Updated Tuesday, Aug. 16 10:31 a.m.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (WFAN) — WFAN’s Mike Francesa stopped by Giants training camp on Monday and talked to coach Ben McAdoo, general manager Jerry Reese and some players as the team begins its quest to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.READ MORE: Firefighters Battle 4-Alarm Blaze On Upper East Side
McAdoo, the first-year head coach, said fans can expect a “heavy-handed physical football team” under his leadership.
“We want a heavy-handed physical football team. The game has changed. It doesn’t always look the same as it used to. There’s not always a bunch of guys in three-point stances or four-point stances. The game’s played in space. But you can still be heavy handed. You can still be physical. You can still spread them out and kick their behind. It doesn’t always have to be behind the numbers.”
Quarterback Eli Manning said the changes from former coach Tom Coughlin to McAdoo have not been drastic.
“For me, it’s still just trying to master this offense,” Manning said. “This is practice. There might be a few new drills, different meetings run in a certain way. But for me, just being in the same offense, it makes it where it’s not as big of a change when you change head coaches. … When McAdoo came in three years ago, that was probably a bigger change than the change of a head coach.”
Manning’s favorite target, Odell Beckham Jr., discussed getting used to the media attention away from the field that comes as a result of his success on it.READ MORE: Tri-State Officials Bracing For Omicron Variant Urge Everyone To Get Vaccinated And Get Boosters
“They’ve created such a dramatic outside life that it’s almost taken away from what I feel like I do on the field,” Beckham said. “And then they try and flip it back around and make it seem as if I care more about the outside life that they created, not which I created. … which is just not even close to the case.”
The Giants’ front office went on a big spending spree in the offseason, with the main focus being on improving a defense that ranked last in the NFL last season. The highest-priced free agent from the offseason, defensive end Olivier Vernon, said that after years of honing his skills with the Dolphins, he’s planning to reward Big Blue.
“I can’t wait to put it all together,” he said. “It’s been a long time, a long time grinding, and the grinding never stops. You’ve got to keep on working, and just being able to be in this organization and the organization having faith in me. I appreciate that, but they’re going to get something back.”
Among the topics Reese discussed was the Giants’ promising class of rookies, which includes first-round cornerback Eli Manning, second-round wide receiver Sterling Shepard and third-round safety Darian Thompson. Shepard and Thompson could be in New York’s Week 1 starting lineup.
“We feel like we had a nice draft, but again, it’s still preseason,” Reese said. “The guys have to go out there and produce against professional football players. I feel good about it. Shepard has done a nice job so far. And Thompson’s doing a nice job. Apple, I think he’s going to be a terrific player as well — he’s got a little knee strain right there. And there are some more guys on the back end of that draft that we feel like are going to help us.”
Owner John Mara also discussed all the moves made during the offseason.
“It’s been a rough stretch for us the last three years of having losing seasons,” he said. “It’s been a long time since that’s happened to this franchise. We saw some opportunities to improve the team this offseason. We got the guys we wanted to get. They’re all in the prime of their careers. They’re all motivated. We’ll see if it pays off.”