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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, Asst. GM Brandon Brown, DL Dexter Lawrence, WR Darius Slayton, C John Michael Schmitz, QB Drew Lock

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q. Good to have Darius Slayton back?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, we have good attendance. It's good for him to be back. Again, it's voluntary, so glad he decided to come.

Q. We saw you last week with the radio in your hand during practice. Where are you in your thought process about who will call plays?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, going through practice. We'll go through training camp, make a decision here by the end of training camp.

Q. What's your involvement now on the offensive side? Are you the voice in the quarterback's ear more consistently?

BRIAN DABOLL: That practice I was, yes. That practice I was.

Q. What goes into that decision who's going to be the play caller? Is it a matter of comfort? How do you determine?

BRIAN DABOLL: I've called plays for a long time. So it's good to get out here at practice and do it, but there's a whole process that goes through with it. There's training camp. There's OTAs. And I'll make the decision, like I said back in March, that I feel is best.

Q. What about the continuity involved there? You've had Kafka do it for a couple of years? Are you concerned about changing up the continuity, or are you pretty much on the same page when it comes to that?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, just working through practice here. We'll go through the whole process, go through training camp, go through the different situations. There's a lot that goes into it. So we'll just take it practice by practice.

Q. Will you be on the headset today?

BRIAN DABOLL: We don't have headsets today.

Q: The radio?


Q. What's going on with Andrew Thomas? He didn't take 11-on-11 last week. From the photos you guys took, it doesn't look like he's been at left tackle at all.

BRIAN DABOLL: Different guys are at different spots. We're doing different things. He'll be in 11-on-11 today.

Q. How do you feel you've evolved as a coach since you've taken this job?

BRIAN DABOLL: I don't know. There's time for reflection at the end of the season. Right now it's just having a good OTA practice.

Q. Daniel Bellinger okay?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, he'll be out here. What's been good, which I've been appreciative of all the players is -- besides Darren, and we've talked about him, there's no update on that -- every player has been here at some point, again, for voluntary workouts. So I've been appreciative for that.

Q. Is there anyone who is not practicing injury-wise that it's a long term thing? At least concerned about it nearing training camp?

BRIAN DABOLL: No, I think we're in pretty good shape.

Q. Is Daniel at a point where he's going to do any 11-on-11?

BRIAN DABOLL: Have not made that decision yet. We've talked about it. I'd say he's getting closer and closer. He's only 6 1/2 months out, so he's kind of right on schedule in terms of his rehab plan where we have him.

It's something we've talked about. We're not at that point yet.

Q. Does he want to do it?

BRIAN DABOLL: He'd want to do anything.

Q. Or is it something the medical staff is holding him back from?

BRIAN DABOLL: I'd say we have a plan, and we're following that plan. He's making progress. When we feel that's the next step, then he'll be out there doing it.

Q. I don't think you did any 11-on-11 last spring. I'm curious why --

BRIAN DABOLL: You don't think or you know?

Q. It's a hunch.

BRIAN DABOLL: Understand the question. Last year was a little bit of a numbers thing too. We were really down on defensive linemen, so it was tough to get out there and give them that many reps.

I think it's important to try to be able to do that, as long as you practice the right way. I think it's really good for the quarterback, and I think we missed on some of that last year. So that was something, just going back and re-evaluating some of the things I wanted to try to get done if we had the right numbers and we practice the right way, being a non-contact camp.

I think it's good, even though it's not full live, for the quarterback to be able to move in the pocket, feel a little bit of the rush. I think that's helpful, and it's good for the offensive and defensive linemen to work some of their hand technique. We don't bull rush or run a bunch of games and things like that just because of the nature of the camp, but I do think it's helpful for the quarterback.

Q. You've referred to Shane Bowen as a good teammate.


Q. Several times. What does that mean to you? And the second part would be last week Charlie (Bullen) and Dre (Andre Patterson) talked about how they were working together with the edge and at the line. How important is that to your staff this year, do you feel, or has it always been that way?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, it's really important. That's where it starts. I think Shane has done a really good job with all the guys on the defensive staff. It has been a good, collaborative effort. There's good communication. They're just trying to look to get better collectively and then each unit.

So he's done a really good job in that leadership role and happy we have him.

Q. What would you say is the biggest change you've made? Obviously you go back and do sort of a self-evaluation, like you say, in the off-season, and then you come and make some tweaks like the 11-v-11. Is there anything you look at and say this is my number one priority or this is the biggest thing you do?

BRIAN DABOLL: No, I think you do it -- you try to self-assess every day, but schedule-wise and things that, again, just to go back to what we just talked about, you look at what you did from one year to the next, and if you think there's an improvement that could be made or something you say, man, I wish I would have done it this way, that you're open to it.

You take a lot of input. You try to collaborate as much as you can and do what's best for the team.

Q. Did you come away with anything on the injury side that you want to change?

BRIAN DABOLL: (Aaron) Wellman has done a great job since he's been here – Frank (Piraino), our new addition. There's good communication between them and the athletic (training) department. We've made, I'd say, changes in a lot of different areas to try to improve our team, and that's all we're trying to do.

