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Quotes (7/25): Shurmur, Barkley, Jones, Peppers, Engram

Head Coach Pat Shumur

Opening Statement: First day of practice. We've been through all of the pre-stuff. I think the run yesterday, the guys all handled it well. They're in good shape. I look forward to getting going. Alex Wesley is on PUP. And then you guys all saw that Kamrin Moore is on the Commissioner's [Exempt] List. A couple other changes as we go through. I think the important thing to remember on some of the changes we make is that we're always trying to spin the back part of the roster to get a look at people. I think that's philosophically what we're going to do as we go through it. From time to time, there will be a roster change. It'll be just to make sure we're doing a good job of kicking the tires on guys that potentially might have a chance to make our team. With that, I'll take your questions.

Q: Pat, did you talk to Kam [Moore], and what can you share about that?

A: I really can't share much. Obviously, they are very serious allegations. He's on the Commissioner's [Exempt] List. That's designed so that they can go through the process. That's all I'll share.

Q: How are you going to handle that going forward?

A: There's nothing to handle. He's on the Commissioner's [Exempt] List. That's it.

Q: What are these first few days about in terms of the evaluation? What are you looking for?

A: It's really a continuation. You go back to the first installs, certainly. But the first installs have the flavor of the whole offseason worked into them. It's a continuation of the spring, and you get ready to play this first game here in two weeks. It's a process for all of the players. But it's also a process physically and mentally, getting the guys into the kind of shape they need to get into to play a season.

Q: On Day One with Daniel Jones, do you look at it as Day One of building him up, or do you kind of throw him into the fire and see how he does with what he's learned?

A: We're going to try to have him continue with what he's learned. I think the rookie camp was a continuation of what he learned in the spring. Each day he'll build on that knowledge. It's full steam ahead with him.

Q: There was something written that you're going to bring Eli [Manning] along slowly. Is that true? Or will he get the same number of reps as always?

A: I didn't say that. Again, I don't read it all. That would be news to me.

Q: Your players have a shirt with a slogan on the back, "All Ball." Is that your creation?

A: No, actually I guess that's been a little bit of a tradition here at the Giants. Pat Hanlon, actually. I think it can mean different things to different people. I talk all the time that it's all about the ball. It's also about 'let's keep the focus on playing football.' Each player may have a little different interpretation of what that is. But it's kind of nice when we all get a new t-shirt.

Q: That has to run through you at some point, right?

A: Yeah, I okayed it.

Q: How excited are you to get your starting offensive line? Because [Mike] Remmers and [Nate] Solder couldn't do much in the spring. For a unit that means so much to the offense, how anxious are you to get those five guys on the field together?

A: Yeah, good point. I think Remmers and Solder are pros, so they know how to get themselves ready to go. Remmers looks as good as he's looked. Again, I was with him in Minnesota, so he's excited to get going. I think the important thing for guys that are coming back from injury, and we talked about this last year with a few guys that were coming back from injury, is to give them the work they need, but then ramp them up. I think that's what you're going to see. We've had some young players that are developing in that group that have a chance to play this year. So you'll see them in there as well. The good news is, you'll be able to see it first-hand. At some point, when we can get them all together, playing together, we need to do that. But we're all aware of the fact that there's going to be backups in there, or guys that are significant role players. You like to have guys out there playing when they have to play that have played. I think that's a good thing.

Q: How do you look at that right tackle spot entering camp?

A: We're going to try to play the best player. That's how we're really going to approach every spot.

Q: Is it Remmers' job to lose?

A: I think we're going to put the best player [out there]. You'll see [Remmers] with the first team. But again, we're going to play the best player.

Q: When you look at the defense, they have a lot of new faces. Given all of the new faces, were you surprised with how they looked in the spring? It looked like they kind of came together quickly.

A: Yeah, I think so. Some of the new faces are veteran players that we feel are pros. They took to things quickly because they're used to learning and they've been in systems, so it made sense to them. Then we have some younger players, rookies, that played a year ago and played a lot of football. They got more experience then maybe some guys at certain positions. I wasn't surprised that they came together. Now it's a matter of doing it here in camp and doing it on Sunday.

