Unlike Jets, Giants are pulling their punches in camp
ALBANY -- On a play late in practice Tuesday, during live goal-line snaps, Prince Amukamara was covering Domenik Hixon on the outside. The ball went in the other direction, but clearly some kind of spark was kindled between those two players as they shoved each other, then grabbed each other's jersey as if they were ready to throw down.
Then for the next five or six tense seconds, they . . . stood there. Talking. To each other.
Welcome to training camp fighting, Giants style.
While the other team training upstate is garnering headlines and highlights for its practice brawls, over here in Albany, the Giants take things with a more peaceful approach. Amukamara and Hixon? They essentially broke themselves up after a while, in a confrontation that didn't have as much contact as some "Dancing With the Stars" routines.
Earlier in practice, cornerback Michael Coe and receiver Julian Talley gave each other an extra shove after a play, then quickly went to their neutral corners. And Janzen Jackson, on the scout team covering kickoffs, must have done something to irritate Mark Herzlich because the two grabbed one another. Then quickly let go. And made up.
Tom Coughlin was asked about the scuffles.
"What scuffles?" the coach asked back.
Perhaps Coughlin should have made the team run wind sprints for not fighting enough. That would really be going in a different direction from the Jets.
Of course, Coughlin doesn't condone outlandish brawling, but there are some who would like to see a little bit more fire. After he came back to the group of defensive players, Amukamara was hearing it from his teammates. And they weren't congratulating him for standing his ground by standing around with Hixon. Justin Tuck egged him on, telling the second-year cornerback that if such a situation were to happen again, Amukamara had his permission as defensive captain to keep going after Hixon. And Jason Pierre-Paul was yelling at Amukamara: "It ain't over! It ain't over!"
Only it was. Over. Before it ever really started.
Usually at this point in training camp, there have been a few severe dust-ups. And usually it's because after nearly two weeks of practicing, players are weary of one another and looking forward to hitting another team in the preseason opener. But even that adage has gone out the window thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement.
"I certainly don't think after the number of practices that we have had -- 10 -- that anybody is tired of hitting on each other," Coughlin said.
He did say he senses that they are ready for the preseason game, however. Just don't give them a puncher's chance to win it.
Notes & quotes: Osi Umenyiora made the play of the day in practice when he picked off a throwback screen pass from Eli Manning intended for D.J. Ware. Manning was rolling right and turned to throw to the running back but Umenyiora caught the ball cleanly. "I thought we had beaten him with that screen a few times this preseason and I thought he had been suckered in again because he was a long way down the line of scrimmage," Coughlin said of Umenyiora. "And then he turned around and recovered and made a really nice catch on the ball." . . . Coughlin praised rookie DT Markus Kuhn: "He's a nice sturdy, young man. He's starving to learn . . . The kind of guy that we think can be like a sponge." . . . RB Da'Rel Scott missed practice with a thigh contusion after missing several workouts earlier in camp with a hamstring injury. "It's his second injury," Coughlin said. "That doesn't help."