I remember clearly Tom Coughlin standing on the podium up in Albany two summers ago talking about the first time Will Beatty lined up against Osi Umenyiora in a training camp practice. Coughlin said Osi whooshed past Beatty and Beatty was looking around like “Wow, that was fast.”
Turns out that Umenyiora and Beatty have formed a rather tight bond over the years, pushing each other in practice and helping each other improve.
“Probably someday Osi is going to take credit for Beatty,” Coughlin said today.
Beatty is already giving Umenyiora the credit.
“Since my rookie year, he’s been like ‘You got drafted as a left tackle,’” Beatty said. “If you get bigger you can take that guy who bull rushes you and just anchor in. But to have that speed off the edge, not many guys can do that. To be able to practice against him I knew that that would be a challenge and if I could overcome it, if I could figure out how to compete with him, I would be good in the league. He’s been training me, teaching me. I’m going to get him one day and be like ‘I’m there!’ But I’m still working at it. He has a lot of moves, he keeps saying there are some he’s not using on me yet. It’s just fun for me. I know when I’m going out and practicing I’m getting the best that the NFL has to offer. That’s a good feeling for me.”
After two weeks of going against Jason Pierre-Paul in practice, Beatty yesterday lined up across from Umenyiora. That was a change, Beatty said, and it had him thinking about his footwork and his angles more than he had been.
“JPP is more of a physical bull, slap-around type of guy,” Beatty said. “With him I know we’re starting the fight early. With Osi, if I try to start the fight early then he beats me around the edge and makes me look bad. With both of them you have to use different techniques to try to keep your ground. Having both of them back and forth yesterday I got to really feel out how I’m doing. It’s still early in camp, but you know preparing for the games that I’ve seen this. I haven’t seen this guy yet, but I’ve seen this move, this technique, this type of skill. It gives you confidence when you are going into the game.”