Maybe it’s the new head coach, maybe it’s the additions of defense or maybe it’s just the confidence from athletes. Maybe it’s all of those things which has meant a high level of optimism around Giants camp.
“You can just tell from the energy levels that you feel when you’re walking around the building and when we’re out at practice,” said running back Rashad Jennings. “We know what kind of team we have, we really do. We can sit here and preach all day from offense to defense, special teams, why we feel we have a good team, but if we don’t go out here and prove it, it really doesn’t matter.”
There is also a different feeling this week as the players can now wear pads in practice. It’s nice just to be on the field, but once the full equipment is being used, it’s a different beast.
“It’s exciting,” Jennings said. “We have our great fans out here that come out and support and having the pads on, we know that’s how you’re going to win a championship. You play football with pads on, so when you get to practice that, you learn how to practice as a unit, as a team and also be able to challenge each other.”
Head coach Ben McAdoo has implemented some new wrinkles in camp, including TV timeouts and music on the field to get more of a game atmosphere. When the Giants are backed up in enemy territory during a game, they can think back to this without being flustered or calling a timeout.
“That’s the type of atmosphere the game is, it’s high energy,” Jennings said. “It’s not quiet. You have fans, you have music, you have TV timeouts, so I think putting us in that organized chaos that the game presents itself, it causes us to practice in those elements and being used to it.”
It seems like a long time since the 2015 season ended, but week 1 is not far off.
“I’m excited because sooner than later, we’re going to have the opportunity to prove it to ourselves and for our fans,” Jennings said.
One question that will need to be answered is if Eli Manning, who threw 35 touchdowns last season, can have a repeat performance in his first season without Tom Coughlin as head coach.
“Eli has been outstanding,” said quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti Jr. “In the classroom, what a pro. Great preparation. You can see on the practice field that he has been a great decision maker. I am so impressed with his fundamentals. I am very impressed with Eli so far in training camp.”