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Transcript: Tight End Darren Waller

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/28/2023 7:08 pm
Tight End Darren Waller

Q. What's your relationship like thus far with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and how far can you guys take it?

A: It's a relationship that's gelling. We've got a few months under our belt of staying in touch and just open dialogue, ego removed. We can tell each other what we're thinking, what he may want, things I've been comfortable doing and things I like doing and find a midpoint or be able to just learn about each other. I feel like it's paying off and just trying to keep going day by day and let the results take care of themselves.

Q. What do you like about him as a quarterback?

A: I just like his even-keeled nature. First and foremost, he just has a calm spirit about him. It's not too high or too low, it's staying in the middle. You can tell by the way that he's navigated so many adversities in the noise of his career, that that's something he's focused on, and it's paying dividends for him now.

Q. You and Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) have been open about kind of that open communication and open dialogue when it comes to your fit with the Giants. What's that look like just these past few days of camp?

A: It looks like certain freedom on certain routes to where it doesn't have to be super rigid or a way that it's drawn up in the playbook, but really put your personality and your feel into how you sell certain routes and coming up with ideas of concepts that he's used with tight ends in the past. I can offer things that I've done in the past like, 'Hey, let's try this.' It's something that we can bounce ideas, but also know there's a standard of being prepared and knowing what you're doing and growing your knowledge in order for you to participate in that dialogue. I feel like it's fair. It allows me to learn but also allows me to have input.

Q. That freedom that you talked about and giving that input, is there something the last two days that you can pinpoint as an example of that that we might've seen?

A: I mean, it's not a major detail, but it's the way you may set up routes on a third-and-short situation to where the paper and the playbook may tell you, 'Hey, you do this, and you run into this landmark and do this,' but you can put your own little sauce on it and get open. It's encouraged as long as the fundamentals are there, and your knowledge of what the defense is doing, and your timing and the concept is there. So, it's little things like that. It's not anything drastic, but it's just really small details of a route that you probably can't even notice.

Q. Some of your teammates, I don't know if they've started a fan club for you yet, but some of their comments about you have been quite over the top in some ways. (Safety) Xavier McKinney saying you're basically unguardable, I think (wide receiver) Parris Campbell was saying the other day that you're a freak of nature. Have you heard that before from teammates, and what's the vibe you're getting from these guys here about all this love you're getting?

A: I mean, it's an honor for my teammates to speak of me in that way because these are guys that do it at a high level and have done it for a really long time. I guess it's just for my size and my weight and I guess the way that I run and the multitude of routes that I try to be comfortable running, and a lot of guys don't necessarily do that. But it's just coming in with a mindset of I don't want to be limited in any part of my game. Whatever they want to line me up and run at, I want to be able to do that and be effective at it and not just be like, 'Oh man, I'm not really that good at that,' or, 'I can't do that.' I want to be able to do everything and just present myself as a viable option to the quarterback every time I run a route. That's really the goal. Keep it as simple as that. Every single rep I go out there, make myself presentable. If he wants to throw it there, he can throw it there and throw it to me. So that's just how I approach it.

Q. You're comfortable with freak of nature? You like that?

A: I'll take it. Sure.

Q. I guess it's a compliment, right? I'm sure it's a compliment.

A: Right. Yes, sir.

Q. You talk about the routes you're running. Even from day one, I know contact is supposed to be a gradual thing, but you were making catches in traffic, you had one on the goal line, you took a pretty good hit early. Did that almost help you get into this camp even quicker than you normally would? You kind of like that so far early on, that you're really in it, it seems like, in every drill.

A: Yeah, as you get acclimated to the different stages of football every year, the contact kind of wakes you up and reminds you, 'Okay, this is what it's about,' and it raises just your overall adrenaline and your energy. So, I feel like it does help you with getting back acclimated. I know the guys on defense are just trying to make plays on the ball and it's been competitive so far. I like what I'm seeing and the energy I get from them lining up against them. It's been a lot of fun, and they definitely raise my level of play.

Q. A former teammate of yours, (Raiders running back) Josh Jacobs and a current teammate of yours (running back) Saquon Barkley, both running backs, have been frustrated throughout this offseason about their lack of positional value and contract offers they were trying to work on. What is your viewpoint on that? You've seen how important Josh was to the Raiders and how important Saquon is to the Giants, but I just want to know what your opinion is as a veteran guy who kind of follows the entire league.

A: I feel like there are two sides to it and there's truth on both sides. With the running back position, it's like, those guys take a beating. I haven't been around Saquon during the course of a season, but being around Josh, he takes a beating as far as he would run every week during the season. If you're in the front office, you take that into account and the beating that they take, you don't really know how long they may last or what may happen, but also, you can't just go out on the street and just find anybody that's like a Josh Jacobs or a Saquon Barkley, right? Those guys bring such value. Both sides have something to stand on and I don't necessarily know a solution, but I know that they have a little bit of merit on both sides. It's a tough situation – hopefully going forward running backs can feel valued and front offices can also make decisions they feel like are right.
This quote nails Jones’ personality:  
bluefin : 7/28/2023 8:02 pm : link
“It's not too high or too low, it's staying in the middle. You can tell by the way that he's navigated so many adversities in the noise of his career, that that's something he's focused on, and it's paying dividends for him now.”
Of course Pat Leonard  
bceagle05 : 7/28/2023 9:38 pm : link
asks him the question about Saquon’s “positional value.” Every question he asks is an attempt to stir shit up.
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