Coach Tom Coughlin**
Q: How good is the competition at placekicker? Is that good to have two guys that are that capable?
A: It's good to have strong legs competing against each other. That's good work there.
Q: What did you think of the tempo of today's practice in pads?
A: I think it started well. It kind of tapered off at the end. First day full pads and they were out there working hard. It was supposed to be a real shaky day but it turned out to be a very nice day.
Q: It looked like Trindon Holliday was hurt.
A: Yes, he did something catching a punt. Hopefully, it's not much.
Q: Xavier Grimble seemed to be out to the side.
A: Minor hamstring strain a couple of days ago.
Q: Is it a little too early to gauge what you're getting from the GPS or do you think it's not tangible right now?
A: We're getting all kinds of information. Why would it be too early? It's player related, so we have information coming everyday about every player. So it's good.
Q: Is it a little disappointing that [Odell] Beckham hasn't practiced yet?
A: It's more than that. You're trying to put a team together. We saw too much of that in the spring. It'd be nice to get him back practicing. He actually looks pretty good moving around, catching the ball, not favoring anything. I'm just hoping it's a real short amount of time.
Q: Is that more of a cautious thing with the trainers than his wanting to be out there?
A: They're not going to let him go if he's in the danger of hurting himself. That's all there is to it. I can stand there and fight all I want, but it's not going to happen. When they feel he can go and not risk any recurring injury, they'll let him go.
Q: Has there been some improvement?
A: I said he looked to me like he was moving around. I think there has been.
Q: With no [Hakeem] Nicks here on the other side of Victor [Cruz] and [Rueben] Randle trying to establish himself: does that change Victor's role as more of an elder statesman?
A: Well, he said that in the spring. That he felt like he was in a leadership position and wanted very much to be in that role.
Q: How do you think he'll [Cruz] fare in that role?
A: He'll be very good at it.
Q: How are you feeling about the offense a week before the first preseason game?
A: Well, two steps forward and one back. We have some time and we're going to take full advantage of those opportunities. The more we can stay together, keep people healthy, and keep working; small gains, as I say. It'll come. There were parts of this drill today that were very good.
Q: Seeing anything at the tight end position?
A: There's two or three that will do something positive each day.
Q: It looked like today you got a lot of work for the fullbacks. Have you seen anybody jump ahead?
A: They're both physical and move you out of the hole. They both had some carries the other day and did well with it. I think we'll be okay there.
Q: You said parts of the drill were good today. What parts of the offense are working the way you want it to?
A: It's not so much that as it is the fact we communicate very well. The no-huddle part has been pretty good. You'd love to say you can run the football, but that's not there yet, as evidenced by this inside drill, but it takes time. A lot of people are working for the first time together, too. Hopefully, it'll come. Some of the throwing drills were good, some were not so good.
Q: How good was it to see a full day of work for Will Beatty in full pads?
A: As I've been saying all along, he's been doing more work than he actually was supposed to do from the day he got here. As far as I know, there's no issues. All he's done is keep working and keep working.
Q: [David] Wilson took a hit today. At any point did you hold your breath?
A: He took a pretty good one the other day and he didn't pay attention to it.
Q: Was it a good sign that he took one today and got right back up?
A: I would hope so.
Q: What do you think of [Devon] Kennard? It looked like he had another good day today.
A: Yeah he's had some good practices here. He has roles on special teams and playing defense. He's getting a lot of work and attention. He's here every day and that's a good thing.
Q: How's John Jerry coming along?
A: I hope today was better than the other day, let's put it that way. The deal there is to bring him along slowly and hope today was better than yesterday.
G Geoff Schwartz**
Q: When you're a rookie it's probably like, 'I can't wait to go out and hit somebody.' Has it become more about preservation a little bit? Because you want to stay healthy.
A: You have to hit. That's part of our game, you've got to be able to hit. As much as some people might not like it and we have a longer camp this year, you still have to kind of put the pads on and get your technique down. It's just about practicing smarter. When you're younger you're a little more out of control and all over the place. Now I know what I need to work on so I can go out there and get it done.
Q: How do you balance that? Because you know there are so many rookies that are going to be out there flying around? That's probably part of the danger.
