1. Offensive line needs to find its own identity.
When Chris Snee announced his retirement last week, the Giants lost one of the last remaining pieces of an offensive line that helped build the foundation for the past decade of Giants football. Now the new-look offense has to find its own way. “We have to carry on that tradition, and that’s something we’ve been doing in the offensive line room,” right tackle Justin Pugh said. “But at the same time, those guys were totally five different people. So we have to find our identity and how we’re going to be able to go out there and attack the defense.”2. Healthy Kuhn is anxious to get reps.
At this point last year, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn was rehabbing a torn ACL and eventually missed most of the 2013 season. Now that he’s back to full strength, the next step in his progression will be taking what he’s learned in the classroom and apply it to live action. “Now it’s to get on the field and actually improve every day when you go against the offense and showcase your abilities so they can be used to the best possibility for this team,” Kuhn said.
3. Ayers is feeling out his new team. Defensive end Robert Ayers, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Broncos, is building chemistry with his new team on and off the field. “Right now I’m just in a situation where I’m just trying to learn people,” Ayers said. “I like to observe everyone, their personalities, and see what type of guys I fit in with and know who I can joke with, who I can’t joke with, things like that. I’m just observing right now and trying to find my role and help this team win.
4. Sometimes Coughlin has a great sense of humor, sometimes he doesn’t.
Rookie defensive tackle Jay Bromley was asked about what it’s like to play for a fellow Syracuse product like head coach Tom Coughlin. “He knows what he wants,” Bromley said. “He’s like a grandpa that walks around the halls, I guess. Sometimes he has a great sense of humor, sometimes he doesn’t.”5. Defensive line needs to uphold its image.
Like the offensive line, the Giants’ defense has lost key contributors up front over the past few years, including Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph. Now the current defensive line has a lot to live up to, and players think they have the talent to do so. “One thing with the New York Giants is, over time, we’ve always known the Giants for the defensive line,” defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “Everybody looks at their front and they were fearsome. We want to keep that. We want to have that. So it’s our responsibility to not let that image fade.”6. Kicker Brown is working smarter, not harder.
Entering his 12th NFL season, kicker Josh Brown has learned how to perfect his craft in practice so he’s prepared on Sundays. It’s about efficiency. “If you’re going to kick 18 balls, you make 18 balls, and they all look exactly the same,” Brown said. “Whereas before you’d kick 50 or 60 and you’re just trying to hit the middle and you’re charting everything.”7. McManus is competing and relating with Brown.
The Giants have two kickers on the training camp roster, and Brandon McManus is there to compete with the incumbent Brown. “It definitely is part of the business,” McManus said. “And I think he can relate because when he came into the league, you obviously have to beat someone out. Obviously he’s an established person, so that 10 years of experience that he’s earned, maybe he can check back into his memory of what he felt like when he had to go and beat someone out. So we haven’t had any issues, which is great and just shows a testament to his character and who he is.”