John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Day Two of Giants’ minicamp will be conducted out at QDTC this morning. Practice will begin at 11:05. Temperatures are projected to be in the low to mid-90’s today.
LB Jameel McClain was perhaps the Giants’ lowest-key acquisition this past offseason, but he’s suddenly making his presence
known. With Jon Beason sidelined for the next eleven weeks, McClain is taking over the MLB duties in his absence.
The Giants had brought McClain in to play on the outside, but he often played inside or middle during his time in Baltimore. Head coach Tom Coughlin did not feel McClain would be out of place.
“He’s been in there before,” Coughlin said. “He’s playing in there, he’s played on the outside, so it’s just a simple move.”
As for Beason, Coughlin said he did not know if he would be ready for the season opener and admitted that Beason’s leadership would be missed this summer, but there are others who will step into the role.
“I think we go forward with what we have. We’ll be okay,” said Coughlin.”I think there will be guys that will pick it up, certainly we’d like to have Jon out there. We’re going to miss that part of it.”
McClain, in his seventh season out of Syracuse, is handling the situation like the seasoned pro that he is.
“This league is opportunity and a chance for players to show themselves,” McClain said. “Fortunately, we will get Jon back, so we’re blessed to have that, but what we have now is a chance for a lot of people to step up and step into positions that they normally wouldn’t have been in. That’s always good for a football team – diversity.”
A minor blow to the offense is the absence of top pick WR Odell Beckham, who is now not expected to participate in team drills until training camp. Coughlin said the team was erring on the side of caution when it came to his prized rookie:
“He did all of the individual and then we kind of backed him down a little bit. He was able to go, whether he could hit that top speed was another question. Why take a chance on it right now?… I’d like to have him practicing. That’s how you learn – you practice. He’s done all of the studying, he’s good in the classroom, but he’s got to get out here.”
RG Chris Snee, coming off offseason hip and elbow procedures and is also not participating in team drill this week. He is being replaced by Brandon Mosley. Snee equated his situation to that of the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan, who saw his playing time reduced in order to maintain his effectiveness.
“You saw what the Spurs did, right?” Snee said. “They rested some older guys….At this point in my career, when they say, ‘Take a breather,’ I’ll take a breather.”
OT Will Beatty is also working off to the side this week. He is still not ready for team drills as he rehabs from the broken tibia he suffered in the Giants’ season finale last December. He has vowed, however, to be ready for training camp next month.
“It’s camp,” Beatty said. “They’re not saying what day of camp, but they’re telling me that when this break comes Thursday, you’re preparing yourself to get ready to come back on the 21st (of July). They’re not putting any numbers out there in my head, but they’re making sure I’m ready, because we have five preseason games, which leads to our advantage with a new offensive system in play. So an extra preseason game is going to work toward our advantage and make sure I can do as much as I can, so I get out there and it’s not like, ‘This is all new.’”