Running back Ahmad Bradshaw and linebacker Jacquian Williams, benefiting from extra time for foot injuries to heal during the Giants' bye week, ran well and practiced during New York's first Super Bowl XLVI week workout in the practice bubble on the University of Indianapolis campus.
The Giants, appearing exuberant and loose, practiced for 80 minutes (following a scripted 30-minute jog-through workout) on the Greyhounds' FieldTurf practice field—the same surface they'll play on Sunday against the New England Patriots. All active and practice squad players participated in the first team practice since their Saturday session back in New Jersey, though five players were listed as limited by the team: Bradshaw, Williams, cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring), defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) and wideout Hakeem Nicks (shoulder). All were observed by a pool reporter in the regular part of practice practicing at close to full speed, though their practice reps were less than a typical full load.
"This was a good, spirited, uptempo practice,'' said coach Tom Coughlin. "There are a few things we will clean up, obviously, and we want to be better tomorrow and build to our best work on Friday.''
It seemed the Giants were itching to get back out on the field, the way they boisterously emerged from a pre-practice stretch and ran from drill to drill.
"I saw that,'' said Coughlin. "They've been excited about getting back to work for the first time in a few days.''
Coughlin had said at the Giants' Wednesday media session that he expected Bradshaw to sit out the first practice of the week. And he said he was a little surprised to see Bradshaw practice. Normally, the veteran running back has used Wednesday to rest and rehab his injured right foot, but Coughlin said Bradshaw told trainer Ronnie Barnes he "wants to be a part of this" and wanted to be out at the first practice of Super Bowl week with his teammates.
"I just hope he's okay tomorrow,'' said Coughlin.
On an unseasonably warm (58 degrees) afternoon, the Giants bused seven miles south of their downtown Indianapolis hotel to the small university (enrollment 4,081) that plays Division II football for the 4 p.m. practice. The entire Giants traveling party was impressed with the facilities at the school. It's rare to see a school this size with a full 100-yard indoor field, but the Super Bowl host committee and the university combined to spend $6 million to install the indoor facility in time for the Super Bowl.
"This is an outstanding facility, absolutely outstanding,'' said Coughlin. "What I like about it is that the college teams here have been working out here all fall, so the turf has been broken in well. It's settled in, and it's in great shape. It's going to be great for our players to be able to work out in here all week.''
The Giants players will have their final media session of the week on Thursday at their hotel, then return to the university's practice facility for another 4 p.m. practice. They'll also practice here again Friday, then have a short walk-through workout Saturday in their final prep work for Sunday evening's game.