This time last year, Palmieri's Playground was closed.
All of the dumbbells, barbells, treadmills, medicine balls and weight machines at the Giants' facility were off limits to players during the lockout. But more importantly so was any offseason program, including the one run by strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri.
Newcomers like Justin Trattou were signed, given a number and some plays, and thrown into their first preseason game in a matter of two weeks. Then it was off to the races.
But now with the "playground" open, sophomores are being taken through a true program this offseason, and Trattou is already benefiting – both physically and mentally.
"I've been working with Jerry in the weight room," said Trattou, who has bulked up 10-15 pounds. "I'm up to 260, 265. I've gotten a lot bigger, but I kept all my speed. Definitely just going through their program has helped.
"I've been making a lot of progress in everything I've been trying to do. I've definitely been reaching my goals so far and just going to keep on going all the way through camp."
Trattou, who was undrafted out of Florida last season, worked his way onto the roster and played in six games, including five straight in Weeks 12-15. This season may bring more for the New Jersey native with the departure of Dave Tollefson, who played in at least 13 games the past four seasons with the Giants and all 16 and playoffs in 2011.
"It just opens up a good opportunity for me," said Trattou, who recently added a Super Bowl ring to his NCAA and high school championships. "I saw what Dave had done the past couple years, and I'm definitely going to do the best I can to put myself in a position to play well this year.
"For me, specifically, I was undrafted and didn't even know where I was going or what I was doing, period. I just got thrown into camp and was thrown a playbook and told, 'Here, go ahead.' This time we have OTAs, getting all the installs. It's going to be not new learning when it comes to [training] camp"