Linebacker Bobby Okereke
Q. (Inside Linebacker) Darrian Beavers, you probably didn't know a lot about him coming into this year. He didn't play at all last year other than the preseason. What have you seen from him so far?
A: He's a big, athletic guy that's very physical and can run. He's got smooth hips. He's a really good athlete.
Q. In the Giant linebacker position with the two inside guys, are those guys interchangeable?
A: For the most part. Sometimes you'll have the dime matched up more on the tight end and Mike more on the running back. But I mean, a lot of times with teams and how they jet motion and try to put you in funky positions, you end up playing both. So, you've kind of got to be able to play both.
Q. This position was kind of inconsistent last year on this team. Do you see yourself as the fix to find consistency at middle linebacker?
A: I just think I'm a good addition to the group. Obviously, just trying to push everybody and make it a very competitive group, competitive training camp. Hopefully we just can contribute to this team as best we can.
Q. How much are you looking forward to putting pads on?
A: I'm excited. It's only a day away, so here we come.
Q. Are pads open season to hit somebody, or is it in moderation?
A: It's in moderation. I mean, obviously, we all come out here, we have egos, everyone wants to prove something. But it's a marathon, it's not a sprint. We've got to keep each other healthy, and we've got to all make it through 17 games. You can win the battle in a practice, but you want to win the war. So, you've got to keep each other smart and safe, but you also want to compete. It's a fine balance.
Q. Darrian spoke about stopping the run being an emphasis for you guys. Is that an emphasis for you guys?
A: 100 percent.
Q. How are you guys trying to get better in that area?
A: A lot of walkthroughs, a lot of meeting time spent on (run) fits, just the mental part. Then when the pads come on tomorrow, physicality.
Q. Is that something you think is a strength of your game, stopping the run?
A: 100 percent.
Q. Is stopping the run winning a battle or just staying in your position?
A: Can you clarify that? What do you mean?
Q. In a sense that you have a zone or an area—
A: Yeah, I mean, it takes 11 guys to do their own job at the same time. But also, once you fit your gap, go be a football player and tackle the ball. It takes that dogmatic mentality to go make the tackles, but you also have to do your one-of-11. Stay in your A-gap, stay in your B-gap, set the edge. It takes everybody.
Q. Have you enjoyed this so far? It seemed like the Colts funneled tackles to you last year. Is that what this team is doing too?
A: I just think this team is as competitive as can be. Our offense, you're going against (running back) Saquon Barkley, (tight end) Darren Waller, DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones), I mean, there's (wide receiver Darius) Slayton. Guys are flying around. So, it makes us better. It makes us competitive. From a tackling standpoint, I'm just trying to tackle the ball every time they hand it off.
Q. What are you trying to get used to with the pads on? Is it the physicality or is it the weight of them?
A: It's my fifth year in the league. I'm pretty used to pads.
Q: But you haven't worn them in seven months now.
A: Yeah, the weight of it, for sure. Obviously, you want to work on your conditioning. But you just go out there and hit.