As head coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media, Jim Cordle, Brandon Mosley, and James Brewer we all a part of a group of players who stayed after practice to continue receiving coaching on their respective techniques.
And that’s a good thing, because those three might very well be called upon to contribute as starters on Sunday for a Giants offensive line that is so banged up in its interior, that it’s difficult to handicap what configuration might get the nod against the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
The need to scramble stem from the fact that center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee are hurting so much that neither of them were out on the practice field during the part open to the media.
Baas, is dealing with a neck problem that he said he re-aggravated “pretty good” during the fourth quarter of last week’s 38-0 loss to the Panthers while Snee’s left hip, the one that was not surgically repaired, is sore enough to where the gritty offensive lineman has been kept inside to receive treatment virtually around the clock.
For now, the focus is on accelerating the progress of the young guys, a group that could see as many as two new guys in the lineup this Sunday.
“You practice,” said head coach Tom Coughlin about how to get the young guys up to speed. “They have to take everything they can. Even the jog-throughs are critical. It’s obviously not full speed, but they have to take everything they possibly can, try to see everything they possibly can and then get them to play full speed and not sit there and looking around.”
“We’re working like crazy and they are, too, so you’re just trying to advance them along as rapidly as you can and that you hopefully expedited the process that will advance at a point where we go out and play well,” added offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. “I expect them to play well. I expect them to do well. They’re working at it and we have confidence in their athleticism. It’s just a matter of how fast you can get them
acclimated to the speed with which they’re going to be facing the opposition on Sunday, which is significant.”
Veteran Kevin Boothe, who could move to center in one of the potential offensive line configurations, admitted that the constant shuffling could create some communication issues, especially in a loud atmosphere such as Kansas City, but he said it’s not something that can’t be overcome.
“We’re all working together throughout the course of training camp, so it’s not like it’s a completely new person that I’ve never talked to or seen before,” Boothe said. “We’ve all played next to each other before. Sure there will be things that will have to be a bit more verbal with some of the other guys, but that’s fine.
“You just have to work harder,” he added. “I think our scout team and our defense does a great job of going hard during practice. We’re getting a lot of good looks out there and need to have it translate to Sunday.”
Boothe, who was in a similar situation a few years ago when he was asked to come off the bench, admitted that it was going to be a challenge for the young guys who haven’t had much in the way of game experience.
“I think a certain aspect of learning is on the job. You have to see things in a game. You can go over it on the board or in practice but until you actually get out there and do it you can’t fully grasp it,” he said.
“They’ve all worked hard, that’s the way that we always do it with the offensive line, we work a bunch of different combinations. You always have to prepare as if you’re going to be in after a play. I know those guys have that mindset so whatever happens will happen this week.
Besides the young guys, the Giants have been trying to accelerate the return of veteran David Diehl, who has not played since the second preseason game thanks to thumb surgery.
“He’s doing well,” Coughlin said of Diehl, who is sporting a light weight protective cast on his surgically repaired right thumb. “He’s had two days of practice now . He’s enthusiastic, trying to help as much as he can.”
But can Diehl be ready to contribute on Sunday? Coughlin didn’t sound so sure and Diehl also sounded hesitant.
“You figure I haven’t punched anybody or hit anybody in five weeks, so I think it’s just getting back to getting out there and playing,” Diehl said.
“In regards to the technique and my conditioning, I felt great these last two days It’s more of getting my technique and my fundamentals down, getting used to stepping (and) getting used to using my hands and punching. To sit here and say that I’m going to be ready on Sunday when it’s only the second day, I can’t say that.”
If Diehl, who said he’s worked at both guard and tackle this week in practice, is able to go, the most likely scenarios for him would include either left guard or as the jumbo tight end depending on if Brewer and/or Mosley are called to action at the guard spots.