John Fennelly, Lead WriterGiant fans are already moaning about the long preseason they are being asked to endure this summer. The addition of a fifth week, the August 3 contest vs. Buffalo in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, extends the preseason beyond tolerance for some.
But, figure this…
Of the 75 players the Giants have listed on their roster, 27 of them have yet to put the uniform on. They will add at least a half dozen draftees and some UDFAs this summer, bringing the total of new faces in camp well into the thirties.
Tom Coughlin said recently that it will be a major challenge to forge a team out of the current core and all the new arrivals.
“You’ve got a big part of our football team that has not been through our routine,” the coach told Giants.com. “The way we do things, the presentation of our values and our principles, what we believe in, how we work, how we practice, how they are to come to work. So we have a lot of basic, fundamental teaching to do. It is definitely a year of transition, no doubt. I think that it must be recognized in terms of the due diligence that’s been done by pro personnel, (assistant general manager) Kevin Abrams and by (general manager) Jerry (Reese).”
It is very possible the new roster could contain more new faces than old in 2014, which would put a load of pressure on the coaching staff, many of whom are new themselves.
“The coaches have done an outstanding job,” Coughlin said. “You talk about a recruiting job, they’ve done a very good job. (Secondary/cornerbacks coach) Peter Giunta has done an outstanding job and (defensive coordinator) Perry (Fewell). But, yes it is, it’s exciting. And you know what, it’s good for us. It’s good for us at this point in time.”
The offensive staff also went through a shakeup this offseason. OL coaches Pat Flaherty and Lunda Wells were retained.Gone are longtime OC Kevin Gilbride, Jerald Ingram (RBs) and TE coach Mike Pope. In are new OC Ben McAdoo, QBs coach Danny Langsdorf and Craig Johnson (RBs). Sean Ryan is back coaching the WRs and Kevin M. Gilbride moves over to coach the TEs.
Most teams would cringe about having to play five preseason games in this day and age when there is an open call for a reduction in games. The Giants are actually fortunate to have the extra time this year. The new offensive system and all the new pieces will need extra reps just to get to know each other.
In a normal training camp, the veterans usually report a week after the rookies. This summer, they’ll likely report all together, around the third week of July. Will it be enough time to get this new Giants team acquainted and acclimated? We shall see…