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Notes from rookie mini camp

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Notes from rookie mini camp

Post  Big_Pete on Sat May 01, 2010 7:45 am


Rookie Mini Camp: Morning Practice Report

It’s been quite a packed half day so far between the opening of the rookie minicamp, the Jeff Feagles retirement ceremony (which was done with the utmost of class, by the team), and then the open locker room. I have LOADS to share – just have to get everything written up .

But let’s start with the morning practice report. Head coach Tom Coughlin’s objective, as is always the case every year, is to have his staff dispense as much information as possible and see how the rookies respond. “We put a little pressure on them to learn and move forward. To know the way in which we want it done, and to get a head start so that when they return back in a couple of weeks, they have a little bit of a foundation.”

First rounder Jason Pierre-Paul came as advertised as far as his physical build is concerned – tall and lean. He reminds one of a cross between Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanukain his build. Coughlin said he liked what he saw of Pierre-Paul. “He’s hungry to learn; that’s the most important part of it all.” Pierre-Paul seemed to get a lot of praise from his position coach, Robert Nunn, who praised for playing with the proper pad level on one drill. We thought that Pierre-Paul also showed an explosive first step off the snap. Afterwards in the locker room, you had to appreciate his candor when asked what kind of player the Giants were getting.
“The best,” he said with a straight face.The good news is that he’s certainly off on the right foot.

Second rounder DT Linval Joseph, who’s not quite as big as I thought he would be, was very compact in his movement. The problem though with Joseph is he didn’t always pick up his feet all the way, at times hitting the cones. Speaking of Joseph, he caught an earful from new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell when he slowed down in his pursuit of a play that was running away from him. Fewell screamed to “hustle, hustle,” a mistake the rookie did not make again in the morning practice. Joseph did a nice job to close practice with a scooped up fumble that he returned for a touchdown.

Third rounder S Chad Jones, who played at both safety spots, fielded a couple of punts, but didn’t have any returns as he was just there to catch the ball. This kid really has a lot of upside, and we liked how he hustled to the ball on defense, even if the play went away from him.

Fourth round pick LB Phillip Dillard appeared to be hesitating in his unit’s drills, a couple of times misreading the play. He eventually settled down though and showed more patience,taking wider angles to the ball carrier.
“He moves around well,” said Coughlin of Dillard. "He’s juggling around with making the calls and being aligned properly. He was noticeable.”

Fifth rounder G Mitch Petrus was a little too antsy,jumping offside on one play. The thing to like here, though, was that Petrus became angry with himself, let out a loud grunt, then with smoke coming out of his ear holes, reset himself, and made sure that he was perfect on the next play. Petrus received a rather warm welcome from his offensive line mates. It seems that an anonymous prankster decided to put a piece of masking tape scrawled with the words “rookie” and a word that rhymes with his first name. Petrus, who’s feistiness comes as advertised, shrugged it off and took it all in stride, saying, “I guess I’ll find out who it was soon enough.”

Sixth round draft pick LB Adrian Tracy, who is converting to outside linebacker at the pro level, looked very alert and quick in moving sideline to sideline. He was very patient with letting things develop and showed good initial sideline-to-sideline quickness in his unit’s drills and did a nice job of following the ball rather than guessing.

Who said that seventh round pick, P Matt Dodge has a weak leg? Not from what I was able to see. Dodge’s initial kick was a bit of a clunker, but then he went on to hit some nice moon shots. The one kick that he tried to directional kick along the sidelines was shanked, but otherwise he had a solid outing for his first practice.

In terms of the free agents, two really stood out. There was CB Seth William (Richmond) had a big morning, picking off two passes and breaking up another. Both of his interceptions came against Dominic Randolph (Holy Cross), who on both occasions vastly under threw the ball. After practice, Williams was one of the players that Coughlin singled out as having had a good morning.

