GM JOE SCHOEN
JOE SCHOEN: The first thing I want to do, I would be remiss if I didn't thank our coaching staff, our scouting staff, community relations, our sports science, our strength coaches, our trainers. Throughout this draft process, whether it was the combine medical, the film evaluations by the coaches, traveling to pro days, these 30 visits we've had, it's been all hands on deck for the entire organization. The meal room, the cafeteria, you name it, everybody throughout the organization has done a phenomenal job throughout this process.
My first exposure to a lot of the people on the team. It's been nothing but great so far. Looking forward to getting in the draft a week from tomorrow. I think a lot of the hard work will pay off.
With that being said, I will open it up for questions.
Q. With the philosophy best player available, then there's filling a need, how do you approach this whole thing?
JOE SCHOEN: I think where we are in our roster, there's several needs. To put a finger on what exactly the biggest need is would be difficult. If you can find two really good football players at five and seven, that's how we stacked the board. Let's just throw need, whatever perceived need is, out. Who are the best football players in this draft?
We've set a vertical board and we have a horizontal board as well. It's not completely set. There's still some conversations to be had. I don't think you can go wrong with drafting good football players.
Q. You said you had wanted to identify seven players for seven spots. How close to doing that are you?
JOE SCHOEN: We're close. We're close. We're going to get with the coaches. I know Dabs mentioned that earlier. The scouts just left on Tuesday. We had some meetings with them. We kind of set the board how we saw things. We met with the coaches, got their rankings, how they see things.
There's a few players where we're going to shut the door, lock it, have knock-down, drag-outs. When we come out, we're going to make the best decision for the Giants.
There's not a lot of players where there's a big separation in terms of how we see them.
Do I have seven right now? Yeah, as a personnel staff, we actually did like a 1 through 100 vertically as an exercise. We're going to get with the coaches to make sure we're onboard, not just seven, if there's a move-back scenario, whatever that is, do we have 10, 15, 20 players we like, make sure we get them in the right order as football players.
Q. How much of this process are you trying to figure out what Carolina might do? Does that factor in how you might order your picks?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I've thought about that several times. What are they doing, trying to figure out what position they might go. That will make a difference in what you do.
If you're sitting there at five, there's somebody you really like, there's two other players that may be at the same position you like as well, or just two players in general that you're happy with regardless of position, that can also factor into who you take at number five.
If you have a crystal ball, I'd love to see it. We're going through several of those scenarios, if they're there, how we're going to go through, make the pick.
Q. You mentioned in an interview with the team website that you would like to get as many at-bats as possible. Roster building is never a one-year thing. Are you approaching it that way this year or looking to get some at-bats for down the line?
JOE SCHOEN: Both. I'd be open to both. I said it in my introductory press conference, we still want to compete today and build for tomorrow. Playing both sides of that, if it's picks this year or picks into the future, getting those are cost-controlled assets, young players, that could really help us set the foundation here. I'd be open to either/or.
Q. The offensive tackle group coming out, everyone talks about Neal and Ekwonu. How about Charles Cross, Mississippi State, should he be in the conversation with those two? Do you project him as a top 10 pick in this draft?
JOE SCHOEN: You want me to give you our board (laughter)?
I'm not going to talk about any specifics. Charles is a really good player, really good feet. We like him. Whether he should be up in that group or not, that's for everybody to decide. We'll see how it falls on draft night. Over time, we'll see how it plays out.
All three of those players that you mentioned are talented and good players, great kids. I think they all have bright futures.
Q. I'm sure you know the offensive line here has been an unsolvable Rubik's cube for years now. How committed are you and your staff to leaving the draft believing you can put a capable, dominant offensive line on the field starting in September?
JOE SCHOEN: Dabs said it earlier, too, the offensive line is important. There's several other positions that are important for us to go compete. I understand, again, I wasn't here in the past. I'm not sure exactly everything that went on. I'm privy to recently where the offensive line was. We tried through free agency with the resources we have to upgrade the offensive line the best we can. That will continue through the draft.
Again, if you want to build it up on both sides of the ball, build it up front. Offensive line, that's very important.
To get our best version of Saquon, Daniel, the entire offense, to your point, that's going to be very important to get that right, whether it's running the ball or pass protection. That will definitely be a priority.
It's just the need, the value, where that is. You just got to make sure it mirrors up or you're going to be in the same boat. If you try to force it, it's not the right value, we're sitting up here next year saying the same thing. We needed a guard, so we reached for him, but the value wasn't right.
You have to make sure when those two meet, they mirror each other, that's when you're going to make the best decisions.
Q. How do you balance if there's a guy on the board that you really like versus moving back and acquiring more picks?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I've been there before. You get greedy, let's move back. That guy is gone. Are you going to sleep better at night knowing you got an extra sixth round pick, you move back four spots, but you lose the guy you want, or let's just take the guy and not be greedy. You play through all those situations.
Again, that's why sometimes I'll do a vertical board, how many players are available. If we move back X amount of spots, are we going to get one of these five guys? It makes sense, yes, plus you get an extra pick.
It's not something I have to do. We'll take phone calls, analyze it, call the team back if they're calling and let them know if we'll do it or not.
Q. There's a chance you could pick the number one cornerback in this draft because you are picking so high. I would think your approach is different whether James Bradberry is on the depth chart or not? Do you think he can be here? If not, how much does that affect how you go into the draft?
JOE SCHOEN: So your question is more about James?
Q. Both. If you think James...
JOE SCHOEN: There's going to be a number one corner at five?
JOE SCHOEN: Okay. You got the crystal ball (smiling).
We'll see. We'll figure that out. I've had great conversations with James Bradberry's representatives. I've talked to James. He can still play in this league. He's a starting corner. We talked. He wasn't here today. There are contingency plans as I mentioned at the combine and owners meeting where he could still be a New York Giant.
Q. Have you had inquiries about Bradberry?
JOE SCHOEN: We've gotten calls on James Bradberry, yes.
Q. When you approach this draft, you don't have a lot of salary cap space, you need about $12 million or so. How does that influence what you may or may not do as far as trading, moving around, how you approach everything? Do you not let that affect you?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, not in this draft. Again, contingency plan. If we stay at every pick, this is what it's going to cost us. If we do move back, there is a cost savings of doing that. That is not going to drive our decision. We are not going to pass up on a good player, especially in the draft, for a cost savings. That's not going to be the genesis of that decision.
Q. You said restructuring was a last resort. You did the Adoree one. Why do it when you did it?
JOE SCHOEN: The public websites that they have out there, there's some things when you're dealing with the salary cap that they don't necessarily bake in when they're doing that stuff. There were some things that occurred, we had to convert at that time.
Q. In your contingency plans, this is your first year, based on your experience at Buffalo, how soon before the draft do you start talking about trade value and potential trade up and trade down scenarios with other teams?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, again, I've had my head down in meetings with coaches, scouts and everything. Haven't really come up for air to start thinking about that. Hey, does it make sense for us to move back, move up?
Right now we're planning that we have five and seven, the rest of our picks, et cetera. We have received calls on both picks. Again, it's too early. We're still working through our process. It's more, hey, let's stay in contact as the draft gets closer. We'll go through those scenarios. It's too early right now to make any type of decision like that.
Q. Is there any advantage to being an unknown quantity? You don't have a track record, a history. Nobody probably knows what you're thinking. Any advantage to that?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, there could be. But I think where the picks are, I'm not sure that's going to play in as much. It's the fifth and seventh pick. Again, I just know we're going to get two good players. There's enough needs that we have that whether I had a track record or not, I think where we're going to go, I don't think anybody really will have a good sense of that.
Q. You said you have a pretty good idea of the first four rounds. Has that changed a lot since you've been here?
JOE SCHOEN: Oh, yeah. Myself and probably four or five others have seen the entire board. Between myself, Brandon Brown, Tim McDonnell, Chris Pettit, we've seen the entire board. A couple national scouts have seen quite a bit of the board, too.
When we have those conversations, if you're talking about a receiver at USC and a receiver at Tennessee, you've got multiple looks on those guys that could have that conversations. If it's an area scout that has seen somebody at USC, and an area scout at Tennessee, they can't really can't enter into that conversation because they haven't seen them both. Multiple looks along with the coaches on the entire draft board. Again, that's part of our process that we believe in, that will help us lead to the best decisions.
Q. You said you received a call about the picks. Have you received any offers for the five and seven?
JOE SCHOEN: Not a hard offer, no. We haven't got into negotiations. Just some teams called and said, would you be willing to move? That's kind of where it is right now.
My comment was as the draft gets closer, we can talk more if there's any specifics, if you're serious about doing it.
I think some teams are just fishing around.
Q. When you table those discussions, if they reach back out to you, do the parameters around that change or do they come back with a new price, what is the philosophy there?
JOE SCHOEN: It's a situation where I'm perfectly fine at five and seven. If it makes sense, something that blows your doors off, then you think about it if somebody offers something. Nobody's offered anything, hard offer, right now.
To me, it really wouldn't make sense right now to do anything, again, unless it blew the doors off, something you can't turn down.
I think a lot of it right now, same as me, people are starting to come out of meetings, stepping back, meeting with their coaches. Now you kind of get into the planning part of it. If it's a team behind us, they want to move up, how can we get there, who can we call. Some exploratory calls typically will happen now. By Monday, you'll find out who is serious. Who is Jacksonville going to take, Detroit, all those rumors.
It will pick up steam next week, there will be more serious conversations if there are teams that are legit serious thinking about coming up.
Q. From an evaluation standpoint, for you personally, you have a scouting background, what is the biggest lesson that you take into this process of scouting guys that maybe you may have made a mistake and been wrong on a guy? Is there something philosophically you look at and say this is why I believe what I believe?
JOE SCHOEN: Absolutely. Autopsy report. After you make a decision, you look back, why did it work, why didn't it work. Over 21 years of doing this, you've got a Rolodex of players and situations that have occurred that you can reflect on and learn from.
To me, the biggest thing is the collaboration between the coaching staff and the personnel staff. It doesn't make sense to draft a guy if the coaches want no part of him. They're dead on arrival. As soon as that guy -- if they're worried about his hands, they drop a ball, (the coaches) are up in my office, told you he couldn't catch (smiling).
Again, there's a little bit of - how should I say it - trying to get the coaches on the same page, whatever it is. We joke around about being lawyers. We are presenting our case to the coaches, we have to figure out how to get them to where we want them. If there's somebody we really like, there's a roundabout way to get them to see it how we see it.
To me, the collaboration, it has been outstanding between Dabs and his staff. We've had pro days. 30 visits. Six guys in the building today that they're meeting with. They've been phenomenal.
The collaboration, I think when the coaching staff and the personnel staff are on the same page on a player, I typically think those are the best decisions.
Q. You mentioned earlier there were contingency plans where James Bradberry could still be with the Giants. How difficult are those plans to enact to keep someone with his cap number here? Why don't you need to know that before the draft? If you do have to make a move with him, that's a big hole to fill once the draft is complete.
JOE SCHOEN: That's the tough part about this job. You know what, James Bradberry is a great person, good player. He is. I know the two people very well that were in Carolina that drafted him. Brandon Bean and Sean McDermott. He's a player we talked about.
I like the kid. I like the skillset. It's just the situation we're in from a financial standpoint. It is what it is. But there are ways that we can still make it work and James can be here. People say why don't you cut or trade him. Then there's a huge void.
We're going to play it out, see how the draft goes, see what the roster looks like. There's still contingency plans where we can keep James on the roster.
Q. Do you have to take into account how the locker room might perceive it if you keep him longer, then cut him, puts him in a tougher spot? Does that weigh into your decision?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, you're always taking that into the decision. That's part of process, too. You think about all those things.
At the end of the day you have to do what's best for the New York Giants. He's still a player that can play at a high level and is a starting corner in the league.
Q. You'd be open to reworking the contract?
JOE SCHOEN: I'm not going to get into details. But we have contingency plans.
Q. You know how it is with quarterbacks. Nobody likes him, then everybody likes him. Do you get a sense that at five and seven there will be teams interested in quarterbacks that makes this whole thing go? Do you get a sense of how strong the market is, what teams are thinking about these guys?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, not yet. I'm guessing that will pick up steam. Right now, I mean, you call around and you ask. Nobody has showed their hands on the quarterbacks. They really haven't.
We know what teams have been where. We know, again, where these kids have gone on visits, private workouts. We track a lot of that stuff. Really haven't heard a lot on what teams are high on which quarterbacks. Hasn't been a lot of that.
Q. You said you still want to compete today and build for tomorrow. How important are these two first round picks for today and tomorrow?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, very important. Integral. For Brian and I, it's our first two picks as New York Giant head coach and general manager. In terms of foundational pieces, in terms of being good players, the type of people we want, it's very important.
Q. Generally speaking, how do you view a third round pick? Should you get a multi-year starter?
JOE SCHOEN: I don't want to put any pressure on the guy. The hit rate at third round, there's some margin for error, there's a margin for error across the draft.
I've had guys that come in and play and have good careers. Some guys are backups, contributors, special teams. Yeah, ideally they all turn into starters. I don't want to put a play time percentage or anything like that.
Q. I ask because it's been a spot where the Giants have not gotten much out of the third round since 2005. Having been a scout, what do you value the third round as?
JOE SCHOEN: Again, ideally they all turn into starters. You prefer that. Just looking over the past couple years, we had some guys where I've been in the past, it's taken them some time to develop, but they've turned into good players. Some guys, took a couple running backs in Buffalo, they split time.
Again, sometimes it's based on the situation, injury, what the success they've had. I don't want to say, yeah, this guy is going to be a starter, then you guys crush me two years from now (laughter).
Q. As the man with final say, do you feel the weight of responsibility?
JOE SCHOEN: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
Q. Your first time in this position obviously.
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, absolutely. I want to get it right.
Q. Last time we spoke to you, you said you were still feeling out what Don Martindale wanted from a player standpoint. What traits are you looking for, what have you learned about the types of players?
JOE SCHOEN: I'll give Wink a lot of credit. He's very open-minded. He likes players with versatility. He doesn't necessarily have size, length parameters. When we watched some Baltimore film, you could just see how much he values versatility, where he can play players, how he can put them in their best position to succeed.
He's been really good, really clear, really defined in terms of what he's looking for.
The versatility piece is one of the things I really appreciate from watching the Baltimore stuff with him, some of the stuff we're looking for.
Q. How much of your first few months on the job has been about evaluating players, scouts and front office personnel who are involved in the draft?
JOE SCHOEN: Absolutely. It's part of it. We're in meetings, just going through players, whether it's reading reports, how we do interviews at the Senior Bowl, how we do interviews at the combine, the information we're getting back from pro days to having a couple weeks of meetings. You're always evaluating everybody.
Some of it's just maybe we're going to do things a little bit different in terms of our process, who is going to buy in, who is going to excel, who is all hands on deck, who has adapted.
The staff has done a great job with that. There's a lot of good people in this building that have done a really good job over the three months I've been here.
Q. What was it like watching Brandon Beane go through this process? And what did you take away from that?
JOE SCHOEN: Oh, Brandon through this process. That's a good question.
To me, it's a little bit of what I was talking about earlier, the coaches, maybe you don't see eye-to-eye, how to navigate that, consensus build, get people on the same page if there was a discrepancy between personnel and the coaching.
I was fortunate, I was in a lot of meetings dealing with ownership. It's not something you do when you're an area scout or national scout or whatever. My interactions, being in those meetings with Brandon, the Pegulas, that's something I would have never learned along the road if I wasn't with Brandon. That was very valuable.
Q. How much do you factor character? Is there some stuff that's non-negotiable?
JOE SCHOEN: It weighs heavy. It weighs heavy. If it's a guy that we don't think fits from a character standpoint, we'll just take him off the board. He goes on and has a really good career somewhere else, that's fine. We just got to get it right for what we want in our building.
Q. How about durability, guys that have injuries?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we just had our medical meeting Monday night with the medical staff. They've done a great job at the combine working through all these guys. Some of the players that weren't at Indianapolis, they weren't combine guys, getting that information, too. We take that all into account.
They're the doctors and the medical folks. We lean on them on what the recommendations are in terms of taking or not taking a player.
Q. Do you have a draft day routine?
JOE SCHOEN: I used to golf when there was less pressure (laughter).
Q. What do you think it's going to be like next Thursday?
JOE SCHOEN: Oh, probably a long day. I'll probably get up, just come in here. In a temporary apartment right now, so probably not going to sit there. Probably too anxious to golf. Probably come in, get a workout in, make some phone calls, call around the league, call other general managers, see if you can get any information on what's going on in front of you. Again, probably take some calls if people are calling or looking to move up.
Yeah, it will be exciting. Something you dream about. For that day to finally be here, it will be really cool.
Q. Do you think there will be a lot of outgoing calls?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I'll be calling to try to get some information (smiling).
Q. When you look at this draft, do you say if I take five and seven, I know in my mind I'm going to get two sure-fire starters?
JOE SCHOEN: You would like to think that. I'm not going to label 'these guys are going to be sure-fire starters.' There's so much that goes into it. Again, I'm not perfect. You're evaluating an imperfect human being. I don't want to put anybody under that type of pressure.
We're going to get two guys that we think fit from a character standpoint, an athletic standpoint, as a football player, and it's going to mirror up to what we're looking for. I'm confident we'll find somebody that checks all those boxes.
Q. After this draft, will there be a lot of starters in the group?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I mean, I really can't answer that. It's a good draft. There's depth in the draft. Again, there is depth throughout the draft, late into the first, second, third. I do think it's a good draft. That's my job and our staff's job, to identify those players. Fourth, fifth as well, and on.
Q. You mentioned there's a reason why these jobs are open. You get the roster you get. Is one of the things that really was good about this job is what you have as far as capital in this draft?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Having two top 10 picks, it's definitely a good way to set the foundation, get two really good players early on. Again, you're not sitting at 15 or 20, trying to figure out who is going to be there. The fact that we can list seven players, know that we're going to get two of them, makes it a little bit easier.
Yeah, that was definitely an attractive part of the job.
Q. Do you look at the 36*th* pick like that as well?
JOE SCHOEN: The good thing about 36, you get all day Friday, we're the fourth pick in the second round. We know we're going to get one of these four. If there's 10 you like, somebody calls, you can move back, get one of those guys. All that stuff will go into play.
Q. Is it concerning to you that Kadarius is not here, hasn't reported yet, doesn't know the playbook?
JOE SCHOEN: It's voluntary. Nobody asked about the other guys that aren't here. It's life. Life happens. I've had good conversations with Kadarius. We've been in contact. At the end of the day it's voluntary. That's what it is.
HC BRIAN DABOLL
BRIAN DABOLL: How is everybody doing? We're in our second day here of our voluntary minicamp. Had a good day yesterday. I say a good two weeks leading up to this. Have a long way to go.
Pleased with the guys that are here, the attendance. The guys are working really hard. Coaches have done a good job. Just another step in the process as we get going here with a long way to go.
So whatever you guys got, fire away.
Q. Is Kadarius Toney here today?
BRIAN DABOLL: K.T. is not here today. We have good attendance. I've had talks with some of the guys that haven't been here. But most everybody's been here, whether they were here the first week, the second week. We've had good attendance.
Q. Given some of his issues off the field as a rookie, is that a concern to you?
BRIAN DABOLL: Like I said, this is a voluntary camp. The guys that are here, we're going to work with. The guys that aren't, they're going to miss out on some things. It's voluntary for a reason. That's the nature of the rules.
I've had good talks with K.T., good talks with some of the other guys. I'm encouraged with where we are with our participation, what we've been doing. We're going to keep working in the right direction.
Q. Can he participate virtually or...
BRIAN DABOLL: We didn't do anything virtual. When he gets here, he'll get the playbook, we'll get him up to speed.
Q. Do you have a message for your group?
BRIAN DABOLL: Work hard and improve each day. That's really what it's been since we've been here. We're out here for an hour and a half at most. We've done a few seven-on-seven drills.
Most of the stuff you'll see today is either individual or group. We've tried to tempo it the right way, whether it's full speed one period, kind of a jog-through the next period. It is interlaced throughout practice. Keep improving every day.
Q. What are the key elements with you and Joe Schoen putting your stamp on this group here?
BRIAN DABOLL: It's been a continual process, day by day. The guys have worked really hard. The guys that are here have been really good to work with, the players, the staff, bringing people together, starting to develop some chemistry, whether it's on the coaching staff or scouting staff.
We're so far away from playing a game, we're taking it day by day.
Q. Have you started experimenting with different guys, maybe having them play different positions they haven't in the past, specifically on the defensive line, offensive line?
BRIAN DABOLL: This is our second day. I understand the question. We will. We're just trying to figure out where to go in a drill, making sure we're moving from drill to drill, practice the way we want to practice.
When it is live, full-speed periods, we will do that. Flexibility has always been important defensively, offensively, in the kicking game. We get so many people to go to a game with. We'll get to that. Right now, we're learning where to go on stretch lines.
Q. You did an extensive review of the guys coming back. Have you seen film, we'll try this guy here...
BRIAN DABOLL: We're going to try a lot of different guys at a lot of different spots. There's not a depth chart, per se, there is more of a rep chart. You have to have position flexibility unless you are really, really good at one thing. We'll end up getting to that once OTAs start.
Q. Is Andrew Thomas locked in at left tackle or is there a scenario in the draft where you could add a player where Andrew moves to right tackle?
BRIAN DABOLL: We'll see. I can't answer that right now. Andrew has been a good left tackle for us. I have a lot of confidence in him. He's rehabbing to get back.
We're going to take the best guys in the draft. Wherever they are, they are.
Q. What do the last few days look like leading up to the draft? Are you doing a lot of evaluating? How much have you and Joe been communicating?
BRIAN DABOLL: We've done a lot of work. I'd say the scouting department has been in there non-stop. We met with the scouting department as a staff, with Joe (Schoen). We did some yesterday, we'll do some today. I think it will be all the way through the weekend, early part of the week. Hopefully where we're kind of where want to be the early part of the week.
Q. Is the scouting done and you're getting to know the players now more?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, we've done a ton of evaluation. I think you're always going back, crossing your Ts, dotting your Is, looking at maybe another game, try to watch as much tape as you can. I would say there's conversations that go on daily, whether it's about the player, the person, making phone calls, whatever it may be.
I don't see that really changing till probably midweek, early next week.
Q. As a position coach, you have some input in the draft. You've done that as a coordinator, now as a head coach. What has that been like for you as the head coach being involved? Do you think with this draft it will be more of your imprint on this draft class than you've had in the past?
BRIAN DABOLL: It's our imprint. Everybody works hard. Nobody has all the answers. Certainly, there are things you may see that I don't.
You go back and talk about the player. You review them if there's a little bit of a discrepancy, whether it is coach to coach, coach to scout, head coach. Whatever it may be, we'll do this thing together.
Q. Your voice will carry more weight than it ever has, right?
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't even think about it that way. It's part of the whole.
Q. It's early, but what is your thought process right now on whether you'll call plays, how might you work through that this spring?
BRIAN DABOLL: That's a popular question. I understand it. We're not there yet.
I'd say today during the practice, when you see it out there, Kaf (Mike Kafka) will be giving it to the quarterback, going off the script that way. I'll kind of be out and about with the players.
Again, I'll let you guys know when we get to that.
Q. What has stood out to you about Joe Schoen since you two have locked arms together?
BRIAN DABOLL: I've known Joe for quite some time. He's a great teammate. He's a great listener. I think the one thing you see with him in this position is he's a really good leader, treats people the right way. He lets people do their job. He takes input, but at the end of the day he's charged with making the decision. He takes all the information. He's a really good leader.
Q. When you guys bring in a prospect for a visit, what are you trying to learn about them?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think it depends on who the people are that you bring in. We have a process that we go through. They meet a lot of people in the organization, people that we think are important to helping in their development if we select them or they come on the team.
They meet with the coaches. You're going to try to gather how they learn, the process, how you can teach them. Maybe they come here, I should have done this. We test 'em football-wise.
I think as many people as can get the person to give their input of what they think of them as a person first, then we look at them and evaluate them as a player.
Q. What are your impressions of Saquon, looking at him?
BRIAN DABOLL: He's been here. Great in the meeting room. He's elusive, quick, he's fast. Again, we've had 12 plays in seven-on-seven here, a couple individual periods. But excited to work with him.
Q. You said to us the last time we talked about making an emphasis to be in every meeting room, knowing it's not just offense.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah.
Q. When it translates to the practice field, just one day on the field, will you take the same approach? I don't know if 'force' is the right word, but will you consciously go to different groups rather than just being with the quarterbacks?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I walked around yesterday. I got my miles in during practice. God knows I need 'em (smiling).
Yeah, I think it's important to watch how the coaches are teaching the material, how they're going through individual drills. It's important to see the players.
I've talked about this before. You can watch as much tape as you want to watch from previous years. Until you get them in your system, ask them to do the things that you might think they're going to do, you're going to have to (indiscernible) with that, keep your eyes on as many people as you can.
Q. From a value standpoint, left tackle has always been seen as that premium position. With the way teams are passing now, how much has the right tackle position caught up in value?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think they're all important. Five guys working in unison, keeping the depth and width of the pocket in the passing game, getting to the line of scrimmage.
The game has evolved so much, RPOs, up-tempo. The right tackle, left tackle, just as long as you are a good tackle.
Q. Is there a chance you and your staff see Saquon more as the play-maker he was coming out of college as opposed to 'just a running back'?
BRIAN DABOLL: We've evaluated him all the way back to year one, all the way through.
Again, it's hard right now. We're going to ask him to do some things out here, get a feel for him. I think he's a very talented player. He's a really good person. He's a good young man. You can tell it's important to him. He has worked hard. As much as he can handle, that's what we'll give him.
Q. In these days of the voluntary workouts, what is the key to establishing a new culture, making sure everybody is buying in?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think that's part of leadership, building something that the guys can be proud of, take ownership, then finding ways to unite them as their head coach, as a position coach, finding different ways to inspire 'em.
Again, we're a long way away. Right now, all I ask them to do is focus on today, what can we do to get better from yesterday, not make more out of it than it is because we have a long way to go.
Keep building that chemistry together, go out together to dinner, go see a basketball game, go to a hockey game. I think that's important. Off-field relationships. They don't have to be best of friends, but it helps because you have each other's back when you do. When things are tough -- they'll get tough, they always do in this league -- you can lean on the guy next to you when you are having a tough time. You know that guy has got your back. That's important.
Q. Are you still FaceTiming them?
BRIAN DABOLL: I FaceTime quite a bit. It's about the only thing I know how to do (smiling).
Q. What is it like to be head coach of the Giants?
BRIAN DABOLL: It's been great. Dream come true. A lot of work. Work with a lot of good people. Let those people do their jobs, try to lead 'em the best way that I can. Again, each day is a new day. There's always something to do. But I'm really enjoying it. I've got a long way to go, too.
Q. Throughout the spring here, not just this week, do you plan to give Tyrod Taylor any reps with the first team offense?
BRIAN DABOLL: We haven't even talked about that. He's going out there. There's not even really groups right now. There's reps. That's what we're doing, so...
Until we've got to get ready to make those decisions, I think everybody has to know what they're supposed to do when they're called upon to do it when they call a play in. Know their role, assignment, do it the best they can.
Q. After the first two weeks, this minicamp, what are the one or two things you hope the players get out of it?
BRIAN DABOLL: You teach them for two weeks in a classroom. How can they apply it to the field? Again, we're throwing a lot at them. Some of the stuff is going to stick on the wall, a lot of it is going to fall off.
I want to see some good juice here in practice, move around from drill to drill. When we're going full speed, go full speed. When we're in teaching periods, dig in, take the stuff you learn on the film, classroom, apply it to the field.
We're going to make our share of mistakes. Everybody does. But just learn from 'em, come out the next day and be ready to go.
It's a good opportunity to come out here in this third week and be able to do something like this. Obviously, we're a new staff. So just to see the players, how they move, their quickness, their hands, their ability to bend. Those are some of the things you're looking at.
It's not really like they missed this play. You're going to teach that. Twelve plays, seven-on-seven, we're not using the full amount of time as it is.
We have, I'd say, a good amount of players here, almost everybody. We're going to make sure that we're continually -- kind of like the next phase, in between Phase I and Phase II, making sure we're taking care of our players.
Q. You have morning and afternoon practice days.
BRIAN DABOLL: 10:45 today? 10:45 tomorrow. When we get to the next rookie camp, we'll sit down and talk about it. For the season, it's open. I've been a morning, afternoon, night guy right now since taking the job. You just tell me your golf schedule, we'll work around that (smiling)?
Q. You hadn't worked with Wink Martindale before. What have you learned about him?
BRIAN DABOLL: Wears the same wardrobe every day (smiling).
Q. Is that good or bad?
BRIAN DABOLL: You'd have to ask him. I'm not one to give fashion advice.
Good man. I'd say a good teacher in the classroom. I think the players respect him. Has a good way about himself.
Q. Do you consider James Bradberry a part of this team still? Have you talked to him at all?
BRIAN DABOLL: He's on the roster. It has not really changed from what Joe has talked about. Joe is coming out here at 1. You guys can talk about that.
WR KENNY GOLLADAY
Q. Kenny, this stuff is all voluntary. Why are you here?
KENNY GOLLADAY: (Laughter).
Q. A lot of guys are here. You didn't have to be here.
KENNY GOLLADAY: I guess you could just say that's how much it means to me, especially coming off last season. Just trying to start off on a good note. I feel like everyone should definitely be here.
As of right now, I mean, there's a lot of energy going around. People are actually excited. People are actually ready to be back. After last year, leaves a bad taste in your mouth that you want to get out. I know for me at least, I was ready to get started.
Q. Are you disappointed that Kadarius isn't here?
KENNY GOLLADAY: I'm pretty -- I haven't talked to him in a while. I'm pretty sure he has something going on. Everything will work out. I'm pretty sure he's talked to the coaches and everything. It's my job and the rest of the receivers, the receivers coach, to get him back on track.
Q. Brian says he doesn't know the new offense until he gets the playbook.
KENNY GOLLADAY: I don't know nothing about that, man.
Q. You said the guys should be here, he's coming off a tough rookie season. How do you reconcile all that?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Just being one of the older guys in the room. Like I said, I haven't talked to him. I'm trying to get everything, myself in order, as far as learning the playbook.
I'm pretty sure he talked to Shep (Sterling Shepard), we kind of holler at him a little bit, I feel like he would definitely listen to us.
Q. Do you feel this offense is going to be geared towards you a lot more this season? Obviously you're coming off a year, no touchdowns, all that. The whole playbook isn't in. Do you feel they're going to be gearing a lot towards you?
KENNY GOLLADAY: As of right now, putting in a bunch of plays. That's very exciting, a lot of plays that can trick a defense. A lot of guys moving around.
It's only one day. We got 3 (Sterling Shepard). We got 2-6 (Saquon Barkley). We got new guys that's coming in. The only thing I can do is come out here on the practice field, put good stuff on the tape, then translate it to the games.
Q. When you see how Stefon Diggs was utilized by Daboll in Buffalo, does that raise the excitement level for you?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Definitely. I would say we're two different players. Skillset is a little bit different.
For sure, (loss of audio), those are the two guys from high-powered offenses. I'm excited, man. A lot of stuff is coming in. They're putting a lot of stuff on my plate. Each and every day (loss of audio). They're going to do the same on me. We just got to make things happen.
Q. What was your reaction to the last coaching staff getting fired?
KENNY GOLLADAY: I mean, that really wasn't my first time going through that. I guess you could say it was pretty surprising. A lot of stuff going on in the media. I guess it is what it is.
I'm just focusing on this year.
Q. How would you describe the stamp Dabs and Joe Schoen have put on this program the short period of time they've been here?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Speaking as far as Dabs, he comes in with a lot of energy, coming in, pretty much showing us this is not going to be the same Giants as last year. He put his own twist on things, a lot of things.
Like I said, there's a lot energy going on in the building. People staying longer. I feel like we're more together in a little bit of time.
KENNY GOLLADAY: Really coming in early, staying late after practice, doing stuff. This is the first time to actually get a legit off-season going on. When you come in free agency, I had a lot of moving parts going around, COVID and everything, didn't go through OTAs. Going through OTAs, it should be very good.
Q. Have you and Daniel come together in the off-season?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Still got a little bit to go in the off-season. We both came back around the same time. We've been linking up ever since.
Q. Is there a different vibe at all? The last coaching staff was very intense. Is this vibe different?
KENNY GOLLADAY: I would say so. I wouldn't say it's chill, but at the same time (loss of audio). It's a little bit more relaxed, which is good. At the same time, Coach Dabs expects you to get the work done.
I think that's what everybody likes. We can joke around all day long, but once we step on the football field, get in the meeting rooms, I think there's a time and place for everything. I think everyone got that memo. Once you get on the practice field, you kind of flip that switch.
Q. Off the field?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Off the field, what we do in the building, I'm going to keep that between us. Like I said, there's a lot of good energy going around.
Q. When you came in here last year, Saquon was coming off the knee injury, there were a lot of questions about when he was going to practice. Do you see a different Saquon this year?
KENNY GOLLADAY: To be honest, towards the end of last season, you start seeing that same 2-6. As of now, he's healthy, had a full off-season to get his body right. I'm excited. I was excited for him last year. I'm even more excited for him this year.
Q. The way the year ended, the numbers, did you have to sit down for yourself and kind of assess what went wrong and how you were going to attack this year any differently? Did you figure out why things didn't go the way you anticipated?
KENNY GOLLADAY: To be honest, I kind of had it a little bit towards -- like when you have those last few games, we weren't playing for the playoffs, there were a lot of days I thought about what's going wrong, what can I do better. A lot goes through your mind.
Once the season ended, I kind of flushed it. Once we got a whole new coaching staff and everything, I definitely kind of just flushed it and focused on let's start something new, turn the page now.
Q. You kind of alluded to getting more time with Daniel. There's the injury factor. Why do you think this year will be better and more productive for you than last year?
KENNY GOLLADAY: First off, it's early. I'm not going to say this year is definitely going to be better for me. That's my mindset.
Q. You don't think it will be better definitely?
KENNY GOLLADAY: I mean, like I said, I thought for sure I want the year to be better. Start off by saying that. Last year was last year. Like I said, I'm just going to focus on this year, build each day.
Q. What do you see in the offense, in the playbook, there's going to be more action, motion, more ability to get guys going instead of I'm lining up here?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Yeah, like I said, Kaf (Mike Kafka) and Dabs do a great job of just moving guys around. I could be at the number three spot, number two spot, even Saquon can be lined up as a receiver, they can be in the backfield. There's a lot of little nuances that can get our guys open.
Q. Daboll said at the owners meeting he watched some of your tape when you had your Pro Bowl year. Is that exciting?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Definitely. Definitely. Him trying to figure out what I'm good at, that's a great sign. Hopefully we get everything done.
Q. Have you had discussions with him? Has he invited you to sit down, what do you like to do, how can I help you be the best you can be?
KENNY GOLLADAY: A little bit. But more so just getting to know one another. Once the whole coaching staff got in here and settled down, getting to know one another, not talking too much ball. Talking about the family, talking about the transition.
Then once we started talking about ball and everything, we kind of throw stuff off each other. It really isn't even just about me. He could be talking to me, Shep, Saq and (DJ). I think that's what's good about everything, so everybody is on the same page.
Q. The bunch of you in a group?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Not behind closed doors. It could still be in front of everybody.
Q. What did you learn about him as a guy?
KENNY GOLLADAY: I'm still learning. As of right now, a cool, laid-back guy. Just wants to put his players in the best position.
Q. The Buffalo offense was so creative under Brian. Did you look at some of that or do you have optimism based on that that it can translate here as well?
KENNY GOLLADAY: Yeah, I did. Those guys in Buffalo had some pretty good pieces. So do we. I think that's the most exciting part.
Those guys over there, Diggs, had a whole bunch of balls caught, you know what I mean? You can definitely tell he puts his guys in great positions to succeed.
Q. You guys are trying to win this year, but you're in build mode for the future. As a player, how do you approach that? Do you think you guys can make noise this year while you still build for the long-term?
KENNY GOLLADAY: It's still early on. This is only, what, day two of being on the field. We've still got to find what our offense and what our defense can be. We haven't even gotten to training camp.
As of right now, like I said, people are out there flying around, just having fun with it. I think that's the most important thing. People are ready to get back to work.
DL LEONARD WILLIAMS
Q. Are you still basking in the 'media good guy' award?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I forgot about that (laughter). I appreciate you guys for voting for me. I was honestly surprised I won because I feel like I give (Director of Football Communications) Dion (Dargin) a lot of crap whenever he tries to call me up to talk to the media.
Q. What do you think of Martindale's defense and aggressiveness? Different than what you played before.
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, any position you play, any defensive player is going to love that type of style from a defensive coordinator. Every defensive player wants to make big plays, get TFLs, get sacks, get those big type of plays. This is the type of defense to do it in. He's blitzing guys from all different directions. What I've gotten from him that's been helping me with the defense is to learn it as a concept because if we learn it that way, it will show you that it could be the same pressure, but five different guys could be doing that same pressure. I think it's a fun defense so far.
Q. You talk about the business in the NFL, how year to year you never know. For your career, when you take a step back and realize how many changes, coaching changes, GM changes, how do you approach change for this season?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I've really been dealing it with my whole career, even in college. But the way I approach it is every team is different every year. The same team is different every year regardless of the coaching staff or anything like that. I think I learned that very early on in my career. When I would come back after my rookie year, and at least 15, 20 guys in the locker room have been changed. Even throughout the season, the same locker right next to me, I've seen like five different faces throughout the year, stuff like that. You kind of really have to adapt to change pretty quickly. It's different every year. So I don't know, you just got to adapt.
Q. Given the scheme and the nature of the scheme, the personnel you guys have, what type of pass-rushing production do you expect from your defense this year?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I'm not sure yet. We've only put in the basics of install. We watched film on the Ravens. We know this is a Wink style of defense, attack and aggressive mentality. We definitely want to see a lot of TFLs, sacks, big plays like that, make the offense play behind the sticks. The faster we can pick it up on defense, the faster we'll be able to play it on the field.
Q. Were you surprised to see Michael Strahan here yesterday?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say surprised. This is his stomping grounds. It was awesome to see him out here. Even though it was day one of mini-camp practice, stuff like that, we're not even competing yet. I think guys just seeing him boosts morale and energy around the guys.
Q. Did he address the group?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, right after stretching, he broke the huddle, talked to the guys a little bit. I talked to him a little bit walking into the fieldhouse because he said he remembers he came to a Jets practice one time when I was there. And then two off-seasons ago, he spoke at a financial seminar I was at so we met again. He's a good guy to get some advice and wisdom from.
Q. Do you have a sense of this new coaching staff, the vibe here, compared to the last two years?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, they haven't been here too long. I'm actually glad that I came to OTAs, new coaching staff, pick up on the energy around the building, and learn everybody. They've been doing a good job I think just letting us know that it's our team at the end of the day. No amount of coaching changes or anything like that is going --at the end of the day, the players are the ones on the field. We have to learn how to take over the team, take it into our hands on how we're going to approach practice, how we're going to approach just everything about being a Giant. I think they're doing a good job of giving us the keys.
Q. Given the fact it's early, not supposed to be very intense right now, do you sense a different intensity now compared to the last two years?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, there's always going to be differences if there's a coaching change. I obviously feel like there's some differences, different systems, different guys, different energy and stuff like that. I mean, I think right now they're doing a good job of making it fun, but also work at the same time. They're trying to make sure guys are, like, being loose, being able to communicate without too much pressure. I think it's even starting in the classroom when we're in meetings. I remember like the first day, Wink asked us a question. It was like an open question where anyone can answer basically and it was just like a silent room. Now in meeting rooms, it's only been a few days, you see a lot of chatter. That's the type of defense that he wants. That's the type of leadership he wants to see in the guys.
Q. People are still talking about this team about still being in a rebuilding phase. How sick are you of hearing that? It's been since '16. How do you think this team could maybe surprise some people and actually compete this year?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, trying to get accustomed to change, like I said, being adaptive, knowing every year is different. Sometimes rebuilding isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes change is good. You know what I mean? At the same time it's not the rebuilding that I'm sick of, it's the losing that I'm sick of. I want to take that into my own hands. That goes back to the last question I just answered about putting the keys in the players' hands, taking accountability on our own, not just putting everything on the coaches. I'm ready to win. I'm in year eight now, going into year eight, and I haven't even been to a single playoff game yet. This game doesn't last forever. It goes by very fast as well. I'm definitely ready to start winning.
Q. Does that include urging guys to be here who aren't?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, also respecting people's decisions at the same time. I do know this is voluntary. I even questioned if I was going to be here or not at the start of it.At the end of the day you have to respect everybody's decision because it is a voluntary program. I'm sure guys are professionals and they've been around long enough to know what their body needs in order to play when Sunday comes during the season.
Q. Why was it a question for you? Guys say they could do some of the physical stuff elsewhere.
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Just like you said, I feel like the physical work is something that I can possibly get on my own time. But it's the camaraderie that I kind of leaned into coming. Just building that camaraderie with the guys and the new coaching staff.
Q. When you watched the Ravens' film from the last couple of years, is there a player you fixed on, that you see that guy in my game?
LEONARD WILLIAMS: Calais Campbell actually. I see the way they move him all around the line. We play similar positions. Yeah, I first started watching a bunch of Ravens' defense to see what type of style was. After figuring out the style, I was like, 'Ok, where would I fit in the defense?' I started looking at Campbell, just started watching him on all these different pressures, how they used him.
DL DEXTER LAWRENCE
Q. Dexter, what has been your early impressions of the coaching staff?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Honestly, it's just been good energy throughout the whole building. Guys are eager to get the playbook down. The coaches are pushing it on us. New install every day, so we really just focus on trying to get the morale right and continue to have fun out here.
Q. You're the third guy that's come up here and talked about the good energy. How do you describe that?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Just like players, coaches, all just coming out here just wanting to learn, wanting to get better. Whenever there's a new staff, you're never sure what's going to happen. Guys come here with good energy, good vibes, ready to learn.
Q. You just got the playbook a couple days ago. Based on what you've seen, what is different about it? Do you like what you've seen so far? Are you excited about it?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, definitely excited. Wink is a pressure guy, blitz guy. A lot of pressures and blitz in install early. Learning that can be a little bit challenging. We all are asking each other questions. That's the one thing, we're not afraid to ask questions and learn.
Q. Any insight on your position coach from Dalvin (Tomlinson)?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah, yeah. Coach 'Dre (Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson) has been great. Dalvin had nothing to say. D Moa (David Moa) was actually with him for four months earlier. Guys like that have nothing but good things to say about him. His résumé kind of speaks for itself.
Q. Have you had any discussions with the Giants or has your agent said anything about your discussions on your fifth-year option?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: There's talk here and there. I'm controlling what I can control right now. That's going to handle itself. There's nothing really, I can do about that right now. It's up to whoever going to give me it or not.
Q. You want to be here long-term?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Yeah. I love the Giants. Of course (smiling).
Q. You've played well, but obviously the first three years it's been a lot of losing. You still want to be here?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I love the Giants, yes.
Q. Do you have any kind of a different role this year?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I mean, I'm just becoming a better leader than I was before, speaking up more, keeping the energy up, coming in every morning with a smile on my face, positive vibes. That's all I can really do right now, just try to be a leader and help everybody out.
Q. Is that something they're asking you to do?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: No. That's just something that I feel like is necessary for my role on the team.
Q. Did they ask you to report a little bigger?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: No. Just off-season. I'm not in my best shape right now. I'm just working every day to just learn the playbook really.
Q. Did the coaches come to you guys, the veterans, and say, what do you like to do? How can we craft a scheme to your strengths? Is it pretty much, here it is?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I trust the coaches to put us all in great positions to be dominant, to win. He's teaching, Wink is putting in a defense, our coaches are putting us in positions where we feel best to dominate on defense.
Q. There hasn't been any feedback or give-and-take?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Nobody is making the team right now in the spring. We just putting in positions to be the best, I feel like.
Q. How much film have you watched from Martindale's time with the Ravens to understand the concepts?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Every day we do install, he has clips. He shows the play, how it's executed on the field. Every day we are watching some type of Ravens' film.
Q. You mentioned parts of the defense are a little challenging to learn. What in particular are the challenging parts?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: Just new. It's just new. New communication, new words that you have to learn, new positions. A lot more pressuring, things like that. It's a lot of new things that we're here for OTAs to learn.
Q. How much of a blitz-happy defense (inaudible)?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: You know, it could give me a little bit more one-on-ones, a little bit more movement. I can use my athleticism a little bit more. I mean, I'm happy about it. I just see nothing but plays being made from all over the field.
Q. Is it exciting to be a part of a new group, to start all over here again?
DEXTER LAWRENCE: I mean, in the beginning, no. You have to get comfortable, learn new names, learn new faces, learn how people are, learn moves, things like that. I mean, that's never extremely fun. These guys, the coaches, the new staff, have all been great. They've made it easier to adapt and adjust to everything.
RB SAQUON BARKLEY
Q. (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) said after the Combine, he called you kind of right away to say he's not shopping you or anything. What did that call mean to you?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yeah, I appreciated the call. He just wanted to get off on the right foot. I was like, it is what it is. I wasn't really worried about it in anyway. My mindset was just come into work no matter what. Besides that, just love being back. I'm feeling healthy, working hard. Love the energy that we have in the building. I love the energy Joe, (Head Coach Brian) Dabs, all the coaches are bringing. I'm excited for this year.
Q. Saquon, this is the first off-season in a while you haven't had a rehab. Have you noticed a difference in yourself? Do you feel differently this off-season so far?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yeah. I definitely feel a lot different, a lot better. I feel like myself again. Obviously, I don't want to jump the gun, I just want to keep focusing on the little things and get better every day. No matter what for the rest of your career, with injuries, every off-season is going to be kind of somewhat rehabbing or prehabbing so you make sure you don't get injured.
My mindset is just keep working on the little things and focus on the things that I can control. I can't control me stepping on someone's foot and hurting my ankle. I've got to put that in the past. I've got to worry about taking care of my ankle, I've got to worry about taking care of my knee, I've got to worry about taking care of all my body parts so I can be healthy – because I know when I'm healthy I know what I can do for this team and what I'm able to bring to the table.
Q. Since you are entering the final year of your contract, would you like to have discussions with the Giants this offseason about an extension beyond this year?
SAQUON BARKLEY: You mean coming into the season?
Q. You see some guys going into their fifth-year option year will do an extension in the summer. Is that something you'd like to do, or play out your option?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I'm not even focused on that. The best thing that I can do is just focus on what I can control. That's showing up, being healthy, going out there at OTAs, camp and in season and performing, work hard, keep my mind right, study the playbook.
