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Quotes: WR Parris Campbell, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches on signing with Giants

WR Parris Campbell

Q: Just curious what this week was like for you, just going through free agency. And obviously, you landed with what everyone calls the 'prove it' deal. Just your mindset going into that type of contract.

A: To be honest with you, it was a whirlwind. Definitely, my eyes were opened with the business side of everything and how this league works. But it was fun and exciting at the same time just with all the possibilities that were out there. Obviously, when I got close to a deal with the Giants, the excitement through me, my family, we were just excited for this next step of our journey. I think we're incredibly grateful to be here.

Q: I think if anybody looks at your career history, the injuries were a big part of it the first three years. How tough was it to deal with that? Obviously, you were healthy last year. Do you think you turned the corner or changed something? How do you explain playing in 17 games last year?

A: My career is what it was. It was tough, very tough those first three years. Being able to bounce back from each and every injury that I had, I really learned a lot about myself. I feel like I grew as a man, as a person, a player, obviously. It allowed me to grow in so many different areas because I've seen a lot of myself that I didn't know that I had. I was able to fight and bounce back so many different times. It really showed me a lot. Then just speaking in terms of last year, being able to play a full 17 (games), that's all I ever wanted to do. Just given the history of my career, that's all I ever wanted to do. Being able to do that, I was blessed, grateful. The injuries that I had, there were things that were just freak accidents. You couldn't really draw it up. They weren't avoidable to me. They were things that happened and just had some bad luck. Like I said, was able to play all 17 last year, so I was extremely blessed.

Q: I wanted to ask you about your deployment in the Colts' offense to date, and what haven't we seen from you that you feel is a strength that you feel like maybe you can deploy in the Giants' offense?

A: I feel like there are a lot of things that football fans haven't seen. I feel like in college, coming into the NFL, I was and still am a guy that can do a lot of different things on the football field, whether that's lining up inside in the slot or outside, a lot of stuff over the middle, down-the-field plays. I think it's a wide variety when it comes to what I can do on the football field. I'm extremely blessed and talented to be able to do those things. I think last year with the Colts, it was just a glimpse of what I can be in this league. I just was happy to be out there for all 17 and get the opportunity to show what I can do.

Q: You also spoke about overcoming the injuries, the adversity that went with that. You also went through a revolving door at quarterback. Can you just talk about the challenges of that and how you made it work?

A: Absolutely. It's definitely tough – definitely tough as a receiver going through so many different changes with so many quarterbacks. Then especially last year, playing with three quarterbacks in one season, it's definitely tough because you want to build a rapport with a guy and keep it consistent throughout the season and build that chemistry. Just with so much change, it's hard to do that. As a receiver, it's like you've got to change what you want to do like running routes. You've got to be on the same page as the different quarterbacks. Some guys like other things, certain routes. It's a lot of different change, and it's hard to get it consistent and get on the same page with so many guys. The guys that we had, credit to them, because they're super detailed from top to bottom – each and every one of them – super detailed. So, it was easy to get on the same page and get along with those guys. But I'm excited, being here now in New York, getting to build a rapport with (quarterback) Daniel Jones. I'm excited for what's to come.

Q: You mentioned the bad luck, which I think most of us can relate to in our lives at different points. I'm just wondering, is there an example that would help us, here in this market, understand one of those 'bad luck' things that you were like, 'You've got to be kidding me. This just happened, and it's going to keep me out of the game,' or that kind of thing?

A: I can pick any one of the injuries. But I think the two that stick out in my mind are the one for sure playing (against the) Houston Texans, season 2021. I catch a 50-yard touchdown, and the DB just lands on my foot in the endzone, and my foot breaks. Like what are the chances? What are the odds of that? The other one was in 2020, Covid season, I'm coming around the end, get a reverse handoff, and the safety just comes straight at my knee. It was just a hard hit to my knee. Those two things were just unlucky to me and really, unavoidable. I think when I speak about the bad luck thing, I think those two things stand out.

Q: When you envision yourself, you're probably one of the many players who envision success because that's why you are where you are, when you envision catching passes from Daniel Jones with (running back) Saquon (Barkley) in the backfield and everything that this Giants team seems to be building toward, what is your vision for what the rest of your NFL career can begin to be?

