HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL
Q. Your quarterback depth chart was tested yesterday. You brought guys in off the street (GM Joe Schoen).
BRIAN DABOLL: There were a lot of tight wobblers out there. But they got to where they were supposed to get to. I think I know who you are talking about.
Q. So no truth to the rumor you are signing the guy?
BRIAN DABOLL: We need to see some more today.
Q. Why do you only have one quarterback (Brian Lewerke) for this game?
BRIAN DABOLL: I just thought that was the best thing. He's been here for a while. He knows what we're doing. Takes a while to teach these guys some of the stuff and think he has a pretty good grasp of what we've been doing the last month, so that was the thought process behind it.
Q. Are you going to work Isaiah Johnson-Mack on both sides of the ball?
BRIAN DABOLL: We'll see. We'll see.
Q. You've never been in this position before but all the years that you've been in these rookie mini-camps and things, the way you're doing it on the field now as far as not giving them too much and more than ever, seems like they are going to go through the basics. Is that something you learned throughout watching these rookie camps, and saying, you know, sometimes we gave these guys a little too much and it was kind of a freak show out there.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I think each year you try to evolve and do what you think the best thing is to do. I think the more stuff you have in your head, the slower you play.
These guys are pretty anxious as it is coming in new, learning the new building, learning new people, learning how we do things as a program. Just thought that was the best thing for those guys. They did a good job of it out there.
Q. Because they are really geeked up and they really want to impress you.
BRIAN DABOLL: No question. And they even practiced the right way, you know, not dragging people down and things like that. Again this is more a teaching camp. We are going to see them in individual drills and skillsets that they have, and when we go competitive periods, just making sure we are taking care of one another.
Q. At one point, you said "walk" through, walk; they don't want to walk. They want to run.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, you get that in the walkthrough. They walked through a little while ago, same thing. They are pretty amped up, they want to go out there and compete.
But teaching them tempo is another thing that you have to do.
Q. Is the teaching part more where you want to be juxtaposed to getting ready to play a game type of preparation?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I mean, that's such a long way away right now. We have so far to go.
So again, these guys, just to get from the locker room to there or from the locker room to the cafeteria, you've got to take all that stuff into account, how to log into their iPad and get into film. There's so many things for these players. They are moving from different spots. It's the first time for some of them just on your own. Sometimes there's a lot of family members that help out in college.
We are taking it slow and we are going to try to help them grow off the field as well as on the field.
Q. How do you view the transition for a guy like Evan Neal? What's one of the more difficult things for a tackle when you come from college, obviously playing in Alabama, a pretty good college.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah.
Q. And coming to the NFL, what is he going to be facing in that regard?
BRIAN DABOLL: Elite pass rushers. Good edge setters for the most part. He's a big man, so it's there's not going to be a ton of people that are bigger than him.
But the athleticism of the players that he's going to have to face, the movement up front that he's going to get to, the quickness that some of these guys have and ultimately the experience. Every rookie has to go through it. You're experienced playing football. You're just not experienced playing in the National Football League. There's a lot of things that he's going to have to learn and keep building on, but I think he's a mature young guy. He's played a lot of different spots and I think that will help him, too, in terms of how he sees it. When you are a rookie, you have a long way to go, really with everything.
Q. On a scale of easy or harder position --
BRIAN DABOLL: Don't talk about scales, please. I'm trying to work on that here.
Q. What do you like about Jashaun Corbin, the running back, why did you bring him in?
BRIAN DABOLL: Athletic. Got some quick twitch. He had a pretty good day yesterday. Kind of stood out a little bit.
Q. How so?
BRIAN DABOLL: Athletic, quick twitch, good in individuals -- there's only so much you can see out there. But the individual drills, a lot of them, you're almost going out there on pro days or individual workouts. Some of the drills that we even do out here are some of the drills that we do when we work guys out so you get a good feel for them. You can compare kind of apples to apples.
Q. What's it been like developing a relationship with Mike Kafka, now that you're able to coach on the field together for the first time over the course of all these workouts and stuff?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, it's been great. First of all, he's a good person. He's a good father, good husband, very easy to talk to. Smart. Obviously he went to Northwestern. But smart football-wise, too.
I think he's had good upbringing in this profession. He's 34 years old, but he's learned a lot from Coach Reid and the things they did at Kansas City. He has some really good ideas and thoughts on some of the stuff they did there.
