One thing coach Tom Coughlin doesn't stand for is fights between players at practice. DE Damontre Moore and LG Justin Pugh, playing LT in place of Ereck Flowers, went at it during Monday's session in a heated moment (BBB, Aug 3).
Coughlin was asked after practice if he had to address the players regarding their behavior.
"I usually say something to everybody," he said. "However it comes out, it comes out. Sometimes not so gentle, sometimes it is."
Pugh was at LT because the Flowers was out with a hip flexor. Pugh told reporters that he mentioned to the Giants when they drafted him that he could play all five line positions. Coughlin confirmed that is well-known throughout the organization.
"Well, he’s obviously played left tackle in college," Coughlin said. "He came here and played right tackle. In the spring we moved him to left guard knowing full well that he would have to move around. So, we thought today would be a good day to put him at left tackle. [Geoff] Schwartz came back out, so we had Schwartz out there. We had John Jerry out there so that he could do a little something with the right side as well. His versatility -- he’s a smart player."
“It was great,” Pugh said about the experience at LT. “I felt right at home out there. When I switched to guard, I felt very, very comfortable on the left side. I had fun out there today. You throw (quarterback Ryan) Nassib in there and it’s like Syracuse all over again. Just throw Nassib in there, throw (defensive tackle Jay) Bromley in there, and Jameel (McClain) at linebacker and we’ve got a little two-on-two we can work with. It was good."
Flowers has been experiencing hip discomfort for a few days and the medical staff decided to hold him out.
"He doesn’t seem to be bad," Coughlin said. "It’s a hip flexor issue. This morning he was sore, but by the time I caught him in the meeting room, he was doing this [stretches leg]. Hopefully, it’s just a short amount of time."
The next man up at guard at practice was Adam Gettis, a free agent pickup held over from last season. The coaches decided to see what he could do with the top units.
“Gettis played well yesterday and we thought this would give him a chance,” Coughlin said. “If he was going to catch our eye, this would be a good way to do it.”
The pass rush is still getting honed in the absence of Jason Pierre-Paul. Moore is getting the reps as is veteran Robert Ayers, Jr. who recorded five sacks in limited duty last season. Coughlin cited Ayers' effort along with his leadership.
"Robert has played well," Coughlin said. "He’s been a really good soldier, he’s been a good teammate. He’s grabbed guys and talked to them, whether it be in the meeting rooms or out here. He’s worked hard. I’ve seen nothing but good things out of him."
LB Devon Kennard showed a penchant for rushing the passer last year, getting home often and recording 4.5 sacks. Coughlin has singled out Kennard several times this year as a potential breakout player. Will he be turned loose again this season?
"I hope so, but he’s playing linebacker," said Coughlin. "You see the pressure packages, so he comes in the packages."
Who will make up the 12.5 sacks that JPP logged last season is the bigger question. Someone suggested Kennard.
"I hope so, I hope there’s lots of guys who will add to it," said Coughlin. "I hope that we develop more people that are effective as pass rushers, no matter where they come from--secondary, linebacker, up front."
Coughlin confirmed that he still hadn't spoken with JPP.
"As long as he’s talking to Jerry [Reese] or somebody in the building, it looks like there’s a chance that the communication thing will open up and when that does, I’ll end up on the phone, I’m sure."