Giants News | New York Giants –


Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, RB Saquon Barkley, DL Dexter Lawrence, WR Darius Slayton

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: Last year during camp you did four on, one off. This year, you're doing three on, one off. Is that done in response to injury studies that you might have come across or done more to simulate the regular season schedule?

A: No, I would say in June and May, we're doing a lot of evaluation to get ready for training camp. So, I spend a lot of time with Ronnie Barnes and Leigh Weiss and Mark Loecher and Sam Coad. They do a great job of doing their research, presenting their plan. We talk about it and again, everything is for the players. We try to do the best we can. Right before this started, I called those guys up and asked them to have another meeting, just seeing the forecast with the heat, to make sure we were doing everything we could do to gear up and not overload the players early on. They do a great job with that.

Q: What happened with wide receiver Jalin (Hyatt) yesterday and will he practice today?

A: He will. He got a little hot at the end there. Took a few reps, but he will be good to go.

Q: What do you look for early on with new players, especially rookies, in terms of work ethic and all those things that might make you think 'hey, this kid's somebody I want to play for.'

A: We spend a lot of time with them. They have extra meetings. Teach them how to be a pro, develop a routine. We understand there's going to be plenty of mistakes, not just for them, for everybody. So, make sure that we are doing a good job correcting the mistakes. Teaching them how to be a pro, how we do things in our program, and I think the veterans do a good job with helping them out with that as well.

Q: Is part of that teaching them how to practice? You had a pretty good collision yesterday between two guys.

A: Some of it is friendly fire. You try like heck not to have those. You're going to have some of them. I just had a meeting today where I showed a couple clips where I think we can do a little better job with taking care of one another. But, again, we are in a competitive situation. Everybody is trying to compete for a role. Some role, whatever it may be. But understand we only have a certain amount of guys and we certainly try to do our best to maintain their safety.

Q: How is defensive tackle Rakeem (Nunez-Roches) doing after that car accident he had on Tuesday?

A: He's sore. He won't practice again today. It could have been worse, so I'm glad he's where he is right now. I think he's making progress.

Q: It's not anything where he will be out for an extended period?

A: No.

Q: What is the story on defensive tackle Vernon Butler?

A: He didn't report. We are kind of working through some things. That is really all I got for you. I understand the question, but that's where we're at.

Q: What did you see from running back Saquon (Barkley) yesterday? You didn't have him in the Spring, so it was your first look of him on the field.

A: Normal Saquon.

Q: You started with Ben Bredeson at center. What is your plan there? Why start with him?

A: Today will be John Michael (Schmitz Jr.). And (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) has done a good job. I think we talked about this last year quite a bit, relative to the rotation for the offensive linemen. You will see, I would say, a good amount of rotation on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes a period-to-period basis. John Michael will be going with the first group today and then Ben (Bredeson) will be rolling in there. Not just at center but at guard, too.

Q: How has John Michael (Schmitz Jr.) handled the learning process of the offense?

A: Good. He's a smart guy, he works hard. That's a good room in terms of the veterans really helping out the younger players. There's a lot, as you know, on your plate, playing center. He's a very cerebral; he's intelligent. He's made progress since he's been here.

Q: Would you prefer to not have the revolving door at left guard that you had last year?

A: I think whatever we think is best. That's why we are going to let this thing play out as long as we can and rotate guys. If they earn a spot to play, then we play them. If one guy stands out, then he stands out.

Q: How do you think offensive lineman Ben (Bredeson) played last year? Could that job have remained his if he didn't get hurt in Jacksonville?

A: I don't know. I'm really focused on where we are at this year. There is some good competition. Ben has been a good player for us in the short time we've been here with him. I think he's got some flexibility at center, at guard. He will have an opportunity to compete it out.

Q: What is the skillset necessary for a receiver to be able to line up in the backfield? I see you did that with wide receiver Parris Campbell a little bit. Is that something you like with him? What qualities does that guy have to have?