Another player Coughlin gave praise to? Rutgers WR Tim Brown. Brown showed good initial quickness getting off the line and saw a little work in both the slot and as an outside receiver. What we liked about Brown is how he fought to shield the ball away, and he also did a nice job with making receptions on balls thrown to his front shoulder, looking the ball in.“He was quick off the ball and he made some nice catches,” Coughlin said of Brown. “He adjusted well and went low and picked the ball out of the air. He was able to maneuver his body past the defenders when he was headed out on a deep route. He knows what he’d doing out there and he has some nice speed.”

The first defensive line, for those wondering, consisted of Pierre-Paul, Joseph, DE Tommie Hill, and DT Dwayne Hendricks. Duke CB Leon Wright, who was supposed to be on the mini camp roster, failed his physical, and was sent home. Also not participating in the minicamp were S Sha’ref Rashad and OL Herb Taylor. Coughlin mentioned that some guys ran into issues with the medical staff, but didn’t mention those guys by name.

As I said, there’s a LOT to cover today and I haven’t’ even scratched the surface. We’re getting ready to head outside for the afternoon practice so I’ll have an afternoon report available later this evening and a fuller report for subscribers tonight.

Last edited by Big_Pete on Sat May 01, 2010 8:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Notes from rookie mini camp

Post  Big_Pete on Sat May 01, 2010 7:47 am


Rookie Mini Camp: Day 1 Afternoon Practice

Just a reminder that as you read any practice report, remember that this is the first few NFL practices for these kids so if you’re looking to tell who is going to be a boom and who will be a bust, the sorry to disappoint you.

The purpose of these camps is for the coaches to give them the knowledge they need in order to begin their development so that by the time they report to the OTAs, they’re not completely lost. So with that said here are some highlights from the afternoon practice.

* Punters Matt Dodge and Jy Bond had their first opportunity to hold for field goal attempts. Dodge, who held for Sam Swank and Bond, who held for tryout hopeful Austin Signor, were mostly flawless in their placements (as the kicks were successful, which is what counts). I had a chance to watch Dodge on a couple of his holds and thought he was a bit hesitant with setting the ball up after fielding it.

* As for the field goal attempts, Swank went three for three from about 30 yards out while Signore went five for five.

* Defensive line coach Robert Nunn spent some time teaching first rounder Jason Pierre-Paul how to improve his stance. At 6-5, one of the things Pierre-Paul struggles with at times is getting proper pad level because he didn’t always bend his knees. We thought he had a mixed bag
in this regard so Nunn was probably offering him some pointers on how to clean that up.

* Safety Sha’ref Rashad, who initially wasn’t listed on the Giants mini camp roster, took part in the drills after all. However, there was no sign of Herbert Taylor, who was originally announced as someone who would be attending the camp.

* RB/FB Brian Toal, lining up as a fullback and in on a tryout, didn’t help himself when on a pass to the flat, the ball bounced off his hands and fell to the ground.

* Rhett Bomar overthrew TE Carson Butler, but actually Butler was a split second late getting off the line and into his pattern as the ball just barely missed him. Bomar, from what I could tell, does have that side-armed motion but he also looks like he’s expedited his release a bit from what I remember.

* WR A.J. Jackson made a pretty over the shoulder catch on a deep ball thrown by Dom Randolph and then to boot, did an excellent job tucking it away as a defender tried to strip it from him.

* Speaking of strips, new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is REALLY putting a major emphasis on creating turnovers. HE kept yelling for his guys to pick up loose balls and to strip balls from the receivers. They didn’t always make the play, but there were a handful of times in both practices when they were successful.

* TE Jake Ballard (Ohio State) went up for a pass between safeties Sha'reff Rashad and third-rounder Chad Jones. Ballard not only came down with the catch, he also knocked CB Vince Anderson back.

* RB Andre Dixon (Connecticut) looked very flashy as he knifed his way through traffic on a handoff. He probably would have picked up about six or seven yards on the play, but after being tagged by a defender, he tried to sneak in a few more yards. A couple plays later, he did a nice job at getting around the corner and turning up field before a linebacker could catch up with him.

