1. Mara to JPP: "Come home. We miss you."
Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara addressed the media on Thursday when players reported to training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The first thing he was asked regarded the status of Jason Pierre-Paul, the sixth-year defensive end who has not yet signed his franchise tender and reportedly suffered serious hand injuries during a fireworks accident over the July 4 weekend.
"I'm disappointed he's not here," said Mara, who added that the Giants have to plan on moving ahead without Pierre-Paul until they see him. "I think this would be the best place for him to be for a number of different reasons. He would have the opportunity to learn the defense, but more importantly, we have the best training staff in the league here. We have access to some of the best doctors in the world, and I think it would be in his best interest to be here for those reasons. As I said the other day, it's unfortunate he's not here. I don't think he's receiving the best advice. That's sad as far as I am concerned."
Mara was then asked if he could boil down his message to Pierre-Paul, to which he responded, "Come home. We miss you."
2. Giants would "ideally" like to get Manning's extension done before the season is over.
As Eli Manning heads into his 12th season with the Giants, Mara spoke about extending the franchise quarterback's contract. "We'd like to have it done before the season is over," Mara said.
"But if it doesn't happen, then I'm still confident it'll get done at some point. We want him to be here and finish his career as a Giant. I'm sure he wants the same thing."
*3. Beatty and Edwards headed to PUP list; not Cruz. *
Wide receiver Victor Cruz, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last October, will not start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, coach Tom Coughlin confirmed today. However, starting left tackle Will Beatty will be on PUP after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in May and underwent surgery that is expected to put him out five to six months from the time of the injury. Meanwhile, Coughlin said he thinks undrafted rookie wide receiver Ben Edwards (hamstring) will have to go on as well.
4. Cruz sports MJ's comeback No. 45 jersey.
When he wasn't passing the conditioning drill with his teammates, Cruz was wearing Michael Jordan's old No. 45 Chicago Bulls jersey from the NBA icon's return from his first retirement in 1995. It wasn't by accident.
"Yeah, it was a coincidence," Cruz said with a wry grin. "I kind of walked in the closet and it was just kind of glowing. I got up a little early and I don't know if it was just the sun from the window or just the overall glow of the red jersey, but I just grabbed it and put it on and felt like it was a little symbolism for today."
*5. Beason "better not be" limited. *
Middle linebacker Jon Beason, who was hampered by a toe injury that limited him to just four games in 2014, said he "better not be" limited when it comes time for the Giants' first practice of training camp on Friday. Of course, he will follow the medical staff's advice as he looks to be as fresh as possible for Week 1.
6. Pugh is still a guard.
Starting at right tackle since being drafted in the first round in 2013, Justin Pugh moved to left guard during spring workouts on a new-look offensive line that has this year's first-rounder, Ereck Flowers, right next to him at starting left tackle. Pugh confirmed today that is still the plan, but anything could change over the summer and preseason. Meanwhile, Pugh said that he's watched and been inspired by film of the 2008 Giants' offensive line that included "tough guys" like Chris Snee, Rich Seubert, Shaun O'Hara and Kareem McKenzie. "Between the whistles, they were knocking guys down," Pugh said. "And no one really wanted to play against them."
7. Prince: No JPP "similar to going into camp without Eli."
While the Giants remain anxious to learn more about Pierre-Paul, the defense will have to pick up the slack in his place. Cornerback Prince Amukamara, an emerging leader on the team, said players like Damontre Moore, George Selvie and Robert Ayers will have to step up.
"It's tough— it just hit me— we're going into camp without our cornerstone guy," Amukamara said about Pierre-Paul. "It's almost similar to going into camp without Eli. It's definitely tough, and especially when you look at it like that. But there's not much you can do besides support him and just wait for his homecoming."