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Victor Cruz to miss practice today; notes from media hour


Tom Coughlin**

Q:Can you update us on George Selvie?
A:You know [George] Selvie, no ligament damage. Had a little tissue, little strain. He gives everything he's got. I don't really think he'll be too long. He can't go today, but I think he'll be back soon.

Q:Do you expect Prince Amukamara or Nat Berhe to be back today at practice?
A:They're little by little. Little by little, they're doing it. You don't see much of them in the team stuff, but they're working their way back in there, which is good. They take all the jog-through and all that business, they take. And some of the individual. Hopefully we can advance that part of it.

Q:Are Victor Cruz or Rueben Randle ready to get any action Saturday?
A:[Victor] Cruz has had a little strain in the calf area, so he's not going to practice today. [Reuben] Randle's not ready. We thought Randle was going to be ready to go today, but he's not going to practice today. So we'll have a couple receivers down today.

Q:Is it beneficial right now to be extra cautious with him, sit him down, and let that build back up? Randle, I'm talking about.
A:Well, we've been out a while. I mean, yes, but he needs to practice. That's the one thing I'm anxious about. Everybody wants to talk about our passing game. Unless we get out there and practice together, what passing game? So that's something that has to be considered. We have to work together on the field to get to where we're going. So advancing some of these young guys, yeah, that's a plus. But we certainly aren't cohesive with the other guys, either.

Q:Is Victor's calf related to his knee at all?
A:No. No, not at all. No. Probably dehydration, little bit of that.

Q:Assuming your cast can be together, what are the steps you expect to make in this second year of Ben McAdoo's offense?
A:You know, like I said before, I think the going back with the installation has been better for the players. Obviously, they've done it before. So they've had it in the spring, they've had it last year in the spring and fall. So the advancement of that is good. What we expect from them, they have a pretty good idea of that. They've got to go see everything on the field, and all the different coverages and the techniques that are going to be employed against them. But I expect it to be—we're going to improve, we're going to improve in all areas, and we're going to be able to complement each other by hopefully having a lot of weapons on the field that people are going to have to decide what they're going to defend.

Q:We all know how smart Eli is. How much in tune is he with Ben the second year into the offense?
A:He's very much in-tune with what's going on. His opinion is asked for and shared in the quarterback meetings. He's anxious. He knows the offense well and he's very much interested in moving forward.

Q:What difference do you see in the offense between now and last summer?
A:I don't see enough right now, to be honest with you. I don't see enough yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Q:You've tried different offensive line combinations for different reasons. In your mind, is there a point when you want to decide on the five moving forward?
A:I read about that when I read about other teams. They've got this point and they've got—I just want to find the five guys that work best together, as soon as we can. Whether it's the second, third preseason game. There's a certain number that we're going to have to depend on, and they're going to have to be versatile enough to play in some different spots. And so, obviously, I'd like it to happen fast, but you've had a guy like [Geoff] Schwartz that hasn't practiced much. You have Marshall [Newhouse] who has been out a day or so. So we've had some of that. Plus, the young guy, we're trying to bring a couple of young guys around. [Bobby] Hart, we're trying to get Hart going. And he's had some good days, and days that are not as good. So I'm looking for some consistency in his play as well.

Q:What went into that decision of bumping Hart out? You bumped him back out last week to tackle.
A:That's where he's played. He's played there in college, so we wanted to take a look at him.

Q:But you started him at guard.
A:Yeah. You've got to line them all up somewhere. He's playing some guard and he's playing some tackle.

Q:Did Orleans Darkwa impress you the other night?
A:Darkwa's had a couple of good weeks, yeah.

Q:A guy like that who is behind a bunch of players who have been around for a while, do you think he fits in the mix or does he have to impress you on special teams?
A:Last year his special teams were outstanding. He's always been a pretty good—he's run the ball on scout team for us, and done a nice job of that, too. So he has some power, he has some punch, he's run the ball up in there for us. You know he gives you some more flexibility. Thinking about having a guy who can run behind the line of scrimmage and can play special teams.

Q:You've played against and had to game plan against Dwayne Harris for several years. When you watched him, what did you see?
A:Powerful, nifty, tough, do a lot of things for you. It's kind of interesting that in studying him, you saw him as a gunner on kickoff coverage, running punts back, running kicks back, and doing a lot of things. Coming into [the Dallas Cowboys] offensive sets and blocking at the perimeter, or being a guy who catches the ball underneath—short pass, long run kind of a guy. So he's versatile. We're trying like heck to get the punt return team going, which is something I'm hoping will advance come Saturday night.

