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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, WR Wan'Dale Robinson, CB Cor'Dale Flott, S Dane Belton


COACH DABOLL: Good to be out here with these guys. They got in last night. Had some meetings today with them. Really going to be kind of a short practice, if you will, a little bit over an hour.

Have some more meetings. Very similar in terms of scheduling tomorrow. It's good to get with these guys and start working with them and see what some of the stuff they can do in the classroom. Really, more importantly, and just ease them into things outside on the field.

Q. Are these two days really nothing more than to get them acclimated to being a Giant and to understand the program?

COACH DABOLL: I think that's right on. That's what I told them yesterday; it's for you to get to know us, us to get to know you. There's only a couple days we'll do stuff on the field. There's a long way to go, as they can see.

We're not going to overdo it in terms of the installation and give them a ton of things to learn. I think it's really important, particularly the trial guys, to minimize the package, not motion and shift and do all these crazy things, and just see who can perform out there. And maybe we find a couple guys in terms of the tryout guys. Look, these guys have probably not been doing a whole lot of true football work, so we'll ease them into things.

Q. You've seen some coaches not really practice their draft picks at all in rookie minicamp. What's your approach to that?

COACH DABOLL: We'll practice ours. We'll have an hour, hour and ten minutes. Almost half of it will be some type of walk-through. We'll do some individual drills. We'll get about 15, 20 minutes of individual stuff. We have seven-on-seven period and we'll do 14 plays of that today. That's it. We don't have a huge -- about an hour, over an hour.

Q. Doing anything on Sunday?

COACH DABOLL: They'll be in here Sunday. We won't be doing anything on the field.

Q. You moved on from James Bradberry earlier this week. How do you feel about the cornerback room now that you moved on? Bradberry has been the number one corner for the last two years?

COACH DABOLL: We have a lot of guys in today and rookie camp and tryout stuff. We had guys here yesterday, really all camp, Phase II. Guys working hard. Good group. Take it day by day.

Q. Do you expect to add a veteran corner?

COACH DABOLL: We'll see. Worry about rookie camp today. Good question, though.

Q. Would you like to add a veteran? You have a pretty young group back there.

COACH DABOLL: We'll work with the guys we have. We're going to try to add and at times replace guys if other guys are better. Really a day-to-day process.

Q. You guys had a chance to get the bye after the London game if you wanted, that was after week five. Is that just too early for you?

COACH DABOLL: Where we have it right now, which is after the Seattle game, which is another long trip, we just kind of pushed it back a little bit.

Q. The on-field stuff being what it is. How tough is it for a tryout guy to showcase what he can do in this short period of time to make the roster?

COACH DABOLL: I think can you see stuff in terms of the individual drills that you need to see, whether it's change of direction, quickness, it's a little harder probably for the bigger guys.

But this is something we've done for quite a bit. If there's a guy out there that stands out, we'll find them.

Q. What have you seen from Aaron Robinson watching tape of him, and do you think he could play outside cornerback on a consistent basis?

COACH DABOLL: All I can go by with what we've done out here this past month, which is no pads and things like that, but Aaron's been doing a really good job picking up the system, does a good job in drills, excited to work with him.

Q. Do you think he could be an outside corner?

COACH DABOLL: Yeah, we'll see. Yup.

Q. What have you learned about Kayvon Thibodeaux maybe that you didn't know before this whole process started here?

COACH DABOLL: It's just been good to get to know him. You have so many different meetings. You meet at the combine. Comes up here. You meet with him. He's a good, young man. Got a lot of energy. Even out there, we had a walk through a little while ago, he brings a little bit of juice. Good sense of humor. I appreciate him.

Q. It was said to be a pretty deep middle tight end class in the middle rounds. What was it about Daniel Bellinger that made him your guy in the scouting process, what did you like about him off field, on field?

COACH DABOLL: I think he has good size. He had good speed. He had ood hands. Did some good things at the line of scrimmage. Thought he had some tools to work with. Obviously liked him when we selected him there. Done a good job here for the short time I've been around him. Good young man.

Q. What have you learned about Daniel Jones as a leader over the past couple of months?

COACH DABOLL: He's been great to work with. He has picked up things well. I think the guys respect him because he's picking it up well. He does a good job in the huddle. He does a good job in the classroom. Just a guy that wants to be really good, and he's trying everything he can to be the best he can.

