The Giants opened the doors to their training camp Thursday. Everyone was in attendance except DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who is staying away from QDTC, choosing to rehab his mangled hand in South Florida.
Coach Tom Coughlin said he has not had any contact with his star DE since the July 4 fireworks mishap. The coach agreed with the rest of the Giants brass that JPP should have been more forthcoming and cooperative with the club.
"It’s hard to believe that he couldn’t get here and take care of an awful lot of issues rather than what they’re doing. But, again, I’ve not spoken with him and very few people here have," Coughlin said.
Pierre-Paul has given no indication when he will return. Coughlin is willing to put the past behind him, saying his relationship with JPP hasn't soured and citing the team is concerned about more than football in this matter.
"I hope he chooses to return," said Coughlin "Hey, we’re all concerned about the young man, first and foremost, but it is difficult to extend this concern when we feel like he should be here. But as far as souring, that’s not going to sour anything. I am concerned about him as a young man and anxious to know exactly what he’s dealing with, and then we will know what we’re dealing with."
Thursday was all about checking players' physical condition. Coughlin seemed pleased overall.
"Their body weights were good and this test, which was simply to make sure that they had been doing what they were supposed to be doing. They looked fine." However, Coughlin added "there will be (fines)" for players who missed fitness goals.
Coughlin went on to say changes have been made to the workout regimen this season, but did not reveal specifics.
"You'll see....where I’m coming from, it’s not a question anymore about what we used to do," said Coughlin, whose team missed the playoffs the past three seasons after winning the Super Bowl in 2012. "It has to be what’s best for the current times, and this seems the way to go."
Coughlin was asked what he expects from his team this year:
"I expect them to work hard. I expect them to compete like heck. Hopefully, we will remain intact and be able to put on the field the team that we have assembled right now, and then if we can get everybody to buy into the team concept, and we can progress along those lines. I feel good about today, but we take it one day at a time."
Two players in particular -- WRs Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) and Victor Cruz (knee) -- will be eased into action. Coughlin hopes they can get into the swing of things soon.
"I hope they can practice all the time," he said. "I’m sure there may be some time when they have to have some recognition in terms of number of snaps, but that’s probably going to be the way it goes anyways. We’ll monitor all the players under the existing system that we have and try to get a gauge on exactly where they should be for each style of practice that we present."
Jake Long, the former All-Pro OT who visited the Giants on Wednesday, has not been ruled out as a possible pickup.
"He is obviously a player coming off of a very serious (knee) injury," said Coughlin "He’s made progress and that’s where it stands...We’re going to check every player that is available that may, in any way, help our team. Will be evaluated and, if so, brought in and given a physical and worked out. For every player that comes along that we think can help us, that would be the case."
Coughlin said the Giants intend to place WR/KR Ben Edwards on PUP. They are expected to sign veteran WR James Jones to fill the empty roster spot. Jones will be at QDTC on Friday to take a physical.