The New York Giants made several players, as well as head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese available to the media Thursday morning after the players arrived for the start of training camp. Among the players made available was center Weston Richburg, one of the Giants’ best players and a leader on the offensive line.
Richburg was first asked about his expectations for the team.
“They’re high,” he said. “I mean, we always talk about putting another trophy in the case, so I think if our goal is anything other than that, then there’s no point in being here.”
“Well, we expect it of ourselves, too,” He added when asked about outside expectations being high. “We’re in unison on that expectation and we’re going to put in the work that’s necessary to try to get that done.”
On the differences from last year on the offensive line:
Richburg said, “Another year of maturity. We’ve been together all last year, and looking into this year, we’ve got the same guys there. I think one of the biggest things that helps an offensive line is continuity. So we’re going to try to take that continuity, stay healthy, and make sure that we’re all playing together as much as we can.”
“We’ve gotten in a lot of good work, we’ve got a lot of good guys in the room right now that compliment the guys that we’ve had there before,” He said, when asked about this season’s additions on the line. “And it’ll be fun to have them in this training camp, to push them and they’ll push us to be better, and I think we’ll be a good unit.”
With reports that both Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart have worked to transform their bodies for the 2017 season, Richburg was asked about the differences between his conditioning and theirs.
“You know, my approach is different from theirs [the bigger guys], because those guys are bigger guys and they may struggle with weight. I’m different, in that situation, so you approach it in different ways depending on your situation. Hopefully we’re all conditioned and ready to go.”
Many were surprised that the Giants didn’t make any big moves with regards to the personnel on the offensive line. Richburg wasn’t one of them:
“I’m not surprised, no. And I don’t have any say in that anyway. So I’ve just got to focus on what I can focus on and make the improvements that I know need to get made, and worry about what I can control.”
“I think that we can take it as a vote of confidence. And I think that it says to us that they [the Giants] believe in us and we can be the unit that takes this team where we want to go. We have to put in the work to make sure that happens.”
The Giants are looking for the offensive line to improve on an individual basis and improve their play as a group. Part of that is improving their camaraderie and cohesion, and Richburg was asked if there’s steps to take in that direction.
“I think there always is, I think there always is [a step to be take]. I think that’s the cool thing about our group, is that we’re always together. I don’t think that there’s any other group that’s around each other as much as we are. That’s a good thing about our room, that we’re always together, always spending time with each other. I think the camaraderie will come, and it will build each and every week that we’re together.”
When asked he has seen growth from Ereck Flowers:
“Yeah, yeah. We’ve all grown. That’s how this thing goes. I’ve grown since I first got here, he’s grown since he first got here. Everybody has, and that maturity is going to help us as well.”
On how aware they are of their need to play better:
“I think as an offensive unit we didn’t have our best year, and I think we can play so much better than we did last year. I’m looking forward to getting a lot more production and being a better offense unit to help our defense.”
Considering both he and Justin Pugh are entering free agency — and Pugh’s stated interest in what others at his position are being paid — Richburg was asked if he has been paying attention to what centers are being paid.
“Uh, I didn’t, really. I just said it earlier, I can only control what I can control. And if my focus is anywhere else, it isn’t going to help me.”
Richburg concluded his time with the media by speaking about he and Odell Beckham Jr.’s trip to Texas to visit Jayro Ponce. Rather than risk doing a disservice to what Richburg had to say with a transcription, I will simply offer the video of his press conference.
He is asked about Jayro at 4:55, and his comments run through the end of the video. I encourage everyone to watch.