It's been pretty busy around the news desk here at Big Blue View headquarters (which is, pretty much, my breakfast table). Anyway, the interviews we've been doing lately there hasn't been much of a chance to catch up on stories floating around the Inter-Google abour our New York Giants.
So, let's catch our breath today and do that.
New Giants' safety C.C. Brown, a free-agent acquisition from Houston, has quickly noticed the different atmosphere in the Giants' locker room. A team paintball excursion helped in that regard
More than 40 players got together for a friendly round of paintball, a team-bonding excursion arranged by Rich Seubert and Chase Blackburn.
"In Texas, we never did that kind of thing," Brown said this week during the off-season conditioning program. "The closest thing we ever did was go to practice. Stuff like that pays off in the long run."
As a newcomer, Brown almost immediately noticed a sense of esprit de corps with the Giants, and it's a welcome change. He started 47 of 50 games at safety and in four seasons in Houston won only 24 times, never reaching the playoffs. At the still-young age of 26 there's a new team and new challenge. As a free agent, Brown signed a one-year contract for $1 million.
"It's like a close-knit team, everybody is pretty much like we're all related, we all came from the same person," Brown observed. "[Tom] Coughlin, that's what he preaches all the time, togetherness. It's just how everybody hangs around, it's not this clique or that clique, it's just everybody mingles with everybody. Chemistry like that pays off."
Brown is right. Talent is not the only thing that wins or loses games.
-- Giants.com has transcripts of Q&A sessions with more of the team's assistant coaches. Here are some of the highlights.
- Special teams coach Tom Quinn talked about the team's never-ending search for returners.
I think when you get a talented football team you always are going to have someone on your roster that can step up and fill those roles, which we have kind of done the last couple of years. Because each year we have gone into it and there hasn’t been a clear-cut, "That is the punt returner, that is the kickoff returner," and you just keep working and keep developing and hope you can get something.
- Secondary coach Peter Giunta is looking forward to the competition between the 10 corners on the Giants' roster.
The thing that is nice about having four guys that will play here, they keep the pressure on each other to compete and play well. If somebody is struggling a little bit, you can always put another guy in and that is a great luxury to have. And you can use all four of them at the same time in a game, which we are going to need to do a number of times. Our opener against Washington, they use four wides so you have to be able to match up four corners against four wides at times and have your two safeties. So it is a nice problem to have; more competition, more players you have to pick from the better you are.
- Defensive line coach Mike Waufle knows he has a deep group, and he says the best players will play.
This is what I tell them, "Best players stay period." And it puts it on them. It makes them competitive. It makes them compete against each other. It is a brotherhood of men in there. They like each other but it raises the bar as far as their ability to compete as an athlete. It makes them better. They know that they have to be almost at the top of their game every practice. They get graded at every practice. So they know they get graded on production, they get graded on their technique. So every day there is a measuring stick and they compete against each other. If one person’s production is low and the other one is higher, they can see it on a piece of paper every day.
- Safeties coach David Merritt gave mixed reviews to Kenny Phillips' rookie season.
Kenny, as far as a safety, I think he is right there on task as being the player that we want him to be in the future. And not to speak negatively about what he did with the other teams, other than what he has done with……safety, but I don’t think he met our expectations when it came to special teams. And that is just being honest. I think he could have done a little more and I think this year he will do a little more. Although you have an opportunity to possibly become a starter this year, you still are not exempt from special teams. But as far as the rookie safety …. I think he probably had one or two starts. He did okay. He did okay. Now he has a long way to go. The kid is 218 pounds right now. He is a well built young man who is working hard here. But as far as meeting my expectations for him, no, I would love to see him make the Pro Bowl, just as I would love to see all of my guys make the Pro Bowl. But he had a solid rookie season.