Team President and CEO John Mara
Q: The Las Vegas Raiders announced that they are going to require vaccinations. Is there any discussions about how you are going to approach that?
A: I saw that. As of right now, there's no plans to do that, but you know, if you asked me that question again in a week or two, I may give you a different answer. That'll depend on our discussions with the governor's office and further guidance from the CDC and other health organizations. I think it's a fluid situation.
Q: What are your expectations for this season in terms of results on the field after recent results haven't been what you want?
A: Yeah, I would say that's an understatement. I certainly think we're a lot better on paper, I'd like to see us show that on the field now and win more games and make the playoffs. I mean, that's my expectation every year coming into the season. Obviously, we've fallen far short of that the last four years, but I think on paper, I'm pleased with where we are, but I want to see us win some games.
Q: Do you think you guys did enough to address the offensive line this offseason? How do you feel about that group going into the season?
A: I have confidence in that group. Did we do enough? I think time will tell. I like those guys., I think we're always looking to upgrade where we can. Do we have enough depth there? I'm not sure about that yet, but I think we'll get a better indication of that over the next couple of weeks when we're practicing against some pretty good teams.
Q: How do you balance trusting the process and being patient versus if things aren't going the way you want it, you have to make a move or a decision?
A: It's never an easy question. I really do believe we're moving in the right direction here. I think the attitude on the team is really good and with the coaches. I think I just have to try to continue to have some patience, which is not easy for me given the last four seasons that we've had. I do think (Senior Vice President and General Manager) Dave (Gettleman) and (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) have made a lot of good decisions. Again, I think we're moving in the right direction.
Q: Dave said recently it's an important year for (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), year three. This is year four for him (Dave Gettleman) yet 15 wins in three years. How much does that same logic apply to him as well?
A: Well, I think it's the same for the entire organization. I want to see us make progress and become a winning team again. We're overdue on that and we spent a lot of money in free agency. I think we've had a couple of really productive drafts, now it's time to prove it on the field.
Q: Is Dave on the hot seat this year?
A: We're all on the hot seat, with our fans in particular. We've given them too many losing seasons, it's time for us to start winning. But no, I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say that's an accurate statement.
Q: Given the results, why is he not?
A: Let's see what happens, let's see what happens during the season. Let's see what kind of progress we've made. Let's see if we've won some games and we'll address that after the year.
Q: Do you need to be in the playoffs this year?
A: I always feel like we need to make the playoffs, yeah.
Q: In terms of if you've missed it (playoffs), would you consider major changes?
A: I'll look at that at the end of the season and see whether I think we're continuing to make progress and moving in the right direction, but I'm not issuing a playoff mandate. I don't think those ever do you any good. I don't think I need to say or do anything to motivate the people in this building any more than they're already motivated. They all want to win.
Q: You would consider if missing playoffs, but showing progress would be enough?
A: That's hard to say. I gave the same answer last year, I think when I walk off the field after the last game, whenever that is, I want to feel like, do we have a chance to win a Super Bowl with this group? Does this group give us a chance to win the Super Bowl? Are we moving in that direction? If the answer to that is yes, then we're not going to consider making any changes. If I feel like we're going backwards, that's another discussion.
Q: You feel like you are headed in that direction?
A: I do feel like we're heading in that direction, yes.
Q: How would evaluate last year being in a playoff run with a record of 6-10?
A: I felt like despite the record, I felt like we were making progress and I think with the additions that we've made this past offseason, I still feel that way. I feel good about this team right now.
Q: There's a lawsuit that alleges a culture of violence in the workplace here. How do you respond to the picture of your organization after this lawsuit?
A: It's a baseless lawsuit, but given that it's active right now, I'm not going to comment any further.
Q: We know what a big story it was when you guys decided to trade (Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver) Odell (Beckham Jr.) to Cleveland, you guys will be out there and kind of get that first look at him. What are your feelings today on that trade you guys made versus maybe what you felt?
A: I think it's a trade that will work out well for both sides. Obviously, the players that we added have been big contributors for us. I expect Odell to have a great season. I still have a great relationship with him, I've texted with him. I'm looking forward to seeing him next week.
