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New York Giants are together and motivated for offseason workouts


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New York Giants are together and motivated for offseason workouts

by Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger

Monday June 01, 2009, 1:46 PM

Mitsu Yasukawa/The Star-LedgerGiants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said the team is young but hungry.

 

This is usually the time of year when the big news is the guys who aren't at the Giants' OTAs.

 

Monday, only one guy was absent. It was kicker Lawrence Tynes and he had a good excuse: Monday was his charity golf event.

 

Think that makes Tom Coughlin happy?

 

"It sends the right message," the Giants' coach said after this morning's practice. "It tells everybody every guy's here for the same reason -- to help our team be as good as it can be. It's very difficult to get that done when they're not here. Guys are here working. We have the older guys sharing with the younger guys; you have that natural process. And obviously, trying to create the team concept with everything you do. And to have everyone here certainly helps escalate that."

 

Eli Manning talked about the importance of working with his receivers and picking up on little things like their body language on the field. With a corps of young, unproven targets, that's certainly an important thing for the quarterback -- and something he didn't get from Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey, who worked out in Miami for much of the off-season during their time with the Giants.

 

Manning also likes what he sees off the field in the team's new practice facility.

 

"You have the guys in the locker room, just hanging out and eating lunch together, those types of things," Manning said. "It makes the team closer, makes everybody comfortable around each other, everybody's the same, no one's getting special treatment, special attention. We have a great group of guys here. They come in, they work. No one has an ego about anything and we're here to practice hard and have some fun also."

 

(Wow. I'd say you could read between the lines on that one, but I think what Manning was saying was on the lines there. No special treatment? No ego? Hmm, to whom could he have been alluding there?)

 

Even on the defensive side of the ball, everyone was on the field and working hard Monday. Even linebacker Antonio Pierce, who wasn't in the locker room while the media were in there.

 

"We have a young team. I don't think there are too many older guys who have been in the league for that long. Those are the guys that tend to not come because they've been in the league so long that missing an OTA doesn't mean anything to them," Osi Umenyiora said. "But these guys out here are so hungry -- everybody's fighting and jockeying for position, everybody wants to play, everybody wants to the be on the football field -- that you feel like, if you miss one day, somebody might get a leg up on you. So everybody's out here fighting their butts off for that position."

 

Umenyiora, who said he feels no pain in his surgically repaired knee, said that kind of hunger is good for the team.

 

"I think it's necessary," he said. "You never want to get too comfortable or lackadaisical. Because this is a job, just like you have to work every day, for the most part. If you want to be a good professional football player, you should be working most of the time and not taking days off."

 

Umenyiora thinks the bitterness over how last season ended might be spurring the players to work hard and participate during OTAs.

 

"They should. I do -- and I wasn't on the football field," he said. "I was on the field, but I wasn't playing and I saw the way it ended. It was a team we should have beat and it was a team that, if the opportunity arises again, we will beat."

 

They already have the Eagles in their sight.

 

* * *

 

CB Corey Webster left practice this morning with a slight hip flexor issue. He said it's not a big deal. LB Michael Boley also sat out with soreness in his hip flexor.

 

DTs Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins are rehabbing after off-season knee scopes, so they didn't practice.

 

Rookie LB Clint Sintim suffered a hamstring injury and had to leave practice. "That's not going to help him or us," Coughlin said. When asked if the injury was severe, Coughlin replied, "He's out there with an ice pack on his leg. That's all I need to know."

 

* * *

 

More in a bit, including a few practice highlights.

 

-- MG

 

http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2009/06...together_a.html

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OTA Report: June 1, 2009

 

Here are a few quick notes and observations from this morning’s OTA.

 

* Head coach Tom Coughlin was pleased with the near perfect attendance. “It sends the right message. It tells everybody that every guy is here for the same reason and trying to help our team be as good as it can be,” Coughlin said. “It is very difficult to get that done when we are not here. Guys are here working. You have the older guys sharing with the younger guys. You have that natural process. And obviously you are trying to create the team concept with everything that you do. And to have everyone here certainly helps escalate that.”

 

* On the injury front, DE Osi Umenyiora and WR David Tyree were back working and had no limitations whatsoever. Not working, however, were DTs Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins, both of whom are coming off off-season knee surgeries and who will continue to be limited during the spring.

 

* LB Michael Boley sat out with a hip flexor and CB Corey Webster temporarily went down with the same injury. Rookie LB Clint Sintim strained his right hamstring. “That’s not going to help him or us,” Coughlin said.

