Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: Is there an update on tackle Evan Neal? Will he travel?
A: All the players will travel; Evan is still in concussion protocol. We'll take (tackle) Marcus McKethan and (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson) off PUP today so they'll be out here. We're not going to do a ton out here, limited practice with the travel time, move around a little bit, have some 7-on-7, some individual work and then head to Detroit.
Q: Are there any injuries coming out of Saturday?
A: Nacho (Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) had a little groin, so we'll see where he's at.
Q: Azeez Ojulari is alright?
A: Yeah, everybody's practicing today that can practice other than (defensive lineman) Ryder (Anderson) and Nacho. And then Evan, obviously.
Q: What are the qualities that drew you to wide receiver Parris Campbell? How much of an impact do you think he can have in this offense?
A: I think time will tell. He's a good person who was a productive college player, did a lot of work on him in college and then he was out there at Indy, thought he had a good skill set. Liked him in college, liked him at Indy, so good person, he's done a nice job for us.
Q: This is the first that we've been in the field house since the new field was put down. I don't know if you guys had any in the spring.
A: Maybe one, two. The fields are soaked so.
Q: I was just wondering if the players have been in here.
A: Yeah, they've been in here.
Q: How do they feel about the new field?
A: They said nice, softer, no issues. Knock on wood.
Q: Upgrading defensive tackle was an offseason emphasis. Was it something particular about A'Shawn Robinson that made you target him?
A: I'd say he has good experience, he's a big man, he's got good length, does a nice job versus the running game and again, another good guy that we thought would fit into our system well.
Q: Every practice it's like we've seen wide receiver Jalin Hyatt making a big play on the receiving end. What do you make of that to this point?
A: It's good. He's made plays when it's come his way. Still got a long way to go, but he's had a productive few days here.
Q: How much faster is he coming along? Or is he coming along at normal pace?
A: I think everybody's different. I don't really have expectations when rookies come in because I've been doing this for quite some time, I've seen a variety of things. Just keep your head down and keep grinding. There's a lot of things that's going to come up, whether it's a mistake, a mental error – you hear one thing and run a different thing and then when you have opportunities, make the plays, but I'd say there's a lot of room for growth.
Q: When cornerback Tre Hawkins III played well you gave him more first team reps. Jalin Hyatt has done some first team reps as well.
A: I'd say all the stuff that we've given these guys is based on what they've earned so that's what we're doing.
Q: Wide receiver Darius Slayton said that it's difficult for rookie receivers to pick up. Is that true? What's challenging about it?
A: It's on such an individual basis. There's people that pick it up faster, people that it's a little bit slow for and then it hits and then they start going. I think everybody's different based on how they learn, where they come from. I think the biggest thing for us is to not be instant evaluators when – 'aw, this guy can't get it.' I mean, you put a lot of research and time into trying to bring people in that you think can learn the material and things like that. I think everybody's a little bit different so it's times that you've got to pull it back, there's time when you can add more. I've had young rookies pick it up like this (snaps his fingers), I've had ones that were struggling at the start and then started to pick it up. It's just case by case.
Q: What's your joint practice philosophy for the starters? It seems like the popular approach is to get them the work in the practices and then not play them in the game.
A: We'll get to that down the road, the coaching staff. I haven't talked to the coaching staff about it. I went through some schedules today, but we'll end up talking about that like we do on Fridays. When you ask on Friday's about what everybody's doing. I'm doing that the day before.
Q: Do you see the joint practices as beneficial?
A: Yeah, absolutely.
Q: For what? Because it's controlled?
A: Again, the stuff that I've talked about a few times. You're going against a different team. You get to see different matchups, you get to see different schemes, you've been going against the same players for 10 days or 10 practices. So if you do it the right way, I think it's a beneficial thing for you.
Q: We saw you on Saturday get pretty mad about some of those dead ball penalties, the false starts, delay of game. How much does that make you mad?
