New York Giants Offseason Program Begins: The Giants’ offseason program began yesterday. For the next nine weeks, up until the veteran mini-camp in mid-June, the Giants will participate in voluntary workouts that include strength and conditioning work and some on-field activities. However, the on-field activities are not allowed until week three of the program under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). And contact is not allowed in any Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice.
- Phase One (Weeks 1-2): Mainly strength and conditioning work.
- Phase Two (Weeks 3-5): Individual drills and non-contact practices only involving one side of the ball. No offense versus defense drills. Players are not allowed to wear their helmets.
- Phase Three (Weeks 6-9): Teams can have ten OTA practices during this time period. Teams can run offense versus defense drills. Players can wear helmets but not pads. Contact is not allowed.
“I think it’s always exciting to get back – it’s like the first day of school after the summer,” said QB Eli Manning. “You’re excited to see all your teammates and coaches and try to figure out how we’re going to get better and what we’re going to improve on. You see some of the new faces and get them caught up on what we need to do. It’s always exciting to get back here, knowing we’re getting back to work.”
“You have some guys that have been here for a long time that aren’t here anymore – Brandon (Jacobs), Kareem (McKenzie) and Mario (Manningham), some guys that have played well for us and helped us win a couple of championships,” Manning said. “That’s always a part of football – that’s probably the worst part about it, losing friends and teammates. But we’ll have some new guys in and we still have a lot of key players that helped us win this past championship. We’ll make changes and adjust things and make sure we’re getting better.”
“It’s good to get to see everybody,” said newcomer TE Martellus Bennett. “It is kind of like when you were a kid and switched schools when your parents moved and you have to meet new students, new teachers. We moved a lot as a kid so it is pretty easy for me to make friends. Everybody seems cool; everybody is nice. We know each other – kind of, sort of just by playing against each other. It is good to be around the guys.”
“I look at today as the unofficial start of the new season,” said Kevin Boothe. “It is good to see everybody, but we also realize that we are here to begin preparation for next season. The expectations are always high, so you hope to continue to improve off of how we ended last season and hopefully take it into this offseason and into the new season.”
“I’m very excited to get back here,” said S Antrel Rolle. “It’s been a very, very short offseason. But at the same time, I’ve never been so excited to get in and finish what we started. I’ll still have more time to enjoy myself and relax. But right now it’s just about business. It’s about getting that mindset, getting back around my peers. I missed the hell out of these ugly guys in this locker room. I’m ready to get back to work.”
“It was great seeing (Victor) Cruz, Eli, seeing those guys’ faces,” Rolle said. “You still see the determination in their eyes. We’re not going to be complacent. Super Bowl XLVI – we live it, we enjoy it, we keep it in our hearts. But we’re looking to move on to bigger and better things this year.”
As expected, DE Osi Umenyiora, who is unhappy with his current contract, was a no-show to the voluntary program.
Check out the Giants.com video of the first day of the offseason program.
Giants Re-Sign TE Bear Pascoe: According to The Daily News, the Giants have re-signed exclusive rights free agent TE Bear Pascoe.
Beatty Says Eye is 100 Percent: OT Will Beatty, who missed much of last season with a detached retina in his right eye, tweeted the following yesterday: “My eye is 100%. Only difference is ill now have a shield to protect from getting hit in the eye on game days.”
Giants and Rivers Agree to Re-Structured Contract: When the Giants traded for LB Keith Rivers last week, he had two years remaining on his current deal, though the last year of the contract was voidable. According to press reports, the Giants and Rivers have agreed to re-structure his deal. Rivers new contract is now a 1-year, $1.25 million deal. Rivers had been scheduled to make $2.16 million in 2012.
Signing of CB Antwaun Molden Official: Though unofficially reported last week, the Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent CB Antwaun Molden (New England Patriots) yesterday.
“It’s exciting to be here,” Molden said. “I like everything about this situation. I like the coaching staff. When I was coming out of college I liked the Giants – I liked the defense, I liked the players. They recruit good players. There’s a team-first attitude. They’re selfless. That’s the blueprint for success and you see that here. That’s what I want to be a part of.”