Coughlin meets the media

Everyone, was shocked over Roethlisberger's accident. I think we all see how that circumstance came about; how dangerous that is. I have always been very, very nervous and opinionated about motorcycles myself. It is just a situation where we have a rule that players are not to ride a motorcycle during the season. In the offseason it is very difficult to control all of those things.

Q: How about day one? What do you think?

A: We have been out here for a while with the OTAs. So we have had a chance to work and it was good to have everybody today. And we did. The work was good. I enjoyed the work. I think the players did, too. We had a long, extensive fundamental period just to get that message across. We touched on a little of team. We got in the red and green zone a little bit. This afternoon we will advance a little bit further. But it was good to have everybody together on the field working once again.

Q: How were the guys; what do you look for with this many players?

A: The same thing you always look for. You could have 200 guys, you would be looking for the same thing – who can play, who is fundamentally sound, who can run, who can take instructions. One of the big things about a new group of guys is who listens, who can focus, who can concentrate. I noticed this morning, for example, you would have a guy who is in the special teams period, he is worrying about what he is supposed to do on a certain coverage. Or a guy who is getting ready to play defense and worried about the mistake he just made on special teams. So all of that stuff is looked at and evaluated. How well they do in the meetings, what kind of questions they ask. That is why it is important to have those young guys around here for as much as you possibly can.

Q: Obviously you have upgraded your defense with LaVar Arrington. Would you talk about him getting into the flow with his new team?

A: It was good. Since he has become a Giant, he has been here every day. He has been in the offseason program. He has been in all of the OTAs. So he is starting to get a better handle about what we are going to ask him to do. This is his first opportunity with a full defense out here. And so it is good. We have got a lot of people to look at. We are a little bit stronger, I think, at that group. And so as we work our way through this we will go ahead and decide on some of the options that we do have because of the people we have.

Q: Is it noticeable that the guys that were here for the entire offseason are a step ahead, maybe, of the guys that weren't?

A: Well, there is no question. They know a lot more; they are more comfortable. They have worked. What I decided to do this year was the mandatory camp at the end, if you will, of the OTAs to keep right on going. So we added each day and we just keep right on adding. We are not going back to a more simple concept with practice one of the mandatory camp – we are just continuing to go. So the guys that have been here, their information, they have had a chance to practice it and work with it. And those that haven't have just got to pick it up on the fly.

Q: How much more focused is this team as opposed to your first year here?

A: Well, I think they have a better idea of what we are looking for. I think they feel better about themselves. There are some players that are in positions now that have been there for awhile; Eli at his spot. And that gives the other players a little bit of confidence. So it is a group that is fully aware of what happened last year and moving forward to this year.

Re: Shockey and Burress.

A: They are in good shape, as I knew they would be. They are in good shape.

Q: People have talked about LaVar's attitude issues. What have you seen from the guy?

A: He has been outstanding. He has worked hard; he has a smile on his face. He has brought energy; he has brought enthusiasm. He has tried to learn the system as fast as he can. He has been in all of the meetings. He has paid attention on the field. He has asked questions. He has done everything we could have asked him to do.

Q: I know it is early, but are you impressed with the rookies you have seen so far?

A: Each day a different guy will pop up and do some good things; catch your attention. But we have got a long way to go before we see how those guys fit.

Q: Just to qualify, you have no no-shows here today; is that correct?

A: That's right.

Re: Kiwanuka

A: He has done a good job. Again, he is like all of those rookies. He has had a day or two where he has really caught everyone's eye. They have all been that way. Moss has had his day, and Wilkinson and Cofield now that we have him back. They just have got to put a lot of things together and be able to think their way through what they are supposed to do when the ball is snapped. So that is a process for them.

Q: How about Jai Lewis? It's a tough switch.

A: It is. Again, he has done some decent things. He is a good athlete. Obviously he is a little behind from a strength standpoint. And that is the area that he has really got to improve on. For him it is going to be a question of desire, like it is with anybody else; how bad do you want it. When we get to camp and it gets tough and hard and sore and so on and so forth, the resolve is going to have to come to the surface.