Q. What do you see as the biggest learning curve when it comes to the transition from college to the pros?

COACH DABOLL: Good question. There's a lot. Just having that one year in college. You don't have as much time in the meeting room. Obviously need to install a lot less. We went through a couple of cadences today just on the offensive side. They're used to claps, not many cadences. We put in two -- we put in three. Cut it back down to two because it took a little while just to get these two cadences. That's just the start of it. Formations, how you signal into the sideline. There's so many different things.

It's just a different way. There's so much fast pace in college where you're getting signals on the sideline or you are using boards versus huddle and longer play calls and things like that.

We try to minimize that a little bit, but it's still hard on these guys.

Q. The last time we talked to you, you hadn't signed the UDFAs yet. What about Yusuf Corker? It seemed like he was a guy people thought was going to get drafted fifth, sixth round. You got him as an undrafted free agent?

COACH DABOLL: I think that happens every year, where this guy should've got drafted in the fourth or seventh or sixth, he's a free agent or this guy should have you be a seventh, and he was a second-round pick. We'll see. He's a good kid. I think he's got a good skillset. Put him back there, see how he does.

Q. The fullback position has obviously been pushed aside a lot in the league, but you're one of the guys that really still appreciates it. Why do you care about the fullback position so much and why is it so important to your offense?

COACH DABOLL: We have a few guys out here to take a look at relative to that. Again, I think it's just another tool in your offense to see how teams are going to play you, whether they want to stay in a sub personnel package, a base personnel package. Does it simplify them, does it complicate them? To have many different personnels offensively to put stress on the defense, if those people are good enough to put out there, I think it is important.

Q. Last time we talked to you, Kadarius Toney showed up for voluntary workouts?

COACH DABOLL: He showed up for all of them.

Q. He's been at all of them?

COACH DABOLL: Since we last talked.

Q. Thanks for clarifying that. He was able to get his playbook, right? How good has it been to see him in and get him incorporated and what have you learned about him in person?

COACH DABOLL: I told you I had a really good conversations with KT before. I really like him. He's smart. Again, you're not really -- you're doing things. A lot of them on air and stuff like that. But you can tell he's got instinctive football. He was a really good (high school) quarterback down in Alabama. He's been a pleasure to be around. Good teammate. Smart. It's been great.

Q. A lot of things physically kind of derailed his season last year. How does he look to you in that regard?

COACH DABOLL: Every season is a new season. It was one season, I wasn't here in terms of him being a rookie. He's doing everything we're asking him to do. Glad he's here. We've had everybody here, so it's been a good few weeks.

Q. Did you like the way he came in? Did you notice that he was putting in the work in the offseason as well?

COACH DABOLL: Yeah. That's tough to do. They all come in and they start the offseason program. All these guys are pros. They take care of their bodies in the offseason. You've got to pick up a new system and learn some different things, what we're doing in the weight room. He's been just like all the other guys. He's been really good.

Q. Jordan Akins, the veteran tight end, what did you see in him? What does he bring?

COACH DABOLL: Bisch, (tight ends coach) Andy Bischoff, had some experience with him. He's done a good job. He's trying to pick it up as quick as he can. We're moving at a fast pace with the veterans. He's done a good job since he's been here. Still got a long way to go but good addition.


Q. How did it feel to be out there?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Felt great, first day back. It was weird for me, the past six months I hadn't been a part of a team. Now getting here, doing walkthroughs, doing indies, doing everything, going back to being part of the team. It's been fun.

Q. How were your negotiations with Graham Gano over the No. 5 jersey?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I mean, he's a great guy. Before we even started negotiating, we really got to know each other. That's the biggest part of being a teammate, joining someone's family, getting to know him. Getting some wisdom from him. Been in the game 13 years or thereabouts. A lot of wisdom. He was able to give me a lot of wisdom; we were able to make it work.

And military was big for me, my grandfather was in the military. He's a military kid, figuring a way to give back, do something positive. We figured it out.

Q. When was your last football practice?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: My last football practice was Utah, oh, man, I don't want to think about that. I would say it was like December. Somewhere in December.

Q. Given the fact that you are here and you're going to be going into OTAs next week, are you cognizant of, obviously you want to practice hard but not overdoing it?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: What do you mean?

Q. Maybe pulling a muscle or something.

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: No, I mean, I feel like when you respect the game, the game respects you. So for me, I can't leave anything out there. As far as my work, as far as getting in shape. I know a lot of guys are ahead of me. For me, it's just about making sure I'm getting in shape and learning the playbook and trying to get ahead as much as I can.

