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Five from Friday: OL development, Eli Penny’s role, more

Notes and quotes from today’s media availability

NFL: New York Giants at Carolina Panthers
Will Hernandez
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

A little Friday afternoon bonus, New York Giants fans! Here are five notes from Friday’s media availability with Giants coaches.

Pat Shurmur

On the development of the offensive line ...

“As you see the way this has played out since the bye, four of our starting linemen didn’t have a Giants helmet last year, so there’s been a lot of changeover. I think that’s important to remember. There’s a lot of new moving forward, running parallel with trying to block a lot of really good fronts. With regard to the left side, that’s been constant, and certainly Nate’s an outstanding player. They work together, so then Nate’s been bringing along a true rookie in Will, who has improved each week. The combination of those two guys, they’re getting better and better and better, and I think Nate behind the scenes has sort of mentored that whole group because there’s a lot of new and a lot that goes into it.”

On the increased playing time for fullback Elijhaa Penny ...

“Roster permitting, I’m fond of having a fullback. I think they’re very valuable guys, and from the second half of the year here, we’ve utilized 21 personnel more. He’s got a good skillset, he’s a converted halfback so he can run the ball, he can catch the ball, and he’s swelled up since his halfback days, so he’s a better blocker now. Again, he was new, he didn’t start, so he had a long way to go to catch up and know what we were doing and he’s done a good job doing that.”

Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert

On the progress of Corey Coleman ...

“Corey, he has to keep plugging along. Corey, with him, he’s probably been in three or four offenses this year alone – from Cleveland, to Buffalo, to New England, to here. Some of the plays that we have, there’s some crossover and it’s the same concept, but it’s called totally different things, and some things they’re called totally the same, but they’re different concepts. So, sometimes he confuses those, but Corey is doing well. We’re going to have to put more into the offense, and I think we’re going to see that going forward. Corey is going to play more, and more, and more, because he does have a lot of ability that you want to see on the field. He has really good hands. He has really good speed. He’s good with the ball in his hands, he’s tough.

“This offense requires you to play different positions all the time. When you move him around as much as we move him around, and those concepts like I mentioned with him and other places, it gets intertwined sometimes and can be confusing a little bit. As far as the other guys, they’ve been here the whole time, so they kind of know what to do in all those instances. He’s continued to get better in that regard, and the more he gets better with that and the more comfortable he is with that, the more we’ll play him.”

RB coach Craig Johnson

On Saquon Barkley leaping over defenders ...

“It always makes coaches (nervous), I think most of the running back coaches in general will say try to keep your feet more on the ground, but you’re not going to take away his ability. That’s something he saw, he went for it, and you always worry is he going to land properly, but that’s just part of his game.”

On being disappointed Jonathan Stewart will remain on IR ...

“Yes, because I think Jonathan Stewart is a great role model. He’s been kind of where Saquon’s attempting to go, and anytime you have a guy like that, you’d like to be able to see him show what he can do. It’s just a matter of early in the year, he’s nicked up a little bit, and then late in the year, because of our roster we’ve got a lot of injuries and I don’t deal with it that much but yes, he’s been great. I can’t tell you how much he has helped our room and it’s always nice for a younger player to have a veteran guy who’s been through it in the room.”