Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: It's Sunday, right? The beginning of our Detroit week. Keep in mind we're still in training camp, so we're working on things that we need to get better at as we approach our preparation. As you know, we're going to practice three days against Detroit before we play them, so we'll practice again here tomorrow then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we'll practice with the Lions, then play them on Friday. Looking forward to that, looking forward to a little change of scenery. It'll be a good team event for us to be all together away from town so we can bond a little bit, too. Anyways, I'll take your questions.
Q: Is James Bettcher under the weather or something?
A: James' mother passed away last week, and so he's back (home) and they're having the services this weekend. He's back in Indiana and he will meet us in Detroit.
Q: Did you give Eli (Manning) a maintenance day today where he didn't do as much in the team periods?
A: Yeah. That was two-fold. It gave him a little less and that allowed the other quarterbacks to get a little more.
Q: How do you feel like Davis (Webb) responded from Thursday night's performance in the last couple of days?
A: Responded to what?
Q: How do you think he handled it? It wasn't his greatest performance.
A: He's out there working trying to get better, just like he does every day. I don't think his demeanor has changed at all.
Q: You noted that on Sunday you'd have more injury updates. We noticed Connor Barwin didn't do much, is he okay?
A: Yeah, he's just a little sore from the game. We'll see how long he's out.
Q: Are you going to bring the injured guys with you to Detroit?
A: Yes, I think it's important. We're there an extended period of time and so we'll try to bring them. We'll take them this trip. Typically we won't when we take one-day trips or two-day trips, but because this is extended, they'll be with us. They'll get their treatments on the road.
Q: How is RJ McIntosh doing health-wise? Is he getting better?
A: Yeah, he's getting better. He's getting better. Again, it's an extended rehab-type situation so we'll just have to see when it's good.
Q: Do you think you'll have him this summer at all before the season?
A: We'll see. I don't know. Hard to say.
Q: How are you balancing making corrections with continuing to install and work on things to get yourself ready for the season in these practices?
A: It's continuous, and so there were lots of new plays that we ran today. Different concepts, getting different guys involved that are just kind of, as you go through the playbook, there's a list of things that we want to get in before the season starts. So you work on them in practice and some of them you'll use in games. Some of them, you don't, and it's just to kind of build the depth of your offense and defense and special teams. It's a continuous process.
Q: Do you put an extra period in for corrections?
A: There are corrections throughout, and then certainly apart of the walk-throughs, we do the corrections, which you really don't see. But we'll come out here this afternoon and we'll go through corrections from practice and then we'll do things moving forward for tomorrow.
Q: What's the next step in Kyle (Lauletta's) development?
A: Just play more. Try to cram in as many reps as possible. When you're a young player… you can imagine an older player like Eli, who's done it for 15 years, the memory bank of reps that he has, as compared to a rookie like Kyle. So just get him as many reps as possible, he's got fresh legs, he's young, he can take a lot of reps, so we just try to get him as many as we can.
Q: What's your philosophy in terms of guys who have been working with the second (team) all this time, maybe giving him some first team reps? Is it merit-based, or how do you approach that?
A: I would say it's merit based. There are a number of guys who played well last week that will kind of bump up, maybe a third string guy who's now a second string guy, or a second string guy that may play with the ones, so yeah, I think that's important. Really when you're trying to find your role players or backup players, to see them against the ones is a good thing for the other team, and that's why this preparation time these three days of practice are good because it'll be very competitive. I've got a good relationship with Matt (Patricia). As I mentioned before, I've done this twice when I was with the Eagles against the Patriots, and Matt and I worked together on it, so the offensive coordinator on one team works with the defensive coordinator on the other, so Matt and I kind of organized our stuff. So, we're used to the process. So I anticipate it'll be really good work.
Q: How much improvement do you normally see from rookies going from game one to game two in the preseason?
A: You like to see a lot. And typically, just like coaches and just like anybody, the improvement between the first time you do it and the second time you do it can be great, because if a guy did a handful of things that he didn't like, you can fix them, and if you do one or two things wrong instead of five or six, then that's a big improvement.
Q: What have you seen from Cody Latimer as a receiver, putting special teams aside, that maybe he's a notch above some of the other guys in the rotation, because he didn't do a whole lot in Denver until last year?
