The Giants’ voluntary offseason training program began on Monday as Pat Shurmur prepares for his second season as Big Blue’s head coach.
It is a much different team than when Shurmur walked into the building last year.
There is no Odell Beckham Jr., no Landon Collins, no Olivier Vernon and still plenty of drama surrounding the future of Eli Manning.
There is also the NFL Draft a week from Thursday that could be pivotal for the franchise and Shurmur’s tenure as head coach.
Here were his takeaways from his conference call with the media:
No concerns with Manning or his contract
The Giants’ 38-year-old quarterback is entering the final season on his contract without any extension yet Shurmur said there is no reason to worry about Manning’s confidence or discuss his contract and future status with the team.
“I don’t feel the need to talk to him about his contract,” he said. “Eli does a great job staying in the moment. Eli was here today and readu to get going into his second year of our system and looking to build on what we did the last half of last year. Eli is terrific staying in the moment. It’s offseason training and he’s trying to get comfortable with his receivers. I don’t feel a need to talk to him about that.”
Giants want 2-3 starters in NFL Draft
With the Giants holding four picks in the top 100, including two first rounders, they are poised to select players who can make an immediate impact and Shurmur was asked if he expects to find two or three starters for the 2019 season.
“That’s the idea,” he said. “We have high picks. We’re certainly look for guys who can help. … everybody we pick we want them to be able to contribute. That’s the exciting thing about this draft is that there are really good players at every position.”
No mention of Beckham or Collins
Monday marked the first day the Giants roster assembled without two critical players and leaders in the clubhouse from last year in Beckham and Collins.
Yet Shurmur did not address the team about the absence of those former key players.
“No. The important thing is bringing the group we have here together,” he said. “…You work with the group that is here.”
Dwayne Haskins visited with Giants on Monday
Shurmur confirmed a previous report that Haskins was among one of the team’s top-30 prospect visits on Monday. Yet he also noted that just because Haskins was invited while the players are present does not make his visit different than any other prospect.
“We keep that part separate,” he said. “It just so happens Dwayne is in today. His visit will be similar to the ones we’ve already had.”
Sam Beal is ‘100 percent’
The Giants did not have a third-round pick in the draft his year until the Beckham trade with the Browns because they used it in the supplemental draft last year to take Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal.
Beal did not play last year due to shoulder surgery before the start of the season but Shurmur said on Monday he is “100 percent,” which is important for a Giants secondary that lacks depth at cornerback.
“He’s ready to roll and he’s 100 percent,” Shurmur said. “He’s ready to do everything he’s asked … take part in everything we’re doing.”