A: If you play scared to get injured, you get injured so you just kind of have to play your game and whatever happens, happens. Luckily I've been fortunate enough to not really get injured in practice per se, kind of just being the person I am.
Q: Are you in the camp that you have to have a little bit of contact in the preseason before you get out to the regular season?
A: You have to wear pads. It's not an option to not wear them.
Q: Is this camp similar or different than other camps you've been to in terms of contact?
A: It's about the same. This is a longer camp. I've been a part of with the Hall of Fame game so I think you have to be smart about how much you can hit. Every coach I've been with has kind of had a different philosophy on how they want to do it. They've been different in a sense where you had different practice schedules but in the end you've got to be able to hit and practice running the ball. That's what we're doing.
Q: Where does Coughlin sort of fall on that spectrum?
A: I don't know. Everyone has the same practices so there's not really like a spectrum you could fall on. I've had five head coaches and they've all kind of been different.
DT Cullen Jenkins**
Q: At this point, I know it's still early in camp, but how do you see this defensive tackle rotation shaking out, or at least what the plans are and how you think the guys are fitting into the roles they have?
A: Well everybody who has come in and been here is playing really well. The young guys have really stepped up and improved. [Johnathan] Hankins and [Markus] Kuhn, I don't think they've shown bad plays in camp yet. Our defensive tackle looks in pretty solid condition so far.
Q: It looks like a well-stocked position by the numbers, but obviously experience-wise you're the gray beard, so to speak. So what do you tell some of these young guys about what they need to do to really become a bonafide NFL defensive tackle?
A: I just try to teach them a lot of experience, pass down a lot of things that I know: with a lot of things in practice, with our offense, the style of offense that we have. You have to talk to them and teach them things like 'be ready for different types of offenses' because you get used to going against our guys and what they do. But then you go into a game sometimes and you're not used to that switch in scheme. So you just try to pass down a lot of knowledge and help them prepare for what's going to come.
Q: Do you see all the guys who are on this depth chart or rotation as complementary type players, that they can really mix and match you guys into a rotation? Is that an effective way to get the position to do what it needs to do?
A: Oh yeah, it has to be like last year when we were playing. No matter who you paired up, guys worked well together. We have to stop the run. That has to be our number one role so we can help get the defense to do what we do best against the pass. Everybody is playing well against the run in different schemes and even transitioning to the pass, I think that we're going to do well with different groups, different match ups. I think people are going to be able to play left, right, wherever they need to be.
Q: How concerned are you about developing chemistry inside not only with your fellow DTs but also the defensive end mixture? The rotation is a little different there: no [Justin]Tuck, JPP is back into the line up – he didn't get the chance to play a lot last year. How much does that chemistry still have to develop yet?
A: I don't think it's too much because the majority of guys were here last year so there is some chemistry between us. We did lose Tuck and we lost Linval [Joseph] and you know those are key losses for us. But at the same time, Damontre [Moore] has really stepped up. He was here last year so he knows us, we know him. Kuhn and Hankins have stepped up bigtime. They've been here for a year at least and we all know each other and we're doing well. It's just now about adapting with the newer guys with Rob Ayers and Jay Bromley, just bringing them along with us as well. But that's normal; you're always going to have a couple of new faces in a group. But I think the chemistry between us is great.
Q: You have a full pad practice today, the first one of the camp. You're a veteran, you know what the practices have been like over the years and how they've changed. How important are the padded practices in getting prepared for the season?
A: Huge. Not just from getting out there and getting different looks, just challenging each other. From a defensive line standpoint, we want to challenge the offensive line and I'm sure they have the same approach with challenging us. If we give each other the toughest looks we possibly can, it'll make the games easier.
Q: You've seen Hankins play a little bit. What do you think he brings to the defense as a bigger defensive tackle?
A: He's solid in size. He's real strong and you look at him and you can tell that he's a heck of an athlete and real quick. You look at his size and you think that he might just be a space eater, but he can move. He's got speed and quickness. I think that he can have a breakout year this year.
Q: What have you seen from that group? You mentioned Damontre, you mentioned Hankins. How have you seen those guys progress this year, now in year two? Have you seen a bigger jump from when they were rookies?
