Second Round Selection C John Michael Schmitz
April 28, 2023
Q. Do you like being called John Michael? John? What do you prefer?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Well, I kind of just went along with the flow, but I was always John Michael growing up because I'm a junior and my dad was always John. The name just kind of stuck with me.
Q. John Michael it is. What's tonight been like for you? What does it mean it get drafted by the Giants?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, I mean I’m still shocked right now, just taking it all in with the people that you love and family and friends – it's been amazing.
Q. What was your experience with (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby Johnson? I know he was at your pro day. What was your vibe with him and your interaction with him in the process?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I love Coach Johnson. Spent a lot of time with him, obviously with the pro day and a dinner before that. It was amazing to connect with him. He's a good coach and just what he's doing with that offensive line, I'm so excited to be a part of it.
Q. What do you feel like your greatest strength is at the position? Do you feel like you're better at the run, protecting? According to PFF, you only had two sacks allowed in your career.
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I would just say, my mentality as a whole, my toughness, my grit, the way I finish plays is what sets me apart from other people, so that's what I'm going to go with.
Q. What did you think when you heard you were going to land with the Giants and how likely did you think it was throughout the process?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I always thought it was definitely a possibility to go with the Giants, and I'm so happy to be a part of this team. I'm ready to get to work, that's what I told the coaches when we first talked. I'm so excited.
Q. Were you in Minnesota at all to pay attention to the Giants playoff victory?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I was actually at the game. That's the best part, I was at the game.
Q. And? Who were you rooting for?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You know, I was at the game just watching football, that's all I've got to say (laughs).
Q. Did you know they lost both centers to free agency?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You know, that's something that I didn't really look at. I'm just excited for the 2023 Giants football team and I’m excited to be a part of it and get to work.
Q. (General Manager) Joe Schoen has said recently that this is a complicated offense. What makes you confident that you can come in right away as a rookie and dictate terms on offense?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Honestly, it's just my mentality, coming in. (inaudible) good enough, I would just say, I love a challenge, so learning the game even better than I have, and I can't wait to work with Coach Johnson, pick his brain. I mean, he's going to help me out a lot. I'm so excited.
Q. How much did you go through some of the intricacies of this offense during your visit with Bobby and the talks that you've had with the coaches up until this point?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: They just throw basic things at you here and there, nothing too crazy. So yeah, that's all I’d say.
Q. Is there anybody you admire at the position?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: What I always said in my interviews with the teams, I really like how (Buccaneers Center) Ryan Jensen plays the game. I mean, he's one of the nastiest people on the field and just the way he plays, his mentality, you know that he's going to bring it every play. He's a tremendous leader, also.
Q. Would you describe yourself as "nasty"?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yes, yes, that's the biggest thing I would say. The nasty, tough, grit factor, definitely.
Q. Has (Quarterback) Daniel Jones reached out to you yet?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I am not sure if he has.
Q. What do you think that relationship will be like, will you come in here and attach yourself to him at the hip a little bit?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, it's definitely important to have a great relationship with your quarterback, and you guys have to be on the same page. The quarterback and the offensive line, the running back, especially in pass pro, they have to work together. It's very important to have a great connection with your quarterback.
Q. Some of the scouting reports describe you as, "strong, tough, dependable, his footwork needs work." How do you respond to that?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You don't really listen to everything that's always out there. You focus on what the guys that I've been working with (Guard) Alex Boone, Jeremiah Sirles, my agent, Coach Johnson, and I mean, I’m a very hard ‘critiquer’ of myself. I always want to get better. There’s always stuff to get better at, at the end of the day.
Q. The Giants obviously do need a center. Do you intend to come in here and grab that starting job immediately?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: That’s not my decision. I'm going to be coming in to work and earn the coaches' and players' trust to take that role. But that is the coaches' position to do that.
Q. There was a lot of talk about how you and Joe Tippmann were the top two centers in this draft. What did you think when you saw him get drafted by the Jets and does that -- how do you sort of take that in and what's the thoughts about playing in the same city as him now?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You always look at other people that got drafted in front of you. I mean, honestly at this point, I'm just focused on the New York Giants and focused on this team and doing everything I can to make this team better and bring it a Super Bowl. I'm so excited.
Q. This division has a lot of strong defensive lines, Eagles, Washington, Dallas. From your vantage point as a center, what does it take to handle an elite defensive line for four quarters?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I would just say setting the tone from the start. You've got to be physical. You've got to set the tone from the start, first quarter to fourth quarter. It's not going to happen right away. We always used to say, if you are going to run the ball, you're going to have body blows and the body blows turn to like 25, 30-yard touchdowns, and I mean, you just continue to wear those guys down, the defensive linemen, and eventually they’ll break.
Q. What about your personality through the years, it can be intimidating for a rookie to step into a center with a lot of veterans, especially in a big city. Do you relish that opportunity to be able to have that voice in the huddle, have that command when you basically have guys around you who have been in this league and who have done some things in this league, won a playoff game in this league? What's your expectation from that level?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I'm very excited to connect with this offensive line group. Just get to know these guys and I feel like I'm a really good leader, a communicator. As a center, you have to be a really good communicator, and a leader position sometimes comes natural to that position because you're the first one to the line, and you set the calls, you set the protections, and you're in control of that offense, especially as the center-point of the offensive line. I would just say that.
Q. Do you ever run into (Inside Linebacker) Micah McFadden lately?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I have not, no.
Q. Where are you, where were you when you found out about the pick?
JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I was at home in Homewood, Illinois. We're just with family and friends, about 20-25 people. It was special.