Tom Coughlin was an unhappy training camper today after lightning forced him to cut short the Giants' first full-pads practice of the summer.
Coughlin ordered his team off the field at the University at Albany at 2:29 p.m. – about 60 minutes before the scheduled end of practice - as dark clouds moved toward the school and thunder rumbled. Thirty-six minutes later, the players were told to put on sneakers and the remainder of the practice was conducted as a jog-thru on the SEFCU Arena basketball floor.
"We had our day off (yesterday) and now we're half a practice and we've got to come inside," Coughlin said. "I thought we were going to be able to go, but then the rain was worse than waiting the thing out. That would have put us back on the turf field and that wasn't a good option right now."
UAlbany does not have an indoor football facility, so the Giants have no viable options when the weather forces them to abandon the practice field.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the players must have at least one day off a week. Coughlin was uncertain if the CBA would allow him to make up the time lost today.
"I don't really know," he said. "I'm going to ask, but from what I understand the clock's even running on you, according to the CBA, when you have something like this happen. I would doubt if they allow you to have anything."
*Linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring) returned to practice…Linebacker Michael Boley remains sidelined, but his hamstring injury is not considered serious. "It's called a strain, as far as I know," Coughlin said. "We're going to have to get him right. He's still sore and he doesn't feel like he can really explode, so we're trying to get him healthy."
*The highlight of the outdoor portion of practice was Mathias Kiwanuka's interception of an Eli Manning screen pass for Ahmad Bradshaw. Kiwanuka had a clear path to run all the way to New Jersey.
*Coughlin praised rookie free agent wide receiver David Douglas, who he said, "has had a heck of a preseason, for four practices and a half hour."
*Coughlin defended second-year safety Tyler Sash, who is suspended for the first four regular season games for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances. Sash said he took the prescription drug Adderall to help combat anxiety.
"This kid really had no intention of doing anything that is illegal," Coughlin said. "I know what the definition of the rule is and I understand all about that. Been there myself when you've had to ask yourself about… Sometimes you think maybe common sense needs to be involved in this. I feel bad for the kid. He is a heart and soul football player now. He takes everything he has and puts it into the game. He loves to play. We used him in a very, very important role last year as a rookie. Fullback on the punt team, for example. There's no issue with this young man. He doesn't need any watchdog over him. … Ignorance is not an excuse for the law. But if he knows what's expected, he does it."
*The Giants have no definitive diagnosis on cornerback Terrell Thomas, but his teammates were upset to learn he hurt his right ACL for a second consecutive season.
"You just feel for the guy," defensive end and captain Justin Tuck said. "Forget football. I've never seen somebody come in every day and work as hard as he worked to get back. Everyone knows the talent that he is, but it's just so unfortunate that something like this had to happen. I saw him, and I didn't really have any words to tell him. Obviously, he knows that we're all praying for him, and wishing him the best. It's just one of those unfortunate things. You never want anything like that to happen to a guy, and especially to a guy like Terrell. We'll just keep him in our prayers."
"It's unfortunate, man," wide receiver Victor Cruz said. "He worked so hard to get back. I workout with him; we work at the same facility in Jersey from time to time. Seeing him come in working hard and doing what he wanted to do to get back healthy and stuff like that, and seeing him go down again with that injury, it hurts. It's painful. At the same time, it's part of the game. It's unfortunate. You just need to hold everybody accountable, make sure all the other guys that are backing him up know their responsibilities, know their plays, and are able to fill that void that T2 left behind. Wish him a speedy recovery."
*Camp attendance today was 1,750.