Q. What's it like coming here and putting on a Giants jersey, feeling like you're part of the team now?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: You know, I put it on. But I felt like I'm not there yet. I feel like there's still some hoops and some hurdles. There is still some prelims  prelims I've got to go through to be part of the team. But I don't have words for it. It still hasn't hit me. I feel like it's going to hit me once we really get into it. I heard some music and I almost cried. I said, man, we're really here.

Q. Which song?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It was Biggie. It was Juicy.

Q. Have you set a sack goal?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I haven't. Listen, it was funny, we were making jokes today. Coach said, yeah, you have to go out there – we were covering running backs, and he said, you think you can run with Saquon? And I just laughed because it's like all these great guys that now you're going against. It's a different level.

I've just got to do everything I can to keep getting better.

Q. Have you heard from Saquon or some of the team leaders?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I tapped in with a few of them. Everyone is coming in within the next couple days. Me, I've just been really diving into ths playbook, so I can come out here and just play fast.

Q. When you look at the playbook, what do you see?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It's a variety. For me, I love being able to do a lot of different things and I feel like with Coach Wink and Coach Drew (Wilkins), they really put together a plan for the whole system. Anybody can play any position, I feel like.

Q. Your place in that system, you look at it and say, yeah, this can work?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Yeah, I lick my chops. It's good. I just gotta keep making sure I get all the ins and outs of the game.

Q. Combine interview with the Giants, you told them you almost quit football in eighth grade, I think it was. Why was that?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It wasn't necessarily a quit. It wasn't like I was on the field and I quit. It was a conversation I had with my mom talking about I wanted to take a year off football and go play basketball. It was an idea for me because being a kid you see all these statistics and you see all of you guys creating narratives and creating frames on how hard it is to make it to the NFL. For me, I had doubt in my mind. And then I had to really dial back to my faith and realize that there's going to be statistics with everything. It's up to you to create your own legacy.

Q. You were putting pressure on yourself to live up to the numbers of somebody great, basically?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Exactly. Not the numbers of somebody great, but we talked about it today. Only, what is it, one out of 2,000 high schoolers got to sit in one of these seats.

Q. Are you guys watching a lot of Ravens tape? If so, is there a guy you identified on film and see yourself in that role?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: You've got to watch all of them. You've got outside linebackers playing D tackle, you got D tackles playing outside linebacker, you got linebackers playing Mikes. People are interchangeable all over, but we are watching the Ravens defense.

Q. Lawrence Taylor was in the building this week. Did you cross paths with him?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I wasn't here. I was still coming in on the flight, but I'll hopefully be able to chop it up with him one day.

Q. Did you learn anything new on the field today from the coaching points?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Yeah, but I can't tell you. I can't tell you what I learned.

Q. One thing people say about Wink's defense, he loves to turn pass rushers loose. Do you feel like you'll be turned loose to blitz more than in college?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It's all about creating trust. Once he trusts in me that I know the playbook, and that I'm going to be available every Sunday, that I can live up to those expectations, then I feel he'll be able to cut whoever loose as long as they have that consistency and trust.

Q. Judging by your reaction, seems like you savor that?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I savor every moment. When you've been through everything and your life has brought you to this point, MetLife, the American Dream, the New York Giants. Are you serious? You know what I mean?

Q. Empire State Building, too.

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I can't even see it because there is all this greatness right here. For me, it's a dream come true.

Q. Since you were drafted, what would you say has changed within these past few weeks for you, if anything?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: The narrative, for sure, changed. If you notice, everybody thinks I'm a good guy now, and it's all funny, which is hilarious to me because I've been the same guy this whole time. I'm happy I get to be here with my team. I don't have to focus on anybody any more. Now I can really just hone in on what I love to do.

Q. Can you lead as a rookie?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I feel like you can lead, not in football, you can lead in any position in life. It's about doing the right thing at all times. For me, as long as I'm leading myself down the right path, people are going to follow. As long as I'm going the right way, it's going to be easy to have people go with me. So I'm not saying I'm going to step in and be a vocal leader, but I'll make sure I do everything the right way, so when people see me, they know I'm the last one leaving, they know I'm the first one in. That's how I do things.


Q. How was the first practice?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: It was good. It was still a little bit surreal, finally on an NFL team, just being out there. It was a really good practice, though.

Q. What are you trying to accomplish over these couple of days while you're here?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Really just learning as much as I can with the playbook, just getting all the terminology down with my coaches and things like that. Just getting really comfortable out here so when it's time for a real practice, I'm really full speed and ready to go.