A: He's performed well here. I think he has the ability to make a contested catch, runs pretty good routes. He's been out a little bit, so he's still getting his sea legs back out there. He slipped a couple times today, but he's a competitive guy, very engaged in what we're doing behind the scenes with the playbook stuff. It's just a matter of him getting out there and getting reps and running our stuff.
Q: With Evan Engram, he admitted he had a bunch of drops last year, something he wanted to work on. What have you seen in that regard and is there anything you've worked on (with him)?
A: Well, we work on catching the ball a lot. And that was one of the major points of emphasis when we started going to work here is that we can't be a good football team unless we catch the ball. The obvious, it's receivers. Not so obvious sometimes is the linebackers and the secondary, when the ball gets disrupted making the interception, and certainly all the guys that handle the ball in special teams.
Q: For Odell (Beckham), do you consider a practice against another team as risky as a game against another team?
A: I don't think it has to be. So, no, not necessarily.
Q: How tough has it been to evaluate the free safeties when the guys are coming in and out with injuries and there are different guys every day?
A: It makes the evaluation tougher when guys are getting themselves nicked up. Ideally, they're all healthy all the time and you're giving the same amount of reps and see what they can do. I'm not so sure that's the real world, though.
Tackle Nate Solder
Q: How was your first game as a Giant?
A: It was great, it has been a while since we have all played so it took a while to get in the rhythm of the game. We hit it right off the bat there, but we have a lot to improve on after the first game.
Q: What do you expect out of the practices with the Lions? what are you telling some of your teammates who have never done it before?
A: My experience has always been positive with it, they (the practices) have been very competitive. Usually it's a very professional atmosphere where guys play hard between the whistles. I think that's the way you have to keep it, because tensions can rise when you're that competitive at times. That's always a good thing as long as guys are doing it in the spirit of competition.
Q: Is it the scrappiness that you really have to get a grip on because that can happen too easily?
A: No, I think all that's good. I think scrappiness and high level of competition is all really good. I think it all starts to break down when guys are taking cheap shots and doing things that are outside the whistle which are not conducive to a good working relationship with the other team.
Q: What are your thoughts on Will Hernandez's aggression as we get deeper into camp?
A: Will has been excellent. Him, like all of us, we have a lot to work on. He's come along fast, he's doing everything he can. He's a really smart guy and he's aggressive, like you said, and makes my job easier. I feel very fortunate to have a guy like Will next to me.
Q: You said you weren't exactly happy with your play Thursday. What is it you are trying to improve on for this week?
A: I think those are two separate things. You always have to have the mindset of needing to improve, I wasn't happy with the way I kind of slowly oozed into that game. I thought that you have to come out firing, ready to go first snap. I wasn't happy with my preparation, I think I need to do better preparing for the game coming up. I think that with every year, you have to get yourself in the mindset of playing four quarters. Your condition, your footwork, your fundamentals, all those things need to continue to ratchet up as the (season) comes closer.
Q: Is part of that being on a new line and trying to mesh with new guys?
A: Every year is a new year. Every year that I have played, there has been some different person on the line with us. That's really just part of the game, part of the business. That's not different than any other year.
Q: Have you always been a slow starter out of the gate?
A: I guess I could take that two different ways. One way I take it is you have to constantly improve from week to week. I have done that in the past where I have gotten better because you work at it. You try hard every single week to improve on the things you didn't do well and keep doing the things you are doing well. That's kind of my mentality about everything.
Q: I assume you will be ready for Matt Patricia's defense?
A: Yeah, Matt Patricia is a great coach, I've had the great opportunity to play against his defenses in practice for years. I have the utmost respect for everything they do. I'm looking forward to it, I think they will expose some things we need to work on, it will show some of the areas we are strong in. That's always good. It's a refining process that we all have to go through.
Q: Does he have the book on you on what to exploit?
A: He knows me very well and I'm sure if he was wanting to, he would be able to do that.
Q: Do you need more snaps as a line in these games, or is a few enough?
A: I don't make the decision on that. My whole philosophy on that is whatever the team needs me to do, I'll do. If it's the entire game, I'll play the entire game. If it's a couple series, I'll be in a couple series. I like getting a lot of reps, I like getting a lot of reps in practice, we do a lot of that. The more time we can work together, the better, is the way I see it.
Safety Landon Collins
Q: Did it feel good to be back on the field the other night?
A: It was really exciting just to be around different players and my own teammates.
Q: Was there any thought of you not playing in that game?
A: No, not at all. I already made it clear that I was going to play.
