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Giants using new practice strategy in Week 1


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In their continuing quest to reduce the number of injuries suffered by their players, the Giants this week will deviate from their longtime schedule in the days prior to a game.

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The Giants, who open their season Sunday night in Dallas, will hold a long practice today. But instead of practicing tomorrow, as they've always done on Friday, they will have a "recovery day." The players will also follow a new schedule the day before the game.

"Saturday changes," coach Tom Coughlin said today. "Saturday becomes a full-speed drill for a minimum amount of time. But it does put them in the mode where they've gone full speed the day before they play."

In Coughlin's first 11 years with the Giants, they would practice Wednesday through Friday and hold a walk-thru on Saturday (for a Sunday game).

The Giants followed the new schedule last month, prior to their preseason game against the Jets.

"It's what we call a GPS week," Coughlin said. "We're going to follow through with that. We did that for our third preseason game, and we'll do it here, too."

The players' meeting schedule doesn't change, and they will still watch tape of their opponents. But instead of practicing, the players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority.

Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

"All these things are being done for the health issue," Coughlin said. "That's what this is all about."

  • Coughlin said he had no update on Victor Cruz, who is sidelined with a calf injury. Cruz hasn't practiced since Aug. 17, but Coughlin said, "I'm not ruling anything out," regarding Cruz's availability for the Dallas game.
  • In response to a question, Coughlin said the Giants have defensive players who can fill the leadership void left by the departure of Antrel Rolle, who now plays for Chicago.

"There are different people that have done it from day one," Coughlin said. "You've had Jon Beason, you've had Cullen Jenkins. In the secondary, some of the corners have come in with positive comments from time to time. So there's different guys that have stepped up. (Johnathan) Hankins has been in that position. So different people.

"It's beneficial from the standpoint that more people contributing feels like more people have ownership."

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