Q: A few of the free agents you have signed and (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney has not been able to practice a lot of the times so far. What's your level of concern about that as you're a couple of weeks in and they haven't gotten many reps.
A: Yeah, I would have liked to have seen them on the field more, but our medical people are not concerned long-term about it, so that'll be good to get them back out there. But I wouldn't say that it's a major concern right now.
Q: Why do you think the offensive line is in better shape considering you lost your better guys from last year?
A: Well, because I think all five of the starters, plus a couple of the backups are good quality players. I know our coaching staff feels good about them. Obviously, there's going to be skepticism about them until they do it on the field and they start producing some complete games and some wins. I do like the people that we have up there, and I do have confidence in them.
Q: Why has it been such a struggle for this franchise to build an offensive line? It's going on close to a decade now where the offensive line has been a going concern and some misses in the draft, some whiffs in free agency. Why has that position been such a struggle?
A: Some misses in the draft and some whiffs in free agency. I mean, that's the bottom line on it, but I think we've made better decisions lately. Are they a complete finished product yet? I wouldn't say that, but I think they have the potential to be a very good offensive line, but again, until they do it out on the field and we start producing some good offensive performances, there's going to be that skepticism and I understand it.
Q: I know you spoke glowingly about Daniel in general. Are you convinced that he's the future for the franchise quarterback here for now and years moving forward, or do you need to see more this season? If so, what do you need to see?
A: Obviously we want it, we need to see more wins, but I do have a lot of confidence in Daniel. One of the things that gives me that confidence is the way that the coaches in this building feel about him. They love him. They love everything about him, we just have to win some games now. I like everything that I see on the field with him. I like his leadership, I like his work ethic, I like the way the players respond to him. We just have to win some games now.
Q: We asked Dave Gettleman before and he said that by the end of this season, he'll know about Daniel Jones, whether you're hoping that he's an NFL franchise quarterback. Do you almost have to know just based on the financial realities now of quarterback prices and where he is in his career?
A: Well, I think before you make that type of decision, yes, you have to know, and this will be his (third) season. Hopefully he stays healthy, hopefully he'll make it an easy decision for us by the end of the year.
Q: What do you need to see from (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) to commit to him long-term?
A: Well, you need to see him back on the field producing, which we expect that to be the case. Our medical people feel very good about where he's at right now. I like what I've seen from him out on the field and hopefully that'll be an easy decision for us as well.
Q: You were a big proponent of (Offensive Coordinator) Jason Garrett before he was hired. Just looking back on his first year, how would you assess the job he did with the offense?
A: Listen, we did not have a great year offensively last year, but I feel good about Jason, I know the rest of the people in the building do as well. Again, there's going to be skepticism about our offense and until we start scoring points, I think we have more tools to work with this year, certainly than he had when he started with us a year ago.
Q: You've seen championships won in this building and you know what it takes. How tough is it personally for you over the years now to not be without that, to kind of judge things on well, let's make progress because you know the difference. How tough is that?
A: The last few years have been very tough on our fans and certainly on our families, as well. Nobody wants to be losing games in a manner in which we've lost them over the past few years. That's why one of the reasons we made the decision to spend so much money in free agency because we believed in the guys that we were spending it on and we desperately want to be back playing in championship games again. I think we have a group here that is on its way to doing that, but again, until we do it on the field, there's going to be that level of skepticism and I certainly understand that. But I will say that I feel better about what we have on this field than I have in years.
Q: With Joe, you've spoken glowingly about him and about your confidence in him. What do you think of what he's building here, and has it added to your confidence?
A: It's definitely, it's definitely a huge factor no question about it. He exudes confidence, but his attention to detail and the way the players respond to him I think is something that adds to my level of confidence, as well. He demonstrates leadership. He demonstrates – he sees the big picture. He has an appreciation, strong appreciation for the history of this franchise. That's why you see the former players coming back all the time that he's invited. I'm convinced that we have the right guy at the helm.
Q: What did you think of his response to the brawl?
