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Giants rookie linebacker Carter Coughlin self imposes laps to curtail mistakes on field

Carter Coughlin at Giants training camp on Aug.

Carter Coughlin at Giants training camp on Aug. 10, 2020. Credit: Matthew Swensen/Matthew Swensen

Lots of players like to say they leave it all out on the field. Carter Coughlin made darn sure he actually did.

After Friday night’s scrimmage at MetLife Stadium, the rookie linebacker who was selected in the seventh round emerged from the locker room and, while still in full uniform and pads, ran multiple laps around the field. He’d made too many mental errors in the game-like event, he said, and in accordance with Joe Judge’s edict on running those circuits as a deterrent against such mistakes, he set out on his journey.

Only Judge didn’t order him to do it. Nor did his position coach. It was Coughlin who demanded better of himself and set the sentence. In an empty, near silent stadium, he paid his debt.

“We’ve been doing that as a team and I just figured I owed it to my team to run some laps for it,” he said. “I was just disappointed in a mistake or two that I made and felt like I needed to run laps for it.”

There were also some really good plays, though. And while Coughlin said he was more focused on the errors to help him improve, he didn’t seem to mind rehashing one of his rushes around the edge in the fourth quarter of the scrimmage when he reached the quarterback but was not given credit for a sack by the official (defensive players could not actually hit the quarterbacks so sacks were essentially judgment calls). Coughlin pleaded his case on the field to no avail, but was vindicated in the film session.

“Without a doubt,” he said of it being a sack. More importantly, he said his coaches agreed.

It wasn’t just that quasi-sack that has caught their eyes.

“He’s definitely a high-motor guy,” Judge said. “He’s a guy that whoever’s blocking him knows they’re in for a full down because he’s not going until the echo of the whistle is gone . . . He’s definitely a work-ethic guy.”

That’s exactly what Coughlin said he wants to be.

“Stuff like that, it can be contagious,” Coughlin said. “That’s what I love about playing football, when the defense is alive and the special teams is alive and the offense is alive and you get that feeling, it’s kind of a euphoric feeling of the team coming together and the energy and stuff like that. That all starts with individuals going out of their way to play as hard as they can and that’s always been my mindset . . . As long as I can look at what I did at the end of the day and say I left it all out there, that’s enough for me.”

And if for some reason he can’t do it in a game, well, there is always time for laps afterward.

Notes & quotes: LB Blake Martinez, who missed two days of practices and the scrimmage, returned to the field on Sunday. Judge said he was “fully healed.” From what, Judge refused to say. “I’ll just tell you what, I’m relieved to have Blake back out there with us,” Judge said . . . TE Evan Engram and C Spencer Pulley sat out the scrimmage on Friday but both were back on the field Sunday. So too was CB Darnay Holmes, who left the scrimmage with a lower body injury . . . The Giants are one of several teams very interested in signing free agent DB Logan Ryan, who has changed agents and is “poised to do a deal” with the season fast approaching. The Giants like Ryan’s ability to play cornerback as well as safety, two positions where they are light on depth and experience . . . Judge said he was “very encouraged” by what he saw after watching the film of the scrimmage, though he seemed somewhat less enthusiastic over the play of the offensive line which allowed Daniel Jones to be sacked five times. “I thought the tackles did a decent job,” he said. “There were some other times, obviously, our defense was able to mix up some different looks and create pressure.” While acknowledging that their performance was held back by “a lot of restrictions” in the structure of the scrimmage, Judge said: “They’re improving every day.”

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