Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: With Isaiah Simmons, how quickly can you expect him to pick up everything the Giants do, including obviously (Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale) Wink and the defense?
A: Really, I think you have to get to know the player first and see what he can handle so we're really in the introductory stages. I know he's going to give everything he has and meet with (Inside Linebackers Coach John Egorugwu) Eggs and Wink and try to pick up all the things we need him to pick up. So, he'll be in here, I'd say, a bunch kind of not just learning how we do things on the defensive side of the ball but learning how we do them in terms of our program and the expectations and the standards. Just talking to him the brief time I've had the chance to meet him and talk to him, I know he's eager to do that and I expect him to be in here a bunch.
Q: When you find a player who it certainly seems is enthusiastic about the trade, happy for the new opportunity and comes with that mindset, how much easier does it make the transition for the player and the organization?
A: I think it's good for both sides. I know he is excited to be here, we're excited to have him, so it's just going to require a good amount of hard work to try to catch him up as quickly as we can.
Q: When you guys signed (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep in the offseason, I don't know if there was any concrete expectation that he would be able to get as far as he has here, but has he shown you enough to prove to you that he could help this team this year?
A: Yeah, everything that we've asked him to do, and we've had a rehab plan I know that I've talked about for him. He's done a nice job of kind of hitting each marker that we've set for him up to this point. Pleased with where he's at, trainers have done a really good job with him and he's done a good job himself, as a player, of being ready to go and I'd say performing well each time he's had an opportunity to go out there on the practice field or in the game of being conscientious and knowing what to do. He's looked pretty good in terms of his quickness and his explosion coming back after a couple years of injuries, so I'm pleased with where he's at.
Q: I think there's a lot of people on the outside looking at him playing last night and fielding that punt and saying, "that's not a role that someone who's got a secure place on this roster would be doing in this last preseason game." Do you see it like that? What were you trying to get out of that last night?
A: That was the next step of his rehab. To get him out there and play a few more reps in live competition and again, I told you guys last night, he can catch punts and it'd be good for him to get out there in live action and catch a punt. Where he's at and what we've asked him to do, I'm happy with the progress that he's made.
Q: Is there any update on injuries?
A: I don't have a lot of them because we're not at that point yet. The one that I do have is (wide receiver) Bryce Ford-Wheaton. He'll be out for the year. He had an ACL, unfortunately.
Q: Are any of the other ones—
A: The other ones, there's still people getting looked at right now as we speak. So, I'll have more for you guys Tuesday.
Q: The other guy I wanted to ask you about is (quarterback) Tommy DeVito. I think he called it his worst moment of his career, first pick six of his career. What did you say to him after that, and how do you feel he responded to that last night?
A: I said, 'Go out there and sling it.' Plays are going to happen. Bad plays are going to happen in a game, and to have a next play mentality, and go through the play and kind of see what happened, talk about it, and move on, and go out there and sling it around.
Q: Were you happy with what you saw from him in this camp, and did he maybe even exceed expectations?
A: I don't really have expectations for any player when they come in here other than just come in here, work hard, learn the material and try to improve. I think he's done all those since he's been here. He's been a good addition to our quarterback room. He'll be the first to tell you, a long way to go, a lot to learn still, but certainly he's gotten better each day he's been here.
Q: Punt returner, do you have an answer there? Do you know who's going to be the punt returner Week 1 right now?
A: Yeah, I have a good idea. But we'll see.
Q: Is that (running back) Eric Gray, or is it somebody else?
A: Yeah, I mean, we'll see. I'm not going to get into Week 1 and all that stuff right now. We'll just kind of keep practicing here and see what happens.
Q: Why didn't (guard) Tyre (Phillips) play last night?
A: He wasn't ready to play relative to coming back from his injury.
Q: (Cornerback) Darnay Holmes, does he have value to this team? Obviously, it doesn't seem like he won the slot corner job, but does he still have value to this team?