Q. What role does Steve Smith have here today?

BRIAN DABOLL: He's here. He came in. He's been here last year. We have a good relationship with him, Joe and I. He's coming out watching practice. I think he's a good sounding board for some of the young guys, particularly some of the young receivers.

So he'll be here a couple of days. We have a good relationship with Steve. Joe, obviously at Carolina, and I've known him. I have a lot of respect for his game, how he's played. We had him last year too.

Q. With the offensive line position, the offensive line coach has evolved. Why is Carmen Bricillo the right guy to bring this unit up to where it used to be?

BRIAN DABOLL: I think Carm is a teacher, a good coach, a good teammate. He has a good understanding of how we do things. He's made certain adjustments, too, to try to improve where we're at. Again, good teammate, good teacher, good communicator. Handles the players well. Again, we're in OTAs. We have some time before we get going here. Appreciative for the work that he's put in.

And I would include James Ferentz too. Even though he hasn't coached, he's been a very, very good addition. Just played the game, just retired. Can see it through the players' eyes. Very good technician.

He played a long time at probably not the highest level of talent for him, and he'd probably be the first to admit that. But he did it the right way, being smart, being tough, being a great communicator. He's been a really good addition as well.

Q. Does that position coach, the role maybe more than others, need to be kind of an amateur psychiatrist or psychologist too just because of the nature of how many there are and the ups and downs?

BRIAN DABOLL: No. I'd just say you coach pretty much half the offense. So if one person makes a mistake up front, it looks bad for everybody. Those guys seeing it through the same set of eyes, being on the same page, that's obviously really important.

Q. Back to Steve Smith again if I may, is he available to the receivers as a sounding board, as a resource, that kind of thing?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yes. Again, we had him here last year. He's coming out for a couple of days. We have some young receivers. Again, he's played a long time, been very successful. We have a good relationship with him. So happy to have him.

Q. What do you think of how Drew Lock has played in the spring so far?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, he's coming along every day, learning new material. It's different when you're at quarterback. There's a lot to learn, a lot to process. He's done a great job in the meetings. He's improved every day. Happy we have him.

Q. The jump Tommy DeVito has made from last year? Obviously every rookie does that. Just where you see him?

BRIAN DABOLL: Again, now he's in the second year of the terminology. Being able to get in the huddle, hear the call, spit it out, know what to see. It's been helpful for him. He's had a good camp. He's had a good camp up to this point.

Assistant General Manager Brandon Brown

Q. How valuable was the experience, the high level starting experience from Nathan Rourke and bringing him in? What went into that whole process?

BRANDON BROWN: The main thing, the CFL experience obviously speaks for itself. I think for a guy, tracking him in Jacksonville last year and knowing that he can operate a team on a 90-man roster, whether it's as a backup, third string, fourth string, whatever he's called to do in the preseason, he had experience doing it.

I just think his book of business speaks for itself, hard worker. First day he was here, he's running extra gasers and sprints by himself, watching him through the office door. So happy Nathan's here.

Q. What was the experience for you like coming so close to the Chargers GM job? Can you tell us how you knew Jim Harbaugh? Because everybody wrote you had a good relationship with Jim Harbaugh, but no one knows why.

BRANDON BROWN: I think the nature of our relationship is not important. I'd say this. Whenever you're in the conversation for those jobs, you appreciate it because they're hard to come by. There are only 32 of them. One, I appreciate everyone that's helped groom me to get me to this point. The talks I've had with Joe (Schoen), Dabs (Brian Daboll), even John Mara through the whole process, it almost feels like you're being propped up and supported in a way that makes you feel really good.

But I think -- remember we had a joint practice with Detroit. During that time, Joe and I, we like to get over to schools. Joe, Tim (McDonnell), Dennis (Hickey), Ryan Cowden, myself, all went down to Michigan. You get time just to spend time with other coaches and talk ball. That's how a lot of the relationships develop. I'll kind of leave it at that, but that's really the breeding ground for a lot of relationships.

Q. What did you learn through the whole experience? Of like interviewing and having your name out there and talking with people within the organization.

BRANDON BROWN: I think the one thing is, I think the work is the best preparation that you can have. It's your foundation. I think whether you're talking about roster building, culture, player acquisition, the cap, all those things, when you go through the process, you realize what you've been exposed to, and it actually gives you confidence in doing your job on the day to day.

To me, going through the process lets you know that, hey, all the things that are entailed in doing the job, I've been exposed to, which has been really great. I told Joe, more than just being a friend, but being a co-worker, he's never shielded anything from me, which to me made itself evident through the process.

Q. How do you balance those conversations in your role, what you feel like is best for the Giants juxtaposed to what the coach feels like is best for the Giants?

BRANDON BROWN: I think the best thing is there's synergy between the coaching staff and the personnel department. The wins matter. When we win, everybody gets rewarded.

So we look at it from the lens of personnel, we may see something from a short term versus long term. Coaches may see it from a short term lens, and it's our job to educate and share open forum of, okay, if we do this in the short term, these are the long-term implications and vice versa.

I think it's, one, expanding the conversations and just being on the same page of, if we do this, this is the ripple effect.

