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Everett Withers: DeAndre Baker learning “sense of urgency,” Corey Ballentine, more

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Giants defensive backs coach assess his young charges

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants defensive backs coach Everett Withers is overseeing a largely young, inexperienced group of players, and things have obviously not always gone smoothly this season.

During a rare media availability on Friday, Withers was asked about some of those young players. Here are some takeaways from Withers’ remarks.

On the development of DeAndre Baker ...

“He’s coming along. Coming along. Guys progress as they progress and they work as they work. I think early, he didn’t quite understand the sense of urgency and detail in the things that you have to do. Sometimes when you’re in college, you go play corner on one side and that’s all you do. You just go play that one guy. So, he had a lot of details he had to work on.”

On urgency and Baker’s admission of confusion ...

“As a first-year player, to me, it’s a season-long deal anyway. I think he just needs to continue to grow and understand concepts more than anything else. You know, in college, it’s like memorization. You learn this and I do this. Here, it’s you have 18 things that affect that one thing you just learned. So, he has to learn the concepts, and he’s getting better at it. He’s working at it.”

On the debut of Corey Ballentine ...

“I thought Corey did a nice job. I thought he did a nice job. Obviously, there are some things to clean up before a guy coming off of concussion protocol, a couple weeks in it and now playing in a ball game. I thought he tried to handle it, the details, and tried to handle just the speed of the game.”

On teaching Ballentine to play the slot ...

To preface Withers’ remarks, Ballentine never played in the slot in college. He didn’t play there in the preseason, either. The Giants spent several weeks, interrupted by Ballentine’s concussion, teaching him the nuances of playing the slot.

“It was a pretty tedious process, but I think he engaged it and encouraged it and embraced it. I thought (assistant defensive backs coach) Henry Baker did a nice job with him just with the little details. As you put in scheme, more of scheme, he did a nice job. Henry did a nice job with just the little details.”

On getting Sam Beal on the field ...

“He has, obviously, a little bit more confidence now. He’s been healthy, and I think that’s the biggest thing, is being healthy. You have to kind of get through that barrier before you can do anything else. Now he’s healthy, now he’s more into what we’re doing schematically. ...

“Big, long guy that can run. That’s what you need on the outside part of the field. That’s what he brings.”