Impressions of assistant coaches, draft questions and roster construction are among the topics in this week’s ‘Friday Five’ Q&A with Pat Traina. Check Inside Football for my answers to these same questions.
Question: Now that we’ve had a chance to hear from the assistant coaches, what are some of your biggest takeaways?
Pat says: Flexibility. This is a staff that has an idea of what it wants to do in all phases of the game, but is also not locked into a set way of thinking. That gives me reason to believe that there will be more flexibility in which the players skillsets will be put to a better use. That’s the way you build and maintain success, so I’m looking forward to seeing the next steps.
Question: Which assistant coaches really impressed you and why?
Pat says: Disclaimer: I didn’t get to all the assistant coaches, as there was only so much time to take care of what I needed to. I enjoyed listening to James Bettcher, but I would say the two that stood out to be were assistant defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend and assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson. Both are former NFL players and I just found that in speaking with them, they had a different perspective on things that I found interesting, and I’m curious to see how their players respond to their philosophies.
Question: Two-parter here. Does Odell Beckham Jr. show up Monday for the start of the offseason program and if he doesn’t, will you be concerned?
Pat says: No and no. I do think Beckham will check in with the team from time to time, but as I mentioned on the Locked On Giants podcast, if he feels he can accomplish more training out in LA, then more power to him. Would it be preferred that he be here? Yes. But I’m not going to get worked up if he’s not unless we’re talking about training camp when it starts to get real.
Question: What do you make of the fact the Giants are having all four top quarterback prospects in this weekend?
Pat says: Truthfully, I’d be shocked if they didn’t have all four of the top quarterback prospects in for a visit. Gettleman is doing due diligence — he has to get this pick and this draft class right. This is a team that has just ONE PLAYER (Beckham) representing the 2007-2014 draft classes. ONE! That is no way to build a roster, so I am not surprised that Gettleman and the Giants are doing due diligence.
Question: With the bulk of free agency in the books, if you’re the Giants management, what is the next thing on your priority list as far as rebuilding the roster?
Pat says: Offensive line. Even though they added two key pieces to that unit in Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh, the more I think about it, the more I think Quenton Nelson makes sense for the Giants. he’s a guy you can build that line around and a guy who has the potential to be once in a generation type of talent. I know he played left guard at Notre Dame, but I make a spot for that kid. If you watch his tape, he bulldozes defenders — can you picture the Giants running to the left side with Solder and Nelson leading the charge? And you have to like the kid’s nasty streak, which is what that offensive line needs. Is drafting a guard No. 2 overall too soon? Well, you see the money guards are getting in free agency? That tells me teams are valuing the position a little bit more than we realize.