Q. What was it like -- I know you guys look at all positions every year in the Draft, including quarterbacks, but this year there was a lot of looking at quarterbacks from everybody. To go through that process, knowing you had a pretty high pick, and then at the end of it, not coming out with a quarterback?

BRANDON BROWN: I would say, when it comes to the quarterback, we treat it like no other position where we're going to do our due diligence. It's negligent if we don't. We're going to go through the whole, call it kitchen sink approach of, whether it's private workouts, whether it's live games, whether it's talking to coaches, whether it's high school, college, positional, coordinators.

Whenever there's any type of crossover between our coaches that have worked with some of these other former, call it, quarterbacks coaches in the past, we're going to do it.

I think, when you're picking as high as we did, it's really important to don't leave any stone unturned because you never know how the draft takes you and you never want to get caught flat-footed. We prepare for every scenario, and that's what we did.

Q. What interested you in Drew Lock, and what are your impressions of him so far?

BRANDON BROWN: Obviously we saw Drew versus Seattle. A lot of us have seen Drew going back to his days in Missouri, in Denver. He's got some moxie and competes to him. I think just think with him, getting adjusted to our scheme -- obviously our offense is not simple. So he's got the whole, full gambit of knowing what's different from what he's been exposed to.

Just really happy to see him learn. Really it's going to be one of those things, it's going to be a learning process for him. It's not going to be overnight. We're happy to support him in every way we can as we go forward toward training camp.

Q. What led you to signing Elijah Riley?

BRANDON BROWN: I had prior experience with Elijah as an undrafted free agent back in Philly. There was some crossover. Ghoby (Michael Ghobrial) had him back with the Jets as well. And just our pro department, led by Chris Rossetti, they always keep on the forefront what's the best available on the street at different levels for different times of the year.

When you look at Elijah, he's a West Point grad, Army kid, 31 test, really bright, has played in the nickel, has played safety, and has been a productive teamer. You see what he did with Pittsburgh last year when he had an opportunity as an elevation player. There's experience there as a guy who's still young. He's under 28, he's 26 years old. And he's local.

I just think you take all those factors and put them together, he had a good workout, and it's a platform for him where I think that he can give us a really good showing, and there's a comfort level there from the past people that have had a really crossover with him on different staffs.

Q. What's the Hard Knocks experience been like for you guys as a front office?

BRANDON BROWN: Put it this way, it's different at first, and then you go about your day to day. You forget sometimes that you're mic'd. You forget sometimes that the camera is there. I kind of put it this way, if you're doing something that you shouldn't be doing, you shouldn't have to think twice that the camera's on you.

So it becomes a place where privacy goes away a little bit, but if you're always doing the right thing, you don't got to worry about it.

Q. You didn't draft any offensive linemen, which I think surprised some people. Why did you come out of this draft without any O-line?

BRANDON BROWN: When you talk about forecasting and projecting, we do that across the board, whether it's in February going into free agency, going into the draft, you know what the landscape looks like. We knew there were going to be opportunities in free agency to bolster the O-line. You look at adding (Jon) Runyan and (Jermaine) Eluemunor, guys that have been healthy, available. There's some familiarity there, obviously Carm Bricillo being here, coming over from Vegas, having time with Jermaine.

Where we were in the Draft, the positions we took, we felt great about those guys being contributors for us this year. Knowing we addressed certain things via the Draft, the way things lined up just from resource allocation, we're really excited with what we came away with.

Q. This is your fourth consecutive year of spring ball in some iteration, right? How is that important to the football ecosystem, and how does that help you within the pro scouting department as a whole?

BRANDON BROWN: I think right now, when you get into the other leagues, it's ever evolving. Whether it's the talent base that's in the CFL versus a supplemental league, when you had the XFL, the USFL, you look at what's best at this time of year and how can it serve the 90-man roster.

Not every player is going to make a roster, but can this guy give us a good day's work on the 90-man? Can he be someone that can be on the practice squad? Can he push for a depth role? Everyone has their own ceiling, and it's our job to figure out where they fit when the need arises for us.

Q. You've been here from the beginning when you guys started building this. Joe came in and built this front office and the personnel department. When you move on to this process now, you've gone through three different drafts, and you're as involved as anyone, how do you balance the professional and the personal? What I mean is you guys didn't have the year you wanted last year. You have a lot of young players out here. You want to see them develop and get to that point. You also have personal aspirations as to you want to run your own thing right now. Is there a part of you that looks at the timing of this and says, you know what, being a part of this, I want to see this kind of get to where we thought it could be before you start building your own thing? Is there any part of that for you?

BRANDON BROWN: I'd say no different than when we talk to our players. When I say that, it means realize your personal goals through team achievement. That's the best way for things to come together where it's when you win, everybody gets rewarded. That's the nature of our business. And I think, when you look at where we are, we've turned over the roster where there's a lot of young pieces in our nucleus.

I think, when you look at those young pieces, they're at positions of impact, and I think this is an opportunity for all those guys to take another level and take a step in a way that you could say, okay, maybe year one, year two, it was starting to turn, and we're going through some growing pains.

But we expect there to be a jump in performance from guys that may not be household names, but we know that we feel good about as they're developing as young guys, like I said, at under 28 years old, which is to me always a sweet spot.