Q: How much work does Saquon [Barkley] need this summer in training camp, practices, preseason games, compared to where he was last year, and how do you want to budget him a little bit for the regular season?

A: Good point. I think Saquon needs to get his work like every player. We'll just gauge it as we go here. But he's in tremendous shape. He looks really good. He's had a great offseason in terms of training. I think he's ready to go. We'll try to get him ready, just like we will with all of the other players.

Q: Was there a point [last year] that Saquon impressed you even more in the locker room with his leadership and his consistency throughout the year?

A: Yeah, I think the more you're around him, you see, and we've said it, I think he's got a generational spirit, and it shows up on game days. It shows up in the locker room. It shows up behind the scenes. He leads by example. But he's also willing to say things that are important to him. I think as he becomes more veteran in this league, if he keeps the mindset, you know he's a second-year player but come in with that rookie mindset of trying to learn and get better, then he'll continue to have a great career.

Q: Are you comfortable with your depth at safety? Will Julian Love get a look there?

A: He will. He'll get some looks there. Yeah, we're comfortable with the depth. We're comfortable with the players we have on the roster. Not to say that we won't, as I mentioned, spin the back of the roster a little bit at all positions. But yeah, we're comfortable.

Q: Is there a competition at every position, including the quarterback position?

A: I think organically a coach likes to say that. When you look at a roster, everybody is going to attempt to pencil in who will start. I think what you want on the field is a competitive spirit, where each guy is trying to get better each day. Then trust that we're going to play the best players. That's the approach.

Q: What's the hardest part for a young quarterback at this stage of training camp?

A: A lot is made of the speed of the game, and how things happen quicker. I think the one thing that's different about the pro game as opposed to the college game, and I learned this from a couple of the young quarterbacks, in college sometimes you look out and everyone is open. You get used to a lot of success. There are times in the pro game when you look out and there may be only one, or none, of them are open. What do you do then? I think because the defenses fight back really hard in this league, that's a little bit for the quarterback to get used to.

Q: You guys made a pretty big investment in Sterling [Shepard] this offseason. Where do you see him elevating his game? Can he be a number one receiver in the NFL? Obviously, he's been a number two here for a while.

A: Sure, I think he can be. Sterling is a football player, and we appreciate his toughness and his ability to make plays, and all the things he adds to the team. He's a value-added guy in my mind. He plays his position, but he makes the people around him better. I think that's what all the players should strive to do.

Q: With Saquon, is there anything that says you want to keep him limited to a certain number of carries, touches, anything like that? Are you okay with him touching the ball 300+ times?

A: Well, we'll see what it takes to win football games. Certainly, we'll want to try to do the best thing. I think we'll all agree, it makes sense for him to touch the ball. As we go along, we also need to spread the ball around, whether we're throwing it to him or handing it to him, subbing him [out] at times. We did sub him [out] last year at times, and we'll continue to do that.

Q: Is there a threshold, though, for him personally?

A: Yeah, I get it, because there's this season and then beyond. We're always aware of all of that. We try to be smart with it, and do everything we possibly can to win games. But player safety is important as well.

Q: Down the stretch last year, Evan [Engram] really established himself in the offense. In the spring, you guys held him back a little bit. Where do you see his game, his fit, and what do you expect from him this season?

A: I think year two in our system… I've got a better feel for who he is as a player. I think the same can be said for a lot of our players on offense. Once we sort of solidified what our 2018 version of our o-line was, you could see what more of the skilled players could do. He's a very dynamic pass receiver. He can make plays down the field. He improved his blocking in my view. We hope he continues to improve in all of those areas… [Tight ends] are important to the offense. A guy that can make plays and be dynamic like Evan can be… in some ways, he has some traits of a wide out. That's challenging for a defense.

RB Saquon Barkley

Q: What did you think when you're out there and you hear people cheering "MVP" for you?

A: That's a first. I have never really heard that chant before. I'm just grateful for the fans who come out and show support. It's just fun being out there and playing football again. Obviously, you get to interact with the fans and sign stuff for them, especially the little kids. The MVP chants, that's cool and all, but I was just more happy to be out there with my teammates and kick the season off.

