Justin Pugh had some advice for rookie Adam Bisnowaty, who was involved in a few skirmishes in Thursday’s training camp practice, the second in a row that featured a number of plays that ended with teammates jawing, shoving and even punching each other.
“I would tell him to grab the facemask and go uppercuts,” Pugh said, pantomiming the action. “Don’t go straight because then you hurt your hand. But that’s just me.”
Pugh was willing to laugh off the post-play poundings that the Giants have been handing each other, but for a few moments on Thursday it seemed as if things were getting a bit out of control. After Bisnowaty was hit from behind by Damon Harrison, Harrison and tackle Bobby Hart got into a very heated altercation. It took several attempts by the coaches, players and officials on the field to separate them and restore order.
All of which seemed to make Ben McAdoo . . . happy.
The coach said he wants a physical team, one that is “heavy-handed” and doesn’t get pushed around. So this camp, he seems to not only be allowing the boys to whomp on each other, it almost feels as if he is encouraging it.
A day after calling the dust-ups “healthy,” McAdoo on Thursday said he was pleased with the tempo and intensity on the field.
“I thought we were physical on both sides of the ball,” he said. “We just have to do a better job of handling the extracurriculars after the whistle . . . We have to commit ourselves to discipline and poise. If we can’t handle it then I’ll interject, we’ll do some other things, and we’ll go back and finish the drill.”
McAdoo has not gotten to that point yet.
Until then, the Giants will probably keep fighting.
“You can be physical, you can have heavy hands, you can fit your pads in and you can finish,” McAdoo said. “But when that whistle blows, the stuff after the whistle is unnecessary.”
Unnecessary, but not entirely frowned upon.
Friction in camp is nothing new. Pugh said he likes to “find out where I’m at in the pecking order” by mixing it up with teammates. That happened two summers ago when he and Damontre Moore got into a heated brawl on the practice field. It happened again on Wednesday when Pugh was involved in a slightly less dynamic altercation with linebacker Devon Kennard.
“Going out there and getting into some scuffles, we’ve been talking so much, it’s fun to kind of throw each other around and wrestle a little bit,” Pugh said. “That’s what we’re here to do.”
The fights seem to be fun for everyone. During one of Wednesday’s brawls, Odell Beckham Jr. was on the side splashing his Gatorade bottle around enjoying the action. On Thursday, cornerback Eli Apple came running over from a different drill to jump on top of the pile of fiery teammates. Apple even ran over to an official and pretended to fight him.
The Giants were in pads for the third straight day on Thursday, and McAdoo said that tempers usually start to ignite around then. Friday will be a slower-paced practice. Perhaps a day to regroup and play nicely with each other.
“In all seriousness, we’re a team here,” Pugh said. “We’re the New York Giants. We do things a certain way. It’s gonna happen. We have to make sure we respect the guy across from us, make sure that we’re doing the right thing to represent each other, the team, and not put ourselves in a bad position. The worst thing that could happen is we lose a guy for an extended period of time.”