It's a new season with new opportunities for Big Blue.
The New York Football Giants held their first practice of training camp today in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The team looks to start fresh and erase the memory of a disappointing 7-9 season in 2013.
New York is looking to return to the playoffs after missing the postseason each of the past 2 years. Big Blue certainly has some new faces in camp this season. The offensive players are also in the process of learning a new offense under recently hired offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who comes over from the Green Bay Packers.
Despite all the changes that might scare some, head coach Tom Coughlin holds a different perspective, “I’ve got to study it too, it’s a foreign language. This offense has a lot of verbiage. It keeps us on our toes and that’s a good thing.”
Coughlin is stressing the importance of staying ready and staying alert in this new offense. Everyone is learning the new system at the same pace and needs to execute it at the same pace, in order for the team to improve on a terrible display on that side of the ball last year. Coach Coughlin also said the execution of the offense needed to improve, but the communication and mental preparation from his team were good.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz also shared his thoughts about adjusting to a new system. When asked how comfortable he was in the new system Cruz said, “On a scale of one to ten, I probably feel around an eight. I feel good about the offense right now. Hearing the terminology, even during the month I was off, I took a look at it and got to look at some things so I feel good.”
Cruz is certainly the most talented receiver the Giants have and will need to perform at an even higher level this season, if New York wants to advance to the postseason. The departure of Hakeem Nicks in the offseason will certainly have opposing defenses locking in on Cruz.
On the defensive side of the ball, safety Antrel Rolle is excited for the 2014 season. Rolle said, “I think this is one of the most talented teams I have ever been on, if not the most talented. All of the guys are excited and we’re trying to get out there and see what we can put together.”
Rolle is the leader of the secondary and with the additions of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond in the offseason, it’s easy to see why Rolle is excited. The defense will have much more talent in the secondary than in years past and will certainly be needed to produce at a high level. Giants’ fans certainly hope this defense resembles those that have won Super Bowls with dominant performances in years past.
It’s only the first day of training camp, but the players and coaches are excited to work toward a successful 2014 campaign. The energy at practice today was extremely positive and something to build on during training camp. The offense showed signs of being explosive and the defense was flying around to the ball.
While Big Blue realizes that the Super Bowl is not played in July, the road to winning one certainly starts in training camp.