Q: Do you think that's a possibility?

A: MVP? Yeah, I think anything is possible. I am a big believer in that, but my mindset is not just that trophy. Obviously, I am not going to sit here and say "I don't want to win the MVP," or "I don't want to win this or win that." But I am a big believer. I take care of the little things and focus on (the) team first. It's a team first mentality and all of the individual awards will take care of themselves.

Q: You talked last year about getting through the mesh quicker in the second half. Is there a goal you have, whether it's a little thing or an individual goal, that you have for this year?

A: Yeah. Right now, my main goal is to take care of little things. Right now, I am trying to understand the blocking scheme, obviously with the shifts and movements. Before we say "hike" I am trying to be able to read the defense and know exactly where we're going to block and who is my most dangerous man, before watching film on the team and understanding that. It's a lot easier when you have a grasp of what's actually going to happen than when you go out here you don't really know what to expect. I'm trying to do that, figure out the defense real quick and figure out what my lineman's are going to do, and "boom" who's my guy and trying to make the play work, instead of reacting.

Q: How do you feel about the possibility of 300 carries and 400 touches? Is there a point where you think it might be counter-productive at all?

A: No. I am open to as many that come. Like I have said before, I am willing to take as many touches to help the team win. That's why I train, that's why I try to take care of my body, that's why I take the mindset I take in the off season, and that's why I train with guys like (Speed Coach) Ryan Flaherty, that's why (I'm) with the amazing strength staff here with (Strength and Conditioning) Coach Wellman and all of those guys. I understand that and the wear and tear of football. That's my job and that's the sport that I chose to fall in love with. I know it comes with the territory, so I have to be better and be better as a person and take care of my body to be more of a professional in that area.

Q: Did you feel it at the end of last year?

A: No, I was chilling to be honest. I felt good, I felt pretty good. If we were in the position to be in playoffs and play more games, I know I was more than capable. Like I said, I train now and I train in the offseason knowing what the possibility is, and not just talking about touches but just in football. Playing a 16-game season, if you want to add preseason on top of that and add playoffs in the future too. It's something I know that comes with the game and that's why I take the responsibilities I have now and try to treat myself like a pro.

Q: When did you decided to train with Shep (Sterling Shepard) and how did it go?

A: We started training together because we lived together in LA. We were both trying to look for houses in LA. I found one first and he was still trying to find one, and I was like "well I have a room for you and your family" so we just went in all together with me and my manager. He was training with his trainer at first but then he was coming and training with me and my trainer. It's good to train with your teammates. Obviously, you have respect for each another, but it's a different respect when you're actually living with each other, playing video games, and going from fighting each other to chilling to competing to this and that, basically like a brother. It makes you grow and respect each other and the game so much more. Not only as a player but as a person, to respect each other. I definitely think it was a benefit, not only for us but for the team.

Q: He said you cheated in some of your races?

A: Come on man. He came up here and said that? That's Sterling Shepard for you. One, if you're not cheating you're not trying (laughter). Not in races, especially not in races. He got me in tier two sports like ping pong and handball. For some reason, I blame my parents, I'm not a really good tier two athlete. So, he got my number there. If we count our reps through the summer with hill reps, sprints, all that good stuff, I know 100 percent I'm up. He can take that to the bank.

Q: He said you stuck your arm out?

A: That's what he says all the time. He says if you are running a race, what are they going to count, your chest or this (sticks out arm) and I don't do that, why would I do that (sticks his arm out) during a race? If anything, I was the one who was running through because I know (pauses) I'm sorry, you can see how passionate I'm getting about that (laughter). It's great to have that love for each other but also that competitive nature. We do that in the locker room but it brings out everybody. When everyone is playing ping pong or we are playing card games or when we come out here. We didn't have that last year, we didn't have that competitive nature that we have. That's why I think we can have a really special year. If we continue to build, continue to build on that with the long hard days, and put in the work and focus on details I believe we can have a great season.

Q: Do you like this environment with the fans being able to watch practice?

