call your mother, call your wife, have a little bit of personal time, -- some guys play video games, whatever it is – but you've got to structure that time accordingly. Now on top of that, physically, you've got to take care of your body, and that takes the extra massages, extra time to hydrate and get treatment from our trainers and nutritionists, sometimes a cold tub, extra stretching, whatever it may be. You've got to work to keep your body healthy. This is an adjustment. A lot of guys are coming from college to the league, they assume since they've always been a great athlete, never had to worry about injuries, they don't think they need the trainers. We're a little bit different and try to bang on that drum every day to work with the trainer. If you're not hurt, have prehab and not wait until it becomes rehab. Stay on it physically to make sure the season is a lot longer, there's less numbers, there's greater intensity. We're not going to rely on a team of walk-ons going out there and taking every rep versus the scout team. Our players play every rep and the way we've practiced in terms of repping everyone all the time, we've got to make sure everyone recovers from the day to day grind. And the flow of our training camp is built – you'll see we have morning practices, earlier practices, give players extra time to recover followed by walkthrough and getting their legs back under them as we ramp up to the tougher part of the week. But in terms of how they handle that time away from us, it's up to them.
Q: Where's [Wide Receiver] Kadarius [Toney] in his progression?
A: He had a good day yesterday with the trainers. We're going to keep on ramping him up over there. I can't speak directly for Kadarius and where he's at. I'm going off of what I've talked about with the trainers. Obviously, we're going to take him day by day.
Q: Is he going to be participating in some drills today?
A: He'll spend the majority of the time with the trainers ramping up. We've got a number of guys doing that, guys that are coming off that COVID list. Again, we just keep going back to last year and what we learned, and every player was truly different. We had guys come back last year where they were a little bit winded early in the phase, but they responded quicker. A lot of times based on what the symptoms had been or how hard they had gotten hit by the virus, that can reflect on when they come on back. In terms of Kadarius, we're going to do everything we can do with him. It'll be more of a short stay on the field for him, he'll be out there doing a little bit of stuff in a controlled situation, more special teams and fundamentals related. The rest of the time he's going to be with the trainers getting ready, and when he's not with them he's going to be back with the team so he can listen and get mental reps.
Q: Are there a couple tangible things that you've taken from last year and you're planning on using in your second season? For you personally as a head coach, are there a couple of tangible things that you can talk about from last year? I'm sure there are a million things.
A: I think the majority of my job is managing time and managing people. That's the biggest thing. I'm always trying to make sure to do the right thing. When I structured practice, going back to last year, how did that work out for us? In notes at the end of the day, how was practice? What were the shortcomings and what was something that was beneficial? The time management of time away to get the players back and healthy. The time management in the season of meeting with the coaches and making sure I'm giving them enough time to prepare, and we also spend enough time together as a staff to be on the same page. So, there's a lot in time management that come with people. To be honest with you, I've spent a lot of time this offseason really working with different specialists in different realms, whether it's sports psychologists, generational experts, I talked to a lot of Navy Seals guys in the offseason, I've talked a lot with different coaches in different sports, whether it be professional lacrosse or women's basketball. I'm trying to find out how different people hit players because we've got an array of different backgrounds. We also have different generations. It's important to understand the difference in Millennials, Generation Z and also the effects that COVID has had. You look at guys as Generation Z, that's more on the front end of college or the back end of high school, it's really a subset of that generation, sort of COVID Generation Z, and it's within that same generational frame, but there's actually differences in the personalities that are a reflection of what they've been exposed to. To me, it's important to understand that each person has a different story, value set and also understanding that as a generation of players, the reality is it's different coaching rookies and coaching our vets. They're just two different subsets. One guy has got a family and kids, one guy is just getting out of college and focusing on shoe deals and Combine preparation for the last part of the year. We've got get these guys on the same page to be successful.
Q: Are those external things that you did this offseason part of stuff you didn't have the time for leading into last year or maybe hadn't thought about doing?
