Opening Statement: We're looking forward to having the guys back. I can only speak for us as coaches, it just gives us an opportunity to work with the players again and set a new direction heading into 2018. As you know, the first couple weeks here is basically strength training for the players, although we also will be able to meet with them. We are going to meet with them obviously as a team and then offensively, defensively, in terms of special teams and try to just kind of set a foundation and get going as we approach our first extra mini camp, which will be the three days leading up to the draft. It's exciting to get back to work, it's obviously great to see the players back in the building. I have my first team meeting with the players here at 9:15. We kind of schedule it where we have a lifting group, we sort of meet in the middle and then we have another lifting group, so at 9:15 will be my first time to address the team. I'm looking forward to it and I'll try and answer some of your questions.
Q: You said before that the mini camp before the draft would be a showcase for Davis Webb. How are the reps going to work out between him and Eli Manning?
A: We're working on that. Obviously Davis, with only two quarterbacks in the building, they're obviously going to share the reps.
Q: What is the overall gist of the message you will send to the team when you address them this morning?
A: The idea is and, again, I'll save it for when I talk to the team. But for the most part, we're trying to get things started, take advantage of the extra time we have and we want to grow away from basically what happened a year ago, the 3-13 season. We want to grow away from that and try to grow into a team that's competing to win a division, compete in the playoffs, and then hopefully hold up that fifth Lombardi trophy. That's what we're trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time, and I think it's important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it's just as important for us to get better together, and I think that's the beauty of being able to work together here.
Q: How important is it for all of the guys to be in the building for the entire offseason program?
A: We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it's certainly important. In my mind, it's important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it's important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall.
Q: How important is it for Odell Beckham to be there for the duration of the program?
A: I think it's all players. All players, it's good and I think it's important that they're here working together.
Q: Have you seen Odell yet?
A: He is in the building. I have not seen him yet, but I know he's in the building.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Odell after everything that came out of the meetings in Orlando and what was your message there?
A: Yeah, I've communicated with him and certainly that communication is between me and him.
Q: You said that you talked to him about all things non-football related. Did you ask him if there were drugs in the video?
A: Again, that's private between Odell and myself, but we talked about the video.
Q: Were you worried about how all of the trade rumors might affect Odell?
A: I'm not worried about it. I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great. He understands the importance of the offseason and he's a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about a great deal. He's a professional and I'm glad he's here today.
Q: Do you have any idea where Odell is physically?
A: With the players back in town, certainly we are going to assess where they all are in terms of physically and medically, and I'll have more information as we approach the end of the week.
Q: What have been your impressions of the potential offers for Odell Beckham in the trade market?
A: Yeah, that's the business. I'm the coach, so I'm just going to worry about trying to get each and every player and each and every coach as good as they can be, and I'll focus on that part of it.
Q: How anxious are you to finally be able to talk football with the guys and specifically talking with Odell about your vision of what he can do in your offense?
A: It's exciting, and obviously being this is the first opportunity to visit with the players, we just start to formulate our systems and our plans and really our vision for what we want our players to do. I would say this, this is what we as coaches look forward to. I can see as I look out my window here that the grass is starting to green up and the players are around and this is just naturally the time of year where we get back to work. It's an exciting time for coaches and players, and we're just looking forward to getting it started.
Q: What are some of the biggest changes that the players will notice when they arrive and see the Pat Shurmur Giants here in the building for the first time?
A: That's probably a better question for them. I certainly have learned in the last couple of months how things were done in the past and there are some changes that I'll let them discuss those with you. But, I think what's important is -- listen, this is a game that we all love to play, most great players love the training aspect of the game and getting better and being a little bit uncomfortable and working through that, and I think that's part of where we're at. I think anybody, when there is a new coach and a new general manager and some new players, there are some changes that they expect to see, but I think that is probably a better question for them as they move forward. I just think it's very important that we're very professional, we communicate well together and then there is going to be a transfer of information. I think we as coaches need to listen to the players, but also teach what we want them to know and then let them tell us what they're seeing so that we know how we have to teach it further. That's what we're looking forward to, is the communication and then watch these guys develop also physically as they go through the weight lifting and the running.
Q: What has Odell told you about his attendance going forward after today?
A: Yeah again, I know he's in the building. We haven't had a chance to speak. I'll speak to him a little bit more later, probably this afternoon. But we haven't discussed that.
Q: Do you view Odell showing up today as a commitment by him showing that he wants to be a Giant long term? And in addition, would you like to see management use this as an opportunity to get a contract done with him soon, so that it doesn't remain a distraction?
A: I'm not overthinking this. This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together and I think it's important that Odell is here and I'm looking forward to him getting one day better by being here and I'm looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he's here and he's a terrific player and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow towards some of the things that we were talking about earlier.
Q: You have a couple of former players that are on your coaching staff. What will they bring to the table in terms of relating with the players?