A: Yeah, and to be honest, I've been surprised. Especially with Damontre, what he's brought so far here to camp. Just everybody being hungry, everybody wanting to work, everybody wanting to get better and improve. In such young guys, sometimes guys don't get that mentality until later on in their career but with all young guys, even the rookies we brought in this year, everybody is hungry and everybody is wanting to improve and willing to put in the work that it takes.
Q: You say you've been surprised with Damontre. Is it that stuff you talked about in terms of the focus and the drive? I mean, his athleticism is obvious when you watch him.
A: Oh yeah, his athleticism is hard to compare. But from where he was last year, technique-wise and some of the things he was doing to how he's come back in this training camp. It's been amazing how he's setting the edge and the run game. How he's transitioning to the pass, working on some of the techniques that he didn't have last year. He's really working hard and he's really improving.
Q: So you're seeing him in the run game as well? When he came in he was considered more as that one-trick … and he was a really good pass-rusher, kind of had to develop against the run. Have you seen that he's taken that step up a little bit in the run game, defending the run?
A: Yeah, he's taken a major step. He's been a lot more physical, holding his ground. Like I said, you look at him now and he's a completely different player than you saw last year.
K Josh Brown**
Q: You mentioned that you're taking less field goals in practice.
A: That's what I've learned throughout my career. It's working smarter not harder. Being efficient, if you're going to kick 10 balls, if you're going to kick 18 balls, you make 18 balls and they all look exactly the same. Whereas before you would kick 50 or 60 and you're just trying to hit the middle and you're charting everything. You still want to do those things but you want to be consistent with everything that you do where you don't need the big numbers, you don't need to kick 100 balls to do 10 correctly. You need to do 10 correctly every time.
Q: When you are kicking 100 is there a fatigue?
A: Yeah. You wear yourself out. Davis Love III and Vijay Singh, he's not going to hit 1,000 balls at the driving range, he's going to hit 100 but he's going to hit 100 exactly how he wants to hit those 100 and then he's going to leave. Or you can sit there and throw your back out. It's the same thing here. You can sit here and kick and kick and kick or you can concentrate and hit 10 balls, work with your guys and do it correctly every time. That's what Coach Coughlin's looking for. If it's fourth and four and it's a 48, 49-yarder, we all know he doesn't really like to put people out there in those positions. He needs to know that you're going to focus in like you have during the week and make that kick.
Q: People said that the Giants are more progressive in their understanding of that because there are some other camps that you've been to where they want you to kick 100, 150 balls.
A: A lot of it just depends on the coach and it depends on the age of the kicker. My first year with Pete Rodriguez we kicked 50 balls a day and we did it with 10-foot nets in front of us and we worked and worked and worked to drill in that pattern and that swing and to have that consistency in our mind. So there are factors in that. I've had coaches that are just like, 'OK, whatever makes you OK on Sunday.' And I love those coaches because we're all internally control freaks when it comes to our craft. If you're going to let me have control over it, I am going to do it my way. The good thing about here is that I have somebody that I can openly talk to about, 'Hey, this is working for me, this isn't working for me, this is too much, this is too little, we need more of this, what do you see?' I can do those things so it's… as you get older you start to create that transparency with people and you don't need as much leadership from the coaches but that's really the difference in why people practice so hard in certain areas and why not in certain areas.
Q: What part of your game are you working to refine at this point?
A: I still want to hit field goals better, still more consistently. I got out here the other day and missed one and it was just a matter of timing, just being a little behind the ball. It's not really something you're going to freak out about. but it's something you want to eliminate. So it's just constantly wanting to improve as being a ball striker and being a guy who contacts the ball the same way every time. You don't want to go out there guessing where the ball is going to go. You're a sharpshooter, you want to hit that target every single time.
Q: I'm pretty sure this is the first time you're in a 'competition' in training camp. I'm just curious, can a competition start when you guys are out here just kicking four or five field goals a day or does it have to get to when you're in a game situation in the preseason?
A: I think it's all-encompassing. I think the way you approach practice is the way you're going to perform in games. But going into a game, pressure is different, perception is different, situations are different. I'm going to have a massive advantage because I've been in all of these situations. Yeah, games are going to come into play and practice is going to come into it as well but I do believe that games are going to be the deciding factor.
Q: Is it cordial when you're in a kicking competition because you guys are a little more isolated than a lot of other people and it's just kind of the three, four of you?