Q. Brandon, when a player like Darius Slayton stays away for a time due to his contract, are you involved in that process at all as assistant GM? And then how do you guys resolve situations like that so that it sends a positive and not a negative message to like the rest of the locker room and to that player as well?

BRANDON BROWN: Right now I don't think there's anything negative to Darius, the time here recently has been voluntary. He hasn't had to be here. One, glad that he's back. Two, gave him a big hug this morning and was like, having not seen him for the duration of the OTA process.

One, I'm glad Darius is back. When you look at the totality of the message it sends to the locker room, everyone knows there's a difference between the personal and the professional and not blending how you feel about the person. We all love Darius. There's sometimes disagreements between families, but you find a way to find common ground, which we did, and you move forward.

We're happy that he's here, and we're happy to keep moving forward with him. He's back like he never left.

Q. What do you think of the NFLPA's considerations to kind of change the off-season workout timing?

BRANDON BROWN: I think for you guys and us as well, the timing won't be great for families, but just like anything else in this league when the calendar changes, you adapt and adjust, and the new norm becomes what your schedule is.

So I just think, if it comes down to something that's not ideal right now, we'll adjust. Then you'll find, whether it's family time, whether it's vacation time, whether it's other things in terms of building out the roster, et cetera, we'll adjust, and we'll figure out that blueprint, and then we'll start following it.

Q. What could you share about the draft process for Tyler Nubin? It seemed like he had a different avenue than maybe most of the guys really throughout this tenure for you guys in three years. You didn't have him for a visit here, so you guys did a lot of stuff out there. I know you were central in that.

BRANDON BROWN: I would say with Tyler, one, can't talk about him without mentioning Hannah Burnett, our area scout. She's done a helluva job for two straight years on Tyler because we didn't know if he was a guy that would be available last year. If you look at his book of business, the high level FBI, his football instincts, the ability to take the ball away, the character.

Hannah did such a great job on the character as well as our other area scouts, the national scouts, that we felt great where we didn't have to have extra touch points with Tyler. Then you look back to his testing numbers. Maybe some people said they wish he would have ran faster. When he came here for his physical, I gave him a big hug, and I was like, you know what, I feel like I got my favorite food on discount because the tape speaks for itself.

So I'm glad he's here. When you meet him, he has one of those personalities where he can become like the alphas of alphas, and he's a young man with a grown mindset. Happy he's here. The process was painless with him. Luckily he had a book of business that was large for two years of doing a lot of work on him.

That's why those extra touch points you talk about weren't necessary.

Q. Kind of the same question, Brandon, on Malik Nabers. What were your exposures with him? Obviously there were a lot of top receivers. So how were you able to -- or what was important for you guys to decide that Nabers was the guy and not maybe somebody else in the receiver class?

BRANDON BROWN: So Malik -- or Lik, I like to call him -- he's just got a rare competitiveness and edge to him, something that I haven't been around. I kind of say he's got moxie, dog. The cool kids call it aura these days, where he wants to be at his best versus the best on the biggest platform, and he's going to let you know about it.

I think you go back to the process with him, Joe and I saw Malik play against Florida State two years in a row, first game of the season. Then you go back to Scott Hamel doing a lot of work in the area. Our national scouts doing work in the area.

Tim McDonnell, being -- from my exposure, having the best connects at LSU in terms of getting all the coach feedback and background that's necessary to feel good about a player's aptitude in terms of learning what he is every day, not just in the off-season getting prepared for the draft.

Then probably a guy who does a thankless job or unseen job, Jessie Armstead. Jessie was heavily involved with Malik, still is, where we try to kind of treat him like little brother where we've talked everything to Malik about what he likes off the field, his day to day. We talk about building video game consoles and him being into fashion, all the things that you don't get unless you have multiple touch points with a person and there's a comfort level.

So to me, Malik as a player, the ceiling is what he makes of it, and we know what he is every day. He raises the competitive stamina and outlook in this group. It's a young receiver group, and he's a guy that comes in, and everybody knows rent is due every day. That's what you want out of a guy you take in the first round.

Q. It's obviously all projection, but then when they come out here, they're out on the field with other professionals. What have you seen from him or noticed from him out on the field here?

BRANDON BROWN: It's a small sample size right now. Obviously the hot takes in T-shirts and shorts, not having live one-on-one periods, there's only so much you can take from it. But what I do say, he's a guy who's moved around a lot positionally, and our offense is not easy to grasp. He's done it seamless. Like it's been like a glove fit for him where he's learning different roles on the fly, and he's making it look like it's second nature to him.

So he's a give-me-more guy. He's handling it. Joe, Daboll, (Mike) Kafka, Mike Groh, they've all poured into Malik, and I'd say I've worked with Mike Groh for a number of years, I don't think he's given me a larger hug than when we drafted Malik. Everybody's happy.

Q. Do the exploding wide receiver extension free agent contracts make it more important nowadays to hit on wide receivers in the Draft? Is that a position that you almost need to be cost controlled because it's $30 million if you need a number one receiver somewhere else?