A: I'd say I was able to spend more time on the people aspect. I'd say the time part last year, I was definitely working the same way on it. You just have more experience with your team, with this setting and what you can improve here. In terms of the people, I'm always doing research, I'm always trying to find different ways. This year it was just a major focus of mine to make sure that – one thing I always want to hit on is I don't want to miss on a person. I don't want to miss that. One of the most important things we do is evaluate our team to make sure we don't want to put a person on the street that can help us win, that we don't misevaluate because we can't see through maybe a shade of a personality or something like that.
Q: Quick question about your three coordinators. How would you define their roles as table-setters in your system and what tweaks are you making in year two that will have some impact on what they do?
A: Well, I think the tweaks are coming more internally in terms of them working with staff specifically. Last year, we had to get on the same page and we eventually did and that took some time, and that's just natural with any program in year one. I think just the experience of [Defensive Coordinator] Pat [Graham], [Offensive Coordinator] Jason [Garrett] and [Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey] working with everybody, that has enabled them to kind of redistribute some responsibilities, for me to sit down with them and make sure we have the right people doing the right breakdowns, right reports, handling the right area of focus. In terms of T-Mac, every one of our coaches watching practice now watches special teams, so it's important to catch everybody up not only on the fundamentals and scheme, but to be able to go out on the field and coach because we don't want two guys coaching 90 guys. We've got a big coaching staff, we have good coaches and I want everyone here coaching at all times, so when we go to special teams, we're going to go ahead and designate certain coaches to get some position work or something specific and everybody else will work with the kicking team. But it's all of our responsibility to coach every player in every aspect. The first part in terms of them setting the table, I'd say ultimately we talk as a staff, we deliver the message and what the tone will be for the week, what the message will be for the week, what our mentality is going to be as a team, but then you have to give ownership to the coordinators within their specific units and you have to give position coaches ownership as well. Truly, position coaches are the head coaches of their position. I see the coordinators as the same way. We have to make sure those units have an identity, that they can take on their own personality and the guys that are working with them day in and day out and every hour of the day get a really great feel for that and they can go ahead and extend that and make sure that they set that table with that culture. It's all got to fit within the big team feel, the big team culture, but having a subset of that, having their angle that fits within the team concept, we want to promote that.
Safety Xavier McKinney
Q: How does it feel to be out there with everybody? I know you missed a ton of time last training camp.
A: Yeah, it feels good man to be back out with my teammates and my coaches. Just to be in tune with them, learning the basics and getting the fundamentals down. So, it's been fun being back out here, so every day we're just trying to improve and get better.
Q: How important was the taste of the action that you got at the end of last year building toward year two?
A: It was really good, it helped a lot. But like I said, I'm just happy to be out here right now. That was my main focus, just getting out here with my teammates. You know, we had minicamp, so getting out there with them was good for me. I took that one day at a time, just to kind of improve myself and help my team out.
Q: Does this feel like year two for you, or 1A? How does it feel for you?
A: Yeah, you know, it feels like year two. Obviously, it's year two, but I still feel like I'm a rookie just because I haven't played a lot of games yet. So I still got a lot of learn, a lot to improve on, so I just take it one day at a time to improve and get better.
Q: When you were out on IR, they asked you to do a lot of things. Didn't you have to make presentations to the team or to the defensive backs? What was that all about?
A: Yeah, so I had little objectives to kind of achieve, which was just figuring out tendencies from the other team, kind of what the quarterbacks do, what the receivers' tendencies were. So, I had a job as that was concerned, and all the little things a normal rookie has to do. So, I made sure to just take care of that job because that was my primary job at the time and obviously rehabbing. I took care of that and just trying to gain the trust of my teammates and that was what I was doing.
Q: Did you actually have to speak to the whole defensive back group about this?
A: Yeah, there were days I had to present certain things on that team that week, those receivers, that QB that week, so there were weeks where I did have to do that.
Q: Was there any one hint or a little tendency you saw that you were proud of that maybe helped in a game?
A: No, not that I can remember. Like I said, I'm happy to be here right now, just trying to get better with my guys.
Q: How much did all those mental reps kind of help your confidence when you did get on the field?
A: It helped tremendously. When I got back out there, it helped a lot. Obviously, going into this, my second year, it helps me see a lot more. My vision has a lot more variety than I did last year coming in just because I didn't know as much. So, it definitely helped a lot.