A: I think it's cool actually. I like the signing at the end. I like the interaction with the kids. To be honest, I don't really care about grownups (laughter). I know when I was a kid I would have loved to able to visit my favorite team or meet one of my favorite players or a person I look up to. I think that's a neat thing that we do here, that we are able to interact with the fans. I'm all for it, I love it, and I'm happy they come and show support and you also get to put on a show for them during practice.

Q: It took Daniel Jones a little bit to get his first completion, then he completed four in a row. As a team leader do you go over and say something to him or are you not paying attention to him because you are with the running backs?

A: I pay attention to everything. Personally, I think Daniel did more than fine. I think we all did well for the first day. Obviously, there are things to grow. I didn't know that he went a long time without a completion then had four in a row. I think that shows he is going through adversity, he's maybe not having the day he wants at the beginning but to be able to pick it up and continue to go strong. That's what you want in a quarterback, that's what you want in all your teammates and players. That's what I continue to work on. There's been times when I've had a bad run, I had a screen today where I didn't set up and kind of put us in a bad position. Its practice, that's when you learn from it and get better. That's why it's called practice so you can learn and when the games come you can be more than ready to compete at a high level.

Q: Was that the screen that Lorenzo Carter picked off?

A: That was a heck of a play. You have to give credit to Zo. The defense gave me crap for that too because we go back and forth. It was a zero blitz, he was responsible for the running back and I kind of tried to sneak him and dip outside him on the screen. He did a great job of playing it and then made an unbelievable play. Two or three plays before that we had a little reverse and he ran down one of our wide receivers. I'm really happy for that guy, you can see the work he put in. I think he is going to have a tremendous impact for us this year.

QB Daniel Jones

Q: How did you get ready for training camp?

A: I was back at Duke for a lot of it. Kind of back and forth from Duke to Charlotte. I felt like Duke was the best place for me to have guys to throw to. Coaches around, I got to spend some time with Coach Cutt and all those guys. I think just being there, being around those guys, being able to throw to guys, a couple older guys were back too. Just being around there I was able to do everything I needed to do.

Q: What are your expectations for the next few weeks?

A: First and foremost, just to improve as a player. I think helping this team improve is kind of where all of our focuses are right now. Individually, just to keep improving. I think today, and these earlier days is to pick up where we left off before we left in the spring. So, I think with the mindset, if everyone has that mindset, we will continue to make progress and we will be where we need to be in a couple weeks when we open up.

Q: How much further along are you since the draft?

A: I think I am a lot further along. Thinking back to rookie minicamp when I started, I've certainly made a lot of progress since. I think all the rookies have and should have to this point. There's still a lot to learn, a lot to do and I realize that. I think as a rookie class, the young guys have made good progress since the beginning and looking back I think that's comforting.

Q: What specifically have you learned?

A: I think in the offense, just the scheme and executing the offense is a big part of it. Getting comfortable with what you are seeing from a defense. Getting comfortable with our concepts, our offense against certain looks and stuff like that. Just in the routine of it, the routine changes as we start camp, a little bit longer days. Just the routine of learning it, drilling it, reviewing it, repeating that process I think is helpful to have learned and got some exposure to.

Q: What have you learned from Eli so far?

A: A lot of it is the scheme of the offense. Someone who has been in it as long as he has. I think just how he studies and how he prepares is helpful for me to be around and just watching him in the meetings, watching him preparing for those meetings, you can learn a lot from that. He's been very helpful to me and I'm very appreciative of what he has done for me.

Q: Do you think it will be an adjustment as far as waiting for reps and being at a different stage than you were in college?

A: I think that's maybe a little bit of an adjustment for everyone. I think your reps are very meaningful, your reps are very important. You're still getting those reps and trying to make the most of them. I don't think that's a huge adjustment, and just kind of your preparation for those reps. I think your mindset is very similar.

Q: You signed your contract late, was there any nervousness you would not be out there on the first day?

A: No, I think I was good. I wanted to be out here the first practice and glad we got it done and got that behind us. I wasn't going to miss a practice.

Q: How competitive are you and how driven are you to play as quickly as you can?