A: I thought he handled it well. I thought he handled it well. It was disappointing for me to see what happened on the field. I think I said to somebody the other day, I think I've been to over 60 training camps in my lifetime and I've seen every type of brawl that you can imagine out on the field. You never want to see that. I thought he handled it well. And I thought the player's response to the way he handled it was very good, as well.
Q: When you hired Joe, this looked like a rebuild and maybe you guys looking at doing the right thing in the long-term. Is this still a rebuilding year, too?
A: I don't know, how you do define rebuild? I expect to win more games than we did last year. I'm hopeful that we're going to be a playoff team this year. You can call it anything you want. I just want to feel like after the last game, that all right, what we have here as a team can win a Super Bowl.
Q: There's noise in this building that there were some miscalculations made in the 2018 Draft. Can you give anything more about what those miscalculations were and how to avoid those sort of things moving forward?
A: You can always look back at previous drafts and say, 'we should have done this, we should have done that.' The only thing I will say to you is that the last two drafts I think were much better and provided us with more quality players, and I feel good about where we are right now.
Q: You obviously made a mistake in drafting (Former Giants Cornerback) DeAndre Baker, a guy who had red flags. You addressed how that didn't work out with (Former Giants Cornerback) Eli Apple and some other guys and then you draft Kadarius Toney who had some red flags. How do you respond to that?
A: Well, you say he's had red flags. I don't think Kadarius Toney had any red flags and DeAndre Baker, there was nothing in his background – there was nothing in his background that would have led us to believe that he would have been involved in the incident that he was involved with. There were certain things, but when players coming out of college, there are always issues that you have to look at and you have to make a decision. Sometimes you're not going to be correct. More often than not, we are, in terms of their character anyway.
Q: Dave mentioned how one of the things that he's done since he's been here is improve of the football operations. I'm wondering when you look at that, what's the biggest gains or increase that you've seen in that regards?
A: He absolutely has done that. We've made a lot of changes. We've got an entire analytics department now. We've got more people in our personnel areas, some really talented young people. I think our football operation is definitely much improved since when he took over.
Q: (Cornerback) Sam Beal was out here and he said there is more to the story of his gun charge then has been recorded and he shared that with you guys. Is that why you feel comfortable with him still on the roster, what he shared with you guys?
A: I would say, yes. I think he's done a good job since he's been here. He's working hard on the field trying to make the roster. He obviously has some talent. The league has addressed his or is addressing his issues and we feel good about where he is right now.
Q: What do you say to the large segment of your fan base that says this has to be a playoff team or there should be changes at the top in terms of your personnel?
A: Let me just say this, in my recent memory, this is the most positive that our fan base has been about our team. I've gotten very few negative letters or emails about where we are as a team right now. Now, if we do not have a good season, that will obviously change. But I think our fan base is very optimistic, more so I think than the media is about our prospects this year.
Q: Your Dad went through a lot of tough years before they turned it around. Do you ever think of his experience? Did he ever share anything with you that is helping you?
A: I mean, no question. I have thought about that quite a bit over the last few years. I think what changed then was bringing George Young in and finally getting the right people in the building. I think we have the right people in the building right now. I think one of the things that was true back then is we went through this period in the 70s where we were trading draft picks, trying to bring in the next franchise quarterback and it never quite worked out. We ended up giving away a lot of valuable draft picks. I think even when you've had a bad stretch, you still have to maintain some level of patience and still look at the long term, and that's what we try to do. It's taken a little longer than I would like, but I hate to sound like a broken record, but I do feel like we're heading in the right direction.
Q: If you look across the country, Delta variant of COVID-19 is increasing. Is there any danger that you might have to dial back fan attendance?
A: I think that's certainly something that we're monitoring very closely. We've been in constant communication with the governor's office about it. Right now, we're full go for having a full building and I believe that will be the case throughout the year. Now, whether we'll have to add some precautions like masks in indoor areas of the stadium, we're not there yet, but that's subject to further discussion. If you asked me that, as I said before in another week or two, I could have a different answer for it.
Q: If you have to possibly ask fans to be vaccinated, don't the fans who have tickets to the opener kind of need an answer soon on that?