Q: Did going through those assignments and those kinds of tasks change the way you approached preparing for a game?
A: Yeah, most definitely. I think when I came in, I thought I knew how to study and do certain things, but as the season went on and now coming into this year, I found new ways to prepare, new things to look at. The small things I didn't pay attention to before, that's what I pay attention to now.
Q: How much have you leaned on guys like [Safety] Jabrill Peppers and [Defensive Back] Logan Ryan, the veterans in this league?
A: A lot, man. Day-in and day-out, I ask them questions, no matter what it's on, even if that's just to clarify anything, if it might be a kind of gray area, or anything that it is. I go to those guys, really everybody in the DB room. I like to communicate. I like to be vocal, so whenever I see that there's something that I may be unsure about, I go to those guys and they're always able to help me.
Q: What does it take as a DB to 'hunt the ball' and not just to play well in coverage? Is it instinct? Is it knowing where to be within the coverage? You do seem like a guy, when you're on the field, the ball finds you, or you find it.
A: Yeah, it's instincts. I think that plays a huge role in just playing the DB position itself. A lot of that is just being able to trust your ability to go make that play, instead of just going back and waiting on it, so I pride myself on that. That's something that I remind myself of before every practice, before every game, is to go attack the ball rather than wait for something to happen. Obviously, I want to make plays. Obviously, I still do what's right for the team, but when that opportunity is there, I try to seize the opportunity.
Q: Should you have caught that one [pass in practice], or was that too high?
A: Yeah, I definitely should have caught that one. I'm a little bit upset about that one. We'll go back and look at it, but next time, I'll catch that one.
Q: The last game against the [Dallas] Cowboys, you had pretty much a full load. You played well, you got your first interception. How much did that help you get into the offseason?
A: Yeah, I think playing all of those games, it helped me going into this year. But, like I've said time and time again, I'm just trying to improve. Last season don't really matter. The past is the past, so just trying to take it day-in and day-out. One day at a time with my teammates to get better and improve, so I can make more of those plays.
Q: It looked like the game slowed a bit for you in that Dallas game at the end [of last season]. Did you feel that the game was starting to slow down towards the end of the year?
A: Yeah, I think the more I play and the more I get out here on the field with my guys, obviously it's going to slow down. Having guys, like you said, I got [Jabrill] Pepp[ers], I got [Safety] J[uliuan] Love, I got [Safety] Log[an Ryan]. All those guys out there with me to help me improve and help the game slow down for me, it helped tremendously. So, I appreciate those guys for that and just being able to go out there, it helps a lot more every time I come out.
Q: [Defensive Coordinator] Pat[rick] Graham stresses versatility. When you look at yourself, do you see yourself as a safety or as a defensive back who can do a lot more?
A: I can do it all. From the very first day that I have talked about, I've always said I can do it all, I still believe that. There's nowhere you can't play me. So, that's how I see it and that's how I go into it.
Q: With regards to [Head Coach] Joe Judge, what are some of the things you learned about him last year and some of his attributes as you go forward?
A: Yeah, he's a tough coach, he puts the heat. He asks a lot of us, but we accept the challenge day-in and day-out. We love him. You know, sometimes it could be pretty brutal, but it is what it is. It's nothing that I'm not used to already, a lot of the guys are used to already. So, it's good work for us. I think it helps our mindset out and it helps us get better.
Q: Do you think it's important to have guys who are used to that and thrive in that situation?
A: Yeah, I mean, I think so, but, you know, you just got to adapt to it either way. I think everyone has adapted to it and we love the process of going through it.
Q: I know it's early right now, but have you seen him [Head Coach Joe Judge] evolve at all from last year to this year. You're only just a couple days in, but in extended conversations, or Zooms, or whatever, have you seen any changes in him?
A: No, he's consistent. Everything he does, he's consistent, never changes. It's never something different. It's never one day is going to be hard, one day is going to be easy. It's all the same. I think that's the best thing to have, to have a consistent coach and we love it, we embrace it and we go out there and work hard.
Q: They drafted you to be a big-time player. Now, with a year under your belt, even though you were hurt, can you say, "I have everything it takes to be a big-time player in this league?"