 

* The reports about Kevin Boss adding muscle can be confirmed. Boss looked significantly thicker in the upper body to the point where at first I didn’t recognize him. It remains to be seen though how that will translate to the field concerning his blocking.

 

* WR Steve Smith who last year made a living working out of the slot, lined up numerous times on the outside on the right part of the formation in addition to taking a few snaps from the slot.

 

* H-back Travis Beckum, who looked impressive with his route running, also lined up on some snaps from the outside.

 

* Shining in this practice was WR Mario Manningham. Very quick, very smooth and very fast. The big question though will be whether he has the mental part of the game down pat. Manningham made a wonderful catch on a ball that was under thrown by Eli Manning, adjusting well to the ball.

 

* Danny Ware didn’t really impress during this workout as he seemed to do far too much juking in an effort to get through traffic. Still, Coughlin was full of praise for Ware after the workout. “He has worked very hard. He has gotten himself in very good shape. He has his weight down a little bit. He knows what he wants to do. He seems to have put a lot of those ‘lack of focus’ ideas and thoughts behind him and he knows every day what he is trying to accomplish. He sees what the opportunity is for him. It is very real for him and I think he has responded to it.”

 

* Will Beatty received some work at left tackle during this workout, playing with the two’s, and he was promptly beaten by Dave Tollefson for the “sack.”

 

* Neither of the two young quarterbacks, Andre Woodson or Rhett Bomar, impressed during this workout. We didn’t see much of a difference in Bomar’s delivery from the last time, and sure enough on a rollout to his left, the ball simply sailed on him despite having no one in front of him in the form of a rush.

 

* I forgot to mention one player who was also making a triumphant return from injury, DE Robert Henderson, who last year missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury, looked quick off the snap, beating tackle Orrin Thompson for the “sack.”

 

* Ramses Barden lined up in the left slot. It’s an interesting alignment as this will create a size mismatch in the Giants’ favor.

 

* Bryan Kehl, playing at WIL, took a bad angle on a run by Brandon Jacobs, grabbing a handful of jersey in desperation.

 

* Oops! There was a botched snap between center Adam Koets and QB Andre Woodson, which clearly did not sit well with head coach Tom Coughlin, who not only hollered, but who also mentioned it in his post practice press conference. N

 

* Rookie Andre Brown, the running back who impressed me during the rookie mini camp, seemed to be a bit more jittery against the veterans as I thought he did far too much juking, especially as he tried to navigate through traffic.

 

After practice, Manning was very complimentary of his new receiving corps. “I think they’ve done an excellent job they’re competitive. They fight and they work extremely hard,” said Manning. “They want to learn and they’ve been around, so I think that’s been a good start. The more reps we can get together and the more looks they can get on defense, then the more comfortable we’ll all become with each other.”

 

Still, Manning admits that it’s going to be different working without Amani Toomer, who was with him for five years, and Plaxico Burress, who was with him for four years. “I don’t know if it’s starting over,” Manning said. “Its kind of getting on the same page with these guys. A lot of it is me reading their body language, making the right reads and me becoming comfortable in that they’re going to do the right thing. That’s what’s good about us getting together early in April and getting a lot of throws in.”

 

The biggest difference for Manning? “We have new guys out there who are talented and have a little speed, so I have to get the ball out there quicker.”

 

That’s a wrap for now. I’ll have the much longer and more detailed report online for the subscribers a little later today.

 

http://trainathought.insidefootball.com/20...une-1-2009.html

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Coughlin

 

JUNE 1 , 2009

 

Q: How pleased were you with the attendance today?

 

A: It was excellent; excellent. The effort, the enthusiasm, guys played smart; they stayed up, did all of the things you wanted them to do. They were glad to be out here. We have had a couple of days inside and we are glad to be out on the grass. The grass is in great shape. The guys had real good enthusiasm. We spoke about keeping that enthusiasm up. But the effort was good. We didn’t like the ball being on the ground with the center/quarterback exchange. You start moving people around, you start changing the front on them, those kinds of things start to happen. We have to do a better job of that. I’ll take responsibility for that today. But the young guys – the young guys you can see it – it sticks out like a sore thumb when they don’t know what they are doing. And that is what this is for. This is the simplest day you are going to get so we shouldn’t have any of those problems. Moving on now it is going to be a little tougher. Each day you add more and you continue with what you have had. So it will be interesting. Sorry to see Sintim pull a hamstring. That is not going to help him or us.

 

Q: Do they know if that is severe or not?

