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5 things we learned from practice (11/16)


*'s Dan Salomone highlights five takeaways from Thursday's team practice and media hour:  *


Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's NFL coaching career really took off when he joined the Eagles as a defensive assistant/quality control coach in 1999, the same year Andy Reid took over as head coach in Philadelphia. All these years later, here they are. Reid is in his fifth year as head coach of the Chiefs after spending 14 seasons with the Eagles.

"They're as multiple as multiple gets from an offensive standpoint," Spagnuolo said of the Chiefs' top-five offense. "And they've got really good players doing it and they've had the same players doing it, which is an advantage for them. And the guy in the middle that gets the ball in his hands every down is really good. This is a challenge, a great challenge, great opportunity for us to come out. It'd be a great thing for us to do good against this offensive football team.

"I've always respected Andy and what he's done. It's not the Philadelphia offense, there's more wrinkles to it, there's a lot more to it and they obviously do a really good job and [quarterback] Alex Smith is having a heck of a year."


Did not practice: LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), OL Justin Pugh (back), LB Kelvin Sheppard (groin)

Limited: CB Donte Deayon (ankle), G D.J. Fluker (knee), DT Damon Harrison (ankle), LB Devon Kennard (quad), LB Calvin Munson (quad), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), DT Dalvin Tomlinson (ankle)


With Pugh missing another practice because of his back injury, the Giants once again have decisions to make for this week's combination. In San Francisco, Pugh played right tackle. John Jerry (left) and D.J. Fluker (right) were the starting guards, while Brett Jones continued to play center for Weston Richburg, who is on injured reserve. However, Bobby Hart had to take over for the injured Pugh in the second half. Chad Wheeler and newly-signed veteran John Greco are two names that have come up this week.

"[Wheeler has] been a guy since he's been here – very athletic, has the feet that you like that you've seen all through training camp," offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. "We saw that in some of his preseason games and there's a, believe it or not, unlike most of the typical southern Californians, too cool, surfer-type, he's got a mean streak to him and you see that at times. He's progressing nicely. He's really had work at various positions to try to mix all those guys up around the offensive line both – not just on one side or the other, but even working some at guard. So, he's been progressing nicely."

Sullivan on Greco: "Well, he's a veteran and someone that has played a lot of football and so from the standpoint of learning scheme and being able to learn what we do, I certainly think he can do that. Obviously, he's had some success over the years and he just got on board, so it's going to take him a while to get caught up, but he's working hard and he has had some versatility in the past that's been seen and so we're glad he's here with us now."


The Chiefs have a serious Rookie of the Year contender in running back Kareem Hunt, who is second in the NFL with 1,131 yards from scrimmage (800 rushing, 331 receiving). All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison today compared him to four-time Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles, the longtime Chief who signed with the Broncos this offseason. Charles recently crossed 10,000 yards from scrimmage for his career.

"It's easy to say Jamaal Charles because he has the same body type and similar build as him," Harrison said. "He's explosive. I don't think his 40 time does it any justice. If he gets to the second and third level, I mean, the guy can move. Explosive off the first cut. He can get to the sideline in a hurry, so we just got to do a good job with limiting [him]."


Cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who made his first Pro Bowl a year ago, was at the center of some explosive plays that cost the Giants last week. It has been a major problem for the entire defense, especially these past two games. Spagnuolo said the two talked about it, and they're moving forward.

"He obviously agreed he didn't have his best game and he realizes that," Spagnuolo said. "We had a good talk, really good. He wants to do that, he's ready to go, I love that guy. He's all in, he gives everything he's got. He missed a few tackles, it was more technique than anything, we thought when looking at it and I'm sure he'll be better this week."

"Hey, man, I got beat," Jenkins said. "I can't put it on anybody else. I got beat. I understand when I play good, things go good on the other end. So I just put that on me."

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