Re: amount of work Hakeem Nicks got this spring coming off wrist and toe surgery
A: Yeah, you would have loved to had Hakeem out there. We know that he is recovering health wise and hopefully that will translate into improved performance next fall. Because his foot will be healthier, he will be able to run routes and develop the kind of consistency that we think he is capable of achieving.
Re: Nicks working with Eli in July and how that will help him out?
A: That will help him. It will help some. He needs his coaches with him and telling him what to do. Eli will help certainly. And catching as many balls from him and trying to use Eli as an extension of the coaching staff will certainly be beneficial to him. But he needs to be here with the intensity - coaches telling him what to do and also the opportunity to compete against that is playing defensively and trying to shut him down. You learn your stuff on air from a certain point but then you have to make the adjustments necessary to be successful when somebody is trying to shut you down. And that is what he unfortunately missed. But it is a trade off. So you hope health wise that will pay dividends down the road.
Q: RE: Domenik Hixon's loss on offense.
A: It would embarrass him for me to say what he means ...... But to be honest, he is just what you are looking for as a human being, first and foremost. Every day in the meetings, out on the practice field - he is as professional a guy as we have on our football team. And so just his example of his enthusiasm, his encouragement to his fellow players, he is tremendous. And so it manifests itself in the kicking game because he gets more opportunities there. He is the guy. He has been on our third, he has been our second at times, he has been our fourth receiver - he has been an integral part of what we do passing wise. So as a receiver, we will miss him terribly. As the man that he is, and the example he sets and the encouragement that he gives everybody else ... you are not going to replace him. That is going to be a tough pill to swallow.
A: It would be good. There is no question. I think we all are hopeful because we see a guy that has a big wing span, and he is a bright young man. He has good hands. Now he just has to go do it; go do it on a consistent basis. And I think he wants to do it and I think it is important to him. That is the first step. The second step - now you have to go do it. And that is what we are waiting to see. In the spring you see those little glimpses - you get encouragement and feel, "...... he is there." Now can we get it out of you on a consistent basis? Can you take advantage of the fact that you are 6-5, 6-6, whatever your size is and reach over somebody and make some of those catches that we think you are capable of making. You see it once in a while; you don't see it enough. No one wants it more than him. And I'm not sure that - I think last year as his first year was kind of a feeling out process. I think he really wants to be the guy. I think he wants to be that contributor. Now he has to go do it.
Q: He had one yesterday afternoon that Bomar threw it up in the air - a little bit high - he .....
A: That is where - you just have to jump, all you do is run. Where it hit him it was a great throw. He stopped to make a spectacular catch. If he had just kept running, it would have been right in his hands. It was a great throw. I would say that he tried too hard. He wants to make a spectacular catch. All he had to do was to keep running. It would have been right in stride. Maybe that is an example of what I am saying. He wants to do it so badly sometimes it almost hurts you. But I feel encouraged by the fact that I see a guy that really is trying very, very hard. And again I see some skills that would help us and would benefit us substantially if he can do it on a continual basis. I'm betting on him. I think he is going to do it. I think he wants to do it. I think it is important enough; he is bright enough - now just go do it. I think he can. Steve Smith started .......his rookie year and then now he has become a very - every play in and play out practice games. It doesn't matter. He is always in competition, he is always doing it. I'm not saying that he is Steve Smith, but I'm saying that I would love to see him take the next step like Steve did his second year. And if he can do that, that will help us tremendously.
Re: learning curve for Barden from Cal Poly to the NFL
A: Yeah, I guess. I guess. You are hopeful you see something - maybe in an earlier than we did. I see a very intelligent guy that I would hope would assimilate what we do at a fairly quick pace. And so therefore, you would like to see it manifest itself maybe a little bit more rapidly. Maybe I'm being unfair because I'm so hopeful because I can see some things that would fill some voids that we have offensively. But you have to go do it.
RE: Andre Brown coming back from his Achilles injury
A: It is hard for me to tell physically. Soreness wise and everything else, I think that he will tell you that he has still got a ways to go. It is more of the fact that he missed the whole season. It is like starting all over again. So right now he is making a few more mistakes. That is where I see it - more than the slowness, which certainly shows up - is the fact that he has missed a whole season. It is like starting from scratch. So there are a few more mistakes right now than we could afford if we had to put him in. We couldn't afford to put him in right now. Hopefully as the training camp goes and the exhibition goes, those things disappear.
Q: The two guys ahead of him - I'm sure they both are going to be little limited coming off their surgeries in training camp. He is going to get a lot of chances?
A: A lot of work. There is a lot of work. Now it is just capitalizing on those opportunities.
Q: Will Beatty at left tackle and David Diehl moving inside to guard. What did you see out of that and is that an option going forward?