A: Yeah, sure. I'd say everybody we have right now has some sort of value. What that is, I think, is varying degrees, but I have a lot of confidence and trust in Darnay. We'll see how everything plays out.
Q: I'm curious what went into the decision with (wide receiver) Collin Johnson as the guy who last year might've started prior to that injury, and he didn't make it through the cuts this year. What kind of held him back? In your opinion, is he still kind of getting back from that Achilles injury?
A: That's a good question. I'd say really with everybody that we've kind of moved on from and that we will move on from, it's long discussions, they're hard discussions. We have a room that we felt comfortable with. I figured it would be a good opportunity for him to get a jumpstart on potentially the next team doing him the right way. A guy that's a hard worker, just we have some other guys that we're going to keep.
Q: Continuing with the wide receiver position, are you planning to have (wide receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) on the initial 53, or at this point do you wait?
A: I'd say we're still in discussions on that.
Q: Last year your roster, your situation was a little different in that you were just coming off a training camp, you were getting to know these guys, what they could do and what not, so when you cut guys your message to them from what I understand was stay ready in case we need you to come back. Is that still your message to these guys even though you have a better grasp on what you have and what you are going forward with?
A: Absolutely, yeah. One hundred percent. Again, those discussions are difficult. Had some this morning and that was really the message is everybody has to stay ready. I appreciate all their effort, their hard work that they have put into things. Unfortunately, it's not going to work out being on the active roster but stay ready and I just appreciate everything that they've contributed up to this point, but tough days.
Q: When you make final cuts, how do you start? I mean do you sit there and go we want nine offensive linemen, or do you say give me your best four guys and we will build off that. How does that work?
A: That's a really good question. So, (Senior Vice President and General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I have a lot of discussions, as I have said numerous times. The scouting department, the guys I have mentioned before and he's mentioned before that are actively involved, the coordinators and the position coaches give their input and then as we start having discussions about roster building, there is a lot that goes into it. I mean, there is a lot of different variables that go into it, so it's not just let's make sure we have this amount of players at this position or this amount of players at this position. Maybe you have more than you did last year at a particular position and then obviously you have less at another spot. If you take this guy, how does he contribute to the team, can he play multiple roles? Can he also do some stuff on special teams or this guy is just really good at this spot, so we need another backup for him because if he goes down then we have – there is just so many different variables that come up and we try to exhaust all of them with our conversations and bring other people that we have a lot of trust in, into them. Then ultimately try to make the best decision we can for putting a team together. You have to collect talent throughout the offseason and draft and free agency, but this is about building a team so there is a lot of different things that go into it.
Q: I don't think we touched the defensive line yet, so, (defensive lineman) D.J. Davidson is another one who didn't play last night, is that a little bit like Tyre where he just wasn't ready?
A: Yes, yep, he is. Him and I'd say (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson), both were more rehab plan, if you will, than just weren't playing them. We already had an idea that they weren't going to play based on the training staff, the sports science people. So, that was the plan.
Q: And what's the status with (defensive lineman) Ryder Anderson?
A: He's still out so we will see where he's at here over the next couple of days, but he's still out for a little bit.
Q: With the way your schedule is structured and obviously the deadline sitting there on Tuesday, I assume you guys have discussed how you are going to go through this and go through the deadline. Is it important for you that when you hit the practice field on Tuesday that you kind of have things settled or are you ready to kind of go right up until the deadline with the numbers if there are guys that still have to be either waived or released. How are you guys handling that?
A: I think, this is pretty much the way it happens every year is early on in the season you put your roster together, but there is always things that happen throughout the league and cuts and maybe additions. We will do the best we can of putting it together and if there is changes that go all the way up until we can make them, then there is changes, but we have an idea. Actually, we've been talking after the game for a while, after we watched the game and then this morning. It's kind of ever evolving, particularly early on in the season.
View photos from the preseason finale between the Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium.