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2021 Rookie Camp

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Quotes: Giants address media from rookie minicamp

Head Coach Joe Judge

Q. What are you hoping to see out of guys like Benjamin at tight end, why do you think he can convert there and Corey and Smith, the tryout running backs, as well?

A: Yeah, so everyone is here for a purpose. All of the guys were brought in on a trial basis. They were the guys available for us to work check within our system a little bit and see if there's a potential to add them for a role for our team. In terms of Benjamin working different position today, we're going to work different guys at a variety of things right now. He's a big guy. He's always been a big receiver. He'll work receiver. He's working a little bit flex tight end as well. I wouldn't really kind of, you know, pin him down to any one position at this point. We're going to use the weekend to move him around to different spots and see how it works out.

Q. You know what was going on with Toney's cleats today?

A: You know what, first day on the field I think there's a little bit of equipment issue. We have to get that straightened out and make sure our guys hit the field with equipment they are comfortable with. We'll handle that; make sure it's not an issue going forward.

Q. And what are you hoping to see out of the rookies this weekend? What's the key takeaway you are looking for them to come away with?

A: I think the biggest thing with these rookies, with any class of rookie, it's all brand new to them. It's their first day in the National Football League, first time on the grass and first time in our systems and schemes. So really this is an orientation weekend. This isn't a competition weekend. This isn't a situation where we are cutting down the team this weekend. This is just get the guys out there moving on the grass, take a look at them and get a better idea where they are physically. These are guys that have not been with a team now for at least five months. So being out there for the first time in team activities, drills and the pace and practice, as opposed to individual workouts with a trainer are much, much different. So you know, all these guys got to get in football shape which is just part of the process of being out here in spring and working them forward.

Q. Was wondering your first impression of Kadarius, getting him in your system with your guys compared to what you would have seen on tape or pre draft workouts?

A: I think with all these rookies, it's about the same. Our first impression of these guys really was on tape and what we saw leading up to the draft. Right now, we're just trying to get them out there and get them moving. This is all very new for these guys in terms of walking around the building. These guys have as much on their plate in terms of finding out where their locker is, where to eat in the cafeteria, where they shower as much as getting out there, where they stretch where an individual is and when we blow the horn for group and special teams, where they run to. So it's a learning experience for these guys. They try to get on the field and just move as fast as they can. Like I said we've got to get these guys in football shape and it's just part of the process. 

Q. Just wondering, this is an unusual type of setup, you only had I think about 22 players here. I know this was more of a coaching clinic for lack of a better term. Having said that were you able to get any more of a sense of where these guys are in terms of their fundamentals, especially those who haven't played since two years ago.

A: Yeah, I think with the exception of maybe a couple of the vets that are out here who are a little further ahead because they have experience in the league, as a whole, every rookie you get every year is far way away from where they are going to be. None of their fundamentals will be good enough and none of their conditioning will be good enough. That's our job to get them going. That's why we have to be out there and we have to train them and practice and catch up where the vets are at, so when they get to training camp they can compete on equal ground.

Q. How much stock do you put into the tape that they put on the field this weekend at all? I know you weren't here at the time but Darius Slayton, he had a horrible first couple days couldn't catch the ball but then it sort of clicked for him. Do you put stock into what you see on the field this weekend or do you just look at it as, hey, we are just getting them totally orientated in a way?

A: Yeah, it truly is just orientation. At this point obviously we can identify things they have to work on. We can identify where they are currently. However I'd say every rookie you get right now, just from the nature of not being on a team for the duration that they have been training for the Draft and all that kind of stuff, they are all far behind. You know, they really are. Most of these guys are all further behind now than they were when they finished their college seasons. So we have to get them back going, get them caught up, get them in our systems and in our schemes, and they have got a long way to go, and that's true of any rookie class. In terms of how much we put on the tape, again we are not cutting down the weekend. That's not really what the goal of what we are doing is. We are just trying to get these guys out there, get them moving around. I've been part of rookie mini-camps before where you put them out there and it's full competition, you are doing hard one-on-ones and seven-on-seven and team as much as you can. To be honest with you, if we had 70 guys out there, we wouldn't have done anything different today. The focus was on fundamentals and getting acclimated to our system and how they practice so when we get out there through the duration of spring and training camp, they have to jump and get going and compete against the vets. 

Q. Wanted to ask you about a local kid, Frankie Feaster coming in here as a tryout. Just curious what you saw in him to decide to bring him in to tryout this weekend and for a small school guy who didn't play last season, I would imagine you guys used some connections and found someone to take a chance on him to come in here and transition to a new position as well.

A: Our scouting partner did a good job digging him up. We are going to work him at fullback and see what his special teams value is going to be. Put him through some different space drills. Like any player we are going to look and see how much value they really have. One of the messages with the rookies is the more you can do. These guys have to come in and have value beyond just whatever their initial position is. So like all the rookies, there's a lot of learning today for them but you know, pleased with his effort on the field today.

Q. As much as it's a competition, and not a competition and an orientation, for a guy like that to come in here, do you almost want to see a little competitive juice to see how much this opportunity might mean to him?

A: I think when you're on the tryout basis like a lot of these guys are, there's a little bit more that some of the guys sometimes have to show. But to be honest with you, when they come in, we kind of already know what we are looking for and there's some already on our radar and some we are already looking at. When the time comes, sooner or later, if they show enough this weekend, they will get an opportunity. 

Q. What did you like about the two offensive linemen you signed, Heggie and Burton?

A: Well, I think these guys had good tape in college. They are both intelligent players. They have been working very hard. In terms of where they are right now compared to where we plan on them being through the duration of the season, they are a far way away but they are both working very regard right now giving themselves a chance to catch up. I like the way they worked on the field. Rod, Ben and Flats had those guys going pretty good. It's tough being in a camp where you are only two linemen for the entire duration of a day, but those guys handled it well today.

Q. They were outnumbered by the coaches?

A: Well, we had to complete the offensive line with a couple guys like Ben who had some experience.

Q. Just to follow up on Toney, looked like he and Williams did not do the conditioning. Were they dealing with injuries or did you back them off?

A: You know what I have to check with Ronnie. I looked over at the end and they were at the trainers, so it's something Ronnie was talking to them about, so I'll get the injury report when we're done here and see where we go from there. 

Q. Did you have any guys that were eligible for this that decided not to come to it?

A: No. All of our guys who are eligible and available are here.

Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney

Q. Can you explain what happened with your cleats in the beginning there, and then I have a follow-up after that, please.

A: I think just the wrong size. They figuring that out right now.

Q. Wrong size?

A: Yeah. 

Q. So did you get the right ones?

A: Yeah, I ended up getting it eventually, yeah.

Q. And could you just talk about one of the reasons the Giants like you is your ability to break tackles. Is it speed, agility, quickness, toughness, mindset? What is breaking tackles about to you?

A: Maybe just mindset knowing that I'm playing like the ability that you're blessed with, you know what I'm saying, do it consistently.

Q. Have you ever done drills barefoot like that before?

A: I do whatever it take, you know what I'm saying. I do whatever it take. I don't remember.

Q. You could have stopped. Why did you keep going?

A: It's just me. It's that dog mentality.

Q. And did you have a chance to talk to Kelvin at all? He was a first round draft pick wide receiver?

A: Yeah, of course, he's my teammate. We always going to talk and show respect to each other, so yeah.

Q. What was your first impression of being here in the area, the Giants, everything that you've seen so far?

A: Really I'm just thankful for the opportunity to just be here and be with Coach Judge and receiving coaching from Coach Tyke Tolbert so far.

Q. They have coached kind of hard; is that something you notice? That stood out to us last year when we saw them at first. What about you?

A: Yeah, they coach pretty hard. I mean, any player that's like willing to do what it take to win, like they going to respect whatever coach they have available. 

Q. You said your cleats were fine at the end. You didn't run the conditioning at the end, though.

A: Yeah.

Q. Were you still dealing with the cleats at that point?

A: Yeah, it was kind of, yeah, basically just cleat. I mean, yeah, it was just a safer route to go, I guess you could say.

Q. We actually met at your pro day.

A: Yeah, yeah, I remember.

Q. After I very, very long pro day. You remember that?

A: Yes, ma'am.

Q. You were sweating more that day than you were today but welcome to this area.

A: Thank you.

Q. I wonder if the Giants have brought up punt returning to you yet?

A: Not yet. I'm just trying to figure out and get better day-by-day and take it for what it is day-by-day.

Q. Would you like that opportunity early in your career?

A: I'm thankful for any opportunity you know what I'm saying, just me coming here and getting up under Coach Judge, I'm just thankful and grateful to really be here. 

Q. What was today like for you? What were your nerves like? I'm sure you didn't expect it to go the way it did, one foot on the field, one foot off the field?

A: I was pretty anxious to get out there but at the end of the day I have to take the situation for what it is. Like you know what I'm saying, like if I was limited to anything, like I just had to deal with that, you could say what -- really as far as nerve-wise, I was eager to really just go out there and show the coaches what I can do and they came and took a chance. The least I can do is show them my ability and what I can actually bring to the organization.

Q. Why did you land on 89?

A: Really wasn't my choice, but I mean, at the end of the day at least I got a jersey, you know what I'm saying. Like it could have went a lot of different ways, so yeah, I'm thankful.

Q. You had no say in it at all?

A: I mean, at the end of the day, I'm just thankful to have it. It don't really matter what number I have. It don't make the person. The number don't make the person.

Q. Going back to whether there was nerves or wanting to prove something today, at some point tonight when you go into meetings and head back into the hotel, will you exhale and say, my first day as a giant? How are you feeling right now?

A: Actually I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm confident in the coaching that I'm receiving later this afternoon, and looking forward to getting better day-by-day to be honest.

Q. Does it feel right for you?

A: I can't hear you a little bit.

Q. Does this feel right for you? Was there an adjustment period over the last couple days? Does this feel comfortable; that this is where KT is supposed to be?

A: Yeah, I feel pretty comfortable where I'm at right now.

Cornerback Aaron Robinson

Q. What was it like getting such individualized attention from your position coach? I know it's your first day on the field but how much different is what you're learning and what you're repping at the moment from what you're used to or is it not different at all?

A: Right now, it's pretty much just getting out there, learning the basics, trying to get better at whatever Coach want me to do. Pretty much just soak his knowledge up and do whatever I can do with it out there on the field.

Q. Judge was telling us earlier that this is just a time to let you guys get on the field and kind of get your legs underneath you. But do you look at this as the first day to prove yourself to making this team, like even if he says that they are not making those judgments at this time?

A: You know, every day is a workday. You know, like I just mentioned, pretty much just trying to get better, get out there and take some good coaching and apply it.

Q. Who are some of the really good receivers you've gone against in your career that you felt like you did pretty well against?

A: Yeah, not really sure. I pretty much treated every week like it was a top receiver I was playing against and tried to get out there and do what was best for my team and myself.

Q. Can I ask you about a former teammate, maybe practice battles with Gabriel Davis, did you have any of those while he was still there?

A: Definitely had some battles with Gabe. Pretty much just great work everywhere with those guys.

Q. I'm wondering, I know it's early and these are drills and things, but can you size up your size and speed and kind of get a sense, this is your first time in the NFL against other guys that you're just doing drills with or things like that. These aren't your college teammates anymore. Can you look at Kadarius and say that's a guy -- that kind of guy would I have to cover and sense what he is and sense what you are and kind of, you know, see what you need to work on and what you're good at, things like that?

A: I mean, you know, I feel like there's always room for improvement in every area of my game. I'm pretty much just out there to work and get better every day.

Q. Can you tell anything about the first round draft pick, seeing how he moves on the field?

A: We met at the Senior Bowl. Cool guy. Everyone is pretty much there to work.

Q. What's your first impression of this coaching staff, how Judge and Henderson and these guys coach? What's a defining characteristic of how they teach in what you've seen so far?

A: I feel like putting myself in a position with my coaches and -- putting myself in a position to learn the material and, you know, like I just mentioned, trying to take everything the best way that I can and apply it to my game.

Running Back Gary Brightwell

Q. Curious how you're viewing your role here, what you're brought in here to do and what they have kind of -- how they have explained it to you.

A: My role here is just basically being a football player, just like any other football player. You've got to earn your spot. It's not just given to you. I'm just going to be working on myself day-by-day.

Q. What was it like for you going out there for the first time in the Giants jersey and playing around your teammates as an NFL player? What was that experience like for you today?

A: Honestly it was a great experience because you know everybody don't get to have this experience. But I mean, it's great competition. I'm looking forward to competing every day.

Q. When you come to a team that has Saquon Barkley, has he reached out to you? Are you a fan of his? Have you watched him play? Was there any kind of, oh, wow moment when you know you're going to be on a team that also has a Saquon and what can he do for you and what can you do for him as well?

A: Honestly right now I'm focusing on myself right now and I'm trying to become a better player myself right now.

Q. Have you had any connection with him or any interaction with him? Has he reached out to you or anything?

A: I'm just focused on myself right now. 

Q. A lot of people when they come to a new environment, they want to hit the ground running so to speak. How do you balance that out, take it slow, but yet still have that sense of urgency when you go out there to show the coaches, hey, you made the right decision in drafting me?

A: Could you repeat that? I didn't -- I didn't really understand that.

Q. It's common practice for people in a new environment they want to hit the ground running and show what they can do and everything. How do you kind of balance that sense of urgency to show the coaches that, hey, you guys made the right decision drafting me with, you know, taking it slow and not overdoing it to where maybe you have mistakes?

A: I just feel like as long as I stay patient and just do everything -- as long as I just do my job, everything will show itself. I won't even have to say much.

Check out photos of the 2021 rookie class taking the field for the first time at minicamp.

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