* Tryout candidate CB Wondy Pierre-Louis (Florida) walked off the field about 20 minutes into the practice with his jersey off and with a member of the equipment staff along side of him and didn’t return. The move was odd considering that usually the equipment staff can fix an equipment issue right there on the spot, so it will be interesting to see if Pierre-Louis had an injury or perhaps even a change of heart about being here.

* * *

I have to say that the more I see and hear from new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, the more I like. Fewell, who has been very vocal and very active in practices so far, said, “I’m passionate about the game,” he said. “I enjoy communicating with the players. I’m excited about football. When they make a good play I’m excited about that. When they make a bad play, I try to encourage them to make a better play.”

No question about it as I saw and heard Fewell on numerous occasions toss guys bouquets when they did something good and then work with guys when they made mistakes. I don’t’ want to compare Fewell to Steve
Spagnuolo since they’re two different people, but for those of you who wished for a defensive coordinator cut from the same cloth as Spags, your wish has come true.

By the way, Fewell didn’t sound like he was endorsing having a defensive line rotation. “I like for our defensive linemen to play until they fall out,” he
said. “ So, if they are in there playing and if they give me 100% effort, and can still give me 100% effort on first, second, and third downs, I have no problem with that. If they need a blow, we’ll get them out. I like our best players to be on the field at all times.”

That can’t be good news to a couple of defensive ends, Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora, both of whom said they want to be starters but only one of whom will be able to win the job. Fewell said he appreciates their feelings but in the end, it will all come down to what happens on the field. “All those guys have an opinion of what they’d like to do. I would like for their dreams to come true. If they want to start, hey, prove it. We have a lot of football and a lot of practice, let’s just prove it and that will take care of itself.”

* * *

Here are a few more leftover notes from today’s busy, busy day…

* I am going to really miss Jeff Feagles. Besides the fact that the man was a consummate professional, one thing he said today really struck a chord with me and I hope does so with you as well: “I think about some of the things that I will miss the most – driving into the Stadium and seeing --- these might sound a little corny but they mean a lot to me. Just driving into that Stadium and seeing the smoke coming off these grills and smell the sausage and peppers – seeing all of the fans cheering as you drive into the players’ lot, hearing Bob Sheppard’s’ voice on game day, the competition – always trying to be better than the other guy across the field.

“The games on Sunday, my teammates and coaches, seeing how they work
on game day, seeing how happy they were after a great win, and especially when we hoisted that Super Bowl trophy in 2007. I will miss wearing the Giants uniform like I did for seven years. And really, I will just miss being a football player.”

That’s what it’s all about folks. As for Feagles, something tells me that fans are going to miss him more than they realize.

* Speaking of Feagles, he had these final words for his former teammates, with whom he endured an 8-8 season last year. “I would ask that the leaders in that locker room step up and decide to take control of their own team and get the New York Giants back to the Super Bowl,” he said. “It takes leadership inside that locker room and the younger guys, which this team is being made up of, have got to understand and listen to the older players. And those older players have to teach these young guys how it is done, and don’t be afraid if they don’t like you. If you tell them what you are doing, tell them this is how we do it here.”

* Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who always gives a pretty detailed answer to any question asked of him, had this to say about how the new coaching arrangement that saw Mike Sullivan moved from receivers coach to quarterbacks coach and Sean Ryan promoted from offensive quality control to Sully’s old spot, was working out.
“The good thing is Mike Sullivan … has always been on the defensive side so he has always had a unique perspective that he really could contribute to the offensive planning based upon his insights into defensive thinking. So that has been good. And to show what a bright guy he is and a good communicator is, he learned the offensive technique – you could teach him so easily and he has learned the offensive concepts.
“He’s not experienced, but in terms of -- he can provide the quarterbacks with the way the defensive guys think. He also can aid them in understanding the way the receivers think because he has been in that room when they are apart from the quarterbacks or they are apart from me when I am speaking to all of them. And he can share with them some of their insights; some of the ways that they view things. So I think the good thing is that he is such a bright guy; he is such a good teacher.

