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Notebook: Giants expect another 'hostile' environment

OFFENSE-HUDDLE

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Tommy DeVito said the most unfriendly crowd he's ever experienced was when his Don Bosco Prep high school team faced archrival Bergen Catholic.

"You ever seen one of those - 15,000 in the crowd, don't go well," DeVito said Wednesday. "For your family and all."

The Giants' rookie quarterback may experience a new level of hostility on Christmas afternoon when the Giants visit the Philadelphia Eagles. Lincoln Financial Field is one of the NFL's most inhospitable venues for visiting teams, and Eagles fans are particularly loud, nasty and profane when the Giants are in town.

"I heard it's a pretty hostile environment," DeVito said. "I'm looking forward to it. I like to thrive in those environments."

Asked if he likes being the villain, DeVito said, "It's fun. It's part of the game. I like a hostile crowd."

And he'll get one. It's safe to say DeVito and his teammates will receive Christmas greetings unlike any they've ever heard before.

"Hey, I'll say Merry Christmas right back and that's that," DeVito said.

Veteran guard Justin Pugh said DeVito will not be shaken by the crowd's intimidation efforts.

"He's a gamer," Pugh said. "He's got that confidence. He's going to show up and play well. It's going to be a great environment. It's exciting for him. This is one of the first times going down to Philadelphia, you go play your rivals, you get to go to Dallas, get to go to Philly. All those are intense games."

Coach Brian Daboll, asked what kind of Christmas Day atmosphere he expects to find in Philadelphia, said, "I'm sure it'll be how it always is there."

The Giants are 5-9 after their three-game winning streak ended Sunday in New Orleans. Philadelphia has lost three consecutive games to fall to 10-4 but has already clinched a playoff berth.

The Linc has been a particularly unpleasant venue for the Giants. They have lost 10 consecutive games there, including nine in the regular season and an NFC Divisional Playoff Game in January. The Giants' last victory there was on Oct. 27, 2013, a 15-7 victory in which Josh Brown scored all the Giants' points on five field goals.

Pugh was a rookie on that team. He grew up in a Philadelphia suburb and knows what to expect Monday.

"It's going to be loud, it's going to be raucous, it's going to be intense," Pugh said. "Probably my gym teacher and people I grew up with are going to be in the stands booing us. It's a great environment. It's the environment you want to play in in football and we've got a job to do, and they have a three-game skid. They're going to be looking to get right and we just lost. We're both going to have that bad taste in our mouth. So, two teams looking for a win."

The Giants' losing streak in Philadelphia began with a 27-0 Sunday night defeat in 2014, a game in which wide receiver Victor Cruz tore his patellar tendon. Pugh would also like to forget that night.

"The worst game I've ever played was in Philly on a primetime game when I was at right tackle, my second year in the league," he said. "It gets crazy. When you let them start drinking at 8 a.m. and they have an entire afternoon to drink, it gets pretty crazy in there."

Pugh was also displeased with his performance Sunday against the Saints and looks to make amends in the unfriendly confines of the Linc.

"There's probably four plays I want back from the game: the sacks," Pugh said. "You can't give up sacks. It kills drives, kills momentum. The first one, I get beat, it kind of forced a sack on the play. The next one, I get edged on a play, and then they had some twist stuff that we just didn't pick up. We didn't do our job. We got better as the game went on, but there's no makeups. Once you get down in the game like that, and you're down a couple scores…

"But this is the perfect time to show who I am as a man, who I am as a player. You're going to have bad games. … I didn't come here to not help the team. I didn't do my job on Sunday, but it's how you fight back from that adversity and that's what I'm going to do and that's why I'm here. I'm looking forward to playing on Sunday and kind of getting that behind me."

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 16 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

*Kicker Randy Bullock injured his hamstring in New Orleans and Daboll said, "I'm not expecting him to be ready." Cade York will be elevated off the practice squad to kick in Philadelphia.

York has not played in a game this season. As a rookie in 2022, he made 24 of 32 field goal attempts and 35 of 37 extra point tries while playing all 17 games for the Cleveland Browns. The Giants signed Bullock and him on Nov. 3, when they learned Graham Gano would undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season.

York, 22, was released on Nov. 22 and added to the practice squad two days later.

"Thought he was a good young player to work with," Daboll said. "He's done a good job out here, and glad we have him right now. He's worked hard, and glad we got him."

Gano, Bullock and punter Jamie Gillan have all kicked field goals for the Giants this season. If York is added to the list, this will be the first season in franchise history in which four different players kicked a field goal."

*Running back Gary Brightwell and tackle Matt Peart returned to practice. They are on injured reserve, Brightwell with a hamstring injury suffered Oct. 22 vs. Washington and Peart with a shoulder injury he sustained Oct. 8 in Miami.

*Because they play Monday, the Giants are not required to release an injury report until Thursday. But Brian Daboll said defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence did not practice. Because of a hamstring injury he suffered last month, Lawrence was limited to 43 and 48 percent of the defensive snaps the last two games (29 vs. Green Bay and 30 at New Orleans).

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