A: Well, we all have playing backgrounds. Obviously guys that have played in the NFL that are now career coaches, I think they bring some credibility to the room that the players can really, I guess, hang on to a little bit. The important thing though for an ex-player is they have to decide, they have to cross that bridge between player and coach, and I'm very fortunate that I have some guys here that are now really developed into career coaches, so I'm looking forward to really them working with our players. I think obviously if you coach this game and you've developed some credibility as a coach, certainly some of it comes from your days as a player and then it obviously continues your days as you coach through the profession. It's important and staffs tend to be diverse. We all have different backgrounds and I think it's important to put together a staff of guys that all come from different places.
Q: How is your arm doing?
A: My arm is doing great.
Q: What was the rehab process with that?
A: It was very minimum, but everything is back to 100 percent.
Q: Can you give us a few thoughts on your first impressions on the coaching staff and Coach Shurmur's message to the team?
A: Basically just talking to the whole coaching staff and just all our coaches and just basically very stern, very serious, ready to get to work, excited to be back and ready to put this all together and ready to win some more football games and let's get off this losing streak.
Q: What has been your impression so far of (defensive coordinator) James Bettcher?
A: Just going over the scheme a little bit. Today we went over two schemes and it's perfect. While he was going over it, it was like I was in college again. It was back to what I knew like the back of my hand and it's going to play fast because it's very stern. I really don't have any more thoughts about it.
Q: How do you turn the page from last year?
A: You just clear the slate. Everything that happened back then, you just let it roll over and it's in the back of your mind, but it's a new team, new year, new guys, new faces and we're just ready to get this party on the road.
Q: What makes the defense perfect?
A: Just as in saying that it's the rules are kind of out there, it's very plain; it's this way or no other way. There is no second-guessing it and you can play faster that way without having the thought in your mind about second-guessing yourself about playing on the field.
Q: How would you describe where things are in your relationship with Eli Apple?
A: Yeah, we talked. Definitely, we talked. We buried the hatchet a while ago. That's my guy, that's my brother. I'm always going to have his back and we know what we have to do. We know what kind of caliber player he is, we know what caliber player I am and we're just trying to get to work and make this season go.
Q: Are you glad to see him back?
A: Yeah, I'm glad to see him back. He's a great corner. He is very smart, I love that he comes up and lays the boom on guys and he's a great coverage guy. We need him and we're glad to have him back.
Q: You're entering your last year of your rookie deal. Is there any thought in your mind to make a statement about a potential contract?
A: I'm just letting it just work itself out. I'm not really going through the negotiating part. I'm going to leave that between (general manager) Dave Gettleman and my agent and then go from there. From that point on, I'm just here trying to make new friends with my boys, new relationships and be a captain like I've always been.
Q: Have you done any studies on Cardinals tape to get a sense of what your role might be on this defense?
A: I'm kind of familiar with the defense after talking to coach and just looking at the old film. But my role? I couldn't tell you what my role is going to be. I just know coach said he's going to have me all over the field, so that's what I'm looking forward to.
Q: What do you think of the rule that you guys can't talk football for three months?
A: It's my first time hearing the rule. It has its ups and downs because you want to keep everybody equal and even, but it's always ways around it. I'd rather be able to talk to my coach, talk football, ask them questions and stuff like that just to see how things go. But, it's a rule so from that point on we can't do it and we just stay that way.
Q: This is your third head coach in four years. How tough is that?
A: I wouldn't say it's too difficult. Every head coach comes in with their mindset. You just take it and run with it. You enhance it, you inhale it and you just go with it. I wouldn't say it is too difficult until we get more in depth with it, but it seems fine so far.
Q: Are there things that you focused on specifically in the offseason?
A: Mostly ankle mobility because I hurt my ankle last year. That's the thing I worked on the most and then endurance. Endurance to continue to be able to run around the field and make plays.
Q: Did you see Odell today and if you did talk to him, how did that conversation go?
A: Yeah, I saw him today. Our conversations are always at heart and it was very simple. We're just glad to be here and to be on the same team, to stay brothers and to be able to play football next to each other for another year.
Q: There are a lot of new faces in the secondary. What is the priority right now to get all those guys together on the same page?
A: Really just understand each other. Know everybody's personalities, know what they like, where they come from, who they are and from that point on we just become brothers from that point on because everybody has a background, everybody has a life, so it's just having that understanding between each other makes it a stronger bond.
Players arrive for the start of the offseason program!
Q: Can you give us some initial impressions on the new coaching staff?
A: Yeah, well, I think it was good. I thought our attendance was good today. Everybody is obviously excited to get back together as a team and kind of see the direction that we're going. I think (Head) Coach (Pat) Shurmur did a great job of just talking about the focus on getting better and everybody being here together and learning and getting things kind of squared away on playing better football. I think that's the mindset. You saw his enthusiasm, his excitement to have the guys back in the locker room, and I think you felt it with the players also with being here and excited about getting better and winning more football games.
