The Giants return to University at Albany Friday, July 27 for their first training session of the 2012 season. A record breaking 1,779 fans were in attendance watching the Super Bowl XLVI champions. Also present were Giants president and Chief executive officer John Mara, and Chairman and Executive VP Steve Tisch.
Tisch, an Oscar winning producer, expressed his thoughts on a drama-free start for the Giants.
“It’s fantastic. To come in to it and have a basically anxiety-free camp is absolutely fantastic…I mean the players don’t want the distractions. They want to come here and start training camp, go into the preseason and start playing football in the regular season. So with no distractions, or a minimal amount of distractions, it’s fantastic. It just brings them closer and closer, starting yesterday, and starting today.”
The main focus on the agenda is to improve the running game, which the Giants struggled with last year. They finished last in rushing yards with a total of 1,427 and a 3.5 yard average.
“Being 32nd is devastating for us,” Running back Ahmad Bradshaw said. “We just want to come in and play as hard as we can every game and like I said, execution is going to be the key this year.”
With the loss of running back Brandon Jacobs to the San Francisco 49ers, the Giants will have to work hard to improve their game with a returning, healthy Bradshaw. Bradshaw led the team in rushing last year with 659 yards despite missing four games due to a foot injury.
The Giants also welcomed back cornerback Terrell Thomas, who was out for the entire 2011 season due to a torn knee ligament. Although Thomas sat out of practice early due to back tightness, he believes that he will make a full return for this season.
At the end of day one, Head Coach, Tom Coughlin stated: “It’s our first practice, we got in and out of the drills well. Guys had good anticipation of what was coming next. We played everybody equal snaps and you saw at the end of practice, that third group kind of fall off a bit offensively. It’s disappointing but not that shocking. So those offensive linemen have to come around, and that’s basically what has to happen for that group to continue to get reps in practice. They’ll have to do a better job than they did today.”
With over 10 sessions left of training camp, the Giants are motivated to defend their title.
“I had the sense when we first arrived, and in our meetings, that they were focused,” Coughlin commented. “They still feel good about themselves, and they understand about taking this next stride. There’s no going backwards. They do have, we do have a lot to prove, and we do have a lot to improve upon, and that’s the attitude that I think they’ve taken.”
By Cheri Cheng