A: I would say that early training camp and OTAs, you experiment with a lot of different things. It's not just Parris. There have been a lot of guys we have done that with. Again, there's some things you're trying to get a look at. There are different situations we are putting these guys in to see how they react and see if they can handle it, both mentally and the physical part of it. We will continue to do that through training camp, whether it's with a defensive player or offensive player playing at a different spot. You try to create as much value for the player as you can and as much flexibility for your system as you can with people being able to do multiple things. So, whether that happens or not, I couldn't tell you right now. You've seen last year during this time we did the same thing.

Q: Generically, what do they need to be able to do? Not everyone can do that.

A: Well, it just depends what you do with them. You don't have to do the same thing with everybody. You figure out what they can do well and try to do some of those things, and we're still doing that. We will do that throughout training camp and really into the early part of the season. So, again, what we ask Parris to do might be something different than we ask another player to do, whether it's a tight end, running back, slot receiver, an outside receiver. That's why you do all of these things.

Q: Besides the player he is, what is the value of having wide receiver (Cole) Beasley here?

A: Good. We thought we would add competition to the spot. We had some guys who were going to be on PUP. He's been in our system. He's a smart player, he's crafty, and he has played a long time in this league. When you have a veteran in a room, any room, I think younger players can ask them questions and learn from some of the stuff they have been through.

Q: Last year, you didn't know the players and had to put them through situations in camp, particularly Daniel Jones. See how they respond. You had to put them in adverse situations. Do you do that again?

A: Yeah, we will do that. Not just the players but the coordinators, too. There are two different ways we practice relative to the periods. Some is you just script the plays so I could give this to my five-year old. Well, he doesn't read as well. My seven-year old and let her just read off the script and you plan it out the night before or during the summer of the things you want to make sure you see both schematically and, I would say, physically from the players, as you asked about Parris (Campbell). And then there is "call it" periods, if you will. Sometimes you try to put the defense at a disadvantage and maybe do five second-and-1's in a row where it is a pretty high percentage for the offense, and you you flip it and put five 3rd-and-17's in a row and try and put them in adverse situations where it is advantage the other way. So, sometimes the coaches know or players know, but most of the time they don't. That is my job to make sure we are trying to apply as much pressure on really everybody as we can.

Q: We heard a lot about explosive plays. How much do you focus on that this summer and do you ask quarterback Daniel (Jones) to be more aggressive? Do you call more shot plays? How do you go about working on that throughout training camp?

A: I would say obviously we obviously were down, last, in explosive plays. You do a lot of research in the offseason. There are plays you call to be explosive that maybe don't turn out that way relative to how they are getting played. You can't just focus on one area. It is certainly an area we need to improve on, that we will try to improve on, but I never want Daniel to force any ball. Will there be times when I might go to him and say, 'let this thing rip.' If it gets picked, I don't really care. It gets intercepted in practice, let's take a look at how it looks. It's not just that. There's a lot of areas in all three phases we have done a lot of research in the offseason and areas we have to improve on.

Q: Do you see continuing growth from quarterback Daniel (Jones) in terms of command and confidence? For us watching practice, it just has a different feel to it.

A: He works really hard. I think when you're in the second year of a system where you're not just learning where everybody is at … quarterback, it's a very difficult position to play and operate at a high level. There is so many things that happen before you even get out of the huddle that you have to do. When you're just learning the system, there are a lot of things going through your head. To try and learn from the things we did last year a little bit, I think there is advantage in that, but it doesn't guarantee you anything.

Q: What did you see from Darrian (Beavers) and Micah (McFadden) yesterday with the inside linebacker position?

A: It's early to tell. Both of those guys are young players that we drafted. (Darrian) Beavers is coming back from an injury. Micah played a lot of football. I think he's the only young guy who kind of played the whole year. So, we will move those guys around and give them their opportunity to show what they can do. It's really too early for that.

Q: Are you still learning what tight end Darren Waller can bring in totality to this offense?

