Final cuts are underway as NFL teams need to trim their camp rosters down to the 53-man regular season limit.
But the Giants also just played a game against the New England Patriots. That means that some players talked to the media. In particular, Rueben Randle, Landon Collins, and Justin Pugh talked to the Giants' beat writers on a conference call.
First up is Ruben Randle, the Giants' starting wide receiver who has been dealing with a bout of knee tendinitis.
The good news is that Randle is that while Randle isn't back to normal yet, he is getting closer.
"I’m getting back to my normal self. I’m still trying to work out a little bit of the kinks with it (knee tendinitis), still gets a little sore, but it’s manageable and I think everything will be fine. I think everyone is excited to play a real game where it really counts."
Randle also had some things to say about the offense that should be exciting for any Giants' fan.
"I think a lot more aggressive since everyone understands the offense and the looks that we need to check into certain plays. I think that’s something that we like to see but we have to start connecting more on some of the plays. The execution will come as long as we continue to get reps but the aggression that we have is far beyond last year and that’s something we like to see as receivers."
And according to Randle, having a full year of experience in the new West Coast flavored offense only increases how dangerous the offense can be
"No, we all understand the roles, and I think we’re all capable of moving around wherever the coaches want us to be, anyway. We all have a pretty good grasp of the offense. I don’t think it’ll take that long for us to get a feel for what we have to do and what we have to get done. It opens the door for a lot of things since everyone kind of has a pretty good understanding of what the offense is and what we want to do once we see certain types of defenses, so that should help us out in the long haul. As long as we continue to build and build that chemistry where we all are on the same page, it should be exciting."
Randle did temper some of that excitement with the admission that with his and Victor Cruz's injuries, there is some uncertainty for week 1.
"I’m not sure how this week is going to go, but I’m hoping everyone will be able to return and we have all of our weapons out there on the field to come out and try and get a victory."
Randle also offered a player's perspective on the release of Steve Weatherford.
"That’s very unfortunate. I don’t think anyone really likes that part of it, but we all accept and know it’s coming, but a guy like Steve, that’s a great leader, a great mentor for a lot of people that come into this organization, that’s a very unfortunate situation for us. I think we’re all just wishing him the best of luck with whatever he moves on to."
Randle also said that LSU, and now Giants, teammate Brad Wing is a "great guy, as well, very strong leg, very good at placing the ball where he wants to."
Collins is coming off the best game of his young career as a Giant, and seems to be feeling pretty good.
"I felt great. I just felt confident with the game plan we went into and practicing and then being comfortable behind the defense and behind the vets and making calls and running to the ball. Just feeling more confident. Once you get confidence inside the system and [are] able to run around and fly around and be worry-free, that is the best feeling when playing for this defense."
Collins was also very complementary of fellow safeties Cooper Taylor and Stevie Brown
"Whatever guy I play next to would be a tremendous honor because all these guys --- we all worked our butts off to play and get to this level and to be a dominant force. Whoever is back there with me and whoever is back there at all is --- and no preference at all because we all have been switched up with each and every guy, so we all have a thing together. Whoever I play with --- this past weekend I played with Coop and it was a fantastic thing and we [were] on the same page, so whoever is back there, we [are] always on the same page. ... He [Brown] is a gamer. He is picking up the defense pretty quickly. I mean, he is a vet, so I mean he does that and it is fantastic to see somebody that [does] stuff like that, and I tip my cap to him."
Mostly, Collins is excited to be on to Dallas and play in his first real NFL game.
"I’m confident, happy, glad it is here and very healthy, so I will be able to play out the whole game and have no worries. [I am] just ready to dominate and get the W with the team and go on to the next game."
Finally, Justin Pugh hopped on the phone with the beat writers. Like the rest of the Giants' players, Pugh is anxious to get the season under way, but he also sees growth and improvement along the offensive line.
"We did some good things. We had some good drives, you know— every game we worked on something and had something positive to take away from it. So we have to get all these guys— everyone is healthy right now— so we have to get a good week of practice in and go out there and have a good game on Sunday.
The communication, the trust is there. You’re not playing next to a guy that you haven’t played next to before, so it’s definitely something that is definitely a huge positive for us. We don’t know who’s exactly going to be slotted where as of right now— obviously that will shake out in the next few days, but it’s definitely good. It’s a common factor that we have the same five up front that we’re used to."
Pugh will also be doing what he can to help make sure that Rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers stays settled down and focused for his debut against the Dallas Cowboys.
"You know, I started my first game ever [against the] Cowboys, Sunday Night Football, so I told him it’s going to be an electric atmosphere. It’s definitely going to be something that he’ll never forget. But just to go out there and calm his nerves down and go out there on that first play and just hit somebody, kind of shake off all those jitters, and just settle in and get ready to play one hell of a game. He’s probably not going to have experienced a place as loud and as electric as Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium.
I mean, I didn’t play in the SEC, so I didn’t get to experience anything like that, but you know, that stadium was insane. That first 100 thousand people with the roof closed— definitely a loud atmosphere, so that’s going to be a lot right in the beginning. Because Dallas, they put on a show that first game, so they try to put like fireworks and cheerleaders running around— you have to make sure you lock it in, so that’s something I’m going to let him know because I went through the exact same thing."
But Pugh isn't especially worried about his the rookie who lines up to his left.
"He definitely is a very focused guy. I can already tell he’s getting ready to go. He’s sitting in the cold tub right now."
That last bit might have been a bit too much information.