A: Absolutely. I think the ceiling is high, and I'm grateful to be in the position that I am. To have this opportunity is everything to me. This team, this organization is trending in the right direction. I think we all saw that last year. Being able to come in here and get an opportunity means everything. The fact that the staff, the coaches, everybody from top to bottom, wants me to be a part of it, it's huge. I'm not going to take that for granted. I'm going to give them all I got. Definitely envisioning success with those guys, it's amazing because you see what this offense did last year and just the way they made football look so fun and how the offense was coming together and gelling, it was awesome to watch from afar. To be here now, getting the opportunity to be a part of that, it's pretty exciting.

Q: I don't know how much you know of (tight end) Darren Waller. I'm guessing you know his game at least. What kind of excitement does that give to a receiver like yourself to know that that big guy is going to be on the field with you?

A: Oh yeah, Darren actually reached out to me yesterday, and I was super excited when I saw his text. I think just the versatility that he brings to the game and being an all-around tight end and being able to do it all is huge for the wideouts because when Darren Wallen is on the field, the defense better check to him. I think it's just going to gel together perfectly, the pieces that this organization and team is putting together for the offense. I think the ceiling is high, and the future is bright.

Q: Did you know it was Waller texting you, or did it come up as a number and you were like, 'Maybe I'll answer this'?

A: No, I knew it was him actually because I got his number from Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) like five minutes before. I was actually writing out a text. He sent and I sent at the same time. So, it was pretty funny. Excited to get to know those guys and play with those guys for sure.

Q: I wanted to ask you about (linebacker) Bobby Okereke. We asked Bobby about you yesterday. Did you talk to him before you signed? What can you tell us about him?

A: I talked to Bobby actually a lot before I signed. Obviously, he was here yesterday, and he was kind of telling me about his day and all that stuff. Bobby's my guy. He just kept it real with me. He kept it real about the staff. Obviously, they were asking him questions about me. He was getting me excited. He was telling me about the facility, about the people here, just how family-oriented it felt and just for the opportunity itself. But I'm excited to embark on this journey with Bobby. I've got a familiar face here with me in him, so excited for this journey to start it together.

Q: What got you through those first three years? Obviously, you had come off a great year at Ohio State. You go in the second round (of the NFL draft). What kept you going through those years of freak injuries and just not being on the field?

A: My family was everything during that time. My family was big for me, and then my faith, which I'm also very heavily into. Those two things are my driving force no matter if things are going good or things are going bad. Those two things – family and faith – are my everything and that's what I rely on. My wife, she stood by my side through those injuries – and my mother and grandparents. Just everybody, down the whole line, everybody just stood by me. When I was down in the dumps, they kept me positive. They kept my mindset right, and obviously, my two children are a part of that as well. It's much deeper than me. When I was going through that stuff, it was always just bigger than me. I was always doing it for a bigger purpose – obviously, to make my family proud but also to fulfill and give back to God what he gave me with these talents and gifts. Those two things are everything.

Q: You kind of alluded to what you were seeing from the Giants, but you were seeing it first-hand at the end of the season on probably their favorite day of the year where they clinched a playoff spot. Describe what that day was like from the other side and now to be on that side.

A: (Laughs) It definitely was not as exciting as it was for the Giants fans at that time. It was rough. Obviously, in Indy last year, it was a tough season. But we fought our way through it. Speaking specifically on that day, I was on the sideline just watching Daniel (Jones) run up and down the sideline going crazy. I forgot how many yards he rushed for, but every time I looked up at the screen, he was running for like 20 yards. Just really watching the offense, you can tell that they were just having fun. The chemistry that they showed out there on the field, getting guys in the right position to make plays. They had guys making plays all over the field. It looked fun and it looked fluid. Now being in this seat after having seen that from afar, I'm just super excited for what's to come.

Q: What have you seen from Daniel Jones? I don't know how much you've been able to watch or if you've met him – what you're excited for in that relationship and getting to know him as a quarterback.

A: Daniel actually texted me as well yesterday. He told me he was a big fan of my game for a long time, and that got me excited because you just don't know who's watching. So, that got me excited. Obviously, I'm a huge fan of his game and how he took the steps throughout his career to just get better each and every year. I think if you ask anybody, you can see his development and see how he really just took control and commanded this offense. He did great things last year. Obviously, he got what he deserved. I'm so happy for him. But even texting him yesterday, I'm actually out in Arizona training right now in the offseason, and he's like, 'I've got to get out to Arizona. Let's get to work.' That's what you want. You're a new guy coming in, a new piece to the offense, and the quarterback is already like, 'Let's go. Let's get some work together.' That's just so welcoming. That's so promising. Obviously, I'm ready to build on a relationship with him and create a rapport with him. So, just super excited. I haven't really stopped smiling since I agreed to come here. Just excited.

DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches

Q: Hey, Rakeem. Or are we going with Nacho? Which one do you prefer?

A: Nacho, big dog. (Laughs)

Q: I've heard you have a big personality. Can you describe your big personality on and off the field, what you're bringing to the locker room and the field here?

A: I'm just bringing a whole lot of energy, a whole lot of excitement, a whole lot of teamwork, just hard work and effort. My personality is my personality. Everything I do, I work hard for. It's just understanding how much this game means to me and how much it gives back to me. I just try to give it all I've got, and I don't know how to really wear my emotions or my feelings. But it just comes out on my sleeves, and the way I talk, it's just me.

Q: You're coming to join a defensive line with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. What are your thoughts on how you kind of complement them and fit in with them?

A: Man, I respect their game. Those are some dogs right there. I just feel like coming here to help and contribute, bringing some great things. Stopping the run is what I do. I do that in my sleep. I just want to help those guys in that aspect. Anything I can do to help them, take the load off them, that's what I'm here for.

*Q: When you considered the Giants and that whole process, how much did (defensive coordinator) Wink Martindale, if any, fit into your profile of who you wanted to be coached by? *

A: A lot. I've seen him do a lot with lesser guys or guys that came from struggling backgrounds, or they felt like they were only one dimensional, and then he ended up taking them to the next level. Just seeing a coach like that, understanding his background, I was like, 'I would love to play for a guy like that.'

Q: How would you describe what Giants fans are going to see from you on the field on game days?

A: (Laughs) I don't even know how to put it into words to be honest with you. I just can say there will never be a dull moment. It's going to be something to look forward to.

Q: (General manager) Joe Schoen had told us that getting depth, and quality depth, for that defensive line was an absolute priority. How do you think you'll fit in with the bigger names on that d-line and also some of the other guys as well?

A: The biggest thing about me since I've been in the league, I'd say my biggest attribute is being a chameleon. Whatever you need, wherever you need me to fill in at, I'll become that, and I'll dominate that position. Whatever my coach requires, I'll be that.

Q: You said being a chameleon?

A: Yes, ma'am. Change whatever I can do.

Q: Was it a tough decision? Did the Giants blow you away and you were like, 'This is where I want to be'? Or how was the decision there?

A: It was a tough decision. It really was, I'm not going to lie. It was a battle between two other teams, but I'm not going to get into that. When it came down to it, I love where the organization is going. I love the people that're here. It just was a better fit moving forward.

Q: The idea that the Giants did what they did last year, and now they have a lot more promise, they have a real footing in that building now in terms of (head coach Brian) Daboll and Schoen and that sort of thing. How much did that open your eyes in this process?

A: I mean, it was big. I've always wanted to be a part of a cause and not a part of a problem. I saw where the organization was at and the things they could do and the potential that was here. So, I was like, 'Man, I feel like I could be one of those factors that takes it to the next level.' I've always wanted to be a part of that. I never liked going to all those 'dream teams.' I want to be part of the culture, a part of the change, a part of the shift. That was one of the biggest factors in coming here.

Q: You said you're a chameleon. I know you've had a long career, but where have you played mostly throughout your career? Three technique, five technique?

A: It's funny that you say that because I've mainly been a backup nose (tackle). But something always ended up happening to the three techniques, and I ended up playing a large volume at three tech. But I feel like I've split my reps between three and nose, but it's probably on the higher end at three. But when I was in 2020, I was a dominant nose. There have been some times where I've played in the five. So, it goes three, nose, then five.

Q: With you coming to the Giants, you get to work with (defensive line coach) Andre Patterson. I was wondering if you've met him before and kind of that relationship, or if you just met him when you got here?

A: Like formally, I just met him when I got here. I haven't been able to develop that relationship all the way. But I'm eager to, very.

Q: With Dexter specifically, he kind of moved a little bit and he tweaked his technique this past season. I wonder if that's something you saw this past season, or – you're shaking your head like you watched that develop.

A: I've seen him grow as a player. I mean, the guy was all over the field. This is a big joker, adding to his pass rush, running down the ball, playing sideline to sideline. I was just amazed by the growth and the step that he took from the previous year. I'm like, 'This guy's going in the right direction, and I'd love to play with him.' I love it. I just want to complement their game.

View photos of the newest members of the Giants touring the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.


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