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7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour (10/1)

Posted Oct 1, 2014

Here are seven things we learned as the Giants met the media on Wednesday

1. Training innovations and “a little dirt” are helping the injury report.  
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During training camp, the Giants took an innovative approach to their conditioning to help in the recovery process. They carried over such tactics to the regular season -- notably the day after a game -- and they’re seeing the payoff as the entire active roster was healthy enough to practice on Wednesday.

While four players were limited (LB Jon Beason, WR Odell Beckham Jr., LB Devon Kennard and P Steve Weatherford), coach Tom Coughlin thinks the training regimen has helped this year. “I’m sure it has,” he said. “Other than rubbing a little dirt on it, that’s helped.”

>> READ FULL PLAYER QUOTES

2. Beckham’s mindset is to play on Sunday.
The first-round draft choice still has to clear a few hurdles in the next few days, but it’s looking like his NFL debut could come this Sunday.

“That is the mindset going into this week to play Atlanta,” said Beckham, who has yet to play in a game due to a hamstring issue. “Whatever the case may be on Sunday, it is what it is. I am looking forward to that opportunity and getting the chance to finally run out on the field.”

>> COACH HINTS BECKHAM COULD PLAY VS. FALCONS

3. Kennard returned to practice but is uncertain of his game status.

The rookie Kennard, who impressed coaches over the summer, made his NFL debut in the season opener but injured his hamstring and missed the last three games. The USC product returned to practice today in a limited capacity.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “I want to be out there with my teammates and I want to contribute to wins in any way I can, so it’s been tough not playing or practicing. It was a great, great day for me just getting back out there with my teammates and competing again.”

>> STORYLINES FROM GIANTS VS. FALCONS

4. TE Larry Donnell has a new nickname.

Since his three-touchdown performance on primetime television last Thursday, Donnell’s phone has been blowing up, while his fans have been trying to figure out a nickname.

They landed on “The Don,” he said today. He was later asked if he’s getting more comfortable with all the media attention. “Not yet,” he said with a smile. “But it’s coming. It’s pretty cool. It’s something I have to get used to and be ready for.”

5. LT Will Beatty and the offensive line are cooking.

With the left tackle playing as well as anyone in the league at his position, the offensive line has improved as a whole. Beatty explained why.

“It was just us coming together, knowing the playbook, owning up to it, making it your own and going out there and performing as one rather than 11 guys as individuals,” he said. “It was just that mode and process that we try to work through the five preseason games and still building on it. First game wasn’t the way we worked. Second game, we improved. Third game, we improved. Fourth game, we improved. Now we have to keep up that trend.” Beatty then added that the chemistry had always been there, saying, “We just had to put it together, bake it and come out right.”

>> INFOGRAPHIC: GIANTS VS. FALCONS BY THE NUMBERS

6. DE Osi Umenyiora is now allowed to hit Eli Manning.

Throughout a 12-year career that is highlighted by 82.5 sacks, Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora has taken down a lot of different quarterbacks in his day. On Sunday, he’ll have a chance to add to that list. For the first time in his career, the former two-time Super Bowl champion Giant, who ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time sack list, will get a shot to take down Manning.

Umenyiora was asked about that prospect during a conference call with Giants beat reporters, calling Manning his “brother” and saying that he’s not necessarily looking forward to it. But would he hold back on his patent strip-sack if the opportunity presents itself? “Now, I didn’t say all that,” Umenyiora responded. “I’ll never say that. If I see that, that’s second-nature to me. I’m going to go for it no matter who the quarterback is, but I’m not looking forward to punishing him or anything like that. But if I have to, I will.”

7. Mike Smith thinks Eli is elite.

On a separate conference call, the Falcons’ head coach was asked about what strikes him when he watches the Giants’ quarterback on tape. “I think Eli is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league,” Smith said. “I think you are only as good as your last game in the NFL. I think that is the world that we live in. I think his body of works speaks for itself. He is a two-time Super Bowl Champion. The last two weeks he has run Coach [Ben] McAdoo’s offense that he brought in almost flawlessly. Everybody wants to jump to conclusions on one game, two games and you have to look at the body of work over a long period of time.”