With training camp underway, here are the top stories from around the NFC East.
Washington Football Team
Back with Giants, Markus Golden eager to compete
Markus Golden's offseason travels led him back to the port from which he sailed.
The sixth-year outside linebacker led the Giants with 10.0 sacks last season, his first with the team. He then embarked on a free agency journey he hoped would lead to a long-term contract. That never materialized, so last week Golden rejoined the Giants on another one-year deal.
"I feel good about being back," Golden said on a Zoom call today. "It's a good place. It's a good place to be able to come back and be able to compete and be able to play ball. At the end of the day, I love playing ball and that's what I'm about. I love playing ball, I love competing. This is the situation I'm in right now. I can't sit back and complain and fuss about it. I have to go out and get it no matter what. That's the mindset that I'm going to keep. That's just who I am. That's how my parents raised me to be. That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to keep my mindset and if I get the opportunity to do what I need to do, I'm going to be ready to compete no matter what."
Golden said "of course" when asked if he had discussions with the Giants about a longer contract.
"You've seen what I've done for the Giants," he said. "Of course, you want a player to come back and be able to help your team and be able to get out there and help your team because I showed what I can do. But it didn't work out like that. It didn't work out like that, but I'm back now and I'm back on different circumstances. But I'm back and that's what it's about at the end of the day. At the end of the day, no matter what, I'm going to be me. I'm going to go out and compete. I'm going to lay it on the line because at the end of the day, I play the game for a different reason. I play the game for my family. I play the game to win. I know what I need to do to be able to play for my family, be able to make my family proud. I know what I need to do to be able to win and help my team."
Feeling great, Evan Engram looks to future
There are two things Joe Judge's Giants will not talk about: injuries and comparing past seasons.
For Evan Engram, those questions tend to go together. So, when he was asked about both during Monday's video conference with the media, the fourth-year tight end shifted the focus on the future.
"I feel great," Engram said. "I've had a very blessed off-season. I've been working my butt off in rehab and getting back. Right now, I am just going out and doing everything I can for the team and what practice is with the trainers. I'm not really worried about what all the other people are saying. I can only control what's in front of me each and every day. That's coming in, working hard during training camp and learning this offense and being a good teammate and a good leader."
Engram, the 23rd overall selection of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Mississippi, has played in 34 games (25 starts) in three seasons. In 2019, he was limited to a career-low eight appearances and six starts due to injuries. He first missed time with a knee injury, returned to play in the next three games, but then hurt his foot and missed the remainder of the season.
He spent much of the off-season rehabbing at the Giants' facility until the coronavirus pandemic forced plans to change.
"It was an adjustment," Engram said. "Just being comfortable up here with our facilities and our trainers and then everything going south and shutting down. Our training staff did a good job of making connections where I was at, I was in Atlanta. I got set up with a rehab facility not too far from my house, so I was able to kind of pick back up. They were able to pick up all the details that I needed, things that I needed, and we were able to keep things in motion. We definitely had to make some adjustments, but our training staff here did a great job helping me stay on track."
Will Hernandez goes from protege to mentor
Will Hernandez is learning an NFL player can go from protégé to mentor in about the time it takes to snap a football.
In his first two seasons, the Giants' left guard was attached at the hip – literally – with tackle Nate Solder, who tutored him how to be a professional in and out of uniform. They are the only two Giants offensive players to start every game the previous two seasons.
But Solder has opted out of the 2020 NFL season for coronavirus-related health reasons. One of his potential replacements is first-round draft choice Andrew Thomas, which would suddenly make Hernandez the most experienced player on the left side of the line.
Wow…that was fast.
"It really does seem like just yesterday that I was a rookie behind Nate," Hernandez said on a Zoom call today. "Now, I might have the chance to do the same. All I'm going to say about that is I'm not sure who's going to land in that position. I'll leave that up to the coaches.
"As far as having that, I learned from the best. Nate Solder really taught me a lot on and off the field. But he also taught me unconsciously how to treat a rookie. I felt like I got treated by him with the utmost respect, with the utmost attention to detail, wanting to help me to get better. It's just all those things I picked up from him looking back at it now. It's the same things that I would instill in anybody who was brand new coming in and playing next to me. I would take a lot of the same things he did with me and add my own personality to it. But I definitely learned a lot of valuable points from Nate."
Photos: Best of New York Giants Media Day
View exclusive photos of the New York Giants from their 2020 Media Day in the gallery below.
View exclusive photos of the New York Giants from their 2020 Media Day.