A: Yeah. I'm learning really all of the players, even the guys that we had last year. They have made improvements. That's your job as coach is to make sure we are allowing these guys to be as successful as they can and put them in different positions. There's a lot of good give and take. You need that in meetings, too. You can go through a practice and sit down as a coaching staff and watch the tape together, go into the meeting with the players and it's just the coaches talking. That's not really how we do it. We really want feedback from the players. Maybe it is something we ran that he doesn't really feel comfortable with. Not just him. It could be any skill player or somebody on defense and then we come out and have a walk-through and maybe change it up a little bit. There's good give and take. That's what training camp is for. OTAs was for that. We still have a long way to go in terms of figuring all of that out. I would say he's a very good communicator in that regard.

Q: He has an injury history. He didn't play that much the last two years. You were very conscious of that last year. How do you expect to handle him in that regard?

A: That's another thing we talk about, the four guys (Barnes, Weiss, Loecher, Coad) I mentioned early on. About some of the players we want to have a good plan for as we go through training camp. So whether that's a little less reps, eventually a day off, however it may be. Now the schedule is pretty conducive to hopefully taking care of your body with the three days one, one day off. Certainly he is one of those guys we have definitely talked about.

Q: You talked about the rotation at center with Bredeson and John Michael. Are you going to do the same thing on defense at maybe the second safety spot, slot corner?

A: Absolutely. There is good competition at some certain spots. You will see it out there. We're rotating different positions and giving everybody a fair opportunity to go out there and show what they can do. Offensively, defensively, different spots in the kicking game, whether it's on the punt team, the kickoff team. That's the time to do it, right now, to make sure you're giving everybody a fair shot in a competitive situation.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q. How does it feel for you to be here?

A: It feels good. Good to be back in the locker room, good to see familiar faces within the facility. I'm doing what I love. I'm out there playing football. I'm happy.

Q. Why did you decide to report on day one and not skip at least some of camp?

A: I had an epiphany.

Q. What does that mean?

A: The reality of it is, I mean, one, I kind of just followed my heart. Obviously, I heard what everyone was saying in the news and on social media, but I kind of just followed my heart. And then you've got to look at it from a business point, from a business view, I felt like, what's the best thing that I can do? Some people may agree or disagree with this, to sit out or sit in, and I feel like for this year specifically, the best thing that I can do for myself would be coming back, going out there and play the game that I love, playing for my teammates, doing something that I've wanted to do since I was a little kid.

Obviously, I know what's going on with the running back situation and me being tagged and the value of the running back continually going down. The only way that I feel like that's going to change is someone has to make it change. God willing, hopefully I can be one of the people to do it.

Q. When you say this year specifically, is that because you realize that if you're in this position again next year that you have more leverage on the backside of a second-year tagging?

A: The reason why I say this year specifically is because I can't see the future. I wish I could. All that I can focus on is now. If a certain situation comes up like this again next year, which obviously everyone's aware that can happen, I'll deal with it when that happens. But right now, I can't focus on if this happens, if that (happens). All I can focus on is who I am today, how I come in the building, and how I work and how I prepare for the season. Like I said, I feel like with everything that's going on in the running back market and everything that's going on with me being tagged, the only thing that is going to change that is by one of us going out there and making a change.

Q. The way that nine-and-a-half or 10 months of negotiations went, how would you describe it? Are you frustrated, angry, ticked off, are you over it? Because ultimately, it did not get you what you wanted I suppose.

A: Yeah, I mean, I could sit here and lie to you and be like, 'I wasn't disappointed, I wasn't this and that and the third.' I mean, that would just be a flat out lie. But I am mature enough to understand that it's a business and understand that deals don't get done every year. Specific to my position, we didn't get a deal done. Me and my team felt like we were in good faith trying to get a deal done, the Giants feel they were in a good faith trying to get a deal done, and that's life. Sometimes you don't come to an agreement. I had to come to a decision. Like I said, I had an epiphany. I had a mindset of what I was going to do, but I changed my mind.

Wise words of a lot of vets who've reached out to me and who have said some stuff on the news and media, 'When you show up, you can't have that in your heart.' It's not a good thing to have in your heart. So, I put all that aside. My focus is on my teammates, everyone in that building and the fans, and to go out here and have a hell of a year.

