Q: You will have to rely a little more on the young receivers.
A: Sure. They get a lot of reps, anyway. Everybody gets a lot of reps at this time of year and in training camp. So that is all going to take place. And they will get just as much as they can handle.
Q: Have you heard from Hakeem?
A: I did talk to him. He sounded great. He was very optimistic. He rushed down to Charlotte to get the surgery taken care of as fast as he could. He did that. And that is a great example. This guy really, really wants to be on the field and out here. We certainly hope that the idea of him returning by camp can happen.
Q: Based on his experience. Do you think that Ramses Barden would be a guy that could fill in one of those roles while this guy is hurt?
A: It would be great if he did.
Q: What does he have to do?
A: Well, it has been a little bit of inconsistency. Some days are very, very good and others are not as good. He knows that and he is working hard on that. Hopefully it is going to all catch up with Ramses this spring and this fall.
Q: ….last year – being on the PUP list?
A: Well it never helps. It never helps. The pressure of preparing; the pressure of being on the field; of being evaluated every game. They are all good things, now.
Q: Do you think you need to bring in a veteran receiver? Or do you think you have what it takes right now?
A: We are going to study everything as we go along here. Right now our focus, of course, is on the group that is here. And we have a lot of talented guys that, "it’s time to go; it is time to get involved." Maybe there is perhaps another Victor Cruz.
Q: What have you been able to see from Hixon so far? It has been a couple of years since he has been out there.
A: Same ole’ Domenik. Makes plays; makes plays, makes plays. Very, very steady; very consistent. He never makes a mistake. He is always in the right place; lots of good things. It makes me very anxious to make sure that he gets through the spring and feels real good about himself. He is a tough guy, now. He doesn’t back down from anything. And, again, he is a great example.
Q: What is it about Eli Manning that has allowed him to adjust year in and year out despite different parts that he is presented with on the offense?
A: He is focused in his desire to be the best he can be. It never changes. He understands completely what the team concept is. And no matter where the necessary reinforcement is and the possessiveness that has to come from him as the leader, he is going to be there and do that. A year ago it was a young receiver corps. This year perhaps some of these young offensive linemen have to get going. They have to take up the slack. So he puts himself in a position where he is there – he is responsive to the circumstance that whatever our team’s needs are and he is going to do the best that he can to help regardless. So he has bought compete ownership of his team. He continues to get better himself and to help everybody around him get better.
Q: Does Hixon have everything back at this point?
A: I don’t know. I’m sure there is a gear or two that he has not turned on yet. But that is fine. I’m not anxious to have anything more than what he is doing right now.
Q: When we talked to Rueben Randle at rookie mini camp he kind of said, "I know that third receiver position is open, I can complete for that." Has his opportunity changed with the Nicks injury?
A: No. His opportunity remains the same. He can be a factor in everything that we do going forward. I think he is a talented young guy. Naturally he has some things to learn about intensity and studying and preparing. You can’t come out here and make an error. It is a little bit different in terms of the peer pressure. He is feeling it and sensing it. He has only had a few days out here on the field. But you can see – all you have to do, really, is watch him catch punts. So you know he is talented.
Q: Even watching an OTA like this, do you miss seeing Hakeem Nicks?
A: Oh sure. I want them all around me every second of every practice and every meeting. That is the whole idea of it. Quite frankly, it has not happened for us. But we want it that way. I think Hakeem has taken a good solid leadership role this spring with the young guys and practicing himself. There isn’t any question about what he wants. He wants to be a premier player in this league. And he just demonstrates that whenever the opportunity is there for him. So for us to put that group together so that we can work on the timing, etc., etc., certainly we are missing him.
Q: Can you talk about James Brewer and his development?
A: We need him to develop. We need him to come along. We need him to improve. He has got to, again, understand the work ethic that those guys with lunch buckets come to the office with every day. And he has a little bit of ways to go there but he has made progress. And I think, for him, there will be another little step right here. But come fall we are going to need him to be as intense as he can possibly be and to understand what has to happen at this level for us to succeed and for him to be a part of it.