When head coach Tom Coughlin was asked about his theme for this year’s training camp, he declined to provide specifics. However, it’s pretty obvious that a running theme around the organization is its chance to make history by becoming the first NFL team to play and host a Super Bowl.
That’s why general manager Jerry Reese is well aware of the number of days between now and February 2, 2013 when the game will be played at MetLife Stadium.
“The number one number is 190 — and that’s 190 days until the Super Bowl is played at MetLife Stadium over there,” Reese said, glancing over toward the stadium across the parking lot. “That makes me think about a sense of urgency for our team.”
But there’s still a lot of work to be done for the Giants in the meantime, something that hasn’t been lost on anyone in the organization.
To remind the players of the sense of urgency and the need to make every minute of every day count, Reese is doing something he’s never done before in his tenure as general manager.
“We’re going to put up in the locker room a countdown just so guys can see how urgent it is to be ready to go every week,” he said. “You can’t let games get away from you and expect to make it to the playoffs. We have to have a sense of urgency going into this season.”
And that’s just fine with head coach Tom Coughlin, who said, “When Jerry came in and showed it to me, his point was that it isn’t very far away. If that’s the case, then there would be a sense of urgency about just reminding people what that is. So I’m fine with it.”
No change to the PUP list – F B Henry Hynoski, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, RG Chris Snee, CB Terrell Thomas, and DT Markus Kuhn.
Hynoski is still walking around with a hinged knee brace, but it’s a promising sign that he was able to stand on the field for the entire duration of the practice.
Pierre-Paul, who estimated he’s at about 75% in his recovery, refused to say if he thought he’d be ready for Week 1 of the season, saying, “That’s everybody’s goal who is hurt. I don’t know. I can’t promise nothing. I can’t say I will be back for the season opener.”
He did express hope that he would be able to get some training camp snaps though later this summer.
“I think it is very important,” he said. “Honestly I don’t feel a part of the team now with them being out there and doing all the work they are doing. I will be on the sideline like I said, through it all, I am trying to get myself better and healthier so I can be a part of the team and help my team out.”
Thomas? Coughlin admitted there was a little surprise and frustration that the cornerback, who is trying to return from a third ACL surgery, landed on PUP.
“He’s restricted in what he can do. We’re all frustrated about that. The sooner he can get out there, the better off we’ll all be. He came in fully feeling like he could start right out and practice and he just wasn’t able to do that right away. We’ll be patient, but know full well that we’ll be all excited the moment he gets a chance to come out and practice so we can get a sense of where he is and how he’s going to be.
And from today, receiver Jerrel Jernigan and center David Baas, both of whom didn’t take part in yesterday’s team conditioning drills, both worked, though Baas was limited. When he couldn’t go, it was Kevin Boothe in at center.
Meanwhile linebacker Aaron Curry, who’s hoping to revive his career with the Giants, left the field with what Coughlin said he thought was cramps.
The first-team offensive line had, from left to right, Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, James Brewer, and David Diehl. As I mentioned above, though, Baas didn’t take his full workload and Boothe moved over to center with the starters when Baas was out of the lineup.
The first-team defensive line was Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, and Mathias Kiwanuka. The second team defensive line saw Damontre Moore and Adrian Tracy at the ends, and Johnathan Hankins and Shaun Rogers in the middle.
The first-team linebackers were Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich and Keith Rivers. The second team linebackers were Jacquian Williams, Dan Connor and Aaron Curry.
Your starting defensive backfield was Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara at the corners, and Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle at safety; the second-stringers were Trumaine McBride and Aaron Ross at corner, and Tyler Sash and Ryan Mundy at safety. (Cooper Taylor took a smidgen of snaps with the two’s at safety, but otherwise went with the third string.)
Before I get started, I want to remind you that there are no padded practices until Tuesday. That’s a NFL rule as all teams must have a three-day acclimation period. So the contact today and in the next couple of practices is going to be limited until the real hitting can start.
* Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks didn’t look like they missed a beat despite not getting many reps together over the spring. Eli wasn’t kidding yesterday when he said it probably wouldn’t take long for him and his receivers to get back on the same page.
* Speaking of receivers, Rueben Randle is still running as the third receiver, ahead of Louis Murphy, based on the receiver drills, at least. Remember, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said after the minicamp that Randle was going to see a lot of action in the coming months, and so far, so good. Randle is running much crisper routes and looks extremely confident in what he’s doing out there.
* I’m starting to really like CB Trumaine McBride. He always seems to be in the right spot to break up a play and does a nice job of staying on the receivers’ hips. He broke up a pass intended for Brandon Collins, who was running a flag route.
* Prince Amukamara broke up a couple of deep balls and came up with the first interception of camp in a seven-on-seven drill.
* Corey Webster got into the act as far as breaking up deep balls, knocking away a pass intended for Rueben Randle. Webster looks faster and that confidence he didn’t always have last year seems to be back, so we’ll see how he does moving forward.
* Justin Pugh, who worked at right tackle with the second team, has good quickness and his footwork didn’t look to be too bad, but his pad level was another story as on a couple of snaps he was just too high and lost his leverage.
* DE Damontre Moore, working with the second team, has such a good burst of speed – he knifed into the backfield on two running plays like he had been shot out of a canon, and I think he would have blown up the plays had they been live drills.
* Nice job by Aaron Ross against Jerrel Jernigan in the slot to break up the pass. Jernigan tried to put a move on Ross to create separation, but Ross just wasn’t buying it. Ross also nearly had an interception on a pass intended for receiver Kevin Hardy.
* Ryan Nassib has a pretty strong arm, but he seems to throw a lot better while on the move than when he sets his feet, which seems to be unusual. He connected with receiver Kevin Hardy by chucking the ball despite having both feet up in the air. I’m not sure how successful he can be if he continues to throw like that, but I can’t imagine the coaches are going to not address that with him.
* Running back Michael Cox squirted through the hole for a nice run. He has a tremendous burst of speed on those outside runs. When he runs in between the tackles, there is a slight hesitation in his initial steps. The question is, can he pass block? That remains to be seen.
* If there was ever an underrated player on the defense, I’d have to give the nod to linebacker Spencer Paysinger. Paysinger took snaps with the starters at the weakside linebacker and at least twice he was in the backfield to blow up plays. He also covered tight end Brandon Myers well enough to cause Myers to drop a pass that hit him right in the numbers. Paysinger just seems to have a nose for the play and I think he could surprise more than a few people this summer.
* DE Justin Tuck was very active in the practice, directing teammates and leading, which is always nice to see. He also batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage.
* LB Kyle Bosworth, who came in for Aaron Curry when he left with cramps, nearly had a sack on a blitz up the middle. Bosworth showed a nice burst of speed and initial quickness off the snap, timing the play perfectly as he darted past Justin Pugh.
* I thought new fullback Ryan D’Imperio looked good as a receiver out of the backfield, showing nice soft hands. However, he’s here to block and he didn’t get to do all that much of that in this practice, so the jury is still out.