Q: Is it a little strange to look in the defensive backfield and see all of the new faces?

A: As I said, we have been looking at that for a while, so it is not strange. We are just looking for constant improvement.

RE: Burress missing the final meeting.

A: We have had a conversation. And that will stay between the two of us.

Q: Did you express to him….?

A: That will stay between us.

Q: Was that today?

A: No it wasn't today. We have had the conversation.

Re: in light of the Roethlisberger accident, how you warn players about the dangers of certain activities

A: Well, everyone, the whole league, was shocked over Roethlisberger's accident. I think we all see how that circumstance came about; how dangerous that is. I have always been very, very nervous and opinionated about motorcycles myself. It is just a situation where we have a rule that players are not to ride a motorcycle during the season. But in the offseason it is very difficult to control all of those things. But there is just so much at stake for a young guy with all of that talent and ability. And hopefully, in the case of Ben, he is going to bounce back and recover fully. And we certainly wish him well.

Q: Do you ever talk to your players about those risky behaviors in the offseason and what they do?

A: You always say that. Whenever you have a football team that takes a Memorial Day break or takes a break at the end of the season, or whatever the situation is, you always, as a parent would be – you caution them to be careful what they do because there are so many different ways that any of us, in any capacity, can have an issue or have a problem.

Re: Eli's offseason and any difference between this offseason and last offseason

A: Well, the difference is he has studied all offseason. He has worked his tail off. He has looked at all of the issues that were involved in his second year and the idea of what he has to improve. He has been out here every day and he has worked at it. He is growing and developing and getting stronger. He is better with his game as the days go by.

Q: What about as a leader on the field? Do you feel that he is really taking that role on?

A: He is a very strong individual that will be no different than any other quarterback that I have ever been around that has had that kind of position. I remember when Phil Simms was learning how to play. For example, it is how you play. He is a great example of how he does things, how he lives his life, how he studies, how he prepares in the offseason, his work ethic. All of those things are outstanding. So that is what you need. The best form of leadership is to lead by example.

RE: Added dimension that Sinorice Moss brings.

A: As we have seen out here in our OTAs, he is very quick, he is very explosive. He is going to be able to do the kinds of things that, quite frankly, we did a couple of years ago with Tiki but got away from last year because we really didn't have the – we weren't having the kind of success that we had a couple of years ago. I'm talking about the ‘go screens' and reverses and things of that nature. He has the ability to do that. He also is an added dimension to our team just in terms of his physical style of play and the things that he is able to do in contrast with some of the other guys we have got. So we think it is a real good situation. We felt that way when we saw him practice at the Senior Bowl. And we were fortunate enough to be in position to draft him.

Q: What about his personality, his character?

A: He is really an outstanding young man; very enthusiastic. He has a lot of natural leadership-type qualities to him and we look forward to his development of confidence in our system. And when that happens some of that stuff will come out.

RE: How the season ended last year. You got the group together this morning. What was your message to the group this morning?

A: We are just picking up, basically, right where we left off. We have nine OTAs. I try to not make a big deal about the mini-camp and make it any different than the OTAs or any other practice opportunity that we have. We have specific objectives in mind. We are trying to accomplish things; we are trying to move forward. We are trying to look at our personnel and see how they can fit in. Basically that was the message this morning. There was no long lecture or speech of any kind this morning. It was a good start for us today. I reminded them of some of the ideas and the way in which we practice, how we practice, what my expectations are for them. And we will continue this afternoon.

Q: Specifically what expectations do you have for Eli……?

A: Well, they are obviously for him to grow and develop and continue his rise at the position that he plays and his command of the game from the quarterback position. Q: Have you made it a point for him to get stronger?

A: Interestingly enough he is probably about the same size or weight, if you will, that he is at this point in every offseason – 227, 228; right in there. He will lose a little weight in camp. He is definitely stronger.

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