Q:He filled four very big roles for the Cowboys. He was a big identity for them. Do you need an identity on special teams and can he bring that identity to you guys?
A:I think he certainly could. As one of some guys that are obvious special teamers, you take great pride in that. Yes, he could.

Q:Speaking of special teams, Geremy Davis has obviously gotten some work on that. How has he looked to you in that role?
A:He's got to get better. We like him, he's big and strong and fast. But he's got to define some of the things that he can do for us. But, obviously, we're always looking for gunners, gunner help. If he does that for us, as one of those people who can work in a rotation out there, that would help a lot.

Q:There was a lot of stuff about Eli's contract yesterday. Would you think that would impact him or have you seen anything in that regard?
A:No. I haven't seen one thing about it. It's not going to affect him.

Q:How would you describe his professionalism overall as a leader for this team?
A:How high does it go? What's the number you want, 1-10? (Yes.) 11.

Q:How did you think Geoff Schwartz did the other day?
A:So-so. He did so-so. Trying to get him to go every day. His second day wasn't as good as his first. But hopefully he gets better.

Q:Any news from Jason Pierre-Paul in terms of when he might be showing up?

Q:He's been tweeting and on Instagram a lot lately.
A:I think he's talked to more of our people, but it's conversation.

Q:You guys didn't have any incidents in your joint practices with Cincinnati last week. That's not been the case in some other places. There's a lot that goes into it, you practice, you play a game. Is it something moving forward that you think you would look into doing again?
A:Yes. Yes. How's that?

A:Because we got a lot out of it.


Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo**

Ben McAdoo: I hope everyone is having a good camp. With that, let's fire away.

Q:Has the starting offense made progress this week?
A:We made some progress this week. We were disappointed in our performance last week. We had two productive days of practice, got to the game, and it seemed like we were a little flat. The details, the play speed wasn't there, and we addressed the issue head on and we're working to fix it. You don't fix mistakes overnight, it takes time to do that, and we're working at it every day.

Q:What kind of expectations do you have in your second year?
A:We met a couple times as an offense on this, in the offseason, and now in training camp. We set our expectations very high. We set parameters, I'm not going to spell those out for you, the players may be able to help you figure those out, but we do set them high. We have high expectations for ourselves. There is one goal in this business and we all know what that goal is, but you can measure the parameters each week as you go to make sure you're on track.

Q:How much faster do you want the offense to be?
A:My mother told me not to put all my eggs in one basket. I like to change up speeds, and I think it's important to be able to do that. You don't want to just have a fast tempo, you don't want to slow things down, you don't always want to be no-huddle, and you don't always want to be in the huddle. I think it's good to be able to change your pace and change your tempo as long as it's on your terms. It has to be on our terms.

Q:What are you looking to accomplish in the second game with your first group?
A:Execution. We're not out there to chase numbers, that's not good offense. We're out there to execute, put ourselves in position, to take care of the ball and put puts on the board.

Q:How do you view your RT position right now?
A:Marshall [Newhouse] has been getting a lot of work in there. He's growing, he's getting comfortable with the men around him, and he and John Jerry are working well together. After that, we have a couple guys in the mix. One guy isn't practicing at this point in time and we're going to continue to develop and see really how the preseason games go. Practice is practice, but when the lights come on we need to see guys play and play well. I have confidence in Marshall, I've been around him at a different spot before, and he's an athletic guy. He's a smart guy and I look forward to him growing in the offense.

Q:Where does G Geoff Schwartz stand?
A:I need to see Geoff play. He's coming off of a major injury. He needs to get back out on the field and needs to do it on a consistent basis. It's tough to answer that question.

Q:Is it difficult when you have to continue to swap guys in and out on the offensive line? Would you want to have five in there so they can jell?
A:In a perfect world, that's how things work but this isn't. It's far from a perfect world and our philosophy here is next man up. We don't think twice about it.

Q:How fortunate do you feel to be in a situation with an established QB? Do people sometimes take for granted how indispensable Eli [Manning] has been?
A:I don't take him for granted. I've been fortunate since 2006 to be around a franchise quarterback. Men that have carried themselves well, prepared well, and can rally the team in their own way. They're comfortable in their own skin, so we're very fortunate to have Eli.

Q:Has WR James Jones been a pro since he's been here? Do you like what you see from him?
A:Absolutely, he's been a pro. He was out of work for a little bit, he's getting his football legs underneath him, the last two days of practice he's stood out a little bit, and it'll be exciting to see him over this next week get out there a perform.