A: Absolutely. You have to keep that chip. Don't think that it's not there. You're not over here hugging each other but you can't lose yourself in this. There are things more important than football.
Q: There's no crowbar or anything like that?
A: No, there's no Tonya Hardings going on out here. It is being cordial but there is an understanding that you're trying to take something and I have three kids you're trying to take it from, too. That's personal. But that's not his fault he's here. He's good and they chose to bring him in. It's up to me to be efficient and apply the pressure to him personally.
Q: Were you surprised that they brought someone in after they re-signed you?
A: No, no. Every year you're looking to be in what puts you in the best place to win the Super Bowl so it's my job to make them feel as if they made the correct choice in signing me to a two-year deal. A lot of people have asked me, 'You have just had the best year of your career, how does that make you feel?' It doesn't change the business aspect of this sport so I hope that what I'm doing and what I did last year and also the other attributes that I bring with experience and wisdom, that those things will also weigh in my way.
Q: Your position is a high turnover position in the NFL anyway. Do you feel like if he did beat you out that you would have other opportunities?
A: I think I would have other opportunities. But I don't know, it's based upon…
T Justin Pugh**
Q: With the retirement of Chris Snee, how much does the offensive line maybe have to take a step up and continue in that tradition?
A: We definitely have to step up. I think just from the way we played last year, it is obvious that we have to step up and play well, protect the quarterback. Obviously there's that tradition that's been there with those guys and them not being here, I think me, Beatty, Brewer, Mosley, having had the chance to be there with those guys and learn from them, we have to carry on that tradition. That's something that we've been doing in the offensive line room. At the same time those guys were five totally different people. We have to find our identity and how we're going to be able to go out there and attack the defense and execute and win because, at the end of the day, it's about getting that W. We're not going to be the same offensive line, we're going to be different.
Q: The idea that you know fully well that you have to protect Eli more than you did last year.
A: Of course. That's first and foremost, keeping him upright and letting 10 step up in a clean pocket and make throws. You know what he can do when you give him time.
Q: Talk to me about your social media game and how you interact with fans.
A: You have to love the interaction with the fans. Social media presents a platform to interact like never before so it's a great way for me to get involved, ask questions, see what they're feeling. I know switching my jersey this year I'm going to be doing a giveaway, I'm going to be giving away some 67 jerseys to people who maybe bought my jersey last year. So it's great. It's a positive thing but at the same time you have to make sure you protect what you say because what you say not only represents yourself, it represents the organization, it represents your family, so obviously there are some pitfalls to social media and the Giants make sure we are aware of those.
Q: Who are some of your favorite players to follow on the team?
A: You've got to follow Weatherford, he's always got something going on. He's got a lot of tweets out there so it's fun. My man Eric Herman, I've got to give a shout out to him, got to get his followers up. Prince is a good follow. I don't know, who would you say?
Q: I would say Weatherford, Cruz…
A: Yeah Cruz definitely. So yeah, you've got to follow all the guys. I try to follow all the offensive linemen because we don't get as much love so you try to get your offensive linemen some pub too.
Q: You're going from a 70 number to a 60 number, is that foreshowing that you may be moving inside a little bit?
A: No, I've been 67 since I was in peewee football. That's always been my number, so it feels right to have it back on me.
Q: So it had nothing to do with…?
A: I was playing left tackle with 67. I'm trying to keep that going.
Q: Coach Flaherty mentioned that you changed around your workout routine this winter.
A: Yeah, I stayed here in New York. I worked out with Chris Snee, I worked out with Eric Herman, Markus Kuhn, so I think staying here and lifting with those guys was huge for me, learning the way that they do things around here and keeping that familiarity going.
Q: You said the other day that Syracuse was run like a professional organization. Do you say there are similarities between here and there?
A: Oh yeah, it's all about doing the little things. I think Coach Coughlin's big on everyone being in the same dress, you have your grey t-shirt on, you have your white socks. Marrone was the same way. There were no hats, no earrings in the building. Things like that. Obviously Coach Coughlin came from Syracuse so I think Marrone… and obviously he came from Syracuse when he played so they're all coming from blue collar, do things the right way, do the little things off the field and it translates on the field.
Q: Would Marrone have ever done anything like the GPS thing?