A: As of right now, they do not need to show proof of vaccination. Could that change in a few weeks? I don't want to rule anything out because it's something we would have to discuss with the governor's office. But as of right now, we're planning on going ahead without requiring proof of vaccination.
Q: Where's your team now as far as vaccines?
A: We're in pretty good shape. I think we're well over 90 percent and everybody in this building, every non-player in this building is fully vaccinated.
Q: Obviously, the NFL has been strict and clear about what they want players to do with the vaccine. Would you prefer not only that you get 100 percent with players, but that some of the faces of your team are vaccinated?
A: I prefer that everybody be vaccinated. I would've preferred that it would have been mandatory for players to get vaccinated, but the Players Association did not share that view, so we are where we are, which is not a bad spot to be in. We're over 90 percent. Obviously, I'd like it to be 100 percent because I think it's the right thing to do.
Q: One little league question. The taunting emphasis, what were the conversations about that amongst you guys?
A: That's something we discuss every year in the Competition Committee. We get kind of sick and tired of the taunting that does go on from time to time on the field. We tried to balance the sportsmanship with allowing the players to have fun and there's always a fine line there, but none of us like to see that. It's just a question of whether you can have rules that can be enforced and without taking the fun out of the game too, but nobody wants to see a player taunting another player. I know, I certainly don't. I think the rest of the members of the Competition Committee feel the same way, too.
General Manager Dave Gettleman
Opening Statement: Good morning. Good to see everybody, I hope your families are well as we're all coming out. It's good to see everybody and let the games begin.
Q: What have you seen so far in camp and what are your expectations for this team?
A: We've had some good work, we really have. The weather's been pretty cooperative. We've had comfortable days and we had a couple of cookers, so that's been really good. We've seen some good things -- there wasn't much happening in the spring, all you had was rookie and veteran minicamp when a lot of players took the voluntary thing. We're making progress. Like (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) says, I believe the team is just as well. Everything's a process and we're moving along. We did some nice things Saturday night, obviously have some things we gotta work on. We're making progress and I like it.
Q: You're three-plus weeks into camp, you have a preseason game under your belt. As of now, what would you say your biggest concern is?
A: I'm a little more patient than that. Listen, upgrading the roster is a 12 month process. You're looking at improving all the time and right now it's because you don't have your full complement of players out there. We really treated this last game, the first game, like the fourth preseason, which is generally speaking what you see. We wanted to get the chance to make sure, before we make any hot decisions, that we really get a chance to evaluate all the young kids and the new players we brought in. So, we're always looking at every position to answer your question. You improve as you go.
Q: Along those lines, there's obviously a lot of optimism about (Quarterback) Daniel Jones making that leap this year, but how much of the trade during the draft to get that additional first round pick next year was kind of an insurance against that not happening?
A: Not even a thought. No. The trade was made because the opportunity was there and there was an opportunity to get an incredible amount of value and we really liked the position that we were in. So, no, that was not done as any kind of hedge. We believe in Daniel, we're excited to see what he's going to do in the second year in the system. Before this last year, it was his third system in three years, so this'll be the second year in a system. You know how diligent the kid is, we've talked about it all the time. He works just as hard on the field as he does off the field. He's more comfortable, he's more prepared. It'll be fun to see what happens when we finally give him a full complement of players out there.
Q: (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney obviously hasn't been on the field a ton so far for various reasons. What are your thoughts on his start so far? Any kind of level of frustration just not being able to see as much as you'd like?
A: It's that way with any young player. You want them on the field. The COVID-19 piece is real, it affects everybody very differently and that's been a bit of a stop and start. He'll get there, he's working his fanny off, getting healthy. He's had that stop and start and it doesn't make us any less than enthused about him. The kid's got tremendous talent and he's been great inside with his rehab. He's been terrific in the classroom. He's engaged and the kid wants to be out there. He's a competitor. I treat contracts like injuries; contracts gets done when they're supposed to get done, guys get healthy when they're supposed to get healthy, and he'll be out there and we trust our medical staff.
Q: How do you balance being patient and letting the process play out versus, after seeing so much, maybe we got to start thinking about doing something else? How do you balance that?