A: I think individually, like I said, my focus right now is to improve, particularly these next couple of days. I think it's to pick up where I left off, pick up where we left off and everyday to improve. What that looks like down the road, I'm not sure, but my focus is on improving today, improving tomorrow and kind of taking those steps.

Q: How much do you look at it as a competition every day and comparing yourself to the other quarterbacks in the room to see where you are?

A: Since I have gotten here in the spring, since we have started OTA's as a room, as a position group, we've worked really well together. We have found a way to help each other, me in particular being the younger guy, we have found a way to kind of improve as a group, improve as a unit. That way helping the offense improve. I think seeing it as a competition against the defense right now, and just improving every day is where are focus is. I think that has been helpful so far in helping the team improve.

Q: We hear from coaches and players who go through it as rookies that it can be overwhelming for rookies especially rookie quarterbacks, so I'm just curious, has there been any moments that you felt a little overwhelmed or intimidated is there anything you've done to kind of overcome that and make sure it doesn't happen?

A: Yeah, I would say you know definitely right now and you know probably for the foreseeable future that there will be ups and downs, good days, bad days. You'll make mistakes and you know do things right. I mean I think you know whether it was a bad practice or whatever it was. I think it's always helpful to me to just focus a little harder you know put your head back down and go to work. I think that's something that you learn early in football is just to, particularly at the quarterback position, if there's something you didn't know, there's something you didn't think of quick enough, there's something you didn't react to at the right time, and I think that comes down to just knowing it and studying it. So I think that you know the most helpful solution to all of those things for me is just to kind of put my head down and focus back.

Q: Have you got to think through how you deal with the size of the market that you're playing in and how that impacts you…

A: Yeah, you know I've thought about that and it's part of the position part of the role here and I certainty accept that and willing to take that on, so yeah I've had a couple conversations with Eli (Manning) about it and he's been helpful with it and he's obviously someone who dealt with it very well for a long time and you know there's a lot to learn there. It's part of the position and something I'm currently willing to accept.

Q: Have you prepared yourself because everyone says the speed of the game will pick up in the NFL? There might not be as many receivers' open, have you prepared yourself to face that?

A: Yeah, I think that is a big adjustment and you notice it even in OTA's and minicamp is the speed of everyone. The speed of DB's, speed of receivers, linebackers pass rushers, I think it's all faster and I think that's very true. I think it places a premium being on time and delivering the ball accurately at quarterback. So, those are things that I have thought about I have tried to work on is delivering the ball accurately. So, I think that's the biggest step and biggest adjustment in the program.

Q: Eli (Manning) talked about when he was a rookie it was about earning the respect of his teammates, especially the older ones, how do you go about doing that?

A: I think that first and foremost it all starts on the practice field. You know people take notice on how you play but maybe more importantly how you prepare and how well you know your stuff. When you're stepping in the huddle, can you call the play clearly? Can you step up to the line, make the adjustments, make the right read? I think a lot of that for a rookie is the best way to earn respect and then also giving respect to the guys that've been here for a while and kind of done it, so I think that's what I'm trying to do.

Q: Daniel, there will be moments later where you replace Eli (Manning) Have you thought about the best case scenario for when that will happen?

A: I'm not sure I have. Like I said, right now we're focused on this training camp and you know what? As a group we've done a good job kind of moving along with the team, moving along with the offense and as a group trying to push the offense forward. so what that looks like in the future is I don't know. But I think that is improving as a group. I think the team will move forward.

S Jabrill Peppers

Q: How much are you looking forward to that first day out there today?

A: Camp is different. You get to put on actual equipment instead of a t-shirt and underwear, and really get to compete at a high level with contact. The D-line and the O-line can get a good pop in there to work on their techniques and blocking. (Inaudible) just getting used to football again, so I'm definitely excited.

Q: This is the first time in a while that you have a chance for your family and friends to come watch you practice. What's that going to be like? Do you expect a big crowd?

A: I'm honestly not really worried about the crowd. I have a job to do. I think it's cool that the fans are involved and they get to be a part of our training camp, but at the end of the day you can't have a sloppy practice just because of the fans there. My main focus is focusing on execution, running to the ball, and honing in on the things I know I need to work on. 