“Now, the same thing with Sean (Ryan). Sean was in there and sat with them, and was really intimately involved with the receiver development. He has sat in on their meetings. He also shared in the coaching - ….so he is really much further ahead than even Mike was when he took over the receivers. So his adjustment of his transition should be fairly simple.”

* P Jy Bond on the differences between Australian Rules kicking and punting in the NFL: “Well, it’s all directional kicking. In Aussie Rules, you have to hit a target so it’s not standing and punting, we have to hit guys running around so it’s left and right and all that. It’s often changing directions so I’ll get used to standing and catching, rather than running.”

* DE Brandon Crawford, the 33-year old ex-Marine who is the oldest rookie in Giants camp on why he wanted to continue to pursue a career in football despite being older than most of his peers: “Well I’ve always had education, first and foremost. It has been a mainstay for me. So, I wanted to pursue an education. I always told myself that. I was an athletic kid growing up and I always played sports, whether it was track, football, or baseball, what have you, along with basketball as well. I told myself I had an opportunity, so I’d ask the coaching staff and see if it was a possibility for me and that’s what I did. It worked out that I had that opportunity and that’s how I pursued it.”

* RB DeShawn Wynn (Florida) had a big wrap on his knee in the afternoon practice. Wynn has been in camp on a tryout basis.

* * *

I’m pretty much buried in work (which is a good thing) and I'm working as quickly as I can to generate content out there. So here's the game plan.

Tomorrow, I'll get the you a couple of short practice reports and a new Letters to the Editor column. I am then going to work on the mini camp edition of Inside Football which will have more detailed analysis and more players covered than what I can put in the blog.

I also should have at least one, if not two more features that I'll be running early next week. So be sure to stick around as I'm far from being finished yet.

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Re: Notes from rookie mini camp

Post  Big_Pete on Sat May 01, 2010 6:10 pm


Tom Coughlin's Post Practice Quotes: Day 2

We’re getting ready to go into the locker room in a little bit, but I thought I’d give you some of what head coach Tom Coughlin had to say after this morning’s practice:

On Jason Pierre-Paul’s physical struggles this morning with the heat: “He’s going through the conditioning aspect of this, and I think he’s suffering a little, but he hung in there.”

If Pierre-Paul had problems with his back before: “I just think like a lot of them he’s suffering a little bit because it’s hotter than it’s been and they had two yesterday and they had time to cramp up and get sore, then they had to come back in this morning and do it again. I wish he were running around like I thought he would be, but he learns. “

On LB Phillip Dillard: “He seems to be doing well. He flashes. Seems to be enjoying himself and flying around. He’s in good shape. He’s doing okay with (directing the others). Right now he has a lot on his plate to call the defense and get himself lined up.”

On what he likes about OG Mitch Petrus: “He’s strong can anchor in there. He’s powerful. He can block those big three-techniques. He can pull.”

On what he’s looking for in his new middle linebacker: “A solid football player who’s smart. Can help us get lined . Can especially help us on first and second down, has leadership tool. (He) will need to earn the right to be a leader and perhaps be an individual who won’t mind telling other people when they’re not in position properly. The first thing with a young player is he has to get his own game in line before he can talk to anyone else.”

On whether anyone else jumped out at him after looking at the film: “Not really.”

On DT Linval Joseph: ”He’s moving around good. “He’s a big load that can run, he’s athletic, has a good athletic. He fought his way through – he was struggling a little bit yesterday afternoon too but he fought his way through and seemed to do well this morning. Had enough energy to be able to talk up the other guys when it looked like they were dragging.”

On if any of the running backs have stood out. “They’ve worked hard and are trying their best. I haven’t seen a lot of flashes.”

