Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: How do you handle the expectations of the first padded practice and the sense of protecting the players from themselves?
A: I think we've got to practice well with one another, stay off the ground but get our fundamental work in. There's usually some excitement from the players but you have to do a good job of making sure (that) you don't lose your technique (and) fundamentals. The energy is usually always good the first day of pads but we've got to make sure we're doing things the right way.
Q: Are you an 'everything starts up front' kind of guy?
A: Yeah, you have to be strong up front on both sides and this is really the first true evaluation of the players. Knowing what to do and being able to do it without the pads on, but now, seeing the physical part of it is important and look forward to practice today.
Q: What's your view on fights during practice?
A: Yeah, I don't think there's any – yeah, I don't want to fight in practice. To me, it's undisciplined, it's 15-yard penalties. I understand that it's a competitive situation but you can't do it in the games so being able to maintain your composure and be disciplined, I think, is important. With that being said, I don't know if I've ever been in a camp where there wasn't one but certainly something that we don't want to do.
Q: I know you don't want to talk about last year, but how do you continue to maintain that mentality the team had as you go through training camp?
A: Well, we're just getting ready to go today. We've got a long way to go here before we play some games in the regular season. I think that's developed over time. The chemistry within a group, being able to execute under pressure when it counts the most, usually in the fourth quarter. So, those are things you constantly work on.
Q: Is there anyone coming back from injury?
A: Yeah, Ryan (Jones) will be back, (the) tight end, Shep (Sterling Shepard) will work today (and) everything else is status quo.
Q: Will Haddy be back today?
A: Haddy (Jihad Ward) won't, no.
Q: Why's that?
A: Haddy's got a little thing, (we're) just working through it.
Q: Has your personal philosophy changed of how you practice with pads over the course of your career?
A: No, we've got to do a good job of taking care of one another while also being able evaluate to the players and the players have got to have mutual respect for one another. It's not like you want to have an offensive lineman go out there and clean the pocket when a guys rushing or if somebody jumps, you put them on the ground or tackling ball carriers when they're not expecting to be tackled. Stay away from the quarterback. You know, work on your fundamentals the right way, your techniques. Obviously it's always going to be more physical, particularly in between the lines.
Q: Have you planned on doing any live tackling this camp?
A: We're not going to today.
Q: We saw Tre Hawkins III working with the first team yesterday. Why was that?
A: Well, I think he's earned it. He had a couple of good days (so) we gave him an opportunity. We'll try to do that with all the positions (and) every day's an evaluation so if we think you've earned an opportunity to do it and that's what we did. It's his birthday by the way today.
Q: Adoree' Jackson bumped into the slot on a couple of those plays. Do you see that being the case during the season?
A: We'll see. That's why we're using all these combinations. It'll be different. It's been different throughout camp. We'll just keep rotating them.
Q: So it's a possibility?
A: Yeah, we'll see. It's the first day we did it – yesterday. We've got to keep practicing different combinations.
Q: Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson said he was really looking forward to seeing John Michael Schmitz when the pads came on. As you get into pads, are these big days for him?
A: Yeah, I mean I think they're big days for everybody. This is really where the evaluation process, the physical evaluation process, happens for the offensive and defensive lines.
Q: Besides winning those one-on-one battles, what are you looking for in the battles between the offensive and defensive lines?
A: They each have different jobs, so protecting the quarterback inside out, keeping the depth and the width from the interior (and) getting movement in the running game. Then controlling the line of scrimmage, getting off blockers in the run game and affecting the quarterback. Again, you can only affect the quarterback so much because you want the guys to stay away from the quarterback in these types of practices rather you hit a thumb or get too close. But you've got a good feel when you watch the tape of guys who are executing their assignments and their responsibilities.
Q: John Michael Schmitz was working with the first team during the most recent practice. What does that mean?
A: I wouldn't read into what day it is or what period it is, we're going to rotate everybody. It could be a little different each day. It could be a little different each practice during the periods.