Q. You've often spoken about your legacy and how you want to be remembered in the game. You're still young, obviously, but how much did that factor into it? Not just your own performance, but also being there for your teammates and helping your teammates win a championship.

A: 100 percent that factors into it. That's who I am to the core; that's who I am as a competitor. But at the same time, legacy goes with the position, too. I know how great this position has been, I know how helpful this position is to teams throughout the league. When you talk about legacy, it's on guys like myself, it's on guys like (49ers running back) Christian (McCaffrey), it's on guys like J.T. (Colts running back Jonathan Taylor) and (Steelers running back) Najee (Harris) for us to go out there and change the narrative. Everyone wants to bring up data, everyone wants to bring up analytics. You could bring up each way for both sides. But if all of us go out there, God willing, stay healthy and do what we've got to do, I think that's going to put everything to rest.

Q. Is it hard to carry that burden, though? You talked about the Zoom call and not just doing what's best for yourself but doing what's best for an entire position group and being the first person to kind of go through that this year.

A: It's not hard to carry that burden, because I really don't view it like that. In my mindset, it's like, 'Okay, I understand the legacy and you've got to look out for everyone.' For me, it's just going out there and doing what you do, and doing what you love and doing it at a high level. For everyone that's known me since I've been here as a rookie, take care of the little things and everything else is going to take care of itself. I've been saying that since I was a 21-year-old rookie. I've been saying that since I was a 19-year-old at Penn State when I was first able to talk to the media. That's something I believe in. That's something that I believe to the core, and I'm always going to live by that. That's how I'm going to keep rocking.

Q. Why did you not take the last deal? We heard that it reached the 22 million dollars with the franchise tag, two combined, but still, that wasn't enough to make it happen. Why in your mind did it not happen?

A: In my mind, I think it didn't happen because one, just being flat out honest, the tag. That's the leverage that they have. I think if I wasn't able to get tagged, I do think the negotiation process would have went a lot different. I think I would have had a little more – not a little more, a lot more – leverage in my way.

But like I said publicly, and one thing that I've learned from this offseason, there's a lot of sources and a lot of, 'He said, she said.' I said I wasn't trying to reset the running back market. I said I want something that is respectable. I don't want to use the word, 'fair,' because as I'm sitting here in New York with 20, 30 cameras on me, I'm also talking to fans, and there are a lot of people that, where I come from, don't have a lot of money, and we're talking about 10 to 11 million dollars. That's a lot of money. So, I don't want to say something that's fair. I want to say something that's respectable. If I felt like it was something respectable, I would have taken it. I looked at my mom, at my dad, I looked at my team and looked at my family, and I didn't agree with it, so I didn't take it. I feel like if it was, I would have.

Q. There wasn't a deal that reached 22 million dollars guaranteed?

A: I won't say that, and I won't get too much into the actual details of negotiation. I don't think that's fair to myself and my team. I don't think that's fair to (president and chief executive officer) Mr. Mara, to (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and all those guys upstairs who worked really hard on this too to try to get something done. But like I said, I wasn't trying to reset the market. I wanted something that was respectable. But hey, that wasn't able to get done. The next move was to figure out what you want to do. I had an epiphany. I'm here now, I'm happy, glad to be back in the locker room with my teammates. I'm getting a lot of love from them, telling me that they missed me, that OTAs weren't the same without me. I feel we have a hell of a team, and I'm excited for this year.

Q. Do you regret not taking one of the Giants initial offers during the season, pre-tag?

A: No. No.

Q: Why not?

A: Didn't make sense.

Q: You were one of the players who was one of the reasons that this team succeeded this season. A lot of the guys who were a part of that got big contracts. You were given this one-year deal. Is it tough to get over that from a human side, thinking about that compared to how other peoples' business proceeded this offseason?