A: It is definitely an option. Will it wind up that way? It is the best five guys playing. So it is not that Will would beat out David at left tackle, it is can Will play well enough at left tackle that you would move David in? But he is really beating out Rich Seubert - that is who he is beating out. And whether that will happen or not remains to be seen. Has Will played well? He has played real well. He has had a good spring. And that is good to see. But you are beating out a guy that may be the heart and soul of your offensive group. As I mentioned before, he is not surrendering that position without a fight. That is not going to happen. Richie kind of embodies everything that you want in an offensive lineman. And he is going to give him hell. He said not to tell anybody this, but he is a feisty, tough combative - though he did want me to tell everybody here that you were wrong - he did not start the fight (in the stadium workout). Chris Snee started the fight. He happened to get embroiled in it - as it always seems to gravitate to him. But he did not start the fight. He wanted me to make sure that if I was going to say anything about him that that was brought up. But Richie has been - just as we have talked about before - Richie in terms of toughness day in and day out, is not letting any nagging injuries bother him. And so you are not taking his starting position from him easily. So can William play so well that that happens? He has got a lot of physical ability and he did play very well this spring. So it is kind of a good situation to be in. We wish we had more of those situations where there are more guys looking to knock somebody out of the starting lineup. We don't have enough.
Q: Re: Richie Seubert's surgery
A: Yeah, he is coming back. He is never going to articulate that anything is wrong. He is never going to express that anything is holding him back. He is a guy that just came off shoulder surgery. So it going to slow him down, but when camp starts he will go out and he will hit and he will be just as physical as everybody else. Now, will it diminish his play? If I had a bet, I would never bet against him.
Q: RE: Guy Whimper
A: We are trying to see where he fits in. Right now we would love to have him exhibit some flexibility where we could use him at a couple of different positions, where he is competing, can you be that seventh offensive lineman on Sunday. That is all we dress. If you guys could talk to Tom (Coughlin) and we could get eight, I would love to have it happen. But right now we only get seven. So whoever that seventh guy is, you have to play a couple of different spots. And so we are waiting to see if he can - he has been here long enough to warrant some consideration. Again, it will all be assessed during training camp. But that is why we are moving a lot of different spots - not just saying you are the tackle. Right now you have to prove that you can play tackle. Can you be the guard? We know he could be a fourth tackle. But can he be a third guard or center - not the center but one of those internal positions.
Q: What Will Beatty still needs to show?
A: Technique - 100% of technique. He is a very athletic, gifted guy but he also will still find himself in some of the most awkward positions you can possibly conceive of. So when he can eliminate that, then I think he will take full advantage of really, very special, athletic qualities.
Q: RE: Brandon Jacobs
A: We haven't seen it. He hasn't practiced a lot out there. He looks OK running. I don't see any extraordinary .... So I think the ......test will come as we get into the exhibition season. We will see if that acceleration and the ability to get to the hole in the time frame that is necessary for the play to be successful shows itself. But we are counting on it.
Q: Any concern about that?
A: No, not really. No, I'm thinking it is going to happen. But until it actually does you never know.
Q: RE: Rhett Bomar
A: Right now you figure that Jim (Sorgi) is going to be the backup unless some extraordinary thing happens differently. We really gave a lot more reps to Jim than we did to Rhett. So Rhett really didn't get as many. We are giving Jim a chance to be exposed to our offense. And so he got as many reps as Eli did. And in that third segment of repetitions were really spit between him and Riley Skinner. Both of those guys did OK. Riley showed moments - some flashes - that were outstanding. And so did Rhett. But they really didn't get a lot of work.
Q: How did Eli throw the ball this spring?
A: Not bad; not bad. He threw it well. We kind of pushed him to be a little more aggressive; try to take some chances now - get a sense of what you feel comfortable doing. You see a guy in New Orleans where they are throwing the seam balls and you see Drew Brees throwing some throws in there. And maybe not every quarterback will even try ...... until you find out if you are comfortable doing that, you have to do it now - do it in practice and if it doesn't work you are not so ....... So we kind of pushed him to do some of those things. As a result there were a few more interceptions than we would have liked. But it upsets the head man, but I'm glad he was kind of pushing the envelope a little bit.
Q: RE: Travis Beckum
A: Yeah, like I was mentioning with William, he has to do the same thing. There is some athleticism there that you want to tap into and you want to take advantage of. But he has a long way to go in terms of utilizing that athleticism, doing things right and doing things in a consistent way. Now, if he can do that, he will help us.
Q: Travis blocking or running?
A: He is not going to be your point of attack, prototypical tight end. That is not his forte; that is not his strength. But when we put him out in space, he has got some special abilities. But you still have to block out there; you still have to run the routes the right way. You still have to get open. He makes some spectacular catches but he's not necessarily doing the things that you have to do to get yourself open on a consistent basis. And if you are a quarterback and he is not doing that, then what do you do? You say to him, "I'm not counting on you. I'm going to look somewhere else."
Q: You have never been a wildcat guy but Antrel Rolle comes in here having done a little bit and is pushing to do it. Are you thinking any more towards that?
A: That is a no.