Easy to work with in terms of integrating and mixing systems of how we are doing things and trying to come up with the best thing for the Giants. Good leader for the guys. Kind of reserved, if you will, but that offsets me a little bit, too, which is good.
Q. The Andre Miller kid from Maine.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah.
Q. You guys are converting him, he played wide receiver?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah.
Q. You're converting or looking at him at tight end. What intrigues you about the kid?
BRIAN DABOLL: He's got good size. Obviously he played on the perimeter a lot there in Maine. He has good size and he has some skill set that we can maybe develop here a little bit in the inside part of the offensive formation, wherever that may be, whether it's attached and off the ball a little bit in the slot, maybe some in the backfield.
Just trying to find a role. Has some athleticism. Ran well. Hopefully he can contribute on special teams when he's here. Just a guy that has some athleticism, want to take a look at in that role.
Q. Going back to Mike Kafka, a former NFL quarterback, how much of an advantage does that bring when you have a guy like Daniel Jones and guys behind, is there an advantage to be had?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think the advantage is he's a good teacher, first and foremost. But I think experience at that position is always helpful. That doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a good coach at it, but he started the right way. He started way back at Northwestern and kind of went up the ranks. Has really good eyes for the position. He sees it obviously like he's playing it.
But he's really good at teaching, which is an important part of being a coach. You have to be a good teacher and make sure they can see it through your eyes and have good communication with your players. I've been happy with him.
Q. Roy Mbaeteka just walked by; what have you seen from him, and how big is this transition from where he's coming from to here?
BRIAN DABOLL: I'd say it's big, yeah. The rookies out here have played a lot. We're starting from ground zero with him and he's trying to soak everything up. There's a lot at that position. There's a lot of words and a lot of communication that goes on. He's got a great personality. Bobby (Johnson) and Tony (Sparano) have done a really good job just meeting with him, but we have a long way to go.
Q. Jordan Mailata, that's the baseline for those kinds of guys now, hearing that comparison, maybe he could be the next one.
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't know. We're just trying to teach him what a 'sort' call means right now. He's learning. But we've got to continually do it day-by-day.
Q. When they present a guy to you and they say, this guy has literally never played football before, when you look at him, it's like, all right, kind of looks like a player, right. He's a big dude.
BRIAN DABOLL: I've been around. I've had some experience being in the league as long as I have -- Steve Neal was a guy, and I'm not comparing him to Steve Neal by any stretch, the wrestler. But when you're playing a new sport for the first time, you have size, you have some athleticism, you have some length, but there's just so much you've got to learn. When things start happening at a fast pace, particularly in that position where things happen so quickly.
You know, we'll work with him day-by-day. He's a good size, length, athletic guy to work with. But certainly a long way to go.
You guys see that goal last night?
Q. There were a lot of them.
BRIAN DABOLL: The last one? Great shot by Kreider.
Q. You're all invested?
BRIAN DABOLL: Heck, yeah. That was a great game. That was a great game.
Q. You going to be at Game 7?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I hope so. Yeah. I'd love to be. Really good example, though. You're down 3-1 in the series, 2-0 in Game 5 and 2-0 in Game 6 and everybody is writing you off, and what do they do? They just keep competing. Put one in right after the other, then the other team comes back, scores right away, lose a little bit of momentum, and finish off the game strong. That's pretty cool team to watch right now.
Q. Can you take lessons other sports teams that go through that and teach them?
BRIAN DABOLL: Absolutely. Absolutely. Look at the Kentucky Derby the other day. Horse wasn't even in the race, was it, until the last day? That's athletics. That's sports. You go through a lot of tough times. Got to stay mentally strong.
Q. Give you a little taste of what winning could be like in New York, huh? The Rangers?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, it's cool. It's an awesome environment. It's a great environment.
OT EVAN NEAL
Q. How did it feel to get back out on the football field. Probably first real practice in a while, right?
EVAN NEAL: It feels great just to go out there, get back in the right type of stance -- ain't played right tackle since my sophomore year. So brought back some pretty good nostalgia. It's just really good, man. You know, to practice on an NFL team, it doesn't get better than that. Definitely my dreams came true. Just excited, for sure.
Q. Can you talk about the transition to right tackle? What are some of the keys that you're trying to focus on?
EVAN NEAL: Really just trying to make sure my stance and my set, you know, being on the left side, really just transitioning everything back over to the right. That's pretty much what it is.
Q. How do you balance between not pressing out here because it's your first NFL practice and just going out there and playing football?