On why RB Andre Brown, who was on injured reserve last season, wasn’t included on the mini camp roster(he’s eligible to participate). “We didn’t put him in hit. I can’t comment on that. We would have at least asked him about it, but it’s okay; he has plenty of stuff coming.”

** Editor's note: A Giants spokesperson clarified that Brown was not eligible to participate in the mini camp as depsite his being on Injured Reserve all of last season, that counted as an accrued season of service. ***

On S Chad Jones' progress: "I think he’s a little heavy. He has some conditioning work to do. He’s made some mental errors, which is not surprising for anyone back there. He was down quite a bit this morning weight wise so he lost a lot of water weight. I think he’ll be very aware of the weight and conditioning aspect of it when he comes back."

On Adrian Tracy's conversion to LB: "He’s athletic, and tries hard. We’ve seen him do it in an All-Star game. It will take a little bit, but there are a lot of things to take place when you’re out there in space. He doesn’t have his hand on the ground like he’s played most of his life."
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Re: Notes from rookie mini camp

Post  Big_Pete on Sat May 01, 2010 6:25 pm

a little more...

The Giants Roster: By the Numbers (and Some PM Practice Notes)

With day two of the mini camp in the books – tomorrow’s agenda includes morning meetings, a brief walk-through and some final administrative work before the players re sent home -- GM Jerry Reese said that the team has just one spot open to add a tryout hopeful (that is assuming the Giants don’t cut a few guys to open up more slots).

Here’s how it breaks down…

The Giants have 65 players under contract on their roster. They have the seven draft picks and they are holding two spots open for DT Barry Cofield and WR Derek Hagan, both RFAs who have not yet signed their RFA tenders and who technically don’t count against the 87 maximum. They have also added 12 undrafted free agents following the draft.

That bring the roster total to 86, again taking into consideration that Cofield and Hagan will sign.

The maximum number of names they can have so long as the draft picks remain unsigned is 87, so that means they have room for one of the undrafted free agents.
And yes, theoretically you could say they have room for three guys until Cofield and Hagan sign, but GM Jerry Reese apparently didn’t count those two spots as being open since the thinking is they’ll sign eventually.

Remember though that the Giants cannot go into training camp with more than 80 SIGNED players on their roster. So as the draft picks sign, someone will be cut.

Who might that one lucky tryout hopeful be? I don't have the breakdown of the positions to see where the Giants might be short-staffed, but if I had to pick one guy out based on performance from the tryouts, I'd give the nod to LB Micah Johnsonfrom Kentucky, on whim I will have some notes about in my longer report that's coming later today (I'm still working on it and will have it on-line by this evening.)

Anyway, we'll find out what the Giants end up doing tomorrow after the camp concludes (tomorrow's session is closed to the media) and Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin go through their notes to see what direction they want to pursue.

* * *

Like I said before, I'll have a longer report this evening. But here are a few quick notes from this afternoon's practice.

* The afternoon practice was moved indoors, not due to the hot weather but because there is a concert going on the parking lot which threatened to drown out Perry Fewell's vocals at the defense. (No just kidding -- the bass and treble from the sound was a bit annoying and distracting and figure that it would create problems with hearing the snap count for the players.)

* DE Jason Pierre-Paul was back at practice (not that he ever left) and was moving just fine, just like he said would happen.

* Tom Coughlin blew a gasket after one play -- I couldn't quite see who the player was since it was all the way on the opposite end of the field, but I did see Coughlin slam down his cap and kick it across the field while another assistant coach kicked a pad.

* The rookies will be eligible to join their veteran teammates on May 17. Our next media access will be May 25th for the OTAs (we'll get to see the third of the scheduled OTAs).

* CB Seth Williams, who has been one of the shining stars of this camp, was beaten by another star of camp, FA WR Tim Brown from Rutgers. Until that point. Williams stayed stride for stride with the receivers, but on this particular instance, Brown smoked him.

* I was asked who I thought stood out in this mini camp.I'll have that answer for you in tonight's report after I sort through and organize all my notes.

