Good morning, New York Giants fans! Today's news and notes come from the transcripts provided Sunday by the Giants. As a reminder, always remember to check our 'Transcripts' section. Just because we haven't pushed a story out front yet doesn't mean we haven't been provided with the information.
Linebackers Moving Up
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Sunday that the team's "talent dictates that" the Giants use more three-linebacker sets this season than they have during Fewell's first two seasons as coordinator.
"I think Keith Rivers has added a lot to our linebacking corps and then the young guys have gained experience," Fewell said. " I’m not afraid to use them in any situation. I think that we’ve gained experience, we’ve gained knowledge, we’ve gained know-how with that corps. I still like the three-safety look and that’s still a possibility for us, but we’re going to experiment a little bit and find out how good can we be at linebacker." [Full transcript]
Hixon Is No. 3
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Sunday that veteran Domenik Hixon will begin the season as the team's third receiver.
"He’s a consummate pro. He’s always going to know exactly what to do. He’s always going to be technically very, very sound. He’s very dependable. You can trust that he’ll do the right thing and right now, there’s no evidence that there’s any residual limitations because of his injury," Gilbride said. [Full transcript]
Locklear Earns Praise
Even with Will Beatty returning to practice, veteran Sean Locklear may still have to play a considerable amount of left tackle at the beginning of the season. Gilbride said Sunday he has been impressed by Locklear.
"He’s been what we’ve hoped. You bring him in here, hopefully he’s going to be your third and he’s going to be your swing tackle. With William out the entire preseason, all of a sudden he moved up to the starting position and has played real well. He hasn’t hurt us in the pass game at all. His protection has been excellent. He’s been one of the better performers in pass protection," Gilbride said. "He’s still learning some of the things with the run game the way we do it, so I think he’ll get better and better, but he’s been a bona fide pro. We haven’t fallen off because when we’ve erred, it’s not been something that he did that hurt us, so I’ve been very, very pleased with him."
Gilbride admitted that the Giants strongly considered flip-flopping Locklear and right tackle David Diehl, "but right now Sean is playing very well, so he’s been really as good as anybody we’ve had."
The Punt Returner Is ...
Still undecided. Special teams coach Tom Quinn said there are still four players in the mix for that job. Those would be Jayron Hosley, Jerrel Jernigan, Reuben Randle and Domenik Hixon.
"There’s a collection of guys that we’re looking at. We have four guys who we feel good with, and can decide who’s up, and who’s the best for that game," Quinn said. [Full transcript]
Valentine's View: Best guess is that you see Hixon on Wednesday against the Cowboys, but that at one time or another you see all four of those players get an opportunity at some point this season.
Bennett Still A 'Raw' Player?
Interesting take on Martellus Bennett from Gilbride.
"I think that he’s raw for a guy that’s been in the league, but he’s got a lot of potential. He’s got great passion. He wants to be good. He’s got all the ingredients to be a very good player for us and I think it’s just a matter of getting acclimated. He missed the whole spring and so that really hurt him not going through the OTAs and everything else, but he’s a hard-working physically-talented guy that wants to be good and those are usually pretty good starting points," Gilbride said.