A: For sure, when I came in, that was my mindset. Like I said, my mindset doesn't change no matter what happens. I try to go out here and get better for my team, for my teammates and my coaches. But, you know, that's always my mindset is that I could be a big-time player and that's what I'm out here to work on every day.
Q: When you look at [Tight End] Evan Engram, what do you see? You have to face him. How difficult of a challenge is that?
A: Yeah, he's a tough, tough, tough guard, for sure. So, every day I try to get reps in with him just because I know he's going to make me a lot better, and I'm going to make him a lot better. He pushes me, I push him, so that's kind of how I see it. He's a great, great tight end and I love competing against him every day.
Q: What makes him so difficult to guard?
A: Hey, you guys see it. Man, he's fast, he's strong, he can run routes, he can catch, so he can do it all. So, he's a kind of jack of all trades. It's tough to guard him at times, but, like I said, he helps me improve.
Q: How much of an adjustment was last year because it was probably the first time in your career you had to sit out. Did you sit there and go, "why me?" How did you approach it?
A: Last year, man. I'm not worried about it. I'm focused on my team and this year. Just going into the season, and improving every day, getting better, and just going into the season strong.
Tight End Evan Engram
Q: How was your offseason and your summer?
A: Beautiful. It was amazing. I was down in Atlanta, down there training and spending time with family, got some time away, put a lot of good work in. Like I said, enjoying family time because all my family is down in Atlanta, so having all that was perfect. Staying healthy and putting work in.
Q: Did you lose weight down there?
A: No, my weight is actually the same as it's always been. Definitely, I feel trimmer, kind of focusing on my diet and stuff and kind of locking in on that, taking care of my body, so same weight. Definitely feel a bit more slimmer and trimmer and feeling good.
Q: Did your approach going into the offseason change at all? I know it's been a year to year thing.
A: I just took advantage of a fully healthy offseason. Didn't have any setbacks, no recovery stuff, no lingering injuries, so took a little bit of time off and I took advantage of having a fully healthy offseason and got to work. Same mindset always in the offseason, getting better, attacking things I can improve on, but just taking advantage of a fully healthy offseason.
Q: With the ups and downs that you had last season individually and really as a team, when you stepped away from the season were you able to take pride in the fact that you did complete a season without a serious injury that kept you out?
A: It's always a blessing to walk off this field injury-free. Playing last year as a season, my first full season, that was a big goal of mine before the year and to finish it off and not have anything lingering afterwards, I definitely took that in as a blessing and was really pleased with that.
Q: Giants fans constantly have expectations which you hear all the time. Can you describe what your expectations for yourself and how much you are aware of what everybody wants you to do on the outside?
A: I'm in this building 24 hours every day. Every day, I have a job to do, every day I have something to attack, something to get better at. I'm not worried about yesterday, I'm not worried about last year, I'm focused on going ahead. I'm definitely not listening to all that stuff. All the opinions I care about are in this building and my family, and I'm working really hard each and every day to attack each day and attack the 24 hours I have.
Q: Second year in this system, how much better of a feel do you have for what you can be going forward or just with your understanding of what they're asking you to do?
A: Definitely. Second year in, it's always going to be smoother and you can get a little bit more in the details. Having the big picture stuff down, I'm able to work on the small things each and every day. We're working hard in the meeting room, hard on the field, walkthroughs, definitely having the system down is huge going into year two in this offense.
Q: We see you with the mask and the mouth guard. How difficult has the NFL made this for guys who are unvaccinated? You've been here a few days and have kind of gotten a taste for that.
A: I mean, it's protocol. It's something that we have to follow, rules that we have to go by, and we have to respect each and everybody's decision and just follow the rules. We've all had rules our entire careers. This year is definitely a lot more rules, but it's our job to follow them.
Q: Are there one or two things that you learned from [Head Coach] Joe Judge the last two years after your first year with him? How would you describe him and his attributes as a head coach?
A: You know, the biggest thing I appreciate about Joe is how he always kept the picture going forward. We started off really rough last year, and each week you couldn't tell it from him and his expectations and his energy towards that. He could see it in our eyes as well. Just his energy, his standard and the way he holds his standard up for himself and the way he holds us to the standard that he's created for this program, I respect it a lot. You know, you can strap up your helmet and go to war for a coach like that. We're excited to go into year two with him and get another camp down.
Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: Is it strange not seeing Dalvin [Tomlinson] around?
A: Little strange. He was with me my first two years, but you know, he had to do what was best for him and I'm proud of him. He got what he wanted and he's in a good spot.
Q: How much of an adjustment is that, playing together and suddenly you have to get used to a new guy?
A: Honestly, like, it's not a big adjustment because like even the guys that – we added a few new guys, but you bring them in just like the same. You treat them like your brother. You help them get accustomed to the lifestyle that we know it is for the Giants, the culture that we're trying to build and the chemistry. You keep that going. Stuff like that don't die.
Q: Does [Defensive Tackle] Danny Shelton make you feel small?
A: A little bit. He's a massive dude, but good personality. He fits right in. I'm excited to be able to work with him.
Q: What were a couple of things that you learned about [Head Coach] Joe Judge from last year, just the way he handles football?
A: He's very intense, but I feel like he prepares us each and every day for the game. That's his motto. That's his mindset and it helps and it works. So for us, it gets us excited for practice. You know, we're not just practicing to practice, we call it training, so that's exciting because when you're training, you're getting better. So the mindset he sets for the team and he wants for the team is good.
Q: As tough is he is, is there any part that's relatable with how he handles different guys and the culture?
A: Yeah. I don't know anybody that doesn't like him. He relates to guys. He listens to us. He respects us. We respect him.
Q: Where do you see this defense going this year? What do you think as a possibility for this group?
A: The sky's the limit, for me. Anything is possible. Our mindset, our motto is to get better each and every day and that's where we start, wanting to be great. My goal is to push everybody to get better around me while bettering myself. That's kind of where our heads at. We're taking it day-by-day and focusing on the little things that turn into big things.
Q: Dexter, you mentioned Danny's personality a few minutes ago, how exactly does that fit in? I know you and [Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams] hit it off and you both are kind of fun guys.
A: Honestly, the group in whole, we all just bond and click. We can coach each other. We can pick on each other. There's no hard feelings with anything because everybody is genuine. Like I said, he fits right in. He came in and fit right in. He even brought some character to the room, so it's not a lot of – it's not like an intruder came. It's kind of like, it just fits like a puzzle was put in.
Q: You guys could have three first round picks going across there?
A: Yeah, we could.
Q: That doesn't happen a lot.
Q: With Dalvin gone, do you see yourself next in line? They signed Leonard and Dalvin left and they know they still have you for years, you were a first round pick, do they need more from you now? Are they expecting more from you, that kind of thing?
A: I expect more from myself. My main focus is helping the team win games. Whatever I can do to help the team win games is what I will do. I push everybody in practice, the whole D-line, we root for each other. We want to see each other be great, so that's the whole goal in the room is to help everybody be great.
Q: How can you can get better? Obviously, you could improve at everything, but where is your focus?
A: My focus this offseason was learning the position more. I know there was a lot that I watched myself on tape that I didn't exactly know what to do. This whole offseason I worked on myself, I worked on learning my position.
Q: How do you go about that?
A: Just being around the right guys. I trained with a bunch of guys this offseason. Guys that proved themselves in the league pretty much and just learn from them.
Q: Did you try to get bigger or smaller?
A: You know, I was just trying to maintain and shape my body kind of thing. It's kind of like, I'm to the point that I'm going to be big all my life. Just make it look good.
Q: You're doing well with that.
A: And keep my sexy on.
Q: Do you think you're a better big now?
A: From my first year, yeah. I'm improving every year.
Q: When Michael Strahan was here, a lot of people first looked at him as a sack guy. Later on, he would say, 'I'm a complete player.' I mean, do you want to be one in particular?
A: The goal as a D-lineman is to be a complete player. To do all you can, you want to play every down. So that's your goal is to be that complete player and that's what you work at, taking it stage by stage.
Q: Have you dumped [Quarterback] Daniel [Jones] as a roommate?
A: No. I can never dump him. That's my guy.
View must-see photos of the Giants on the practice field from Day 2 of training camp on Thursday.