The New York Giants this season moved training camp from the UAlbany to their East Rutherford, N.J. home base at the now-named Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Thursday provided a perfect example of why that was a good decision whn inclement weather forced the Giants to practice in their full-size indoor practice facility, a luxury they did not have in Albany.
Head coach Tom Coughlin mentioned it during a post-practice interview with Shaun O'Hara of NFL Network and during his post-practice press conference. The former Giants center reminded Coughlin that in Albany Thursday's practice would have been a "sneakers" practice in the UAlbany gymnasium.
"I was reminded by a couple of players that if we were in Albany, we didn't have any place to go, so we had to change our expression to that of ‘well, we’re grateful, we’ve got a place to go,' " Coughlin said.
Why is that such a big deal? Well, with the shortened training camps now and no two-a-day practices, Coughlin pointed out to O'Hara that there are only 12 scheduled practices before the Giants play their first pre-season game August 10 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Under this present system you can't afford to miss a practice," Coughlin told O'Hara. "You just don't have enough of them."
Camp being in New Jersey instead of Albany is personally inconvenient for me, of course. I live outside of Albany, meaning I can no longer get there every day and when I do it's a 150-mile trek each way. It is also not as fan-friendly as Albany was, with fans stuck behind a chain-link fence and players able to avoid fans completely while escaping practice, something that was impossible in Albany.
Yet, this was the right decision for the franchise. Ultimately it isn't about the fans or the media. It's about the best way to prepare the football team to play championship-caliber football. Staying home, where they already have everything they need, is the best way to do that.
Incidentally, it's interesting to watch O'Hara, whose last season with the Giants was 2010, try to navigate his job with NFL Network with the fact that he has close friendships with many of the Giants and is constantly recognized by fans who are constantly trying to get him to interact with them. It can't be an easy balancing act.
When Jeremy Horne was carted off the practice field on Tuesday with an undisclosed foot injury, you had to know that if the injury was serious enough to force him to miss time his roster spot would be jeopardized. Well, Thursday the Giants replaced Horne on the roster, waiving him injured and signing Julian Talley. Both are formerly from UMass. Talley was in camp with the Giants last season.
Doesn't look like Justin Pugh is on the field. Looking into it.— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) August 2, 2013
This falls into the 'uh-oh' department:
RT Justin Pugh, first-round pick, is not on the field today. His absence is injury related. We don't know more than that yet. Stay tuned.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) August 2, 2013
CB Corey Webster (groin) is also not practicing today.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) August 2, 2013