A: No, because at the end of the day, anybody who knows me, I'm all about my teammates and my brothers getting paid. I'm all about success coming to them. Even though my situation didn't go the way that I would've liked it to go, (offensive tackle) Andrew Thomas signed a big deal, (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) signed a big deal, (defensive lineman) Dex(ter Lawrence II) signed a big deal. That's deserving. Those guys deserve it. I'm so happy for them. You see all throughout the league, there are people that get paid every single year, and I'm happy for those guys too.

But what I will say, for the running back position, not speaking necessarily on my teammates that got signed, there are a lot of running backs out here that are pivotal, key points to teams having success in this league, and helping teams have success in this league. The way that we are getting devalued, I don't think—it's not fair at all. But life's not fair. Hopefully, God willing, I stay healthy, so I can show them and I can tell them.

Q: You talked so much about respect. In the end, did you get respect from the Giants, at least in the way that this was done?

A: Yeah, I would say at the end I got respect from the Giants because I was able to look Joe in his eyes, look Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) in his eyes. Obviously, we didn't come to an agreement, but we were able to put everything aside. That's just part of the business. It's a business. It sucks when you come to realization of that. As a kid, you've played the majority of this game for free growing up your whole life, and it's something that you've wanted to do since you were a little kid. But like I said in the podcast…I mean, obviously, people only took the one part of what I said in the podcast, but if you listen to the podcast, it's like, this is something I wanted to do as a little kid my whole life and then the business side of it forces you to put you in a position where you're like, 'Damn, I don't know if I want to take it to that level, but I might have to take to that level.' I got to a point where I was ready to take it to that level. But then sitting down with my family, actually breaking it down, looking out, looking at the whole situation, I felt like this would be the best thing not only for me, but for my teammates, for the fans in New York, and for the running backs.

Q: If you end up going year to year, do you think that what you didn't get this year, you could have the ability to recoup in the future or on the free agent market?

A: I can't see in the future, so I can't give you an honest answer. I know I should be able to. I know the type of player that I am. I know the type of player I will show I am this year, God willing, once again. There's a lot of things that're out of your control. So, you can take it day by day, and that's how I'm going to take it.

Q. (Former Giants defensive end) Michael Strahan knows about holdouts. He said, 'I hope this doesn't kill Saquon's spirit.' Has any of this dented you at that level? Has it changed you in any way?

A: No, I wouldn't say that at all. I think that's a big reason why I'm here and there are a lot of names that I can go out and throw out who've reached out to me and gave me a lot of great advice but, 'Come in here and don't break your spirit,' is basically what they were trying to say. Don't let this break your spirit. Still be the same guy you are. Still be the competitor that you are. It sucks. It's the business side of it. It just makes you more aware of it.

I always was aware of it. Like I said, I told the story, my first day in rookie minicamp I was sitting next to one of my teammates and I just had my daughter Jada and he just had, I believe it was his son, and we were just literally talking about that and then the next day he was gone. It's like, 'Oh, this is a business.' It's a crazy business, but for me, I wouldn't say that at all. I know what it is, I understand it but I'm never, ever, ever going to let anybody or anything break me down and tear me apart and change who I am. I know who I am as a person, and I know how my parents raised me. At the same time, there are a lot of kids that are looking at me and looking at the situation – my own kids, and I want to be an example to them. Take it day by day and do the right things and good stuff will come your way.

Q. You said there was a point where you changed your mind in the process. Were you seriously considering sitting out camp and maybe even part of the regular season?

A: Yeah, I was. That's a play that I had but I'll be completely honest, if I sat out this year and say, the New York Football Giants, and I sat out, and we didn't have a good record, do you think that's going to make another team in free agency or the Giants want to have me come back the next year after I sat out a whole year? And be like, 'Oh, we want to give you 15 million dollars a year now?' I don't think that's how it's going to work. After having conversations and really breaking it down – when you sit there and you break it down like that it's like, the only way that I'm going to make it change or do something that's going to benefit myself and my family is doing what I do best. And that's showing up and playing the game I love and do it at a high level.

Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence

Q: What do you think of the fact that a number of players were rewarded with nice commitments and nice contracts going forward?