A: Can't have those. Can't have them. I'm not going to pat them on the back for having a delay of game.
Q: No, I know that, but I guess my point is sometimes early in camp things can be a little ragged.
A: Look, there's going to be that, but you try to put as much pressure on everybody as you can and you have a level of expectation of going out there and trying to eliminate those pre-snap things or post-snap things. They're going to happen no matter what you do, but you do your best to try to make sure they don't.
Q: Which matchups are you most excited about for the joint practice?
A: We'll see. Really all of them. It's just a different team, so you're going against different people.
Q: We've talked about Jalin Hyatt getting deep in camp, but on the other side of the coin, the safeties are giving up the big plays. Is that a concern?
A: I wouldn't just put it on one position. I mean, a lot of them were good plays by Jalin or good routes so again, you're in practice. He's making the plays that come his way, but it's a collective thing. You can't do full speed or hit the quarterback or anything like that, so his job is to go out there, get open and catch the ball. That's what he's been doing, I'd say for the most part.
Q: What do you think what makes running back Eric Gray a good possible returner and running back?
A: I think he's got good short space quickness, good balance, good vision. He's got some good moves in the open field, he's a one-cut guy. A young guy I think has some talent to work with and now we've got to try to develop it. We'll give him ample opportunity in the preseason to return these balls.
Q: Is that where you really need to evaluate a returner? In the preseason games?
A: Yeah, it's live. You'd like it to be as windy as possible, obviously, it won't be this week but yeah, you try to put him in as many different situations as you can. That's a lonely spot back there.
Q: You haven't had a designated returner. Some teams have guys that basically that is their role. Is that a belief thing or the way it works out? Would you want to have every guy being a position player?
A: No, look, if you had someone that you think is an elite returner, maybe you find a spot for him. I think every roster is different, every decision is different based on who you have and who's competing out. It really doesn't matter one way or not to me, you try to find the best player on your team for each position, including returner. Whether it's a defensive tackle, an offensive guard or receiver. Our job as a coaching staff is to let those guys compete and put the best guy out there that we think is the guy who is going to help us the most.
Q: Has defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence II done any returning?
A: He probably could. That's a good last (question).
Wide Receiver Parris Campbell
Q: What were you guys talking about with Julian Edelman over there?
A: We were just talking through a specific play that we just put in. Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) was, raving about it, and he said he was the reason that we put it in. So, just kind of talking through that a little bit. He's one of the best to do it, and always good to get some insight from him.
Q: What was your reaction when LeBron (James) posted that thing about you last month, and how much did he mean to you growing up?
A: He was always an idol for me and all my friends from the city because he was the first person that we saw make it and make it big. So, he's always been an idol, but he's also been a guy that always supports not only me but other athletes in the city. So, it's always special. It means a lot when he can say something supportive or do something like that.
Q: Have you met him many times?
A: Yeah, I've met him a bunch of times. I have had good conversations with him. Good guy. Great guy.
Q: How much are you looking forward to facing another team in a different uniform this week?
A: I can't wait. I can't wait. Just super excited to put what we've been working on in practice against another opponent. Our defense, they've kind of got an idea of what we're doing nine times out of 10. So, sometimes it can be frustrating in practice, but excited to put some film out there and compete with some other talent.
Q: We've all seen (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt's speed. Beyond that, what've you seen from him so far that you like, you've been impressed with?
A: Yeah, I think obviously his speed, but just his playmaking ability. It's like every time he's out there, he's catching a deep pass and he's making a play. I've seen him come in and kind of be shy, kind of timid, but then kind of just break out into who he is and show his personality and stuff like that. Everybody was once a rookie, so I know how it was. But you can also see just his confidence growing in each play that he makes. I think that's just going to continue to build. Obviously, important two days in Detroit. He's going to get some competition out there. Just continue to keep building and then once the preseason hits, continue to keep building. So, it's kind of cool to just kind of see him go through ropes.