Q: When you're switching guys around, do you let guys know early or is it on the fly during practice?
A: No, they know. Yeah, they know. They know there's competition and their job is to go out there and perform their best in whatever role we ask them to do.
Q: What's it like having Sterling Shepard out there again?
A: He provides a lot of energy. He's a very good teammate. Obviously, he's bounced back from a few injuries and I think all the guys are appreciative for him and what he does for the team.
Q: Darrelle Revis is going into the Hall of Fame this weekend. You coached against him in practices and games. What was it like game planning for him?
A: One of the best. You didn't want to challenge him too often. He was usually pretty tight on our receivers. I was with him with we drafted him at New York (with the Jets) and I was with him at New England. Humble person. A really, really good player. You had to be careful throwing at him too much.
Q: How excited for you for Kayvon Thibodeaux coming into his second season?
A: A lot of those guys, whether is Kayvon or (Evan) Neal, or (Dane) Belton, I know he was injured – (Darrian) Beavers. You hope you make a good jump from year one to year two. Not just production wise but again, I've talked about this before, you come out in the draft and it's not a typical offseason for a player so he's had a whole offseason to work, improve physically, mentally, so (I'm) excited for him.
Q: You guys said that stopping the run is a priority. How do you go about doing that in practice?
A: We've worked on that since spring. (We) can't do it as much physically but run fit drills, run blitzes, technique – it really takes everybody to stop the run. Chasing the football is something we worked on last year (and) is something that we need to improve (and) something we'll work on this year.
Q: Evan Neal talked about his weight. How much improvement have you seen from him on the field?
A: Again, the first five (practices) without pads on, I think he's done a good job. Again, it's his second year in the system. I think things slow down a little bit for him. It'll be a good few weeks here with the pads on.
Q: Have you seen him moving better and getting off quicker at the line of scrimmage?
A: Yeah, he's done a nice job. We'll see how it all translates here with the pads, but he's had a good five days of practice.
Q: Do you know when you will go pads in the next block of practices?
A: I'd have to go back and look. That's why we have tomorrow. Again, we just kind of reassess where we're at. (We'll) go out there today and we'll handle it going forward.
Q: The NFL is going to allow a third quarterback on the roster. How are you going to do that this year? Are you just going to scout the league?
A: We're always scouting the league, no matter what. I think (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and his staff do a great job and when we have to make those decisions, that's when we'll make them.
Oh, one other thing. Congratulations to the Staten Island girls flag football team. They were the Giants, they represented our organization. They won a tournament – the 32 invitational -- so we'll recognize them but congratulations to their team. (They won the title) 14-13, I think, in overtime.
Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams
Q. (Offensive tackle) Andrew Thomas was with us the other day and said that closing the gap on the Eagles starts up front on both sides of the line. With Philly, the guys you've battled for years, (Eagles defensive tackle) Fletcher Cox, (Eagles offensive tackle) Lane Johnson, (Eagles defensive end) Brandon Graham, have been there so long. He said it starts up front on both sides. Do you feel that way, that for the Giants to get where they want to be, the defensive line and offensive line have to take them there?
A: Absolutely. I mean, even outside the Eagles conversation, or any other team for that matter, that's something that we go into practice saying, that's something that we go into every meeting saying and that's something that the D-line takes pride in. We always talk about being the engine of the defense and the engine of the team. I think that's something that our team prides ourselves in, winning up front on both sides of the ball.
Q. You're a little older than some of those guys – I'm sure you want to be here for some of it – but can you envision a day where Thomas and (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) and (offensive tackle Evan) Neal and (defensive lineman) Dex(ter Lawrence II) are the new Graham and Cox and Johnson and those guys? Can the Giants have that kind of 10-year core that the Eagles have?
A: That's a tough question. It's hard for me to try to compare teams that way. I don't want to say that they're going to be like the Eagles or anything like that, but I definitely see some great players over here on both sides of the ball. Andrew Thomas leading the way on the offensive side, and Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon on this side of the ball. I think a lot of those guys are still just starting to touch their prime or haven't even gotten to their prime yet. I think they're going to have a long, great career in this league.