 

A: I don’t know. He is out there with an ice pack on his leg. That is all that I need to know.

 

RE: Michael Boley

 

A: Boley had a little hip flexor. They are holding him.

 

Q: How about Corey Webster?

 

A: I didn’t see him. He is not on the list.

 

Q:

 

A: Rotating him around, I would say. There is no reason for it. Unless they didn’t get to me.

 

Q: Robbins and Cofield were limited. How are they coming along? They seemed to be just doing individuals.

 

A: That is all they are going to do. They are not going to do anything this spring.

 

Q: Are they coming along okay, though, in their rehabs?

 

A: I think Cofield did a nice job. You see him on the side with his running. He looks to be doing well. Fred is going to be a little slower.

 

Q: Is it more of a training camp thing for those two guys?

 

A: Probably. We will see. We have some stages to go through here –this is only our third (OTA). We do have the mandatory mini camp but we have plenty of guys around if we don’t have to, we are not going to take any chances there. Hopefully we will have them for camp.

 

Q: The only guy missing today was Lawrence Tynes?

 

A: Yeah, he has a charity golf tournament that he is the host for. So he gave me notice well in advance that he would have this day to spend with that.

 

Q: In the past there have been some high profile guys that chose to work out elsewhere. The fact that you don’t have that now, you have 100% attendance. Does that just help with the mental health of everybody?

 

A: Oh I think definitely it does. It sends the right message. It tells everybody that every guy is here for the same reason and trying to help our team be as good as it can be. It is very difficult to get that done when we are not here. Guys are here working. You have the older guys sharing with the younger guys. You have that natural process. And obviously you are trying to create the team concept with everything that you do. And to have everyone here certainly helps escalate that.

 

Q: Over the next few weeks what would you like to see in terms of the chemistry develop between Eli Manning and his receiving corps?

 

A: Well, you would like to see that work but I would like to see it all over – not just that. I think obviously what we are out here for is to try to develop that trust and that feeling of people knowing where they are supposed to be and reacting properly as they make all of the necessary adjustments – the quarterback developing confidence in the receiver, get the young guys on track, continue to develop the guys that have been here. We saw Manningham have a couple of nice plays this morning – continue to bring him along. The interesting thing about all of that is, as we said earlier, you would like to have them maintain this kind of anxiousness, this kind of enthusiasm, this kind of real focus on a daily basis and leading up to the mandatory mini camp.

 

Q: Since the rookie mini camp, have you seen some of the “deer in headlights” looks diminish?

 

A: You can’t tell in a rookie camp. It is all rookies. I don’t see much of that, though. I don’t see much of that. I see some guys that didn’t know exactly what they were supposed to be doing and that is where they have to settle in and realize that is how their contribution will be made. It is very difficult to show what you can do if you don’t know what you are doing.

 

Q: Just because he is a local guy for us, you signed Kelvin Smith out of the rookie camp and what did you see?

 

A: Well we had a number and we were looking for a guy who made the biggest impression and he did.

 

Q: Has he done okay as far as ….?

 

A: He has done all right. He has certainly been very conscientious in everything that he has been asked to do in the weight room, meeting rooms.

 

Q: Is it frustrating for you to look out your window at the practice field and know you can’t use it?

 

A: No, not really, not really. I like the look – the nice green grass. Something I have never seen out my window. We know we are going to be on there. I think right now is a critical time, we don’t want to mess it up. If we did that, we would tear it up. We were just laughing this morning when we were stretching. I remember the year – and you guys remember it too, the year we came back from camp a couple of years ago and the place was a weed patch. It is a lot different right now. It is very nice, very nice. But that is why we are trying to stay off the other one. And I’m telling you, I have seen – these guys working that field are doing an unbelievable job. Did anybody know you are supposed to cut the grass every day? They are out there every day. They cut the grass every day.

 

Q: Attitude level adjustment for being in the new facility? Do you see the guys getting a little more excited about moving in there?

 

A: Oh, now do you not. You come in, it is new and everybody is excited about it. People are still wandering around trying to figure out exactly --- sometimes I come down stairs and take a wrong turn and I can’t figure out where I am. But no, it is really, really a nice facility and we are very thankful to be here.

 

Q: What kind of offseason is Danny Ware having?

 

A: He has done well. He has worked very hard. He has gotten himself in very good shape. He has his weight down a little bit. He knows what he wants to do. He seems to have put a lot of those ‘lack of focus’ ideas and thoughts behind him and he knows every day what he is trying to accomplish. He sees what the opportunity is for him. It is very real for him and I think he has responded to it.

