Head Coach Tom Coughlin**
Q: What is your goal for these camps?
A: There are a couple of them. You would like to take the draft choices and college free agents that have been signed and accelerate their learning. Throw a lot at them and see how they handle it. For the invited players, you are evaluating. You are trying to see if they can help you and what capacity they might help you versus some of the opportunities you have here. You have a lot of things in mind for this.
Q: What do you do position-wise with players in camp like this?
A: You put them where you want to put them and you flip them around. You do whatever you want with them. Some guys have played multiple positions, so you allow that to happen. You may put someone somewhere and move them later.
Q: Is this a Tom Coughlin record for Canadians in one rookie minicamp?
A: We tried to set the record, and I think we got it.
Q: Why so many [Canadians]?
A: Availability, maybe.
Q: Anyone stand out amongst the draft picks so far?
A: There was a play here and a play there on both sides of the ball, but I wouldn't single anybody out.
Q: How is Brett Jones and the other players coming along with transitioning?
A: Those guys have been with us in phase two. They have had some work even though it has not been against anybody. They have been with us. They are moving; they are doing a good job and coming along.
Q: How are you feeling about the safety position now since the last time we talked to you in Phoenix?
A: We have a number of people here now with the young ones. We are going to take a hard look at that as it goes along.
Q: Re: Bennett Jackson playing safety?
A: Bennett has been playing safety.
Q: What goes into that transition? What is the most important thing?
A: It is all in front of him. We think he can cover. He has done a good job of getting us lined up and then we will see how he plays.
Q: You also mentioned Chykie Brown moving to safety… Is that still the plan?
A: Right now he would be a corner.
Q: [Geremy] Davis was working a lot on special teams… Are you seeing what you saw on film of him?
A: They all worked on special teams. They all worked as gunners. They all worked in all capacities. Certainly that would be something – [Davis] has good size, good speed and he is powerful. If he can help us that way, then that would be a nice leg up for him.
Q: Do you look at Ereck Flowers and Landon Collins and believe they can help you right away?
Q: What makes you feel that way?
A: That is why we drafted them. We need the help. Today brought a lot thrown at them and certainly a lot of questions about them having to get their nose back into the playbook. I am still excited about that.
Q: What do you like about Flowers, as big as he is with the ability to move?
A: His athleticism. His ability to run, to pull, to run, his pass protection and thye fact he is a big man that [defenders] are going to have to navigate a lot to get around him. Strong.
Q: How about Collins?
A: Basically a guy who, as I saw today, went back to what I really do believe and that is that he can play in the middle of the field. He can play in the deep half as well as come down and be a physical force in the tackle box.
Q: What can you say about inviting Gary Nova from Rutgers?
A: We had him in for a workout. We like him, so we invited him to this camp and we'll certainly throw a lot at him and see how he handles it.
Q: Is there a chance you'll take three quarterbacks?
A: We'll see.
Q: Can Davis get on the field as receiver this year?
A: We'll see. That is why we brought him here. We'll see what he can do.
Q: What it is about tryout guys in general that they do to catch your eye?
A: They have to make plays. They have to look and react like they are asked to do. Every one of them is evaluated. It is not like we don't know anything about them.
Q: Have you coached the grandson of a Hall of Famer before?
Q: Did you know Andy Robustelli?
A: I did know Andy.
Q: Did you talk with his grandson at all?
A: Last night we rushed around and he sat very much gathered in the team room. He didn't exactly jump up. I am not exactly sure the other kids knew who Andy Robustelli was, but the defensive group has been doing a good job with reaching back into time to understand the tradition of the New York Giant defense and Andy Robustelli was brought up last night and again this morning, so they will be educated before they leave here.
Q: What was your reaction when you saw his name? Did you know that name?
A: I asked right away.
Q: How did [Taylor Graham] look?
A: Not bad, not bad.
Q: How important do you think this class is in terms of the needs you have [as a team]?
A: Very important. Every class is. Obviously this is very important. In order to move forward these guys have to come in and give us a lift. You talk about what Odell [Beckham Jr.] did – I mean he missed the first four games. Hopefully we will be able to utilize those first four games and these guys will learn to play and learn to understand about the National Football League. They are very important.
Q: You said the defensive coaches have been educating the players about the history of the Giants defense…?
A: They have been doing that since we gathered back with our varsity. They went to great pains to do some explaining again last night. We had a little movie for them.
Q: What is the thought behind that?
A: The tradition. The passion. The Giant tradition. The great defenses that have been played here in the past. The idea that we have to get back to that.
Q: Whose idea was it?
A: Everybody's idea.
DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa
Q: How did you learn so much about the history of the Giants?