Q. As a guy who's been in the league for a while and one of your main goals is stopping the run and having to deal with running backs, what do you make of this whole running-backs-not-getting-paid situation that's going on here? When you look at that position, do you say, 'Man, I fear the running back,' or, 'I fear the quarterback and the receiver?' What's your take on all of that?
A: It's definitely something that's interesting that's been going on this offseason. I try to usually focus on myself and what I can do and better myself and things like that. But at the same time, I think it is unfortunate that that's the one position that seems to not be getting the respect that they deserve. I think having a running game definitely balances out the offense and makes D-linemen have to play both things. If we just knew it was going to be pass every play, it would be a different game. I think that running backs definitely bring a lot of value to the offense.
Q. When you worry about the next day's opponent, do you think, 'Oh my God, we've got to deal with this great running back,' or this great quarterback and receiver? What keeps you up at night?
A: Three things for me: I focus on the offensive line that I'm going against first and then I focus on the quarterback and then the running back. The quarterback is definitely the engine of the offense and the offensive lineman I'm going against is the guy that I'm going to have to beat, regardless of what type of play it is. So, I focus on them the most. But at the same time, there are times where we play against great backs, and we put a lot of emphasis on stopping the back in order to stop their offense. When we played against Seattle last year, their running back was playing really well, and that's something that we talked about as a defense, making sure that we stopped that running back, which was going to slow down their offense.
Q. How much did you guys, looking back on last season, miss (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) being out there with you for more games, frankly, than he was?
A: Azeez is a great player to have on the team. He's a great player to have on the field. It's unfortunate when guys ever go through injuries and stuff like that. When he was on the field, he was very productive. I think having him out there is always a great thing. I think he's focusing a lot on taking care of himself and taking care of his body to make sure that he is out there as much as he can be.
Q. When you watch him play and everything, do you look at him as a player now happy to be back with his teammates and on the field playing the game he loves?
A: Yeah, for sure. I think he has a natural feel for the game and natural feel for pass rushing. I think it's smooth the way he pass rushes. It doesn't seem like he has to try too hard. I think it's great to have all four of us, and even the more additions that we added to the team, just healthy on the field when we're called upon. We're trying to create more bond between us all this year and work together.
Q. What kind of things have you been working on from last year to this year to become more of an impact player?
A: Coming off of the Azeez question, I also missed a few games last year for the first time in my career. That's something that I pride myself on most of my career, being healthy and being durable and being ready to go when called upon and so this offseason, I definitely focused a lot on my body. Knowing that I am getting a little bit older and knowing that I have to apply myself more in the training room and keep up with things on my body is going to be important going forward for me.
Q. There was so much attention on the transaction, you going from the Jets to the Giants, and you kind of answered with that 11-and-a-half sack year. Is that your best year in your opinion, or is that just the numbers saying it's your best year?
A: That was one of my more productive number years. But the year after that I also had a career high in tackles and stuff like that as well. I wouldn't say that that was my only productive year, but it was definitely, in terms of sacks, my highest year.
Q. You were with (former Jets cornerback) Darrelle Revis for a couple of years during his second stint with the Jets. Obviously, he's going into the Hall of Fame this weekend. Can you tell me in your opinion, what kind of player this guy was, what kind of teammate he was and what your reaction is for him going to the Hall of Fame, a guy you played with?
A: He was obviously a lot older by the time I got there, but he was a great teammate. Overall, what I liked about paying attention to him is just how he carried himself. He was very poised and humble. No moment seemed too high or too low for him. He was just kind of even all the time. I think that kind of shows a great player to me because he trusts in his ability and trusts in himself so that he doesn't have to get super rah-rah, he's not low about making a mistake or anything like that, he's onto the next play and he stays pretty even.
