Tight End Darren Waller
Q: How are you feeling going into Sunday night, first game as a Giant?
A: I'm excited man, just trying to stay within the day, you know? Every single individual day of practice leads to a good game on Sunday, so not trying to get too excited, peak before then. Just trying to keep building as the week goes.
Q: What was the feeling in today's practice?
A: Definitely excitement. It's a longer week, we have more practice days than usual practice weeks so it's like, alright definitely take advantage of the opportunities, make sure we are consistent, making plays in practice, but you know, it's hard not to be excited for the season to get rolling. We've been practicing so much against each other; you start getting a little antsy.
Q: When you look at the Dallas defense on tape, what's their general approach against the tight end? Are you seeing a lot of man, a lot of zone, safeties? How do they general try to match up with tight ends like you?
A: They are zone team early downs and then once you get third down, they are a little more man coverage. They have some good safeties, they've got (Cowboys safety Jayron) Kearse, he's solid, big dude, he's got a lot of skills. I think (Cowboys safety Donovan) Wilson, I mean really all those guys, (Cowboys safety Malik) Hooker, can play and you'll see some of those corners as well because they'll match. It'll basically be man when you are out wide. They've got a lot of talented cover players, so that's who you want to go up against.
Q: I know you had divisional rivals in Baltimore and Vegas, but what do you know about Giants-Cowboys now and what have you come to appreciate about it?
A: Like I've said before, growing up in a house with my parents, NFC East fans, I know the history I know how heated and competitive these games have been over the years and I know what I'm about to step into on Sunday. I am honored to take the field.
Q: Does it help to step right into it Week 1? Does that make a difference to you?
A: I think these games are dope. When I was Vegas we had a primetime game pretty early, we played the Saints and then we played the Ravens the following year so just having those games out of the gate, it's exciting. Those are the kind of environments that you want to play in, you know everybody's watching and playing against a really good team. I feel like it's going to bring the best out of you pretty early on.
Q: Do you have a Giants-Cowboys memory? Like is there a game, a play, is there a player growing up that you hated as a Giants fan on the Cowboys?
A: I didn't really hate the players, I just know my parents were kind of like anti-Cowboys as far as their team, so I understood what the deal was. But as far as the players I always loved the players but probably the biggest one (has) to be Odell (Beckham Jr.) probably.
Q: People who expect you to come out Sunday night and have like eight catches for 100 something odd yards, do you feel any of that?
A: I mean of course you do, it's there, it's available, it's noise and the expectations people have. I actually watched a video, I don't know if you know who (motivational speaker and former college football player) Inky Johnson is, but he had a video talking about expectations are external, but standards are what's internal. You can have a standard that's what you have for yourself, and know like, alright my standard is however many plays come to me, however many opportunities come to me I try to make the most of those and if it ends up being eight for some bigger plays then that is what it is, but just one at a time, trying to keep it as simple as possible.
Q: Talk about what your game does for a guy like Saquon Barkley, how much you can open up for him?
A: I feel like defenses kind of have to make decisions, they want to put the extra guy in the box, which is something that you have to do to stop 26. You know, you need as many bodies as possible, but when you do that, you are more susceptible to those play actions and over routes, which I feel like I've succeeded a lot at in my career, so it creates a good harmony. Whatever defenses want to do, it allows different guys including receivers to have advantages in different strengths of their game.
Q: How does it feel, you went from one great back last year with (Raiders running back) Josh (Jacobs), now you are coming over here with Saquon?
A: Spoiled. Spoiled, for sure. Definitely a blessing.