Coughlin Speaks About Draft

Tom Coughlin spoke with the media about the draft. Here is the transcript from giants.com:

Q: A guy like Barden, where he puts up all these numbers against a lower level of competition, how can you project him in the NFL? Is it more difficult?

A: Just athletic ability, I think, and production. You’ve still got a guy with over 200 catches. You have 50 touchdowns. You have a guy with a 20 yard average per catch. So, we’ve got a guy with a lot of production. He came from a smaller brand of football, a smaller division. The level of comp is not the same. However, he played in the Senior Bowl. He played against Wisconsin. When he had those opportunities, he improved on a daily basis. He’s very impressive in his interviews and the opportunity to talk to him. He’s excited about coming to New York. He was here a couple of weeks ago and has family in the area. He was excited about that. When we study the college film, you can sit there and just think in terms of looking at the various receivers that were in the draft. When it came to the green zone, it was very obvious to anybody watching the significance of the bigger receiver working against the smaller opponent in that area of the field. I think that’s where you start out. Obviously he’s got to do everything. He does have a lot to learn. People did not think that they could contest with his physical ability so they got back off of him, which is not what will happen at our level. He’ll have to go through that. We can help him some; maybe start him at the Z so that he’s off the ball a little bit, in motion. But, he’ll quickly learn that the way in which the big receivers do get off the ball against the smaller corners, for example, is just to come off and be as physical as you can. You saw that with Fitzgerald. You’ve seen it with Plaxico Burress. You’ve seen it with a lot of the bigger receivers in our business. They just make it very physical on the smaller defensive backs. All of those things are in front of this guy. He’s very smart. He’s very excited. He’s highly, highly motivated. He worked out with Sanchez. From the time of working and preparing here, from the combine, until now, he’s had a chance to be with Sanchez to work out. He’s had many opportunities. People would maybe want to see Sanchez and they would of course notice the big receiver as well. He does have an awful lot of very fine physical attributes. He must be developed, no doubt. His speed and ability, as you always have to do with big receivers, is to get them to top speed as fast as they can. Those are the things. He’s very talented. It’s a very good option for us, obviously. You’ve got a 6’6” guy in the green zone. He does create a lot of problems for the opponent.

Q: They say that he hasn’t had to face the press coverage. How can you tell that he’s tough enough?

A: I think he’s tough enough. That’s not going to be the issue. It’s just learning how to contend with it and how to have enough patience for it. I’m not sure where he’ll end up right now, but there are ways to help him, initially anyway, become more familiar with it. You guys have been to our camp. Every practice there’s some form in individuals of either press or squat coverage that they have to work against. They’re either jammed or pressed every practice. He’ll learn fast. How fast can he keep from getting his feet tied up, get himself in position to get off the ball, and learn to be powerful with his hands? Those things are all in front of him.

Q: Having added Nicks and Barden early in the draft, do you feel a lot better about your receiving corps? It’s still very young. Do you have any interest in veteran receivers available?

A: That’s for the future to hold. At this point in time, having accomplished what we have, I’m excited about getting them in here. I’d be the last one to tell you that other than the pure practical nature of it, they’ve got to come in and practice and get themselves in a position where we think they can compete against these great players that they’re going to face. Having said that, that’s why we drafted them. We drafted these players with a specific purpose and need in mind. We felt they were of very good value. When both of those receivers were picked, they’re the highest guys on our board.

Q: Travis Beckum, is that a dimension you didn’t think that you had, a classic H-Back?

A: It’s another aspect of matchup problems. A lot of speed. It’s going to be very difficult for a safety or a linebacker to be in position to cover this guy. Obviously you’re not going to be able to utilize him in the same way that all four of those lined up tight ends are going to be utilized. But, we always have had a move guy. We’ve always had people that have had to play the back-up fullback position. It allows you to do any number of things right off the top where you’d have Kevin Boss in the game and Beckum. Perhaps you could even envision him as the tight end in the game with the receivers when it’s clearly a third down situation. Again, all of those things are in front of him. We’re very excited and interested in putting this particular aspect of personnel on the field and having an opportunity to recognize it as something we can develop.

Q: When you get a guy like this that you haven’t had, do you have to go back to the offensive drawing board?

