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Presser Points: GM Joe Schoen, Coach Brian Daboll talk state of Giants

It was a big 24 hours at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Running back Saquon Barkley signed his franchise tag and left tackle Andrew Thomas inked a contract extension – all before the Giants took the field in front of their fans for the first practice of training camp.

General manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll met with the media beforehand to talk about the state of the team. Here's everything you need to know:

🔹 Schoen said they're "ecstatic" and "fired up" to have Barkley for the start of camp. But first, he started off with breaking down the negotiations: "I know the hot topics the last couple of weeks. I know obviously Saquon, we engaged in negotiations over a nine and a half month period. At the end of the day, we couldn't come to an agreement on a longer-term deal, but we circled back on Monday and fortunately were able to come to an agreement with altering the franchise tag a little bit to get him to camp."

🔹 On the Thomas deal, Schoen put it simply: "So, 24-and-a-half-year-old left tackle that we now have locked up for seven years. Ecstatic about that as well."

🔹 Schoen said they weren't able to agree on a long-term deal with Saquon and that's OK. "I've been in this for 23 years and sometimes deals get done, and sometimes they don't. Why wasn't it able to get done? Again, we talked for over nine and a half months, and we came to a landing spot, and they came to a landing spot, and we couldn't bridge the gap. Like I said, that's okay. Saquon has to do what's best for him and his family and I respect the hell out of Saquon. I'm never going to tell somebody to do something that they don't think is right. So, again, I respect Saquon, I admire him, I'm glad he's here. Again, we weren't able to get something done long term, but he's here and, again, I'm fired up that he's going to be on the field today."

🔹 Schoen said "you don't spend nine and a half months on this if you don't want to get something done." As soon as the deadline passed, he called Barkley's representative and said, "OK, that's all in the past, there is nothing we can do about it; what we can focus on is how to get Saquon here on Tuesday."

🔹 Schoen commends agent Ed Berry and CAA (Creative Artists Agency). "Again, a lot of communication back and forth and phone calls and spit balling different ideas. Just really excited and glad that we were able to get Saquon here yesterday.""

🔹 Schoen said they're a "better football team with Saquon here." The goal was to have him here for Day 1, and he's here Day 1.

View photos from the first practice of training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

🔹 Are they worried about Barkley's confidence after going through this? "If you know Saquon, you're not worried about his confidence. I'm not worried about Saquon's confidence. He's comfortable here. He's ready to go, did the conditioning test the other day. He's a pro, he's in shape and I wouldn't expect anything different out of Saquon."

🔹 Daboll said he has a "really good relationship" with Barkley. They communicated a lot. He's ready to go and "excited to be here. And I'm excited that he's here."

🔹 Is it a relief to just focus on football again? "I've been in the league a long time," Daboll said. "I'm excited that all of our guys are here. It's our first day of training camp. We've got a long way to go. We're just going to take it day-by-day and try to get better, whether it's Saquon, (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II), (quarterback) Daniel (Jones), (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams), (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson). Whoever it may be on our roster. We have a bunch of good guys in the locker room. I'm thankful I get to work with them."

🔹 Daboll was asked if he's a believer in running backs. "I'm a believer in all players."

🔹 Today was the culmination of a long offseason plan in terms of the roster, and now the work begins on the field. "Every year it's different," Schoen said. "Each team is different. We've got to develop our chemistry, continuity. All of that stuff is what training camp is for. That's what this summer is going to be in training camp. Again, every team is different. So, that's what we'll work to do over the next 30-some days before our first game."

🔹 Why did the Giants decide to lock up Thomas now? "There is a history of that," Schoen said. "We did it in Buffalo a couple of times. I'm a believer in it. He played at a high level and he's our type of guy. To get ahead of those things, I think if he's willing to do a deal, and it was something we were comfortable with, both parties were happy with where we ended up landing."

🔹 Schoen said he was thinking this morning about how expectations have changed from just a year ago. "These guys hadn't been in pads, hadn't been through adversity, hadn't had a deficit in the fourth quarter. We hadn't been through a lot of that. So, we understand the grit and makeup of some of the current players that have been here, and then we've got a lot of new players that we've still got to figure out who they are in difficult times, and adversity, and even when we have success. So, again, I think all of that is going to take shape over the next month and a half."

🔹 While the theme of the day was the strong core of players at key positions, the Giants have plenty of newcomers. "We have some new players that, again, until you get into crunch time, you don't know exactly what you have. So, our job is to make sure we coach them to the best of our ability, bring them together, and then let them go out there and compete."

🔹 Schoen is thankful for ownership to give them the resources "to operate and sign and retain our players, and even through free agency, that they give us the resources to succeed. Again, you're always looking at the short term and then you're looking at a long-term plan. As we went into the offseason, some of the longer deals that we did, those were longer-term plans based on age, their ability, where they fit, and again, just thankful that we have the resources to do that."

🔹 Schoen's message to Giants fans as the team embarks on the 2023 campaign: "I would just say as long as Dabs and I are in leadership positions, we're going to do whatever we can that's best for the franchise in order to pursue championships and find ways to sustain success as often as we can."

🔹 The message of Daboll's first team meeting was "pretty basic" this week. "I'm not a big talker at the first couple days of training camp. There's a lot of anxiety for a lot of these players. I think you lay out clear standards, clear expectations of what you expect in the meeting rooms, in the building, on the practice field and everybody has to has to buy into the program."

The New York Giants have reported to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the start of training camp.



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