Q:Does it help in any way to have some former Green Bay guys here like Jones and Newhouse?
A:It's probably a better question for the players.

Q:Are you aware of the rule changes that seem to favor the offense when you're scheming or coming up with plays?
A:We try to teach things from a fundamental perspective and a read perspective. Is it the passing game that you're referring to?

Q:Some of the defenders can't do the things they used to do?
A:It goes back to fundamentals. Any benefit that you get from a flag, we'll take that. From a fundamental perspective, we can't go out there, and from a mentality perspective, we can't go out there and coach players on this pass interference. You have to fight through all contact and any contact and can't rely on the referees to make those calls to get us a first down. It's up to you to come and compete and win your one-on-one matchup to make those plays.

Q:Do you think too many players are trying to make one-handed catches these days?
A:I'm not in favor of it. I would like to see two hands on the ball.

Q:Have you seen more in the last couple of years?
A:I think maybe it's come to light a little bit more. Guys are always out there trying to work on catching the ball with one hand, whether it's pre-game, pre-practice, and challenging each other. I don't know if there's anything wrong with that, but the game situation, you'd like to see guys catch the ball with two hands out in front of their eyes.

Q:How in tune are you and Eli now as opposed to last year?
A:Last year we spent a lot of time together, we had to have a conversation on just about every play, and make sure we were on the same page there. This year it's a little bit more natural for him and as we go, things will gravitate to what he likes and what he does well and what he feels that the players around him do well.

Q:Has Dwayne Harris shown you anything as a receiver?
A:Yes, Dwayne is a guy that when the lights came on the other night, you could see some physicality from him. He's a guy that doesn't mind getting mixed up in the run game. He's working to learn the offense from a couple different positions inside and outside. He'll have some opportunities here over the next few weeks moving forward. It'll be good to see him out there.

Q:Can you do what you need him to do as far as running routes and catching the ball?

Q:You have three capable guys in Rashad [Jennings], [Andre] Williams, [Shane] Vereen. Do you have to find a way to give all three a way to contribute? Is it a blessing or a burden?
A:Each of them has a unique skillset. They're all different and you can add Darkwa [Orleans] in there as well. They're all different and you have to use their skillset to our advantage but at the same point and time, we have to push them out of their comfort zone. We can't let them fall into a niche, 'I'm this guy or I'm that guy.' You have to be a complete player and we're going to push them that way.

Q:Do you have more of an idea of what [Victor] Cruz you'll get on September 13?
A:Yeah, I'm excited for Victor. He came out early on and didn't seem tentative at all about sticking his foot in the ground. The other day he made some nice plays, made one in the back of the end zone similar to the one the injury was on, and that's a big step, that's a major step. He made a b-line play down the middle at the beginning of the no-huddle period of last practice. It's good to have him out there and I can't wait until he's out there full time and ready to go.

Q:How do you view that WR position?
A:I see it as it's all up in the air right now. There's a lot guys in, a lot of guys out, a lot of opportunities for young guys. It's who takes advantage of it is going to get the nod, I would think.

Q:How many receivers is the max that you think the roster can handle?
A:That's probably a better question for Tom [Coughlin] and Jerry [Reese], but we'll take as many as we can get.

Q:You would take ten if you could?
A:If we could.

Q:Does the new extra point rules change the amount of time you spend on the two-point play?
A:We always put a lot of time on the two-point plays because the information is hard to get. They weren't very prevalent but now they're going to be more prevalent, so your time may be a little bit better spent because you'll have more options, and more recent tape to look at. You won't have to dig back four or five years at a time to find something. You'll be able to be smarter with your time. We'll be ready. We'll have plenty of options down there.

Q:Overall, do you think the quality of your offensive line will equip you to do the things that you want to do with the rest of your ball club?
A:I'm excited for the offensive line. I think they're growing and they're ahead of where they were last year. The saying is, 'We're not where we want to be but thank goodness we're not where we use to be.' From a physicality standpoint and communication standpoint, they're growing.

Q:What was the thinking behind moving Bobby Hart from guard to tackle?
A:Bobby is a young talented man. He's a rookie and has to figure some things out, but I think he has some ability and at some point in time may be able to help us.


Quarterback Eli Manning**

Q:Eli, do you think at all about your contract day to day? Do you just let your agent take care of all that stuff?
A:No, my focus is on practice and getting the best out of our practices and getting better. So that's all that I'm focusing on and nothing's changed, nothing's different. Reports are all wrong and I don't know where they're getting their information from, I just kind of laugh at it.