A: It’ll be fun to do that. Over the years, we’ve had those kinds of guys. You remember Pete Mitchell. We’ve had those kind. There are certain things you try to feature or develop with that particular kind of player. I just think it gives us another athletic option than a lot of people that play the “tight end” position. There may be teams that will try to cover an individual like that with some of the smaller linebackers you see today. You’re always searching for advantages.

Q: Who really pushed for Bomar?

A: The scouts had very good grades on Bomar. Chris Palmer had studied him. I had watched him. Kevin (Gilbride) had watched him. There were a lot of people in the room that, when Bomar was picked, stood up and talked about the value of that individual at that time. That’s the part of the draft that kind of is unique. You sit there and you’re picking at 29 or at the bottom of most rounds and you’re always trying to calculate who’s going to be there. Believe me, you don’t always know how these things are going to fall. You have to make decisions based on value. We stuck with what we really believe in and that was that he was a highly rated player at that time and much more deserving to be taken than someone else.

Q: Have you met him personally? Do you have a take on this?

A: I haven’t met him personally, no. I did talk to him on the phone right afterwards. We studied his tape and did all of the homework.

Q: Did you think you’d draft a quarterback going into this draft?

A: You always have it in the back of your mind, if the right situation comes up at the right time. There are so many different options with having a quarterback or a young quarterback on your team. I think it’s always talked about, always discussed. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. We’ve been fortunate the past couple of years. We’ve been in that position. Andre Woodson has been working his tail off. He’s definitely done an awful lot of things for his improvement. He’s worked very hard in this offseason. He’s headed in the right direction. We’ve hoping we can do the same here.

Q: You’ve had a pretty solid team. You don’t have a lot of holes. Does that give you an advantage to say let’s do this or let’s do this?

A: I think having the extra picks was a key factor there. You talk about a solid team but as you go through your team you’re always interested in your depth and as depth affords itself for special teams. That’s a critical factor as well. Always in the discussion somewhere, whether you’re talking about a running back, a tight end, or a linebacker, is can this guy help us on teams.

Q: Your first two picks both played in college for guys who coached in the NFL. Does that help their development and does that help you?

A: I think the way that it helps is really in the information gathering. When you talk to coaches that have been in this league and they know the process and they know what it takes and you want to find out if this player has what it takes, that helps.

Q:  Did you have William Beatty ranked high with tackles.  Where was he on your board?

A:  He was in a good place.  He was over in that second round.  But his distinguishing factors were his left tackle feet. And he is very athletic.  He has made very good improvement, even over the course of the one season this past season he has made outstanding progress.  I certainly called Randy Edsell who I coached in college and that coached for me and there were four players in the Connecticut program ranked very highly.  I went down through them all, Randy was very good about taking time from his busy schedule to talk to me about these guys.  I think that the big difference for some of these young people to come in here is just adapting to the professional game.  The fact that our game is 7:30 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon, people have to understand that and adjust themselves to that.  And of course our training camps and type of thing – all of those guys will have to work themselves through that.  One of the things that is very interesting about Will – he is very strong – long, long arms, but still benched 29 and 30.  So a guy having that kind of athleticism, that kind of leverage, the feet that he has, the long arms that he has – and obviously he has got things to learn about pass protection at this level – the timing and the people that he is going to play against – but he is going to be taught fast because of the guys he is working against.  But the ingredients, I think, are there.  And the fact that we have a solid offensive line that he has time to be groomed.

Q:  His skill set – compared to when you drafted Guy Whimper and Adam Koets?  Was it higher going in?

A:  I’m not going to do the comparison thing.  But he is talented, he is talented.  That tells you something right there.

Q:  People have been comparing Andre Brown to Derrick Ward.  Do you see the similarity?

A:  I see Andre as a slasher; someone with the style that we like to work with.  He has got the – if you will – the pro running back body.  He has got the build, if you will.  He is carrying and packing some weight.  He ran well in his time.  He catches the ball well.  Jerry (Reese), I think, is the one that has seen the Derrick Ward comparison.  But he is, again, another guy that at the right time was a talented addition and will create the kind of competition that we are looking for?

Q:  Is his foot okay?

A:  The medical people tell me yes.

Q:  Were the last two DBs corners or safeties?

A:  They are corners, yes.  They are corners.

Q:  Can they play on special teams?

A:  They have speed, though.  They have some speed and they have some special teams abilities.  They have some size.  They are not necessarily real tall but they certainly do fit the height deal for a corner.  And they can run.


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