Several Giants defenders were outspoken in their enthusiasm over the return of Osi Umenyiora to practice this week. But perhaps the player most happy to see '72' back on the field was the guy who will now have to try to block him every day.
It turns out that Umenyiora and Beatty have formed a tight bond over the years, pushing each other in practice and helping each other improve. Beatty's resume may say he went to college at UConn, but for the last three years he's been attending Osi U.
"Probably some day Osi is going to take credit for Beatty," Tom Coughlin said.
Beatty is already giving Umenyiora the credit.
"Since my rookie year, he's been like 'You got drafted as a left tackle,' " Beatty said. "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."
Beatty is in his third season with the Giants, but his first as a starter at left tackle. He said that practicing against Umenyiora has helped him immeasurably. "He has a lot of moves, and he keeps saying there are some he's not using on me yet," Beatty said. "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 spent the last two days 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."
Beatty also said that the differences between the two helps him prepare for any opponent. "I've seen this," he said of his reaction while watching film during game weeks. "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."