EVAN NEAL: I'm just going out there and doing what I love, man, just playing ball, just trying to get better, grasp the playbook, just having fun. Doesn't get any better than this.
Q. Are you a guy that wants to hit and gets restless when there are no pads on?
EVAN NEAL: We hit a whole lot at Alabama, so I guess Coach Saban made me that way. There's a time and place for everything, but right now just trying to get the fundamentals down and try to get better, so I'm just excited so do that.
Q. How much of what they are teaching you fundamentally here is a little bit different, if it's what they want in their scheme versus what you're used to or is it similar because of what you ran there?
EVAN NEAL: Being that Coach Dabs is from Alabama, it's pretty similar schematically. There are a few nuances as far as verbiage and terminology and things like that, but from a technical standpoint, it's pretty much what I've done.
Q. What's it going to be like interacting with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley when the vets are in on Monday?
EVAN NEAL: It's going to be pretty cool. I'm just excited to go out there and do my best to help the team, for sure. Got a chance to shake Daniel's hand, he's a pretty cool guy. I don't think I have met Saquone yet, so I'm just excited to continue to just build a relationship with those guys and just help the team.
Q. Saquon said when he looked over and saw you, he said, "that's a big dude." What's your reaction to that?
EVAN NEAL: I am a big dude. I'm pretty sure that most people that see me have that same reaction, so that's pretty cool.
TE DANIEL BELLINGER
Q. What's been the biggest transition, albeit two days here, from what you did in college?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Just getting the playbook down and just understanding the different speeds and getting used to NFL linebackers, NFL safeties, and not college linebackers and college safeties.
Q. Can you get a sense of the playbook in a couple of days, like where there could be a role for you or what your position is asked to do?
DANIEL BELLINGER: There's a lot to take in. Right now, it's just a learning process and that's the biggest thing is just the process of getting it down. There's a lot coming into it, so just the process, learning it and understanding what it is.
Q. How quickly are you able to get rid of, 'Oh, wow, I'm in the NFL,' to now focusing on the task at hand?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Pretty quick. It's pretty easy just to come out of that whole stage of, 'Oh, I'm in the league.' It doesn't matter now. Everybody here is trying to compete. Everybody here has to put in the work if they want to be on the field. It's really easy to let that go and quickly get into it and understand that you have to focus on your job.
Q. Do you have an early impression on what they want from you guys, more just in general from the tight ends?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Biggest thing right now is just compete. Just compete and get in there and compete with every tight end that we have. That's the biggest thing right now.
What my role is, I'm not sure yet. The biggest thing is just compete, and understand that it's a team, you know what I mean, what we are going to do as a tight end unit and how we can help the team as an overall goal.
Q. Do you come in with something you know you need to work on or something you want to show the coaches to show them that you can compete?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Oh, absolutely. A lot of things, especially the technical side of things. Whether it comes to footwork for blocking, or attacking leverage on routes. The biggest thing for me is the technical side of the game and getting those things down as much as I can.
Q. You guys have sort of a rebirth now at this position, how critical is the tight end position to the offense?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Critical, just to the game of football overall. A tight end needs to pass block, needs to run block, needs to go out and create space and make himself open so he can catch balls and create opportunities for the offense. It's not just critical for the Giants but it's critical for the game overall.
Q. How much upside do you believe that the receiving part of your game still has to show because you are not used as much in that role in college?
DANIEL BELLINGER: A lot. I think I have a lot to show and of course a lot to improve on. So that's another thing is I want to come out and show that I can be a receiver and not just a blocker but also both. Just be a hybrid and help the offense, whether it is blocking or whether it is pass catching.
LB MICAH MCFADDEN
Q. How has this whole thing been for you, this couple days?
MICAH McFADDEN: It's been good. Just getting to know the playbook, getting to know the teammates and just try and improve every day like coach says. I've enjoyed it.
Q. Does your head swirl a little bit, you knew a lot and now you don't know as much?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah, the phrase they use is drinking out of a firehose, just a lot of information really quick. I think it's good. That's how you're going to learn.
Q. Not frustrating at all? Just have to take several steps back?
MICAH McFADDEN: I mean, it can be when you mess something up or you've got to do another play over.
But like I said, that's how you're going to get learn. That's how you're going to get better and that's just what the coaches want out of you.
