GIANTS DEFENSIVE LINE COACH PATRICK GRAHAM PRESS CONFERENCE
Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham
June 7, 2017
Q: How do you size up what you have at defensive end right now?
A: We have a bunch of guys out there that are going to be working hard. Working hard towards the goal right now in terms of getting better every day. That’s been the theme for the whole spring. We have a good group of guys and they’re all working diligently to get better. We’ll see how the depth plays out in the fall. Right now they’re just trying to learn the defense and get the details. The competition really starts when we get to training camp.
Q: How do you think Devin Taylor fits in?
A: He’s a proven veteran in this league. He has to prove himself again but I think as a defensive end, he’s shown some great flexibility in the past. It’s a good piece to have and we will see how the competition plays out.
Q: Have you seen Owa [Odighizuwa] at all?
A: You will have to talk to the head coach with those questions.
Q: With Dalvin Tomlinson coming in, did you have to talk to him at all at the beginning, that when you have guys like OV [Olivier Vernon], JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] and Snacks [Damon Harrison], to establish his own identity in there?
A: I think any rookie coming into this league, they don’t know anything about this league aside from the stuff they read and see from the media and TV. I think it’s important for them to stick with what they’ve done in being a good football player up until this point. An organization in the NFL wanted them. To be humble there, listen to the players and listen to the coaches and just diligently work through the process. He’s a pretty even keel guy. He’ll be able to handle it. We will see how it plays out once the competition comes and the season comes.
Q: He doesn’t seem like it’ll be too big for him. The intimidation factor doesn’t seem like it’s there for him?
A: You never know with anyone. This league is unique. The day-to-day grind is very unique. Guys will just have to experience it. We will see where it goes from there. We wanted him for a reason. He’s a good football player and he comes from a good program. He’ll just work through the process and we will do our best to make sure we facilitate that as much as possible.
Q: How has he been learning the playbook?
A: Just like everyone else, he’s working hard at it. He’s definitely a smart guy but we have other smart guys in the room too. Really the group is smart. They understand that this is their profession and they know they have to have proficiency at that. They all work hard in terms of knowing football and knowing what we want them to do. It’s not like college where you have to go to class and all that stuff. You just have football, nothing else to do. It’s just football.
Q: What does it do for a defensive line group to know that JPP, OV and Harrison are essentially Giants for the next four years?
A: For the room, you’d have to talk to the individuals. As a coach, collectively for the room I think there is some stability there. These guys proved it last year and they did a good job on the line last year. This year is a totally new year and we have to go back out there and re-establish where we want to be for 2017. In this league you can’t look too far behind and you definitely can’t look ahead because no one cares. You just have to keep establishing what your identity is going to be every day and just keep getting better.
Q: Do you attack it differently with your veterans?
A: I don’t know if it’s different. I just know in this league over my experience, every year is different. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past or what you think you’re going to do in the future. You just have to get better every day and work towards that goal every time or someone is going to pass you by. In your profession if you don’t work at it diligently every day, someone is going to pass you by. That’s just the nature of the business. We’re the most elite in the world at what we do and we have to be hungry for that. That starts every year.
Q: Is the loss of [Johnathan] Hankins still a big loss or does the talent on the d-line minimize that?
A: Hank was a good player, good friend and a diligent worker I believe. When you lose players, that’s part it. In this league, it’s a business. You have good players that are going to go somewhere else. You’re not going to be able to hold onto those guys. We’re going to do what we have to do to win in 2017. Just because we lost a player, there is no excuse for us losing. You guys don’t want to hear about that. Mr. Mara and Coach McAdoo isn’t going to want to hear about that. Our production is how we play as a group in that room this year. It doesn’t matter in this league if you minimize.