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Re: Notes from rookie mini camp

Post  Big_Pete on Sun May 02, 2010 11:48 pm

more notes

Day 2: Wrapping Up The Giants Rookie Mini Camp

I thought I would take a slightly different approach regarding the final day of Giants mini camp (actually, they have one more workout tomorrow, a "walk-thru," but that’s closed to the media).

Please keep in mind that it’s VERY early and opinions are just that, opinions. Take all opinions you read coming from the mini camps with a grain of salt. Also note that I will have a FULL report (with a lot more content) in the forthcoming May issue of Inside Football (see details at the end of this piece for a special we're running.)

Overall Impression.

To me, this mini camp had a completely different feel to it for some reason. I think the reason why this camp felt “different” is because there really aren’t a lot of spots on the current roster where a camp like this might produce numerous diamonds in the rough.

Still, I had hopes. I was hoping that a running back candidate might emerge, but like head coach Tom Coughlin mentioned in today's press conference, no one really stood out, so it looks like the Giants will go with what they have at the position.

I was also hoping for a young tackle to emerge from this camp, but again, no one really stood out to my eyes, so it looks like the Giants will go with what they have currently on the roster -- Will Beatty, Kareem McKenzie, Guy Whimper, Herb Taylor, and David Diehl.

You can’t gauge a rookie class based on four practices. For what the Giants are looking to do, it looks like they got the right combination of players on board, though we won't know for certain if that's the case for a while.

Who Stood Out:

DT Linval Joseph. If you read the April issue of Inside Football, you know that I really liked this pick and said that I thought he would be a contributor early in his rookie season. Well after watching him this weekend, I remain convinced that he'll make a very strong case to prove me right.

The kid is still a bit rough around the edges as far as his technique is concerned, but he has a tremendous attitude, and a never-say-die approach to his job. He treats every play like it was his last, and how can you not love how he urged his teammates to keep it moving when the heat and fatigue began to take a toll?

Who Didn’t:

QB Dominic Randolph. I realize it’s a big jump from Holy Cross to the NFL, but I was hoping to see a little more form Randolph. He was erratic with his throws, and on several occasions threw into double coverage, though to be fair, there were a few passes that he threw that were darts (probably just a handful though by my estimation).

Regardless, Randolph is going to compete with Rhett Bomar for that third quarterback spot (with all due apologies to the Giants, I find it very hard to believe that Jim Sorgi won’t be Eli Manning’s backup this season especially if he ends up the holder on placekicks, unless of course he’s injured).

QB Rhett Bomar.Speaking of Bomar, I didn’t think he was that much better than Randolph. To be fair to the quarterbacks, they were working with these receivers for the first time, and it does take some time to get used to the different styles.

Still a Question Mark:

DE Jason Pierre-Paul. No, this isn't about his athletic talent -- lets's make that clear up front. I am, however, concerned about his back problem that he experienced.

While obviously i'm glad that his back issue wasn’t anything serious, I have to ask what I think is a valid question: if he has this kind of flare-up when he returns to doing football activity, what does he do in his training?

I'll admit to not knowing what Pierre-Paul's routine consists of, but would it be too far-fetched to think that maybe some drills involve getting in and out of his stance? Considering there was no contact in this camp, how is it that a guy's back could act up?

I’m not saying Pierre-Paul is a bust nor am I saying that he’s going to take up residence in the trainer’s room. I did like what I saw of him – good quick first step, nice footwork and I thought he did a good job with keeping his pads down for the most part. But I'd be lying if I said that the back flare up didn’t raise a red flag in my book (albeit a small one at this point).

Free Agent Surprises:

WR Tim Brown (Rutgers). With seven receivers on the roster, the last thing I thought the Giants needed was another guy to add to the mix. However, consider these points. One, what are the odds this unit stays completely healthy again like it did in 2009? Also, what are the chances the team carries seven receivers again?

I wonder if Brown shows he can be effective on special teams, will that gives the Giants some leeway to trade away one of their excess receivers?