A: I don't know, you'll have to ask him. I don't know if they're doing any of the GPS or anything like that. I think anyway you can gain an advantage, any coach should be for that. I think Coach Coughlin is definitely on the forefront of the GPS. We have these watches that monitor your sleep, there are so many things, so I think Marrone would probably be a fan of that.
Q: What is the watch that monitors your sleep? What is that like?
A: I haven't used it but I know it sees if you have interrupted sleep or how well you're sleeping at night, how many hours you're getting. They use that data to then help… I haven't used it so once I figure it out…
Q: Are a lot of guys using it?
A: I know a lot of guys are using it. They only have like 10 of them so they do it in segments.
Q: Have you ever gotten to see the information from the GPS units?
A: Yeah, we always joke around – who had the most burst, who had the highest top speed, the workload, obviously the more reps you get the higher your workload is going to be. It definitely helps. The one day we had the recover day, regeneration and it helped us with the next practice the next day so I think any way you can get an advantage in this league you have to take it.
Q: Does anyone ever tease any other guy like…?
A: I always have the top mile per hour so I always hold that over everybody.
DE Robert Ayers**
A: This is my sixth training camp and I feel this is a very good group of undrafted guys on the defensive line. I think those guys have a lot of ability, size, and learn pretty well. They're working hard. That's going to be good because we'll be in the situation where guys can play and compete. That's a positive.
Q: What have you thought of the GPS? Is it strange or have you done anything like that before?
A: It's good, from what I'm hearing. It tracks the mileage we put on our legs and on our body. It's good and gives the coaches an idea of the wear and tear to prevent injuries. It's my first time wearing this but so far, so good.
Q: Are you looking forward to playing in that stadium [MetLife Stadium] or does it bring up bad memories from February?
A: My memory in that stadium doesn't really affect how I feel about this season. That was last season and this is a whole different team. That's a motivation factor for me to get back to the Super Bowl but it doesn't really matter what stadium or bad taste. I want to get out there, I want to play, win, and be a great teammate. I want to get back to that situation. The Super Bowl is in Arizona this year and that's all we're thinking about. Before anything else, I want to win.
Q: Have you been back to either Hoboken or Jersey City since you've signed with the Giants?
A: I've been back to Jersey City a few times. I've seen my grandmother, aunts, and cousins. I actually went to Hoboken once just to hang out with the guys on the defensive line. I haven't really met anyone that I knew from Hoboken. I'm usually in Jersey City more so than Hoboken.
Q: Is it good to be back [in New Jersey]?
A: It is always good to be this close to family. When you're tired you can lean on them a little bit to put a smile on your face. That's what my family has done and make everybody laugh.
Q: Have any of the guys in the locker room brought up the Super Bowl to you?
A: We do. I mostly talk to Walt Thurmond, who sits in front of me in defensive meetings. I mess with him a lot when they get to talking about Seattle winning the Super Bowl. We're worried about this year. I'm not a Bronco. The Broncos can talk about revenge and redemption. If I was a Bronco, I would say, yeah. But I'm not a Bronco anymore, I'm a New York Giant. We're worried about redeeming what was last year. We were 7-9 last year and I'm taking it as if I was 7-9 last year. I'm carrying the burden that they had last year and we're going to move forward. I have their motivation to get back to the playoffs and get things back to where they used to be and try to win it all.
Q: Being a veteran, you know what it's like to have different practices than what the CBA allows. You have your first padded practice today. How important are those padded practices given the new labor agreements?
A: They're huge because you don't have too many of them. But you have to understand who you're going against. You're not going against the Buffalo Bills or the Detroit Lions. You're going against the New York Giants. We have to take care of each other. Getting better technique-wise, scheme-wise, and being aggressive. I think the aggression part is going to be there, from all of us. I don't think anybody in blue is going to be non-aggressive today. We're just going to be getting after it and compete. That's just what we are all made of.
Q: Is that something you guys are cognizant of? Or when you put the pads on, you just take it up another level?
A: Yeah, it's what's expected. When you put the pads on everyone's stomach starts bubbling and you go to sleep at night thinking about it. It just comes with the nature of putting the pads on. It's about competing. But we also want to take care of each other. I may say to our offensive lineman, "I'm about to kill you this play," but we know what's right and what's fair. We know how to be pros.