A: Honestly, it sounds crazy, but I watched a lot of defensive linemen and particularly the Giants defensive line. I always felt like they were the best in football for a very long time. From Justin Tuck to Osi Umenyiora
to [Michael] Strahan, obviously, and [Mathias Kiwanuka] who I don't think is on the team now. I watched a lot of them. When I started watching professional football, it started with the Giants and I forget what year it was that they played the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and that is when I really fell in love with them and it inspired me to be better as a defensive lineman. I watched a ton of these guys, as much as I could. Jason Pierre-Paul – the year he broke out and had 16.5 sacks. I watched a lot of them.
Q: Is this the perfect team for you because of the impact the defensive linemen have?
A: Yeah, anytime you are in a 4-3 system and your linemen are asked to attack up field and wreak havoc, it is always exciting. I feel like my skill set is definitely fitting for that type of defense, so I am excited about it. I think it is going to be great for me and I am going to bring a lot to the defense. Working hard every day and staying versatile and staying coachable.
Q: Have you learned about Andy Robustelli yet?
A: No, not yet. I have only been here for a day and a half, so I think I will learn a lot. They have just been teaching us the basics of the defense and a little bit of the history. Today they taught us who started the 'defense, defense' chant. It is pretty awesome how much history this organization has.
Q: Who was it?
A: Sam Huff.
Safety Bennett Jackson
Q: In a sense, this is a good opportunity for you…?
A: Yes, especially coming off a knee injury. It is good for [the coaches] to see me out there running around, making cuts and getting through the practice. Just really being a football player and not being limited. I don't see it as anything less than another opportunity.
Q: What do you expect it is going to take to make the transition from cornerback to safety?
A: At the end of the day, I am a [defensive back]. I think my strengths are my cover skills. I have good speed and great ball skills. The thing that it is going to take for me to get out there and make an impact is I have to learn the defense and communicate the calls fluently. That is really the main thing with learning a new defense, you just have to be accountable and allow people to trust that you are going to be out there and get the job done.
Q: When was the first time [the coaches] approached you about switching to safety?
A: When we first reported about two weeks ago.
Q: So they came up to you and said, 'You are a safety now'?
A: They said, 'how do you feel about moving to safety? We are thinking about having you learn safety and get the ball rolling.' I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it.'
Q: Did you have a suspicion?
A: Yeah, I kept hearing me or Chykie [Brown]. I was like, 'Alright.' When I came in I was like, 'Let's go.' I was happy with it.
Q: The good news is that they have a plan for you?
A: At the end of the day, I want to go out there and be able to get on the field and compete. I know I can at safety, but it is not going to be an easy road for me. I have to go out there and continue to improve each day.
Q: Have you ever played safety before?
A: Bits and pieces, not really. Certain formations here and there, but for the most part, no.
QB Gary Nova
Q: What have the last four days been like?
A: Obviously, you want to hear your name called in the draft, but as soon as that doesn't happen, you have to get your mind ready for whatever comes next. This is it right here. I am blessed to be a part of this organization right now and for the opportunity and I have to make the most of it.
Q: Do you know if there is a chance by the end of tomorrow of signing a contract?
A: I have no idea.
Q: How do you think you did today? **
A: I think I did pretty well. There was a lot of stuff thrown at us, but I think for all of the quarterbacks, we handled it well. We went out there and helped each other out. Coach (Mike) Sullivan was great. He threw a lot at us, but it was great to go out there and put the helmet on and throw the ball around.
Q: Coach Sullivan was [one of] Greg Schiano's coaches in Tampa… Did you guys talk about that at all?
A: Not yet. He has been throwing the Bergen Catholic thing at me a little bit. That is pretty funny, but we haven't talked about Tampa.
Q: What were your answers?
A: State championship.
Q: Does it help you that you have seen four different pro-style offenses?
A: Yeah, it is funny when you go through the playbook, a lot of the stuff goes back to freshman year. That was more West Coast pro style. He has lineage through [Packers head coach] Mike McCarthy, who Coach McAdoo was just with. A lot of the verbiage from freshman year is coming back. It feels good to be in this system and having stuff click like that.
Q: Do you feel confident about your ability to get on the learning curve because you did it every year in college?
A: Yeah, like I said, the first day install at Rutgers was always a brand new offense and a lot of stuff thrown at us and I am used to that. Coaches are doing a great job. The other quarterbacks are doing a great job helping each other out.
Q: Is it extra special that you are with the Giants now since you are from New Jersey?
A: Definitely. This is a first-class organization. You walk in here and see the four Lombardi trophies and it is special to be here and I am grateful for the opportunity.
WR Andrew Robustelli
Q: What is it like being at camp with the Giants given your grandfather's history with the team?
A: Just to get this opportunity and my grandfather being who he was, it is definitely an honor just to be in this locker room, especially when you look up and see his name inside here. It is really truly amazing and something that I really can't understand. I was really young and didn't know that well, but obviously he was a great man and did great things and this is a great opportunity.
Q: What was your mindset when you got here yesterday and what are you trying to show?
A: Just do the best I can do. Whatever happens, happens. I am just thankful for the opportunity.