Pat Shurmur is excited to begin the Giants offseason program in his first season as head coach:
Players arrive for the start of the offseason program!
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
– Let's begin with the news anyone with even a passing interest in professional football seemed to be waiting for – Odell Beckham, Jr. attended the first day of the Giants' offseason program.
"He is in the building," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said this morning.
Having revealed that information on a conference call, Shurmur could address more worldly matters.
"We're trying to get things started, take advantage of the extra time we have, and we want to grow away from basically what happened a year ago, the 3-13 season," the Giants' first-year coach said. "We want to grow away from that and try to grow into a team that's competing to win a division, compete in the playoffs, and then hopefully hold up that fifth Lombardi trophy. That's what we're trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time. I think it's important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it's just as important for us to get better together, and I think that's the beauty of being able to work together here.
"In my mind, it's important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it's important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall."
Phase one of the program focuses on strength and conditioning. But Shurmur will meet regularly with the team, which will also be split into offense, defense and special teams as the coaches and players become acclimated to each other.
"(We will) try to just kind of set a foundation and get going as we approach our first extra minicamp, which will be the three days leading up to the draft," Shurmur said. "It's exciting to get back to work, it's obviously great to see the players back in the building."
When asked what changes the players will notice in the first offseason program under his command, Shurmur instead offered more detail on what he hopes to accomplish in the next three months.
"That's probably a better question for (the players)," he said. "I certainly have learned in the last couple of months how things were done in the past. There are some changes that I'll let them discuss those with you. … This is a game that we all love to play. Most great players love the training aspect of the game and getting better and being a little bit uncomfortable and working through that, and I think that's part of where we're at. I think anybody, when there is a new coach and a new general manager and some new players, there are some changes that they expect to see.
"I just think it's very important that we're very professional, we communicate well together, and then there is going to be a transfer of information. I think we as coaches need to listen to the players, but also teach what we want them to know and then let them tell us what they're seeing, so that we know how we have to teach it further. That's what we're looking forward to, the communication, and then watch these guys develop also physically as they go through the weight lifting and the running."
Aside from that, Shurmur mostly spoke about Beckham, because that's what was requested of him. Ten of the 15 questions from reporters on the call focused on the sensational receiver, who missed most of the 2017 season after suffering a broken ankle on Oct. 8. Shurmur kept the focus on football when queried about all the issues that have kept Beckham in the news this offseason.
"I'm not worried about it," he said. "I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great. He understands the importance of the offseason and he's a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there, and was talked about a great deal. He's a professional and I'm glad he's here today.
"This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together and I think it's important that Odell is here and I'm looking forward to him getting one day better by being here and I'm looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he's here and he's a terrific player and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow towards some of the things that we were talking about earlier."
*The Giants announced they have re-signed two players, center Brett Jones, a restricted a free agent, and tight end Ryan O'Malley.
Jones started 13 games last season, including the last 12 at center. O'Malley, 6-6 and 260 pounds, was signed to the Giants' practice squad on Dec. 12, 2017 and to the active roster on Dec. 30. He played in the season finale vs. Washington the following day, but did not have a catch.