New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin welcomed his new safety, talked about the health of offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, said there is no firm plan for how much Victor Cruz will play in the preseason and more in his meeting with reporters on Monday. Let's break down five things we learned from the venerable coach.
On the signing of Brandon Meriweather
The first question posed to the coach on Monday was, of course, about Sunday's signing of veteran safety Brandon Meriweather.
"Very physical safety. He comes down in the box very well. He'll bring a degree of toughness to our secondary, to that position. We welcome him," Coughlin said.
"It helps to have a veteran there, a guy who has played and can share information with a lot of the young guys who are trying to play, but haven't been there yet."
Just don't ask Coughlin, 69, how much Meriweather has left at the ripe old NFL age of 31.
"He's 31 years old. He doesn't need to be put away to rest. He's a young guy," Coughlin said.
The coach did say he would talk to Meriweather about his history of fines and suspensions for illegal hits.
"The toughness part you want, the penalties and the issues you don't," Coughlin said. "He's competitive. To a certain extent you want that. You don't want what goes with it."
On the status of Geoff Schwartz
The veteran offensive lineman returned to practice on Sunday after not traveling to Cincinnati with the Giants for last week's joint practices and preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Coughlin is hopeful that Schwartz, continuing to recover from the foot and ankle issues that limited him to less than two full games last season, will be able to practice on a daily basis.
"I'm not thinking of any restrictions, I'm thinking of where he can best help us," Coughlin said. "Whatever happens we'll manage. Whether he can go without anybody being concerned, whether he does have concerns and he gets a restricted amount that's all to be seen. For now, after the time that he's been away from the field he's ready to practice and we need him to practice to get going to see whether we can count on him."
On improving after the first preseason game
Coughlin was asked specifically about the defense, but gave a general answer about the entire team instead.
"Obviously after last weekend both offense, defense and certain parts of special teams need to improve," Coughlin said. "That's what camp is for. Let's take what we have on tape, let's teach, let's go back out and correct some of the mistakes that we made."
On Victor Cruz
Coughlin said no decision has been made as to how many preseason games Cruz, returning from a torn patellar tendon, will play in.
"He has to do things gradually. He's doing them gradually. He's getting to where he needs to be and his mindset is outstanding," Coughlin said. "We brought him to the game [preseason opener at Cincinnati] for a reason. We put him into the workout in Cincinnati for a reason. He didn't get a chance to play in the game, but he saw it. He was in it. He was involved. He was mentally involved, and he's looking forward to going to the next step."
On his "young" quarterback
Coughlin had an age thing going Monday. Here is what he said about 34-year-old franchise quarterback Eli Manning:
"I think he's prepared to be better than he's ever been," Coughlin said. "He's young. He's obviously very driven. He's in a great frame of mind."