"You have to put the pads on. You are not going to get it done with shorts and t-shirts" Coughlin said after practice. "It’s a physical game and it has to be played upfront, it has to be technically sound, and you must be able to physically be in the position where you are making the blocks or you are defending. We have always put tremendous stock on what is up front with our offensive line and our defensive line as a measure of literally the strength of our team. We are glad to be in the pads and as each day passes, they are challenged to be more physical. We always talk about being smart because we don’t want anyone to do anything stupid that costs us a player, but the physical aspect of the game is something we have to definitely get back to."
The first preseason game is this Sunday vs the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, so Coughlin is starting to formulate his strategy on who will play and how the game plan will be structured.
First question: where will new OC Ben McAdoo be - on the field or in the booth?
"He's downstairs," said Coughlin definitively. Both of the previous OCs under him (John Hufnagel, Kevin Gilbride) were usually on the sidelines.
The coach said the he had snap counts in his head for for certain starters, but would not reveal who those starters would be.
"I’m not sure yet. I’m not going to say," he said. "First of all I have to figure who is going to…Final analysis is, we have two more practices to find who is going to play."
The team is installing a new offense, but Coughlin stated the starters would not get additional snaps at this point of the preseason ("Not right away. It will come to do that. They will get plenty of snaps.")
In that new offense the screen pass will play a prominent part. In recent seasons, the Giants have been inept as a team can get in that phase of the game.
"There have been a lot of years where we have been very good at the screen game and the good thing, the way everything is being introduced, is it is in balance. It all comes in phases," explained the coach. "You are seeing screens because there are screens perhaps once a day that are installed. You see them not necessarily being emphasized, but as a part of the overall package as we put these installs in."
One of the major dividends of the new offense is that it should increase Eli Manning's completion percentage. The goal is get him from the 50's and 60's to 70% this season.
"I think that number has always been used by this offense as a standard," Coughlin said. "Not that it has been accomplished that many times in history, but it is a goal like any other goal. If someone was to achieve that percentage, we would be a pretty good offense."