Q: Do you think this is a particularly complicated or difficult scheme for a rookie receiver to have to try to learn?
A: 100 percent. 100 percent. Dabs and (offensive coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka), man, they're offensive gurus. They really know what they're doing. Dabs has so much in his arsenal, he wants to always keep the defense guessing. So, we've got a lot of different plays, a lot of different things to learn. Shoot, it's tough for me. I'm a free agent signing, it's tough for me. So, I can only imagine just being a rookie and kind of doing it all over again. But he studies. Obviously, he studies, he works, he grinds and it's paying off on the field.
Q: He's doing okay so far with that?
A: Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, obviously, a rookie's always going to have some hiccups. Shoot, everybody is. But he's done a really good job.
Q: What do you consider the biggest challenge for a rookie receiver, out of curiosity?
A: Not only rookie receivers, but I feel like rookies in general, kind of just having that moment to know that you belong in the league and know that you're supposed to be here. I think, like I say, it goes back to just building that confidence. I think once you have that confidence to know, 'I can play with these guys, I'm supposed to be here,' then things just take off for you. Because it's something new, it's something different. Everybody's good at this level. Everybody's fast – you talk about that speed, but everybody's fast.
Follow-up question about confidence
A: For sure, that's what I'm saying. He continues to make those plays, and that confidence just keeps building.
Q: Is this a year for you just to show you can stay healthy two years in a row and get a more than one-year deal?
A: Yeah, I mean, I feel like every year is pivotal. No matter who you are, no matter what your deal is, what your contract is, every year is pivotal because you've got to earn your job every single day in this league. For me, it's definitely a pivotal time in my career. I'm excited for this new and fresh opportunity to be here. So yeah, I'm excited.
Q: Did you feel unlucky the first three years with the way you got hurt?
A: Yeah, 100 percent. I mean, I say this all the time, I just feel like I had some unlucky breaks. Hopefully, I got all the injury history out on the front end. So, I'm just excited for what's to come.
Q: Do you agree that you and (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) have some pretty good chemistry already?
A: Yeah, man. I think it's continued to build each and every day. I think the stuff we did in the offseason, the throwing trips, getting together, obviously OTAs, and just all that stuff, accumulation, has started off to be just a great rapport between us. But it's still early, we've got a long way to go, a long way to build and once again, I'm excited to go to Detroit and put that to the test and continue to keep building. But definitely, I feel like we're in a good spot.
Q: What do you think of him as a quarterback?
A: Man, he's awesome. I always say this when anyone asks me: he doesn't get enough credit for how hard he works and the time that he puts in. When I first got here, just seeing him in the weight room just grinding and putting into work, watching film, whatever it is, this dude, he's grinding all hours of the day. Obviously, that's something that the outside world is not going to see or is ever going to see, but that's what makes you good once you step in between these lines. He's not shy about putting in the work.
Q: You've been around a lot of quarterbacks, though. Does that stand out to you? I would think that's almost standard. Does he go above and beyond that?
A: Yeah, I mean, I think so. Then again, too, with Daniel, he's kind of the first quarterback I've had relatively close to my age. We're basically the same age, got us in the same draft class. So, I feel like it's easier to relate to him in certain ways. Like I said, he's working all hours of the day, man. I'm not kidding you. Like, it's all hours of the day. So, it's just pretty cool to see and it's pretty cool to be able to kind of relate on a more personal level.
Q: What's the difference between a quarterback who's a little bit older and one who's your age with that relatability?
A: Yeah, I think I played with a lot of different guys, and I would say the older quarterbacks are kind of like, 'This is the way that it's going to be done.' They kind of have their way. I mean, especially for guys like Phillip Rivers, and Matt Ryan, these guys have done it for a long time, probably going to be Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks. They know their way; they have their way. I feel like with Daniel, he's just more so open. I'm learning from him; he's learning from me. We're kind of working it together. I think that's going to make us better because we're always talking, always having that conversation of, 'Oh, what'd you see here? What'd you want me to do? I can do this.' It's a whole ongoing conversation that makes us better.
