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What we learned from Giants media hour

After the Giants' first OTA practice, coach Pat Shurmur and players met the media on Monday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Here is what you need to know: 


Coming off a season that he and the team would like to forget, third-year cornerback Eli Apple moved forward with a clean slate granted by Shurmur and new general manager Dave Gettleman. The former 10th overall pick said today that "of course" he was embarrassed by how last season played out and that he is now "just trying to be a better player, a better person, and a better teammate this year."

"Well, I'm sure glad – yeah, you hear things, but I'm sure glad that I truly believe in a clean slate," Shurmur said. "He's been nothing but professional, he's been out here competing, he's one of the guys that has been here almost every single day and I haven't seen anything that somebody might have thought I heard. He's been great."

Apple explained the reasons for some of the problems last year. 

"Yeah, maybe I got a little too confident a little bit in thinking I was going to make a big step," he said. "It's about just taking it day by day and continue to be patient and just know my time's going to come. Just don't force anything, just go out there and just flow with everything."


Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is on the comeback trail following a season-ending ankle injury five weeks into the 2017 campaign. He has yet to participate in team drills this spring, but the dynamic playmaker took positional drills early in practice before continuing his rehab with trainers on the sideline. 

"He looks good," Shurmur said. "He's out here moving around, he's champing at the bit wanting to get out and do more than we're allowing him to do at this point. But I think we're just trying to make sure that everything is healed to the fullest before we put him out there. He looks good."


The offseason signing of Nate Solder, who has started at left tackle for two Super Bowl-winning teams and played in two other Super Bowls, meant a position change for Ereck Flowers. The fourth-year pro did not participate in some of the earlier parts of the voluntary offseason workout program, but he was on the field on Monday with the first team at right tackle.  

"Yeah, he did a nice job today," Shurmur said. "We've had him in for a week, as you all know, and he's kind of just fit right in there with everybody and I wasn't all that pressured up about it and I'm glad he's here and I'm getting to know him. I said it with Eli [Apple], clean slate. He's out here competing and I think that's what's most important."


After blocking for Leonard Fournette in Jacksonville last season, Patrick Omameh will help pave the way for another top-five running back in Saquon Barkley. But he might be doing so from the right side this time, instead of the left. The veteran offensive lineman, who has started 24 games at right guard, 23 at left guard (including three postseason) and one as an extra tackle in his career, is transitioning to right guard while the Giants bring along second-round draft choice Will Hernandez. 

"You know, the transition is honestly [easy] because I have some background playing on the right side," Omameh said. "It's not completely starting from scratch. A few things that you need to get back that just comes with repetitions, but yeah, it's just a situation where the more you can do for the team, whatever I'm able to do, I'll jump out there and do it."

Having Flowers at OTAs also helps the two build chemistry on the right side of the line. 

"I mean, it's huge," Omameh said. "Like I said, the development of that chemistry is something that comes with familiarity, it comes with repetition. And being able to have the opportunity to work on that physically together in the same place, there's no better way to do it. So it's huge being able to do that."


There may be some things that annoy Eli Manning, but talking football will never be one of them. So Saquon Barkley does not need to worry.  The 21-year-old rookie has been peppering the 37-year-old quarterback with questions since they met. 

"It has been amazing," Barkley said. "Obviously he is a great guy; he's a great quarterback. But he's so knowledgeable about the game – he knows every single play where you're supposed to be, where everybody is supposed to be and literally he can look this way and this guy ran a wrong route and he knows that guy already ran a wrong route.

"So I just continue to learn from him every single day and ask a lot of questions. I think I'm probably annoying to him a little bit, but I continue to ask him a lot of questions and I just want to expand on my knowledge of the game because that's going to make me a better player and if I can continue to grow as a better player, then I can continue to help the team."