Q: Do you care to reveal those things that you need to hone in on and work on?

A: Not really (laughter). Not really.

Q: Alec (Ogletree) yesterday said this defense he thinks could be a top five to top ten defense in the league. A lot of moving parts, a lot of young guys out there—what's it been like for you guys?

A: Everybody has to do their job—do their job as that one of the eleven. We have the talent and tools, we just have to put it all together. Everyone is starting 0-0, we have to stick to our identity, run to the ball, tackle, make the plays that come to us, and minimize explosive plays. I think you do that and any team can (inaudible)

Q: You're obviously in a new spot, coming over in trade, and could be starting a rookie at every level—line, linebacker, secondary. How much harder is it to do that right away and start fast with so many new pieces?

A: Age doesn't really matter. It's just how fast they can acclimate and pick up the playbook. You don't want to throw too much at the guys. You want them to play fast (inaudible), but if a rookie is good enough to play, he's going to come in here and play. The best eleven is going to be out there. It's just about getting everyone up to speed, gelling together more as a team, and putting it all together.

Q: What's been the process for you to sort of acclimate yourself to a new team—and I don't want to say and to prove yourself, but you know?

A: It's just really getting to know the guys. That's really it. There was always a sense of comfort from my first day here. You just have to get to know the guys and your coaches. I'm from the area, so it's not like I have to get acclimated to a new area. The facilities here are top-notch, and football is football. You're going to go hard or you're not.

Q: What's the adjustment been system-wise?

A: Just the terminology—a couple of new coverages that I haven't played before that I think are exciting. That's really it. It really hasn't to much of a coaching shock or anything difficult. It's just doing what I have to do.

Q: Is there a lesson you take into training camp this year having been through training camps the past couple years—how you approach it, how you attack it?

A: Definitely. I think after your rookie season, once you actually go through it, everything kind of becomes more natural and just a little bit more comfortable for you. Just coming into every day with a positive attitude because some days your body's not going to feel good and you're not going to want to do some things, but you have to fight through that—pick the guys up around me and just make the practices fun and competitive because when we are having fun competing, you're getting better but you want to be out there. So, I think that's one of the main things I've taken away from my two camps that I've been a part of.

Q: Pat Shurmur was just here and said that in his mind Daniel Jones has exceeded expectations in a lot of ways. What have you seen from him so far?

A: I haven't had a chance to go with him because he hasn't really run with the ones, but just from what I've seen, he's a very polished quarterback and a smart guy. He's going to be great for us.

Q: Taking care of your body has always been something, going back to high school that you've focused on. How has that changed for you where you're at?

A: Technology is way more advanced, so they tell me things about myself that I didn't even know. Drawing blood, urine samples—we work closely with Quest Diagnostis—I put a little sweat patch on to see what I need to drink after practice. That's definitely a good help, especially when you're not in your head about going too hard so you don't cramp and things like that. It's definitely nice.

Q: So that's a big training difference for you. Does that lighten the mental load for you?

A: Absolutely.

Q: One of the things that hurt this team last year was its ability to finish. Do the coaches at all talk about that?

A: Absolutely. That's actually been a big point of emphasis for us. Alpha and omega—sometimes they say omega to alpha because finishing was a huge part of who we were last year. So you just have to start fast, keep the moments from going, and finish the games. That comes with execution, attention to detail, and just competing at the highest level.

Q: What are your impressions of Saquon (Barkley)—someone you enjoy being around?

A: Saquon is a Big Ten kid. I went to Michigan so I already kind of knew him, but we already got together before I even got here. So I kind of knew the guy he was, but it's definitely different when you're practicing against him and you're seeing that athleticism—the speed, quickness, power every day. It definitely helps us as a defense, especially with his cut-back ability, his ability to expand the plays. You really get to work on your ball pursuit, your angles, vice tackling, and things like that, so I's definitely a huge help.

Q: If there's any carry-over from the spring, I guess we're going to see you and Evan (Engram) going head-to-head a lot?

A: Absolutely. We were already talking about that during the walk-through. He's a competitive guy, I'm a competitive guy, and the goal is just to make each other as better as possible so when the season comes it's nothing.