Q: Last year, this team had trouble putting one receiver on the field who could get open. This year, do you think defenses are going to have to choose if they can double anybody?
A: Yeah, I think it's going to be tough. We've got guys across the board. Obviously, the one that sticks out is (tight end) Darren Waller. He's going to be one of those guys that gets a lot of attention. We'll have game plans for that, and like I said, we've got a lot of different pieces, a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. So, it's going to be tough, but I'm excited. I'm excited for the season and excited for what's to come.
Defensive Tackle A'Shawn Robinson
Q. How are you feeling?
A: Feeling good. Taking it day-by-day. Working on improvement every day. That's really all I've got.
Q. What made you sign here in free agency? What was the attraction to the Giants?
A: Great group of guys, they work hard. I wanted to be a part of something special, so I decided to come here.
Q. What makes you thinks this could be something special?
A: Because I watched what happened last year and they still have the same group of guys that they had last year.
Q. Specific to the d-line or the whole team?
A: The whole team, it all works together. It's not just one side specifically, it's all together. It takes a team effort.
Q. Can you take us back a little bit through the offseason where you came for a visit and then signed like a month later? What happened in the interim there.
A: Nothing. Just had to get it done. That's all.
Q. Did you always think you would end up here after that visit?
A: I am just blessed to be here. That's all I can say. It's a blessing, the opportunity that I have. Things that happened were unfortunate in the season before but it's a blessing to be here so I can't tell you anything else other than that, that God got me here, so I am excited to be here.
Q. What did you do heading into camp and why did you end up on the PUP?
A: Why did I end up on PUP? That's something you should ask the trainers, I don't know. That's nothing for me. I'm just here to ball.
Q. Obviously coming off the surgery, do you feel like you normally do training camp time, or do you feel like you have to ease into it?
A: No, I feel great. I feel fantastic. Happy to get this opportunity and to work. I'm at work, I'm a hard-hat guy. I've got my lunch pail, and I got my hard hat.
Q. What you have been told, how much is it something that you have to manage throughout your career here or is it something that's just like, 'Okay, you're good now it's in the past your body is fine?'
A: You have to manage everything in your body from your rookie year to whatever injury you have now. It's not about just one injury specifically or whatever you have to say, but it's about everything. Maintenance of your body is just everything through the years of going through the game, so I do that every day.
Q. You have had a very good career, how much do you feel like you have left in the tank, anything to prove, something like that?
A: There's always something to prove, always something more that you can go out there and work with a great group, band of brothers. Having that camaraderie and everything, getting that together every year is dope.
Q. What do you think of this group so far?
A: I love them. I love the tenacity about them. I love that every person is going to fight, they are going to dig, claw. They are going to bring their hard hat and lunch pail every day. It's not about what we see in the future, it's about controlling the now and being where your feet are so being where your feet are, you've got to be dependable, got to be accountable, got to be tough, got to be smart.
Q. What did you learn playing with the best of the best with (Rams defensive tackle) Aaron Donald?
A: I learned a lot. I learned how to work. I learned how to keep that same main frame of mind. I learned how hard it is to be where he is at and what you've got to do to get where he is at. It's a tough task but it's something that you can do.
Q. As I'm sure you have heard, they struggled against the run here last year. I'm sure that's been mentioned a bunch in the meetings as the guys have said. What's your sense and confidence that you can be a big difference maker in making this run defense better?
A: I'm going to do my job and let it speak for itself. I have nothing else to say that. We all know what I do with my set of skills, so I have nothing else to say about anything else.
Q. What makes you a better run stopper, the aggression, the technique, all of it?
A: You've got to love physicality. You've got to want that contact. There are only a few gorillas in the league, and you have to make sure you see those gorillas, you've got to handle business.
Q. Do you feel like you are one of those guys?
A: I just do my job, boss.