A: It's a process that you keep working through. At some point, at a certain point in time, you know when you've got to pull the trigger. I think that since I've been here, you guys have seen I'm not afraid to pull the trigger. So there is a balance. It's an interesting question because we'll know and I think that we need to have another preseason game. Last year, we didn't have this, we didn't have preseason games and it made it difficult. We weren't any different than anybody else, I'm not suggesting for a moment that we were, but at the end of the day we've got to understand when it's time to pull the trigger. Right now, I'm really excited about us going to Cleveland -- I guess some of you folks are going to be out there -- getting a chance to work against them. And then playing on Sunday, I think will give us a real good indicator.
Q: You've said many times that it takes three years to evaluate a draft class. I'm curious, how would you evaluate your 2018 class?
A: (RB) Saquon (Barkley) is Saquon. (OL) Will (Hernandez) had a tough season last year, but he is really having a terrific camp. Unfortunately, (LB) Lorenzo (Carter) got hurt last year as he was really coming on, he's ready to go. (DL) B.J. (Hill) has been a steady solid contributor. Obviously, Kyle is gone and RJ's gone. That's where that class is.
Q: Seeing the injuries that have caught up to Saquon, do you still feel as passionately as you did in 2018 that running back was the right place to go?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely. Stuff happens, not everything's perfect and there are guys all over this league who get hurt, big-time players. He's done a great job and I feel the same way about him. He's different and he's going to be ready to go when he's ready to go.
Q: Obviously though, that stuff does happen more to running backs.
A: I don't know that that's true.
Q: You don't believe that they have shorter career lives than maybe other positions just because of the hits that they take?
A: Really and truly, you can talk about injuries at any position. I would not make a different decision than I made in 2018, plain and simple.
Q: I think I heard you say once that you've changed your philosophy on negotiating contracts in-season, and I'm not asking about Saquon or anybody in particular. You have guys who are going to be free agents after this season. Will you negotiate contracts in-season this year? Have you changed your stance on that?
A: I have. I think it depends upon the guy, I think it depends upon where the team's at. I used to feel that it was a bad idea, but not so much. Have I changed my idea on that? Yes, I'm a lot more flexible on that.
Q: Is (Safety Jabrill) Peppers maybe one of those guys?
A: I don't discuss contracts.
Q: Do you believe in the theory that quarterbacks, especially with the financial climate, that after three years you're going to know. Do you believe that after this year you will know one way or another whether Daniel Jones is the guy?
A: We certainly hope so. Again, our game is different than the college game. It's very different. He's got all the physical skills, he's got all the mental skills. I'm seeing a lot of good stuff out here in the fact that, as I've said, last year was his third consecutive year in a different system. His decision making is quicker out here, he's getting rid of the ball quicker, you see he's throwing the ball well. I think he's making progress and like every other young kid I think we'll have a pretty good idea when the season is over.
Q: You guys made the decision to stick with the offensive linemen you have and let them develop. As we're a couple of weeks into camp, how do you still feel about that decision? Especially the depth is kind of an issue with guys retiring and getting hurt and stuff like that.
A: That stuff happens. Four of the five starters were out there Saturday night and the offensive line really played pretty well. Listen, you have to have depth everywhere, whether it's the offensive line, the linebackers, secondary, you need depth, you need to have quality depth. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to do that at every position. Obviously, we didn't expect those guys to retire, but they had their reasons and it's their lives. I wish them the best and respect the decisions they made. They made tough decisions. Training camp is not over, the roster building season never ends. We'll get to where we need to get to.
Q: When you guys released Kevin Zeitler, was the plan to upgrade at guard or address guard more than you have at this point?
A: I think that we believe in Will, we believe in (OL) Shane Lemieux and we're going to continue to look. You've got the two guys retiring, you have (OL) Kyle Murphy's now done for the season, we have to put him on IR. So it's tough, but every day we're looking. My gut tells me that there'll be more movement of those types of players that you feel good about after the second preseason game and maybe even after the cut because you've got to remember you now have a full week. Going to cut to the 53, (Head) Coach (Joe Judge) is left a couple of practices, players have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, so I think you could see some horse trading going on during that period of time.