Q. Did you see the Hall of Fame coming for him even though it was late in his career, knowing what he accomplished?
A: Just knowing his career in general, I thought of him as one.
Q. This is always the day when I guess camp really starts for the linemen, right? Pads go on. How has your perspective changed on this day? How do you handle when the pads go on and what that's going to be like every year?
A: I think that was a good question of how's my perspective changed, because I think it has changed a bit. When I was younger and leading up into it, even just maybe a year or two ago, that first day of pads is super rah-rah, everybody's getting super excited, ready to run into each other again. But at the same time, we've been working our technique and taking care of each other as a team pretty well and competing pretty well so far that I don't want any of that stuff to go out the window now that pads are on and now just go full speed and lose technique and stuff like that just to make big hits. I think that's something that we've been focusing on as a team, not losing fundamentals and technique now that the pads are on and still taking care of each other – because we're going to need everybody.
Q. Since everybody's been ragging on you about your age, I'll ask about somebody older. Can you talk a little it about what Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) brings to the defense and how good is it to see him back out there after the accident?
A: It was great to see him back. Glad nothing happened to him during that accident. But also, he's just a great guy to bring into this building and to bring it to the defense. He has great energy, and so far, he's been playing the run really well. I think he's going to be a great addition on the D-line.
Tight End Daniel Bellinger
Q. It seems like we have to ask every person on the offense about (tight end) Darren Waller. You're very close to Darren Waller. Everything you read in the offseason after he was traded here and whatever videos or highlights you may have seen versus what you've actually seen in person, what's your reaction?
A: I got a chance to really connect with him last year at Tight End U, so I was already kind of aware of his very unique abilities. Just being able to actually talk and see how he views things off the field, I think is the biggest eye opener for me. He's a very smart guy. He helps myself and helps the whole offense just with different things that he can do. Obviously, we see it on film all the time and what he did in Las Vegas but being able to just pick his brain off the field, I think is what makes him the most unique.
Q. There are some teams in this league where if you get a tight end in the room, all of a sudden, everybody kind of takes a backseat. Within this offense, it seems like there's opportunities. They're willing to use more than one tight end on the field, differing skill sets, that kind of thing. Have you guys talked about what the combination in tandem that you guys might be able to do offensively this year together?
A: Coach (offensive coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka) and Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll), they do a lot of different personnel, a lot of different things with the offense, and we haven't gotten down to the specifics of it. I think that they're trying to put on different things right now to show on film and see what we can do as a whole offense, really just evaluate guys on every perspective, and they'll make those decisions as we go forward.
Q. In the time that you've been with Darren Waller, and I know that you mentioned a year ago as well, does he freely share knowledge? Does he wait till you ask a question, and then he's certainly available? What is his give and take like as a veteran who's seen a lot in this league, and frankly, in his life as well?
A: Yeah, he definitely is kind of both ways. He definitely comes out, if he sees something on film that he thinks I could do better or (tight end Lawrence) Cage(r) could do better, or anybody in the tight end room, he'll definitely speak up and give his thoughts on a play, and then vice versa. If he does something on the field and he comes off the field, and I ask him, 'Hey, what'd you see here? What'd you see there,' he's always open to giving us his experience and his thoughts on a play.
Q. Do you ever say, 'Wow' watching a practice rep, or today, pads go on, who knows what happens then? You're smiling…
A: All the time, yeah. He's a unicorn player. Watching him be able to do what he does, even at his age, it's amazing. Definitely a lot of 'wow' moments with Darren.
Q. Does it help that he comes across – even in our short interaction with him – as just the nicest guy you're going to meet?
A: He's a great guy. That was the biggest thing for me, just being able to just talk to him as a person. I think he's been helping me a lot and helping everybody. He's a good guy all around.
Q. What have the veterans in the room told you about what you should expect from year one to year two, and what do you expect coming off your first year?
A: Just taking the things that I needed to improve on my first year and using them the second year. The biggest thing that I'm getting feedback from other guys on and biggest thing I'm experiencing myself is just having more confidence going into a play or to a practice and being able to understand not just my job and my responsibility, but now being more confident knowing everybody's job and knowing the whole scheme of a play instead of just focusing on my one job. I can now see the field better and be more confident about play.
Q. Do you have more confidence?
A: Absolutely, yeah. I definitely have more confidence now. I feel more confident being able to read a defense as well, and just different kind of small things that I was so hyper focused on last year that now I can really sit back and be like, 'Okay, I got this, I got that.' I still have to make sure I'm good at those things but being able to focus on bigger picture things as well.
Q. There were a lot of questions about Darren Waller, obviously. His coming here affects you, position wise, certainly. As good a teammate as he is, and all those wow moments, do you say, 'Well, I may have to accept that the ball is just not going to be there for me as often,' or snaps or things like that? There's a role for you, but do you have to adjust that in your head at all?
A: I don't really think of it like that. What Darren does opens up for everybody, not just in the tight end room, but in the receiving room and it opens up everything all together. So, I wouldn't say I think about the targets or the passes or whatever that is. I think of it as just what's going to help the team the best, what's going to put us in the best position to win. I think Darren does a great job for us and for myself.
Q. I know you haven't been around that long, but when you look across the line at (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams, whether it be in practice or whatever, what do you see? How dominant of a player is he in your eyes?
A: One, he's a big human being. So, that's the first thing I see is his just sheer size, him and (defensive lineman) Dex(ter Lawrence II). I just see him as a veteran player. He has small things about his game that you don't really see from younger guys, you definitely see from older guys and vets like himself. He's dominant in the fact that he's really good at the small details of his work and in his craft, and it shows up, not just on game day, but every day at practice.
Q. Last year, because the Giants hadn't been to the playoffs in a long time and the new regime coming in, there were not necessarily huge expectations result wise from the outside world. You guys go and make the playoffs and whatnot. Now, there's a lot more expectations on you guys. How do you handle that as a team, as a group, and yourself? Do you welcome those expectations?
A: Yeah, of course, we hold ourselves to the highest expectations, you know. Coach Dabs talks about it every day and just about how we have to hold ourselves to a high standard. But we aren't really worried about the outside noise. We just kind of focus on what we need to do day by day to get better. Of course, the ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl and just make sure that we do what we need to do day by day to get there.
Offensive Lineman Ben Bredeson
Q. You're competing at both center and guard. Head Coach Brian Daboll said that the competition is going to be settled on the field. Can you ask for any more than that as a player?
A: No, I think that's how football has always been. We're just looking for the best possible five guys out there, in terms of an offensive line, to go win some games.
Q. Is it tricky going back and forth from center to guard each day?
A: Not necessarily. That's always been a goal of mine to be able to be versatile and play multiple positions. That's something that I've always worked on and it's what I've been doing since I came into the league.
Q. Andrew Thomas was here the other day and he told us that the process to closing the gap with the Eagles starts up front. Do you guys as an offensive lineman feel the same way?
A: I think winning every game starts in the trenches. I think if you can control the line of scrimmage, that gives you the best chance to win both on the offensive and defensive line. So yeah, I would agree with what Andrew's saying. We're trying to put the best offensive line and best defensive line possible that we can get out there, and if we can control the line of scrimmage that just gives us so much more of a chance to win games.
Q. Today's the first padded practice. Leonard Williams made an interesting point before you came in. He said, "the guys who focus on hitting sometimes lose their technique." Do you take that same approach? How much have you learned over the last couple of years as to what this day represents for you guys?
A: I think Leo hit it right on the head. The main priority in every practice is to get better at technique and improve. The fact that we have pads on now, yeah, it makes things a little more intense (and) a little more exciting, but at the end of the day, you're always trying to improve your technique. With the second part of your question, I think one of the big things that you learn going through the years is how to practice without pads (and) how to improve your technique without pads. So that when you finally do get the opportunity to put the pads on and practice you've already worked through technique multiple times before hand so that you're ready to go once the pads go on.