CB Seth Williams (Richmond). Williams was pin my opinion, the best cornerback in camp. He literally glued himself to the receivers’ hips and in fact the only time he was smoked was by the afore mentioned Tim Brown. I can easily see Williams competing for that fifth corner back spot with D.J. Johnson, behind Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, and Aaron Ross, and Bruce Johnson. Although it’s early, I think Williams might have the upper hand in that competition based on what ire member from last year of D.J. Johnson.

Camp Darkhorse.

LB Micah Johnson (Kentucky). He was active and seemed to know what to do in all the white vs. blue drills. He also hustled and I heard a coach praise him for his good technique on one drill. Johnson is, as of this writing, not signed so there's no telling if he'll be back when the rookies next come in. But with one spot open, I think he might have made enough of a case to be considered, though that linebacker position is becoming VERY crowded, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if they can find quality within that quantity.

Odds and Ends

* The final mini camp practice was moved indoors, not due to the heat but due to the outdoor “Bamboozle” concert in the parking lots of the old Giants Stadium.

* The rookies will next be able to report to the team’s facility on May 17. The media will get its first look at the entire team on May 25, which is the third scheduled Organized Team Activity (OTA). We’ll get access to three of the OTAs and then all three days of the full mandatory mini camp.

* Want another reason to love DT Linval Joseph? Check out this quote on his philosophy when tit comes to strength and conditioning: “I sleep in the weight room,” Joseph said. “I guess strength is a big part (of his success). If you’re strong, then you can hit in certain places. You can finish practice, and finish the game because you’re strong.”

* I suppose that the Giants’ equipment and locker room guys haven’t gotten around to it, but a day after P Jeff Feagles officially announced his retirement, his locker was still intact. I hope they leave it there through the conclusion of the spring football camp as a reminder to these young kids (as well as to the veterans) of what Feagles was all about as a professional and how his work ethic and attitude paid dividends for him.

* My favorite interview of camp? P Jy Bond. What I liked about him is how candid he was in assessing his chances and how laid back he was. Sure, he recognizes what’s at stake, but sometimes when a player puts too much pressure on himself, that’s not good. He probably won’t beat out Matt Dodge, but Bond is certainly a breath of fresh air.

* Despite the fact that there is no salary cap this year, there will still be a rookie salary pool system in place. I don’t have the numbers for the Giants, but according to, the rookie salary pool “counts ONLY the base salary, pro-rated signing bonus and “likely-to-be earned” incentives (such as roster bonuses) earned in a player’s rookie season.”

* Be sure to join Ed Valentine and me on Monday night at 8PM ET for a special edition of "NY Giants Talk." We'll be running down the mini camp, talking about the latest developments, and answering your calls and questions. I'll have specific details about how you can listen and call into the show on Sunday.

I'm also hoping to host an online chat on Tuesday. Again, details are coming.

* I’m off to start working on the full mini camp report for Inside Football subscribers. I am not sure how many players I covered but I do know that it was at least half the roster. I should have that issue done by early in the week.

If you missed some of my earlier posts from today, I have a piece on G Mitch Petrus
and an entry about the roster numbers– unless the Giants cut someone, they only have room to sign one more undrafted free agent.

Of after I finish the May issue I have anything left in my notebook that might be worth sharing, I’ll post it.

* I mentioned earlier our May issue and how it's going to be much more detailed than these reports (I have to do it that way; the customers support our efforts and make the coverage possible).

We are running a “two for $10” special. Ten bucks gets you our April post draft write up, in which I offer some perspectives on the draft class and the overall picture, and the forthcoming May analysis, which covers in more detail the players at the mini camp and how they looked on the field in the drills.

Your support helps us continue our coverage so please consider dropping us a few dimes, especially since you’ll be getting something in return. Click on the link at the top of the page (not the Subscription Info link) to get the details on this special offer. (Scroll about halfway down the page – the info is just underneath our blog feed).

Thanks for reading!
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