A: It just shows the belief that the organization has in us and the hard work that we put in to earn that. I'm excited because things like that builds confidence into a person. The more confidence we have, the better the team will be.

Q: (Tackle) Andrew Thomas mentioned yesterday that a big focus this year is improving how you guys do in the division. Is that something that (Head Coach Brian) Daboll and you guys as players, as a team, are talking about a lot or is it just more understood?

A: I think that's within. Dabs doesn't really have to say anything. I think as a position group, you want to dominate every team but more importantly the teams within the division, simply because that's the way to the playoffs and the playoffs gives us a chance to win the Super Bowl. He doesn't really have to say much about that. I think that's within the players.

Q: A question about signing some of the young guys, that you know there is a core here that you are going to be with. Three years, four years, five years, you know you are going to be here. Does that help you think that you are building something here that is going to last?

A: I don't want to talk about building. It's more about doing at this point. Going into my fifth season, and I hate losing. I don't really want to talk about building. I want to talk about what we are doing today to get better for tomorrow, and then that day leads into the season. You all can talk about building but our mindset is winning. 

Q: Do you think any of you would have got paid, the guys that got big money, if you didn't have a winning season last year?

A: That's hard to say. It all goes down to how did that individual played that season, type of thing. Winning brings more spotlight, so it brings more of everything, but if a player is playing his (butt) off. He deserves what he deserves, so he should get it. 

Q: When you talk about doing, how important was (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) being here and being with you guys to the end? To the fact that he is obviously part of what you all are doing.

A: A lot of respect for him. I'm happy he is here. He challenges everybody on the team in a way that he doesn't even know half of the team. He brings a good attitude. I'm just happy he's here and he's working hard. He's pushing people to get better and he's continuing to grow.

Q: Have some of you shared that with (Running Back Saquon Barkley) since training camp opened?

A: I think that is kind of understood. He knows his impact on the team. We all know his impact on the team. Things like that, you don't really need jump up and down like 'ahh' (laughs). We are happy that he is here and he's bringing his smile and his good charisma. 

Q: When a player is going through contract negotiations, you can kind of take the 'I don't want to be in another man's pocket' or you can kind of speak up or if there is some sort of acrimony with the team, kind of like when (Bills Quarterback) Josh Allen spoke up when (Bills Wide Receiver) Stefon Diggs was going through his stuff? I am just curious what's your philosophy on that, when you have a player who means something, and they are going through that. Do you feel like it's more appropriate to not say something or to say something?

A: I'm happy when anybody gets paid. That just shows the hard work and what all it took to get to that point. I'm extremely happy when a guy in my position gets paid. It's just a joy. It's more than just about jealousy or football at that point, it's about the person. Just to be able to have the opportunity to change your life in a different way, your kid's life, your grandkids life, that's just special in itself. We are all human, so maybe little things like that can creep up in your mind at the same time, but at the end of the day it's being happy for that person and the hard work that they have put in.

Q: What are the expectations of this team? Do you feel you have closed the gap in your division with the likes of the Eagles and the Cowboys?

A: Last year we lost to them both. This season is to train, day-by-day to improve. If I'm not making somebody across the ball better than me, then I messed up and I let my team down. It's all about just progressing each day, each day. Those days stack until you build something beautiful, and it shines on Sundays or Mondays or Thursdays, or Saturdays or whenever they want to give us a game.

Q: What has been your personal goal to get out of this camp?

A: I am not trying to make the same mistake that I made the day before. I know I am going to make them. I just want to improve. It's one thing that I am focused on today, and I want to get that to a second nature, type of thing. Each day that is just my goal. I am trying to whoop that guy, but at the same day I am trying to get better with my technique and me doing that is getting him better with his technique, type of thing. My goal is just proving myself every day. Yes, I got paid. Hooray. It's nothing if I don't go prove myself and that's just my mindset on that.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q. Can you talk about the first few days of the offense?

A: I think we came out – the first few days, we had a really good day one. Today, we had a good day. I feel like we picked it up towards the back end, (the back) half of practice we picked it up. We didn't start quite as fast as we wanted to today, just from an execution standpoint. But all in all, I think we had a good first few days.