Q. How's Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson? With today being the first padded practice, will he have to say anything to your group to get you going?
A: No, if you have a good group, we should be internally driven, and I feel like that's how we are. Bobby's an incredible coach. I can't say enough good things about him. I've really enjoyed working with him (and) I think I can speak for just about everybody in the o-line room (and say) that we love working with him. I think he's exceptional at his job and he brings the best out of us.
Q. What's John Michael Schmitz's dynamic like in your room at this point?
A: John Michael's fitting right in. He's a great guy – culturally he's fit right in with us, he hasn't skipped a beat and he's coming along really well.
Q. Did you wrestle as a kid?
A: I did not. That's one of my regrets in life that I never did.
Q. When you look across the line, how would you describe how impactful Leonard Williams is for your defense?
A: It's incredible. He's got incredible size, incredible length, he's a savvy player and he's extremely talented. He provides a matchup issue for other teams and it's great going against him every day. It makes us better; it sharpens our technique and he's a guy that you can't really make a mistake on because he knows how to expose it.
Q. How would you describe Leonard Williams as a leader?
A: I think he's a leader on the team, absolutely. I think that he's one of those guys that – like you said, he might not be the loudest guy all the time, but when he speaks, everybody listens. He's a great locker room presence and a great teammate to have.
Defensive Lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches
Q: I'm just curious how are you doing after the accident and presuming that maybe you feel fortunate?
A: Definitely blessed. Definitely was fortunate coming out of that situation. Looking at that accident and both vehicles being totaled, it was definitely an eye-opener. At the same time, shoot, I am in a car wreck every week at practice, so it wasn't anything different, fortunately. God blessed me to be safe, no bumps, bruises or broken anything, so it was all good.
Q: Was that accident in New Jersey?
A: It was literally less than five feet away from the facility.
Q: For a guy like you who comes with the reputation of stopping the run and being a physical player, I guess I'll ask two-fold. Is getting pads on special for you this time around maybe and what will you bring to this defensive line when it comes to stopping the run?
A: Just juice. Discipline, technique. That's the biggest thing. Putting on pads doesn't really change the foundation of me, it just keeps me a bigger surface to grab. Other than that, just come in here, stop the run, just having the attitude and the will to do so. That's what I bring to the team.
Q: As a guy that has a reputation for being a run stopper and being a part of some really good run stopping units, what have you seen from this group so far, maybe just through the early stages of camp or looking back from last year? What do you see that you guys can improve in that area?
A: Understanding one another. I feel like there is a great thing here that's able to stop the run. There are other things that we have to fine tune. Just understanding where your neighbors are at. Not forming the same ground, just being disciplined. Not peaking too soon, just staying there and trusting that your guy will float to the ball, and you don't have to do anybody else's job.
Q: With you now in the fold and (linebacker) Bobby (Okereke) and (defensive tackle) Dexter (Lawrence II) and (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams still around, is the feeling that if you guys can really shorten up that area that the sky is the limit for this defensive in year two with (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale)?
A: Yes, yes, yes. I definitely felt it yesterday, it was some things that we did. Routine plays that weren't leaving the box. I just kept saying, if we continue to keep it like this, you all can rush the passer all day. I was loving it. I enjoyed it to see those pieces fall together and to see it actually working, I was like okay, we got something special, let's continue to build on that.
Q: I have two questions. One is on (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams. I am curious what your impression of him as a fellow defensive lineman has been from afar, before you played with him? What have you learned about him most since you have got here?
A: At first, I thought a lot of things were God given to him, of course his height. But being here and seeing how he approaches the game, his work ethic, his attentiveness to detail. Nothing was an accident. Everything he has, he worked for. I had to tell him the other day, I was like 'bro, I respect everything that you do.' I love his approach to pass rush, his wisdom. I was just like man, seeing you do what you do, it puts in perspective why my bank account look like it looks and yours look like it looks (laughs).