Q: Do you have the financial flexibility to take on any level of player?
A: I think that whoever's available, you sit down and take a look at. At the end of the day, were going to do what we can do.
Q: At that position there are different tiers of players that you're talking about. Is your focus right now upgrading the depth behind what you see as the starting five or do you think there will be opportunities or you may have to take opportunities to improve that starting five?
A: I think there's a lot of things that are in play in my head. Want to certainly address that position as well as we can. I've learned that if you have patience, stuff happens. All of a sudden, a player becomes available that you weren't expecting. It's kind of like what happened with us in free agency -- all of a sudden (CB) Adoree' Jackson's available, all of a sudden (TE) Kyle Rudolph's available. There's a saying, 'You don't lock your knees,' so you just sit there and you talk to people, you make phone calls, you watch film, 'Hey, is this guy available?' 'Hey, would you consider moving that guy?' 'Hell no,' 'Yeah, I would for this.' You have those conversations. It's a chess piece.
Q: Just as a follow up, yesterday, you guys traded a sixth in 2023 for (Cornerback Keion) Crossen. In terms of draft assets, will you be willing to dip into 2022, and was there a thinking of going beyond that?
A: Really and truly, I prefer not to. We've got ten picks, and doubles in the first, third, and fourth rounds, so we got some pretty good assets there. So, we'll see, but the bottom line is it's an asset, it's a chip. It's something you can use. You don't have to, but you don't necessarily hoard to a certain degree. If a guy's worth it, you're going to do it. If the guy's not worth it, you don't do. Being able to get Keion with a '23 pick was really something we're excited about.
Q: Obviously, the wins and losses that have happened over the last three years is not what you would have hoped. Do you believe there needs to be a significant uptick in wins in order for you to deserve to be back next year, objectively speaking?
A: Objectively speaking, I'm not going to put a win total or a number on it. I don't think that we've done a lot of things. I feel like I really love Joe and the process that he's brought and that we've brought. We've worked really hard since I got here in terms of not only being on the field operations, but off the field operations. We've made big changes in our football operations, and how we operate. Really and truly, my goal when I got here was whenever I leave here, and however I leave here, that we've set this team up on the field, and off the field. That's been my goal and I feel like we've done that. I'm excited to see what's going to happen.
Q: How has your relationship with (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) progressed, and is it to the point where perhaps yesterday's trade today is an indication that his influence has grown over time?
A: I think that Joe and I are partners. We have a shared vision. We see the ball the same way, which is helpful. We discuss everything thoroughly, and we come to the best giant conclusion that we come to. Yeah, Joe knew Crossen, our pro personnel department, and my grades on him both as a special teams guy. Obviously, you guys all realize how special teams is near and dear to Joe's heart. At the end of the day, the thing that's really neat about Keion is he brings us line of scrimmage value as well as a gunner. So, this is the partnership, we're working together. We share a vision, and I've enjoyed the hell out of the last two years.
Q: Since you brought it up, how are you feeling, and is your intention to keep on working for as long as you keep feeling well?
A: I feel good, me and James Brown. Some of you younger people may not get that. But anyhow, I feel fine. Listen, some of you guys can speak to it personally, but lymphoma wasn't fun. It wasn't, don't put it on your check list or your bucket list, it's not fun. We got through it. I'm healthy, I'm fine, I feel good, I feel strong. No, I'm not winning any arm wrestling contests, but I feel good. I just keep rolling along.
Q: Do you have to take any special precautions, like for travelling?
A: Me? I had my physical in May and they said just keep doing what you're doing. You can be doing it with a little less weight, but I like to be jolly.
Q: I know you don't want to put a win-loss total on it, but obviously you've been rebuilding for a couple of years and that can't go on indefinitely. Doesn't this have to be the year that you compete for the playoffs, and not just because it's a bad division?
A: Listen, I'm not going to put a win-loss total on it for anybody. We have expectations, everybody's got expectations. I don't think any of us do this to lose, none of us are happy about that. I'm happy with what we've done. I'm really happy with where we're at, and I think we've got a legitimate, completive football team.