BRANDON BROWN: Yeah, you see where the wave is going. We've talked over the years about projecting the market. You see where the forecast is, and you don't want to be on the wrong ends of deals. I think, when you look at how young our receiver corps is, it's an advantageous position to be in. Just the production and the opportunity and the skill set all allows for you to be cost controlled, like you're mentioning.

The thing is you want to be cost controlled for multiple years, young guys that are durable. I think the way that we've built it, almost like a basketball team, there's complementary parts. You have a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward. It's kind of like how you build your frontcourt and backcourt. There aren't duplicative roles right now. You've got a lot of guys that can do different things, but they are specialists in something the other guy really doesn't excel at.

I love the way we put it together, between the synergy with the coaching staff where they've been very clear with the vision and allowed us to really complement them and expose them to the landscape of what's out there, whether it's the Draft, whether it's free agency. That's where we put the plan together and where we're at right now.

Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence

Q. (Outside Linebacker) Brian Burns was saying last week he's getting to learn all the guys up front. He said, when I'm near Dex and we're doing something together, he's going to definitely have a plan. Is that in the early stages of trying to figure out -- some of the guys you know, but he's the new guy?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: I think it's natural. Right now, we're not running games or doing any of that and still rushing well. I think it's just natural -- just understanding the game. We are two smart players playing beside each other. We work along well with each other over there. I like him a lot. He brings a different dynamic to the line.

Q. He called you clever…

DEXTER LAWRENCE: What does that mean, smart?

Q. You're the clever one, you should know.

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, like I said, the knowledge of the game clashes well together. So, I think that's where that starts.

Q. Has anything changed for you going through a different defensive scheme?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, just new terminology obviously. He looks for different alignments and things like that. I think the terminology is the biggest thing. Football is football at the end of the day. I think just learning that and just the philosophy that he goes by is different. That's all.

Q. How has it been to pick up the terminology?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: It's smooth. The first couple weeks (were) a little rough, but right now I think practice has been flowing a lot better for us. Everybody is just over communicating, which helps a lot. We're all learning different things, different things to look for before you get lined up.

I think it's smoothing out now towards the end.

Q. Have you seen a lot of adjustments or a lot of changes from last year in regards to -- obviously the defense is significant, but I'm talking more the program, some of the things with the way you're practicing and that kind of stuff?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Honestly no. Coach Dabs has been smiling a little more. A little more happy walking around. He still tells his little jokes and stuff like that. I think he's still the same person, which is kudos to him. Obviously, people change in different situations, but I think he's remained the same.

Q. I asked (Jets Defensive Lineman) Quinnen Williams this yesterday, and I'll ask you today. Aaron Donald retired. What was your reaction to that? And now for the first time in ten years, the title of best defensive tackle in the league is open. Could that be you?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, it could be. I've just got to keep working, working on my weaknesses and getting better with my strengths. It took me by surprise honestly. Look, ten years is a long time, but you know you expect more things like that, but he left the game on top. A lot of respect to him to what he brought. There probably won't be another one of him. A lot of respect.

Q. You touched on how you're still trying to find where your game is at. The difference you find as a pro from being a good player or a great player?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Honestly, Coach Dre (Patterson) kind of shifted my mindset a little bit to work on things that I wasn't good at. That's the next step into being better. Kudos to him obviously to helping me think about things that I wasn't necessarily – you know, you go to your natural habits to do what you can do to improve in the game. More tools is what I'm doing.

Q. What is it that you're working on?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Just speed rushes, things like that, using my hands a little more in my rushes. That are some things right now that I'm working on.

Q. Kayvon last week said that the D-line and the edge guys are working more together this year. Coaches are kind of picking spots. What have you seen, going back to when you talked about working with Burns, ultimately having those two groups working the same caliber, how much of an impact can that have?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: I think it's just us hearing the same things, not being independent contractors. We're all hearing the same things. We're all hearing, what's going to happen in this situation? Or what's going to happen in this situation? I think obviously it just makes sense, when you bring that thing together, everything starts clashing a little better. We mold into each other. Learning each other's tendencies. Learning who's next to you, learning talking, learning lingoes. It's just, when you bring the two groups together, it's just what's supposed to happen.

Q. Are you saying why didn't we do this earlier?


Q. How did that work? Are you in the same meeting room now?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: We still have our two separate, but we come together on certain days to talk about the rush side of things.

Q. What do you see from being together?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Like I said, it's just knowledge bouncing off each other everywhere. It's obviously a lot of talking. It's loud in there. But it's a lot of good work. That's the best part about it.

Q. That's a change from the past couple years?

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, we stayed separate.

Q. Do you think that younger guys, like Ryder Anderson, DJ Davidson or Jordon Riley, are ready to step in and be counted on the way they need to be counted on? There's no more Leonard Williams or A'Shawn Robinson – you'll have to utilize those guys...

DEXTER LAWRENCE: Those guys, they're really developing honestly. They're really picking up on -- Coach Dre coaches some hard things, but it's year two, three, and four for them, so they're picking it up pretty well, and it's showing on the field this OTAs. If they keep developing, there won't be a dropoff. I believe in those guys, and they believe in themselves.

Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

Q. What's your satisfaction or lack of satisfaction right now with the current contract situation?

DARIUS SLAYTON: I'm satisfied. We got what we needed to get done. Just looking forward to getting back to playing ball.

Q. What did you get done?

DARIUS SLAYTON: We just adjusted my contract this year a little bit. Just try to make it a little more lucrative. But business is business, and I'm here.

Q. Are there like incentives?


Q. So not necessarily guaranteed money, but to be clear, you probably did want more of

that, right?

DARIUS SLAYTON: I think anybody does, you know. At the end of the day, playing a game I love, a game I dreamed about playing since I was a kid, so happy to be back with my teammates ready to go.

Q. Is the workout bonus still on the table too that was in your existing contract?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Honestly, I don't even know because it's based on like a count of these things. So, I don't even know the percentages of whatever it is. If it is, cool. If not, oh, well.

Q. How did you balance between not allowing that whole process to get too personal? Okay, this is business, I can't take this personally.

DARIUS SLAYTON: Mostly just kind of let my agent do it for real. I just was working out, making sure I was in shape, making sure I was sharp. I think about football primarily. I just kind of let him fill me in on the details here and there, but my primary focus is obviously to play ball and be as good of a player as I can be on the field.

Q. They drafted a lot of young receivers, another one this year. When the season's over, you're still on top of the yardage thing, things like that. Do you kind of -- is it hard for you to look past this year and the handwriting on the wall kind of thing with all these young guys in the room now?

DARIUS SLAYTON: I try to just live in the moment, live in this year, enjoying my time with them, enjoying my time around them. Who knows what the future holds? I can't know it anyway. So I just try to be my best day in and day out.

Q. In the past, 2022, when they gave you a pay cut, you performed at a level that exceeded what your pay was, right? So how much perhaps do you look forward this year to showing with the incentives in the deal like I'm better than what this base pay is?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Sure, I definitely look forward to it, but receivers are a position of opportunity. All I can do is do the best of my ability with the opportunities I get, and hopefully, that will prove again I am who I think I am.

Q. Do you wonder how many opportunities you're going to get? Do you wonder if I'm going to get these opportunities?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Not really. Multiple receivers play at the same time. The ball can go to lots of places.

Q. I was going to ask along those lines, just the idea -- you play a position that's based on opportunity. You can go out there and run X number of routes and the ball doesn't come your way or vice versa. For you, was any part of this looking at how many opportunities am I going to get, or was it really just a business thing and not necessarily related to opportunities?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Of course, but I mean, at the same time, like I said, there are multiple receivers on the field. You've got Tyreek and Jaylen. They both get a thousand. Ja'Marr and Tee. There's a bunch of receiver tandems, even trios in the league, that all have a chance to feed and get the ball. At the end of the day, it's on the coaches to kind of distribute the ball and get it to the guys they feel do the best with it in their hands. My job is to be one of those best guys.

Q. Do you feel adequately appreciated hereafter for how the team and your agent handled this?

DARIUS SLAYTON: I think so as a person. It's been nice to kind of come back, and I see people in the building. They greet me and say, hey, nice to see you. I'm happy you're back, those types of things. It kind of tells me I've been a good person in the building. I've been a good human being since I've been here. There's a lot of good people around here. I'm happy to still be here.

Q. You guys play a hard position. You've got to be mentally tough to be a receiver. Everyone else can do a job individually, but you've got to have a lot of things happen before you get the opportunity to have the football. How do you stay locked in throughout the game as opposed to everyone perceiving you guys as just doing cardio out there?

DARIUS SLAYTON: You've got to be a little delusional. You've got to think the ball is coming all the time, even if it may or may not. Just kind of trick yourself. At the end of the day, you can only measure yourself by when the ball comes your way, did you catch it? If it didn't come your way, were you open? That's kind of the reality of being a receiver.

Q. Do you have early impressions of the No. 1 pick, Nabers?

DARIUS SLAYTON: He's talented. He's definitely talented. Catches the ball well. He's got strong hands. Seems to be pretty smart. I've only been here two days, but he seems to be pretty smart. He seems to be picking up the playbook pretty well. I expect him to be a good player for us.

Q. How about Drew Lock, first impressions of him?

DARIUS SLAYTON: He throws some good balls. Throws a nice ball. Been accurate. Again, only my second day working with him, but from what I've seen so far, he looks good.

Q. You have free agency next off-season, you're 28 years old. You have a chance to get a pretty decent contract if you play well. It's only year six for you, right? Where are you in that?

DARIUS SLAYTON: I'm aware of it, but to be honest, I don't really feel I have the luxury to look that far ahead considering we won four games last year. You kind of got to get over that hump first as a collective and then worry about that type of stuff. My primary focus is getting back here, helping the guys in my room, leading the guys in my room, and trying to get this team back to where we were two years ago.

Q. Darius, what do you think Daniel Jones needs to do this year to be adequately appreciated by this fan base and then just in the NFL as a whole?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Win. I think we all need to win. If you want to be seen as a good player in this league, if you lose, the general consensus is they must all be bad players in they're losing. If you win -- two years ago when we were in the playoffs, there wasn't this negative press. Everybody was like, actually, it was he needs help. We need to get better receivers, and better weapons for him to be better. The narrative comes and goes depending on how your team does. Kind of like I said, it's on me and him and all the rest of the guys we have to get this team going in the right direction.

