EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** When Tom Coughlin was a Giants assistant coach under Bill Parcells from 1988-90, the training camp norm was long twice-daily practices in full pads with few if any interruptions.
Yesterday, it was a five-minute hydration break in the Quest Diagnostics Training Center field house midway through practice. Today, practice was shorter than normal so the players could return to the same venue to rotate through three stations for 30 minutes of post-practice stretching.
"That was a recovery stretch," Coughlin said. "We are trying to enhance this soft-muscle business. What we've done is we studied the GPS information, which helps us structure the practice and to know when we should be doing things such as (stretching) and cutting down reps on the field. The whole purpose is to be able to come back and have a full-speed practice tomorrow."
Coughlin has proven in recent years that he is flexible and open-minded, but in his heart he remains an old-school coach. So halting one practice for a group water break or reducing the reps in another so the players can stretch takes some getting used to. Coughlin was asked how tough it was to convince him to follow this new regimen.
"Well," he said, "I'm doing the best I can. How about that?"
- Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. missed his second practice in a row. This year's first-round draft choice has hamstring soreness, which also slowed him last month.
"Let's face it, I don't want it to be like it was in the spring," Coughlin said. "We need to get the guy back out here and get him on the field."
- Jason Pierre-Paul continues to express confidence that this season will be far superior to 2013, when he a) underwent back surgery in June, b) missed the final five games with a shoulder injury, and c) finished with only 2.0 sacks.
"I'm feeling great," Pierre-Paul said. "I feel like my normal self. I'm running around, getting to the quarterback, stopping the run. I'm awesome. I'm at 110 percent, really. I'm not really worrying about the back or shoulder, nothing. All is good."
No one is happier to hear that than Coughlin.
"I am all for it," he said. "We want him to be the very best that he can be, and I am glad that he is in that frame of mind and feels good about himself. We are looking forward to a very good year from JPP."
- Coughlin said the coaches are trying to create an equal division of practice reps for the five tight ends in camp. "Right now the idea is to try to get everyone ready to play in a game," he said.
One of the contenders, Larry Donnell, reached back to make a nice catch of an Eli Manning pass in practice today.
- Former Giants Amani Toomer, Howard Cross, Jeff Feagles and Deon Grant all watched practice.
- After three practices in shells, the Giants will wear shoulder pads for the first time tomorrow. They will be off on Saturday and then practice in full pads on Sunday.
- Two Hall of Famers – Giants linebacker Harry Carson and Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly - will take part in the pre-game coin toss when their former teams meet a week from Sunday in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The two Hall of Famers will serve as honorary captains for their former teams.
Photos from Thursday's #GiantsCamp