Q: As a starter, do you want to be a return man too?

A: I want to do whatever I can to help this football team win games. If that's me returning—I've done it before, so whatever they need me to do, that's what I'm going to do to the best of my ability.

TE Evan Engram

Q: You've been around here for long, what impresses you about Daniel (Jones) from what you have seen at practice?

A: He answers really well. There will definitely be some mistakes made as a rookie, especially as a quarterback. He has a lot on his plate. There were a couple instances where he'd have a bad throw, or make a bad read, but he'd come back in and answer right away. He's picking up the offense, picking up protections, and taking advantage of learning under Eli (Manning), you can tell. He's definitely very impressive. He got a lot of work done in the spring and I'm excited to see him at camp. 

Q: Is it different preparing for a season where you go into it with a starting quarterback, but by the end of the season it might be somebody different? Do you have to build chemistry with both quarterbacks?

A: No, whoever is at number one is who we are working with, and camp is a good time to mix personnels. Sometimes we might go with Daniel, and sometimes the twos might go with Eli. It kind of naturally happens. Our mindset is to be the best we can be no matter who is on the field. The coaches do a really good job of putting the guys out there who they are going to work with. It sometimes naturally happens, but it's not a purposeful thing that we try to work on. 

Q: After your spring do you feel healthy and ready to go?

A: Yes, sir. I am ready to go. I am definitely excited to get out there and compete. Spring was not much fun watching those guys out there competing. I am excited to get back, and to get out there with them. 

Q: After your first two years, what have you taken from that to build upon in the second year in this offense?

A: Last year taught me a lot about dealing with adversity. Knowing that everything happens for a reason, and also, how important it is to take care of my body. You have to be professional on the field and off in all aspects. I just hated missing time. It kind of taught me to do everything I can when I'm off the field to make sure that I stay on the field for my teammates. Also, with the x's and o's, the game has slowed down, so I am able to explore more opportunities with my game and work on some different things that are going to help me get open that will help with my running game, and small things like that. Definitely just the game slowing down, and learning how to take care of my body, I have definitely learned a lot through these past few years.

Q: Did you change anything in how you trained or how you recover when it comes to taking care of your body?

A: Yeah. Recovery is huge. I have always been full speed and full go training. I wouldn't be as diligent taking care of my body and allowing myself to recover. I am definitely learning about recovery, learning about supplements, and learning about what I am putting in my body and eating better. It makes a huge difference in my body, in my mood, and how I sleep, and everything. I definitely take a more diligent approach with my recovery.
Q: You looked quicker in the spring. Is that one of the byproducts of the changes you made?

A: Yeah. Definitely the work I put in, it definitely shows and I feel it. You want to keep that up, you want to keep building on that. It's going to be big in staying consistent with that.

Q: Is there a point when you realized Saquon (Barkley) was something special?

A: I always say he just came in as a natural leader. That was a big thing that stood out to me. He is a gifted athlete, and especially when the pads came on last year you kind of saw his ability. But the thing that stood out to me last year was his natural leadership. That's what got me really excited and it pushed me as well. He is going to take it to a whole other level this year coming into year two. 

Q: How much do you feel this offense will run through him?

A: I think we are going to have a really balanced attack. The other team is going to have to definitely account for him. The offensive line looks amazing, those guys have been working their butts off. That's going to help his game, and that's going to help our offense become more dynamic. It is definitely going to be a balanced attack, and teams are going to have to deal with a lot of the talent that we have. 

Q: Do you anticipate your role changing that much in the offense? You kind of got a little taste of life after Odell (Beckham) with those last four games, and they targeted you more doing different things with you. Do you anticipate that changing even further this year?

A: That's kind of an offense-wide mindset we have. There are going to be more opportunities for everybody. We've all been working our butts off this offseason, and the coaches have been doing a really good job putting together a game plan and giving the ball to our playmakers. Definitely for myself, and I know for my teammates and for the other playmakers on our team, we understand it is a big opportunity for all of us. We are going to have opportunities and it comes down to our preparation and stepping up in those opportunities.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) after a catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

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