New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin addressed reporters following the 2011 NFL Draft and offered his thoughts on the eight players the team selected. The full transcript is below:
We came to work with basically the same objectives - to take the best player available. Of course, to be conscious to some of the need positions, to try do a good job throughout the entire draft with upgrading our speed and what have you on special teams. And I thought we were able to do that this afternoon.
With the Brewer pick you have a young offensive tackle. He was a five-year collegian but he only played one year of high school football. In high school he was a basketball player. He was an outstanding athlete. There are some aspects of, obviously, development in front of him. But he is talented and he is a massive size guy that can probably get even bigger.
, the highly productive linebacker from Michigan State, was our first pick in the sixth round. He is a three-time all Big 10 middle backer who has tremendous production and lots of tackles, any number of sacks over the course of his career as well. And so he was our first pick.
Tyler Sash, the second pick, the safety from Iowa who has an outstanding reputation for being a physical player - come on the .....kind of guy, and once again, an individual that can help us on teams.
Jacquian Williams, the linebacker from South Florida - we had him on the board. He is a little bit bigger than what you are going to see. He was 231 when we weighed him and he does have the outstanding speed. And he will be an outstanding contributor, once again, on special teams.
And Da'Rel Scott, who we just took in the seventh round, the running back from Maryland, who has outstanding speed. This guy is 5-11, his is 211 pounds. He has been clocked under 4.4. He had an extremely productive sophomore year at Maryland - not as much production in the final two years. There are a couple of reasons for that we believe. But at that point in the draft this was a outstanding pick in terms of the contribution of a running back and a very fast running back at that. So as you look at the draft, we drafted according to the most quality at each pick. We did not back off from that at any time. That is the way that we have perceived this and have continued along those lines. The two outstanding defensive players in the first and second round - the receiver and the return man in Jernigan and then as we discussed in the second half of the draft.
A: You are better off if the idea philosophically is to take the best player who is on the board. That way you are not doing any reaching, you are not trying to make somebody up who doesn't belong there. And I think we have always done that. If you just take the first two picks in the draft, we have two guys in the first round. And I think that speaks highly of itself. Do you solve all of your problems? Of course not. But remember it is an inverted situation this year. We are talking about the college draft first and then free agency coming. And who knows what free agency will bring and what the rules of free agency are. So obviously there is more work to be done. But there is always more work to be done. And the very unusual and difficult thing about this draft - finishing this draft up -- is there is no college free agency. It has always been the mad scramble at the end of draft to go ahead and fill your roster in with the best available players that were not drafted. That won't happen here. That will get put on hold. So you will have that aspect of it. You will have the free agency period. And hopefully at some point in time have an opportunity to put all of these people together on the field before we have to get ready to go to training camp.
A: Do you feel you will be able to fill holes with free agency or is that an unknown?
A: Well, it is just like anything else. You always have contingency plans for everything that you do. The best example I can give you is that we have - I have personally done probably 15 different schedules for this offseason. You can imagine why. And it is the same kind of thing that we would do with personnel.
Q: So you have your plan ready for whatever the circumstances are?
Q: So you didn't draft for needs?
A: Well, it depends on - there are a lot of needs. Let's face it - it is not like you are shooting for one or two things. We have a lot of needs. The overall objective is to be the best football team you can possibly be. You never accomplish everything you want to accomplish in any one phase. You have a pretty good start here, I think and I feel. And as I said, we will be prepared for whenever and whatever comes down the road here with the next decision.
Q: Tyler Sash - Marc Ross said he is a smart guy, has nose for the ball, etc - is that a coach's dream?
A: He did all of those things. He had 13 career interceptions, was an outstanding physical player down in the box. He played at a very, very high level in a physical program; a program that does put a lot emphasis on the strength aspect of the game.
Q: Seems like the special teams coach should be smiling?
A: You know there was an awful lot of attention placed along those lines throughout the offseason. And in a calculated manner, we tried to address that. And I think we have made some progress.
Q: Do you think you added a return guy?
A: They will all be on special teams, yeah. But if you mention the return aspect, he doesn't have many. Now you probably would put that kind of a player just into the kickoff return aspect of it. And he would be given a chance, no doubt.
Q: At the Combine you said center was a concern for the draft - you didn't address that.
A: The reason I said that - we came out into the hallway and bang, you asked me that. I made a very quick response because of the injury factor. That and going forward here we have to assess that as well.
Q: Is it still a concern?
A: Oh it is a concern. Sure it is.
Q: Did you give these rookies any instructions?
A: Just the one player.
RE: Getting the other draft picks instructions/playbooks...
A: Well we really haven't thought about that. I'm not sure exactly where that is. The window was there and the window closed real quickly.
Q: You didn't talk to them?
A: We just talked to them.
Q: You didn't really tell these guys --- you just have to trust?
A: What I told them was exactly what I would tell you in that you had better be in great shape because when this whole thing is completed it will be very, very quickly back on the field and you had better be in shape to be able to come in here and have a camp.
RE: Options that Jerrel Jernigan gives you on offense.
A: He has a lot of options - high school quarterback, wildcat, wide receiver. I know you all looked at his numbers with numbers of catches the number - but let's face it, he was operating in a situation a little bit without a big arm at the quarterback position. And I think the type of routes that he ran were high percentage routes and not as many up the field routes. And of course, he does have that vertical speed.
Q: Would you consider wildcat with him?
A: That will remain to be seen. I have always been one - I don't want to take the ball out of the quarterback's hands.
Q: How much quicker is your team?
A: We are faster. We are faster.
Q: Do you think special teams will be faster?
A: Well, definitely just by this right here (pointing to the list of draft choices), we will benefit.
Q: You mentioned reasons for the drop in production for the running back.
A: Yeah, I won't go into it, but there was outstanding production early on. We had a very good workout with him. And he was very responsive. He worked his tail off; stayed extra, caught the ball well, shows you the kind of speed that he has. If you are even, he is gone. Let's face it. What I looked at, I believe there was a 71-yarder, a 91-yarder and 61-yarder. And that is limited, shared play time.
Q: Da'Rel Scott - people say he fumbles a lot, did you notice it?
A: I didn't overly notice it, but sometimes you see him carry the ball away from the side.
Q: Do you know anything about his wrist injury?
A: His medical was not an issue.
Q: Do you know what has been the issue, why was Scott not as productive in his junior and senior year.
A: Yeah, but I'm not going to tell you.
Q: What do you do now with the lockout back on?
A: There hasn't been any sitting around. The natural question I get is "What are you guys doing?" The coaching staff is on the schedule like we are going to play tomorrow. We are exactly on schedule for all the work that we do throughout the offseason - the new opponents - the schedule - the game planning - all of that stuff. The research - it is all underway. Up to two days ago we had the rookie minicamp scheduled. And that is why the reams of paper that get thrown up the air. So we are trying to stay on that kind of schedule and hoping for more information.