I'm a big believer, I've been saying it since day one since you guys met me, everything is going to take care of itself. I've only got to focus on what I can focus on and what I can control. That's everything within my realm. That's my main thing right now.
Q. What was your reaction at the Combine when Joe Schoen left the door open to everything? He admitted he did take some calls from teams interested in you. What was your thought process and how you were processing that?
SAQUON BARKLEY: At first, I was working out and I came home and my phone was blowing up. I was like, 'What the heck?' At first, I thought I got traded, but you never know in today's world.
But then when I looked it up and I saw it, I didn't really take it like that, to be completely honest. That's his job. He's supposed to do whatever he feels that can help this team win and this organization win. That's his job. When I saw the response, I really didn't take it as, 'Oh, dang, he wants to get rid of me, or the Giants want to trade me.' To be honest, I felt like that was more of just word-of-mouth, the media kind of create a story. I didn't really take it like that to be completely honest.
Like I said, at first, I was like, 'Oh, what the heck did happen,' because of my phone. But I was cool. My mindset was Dabs called me, Joe called me, I got right back with my trainer and my PT, and right to work.
Q. I know he's told us he told you he's not shopping you. Did he tell you he won't trade you?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I feel like the conversations between me and him stays in-house. What was said and what I told him was, 'Welcome to New York.' You've got to be careful with the things you say because they can spin it one way and turn it into another story.
Q. What do you think this new offense, this new regime, can give you an opportunity to be a playmaker in the sense of receiving, rushing, and take advantage of your talent?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yeah, not just me. I feel like I've got a lot to prove. I feel like there's a lot of guys in the running back room, the wide receiver room, the quarterback room, who've got a lot to prove. We're very talented. We believe in each other, and we believe in the system that's in place. Right now, it's about getting one percent better every day.
Obviously, you start smiling when you see plays work out there and you see how they work in the film room or when you're going over the playbook. You've got to just focus on the little things, getting better every single day. When those opportunities come, make sure we stay healthy enough and we capitalize on the plays that we can make.
Q. You said you feel like yourself again. What are you doing physically now you weren't doing a year ago?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I'm not rehabbing the knee. That's one. I'm not out there thinking anymore. At the time, you're like, 'I'm not even thinking about it,' but then when you replace yourself and look back a year later you're like, 'Oh my God, it's two completely different things.'
Getting stronger, getting back to how I like to train, my training résumé. Also adding the new things to keep me healthy – mobility-wise, stability-wise, all those little things. It's not just the now. I want to play this game for a long time. I don't want to have a short career. That comes with taking care of your body. That's really the biggest difference I'm doing, training hard and pushing my body, but also training smart.
Q. Did your mindset grow during that recovery process? Do you see yourself attacking the game differently? How are you approaching it knowing you're coming into it with a different attack point?
SAQUON BARKLEY: My mindset from just the last two years, to be honest, I kind of just want to kill, go crazy. I don't want to jump the gun. It's a long way before September and we start of the regular season.
To be honest, I'm just tired of whatever is written about me, the BS that's said about me or this team. I want to go out there and prove to this organization that the player they drafted is still there, I can still do special things with the ball in my hands, and I can help this team.
Q. Why do you think it's BS, the things that were written about your production level with injury history?
SAQUON BARKLEY: One thing I've learned is the story that's going to be told is people are going to shape it the way they want it to be told. I feel like there's a lot of things that are left out –
Q. Why is it BS, you were not productive?
SAQUON BARKLEY: It's not just that, to be completely honest. The productivity level, it's just – I don't want to really get too into the details of what is being said. If I get into that, probably you know who I'm talking about. So, I'm just going to say that I'm just tired of BS. Just want to go out there, play the game I love, and have fun with my teammates.
Q. Since you've gotten here, now third new regime basically. Has there ever been a point with everything you've gone through, where you took a step back and thought maybe I need a fresh start? Why are you committed to being here?
SAQUON BARKLEY: I love it here. I feel like, this place has so much tradition and so much history and I want to be part of the success that comes back to this place. I don't want to look back on my career and say, 'Dang, when I was in New York with the Giants, I was part of the down years.' I know the talent we have in our locker room. I know what we're able to do as a team. We've just got to continue to stick to the little things, continue to buy-in and continue to believe in each other.
To be honest, when I was a kid, I was a Jets fan. I used to drive to New York and pass the stadium, the old stadium. I always told my dad I wanted to play in that stadium. I'm playing in MetLife, obviously I'm playing for the Giants. Something I wanted to do as a kid. I want to be special here.
Q. Has the running back position changed since your rookie year? When you were a rookie, you caught 91 passes. Do you see that increasing and running becoming less important?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Do you mean within our playbook or talking about in the league?
Q. It seems running backs are catching more passes rather than being thousand-yard rushers.
SAQUON BARKLEY: Yeah, I guess you could say that that's where the game is going. I feel like if you think of the top backs, they're all able to do some catching the ball in the backfield, some route-running, I feel like it just adds versatility to the game and a way you can be productive for the team.
Q. You mentioned your emotional connection to this team. Does it cross your mind this could be your last year here or is that something that concerns you?
SAQUON BARKLEY: No, I'm not really focusing on that. I feel like if I put myself in that place, I just feel like for my mental, for everything, just energy-wise it's not good for me. It's not going to bring any positivity to that at all. No matter what, if I go crazy, whatever happens, God forbid, I just try to focus on the now, coming in, enjoying the process, enjoying with my teammates here, loving the game, having fun playing the game. Like I said, it's something I've been wanting to do since I was a little kid. I'm living my dream. I'm going to capitalize on it.
Q. There was a play towards the end of practice today where you went on a long reception and scored a touchdown, high-five'd Daboll after that. Was there any kind of feeling with that play, particularly the reaction from your teammates, your feeling about, 'Hey, this is what I have been?'
SAQUON BARKLEY: It's not like a selfish way. Like I said earlier, it's more of just you seeing the plays and you seeing the creativity, and then you go out there and you capitalize on it or it works, you see it in the film. You know, it gets you anxious. You want to go, go, go, go, absorb everything, and go out there and try to do it all at once. But yeah, it puts a smile on your face. Not just because of, 'Oh, I scored a touchdown or it's me again,' it was more the creativity, the things that (Offensive Coordinator) Coach Kafka's saying or Dabs was saying, the mindset that everyone on the offense is starting to come alive. It's short, it's day two, day three of voluntary mini camp. Just got to stick with it and get one percent better every day.
Q. How would you describe the stamp that Dabs and Joe have put on this in the short period of time here? Any differences you feel as a group?
SAQUON BARKLEY: Just the energy. Just the energy in the building from everybody. From the lunch staff all of the way up to the top. When I came back, I was out training in San Diego, but when I came back to meet the coaches and just get familiar with everyone, you could just feel the energy was different in the lunchroom. It's going to be an exciting year. Obviously, we've still got a long way to go. Just enjoy it, day by day and get better.