Q:Would you like to get this done before the start of the season or does it matter?
A:Again, I'm just not thinking about it. I'm not concerned about it. If it happens, when it happens, it's not on my radar right now.

Q:You say the reports are wrong?

Q:So you don't want to be the highest paid player in NFL Football?
A:No. No. Never been said. Never come out of my mouth. Never said it to my agent, never said it, so I don't know where the reports are coming from.

Q:Do you get updates from him about this or is this something you're not even in the loop?
A:Yeah, you know, talk to him every once in a while but I don't like to get updates every second. If something comes up, I tell him to call me or keep me updated or send me a text.

Q:Does that upset you, does it embarrass you when you hear all that stuff?
A:Eh, you know. I've been here long enough, you understand reports come out but I guess you wonder how, if it's a guy just making something up to make a name for himself or I don't know what his purpose in saying it is.

Q:When you hear something like that, is the first thing you think about—all of us around here know you pretty well and have been around you and know that's not something that would come out of your mouth. How preposterous does it sound when you see a report like that?
A:I didn't see it. I actually got a voicemail from my dad and he was saying—he was probably upset about it, so I got a voicemail from him and then I called Pat Hanlon, our media guy, just to see what was going on or what was being said since I didn't know all the information. He said he didn't really trust the source and not many people were buying into it, doesn't sound like you and the source is not very reliable.

Q:You say you never say it, but obviously you don't think it's your agent? Tom Condon has never confessed he said something?
A:I don't think what he was saying. I don't know how negotiating goes and what's being asked and this and that. I don't think I want to know and it was never said by him claiming that this is the goal of what we're trying to do.

Q:You've always been linked to Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers, obviously, since you were drafted. This is another thing you're being linked to. Ben's got his contract, Philip's got his contract and you're aware of that. You think that this will be your turn next since you're in the same class as those guys?
A:I don't compare myself to other quarterbacks by their salary and by their contract. Again, I've been blessed to play in this league for so many years and still blessed to play this year. I'm going to do my job and that's all I concern myself with.

Q:The offense last week had some struggles. Going forward, do you feel like you corrected some of those issues, do you feel like you'll be able to..
A:I think we've had some good practices this week and I thought we had some good practices versus the Bengals. That's football, sometimes. We had some plays that we need to make that we've got to go make them on the field, we've got to make them on game days. I don't think there's a case of us doing things incorrectly, we've just got to do them a little bit better. I think we're on the right process of getting better, and I think it'll show up this weekend.

Q:What kind of leaps and progress do you expect an offense to make in Ben (McAdoo)'s second year? Last year was a learning process.
A:I think we should be better off early on in the season and have a better understanding of what we're trying to do. Some of the adjustments are playing faster, making adjustments, changing plays, getting different checks, changing protection. Everything should be a little smoother operation. I think even this past week, it's been good. I think we've had Victor out there a little more, had Odell out there, seems like I'm getting more reps with them than early on in training camp. They were a little bit limited and sometimes I'd go a couple practices and it seemed like I didn't throw them any passes because they were getting limited amount of reps and those reps, I might have not been working their way based on the coverage. I feel like we're hitting some more plays and been sharper this past week.

Q:How much a difference do you see when you look out there at the offense between now and last year? What do you see that is different?
A:A lot of difference. Just sharper, playing faster, making changes in the plays. We just don't have as many mental mistakes. Last year, a lot of mental mistakes, lot of people thinking new concepts are going in and messing up those concepts and forgetting about the old concepts that were already put in and everybody was new to it. Obviously, this year only a few guys are new. You have the rookies and you have the new guys making a few mistakes, but for the most part the veterans are doing things correctly and playing fast.

Q:How much has the playbook changed, if at all?
A:There's always going to be new additions and new concepts that you're going to work on and try to get things going, but for the most part, the system is in. It's just about growing within it and getting more comfortable with more concepts.

Q:Tom Coughlin just said Cruz has a little bit of a calf issue and won't practice today. Given the optimism that everybody was hoping he'd get to a preseason game, how disappointing is that he has a little bit of an issue?
A:That's news to me, so I'm just learning that right now. Like I said, I thought we've had good work with him, getting him in more plays, more action, and hopefully he'll get back out there soon. But obviously we're getting a lot of work in practice and it's always good to get live game work but the practice work is good also.

Q:What would you like to accomplish most this week in the second game?
A:Obviously, put some points on the board and get some drives going, sustain some drives. Hopefully be able to get out there, set the tempo, play fast with the offense, get some first downs and get into a good rhythm with the offense.

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