About this week: Most of us are down here, now that we’ve started the process certainly of trying to get as much information as we can this week. Actually did some meetings last night. We’ll have meetings throughout the week, try to get as much information as we can on all the players that are here.
Priority: Well, this is about my 18th combine, so the priority here is to make sure you get the most information possible about the player. We’re trying to find guys that are passionate about football. The medical part tells us if they’re healthy enough to play and we want to walk away as coaches and try to answer the question by trying to get to know them as best we can, are these the guys we want to coach? That’s why this is really the first real big exposure for us as coaches in this evaluation process. Our whole staff is here and we’re trying to get as much information as possible.
What look for when meet with QBs here? You’re trying to look for all the intangible things that a quarterback does. You want to try to determine whether he’s a good decision-maker, whether he has a sense of timing. The tape tells you whether he’s an accurate passer or not. Then you just want to get a feel for hey, is this the guy we want to lead our team? Some of it is subjective, some of it really just comes by getting to know the player. We have a good idea of what a good quarterback is and so we’re trying to see those attributes in all these candidates.
Does it matter that Darnold does not throw? No, I think times have changed. We’ve seen him throw on tape. He’s gonna have a Pro Day where we can see him throw. It’s certainly nicer when they do throw. The more exposures you have, the more times we see the player doing what he does it helps but I think times have changed. Some do, some don’t.
You said Eli has years left; what is the importance of setting up the franchise at QB: I agree with really both your assertions there. Eli, we’re looking forward, moving forward with Eli. But certainly with the second pick in the draft, we want to draft a player worthy of that pick. I think we’ve talked about it before. The last time the Giants had the second pick in the draft they picked Lawrence Taylor. The last time they had the third pick in the draft they picked Carl Banks, and those were two franchise-changing players. I think we’ve got to keep an open mind on this and we certainly want to make our team better and I think that’s the approach that we’re taking.
Can you afford to take No. 2 pick on a player who in an ideal world would not play (if it is a QB)? We’re gonna pick the very best player we can pick at the No. 2 pick. We’re coming into this, we’re looking for passionate players that want to be coached, that we feel good about. We’re trying to upgrade the whole team.
How does Davis Webb on roster affect the draft?
Good question. It’s interesting. He and Eli are in the building every day. I got to hold back from talking ball with them. I see them in the lunch room after they’ve had their workouts. That’s a little uncomfortable for me, because they’re so eager to get going. I like what I’ve seen in Davis Webb. I went back and watched his tape again for college just to get reacquainted with him. I like what I saw on tape when he played. I had a chance to watch his practice tape, which has been terrific. We just don’t have a large sample size of Davis Webb playing NFL football. But I’m excited what he brings to the table.
What can you tell from practice tape? You can see him drop back and throw, make the right reads, just all the things that quarterbacks do.
How different for you is this experience from your first head coaching job in Cleveland? It’s way different. I think the second time through on anything, I’ve said it, there’s a list of things I’ll never do again and there’s certain things I need to do in the first month and some of that I’ve already accomplished. I think you’re just more comfortable in what needs to get done because you can see it a little better. I feel good about the staff that we’ve hired. I’m getting to know our team and the way our organization functions and doing it at a little faster pace. Any time you do something for the second time, and really, the first time I did it - those that say there’s things they didn’t see coming are full of it, in my opinion. Because there’s some things you don’t see coming, but you get used to handling it and there’s years since that time I’ve become a better coach, so, it helps.
When you get in room with a QB you have an advantage because of your background? I think yeah, I added Mike Shula, who understands what a quarterback looks like and how to develop a quarterback. We know what we’re looking for, we know when we see it, and so we want guys that are in the building that will develop the way that we sort of see them having it develop. For guys that have been in the league a long time like Eli, we just want to maximize what he does well.
What about the personality aspect with these QBs? That’s hugely important. I think your personality needs to be genuine. They’re all different. What’s important is they’re the best version of what they are. They don’t want to try to model themselves after somebody else. That’s what we try to do, maximize the best of who they are.
