The Day at Camp: August 8, 2012
I probably should have said something earlier, but in case you haven’t already guessed, I’ve been off for the last few days. No, nothing is wrong. Just still working my way back from last year’s tango with little ‘c’. So my apologies.
I’m simply amazed – no make that appalled – about the story to come out of Green Bay today involving LB Clay Matthews claim that the Giants didn’t beat Green Bay in last year’s divisional playoff games, but rather the Packers beat themselves.
I guess Matthews forgot about how the Giants very narrowly lost to the Packers in their regular season meeting, a late field goal preserving Green Bay’s spotless won-loss record at the time. I guess he also forgot about how despite all the turnovers and issues the Packers offense had in that playoff game, the Green Bay defense didn’t fare any better in giving up 37 points or in finding a way to stop Eli Manning and company.
I’m not much of a fan of excuses, and I despite the “we beat ourselves” one only because it robs the opponent of its due credit. Besides, when a game of that magnitude is on the line and you don’t bring you’re ‘A’ game, something’s wrong.
Today’s workout was simply a ‘cards’ practice, meaning it was a walk through run at a fraction of the usual speed. The team will travel to Jacksonville tomorrow for their pre-season opener, which kicks off 7:30 PM on Friday.
While I wrote this in my preview, which will hit the blog tomorrow, I’m going to say it again here because I think it bears repeating. Please DO NOT go crazy over the outcome of the preseason games. I’ve seen far too many people overreact if the score is lopsided, same people forgetting that the purpose of the preseason is for the coaches to evaluate the younger players. (After all, don’t we all know what Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and other vets can do?).
The second goal of preseason is to come out relatively healthy. So again, please don’t go crazy if, for example, Michael Boley doesn’t make the trip. It’s more important to have him for Sept. 5 than it is to worry if the Jaguars should exploit the middle of the field on Friday.
* LT Will Beatty (back) missed another practice and will not will play on Friday. I initially wrote that I had concerns abut Beatty’s back becoming an issue, stating that the fact he’s been away from live game action for several months is a cause for concern for a player that’s in a contract year. My guess is that Sea Locklear will get the start if Beatty can’t go. Meanwhile, I know head coach Tom Coughlin said the news is good on Beatty’s back, but that he can’t even get on the field for individual drills and technique work has to be a little concern, I’d think.
* OT James Brewer (back) is another guy who’s not helping his case. Brewer has a golden opportunity to step up and advance on the team’s dept chart, but with back injuries being tricky, all he can do right now is hope to get better soon.
* LB Jake Muasau (hamstring) remains sidelined. With all the depth ahead of him, the undrafted rookie free agent’s chance seems t be slipping away.
* RB Da’Rel Scott (thigh contusion), who is on his second injury of camp – he had an ankle injury earlier – also was unable to return to work. “It’s his second injury,” Coughlin said yesterday. “That doesn’t help.”
* LB Jacquian Williams (hip) also remains out of action.
* DT Rocky Bernard (knee) missed today’s cards practice after developing some swelling in his knee.
* LB Michael Boley (hamstring) sat out today after working earlier this week.
* DE Justin Trattou (ankle) remains out/.
* Also not practicing, beside the four PUPs (Canty, Sintim, Beckum and Nicks), was CB Terrell Thomas (knee), who’s back in camp to rehab his aggravated ACL.
“I don’t plan on having any more setbacks.” – CB Terrell Thomas when asked how he planned to balance his rehab so that he doesn’t experience another setback while getting ready for 2012.
“Thank you for giving us the game, Clay. I appreciate it a lot.” – DE Justin Tuck when told of Green Bay LB Clay Matthew’s opinion that the Packers gave the Giants the division title game last January.
“It’s kind of funny how a guy with two Super Bowl rungs and two Super Bowl MVP is the third- or fourth-most popular quarterback.” –QB David Carr on Eli Manning’s taking a back seat to the Jets’ Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow this off-season.
I asked summer time correspondent Ron Bahr to help me with gathering some player interviews. Therefore, for the next few camp reports, I’ll be sharing some of the quick hits that Ron did in these camp reports. Today’s is with DT Markus Kuhn, who has started to flash in practice.
Q: For those who don’t know, you grew up in Germany. How did you first become interested in football?
A: I came to America on a vacation with my family when I was 14 and saw my first game. After I returned to Germany, I followed the game on television.
Q: What turned you from a fan to a player?
Markus: Friends of my sister were on a club team and they took me along to a practice. As soon as I played, I decided that football was the game for me.
Q: Did you start out on the defensive line?
A: No, I started playing tight end for my first season. In my second season, I moved to defense at my coach’s suggestion, and played linebacker and I continued to play some tight and running back. In my last two years, I started at quarterback and linebacker. In college, I outgrew the linebacker position at 265 lbs. and moved to defensive end. However, I also outgrew that position and moved to defensive tackle.
Q: You seemed to start slow but have recently drawn praise from head coach Tom Coughlin.
A: It’s nice make headlines at defensive tackle, but it’s more important that the team make the headlines. Individual recognition doesn’t really matter.
Q: Give me a self-scouting report on yourself in terms of where you are at this point in your development.
A: I have to work on developing my style of play but I always hustle to the ball, and play all out and make a strong effort to execute the defensive scheme. You have to be relentless and pursue to the whistle. It’s watching film it’s great to see defensive linemen chasing down field, to see (Jason Pierre-Paul) making tackles 20 or 30 yards down field.
IF: How would you describe your present strengths as a defensive tackle?
A: I am good against the run, strong at the point of attack.
Q: Looking at someone of your size and given your speed and agility, I would expect that you would be a natural at rushing the passer.
A: In college, we played a defense with a lot of three-man lines against the pass. My pass rush is definitely something I have to improve, things like hand placement and leverage.
There is no practice tomorrow, as the team will be heading to Jacksonville for their preseason opener on Friday. The Giants don’t return to practice until Sunday.