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Quotes: TE Levine Toilolo on joining Giants

Q: Before signing with the Giants, did they give you any indication regarding what your role is going to be? Are you going to be primarily a blocker or are they looking to expand the role you had?

A: We didn't talk too much about roles or anything like that? All I know is I'm just coming in to work my tail off and do whatever they ask me to do. Whatever I can do to help the team win, that's what I'll do.

Q: What did you learn last year about a team that can make a quick turnaround after a losing season and go all the way to the Super Bowl?

A: I think that's hard to speak on since I wasn't there the year before to compare the two different teams. Just from my time there, it's really hard to say as far as what they did to turn it around. Obviously, I had great teammates and great coaches. Like you said, we had a great season. It's hard for me to speak on the whole turnaround aspect.

Q: Kaden Smith played at Stanford, you played at Stanford. What is it about that school that just seems to produce such quality tight ends?

A: I think that's one of the programs that allow you to do a little bit of everything as far as blocking and receiving being in a pro-style offense. I think that just kind of helps you develop your game in all different aspects. A lot of great tight ends come out of there like Zach Ertz and Coby Fleener that I got to be teammates with. It's really a credit to the coaches there and obviously guys like Kaden that work hard at their craft.

Q: Last year you had to wait until May to sign with San Francisco. Were you surprised this process moved as quickly as it did with the Giants?

A: Yeah, like you said, with last year you never know what to expect. I was ready to be patient if need be. I think with how quick everything went this time around it was definitely a different process. I'm excited about this opportunity and to come to New York.

Q: Do you think the league is turning more and more into two tight end sets? Do you see tight ends in general taking on a much bigger role in the passing game as opposed to years ago when they were primarily blockers?

A: I think for me being a little biased, I always think the more tight ends on the field, the better. I think the tight end position is a unique one in terms of you can have so many different body types and different athletes out there. You can ask them to do a wide range of things. Whether that's in the blocking game or the receiving game. Even nowadays, you see tight ends lining up in the backfield as kind of a fullback or H-Back types. I always enjoy watching all different tight ends. You see them in different places in the offense. The game is always changing, and it may not always be like that but the game changes throughout time. It's definitely a fun time to be a tight end.

Q: Last year, you kind of blocked in a running back-by-committee situation. What do you think it will be like to block for a guy like Saquon Barkley? What do you know from him? How do you think you can maybe help him and his career?
A: I don't know him personally. I've just been able to watch him. Just the athlete that he is is always exciting to watch. I'm definitely excited to be able to get out there and hopefully do whatever I can to kind of help him out. Like I said, I'm just excited to be there and like I said, do whatever I can to help the team. If that's trying to open up a hole or whatever, then I'm just going to focus on how I can try to help him and help this offense.

Q: Where do you feel most comfortable as a tight end? Obviously, you've done in-line blocking, you've done some receiving. What about working out of the backfield?
A: I'm pretty comfortable wherever they need me. I've had different roles. In Atlanta, I've been in the backfield as far as whether it's lead blocking or floating around. But like you said, I've been in-line, I've been flexed out a little bit. Obviously as a player, you're always working to improve on all aspects of your game. Even though I may not have been out there a lot, I think obviously throughout the season and offseason, it's definitely something that I stay working on. If the team needs me to go wherever, obviously, I'm open to that.

Q: You've been on two teams that have gone to Super Bowls. Were there any common traits or common denominators between those squads that you found?
A: Obviously, every team in the league works hard and stuff like that. For me, one of the biggest things that I can definitely point out from the two teams that were successful was just the bond between the players and teammates, and just how close everyone was in the building. Not just player to player, but even the players to coaches. Everyone was pretty tight. When you're able to build those relationships off the field and you can kind of come together and you're kind of playing for more than just yourself. You're playing for your brother next to you and for your coaches and stuff like that. That's something that people may not really be able to see on the outside, just kind of the relationships that you have and that you're able to build, and how that can really translate to on the field.

Q: When you come so close, especially this past year with a team like the 49ers who are kind of viewed as an ascending team in the league, is it hard to leave in free agency when you guys got so close? Were there any talks about going back there and trying to make another run?
A: Any time you go to a new team, it's definitely going to be different. I think that's the same thing with any aspect in life. Whenever there's change, it's obviously going to be a little uncomfortable. But just from the relationship I had with those guys, obviously there's lifelong friendships made every time you go to a team. But at the same time, I'm definitely excited for… obviously, I already know some of the guys with the Giants, Stanford guys and stuff like that. But not only that, I'm excited to be able to meet some of the new teammates that I have and be with this new coaching staff. I'm excited for what's to come, and for what we're going to be able to try to work together and try to do. Like I said, to be a part of this team and this new opportunity is definitely exciting. I'm looking forward to it.

Q: With everything that's going on with the Coronavirus, how has that kind of shook up your offseason routine with working out, training and all that? Just how surreal is it to sign with a new team, but you're not really able to meet up with any of your new teammates in person or anything like that?
A: Like you said, it's definitely been a different process this offseason. But luckily, I was here in San Diego kind of settled. I'm lucky enough to have some equipment and stuff like that so I can still be working out and at least stay in shape. But like you said, not being able to meet up with the guys and like you said, kind of start building that relationship is definitely going to be different. But hopefully everyone is staying safe. We're hoping that everyone will be healthy and this will all be over soon. But until then, all I can do is try to stay in shape and stay ready for once we get the call.

View photos of tight end Levine Toilolo


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