Q. When you look at the playbook, it's different than the one you had in college. When you look at it, are you looking at it saying there's definitely things in here for me?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Definitely. We go through it, me and the coaches, and they tell me some things they want to see me do and things like that. I just want to try and learn it all, the most I can. The more and more I learn, the more I will be able to do.

Q. Is it a lot? It's not just like: you line up here…

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Yeah, there's a lot more to it. It's alignment, assignment. You've got to know everything that you've go to do and then even learn different positions as well, too. So I've got to know everything.

Q. Are you trying to peak your head in that running back room a little bit?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Whatever they ask me to do, I'll get back there and do it. I haven't been asked to get back there in the running back room, yet, but if they ask me to get back there, I'll get back there.

Q. What would you like to do, if you could carve out an ideal role for yourself, what would that be?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Whatever they want me to do, whether that be run the ball, catch the ball, catch a bunch of screens, sweeps, whatever they ask me to do, I'll be able to do it. That's just what I want to do.

Q. Is there more excitement for you knowing that your role is undefined and you can contribute in so many different ways?

A. Definitely. That's something I've always liked to be able to do, just kind of contribute on both sides of the game with the running game and passing game. So whatever they choose and want to use me as, then I'll do that.

Q. How difficult was the mindset going from running back knowing you're going to get the ball to playing receiver hoping to get the ball?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: It wasn't too much different. At the end of the day, if you're open, you're going to get the ball. Just try my best to be open at all times and it all works out.

Q. When he got drafted, Cor'Dale Flott said you were the toughest receiver he recovered. Did you see that?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: I saw -- somebody sent it to me. I just try to go out there and make some plays, and I'm glad he said that.

Q. Do you want to return the favor? How tough a cover? How tough was he to beat?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Probably the best slot corner, definitely the best slot corner I had to play against this past year, so I will definitely give him that, too.

Q. Are you just saying that?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: There were a couple times I came over to the sideline to my coach, and I said, it's like he knows what I'm running a couple times. That was really the only guy I felt like that against.

Q. What do you think the biggest advantage is for you playing at your size?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Just my quickness and my versatility. You never really know where I'm going to line up. Just being able to do a lot of different things, a lot of different things with the offense is what I try to do.

Q. Have you heard from a lot of the veteran receivers yet, had a chance to meet them, talk to them?

WAN'DALE ROBINSON: I talked to a couple of them, just seeing them in the locker room, just saying what's up. Really right now I'm just trying to make sure I'm doing what I'm supposed to do so that when I am actually around them, they know what I'm doing.


Q. Covered Wan'Dale out there again today?

COR'DALE FLOTT: It was nice. Like we said on the 30 visits, iron sharpens iron. It's a thing I've got to get used to. He's an elite receiver. Throughout practice, he is going to be one of the guys that will help me get better.

Q. How often do you find yourself surprising guys out there with how physical you are despite being slenderly built?

COR'DALE FLOTT: I've been doing it all my life. Being built like this, growing up, playing this game of football, everybody telling me I'm too small to do it. So far, I just focus on making an impact to the team. Right now, working on gaining weight, being able to take my body and being able to fit it wherever it is needed for the defense.

Q. What have the Giants told you about that, about the gaining weight part, what do they want from you? What do you feel comfortable getting to?

COR'DALE FLOTT: What I feel comfortable. What weight I can hold to be able to perform at a high level, be able to stay on the field, be able to get around and be healthy.

Q. What are you looking at, think you can add five, 10, 20?

COR'DALE FLOTT: I can add probably 5-10, whatever is comfortable for me to be able to perform.

Q. Do you find that -- it's so early here, but the fact that the program you came from, that kind of big program, a lot of success, do you find that helps translate, just helps you in your acclimation to the NFL a little?

COR'DALE FLOTT: It does. I feel the coaches at LSU definitely prepared me for a level like this, from the off the field to on the field at this level. Thank those coaches for that.  

Q. Do you think you'll be starting in the slot as a rookie, how ready do you feel?

COR'DALE FLOTT: I'm ready. Hopefully I get the job. Right now I'm just focusing on improving, as a rookie, being able to fit wherever I was needed.

Q. They talked about starting you in the slot. What do you think when you hear that? Would you like to go outside at times? What's your preference?

COR'DALE FLOTT: It doesn't matter. Versatility is a big thing I take pride on. Like I said, wherever I can fit it this defense and make an impact on this team, that's what I'm going to do.  