How much does having Super Bowl winner like Eli Manning allow you to have expansive playbook right away? Eli’s sharp. Again, I haven’t been able to talk football with him. I just know him. He’s very smart. Quarterbacks along the way have had to learn other offenses and get accustomed with new schemes. We call it apple, they call it orange. Eli’s got all that and so it certainly helps a great deal. Experience really matters for a guy that’s a really good player. Because he’s seen things, he’s done things, way more than somebody that we’d bring in that would be a rookie.
What is your first impression of this offensive line draft class? I think there’s a lot of good players in this year’s draft, but I think we’ve got some good players on our roster and we’ve got to maximize what they do. But let’s make no mistake, blockers got to block, quarterbacks got to throw, receivers got to catch, runners got to run. All the guys we have in the building need to do those jobs better. We got to try to maximize what they can do. Of course we’re going to try to upgrade all the position groups, and so all the new guys we’re gonna bring in need to be passionate, they need to understand what a relationships is and be willing to be coached. The new guys we’re bringing in, that’s what we’re looking to gain by getting the information we talked about earlier.
Difference in coaching in NFC East vs. other divisions: I think it becomes the personality of the teams in the division. Certainly the NFC East is a tough division. We’ve got the Super Bowl champion in our division, but we’ve also got the DNA in the New York Giants to do the same thing. The Washington Redskins, an outstanding team and obviously Dallas is an outstanding team. So we’ve got our work cut out for us, we were 3-13, there was a reason for it, we own that, and we got to get back to those years where we’re playing in the playoffs.
Thoughts on what Eagles did: Well, it was impressive. We saw what, let’s get past the two quarterbacks that played last year, they have assembled a terrific team and so that kind of pushed them through. The quarterback piece is obviously very important and Carson Wentz had an outstanding year. I was with Nick Foles when he had his very best year so I wasn’t surprised he could lead them the rest of the way. I’ve got a lot of respect for what they’ve done and look forward to competing with them.
Have you talked to Eli Apple yet and what concerns do you have about the things that happened with him last season? Eli Apple. I got to keep my Eli’s straight. Eli was in the building so I had a chance to visit with him. This is a clean slate deal. I think we all know we need to get better. We had a great conversation. He’s eager to get started when we do get started. We’re gonna put the ball out there and let it rip.
Are you concerned about his family circle? No, I’m not concerned and as I get to know him better and we start to develop those relationships that are necessary for a player and a coach and an organization we’re sorta starting at ground zero with that. I’m looking forward to that.
Update on Odell Beckham’s rehab: He’s been through and to my knowledge he’s making great progress. I don’t know about the camp part of it yet. Odell tweeted something about not playing in any preseason games: We haven’t really been able to discuss football and certainly we wouldn’t have talked about any participation in training camp. We communicate just kinda on the surface like we have to with all our players but we’ve developed a relationship that’s pretty sound.
Comments on Kevin Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota: I think Kevin’s a tremendous coach and obviously the Vikings feel the same way. I think he’s got a very bright future, I think he’s a good man and the Vikings did a good thing by keeping him, for the Vikings. I’m hopeful they have a great year as well.
Eli Manning and Davis Webb in building every day: I’m encouraged by that because they feel like the best place for them to train is in our building. I think we’ve created an environment now with the players where there’s so many things you can’t do in the offseason so guys go off on their own, they get trainers, they’re trained away from the facility and you don’t know what’s going on. Even though we can’t work, there’s rules with how much we can be around them, the fact that they’re there tells me it matters. The fact the two quarterbacks on our roster are spending time together every single say, I think that’s a really good thing.
What see with Brandon Marshall when you looked at the tape? He’s an outstanding player, he got hurt early so there wasn’t much that we could talk about. Those are contract deals, we’ll talk about them at a later time.
Looked at Davis Webb film from college, it is all spread offense. Is that a drawback? You can see in college what a quarterback can do and it translates to our game. The word spread is used a lot like West Coast offense or 3-4 defense, there’s many, may versions of those three elements of football. Obviously he was drafted for a reason and you can see why on tape.
Evan Engram: He was a player we really liked. He’s a pass receiving tight end, he obviously had a really good first year. There’s certain areas he can improve but certainly looking forward to working with him.