Q: When you say attendance was good, as far as you're aware do you know if everyone was in attendance?
A: I don't know. I'm not positive. I was kind of there with the offensive guys. I didn't do a head count of every guy, but for the most part it seemed like most of the guys were here.
Q: How important is it for Odell to be here?
A: I think it's important for the guys to be here, especially with a new offense, a new defense going in as well, a new coaching staff -- just to get familiar with everything going on. Right now you can kind of come in and coaches can take it slow a little bit and you're learning. You ask questions and you can kind of all learn it together, which is good. When guys start missing these meetings and these workouts on the field and stuff, you get behind and then you have to re-teach it, you've got to slow things down again for guys to catch up. Obviously I think it's an opportunity for us to start learning this offense, ask the right questions, make sure we have a good idea of what we're doing when we get out there to practice.
Q: Do you consider it an issue that Odell didn't take part in the Duke workout?
A: No, I talked to Odell and it was just a matter of what he's doing in his rehab to get back healthy and it just wasn't going to make sense for him to kind of make that trip if you can't do all the routes and do everything. He's got his thing through the Giants and what he's doing and they have their plan for his rehab and I didn't want to get into that, so we were on the same page, talked about it and it just didn't make sense. I kind of picked a few guys so that they could get work and then there were a number of guys I could have invited down also, but I only have one arm and I didn't want to overthrow or have guys not get the good work because there is only one quarterback. But we got some good work when we were down there.
Q: What struck you as the most noticeable change when you walked in?
A: I don't know if there was anything that I noticed. You walk in the locker room and I've got a few different locker mates. That's probably the first thing -- they kind of moved some guys around in the locker room. That would probably be the first thing I noticed.
Q: What did you learn about Davis Webb in these last couple months?
A: Yeah, Davis has done a good job. Last year coming in and learning an offense and now coming in and trying to get a new offense and just trying to get a head start watching film. He's been here a bunch in the offseason; we've watched film together of Minnesota film, just trying to learn the offense. You're limited in the discussions you can have with coaches and this and that, so you're trying to kind of figure out things on your own a little bit. But he's done a good job, having questions, asking things and just trying to be as prepared as possible when these first meetings and practices happen.
Q: How much different is this offense?
A: Still figuring that out. We've just got to see. Obviously we haven't had one practice and we've had one meeting, so we'll see what we're going to put in, what's going to be our best personnel and stuff. We'll have to see as things are going on.
Q: What advice do you have for Odell?
A: Odell, he's got to do what is best for him in getting ready to play this upcoming season. I'll talk to him and give my two cents on everything, but he's got to do what he feels is best for him to get ready and play at a high level.
Q: There was a video that surfaced this offseason. Did you talk to him about that?
A: No, I didn't talk to him about that. I don't get caught up in offseason and videos and this or that. I think whatever -- that's this kind of world today. Sometimes things come up. He's got to deal with that, but I think he'll handle that well and hopefully we'll focus on getting back to playing football at a high level.
Q: Were you aware of all this speculation that he would be traded in the last month?
A: I think over the years you just can't get caught up with what's being said on TV or in the news or what people assume is happening. It doesn't help, you don't know where these things get started or where it's going. I think it's important when those things happen to just have great communication with your coaches and with the ownership and whatnot and make sure everyone is on the same page. I never got too concerned with it. We all know the talent that Odell has and what he brings to the football field and I look forward to playing with him this year and for years to come.
Q: What was the response when you talked to people like coaches and ownership when you asked them about it?
A: Well, I didn't ask them much about it. I wasn't here during some of that period, so again, they kind of have their job to do and I have my job to do. If it involves me, I might have had a conversation. But when it involves other people, that's obviously not all my business.
Q: Have you had any chance to meet the new offensive linemen and what are your first impressions?
A: Yeah, I got to meet Nate (Solder) today and Patrick (Omameh), two of the newer guys, and I talked with them a little bit. Both seem like good guys and obviously know their talent level on the field. They were easy to talk to, good guys, excited to be here and helping this team. Obviously coming from two successful teams last year and both those guys on playoff teams, so hopefully kind of bring that mentality to the Giants.
Q: You've been around a lot of drafts, but never have been around the team when they have had a pick this high. What do you think about the possibility of the Giants adding (Penn State RB) Saquon Barkley?
A: You never know what is going to happen on draft day. The Giants, that's why they have all the scouts and (general manager) Dave Gettleman and the coaches in doing all their work to figure out who is available and who is the best player to kind of help us out going forward. There is no point in speculating who you might draft or what's going to happen here or there, we've just got to wait until draft night and see what happens.
Q: Has anyone in the organization spoken to you about your future beyond the 2018 season?
A: No. This league, it's one year at a time. That's kind of how it goes. I need to go out there and play well this year and that's all I'm looking forward to.
The Giants have returned to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center to begin offseason workouts!