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Joe Looney gets a lap-filled welcome to the Giants

Veteran offensive lineman could help at both center and guard

NFL: Player Headshots 2020
Joe Looney
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It did not take long on Monday for Joe Looney to realize he wasn’t in Dallas anymore.

Looney, and quarterback Daniel Jones, were banished to practice lap purgatory during the walk-thru portion of practice — before practice had actually even officially begun. Looney said he snapped a ball too early to Jones, resulting in the lap.

Before practice was over, Looney, wearing No. 77, was shuffling slowly around the Quest Diagnostics Training Center field running a second lap.

While it might not have been fun at the time, Looney could laugh about it once practice was over.

“That’s something I ain’t done since Little League, but you know I loved it,” Looney said. “It’s another way to hold us accountable as professionals. If you make a mistake, you’re going to have to run a lap for it. You know, I’m all about it. It holds us accountable at the end of the day.”

Looney didn’t know lap running would be part of his indoctrination into the way the Giants do things.

“I found out once they said take a lap,” Looney said. “I haven’t heard take a lap since I was 10 years old, but I definitely understand it and I’m going to do whatever helps the team and helps me, also.”

Looney has primarily played center in recent seasons, but does have significant experience at both guard spots.

“He’s a vet with a lot of experience. He’s got experience with (Offensive Coordinator) Jason (Garrett) before, so there’s some familiarity with the system, although it’s not a carbon copy from before. He’ll have to get on the same page with some of the new terms and verbiage we have with our line coaches and some of the new system adjustments we made,” coach Joe Judge said. “I would say aside from that, he’s a good vet, he’s got good experience, he gives us a lot of versatility. At center and guard, he’s a guy that gives us a decent piece in there. We’re going to let him compete at all three spots like everybody else, make sure we build on our versatility. That’s always a strength for us.”

Looney expressed a willingness to play any spot necessary.

“I don’t have a preference. Wherever they want me at and wherever I can come in and help and step in even coach and give guys little tips here and there,” Looney said. “I’m just out here trying to have fun. At the end of the day, this is a game. It’s a kid’s game that we play, so I’m going to come out here and have fun and give it my all.”

I asked RJ Ochoa of SB Nation’s Blogging The Boys about Looney after the signing, and he said Looney has “always been really funny and is kinda the life of the party.”

Monday, Looney acknowledged that he likes to enjoy himself.

“Oh, yeah. Just like I said, this a kid’s game we play. My dad always told me when I was kid running out to play little league games, ‘get cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.’ So he always made it fun. He was my coach growing up and my mom always supported me, so it’s always been fun,” Looney said. “You know, I know there’s a lot of pressure on us at the end of the day being professional athletes, but we can’t forget what the game is about. It’s about having fun and being around these guys.”