It was almost exactly one month ago, on July 8th, that Very Online rock fans were horrified to se Carlos Santana’s name trending on Twitter. The good news is that the legendary guitarist is still very much alive, but it was still scary to see the 74-year old collapse on stage from heat exhaustion.
It’s something with which New York Giants center Jon Feliciano can empathize.
Feliciano was noticeably absent from Giants’ practices last week, dealing with “heat related” issues. Missing one practice after getting dehydrated is one thing, but Feliciano described a much more harrowing ordeal after practice on Sunday.
He said, “Right after the practice, got in the cold tubs. Went through and got an I.V. And then, I’m kind of a hard stick sometimes. And then, missed me a few times. And then after that, I started profusely sweating. And then, I just started full body cramping. Good times.”
He added that things went downhill “very quickly” when the training staff wasn’t able to get him rehydrated right away.
“I think if I would have gotten stuck the first time, I would have been alight,” he added. “Staying hydrated and that’s really it.”
And that’s a good message in and of itself. Stay hydrated everybody!
“It wasn’t scary,” he said, “it’s just not a fun time. Imagine your muscles just – especially my legs mostly cramped up just like that for a while.”
This isn’t the first time Feliciano has had issues with heat, hydration, and cramping. He noted that he had almost the same set of circumstances happen when he was a frehsman at the University of Miami.
The good news (other than him being back on the field) is that Feliciano didn’t have to go to the hospital. He was able to stay at the Giants facilities and was taken care of by the training staff.
“They did a lot,” he said. “They looked out for me, and they brought me back in slowly. I appreciate them, but I was fighting tooth and nail to get back out there [on the practice field].”
Now that Feliciano’s back on the practice field, he’s ready to get back to work getting better.
For his part, Feliciano is working on improving his communication with Daniel Jones and making the correct protection calls at the line of scrimmage. He has an excellent opportunity to practice and improve that part of his game, as Wink Martindale’s defense has brought heavy pressure throughout training camp.
He said, “It’s my job, with (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), to try to figure out (Defensive Coordinator) Wink’s (Martindale) defense and try to get us all going in the right way. I embrace the challenge; it makes coming to work fun every day so it’s not just the monotony – I actually have to make sure I’m sharp mentally every day to deal with good ole Wink.”
Feliciano does admit that the Giants’ offensive line is a work in progress. There have been many reports of “would-be” sacks, and some hand-wringing over losses in one-on-one drills. But that’s all part of the process of improvement.
“We got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I think we can be; the thing is I think we can be really good. It’s all about getting our reps together and getting our verbiage the same. Early on, it’s just like guys are saying things but they’re saying things from different systems, or in the heat of the moment, we got to get our communication down the best we can.”
In particular, Feliciano is impressed with the potential offered by the Giants’ young bookend tackles, Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal.
He said, “I’ve been around some good tackles in my career and I’ve never seen a rookie in Evan [Neal] be a vet so early on. That dude is, after every meeting, at night we walk by the weight room and he’s foam rolling or doing something. He’s well beyond his years in that regard of taking care of his body and having AT [Andrew Thomas] back out there, in OTAs he wasn’t there, is great. He’s a really good young player and it’s kind of my job to make sure that all they have to worry about is blocking the guy in front of them and not thinking about things.”