The New York Giants are utilizing different technologies to optimize their workouts this training camp, which makes for some pretty funny remarks from Tom Coughlin, head coach and likely opponent of said technology.
That was relevant Thursday, when the Giants practiced for just about an hour before heading inside for what Coughlin termed "a recovery stretch," 30 minutes of stretching and exercising.
"We are trying to enhance this soft-muscle business," Coughlin said. "What we've done is we studied the GPS information, which helps us structure the practice and to know when we should be doing things such as [stretching] and cutting down reps on the field. The whole purpose is to be able to come back and have a full-speed practice tomorrow."
After several Giants were carted off the field earlier this week -- largely due to heat-related issues -- the injury situation has been a major factor at training camp. Perhaps that's always the case with this team, considering Coughlin's been promising to cutback on injuries for as long as he's been in New York. Thursday brought some good news in that area from Jason Pierre-Paul, who said he's stronger and feeling "110 percent."
"I am all for it," Coughlin said of Pierre-Paul's enthusiasm. "We want him to be the very best that he can be, and I am glad that he is in that frame of mind and feels good about himself. We are looking forward to a very good year from JPP."
Negative injury news came regarding Odell Beckham Jr., who's still dealing with a sore hamstring after missing many of the team's spring practices. The first-round draft pick did return to the field Tuesday, but injured the hamstring again.
Without Beckham, the Giants' receiving corp seems bare behind Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle. On the team's first unofficial depth chart released Thursday, Beckham and Jerrel Jernigan are listed as the second-team receivers, followed by Mario Manningham and Julian Talley as third-team options.
"You know as well as I do," Coughlin said when asked for a timetable on Beckham's return. "Let's face it, I don't want it to be like it was in the spring. We need to get the guy back out here and get him on the field."
As for the rest of the offense, early reviews have indicated a clear departure from Kevin Gilbride's vertical passing attack. Under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, the Giants will favor a West Coast system with shorter passes and an emphasis on timing. As a result, the entire offense has had to adjust to a new scheme.
That obviously involves Eli Manning, which is intriguing considering not many successful 11-year veteran quarterbacks are tasked with learning a completely new offense.
"I've liked the way he has gone at it," Coughlin said. "The excitement he has mustered and the energy from going to work. Good stuff. We just have to get better, as an offensive team, as a defensive team and special teams. The competition factor at different positions is very good. We need more of that and as much as we can get.
"It is always going to be small gains. You may have a good day, but it is the consistency factor, the competition factor, it's working against good people, it's the intelligent communication and adjustments from the quarterbacks to the entire offense, the receiver corps and you strive every day. You are throwing stuff at them. This is their second offensive installation, so there is more and more information to channel today. Because of the fact that it was an elongated practice you would like to see an opportunity to go ahead and utilize everything you have put in, but that didn't happen today. Hopefully we will catch some of that tomorrow."
Another group that's facing intense scrutiny at camp is the tight ends, where second-year player Larry Donnell is listed as the No. 1 option. He caught just three passes for 11 yards last year, yet is currently ahead of Daniel Fells, Xavier Grimble, Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson.
Robinson in particular has been a disappointment, as the 2012 fourth-round draft pick has been viewed as a promising prospect, only to appear in three games in his first two seasons and not catch a pass.
Finding a breakout contributor from any of those tight ends would take pressure off Cruz and Randle, both of whom opposing teams are clearly well aware of.
"From day-to-day, different guys do different things well," Coughlin said of the tight ends. "I think [Wednesday] Larry Donnell did a couple of good things.
"There is plenty of time for [finding a pecking order]. We don't have to rush into anything. With five preseason games and then hopefully throughout the course of the five preseason games we will have all the information we need."