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5 Things we learned at Giants Practice (10/5)


*Here are five things you need to know from Giants practice on Thursday: *


Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants' top two defensive ends, missed practice again today because of injuries. Vernon, who leads the team with two sacks, is dealing with an ankle injury while Pierre-Paul works through shoulder and knee issues. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said he is hopeful to get at least one back, but they are preparing for the possibility of neither.

"Well, we have to be concerned," Spagnuolo said. "I mean, our two top guys are ailing a little, but this is the NFL. Guys are going to get hurt, so we have to have other people step up."

Aside from the usual backups, that list could include rookie Avery Moss, a fifth-round pick who has suited up for just one game this year, is also an option for an increased workload.

"He's progressed and I think he's gotten better as a football player," Spagnuolo said of Moss. "Now he hasn't been in a game yet, regular season, so we'll see what happens, but I do think he has gotten better as a player."


Did not practice: RB Paul Perkins (ribs), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), C Weston Richburg (concussion), DE Olivier Vernon (ankle)

Limited: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (finger/ankle)
Full: RB Orleans Darkwa (back), CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (toe)


Following another tough loss, Spagnuolo opened up his film review of the Buccaneers game to his players. The purpose was to find out whether what he was seeing lined up with what the players were seeing. It did.

"It's just like I told them," Spagnuolo said. "I told them what I saw on film. I shared that with them, but I told them how I felt we could fix it and I was willing to do anything to fix it. The important thing wasn't what I saw or what I was willing to do. It was what they saw and what they were willing to do, and the only way I knew whether we were on the same page or not was to let them run it and hear what they said. It was a great meeting and I think we got a lot out of it."

Spagnuolo added: "It's not a bad idea to change it up once in a while anyway. They get sick of me talking. I'd get sick of me talking. I mean, look, that's human nature, right? The same person telling you over and over. So I think sometimes it's good to change it up."


Sometimes a coach just knows what question is coming in a press conference. Scratch that. Often times a coach knows what question is coming. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan was in the middle of answering one question today when he realized what the next one would be about: first-quarter troubles. The Giants are one of two teams yet to score in the opening 15 minutes this season, resulting in a minus-23 point differential.

"That's probably the next question, right?" Sullivan said mid-sentence. "Why have we not scored any points in the first quarter? Or did I know that we haven't scored any points in the first quarter of any game? Yeah, we're well aware of it. And I think there's no doubt we can't wait until the second quarter, the third quarter, or the fourth quarter to get things going. There's got to be a concerted effort, and it's certainly been an area of emphasis for this week."


Whether a team is 4-0 or 0-4, everyone has a hand in it – punters included. Unfortunately for the Giants, they are in the latter category. Two of the reasons – by far not the only ones – were punts of 15 yards and 28 yards by Brad Wing toward the end of the last two games, both of which ended with the opponent getting into range to kick a last-second field goal.

"Well, you look at the fundamentals and we review that and then he's got to trust it," special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. "He's got to trust what he does and go out there and perform. So that's kind of where we're at. Again, you've got to practice well and then you've got to go out and compete and you've got to have thick skin. So he's mentally tough, he's got thick skin and so now he's got to step up and perform."

Quinn added: "Last year we had [successful] punts in the fourth quarter – against the Rams we put one 45 yards out of bounds, against Detroit, Dallas. So he's done it before. It's a point of just getting him back on the horse and getting him some confidence going."

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