Q: I know it's a little different wrinkle. But, along the lines of acquiring talent over the next couple of weeks, with these joint practices, I know some of you guys will be there the whole time. Do you spend time scouting the Browns and scouting the Patriots?
A: Oh, absolutely.
Q: Does that kind of bring a different dimension to it?
A: Absolutely, it does. I'll be there. (Co-Director of Player Personnel) Mark Koncz, (Co-Director of Player Personnel) Tim McDonnell will be there. (Director of College Scouting) Chris Pettit is going to be there. So, we'll all have our guys to look at. Absolutely, it's a scouting process. Obviously, at night, we'll go back and watch the film. That's one of the nice things because you can get up on top of guys, see their body style, their builds, what they look like it. It's a great opportunity to scout players up close and personal.
*Please note: In the following exchange, Dave was focused on our knowledge of Kyle's previous foot injury, not the timeline regarding surgery. The chronology is we knew about the injury, agreed to terms on a contract, Kyle took his physical, there was a discussion on how to treat his foot, the decision was made to have surgery, and the agreement was signed.
This is a post-presser quote from Dave Gettleman: "We honored the agreement because our doctors were confident Kyle would be fine following the procedure."
Q: You mentioned Kyle Rudolph earlier. Do you think you'll be ready for week one? Then also, do you have any second thoughts of not restructuring that contract, once you discovered the foot?
A: No, we knew about it all along.
Q: Did you know about it before he had the physical?
A: Yeah, we didn't go into this blind.
Q: You knew he needed surgery though?
Q: When you agreed to terms, did you know he was going to be on PUP?
A: Yeah, do you think I do this for the hobby?
Q: I thought it was discovered during the physical.
A: No, we're good. We knew it, we're fine.
Q: Do you expect him for week one?
A: Like I said with injuries, he'll get healthy when he's healthy. He's working his fanny off. We'll see what happens.
Q: Going to Cleveland this week, you're going to get a chance to see (Browns Wide Receiver) Odell Beckham Jr. again. I'm just curious of your thoughts of your receiving core today versus where it was, and how far it's come since you've made that trade?
A: I like our group right now, I really do. It's just a matter of getting everybody on the field, and getting in rhythm with Daniel, and doing those kinds of things. I'm very happy with where this group is.
Q: To piggyback on that question, when you made that trade, you said you wanted two or three years to assess how well you had done in that trade. Looking back on it, do you feel like you got enough? Are you happy with what you acquired?
A: Well, I can turn it around with that question back at you. I'm happy. We got (Defensive Tackle) Dexter (Lawrence). (Linebacker Oshane) Ximines has had his injury issues, but when he's been out there, he's shown promise. (Safety) Jabrill (Peppers) has done a hell of a job for us, so I like that group.
Q: Tim McDonnell got a little bump in his title. Can you just talk about what he brings to your guys' personnel room?
A: Timmy is very bright. He's a really good scout. He's just one of those people – there's the saying, if you want something done, give it to a busy man and that's Tim. He brings a nice, fresh outlook to everything. He and Mark Koncz do a hell of a job with really working and setting up processes. With the 53, we're ready to discuss that. As the trade deadline gets closer and closer, we've already started the trade process. Looking at those kinds of things, we're getting much further ahead of the process than we were before and Timmy's great with that, as well as Mark as well. Timmy's a very bright and promising guy.
Q: That increases his involvement in those processes or that kind of initial where you're going with it?
A: He's part of helping develop those processes.
Q: When you get down to the 53, will vaccination have any say in the decision or is it just on the field?
A: No, the 53 best players will be on our 53. That is it, that is it. You've got right now, every team has guys in various stages. Some guys have had one shot, some guys have had two shots and they're waiting for the two-week period for the full vaccination, so everybody's in different stages. Obviously, the guys that have not fully completed are masked up right now. They've all done a great job. They've been very cooperative and done really a great job of following the protocol and being compliant. I'm not worried about it. I'm not concerned. We'll get the 53 best guys.
Q: Do you feel pressure to win?
A: I'm going to pull a line from Billie Jean King, pressure's a privilege.
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands heading into Week 1.