The New York Giants are jetting to Cincinnati Monday for a pair of joint practices and then a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. In the wake of the donnybrook between the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins, there is concern about how these practices will go.
Coughlin, of course, is aware of the Texans-Redskins brawl.
"It's already been addressed. It's already been addressed," Coughlin said over the weekend. "Marvin [Lewis] and I have already talked about that, last spring. We want good, solid work, but we don't want any of that."
By "any of that," Coughlin means any of this:
Redskins-Texans fight at practice https://t.co/qhC58gLv6a— Jeff Spiegel (@JSpiegel2) August 8, 2015
Lewis, veteran coach of the Bengals, says he does not want any trouble, either:
"We want to get (work) done without any of the extracurricular," Lewis said. "Whether it being talking and so forth, all of the nonsense and horseplay, we don't need that. We're here to have two good days of work and football."
Here is another statement Lewis released, this one from SB Nation's Cincy Jungle:
"It's great that we were able to make this work with Coach (Tom) Coughlin and the Giants," said Lewis via a press release. "It's not something we've been able to do every year with another team, but our past experience with it has been good. It helps our guys stay sharp and focused as we move through the preseason. You put yourself on the field with another team and let the competitive juices flow a little bit."
Some Giants won't make the trip, possibly including cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin). Wide receiver Victor Cruz, working his way back from the torn patellar tendon that ended his 2014 season, will make the trip but is neither expected to participate in any team drills vs. Bengals defenders nor play in Friday's game.
"I know I'm not going to do anything against Cincinnati, throughout practices or anything like that. I'll just do the stuff that we do individually on our end," Cruz said. "They don't want me to get over-competitive and go out there and do something crazy. As much as I assured them that I won't, they still won't allow me, so ..."
Giants' players don't know what to expect vs. the Bengals.
"I'm not worried, but I know that guys are going to be fired up. It's going to be real chippy because we're not teammates," said cornerback Trumaine McBride. "So once you step on the field, you have to look at it like it's a game."
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh does not want to see teammates go "the destructive route."
"I never did a joint practice before. I've only heard from the guys before that they would fight the Jets every time that we did a joint practice with them. I'm sure it's going to be a heated practice, it's going to have that game intensity. I kind of would compare it to a Senior Bowl when you're there and everyone is trying prove a point. They're going hard, even in practice," Pugh said. "Sometimes when you're going against your own teammates, you may pull up a little bit and not want to hurt somebody. I feel like if you're going against someone, it's going to be live action when we're going out there and playing Cincinnati — as close as you can get to a game without being in one.
"We've got to go out there and we're at work -- a cohesive unit and we're getting better. We're not going the destructive route and starting fights and that stuff."
Odell Beckham Jr. seems prepared for whatever comes.
"I've never been a part of anything like that. So, I'm kind of going in — whatever it is, is whatever it is. I know I play for the Giants and they play for the Bengals, so hopefully we're out there to get work, but whatever lies is what lies there," Beckham said.
"I don't expect to go out there and try and play a game on Tuesday — especially it being preseason as well. Just go out there to compete and get better. If they take it up to another level, then you just go with the flow. You just make sure you're smart about it."
Middle linebacker Jon Beason has been through this before.
"This isn't my first time scrimmaging against another team," said linebacker Jon Beason, who played for the Carolina Panthers before coming to the Giants in a 2013 trade. "I wish they were coming here. It's going to be more chippy, because it's chippy at practice here. You see scuffles break out and it's your own teammates, so imagine if it's an opposing team. (You try) to keep a level head and not being too prideful in terms of when a guy holds you or pushes you, the little extra stuff. Cincinnati is a chippy group, which is why we're going up against them. They're tough against the run and they run the ball extremely well. They've been in the playoffs the last four years, so it's a great opportunity to get an early gauge and get some live action. Because it'll be faster, it'll be more physical."
The last time the Giants held a joint practice was in 2005 with the New York Jets. That was a fight-filled disaster, largely thanks to the presence of Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey. Quarterback Eli Manning hopes that won't be the case this time.
Shockey's not here anymore, so I think we'll have a shot to keep it civilized," Manning said.
For the sake of Coughlin's blood pressure, and the health of the Giants, they had better.