Q. Is this wide receiver room going to be able to survive SEC Saturdays?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Yeah, we've got a lot now, a lot of rivals now. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.

Q. Do you feel like an elder statesman?

DARIUS SLAYTON: Honestly, no, but ironically, I am probably. Got a good six, or five years of age on these guys now, so I guess I am. I still feel like I'm pretty young.

Center John Michael Schmitz

Q. If you guys can solidify early the guys who are playing guard on either side of you, how much of an advantage is that for you as a center?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: At the end of the day, the coaches, Coach Carm (Bricillo), Daboll, they'll make the decision who will start and who's going to be in that position. At an early stage, you like to solidify who's there. There's always going to be competition, though, but at the end of the day, you need more reps together just so you know how to play with one another.

Q. How hard is it to get those reps in a situation like this where there's no pads involved?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: That's where you've got to be very mindful and very conscious. Even if it's indy reps and we're doing drills, as we're working together and stuff and make sure we're working on our fundamentals, our technique, great footwork. At the end of the day, right now what we're working on is hand placement, so that's a big thing for us.

Q. What about you personally? What did you zero in on from last year to this year?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: A lot of it was my footwork and that second level blocking for me, maintaining blocks. At the end of the day, at the center position, take leadership and take control of the leadership role.

Q. How is Carm? Obviously it's a new voice in your group. How does that change things and change maybe the dynamic of the whole room?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: Yeah, Coach Carm has been a great addition to the O-line room. He has a great amount of knowledge of the game and has helped every single one of us out to be better players and holds us to a high standard each and every day. We go out there and compete and get better each and every day.

Q. Has he said anything to you in the short time you've been with him that has stuck with you or something you maybe haven't thought of before?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: Just how he sees it, how it could be just ID'ing fronts or just his mindset on what to do here. He's very knowledgeable and has a great expertise of the game. Got to give him credit for that.

Q. You always hear rookies talk about how that first year they spent most of their off-season training for the draft, training for the combine, and then you roll right into the season. When you got to take a breath and started looking at your off-season training this year, did you make noticeable changes in how you approached things to help you in what you learned as a rookie and maybe couldn't have anticipated what you did?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: I feel like for me, just watching back the games through this off-season and honing in on the technique and just the play – my play out there. Every single day, you can't focus on a million different things. You've got to pick one thing that you want to get better at each and every day and just hone in on that. If it was footwork one day, if it was hand placement the other day, if it was, I don't know, ID'ing fronts and just the knowledge of the game, that was a big off-season for me of my football IQ and just continuing to get better with that.

Q. What does becoming more of a leader and taking on that leadership role mean to you? Like how do you do that?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: I think the biggest thing for me when times are tough, you really know who a true leader is when you hit adversity, you hit a tough time. All the guys look to someone, and I want to be that for our room and take charge.

Q. What is your sense of (Jon) Runyan and (Jermaine) Eluemunor now, the two guys on your left and right?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: We made great additions to the O-line room. I'm very excited to have those guys here. They're great guys. Not only on the field, but off the field. They want to be here. They want to get better. Very excited for our O-line room. We're headed in a great direction.

Q. Is there a difference when you line up with guys to your left and right who are experienced, know what they're doing, you know what I mean? They're more experienced than you obviously, have seen a lot more. Can you sense that as you line up with them?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ JR.: Yeah, they help me out. They help me understand certain situations, what to be aware of, what they're seeing on film. It can be a different view of what I'm seeing because they've had more experience, like you said.

Quarterback Drew Lock

Q. How close do you feel this team is to pushing through that door and being a winner?

DREW LOCK: This team is really talented; I think on both sides of the ball. The defense, going up against those guys every day, Brian, Dex, it's a good, good squad over there. Especially coming over on our side, I don't think there's a position we lack. I think it's a really good team. I'm excited to be here. Each day I get to come out here someone's been surprising me. It's been fun. It's been fun to get to know these guys, do a good job in the locker room too. It's a team that sticks around all day. You don't feel like guys are getting out. Guys are in there hanging out, and it's been easy to get to know everybody because of it. It's been nice.

Q. Drew, how have you been balancing learning this offense as well as contributing to helping the young receivers and fellow quarterbacks and whatnot?

DREW LOCK: I kind of feel like I'm old now, year six. Learning the offense, this is going to be, I think, my fourth one so far. So I feel like I have a good process of like how I want to attack a playbook and attack these days right now, which makes it easier to be able to help those guys and be able to talk to the receivers. And not just the young guys, but I'm out here running these guys with guys that I haven't thrown too much. So try to figure out what they were thinking on this, what I was thinking, and just trying to develop some chemistry.

Q. What is your initial impression of Daboll's offense and having him sort of in your ear?

DREW LOCK: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. First offensive head coach, so that's been fun. We were going with the wind today for a period, so not something I'm used to. It's been fun to have him in my headset. You can tell he's been doing it for a long time. Great reminders, and good tips, but not too much. Not too much to get you bogged down on what he just said. It's just good tips and reminders. The offense, there's a lot to it, but it's been fun to learn, and I can see how you can be really successful in it.