Q: What do you think makes him so good? I mean obviously, he's got physically he has the tools, but what are the things that stand out to you the most on that?
A: The biggest thing is even though he is as big as he is and as gifted as he is, in his head, he's just like anybody else. He's willing to learn. He's willing to take criticism from anybody, literally anybody. What can I do better? What am I doing wrong? To have those things and already be so ahead of a lot of people, it just boosts his game. It's just puts it all together very well.
Q: You are coming from a Super Bowl winning team, where expectations, certainly when you won it were elevated to huge heights. This Giant team just made the playoffs last year for the first time in a long time, and there is more expectation now because of what happened last year. As a veteran, what is a message you can give to some of the guys here on how to handle those expectations?
A: I mean, don't look too far. Those expectations are always going to be there, but just worry about the now. Worry about what you can control and win the day. As long as you keep winning the day and keep stacking them, everything else will fall into play.
Q: If I could just go back to the accident, what actually happened and was it scary in your mind? Was it just a split-second thing, cars didn't see each other?
A: No actually I was coming through, and I saw her approaching the stop sign, which she was supposed to stop, but as I am looking at her, I'm like 'she's going way too fast, I don't think she's going to stop.' I was able to apply the break a couple seconds before she hit me because if I didn't, she was going to hit me straight on. As she hit me and I spun in a circle, it was more frustration because I was heading home to help my wife put the kids down before bed check. It was just like, I was just disappointed that I wasn't able to help because I knew I was going to have to go to the hospital, I knew I was going to have to do all these tests. I was really more mad about that than the accident all together.
Q: On a much less important note than your health, that Super Bowl, what did that teach you about how a good defensive line can just dominate a football game? Because if I remember correctly everything was about (Chiefs quarterback) Patrick Mahomes and their offense. It kind of reminds me a little bit of the way people talk about the Eagles now and they have all these explosive weapons. To me it's like well the Giants way to catch up to the Eagles is to harass (Eagles quarterback Jalen) Hurts the way you guys harassed Mahomes that game. Do you see that parallel and what did that Super Bowl teach you about what a good defensive line can do, no matter who is on the other side playing quarterback and receiver?
A: Correct. It just all goes back to what we say. The game is won up front. You see it in the Super Bowl, and you see that time and time from successful teams. If you have a good front seven on both sides, playing a 4-3 scheme or a 3-4, if you have a good interior, that's what is going to decide the game. If they can't run the ball, they have got to throw the ball, now we can make them one dimensional. On the flip side, the o-line is rolling them off the ball. They can do whatever they want to do, run, play action, pass, everything. It's all about up front, and trust me, there is some guys here that I am just happy that I am here to help them because they got it. I'm looking around like 'woohoo.' Some of the things that these guys do in practice is unbelievable, and I can't wait until it transpires into a game, and it just correlates, and all comes together because I want to be out there celebrating. You all know how I get down.
Q: I couldn't help but notice on Sunday and Monday, Sunday you were in the red and Monday you were out practicing, how much of a joy it was for you to be on the field. Can you discuss just what that is?
A: It's just simple. I am very thankful, I'm so appreciative of the things that football was able to bless me and my family (with). Anytime I can go out there and just showcase my ability and just say thank you for everything, that's what I do. I come to life out there.
Q: How much has your perspective changed from a young player to now a veteran as to what training camp is, what you want to get out of it and when it's time to push the pedal to the metal and when it's time to pull back?
A: It's changed a lot, but still at the end of the day you have got to put the work in. You can't hide from the work; you can't shy away from it. Always compete. Always find a way to get better in some aspect. I've always told the young guys, even though the big money guys are up there, your job is just as big. If it's time for them to get a breather, it's time for them to get a break, it doesn't need to be a fall off. That's where you earn your name at. When you come out there and be just as destructive or just make the same plays, that's where you make your name at and that's what we need. Just pushing guys like that, being a competitor and competing. I just love it and I understand it. I try to make sure it trickles down to the young guys.