 

Q: How close are your No. 2 and No. 3 spots at running back on the depth chart?

 

A: Don’t ask me any depth chart questions on the third OTA day. Everybody is running around, we are trying to get everybody the same number of snaps.

 

Q: If a guy is late for a meeting and says, “Coach I was wandering around the building,” would you be pretty understanding?

 

A: No. That won’t fly.

 

http://www.giants.com/news/transcripts/sto...?story_id=37411

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* Shining in this practice was WR Mario Manningham. Very quick, very smooth and very fast. The big question though will be whether he has the mental part of the game down pat. Manningham made a wonderful catch on a ball that was under thrown by Eli Manning, adjusting well to the ball.

Very interesting.

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Mario Manningham, Rashard Barksdale stand out at New York Giants' OTAs

by Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger

Monday June 01, 2009, 2:29 PM

William Perlman/The Star-LedgerGiants wide receiver Mario Manningham was impressive at the team's OTAs on Monday.

 

It's tough to get a good read on OTAs because there's limited contact and no pads, so these practice reports aren't as telling as what you'd get during training camp. But there were still a few things that stood out on Monday morning, so I figured I'd toss 'em your way.

 

Here were the quick highlights:

 

WR Mario Manningham had a nice session and made a few catches down the field. He found some room deep near the left sideline on one play, making him a nice safety valve for QB Eli Manning. S Travonti Johnson tried to get over in time, but he couldn't quite get there to knock the ball away. I didn't notice what the coverage was, so I'm not sure if Johnson, who's making the transition from CB, was out of position or if someone else goofed.

 

One guy who was able to catch up and make a play was CB Rashard Barksdale, who had a very good practice. Barksdale was trailing WR Sinorice Moss on a deep pass from Manning, but he recovered in time to get a hand on the ball from Manning. Moss leaped, but couldn't box out Barksdale enough to make the catch. I know I say this all the time, but I have to mention it again: down the field, Moss needs to get enough separation because he's too small to outmuscle a defender, especially when he leaves the ground. (The ball was underthrown, though. If it was out in front of him, he was gone for a touchdown.)

 

Barksdale, who's now wearing the No. 25 jersey that used to belong to R.W. McQuarters, later came up to make a nice break-up of a ball on a quick out from QB Andre' Woodson to WR Shaun Bodiford. The ball actually rested on Barksdale's back for a split second, but he wasn't quite able to make an Antonio Freeman-like play for the INT.

 

Real nice play by CB Kevin Dockery to break up a go route down the right sideline from Manning to WR Domenik Hixon. For years now, Dockery has been playing bigger than his listed size (5-8, 188) and he did it again on this play. He got great position inside of Hixon and really got up to make a play on the ball. Dockery actually swatted it into S Kenny Phillips' face. Phillips didn't have enough time to react and catch the ball.

 

Don't forget about DE Robert Henderson. Last year's sixth-round pick, who was on IR for his entire rookie season, is still hanging around, so the team must see something they like. This morning, he beat OL Orrin Thompson for a sack.

 

LB Chase Blackburn hasn't stopped working hard since he arrived as a rookie free agent. It's like he knows he can't stop doing what earned him a job in the first place. You should have seen him this morning chasing down rookie RB Andre Brown on a screen pass to make the stop. Great hustle. And apparently, Blackburn isn't a bad golfer. He was on his way to the course Monday afternoon.

 

QB Rhett Bomar looked a bit rusty this morning. He had Bodiford wide open on a hook and threw way behind him. Later, he was long on a deep ball to an open Moss. But he did deliver a real nice ball over the middle to TE Michael Matthews past LB Zak DeOssie.

 

The ball is always live -- even when it's an incomplete pass. That's something former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo taught his players and it continues under Bill Sheridan. And now, even the offense is getting into the act. So it was a nice little battle between LB Antonio Pierce and Brown after Pierce made a good play to knock away a dump-off over the middle. (Brown did win the battle for the dead ball, though.)

 

Nice play by DT Chris Canty to make a stop on an inside draw to RB Danny Ware.

 

Not so nice plays on several botched snaps between a few of the QBs and Cs. Tom Coughlin wasn't happy about that: "You start moving people around, you start changing the front on them and those kinds of things start to happen. We have to do a better job of that."

 

And finally, as Coughlin was addressing the media and a few players were walking off from the old practice field to the new facility, LT David Diehl was on his own across the field, working on his pass sets.

 

MG

 

http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2009/06...ta_practic.html

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