Q: Do you ever think about the condition and safety of your arm?
A: It's just natural. It's second nature. I'm not even paying attention to it, or if anything happens to it. I'm not paying attention to it.
Q: Have you tested to see if it'll hold up against a big hit?
A: I've tried it at practice each and every time. It got stuck between a guy a couple times at practice. Once I took it out, it was good then. I knew it would be alright in the game.
Q: Based on what you saw from the starting defense on film, is this defense taking shape the way you expected it to?
A: Yes, all the guys are tuned in. We made a few mistakes, and we'll just correct those from the game from what happened. Out of the 12 plays we played, I think we did a good job.
Q: Would you say the speed is where you want it to be?
A: I think we can play a little bit faster. We didn't get a game plan against them. We just kind of played in our basic defense and just tried to make plays from that. If we game planned and just made certain adjustments, it would've been a different outcome I would say. Until we get to the regular season, I'll just play at a normal speed until we can game plan against somebody.
Q: (Defensive coordinator James) Bettcher had mentioned about moving you all around. How involved do you feel you were in stopping the run game?
A: I was very involved. He hasn't moved it around this past week, yet. We're kind of just in our normal positions – safety, linebacker (inaudible) in different ways. We're not moving around yet until the season begins.
Q: How different has this camp been for you just having a different safety next to you each and every day?
A: It's been the same since I've been here, for all three years. I've been having another safety next to me all three years. So, it's normal.
Q: Do you fully understand the new helmet rule about hitting while leading with your head? Do you think it'll be a problem this year?
A: Honestly, it was a lot of heads down in the game. I think it's more open field when they want to see it. They want you to be able to protect yourself in the open field. When it's in that cluttered situation when a pile or between the tackles, you can't really see anything. So, it's hard to see. I think it's more open-field tackling when they want the head up.
Q: Do you have to make a mental adjustment knowing the rule change?
A: No, I'm used to that. I always tackle with my head up. So, there's nothing to it.
Q: Is it something that's talked about in the defensive backs/secondary room?
A: When they brought it up – tackling with the head down – we kind of talked about it. Then when we watched the first game with the Ravens and Bears, and we watched how they were tackling. We saw a lot of heads down, but then we saw a lot of flags. We saw that open-field tackle, and both heads were down and they threw the flag. We see where they're going to emphasize throwing a flag with your head down in situations.
Q: The dual practices with Detroit, you're familiar with that from what the Giants did with Cincinnati, what is that like? How is it different than a camp practice?
A: Honestly, because you're going against somebody different each and every day, you can test as a team, you can test other players and you're not going against your own players. You can finally get more aggressive with your teammates.
Q: Does that become a fine line where you have to worry about getting a little too chippy?
A: We know what to do, we're veterans, we know what it is. It's still preseason and we just want to make it to the season. When it gets there, it gets there. We'll figure it out once we get there.
Q: What have you seen from the safety position next to you? You guys are rotating a bunch of guys, does anybody stand out?
A: All the guys I play next to stand out. I have one guy who makes all the calls, one guy who makes sure we're in the right adjustments, all of the guys are making great decisions, making great movements and fighting for their jobs so I'm excited for those guys and I know whatever safety that plays next to me is going to give me the A1.
Q: How important is communication when there are all those different guys rolling through?
A: Communication is the biggest key on this defense. We have so many adjustments, views, key points and things we have to look at. So communication is the biggest thing on this defense, not just with safeties, it's with corners, safeties, linebackers, we have to get the whole thing adjusted to make sure we're all on the same page.
Q: I understand it's just a preseason game but you were here the last couple of years when opposing tight ends had big games against the Giants. Did you make anything of the fact that the Cleveland tight end had two touchdowns?
A: No, they had a good game at the time. We were in zone coverage when they scored, at that time they did a good job.
Q: We obviously see (Coach James) Bettcher's defense, you don't have a lot of guys who have a history of getting a lot of sacks. After seeing what you've seen this summer with the defense, what makes you convinced that you guys can have a consistent pass rush?
A: Not many teams know where we're coming from, we make everything look like man (coverage). So you never know if we're in man or zone coverage. This past game I came free three times. So, I was like, 'If we just make sure we hold them for two more seconds, it's a sack.' But those open and wide-open tackles with Coach Bettcher's defense, I think we're going to have a lot of sacks, DB and linebacker wise. I think it's going to be very open.