Q. Can you talk about how different this summer is for you than from last summer? You're more of a focal point this year rather than last year.

A: I think it just stems from my performance. This year I performed at a higher level, performed more consistently and the results are showing that whereas last year I probably didn't put my best foot forward all the time like I'm capable of doing. So ultimately you get the results that you deserve in life, and I feel like right now that's what's showing for me.

Q. It's no secret that this team wants to be more explosive. You can't just throw the ball deep every day in practice. How does a team work on that?

A: I think you definitely have to take those shots in practice from time to time and make those plays. It's quarterback, receiver, hand in hand. Not every ball is going to be perfect, sometimes you're going to have to go get it but also just getting that timing down. Everybody's different and everybody has different strengths, but I think obviously, you have to take those shots in practice in order for them to show up in the game.

Q. How much do you sense that being an emphasis?

A: I don't know if I'd say I would sense – I think it's just something that we as just players have to be conscious of. If you get an opportunity down the field, be conscious of being aggressive to go make the play and for the quarterbacks, when the opportunity presents itself, being aggressive and taking those chances.

Q. What does it mean to you to see that the guys that you struggled with while you've been here finally get rewarded and get those big contracts?

A: It's amazing because like everybody says, it's a tough place to play. When it's not going well it's like everybody sucks (laughs), so it's good to be on the other side of that thing. Obviously, we were able to win some games last year and guys were able to perform at a high level and they're starting to get rewards for the fruits of their labor. For me, it's like you see all the hours of off time, the time they put in in the film room, in the weight room (and) they're out here by themselves, so seeing that pay off for guys is awesome.

Q. To what degree, if at all, do you feel this wide receiver room is still fighting for respect in comparison to all of the other wide receiver units across the league?

A: I think it just comes from the way that the first year of all of our careers have went. We weren't draft darlings that went in the first round and were the prettiest girl in class. You kind of have to prove it a little more than other guys but that's fine. You've got to take the stairs sometimes in life (but) that's alright, you get to the top anyways. I think everybody in our group is talented, I think everybody in our group is capable and all we've got to do is go out there and show it.

Q. With the players that you've added, such as (wide receiver) Parris Campbell and (tight end) Darren Waller, is there more ability to make a big play?

A: Yeah, for sure. Darren's a locomotive rolling real fast. Ain't nobody tackling that. I think him, Parris, obviously is another speed guy, a really fast guy, so I think they add another explosive element. But also, just (the) ability to catch the ball and run with it and break tackles, they're both strong guys so I think they bring a good dynamic to our room.

Q. Do you look at yourself as a leader to some of the guys?

A: Yeah, I try my best with our rookies or even maybe guys who are only in their second or third year that maybe haven't played as much live football, you know. Just kind of making them aware of little things that can trip you up. Sometimes playing receiver, there are little ways to keep yourself off of the bad tape so to speak in the film room, and I try my best to share those tips and tricks and hopefully they absorb it and use it.

Q. Have you done that with (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt)?

A: A little bit here and there. For the most part, right now it's just trying to get everybody on the same page at the same time. Just making sure the plays, assignments and where he needs to be and then your ability takes over once you know all those types of things.

Q. What excites you about Daniel Jones' second year in the system?

A: Because he's comfortable. I think – what's that quarterback documentary? Was it (Vikings Quarterback) Kirk Cousins? I think talked about his first year in that system and just like for a quarterback, a system is like your baby. You've got to know it in and out, so obviously for DJ (Daniel Jones) having a year of it (and) coming into his second year he knows it already. It's not like he's trying to learn it and execute it. He already knows, so now he can execute, play fast, and make adjustments within it.

Q. What do you think Daniel Jones' ceiling is?

A: I don't think he has one. I think he's a talented quarterback (and) we've got a talented group. As long as we play well (and) we block well, he'll make all the plays he needs to make.

Q. What happened when you got taped up?

A: I was good, I was fine.



Limited 2023 Single Game Tickets are on sale now

Related Content