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Giants coaching staff conducts offseason business despite lockout

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Giants coaching staff conducts offseason business despite lockout

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:29 am

Giants coaching staff conducts offseason business despite lockout
Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 11:45 PM Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 12:13 AM
Zach Berman/The Star-Ledger By Zach Berman/The Star-Ledger The Star-Ledger

The Giants' practice facility is quieter than normal without the players rolling through each day, although the coaching staff has conducted their business as if there's no lockout. They cannot meet with players, but the lockout has not impeded on any football activities yet, and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said the coaching staff has conducted their normal business for this time of year.

"For us as coaches, we're not skipping a beat. We're going as if nothing's different," Gilbride said after his featured speech at the Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week and Year awards, a program run by the Giants and BP. "We're finishing up our cut-ups, we finishing our free agent evaluations, doing the prep for draft eligibles, getting ready for practices, so whenever they get back, we're ready."

Of course, there has not been free agency. And with the draft at the end of April, free agency might not be conducted by the time teams select their rookies. Usually, teams sign free agents and draft based on value. This year, Gilbride said teams might need to "flip flop" -- draft based on needs, and fill in the roster with free agents.

"Who knows?" Gilbride said. "Anything is pure speculation, at least on our part."

That's why Gilbride did not want to speculate how far behind an offensive player would be if he cannot join the team after he's drafted. Gilbride trusted that the current players are working out and staying shape. But Gilbride did agree that the continuity of the coaching staff and parts of the roster could help the Giants.

"It's got to be advantageous to the staff that have been together and with the players," Gilbride said. "You're trying to refine, you're trying to raise, to better, to get them to a higher level. But at least they have a grasp, a foundation."

Expect more from Gilbride later this week.

* * * *

Piscataway High School coach Dan Higgins was awarded coach of the year. Higgins, who has coached three first-round draft choices, spoke offense with Gilbride and talked about coaching his former first-rounders with Gilbride.

Higgins, a Giants fan, enjoyed receiving the honor in the team practice facility and representing his program.

"I see it as a program honor more than just my honor," Higgins said.

He dedicated the award to assistant coach Danny Maglione, who died earlier this week.
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