Q. If you could take them separately, not as a group, what are your impressions of (defensive tackle) Dexter Lawrence II and (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams? I'm sure you have seen Leonard across the line of scrimmage for years but those two guys, young guy Dex and veteran.
A: Leo, I've known Leo since high school when he was going to college, and I was going to go to USC before I went to Alabama, and I've met Dex at Alabama. We all have met each other way before then and then to end up on the same team, it's kind of crazy with everyone's talent and abilities to be able to dominate and what not. It's kind of dope to be around those guys and to add a little bit more flavor with (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) Nacho and the other guys. It's kind of dope.
Q. Do you see Dex going to the that level?
A: Dex is going to get there.
Cornerback Darnay Holmes
Q. How old is the baby now?
A: Eight months. Beautiful times, beautiful times.
Q. How's camp been going for you?
A: Camp's going good. Each and every day, it's an uphill battle. Just looking for ways to improve and staying the course. Keeping your head on straight and winning the mental battle.
Q. What's it like day-to-day somedays you're with the first team, then the twos, then the threes. How do you handle that?
A: At the end of the day, I'm just happy to be on the field. It doesn't matter where I'm at in the rotation. I play this game because of the love and the passion and the competitor within me. I'm just happy I can line it up against some good guys on offense.
Q. You've been lining up against slot receivers here for years. Now, that position in particular has receivers like Jalin Hyatt, Cole Beasley and Parris Campbell. It's loaded up. Can you see the difference?
A: Most definitely. That's the thing that you want. Having different guys that have different abilities so each and every day you see where you're at. Also, it gets you prepared for the upcoming season, for real.
Q. Has cornerback Adoree' Jackson had to pick your brain at all going inside?
A: More scheme stuff – technique wise, he knows what to do but scheme stuff, he picks my brain.
Q. How big of a change is that for a corner?
A: I feel like it's a big change in the aspect of understanding that you've really got to guard the whole field. You've got to be able to play within the rules as well and understanding that at the top of the route you're a two-way player. It took time for me to get a grasp of it but now I feel like I'm very comfortable with it now.
Q. With Adoree' Jackson and (cornerback Cor'Dale) Flott playing in the slot more, where do you feel like you fit in on the defense right now?
A: I fit in exactly where I'm at now.
Q. Which is…battling?
A: Which is battling, which is contributing, which is being an asset on special teams. At the end of the day, I'm a team player and whatever comes with it, comes with it. I'm putting my best foot forward each and every day.
Q. When we spoke last in the offseason you said you were trying to be less handsy. How have you worked on that since you've been at camp?
A: Truthfully, just being more in tune with my feet, being more in tune with my positioning when it's time to break at the top of the route. I feel like as – practice nine or 10, I feel like as the practices progressed, I got better with the reps for sure.
Q. How much are you looking forward to facing another team this week instead of just your teammates?
A: It's an exciting thing to do. At the end of the day, like I said before, we're all competitive so going against a new face, a new team, it brings a different level of excitement. At the point we're at, we'll just see where we're at as a defense and as a team so we're ready to go up there and do a lot of team bonding and a lot of competing.
Q. When you look at this team, how much deeper is it than it was a year ago?
A: I'd say kudos to the organization. I've been here since year one and going on year four I've definitely seen a shift. A shift of perspective, a shift of culture and a shift of just way of life. I'm just excited for what lies ahead.
Q. How much better can this defense be going into year two under Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale?
A: I feel like in any realm of life when you're with somebody again, you've got a better feeling of it. I feel like where we're at now, we're grasping just the true integrity of the defense and now we're able to be more free flowing now.
Q. You're in the last year of your contract year. Are you an in the moment guy or do you look at the big picture?
A: Truthfully, I'll be a day-to-day guy. At the end of the day, that's the business but where I'm at now is really just fine tuning, learning from the things we had from last practice and staying the course. At the end of the day, there's only so much you can control and I'm just controlling my physical well-being and my mental state.