Q: As a vet, how do you look at padded practices? I'm sure your first year you're exited to go out and hit somebody but over the years it becomes more about body maintenance.
A: You have to understand what you're trying to accomplish. When you first hit someone there's going to be some level of rust. Whether it's the first padded practice or first practice. You have to scrape that off as fast as possible whether it's pass rushing, setting the edge, or moving laterally because you're carrying more weight than you're used to. You always have to scrape that rust off. You have to understand what you're trying to accomplish. Getting your hand placement right or the other guy is coming a lot harder then you're used to so you have to get your pad leverage right. Shock them, get off blocks, and shed. That's how I'm approaching it. I want to get better and I want to help the other guy across from me get better all while staying healthy.
Q: Do you need to get tackling in preseason training camp to be able to knock that rust off or would you be able to do it in the preseason alone?
A: That's kind of a trick question. I truly believe that good tackling is about a defense that swarms. You have 11 guys and the first guy may miss but there's 10 other guys on the field. It's important to tackle in practice but you have to understand the mentality. The mentality that has to be in place is a swarming mentality. You have to have the fundamentals of tackling, using the sideline, leverage, and head-up/safety tackling. The mentality of tackling is most important as well as the fundamentals. You have 11 guys running to the ball can be enforced with pads, no pads, on the beach, or anywhere.
DT Jay Bromley**
Q: What's the difference being a Defensive Tackle? What is your approach?
A: Everything happens a little fast on the inside. You don't get as much time to work on your moves. Just have to be quicker and understand the guys are a little bigger.
Q: How is it working with Coach Nunn?
A: It's great working with Coach Nunn; he works me hard and has expectations for me. He wants to me work on my pad level, little things each and every day to make sure I am a better player and I will have great guys around me in that room.
Q: What have Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson been teaching you?
A: Just the fundamentals of the game, the little things that the great players harp on. Little things whether it be your stance, pad level, eyes, the little things that if you get right, you will be a great player.
Q: What is your impression of Coach Coughlin?
A: He's cool, man. He knows what he wants. He's like a grandpa that walks around the halls, I guess. Sometimes he has a great sense of humor, sometimes he doesn't.
Q: Does he give you any word of encouragement? Any wisdom?
A: Just be myself and continue to work hard and play with great effort.
Q: Can you talk about Syracuse with him (Tom Coughlin) or is it all business?
A: Its Orange Pride throughout these hallways and that's known. Everybody knows that and that's the basis of it.
Q: Are you happy where you left Syracuse?
A: Definitely. It comes from a team that didn't have a winning season for about eight or nine years to three bowl games in my four years. That's a great accomplishment.
Q: Anything you looking forward to today in full pads?
A: It isn't any different for me. I play inside. They have been full go since day one. I like the pads because it gives me a little more range with my hands and work with my pad level and things like that. Other than that, it's all fun out here.
Q: What has been the biggest adjustment between coming out of college and in the pros?
A: They're just better, the offensive linemen are just as quick as you are. You're not getting away with the same little moves and the things you got away with in college because you were better than everyone else. It takes a lot of technique to win one on one battles at this level.
Q: Any goals at this point?
A: My goal is just to get better each and every day. Come out here every day and work hard with my teammates, get in better condition, get in better shape, get my technique better, and get my pad level better. Those are my goals, I set those miniscule goals and the big goals will fall into place.
Q: Are you surprised that you are at a pro camp?
A: I'm not surprised. I'd like to think I set these goals in my head and I am thankful to have this opportunity, but it is something I worked for. It's no surprise to me it, just a surprise to everybody else.
Q: Playing right in your backyard, you're right across the river from home…
A: Exactly man, I get home in about 40 minutes. That's a blessing in itself and I am just thankful to have this city behind me and the papers that supported me and I am thankful for that.
Q: What is it like to be a part of the New York connection?
A: Great. Just to have that many New York City kids to play for a team and be successful. When it comes to New York, we are the New York Giants, but you go into that locker room and you are not going to find ten New York players so that is just how it is when it comes to New York football and it's just a blessing to be able to support and be one of the cornerstones for my city.
Q: What do you think of recruiting New York City?
A: Right in the backyard. You can't go away from home, not too far. You can't stray away from home too far. You have to show respect to those guys and the hard work they put in.