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The Giant Players Working Out Together
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Don't tell the New York Giants participating in player-organized workouts they're wasting their time, or merely doing something to fend off boredom while locked out of team facilities.
Even in T-shirts and sweat pants, with no coaches around, NFL players tap into the competitive fire that burns within. That happens every bit as much during sessions they put together on their own as it does during those run under team supervision.
Giants tight end Kevin Boss noticed it during something as seemingly innocuous as cone drills run at the start of a recent session.
"There are guys competing just in that stuff, trying to go a little bit faster than the guy that went before," Boss told me during a recent interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "That's why it's nice toJohn Lackey white jersey|John Lackey jersey|Boston Red Sox #40 jersey
be together because we're holding each other accountable to be there and to work hard every day."
Boss disagrees with players who have expressed skepticism that such sessions aren't beneficial. In fact, he thinks it is particularly valuable to be among the pass-catchers working with quarterback Eli Manning on timing and other aspects of the passing game. That's especially true since the Giants expect to return most of their veteran players on offense, with the same coaching staff running the same scheme.
"I think that's going to be a leg up on our competition," Boss said. "It's going to be tough for teams that have new coaching staffs coming in or drafting quarterbacks that are expected to play. So for us -- the quarterbacks and receivers and tight ends -- I think it's important to get back together this time of year and just work on timing again. Start slow but start building up and as the (lockout) continues to go on, we're going to probably have to John Lackey red jersey|John Lackey jersey|Boston Red Sox #40 jersey
start bringing in more people, maybe making it more of a team thing. Maybe get the offensive line out there and start walking through plays or what not."
The Giant players working out together place a great deal of emphasis on safety. For instance, receivers avoided running deep routes during the first couple of sessions, knowing that they would be more vulnerable to pulling hamstrings, especially when chasing down a ball that's overthrown. All of the players are also mindful about taking breathers when necessary, because fatigue is a common cause of injury.
But that doesn't mean they're better off doing nothing.
"This is an important time of year," Boss said. "We're only a couple of months away from a possible training camp. Hopefully, training camp is there in August."
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