Q. You're coming into a situation where James Bradberry has been released. Aaron Robinson is working outside. You have a chance to compete with Darnay Holmes to start. Some places you may not have opportunity. What does that mean?

COR'DALE FLOTT: It's definitely a blessing to have an opportunity to have a shot at it. Definitely going to take it one day at a time and focus on practices and getting better.

Q. What kind of mindset does it take to play press coverage? I've read your defense is smothering. And secondarily, not using too many hands, because you don't want to be the guy getting flagged.

COR'DALE FLOTT: More of a physical mindset, like you said, without using my hands. Press technique, watching receivers' tendencies, understanding what he is going to do before the play, and concepts, so that is what I am going to work on.  

Q. Do you like that idea? They always say, like, you press a guy, you could make a play, but also gives a guy a chance to run past you. Do you like the all-or-nothing aspect of that?

COR'DALE FLOTT: In the league, it's different within the five-yard range, so being able to just adapt and being able to play through it, I am going to have to work on that.

Q. How much of an adjustment is that? Because in college you can be a ton more physical. How much of an adjustment?

COR'DALE FLOTT: It's a big adjustment. The numbers are different, the hashes are different. So it's a different ballgame as far as concepts with the  boundaries and not being so close to the sidelines. It's a big adjustment.

Q. You come from a school where a lot of corners have come into the league and started immediately. They say corner is a really tough spot to start immediately. Do you plan to reach out to any of those guys, or have you?

COR'DALE FLOTT: I've talked to a lot of guys, like Tre'Davious White. Those veteran guys have been able to call me and talk to me personally, give me advice, and some guys I'm going to talk to here. I look forward to that.

Q. What was your relationship like with Derek Stingley? Obviously you guys were teammates. Anything you took from him? Are you guys still in touch these couple weeks?

COR'DALE FLOTT: We always stay in touch, he was a guy who came in my freshman year, we were roomates my freshman year. We had our ups and downs through the three years we were there. We had a plan for three and out. I'm glad for him over at Houston. I know he'll do a good job there.


Q. What's your impression of (Defensive Coordinator) Wink's defense, now that you've gotten the chance to get into the playbook?

DANE BELTON: We're not fully into it yet. Just hitting the ground running from now. I feel like it's going to be an exciting defense hearing how the coaches talk about it, and the kind of scheme we run. For me, I'm just looking forward to learning more and being a part of it.  

Q. What are you trying to accomplish these first few days here?

DANE BELTON: Right now, I'm just trying to hit the ground running, trying to learn as much of the playbook as I can. Being that the safeties kind of run the defense in Wink's defense, trying to be able to make calls fast and efficient, make sure everyone is on the same page. Just trying to be mentally strong and translate to the field.  

Q. How similar is this system to what you ran in college, in terms of what you're going to be asked?

DANE BELTON: It's very similar just talking about how the safeties control the defense. In college I was called on to get the call from the sideline and distribute our part of the call to our defense. It's very similar in that aspect. As far as the scheme, it's a little different, the scheme as a whole, trying to understand the defensive aspect. It's very similar to the tasks I had to do. 

Q. You had the speaker in your helmet, are you saying you have to call the defense?

DANE BELTON: Today I didn't, but he asked me if I did – hopefully they might put it in. But understanding I have to make calls on the rotations and things like that. Being able to be efficient in that. 

Q. You played like that star role at Iowa, how do you see that kind of translating here? What do you view your position or how that's going to work in the NFL?

DANE BELTON: In college I played that star role as well as safety. Right now, I'm just working on learning both safeties and being able to be versatile, that's the biggest thing for me. Being able to play multiple positions in college, translates to blitzing off the edge, covering deep and match routes underneath. Just shows the versatile aspect to myself. And right now, I'm just learning safety, but once I feel I've got this down, hopefully they'll be able to move me around.  

Q. Do you find the safeties being interchangeable in this defense?

DANE BELTON: Yes. Right now, we are just playing left and right. Being able to know both sides, whether that be the passing strength or the passing weakness, or weak side, just being able to know the rotation on both sides, and being able to make the call fast. 

Q. You played a couple games against Wan'Dale Robinson before. Tell me what he's like as a player.

DANE BELTON: Like you said, I covered him for three years, two at Nebraska and one at Kentucky. He's a real quick player. Gets in and out of breaks really well, I think he's an electric player. Looks to do good things. We're all just out here working, and he looked pretty good today.

Get your first look at the newest Giants as they hit the practice field at rookie minicamp.


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