Q. Did you have any interaction with him, like when you came to the Draft, did you do anything with the Bills?

DREW LOCK: Yeah, I talked to Shea. I didn't talk to Coach Daboll. They had drafted Josh the year before, and Shea even talked to me about it. We were in there. Towards the end, I kind of had a feeling that Shea was just a normal guy. We were talking, we were chilling. Shea, do you talk to everybody because you guys just drafted Josh Allen? I'm going to be respectful and have my conversation and tell you everything I know, but there's no way you're picking me right now (laughter). I kind of had an interaction with him, but, no, I think they kind of had their guy.

Q. Was it at the Senior Bowl?

DREW LOCK: I forget if it was at the Senior Bowl or the train station room at the Combine. So, I've kind of had interactions, but not too much.

Q. How much attention did you pay to the Giants doing all their homework on this year's rookie quarterback class because, if they drafted one, obviously that would have affected not only Daniel's spot on the depth chart but yours?

DREW LOCK: Not too much. I've had plenty of pre-draft stuff, I'd say my first couple of years I listened to it. Then when nothing I heard came true, I was like, okay, we're going to let that be. I wish I had not listened to it those years, but now I'm past it. I'm confident in who I am and the place I decided to come to, and I really like it.

Q. Do you think there's a part where all rookies have to realize I've got to block that noise out? Have you reached that point? Did you wish you had that coming in as a pro?

DREW LOCK: I would say the whole Draft noise was new because you know who the recruits are coming into college. The media noise, I feel like -- I tell this story. In my first game at Missouri, we played South Carolina, and we won. I was just soaking it all in. It said the 20-plus on the notification thing, and I couldn't believe it. Then the next game we played Florida, it was not good (laughter), and I still had 20-plus. I read into that. That point forward, it's like, okay, we've got to separate this. This is not important, not good for my mental, and no more. That's why I feel like I kind of stay out of the whole mix of things and worry about what plays I've got to work on instead.

Q. How much did you know Daniel before coming here, same age and all that stuff? And then what have you learned about him since?

DREW LOCK: Daniel, we were roommates at the Senior Bowl. We were with Gruden and the Raiders that Senior Bowl, so I got to know him there a little bit. I tried to stay up as late as he did studying the playbook, it's like, crap, I've got to go to bed, buddy. You going to have to turn the light off, but -- He's been great to be around. Super smart guy obviously. Doesn't get to where he's at without playing a lot of good football and knowing a lot. It's been a lot of fun to be with him in that room, especially since he's taken the seven-on-seven reps. He has time to really help us in there. It's been cool. We still go in. We watch the tape after. He runs it. We talk through the plays. It's really cool. I appreciate how much he's been helping us in there, including myself.

Q. You've had a lot of -- played with a lot of good receivers in your career. What's your early impression of Malik Nabers?

DREW LOCK: Yeah, he's going to be good. He's going to be really good. His work ethic is there. That's the one thing I feel like quarterbacks probably look at. How hard is this guy going to work? How hard is he going to study? How many MAs did he have in that first practice where everything being thrown at him? And he's checked all those boxes.

Got to keep it rolling, but he has the potential to be very good.

Q. How patient can you be knowing that you want to be a starting quarterback in this league, correct?

DREW LOCK: Of course. How patient can I be?

Q. Yeah.

DREW LOCK: Shoot, three years I wasn't a starting quarterback. I was patient then. I know how to be a backup and just be ready if and when your time comes. As a backup, you hope it never comes. You hope your team is playing good football, and you hope Daniel stays healthy. But do everything you can to be ready. When that time comes, just make the best of it.

Q. You're already popular with Giants fans, some of whom are down on Daniel. What are your thoughts on the backup quarterback being the most popular guy in town?

DREW LOCK: I wouldn't say that. I would say I appreciate the people who respect my game and know what I can do, but you're the backup, and you're here to help Daniel.

Q. What has this opportunity done for you to get this many reps now? I know that's kind of what you were looking for initially. Then also how do you feel like you've done?

DREW LOCK: It's been huge. I know what it's like to not get a ton of reps in OTAs and kind of feel your way through, not throw to the number one receivers, and then when you get out there in week 11, you're throwing to DK and Tyler for kind of the first time that year. So being able to just have those reps under your belt definitely builds confidence going into the year. Like I said, you hope the time doesn't come, but if it does, you feel like you're ready. You've been with the guys in the huddle. They know your face. They know your cadence. They know how you operate. Just makes you feel more comfortable going into the year.

Q. What did that Monday night game do for your confidence last year in December?

DREW LOCK: I think it did a lot. Like I said after that interview after, we went to San Fran, and it was the first time I played in what I felt like a long time, and kind of got the Juices flowing. It was like I could still go ahead and do this. Went out there Monday night, I kind of just felt like you were back in high school playing football with your buddies. I've got a game under my belt with these guys, and just go out and play, go out and be you. Yeah, it definitely builds some confidence. I'm going to keep that going forward. I know I can do it. It is what it is. Whenever that time comes, if it comes, I'll be ready.

See all the action from spring practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.


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