Q. Do you consider yourself a late bloomer as far as football?
MICAH McFADDEN: I would say yes, to a certain extent. Yeah, I didn't play in high school till my junior year, and you know, was kind of overlooked at an early age, but yeah, definitely.
Q. How did you feel about being overlooked?
MICAH McFADDEN: I think it just puts a chip on your shoulder. You know, you want to get better and you want to, everybody wants to play, and kind of being overlooked like that, it makes you want to play even more and it makes you go harder.
Q. Why didn't you play football until then? Were you interested in other sports or just you didn't have an interest in it at that point?
MICAH McFADDEN: I played football every year since I was six. I just wasn't good at it.
Q. So you were playing, you just weren't on the high school team?
MICAH McFADDEN: Correct.
Q. Are you good at it now?
MICAH McFADDEN: I would say I'm getting there, yeah.
Q. What do you pride yourself on as a linebacker?
MICAH McFADDEN: I just say being instinctive, playing fast and physical and just getting to the ball.
Q. Are you hearing the plays in your headset at this point?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah.
Q. What's that like for?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah, it's definitely new, but I like it. I like being able to hear the call. You're not looking at a bunch of funky signals off the sideline. It's just direct, straight into the helmet and you know what you're doing.
Q. What changed for you in high school that you were able to make that step so late in your junior year?
MICAH McFADDEN: I'd say once I got to varsity, just the coaches kind of made it simpler for me, and I played pretty much like an edge rusher my junior year, and that just enabled me to kind of run around and hit people and just play fast. So that's kind of what changed.
Q. So what did you play before that?
MICAH McFADDEN: My sophomore year I was on JV, and I played inside backer, and then freshman year I played inside backer as well.
Q. Did you start? Were you a starting player or you said you weren't very good at it?
MICAH McFADDEN: On JV or varsity?
Q. On JV.
MICAH McFADDEN: I started my sophomore year. I played a little as a freshman. I didn't start.
Q. And you started the last two years?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah.
Q. What's the recruiting process like when you start so late and you only have two years of tape for guys to look at?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah, I didn't have much of one, actually. I only had six offers. Didn't get my first offer till the spring before my senior year. But you know, just different. I think I committed in the summer right before my senior year. So after that, there wasn't much coming in either. It was pretty short.
LB DARRIAN BEAVERS
Q. Darrian, how much pride to you take in coverage? Feel like that's an integral part to your game.
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I take major pride in that. Obviously in the league now, it's a lot of pass, so that's something as a linebacker you have to be able to handle.
As I said, I take very -- very prideful in it.
Q. Did you get feedback what you were able do at Senior Bowl in that regard? I know the big clip was you and the tight end for Colorado State, just in general, how have you been able to handle match up in man versus tights?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I feel like it's always something you can always improve on. You always get better at it. You pick up on a few things with different guys. Different guys like to break a certain way or like to run the route a certain way. So if you pick up on that, I feel like it can help you.
Q. What's this been like for you --
DARRIAN BEAVERS: It's been surreal.
Q. -- these few days?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: It's been surreal. It's been something I dreamed of since I was young, man. Coming out here and practicing on the field is something that I guess it's surreal. It's a dream come true and every day I come out here and give it all. You only got one shot at this and that's the plan. Just come out here and give it all.
Q. Does it feel similar to playing football in college or is it just -- does anything feel different to you?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: It's still football when it comes down to it. It's football. So if you know football, and you know how to play football, like I said, and you come out here and give it your all, you're going to make a name for yourself.
I feel like you can kind of compare it to coming out of high school and going into your first time in college, but obviously these are way better players. So you have to do more stuff, extra stuff, to get that edge that you need to have. I feel like, like I said, just give it your all and give it your best shot.
Q. Obviously you're spending a lot of time in individuals. What's the biggest thing that you're taking from this rookie mini-camp experience?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: You've got to be smart. You've got to pick up on stuff really quickly. We have short meetings. We've got to come straight on the field. Just knowing your stuff, taking the time, the preparation, the studying, that people don't see after hours, is really, really important.
Q. Do you understand the tradition of the Giants linebackers? Pretty damn good one here for a long time. What does that mean to you?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: It means everything. Like I said, it's something that you have to keep it going. I hope I can come out here and keep it going, man. That's something that, like I said, we take seriously. We've got to keep it going.
Q. Got Jessie Armstead here in the building, too.
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I know, like I said, we have to come out here and like I said work and aspire to be those guys.
Get your first look at the newest Giants as they hit the practice field at rookie minicamp.