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Fending off flags with five-yard point of emphasis

The Giants' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, left foreground, guards the

The Giants' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, left foreground, guards the Giants' Prince Amukamara during practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, July 24, 2014. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

NFL officials noted that a point of emphasis this year will be paying closer attention to contact by defensive players beyond the five-yard free zone at the line of scrimmage, and based on Sunday's game, they certainly were not lying. Now the Giants' defensive backs are adjusting to the way the game is going to be called.

"We had five calls in the game against us," cornerbacks coach Pete Giunta said on Tuesday. "We are just going to continue to compete downfield. If they are going to call it, we just have to be less aggressive with our hands down the field. You don't want to hand fight these guys and not let them push us off, but we have to realize what the rules are and the emphasis this year."

For veteran players such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara, that represents a change from how they have played for most of their careers.

"You just have to correct them in practice to develop the habits in practice," Giunta said. "It's hard because the ball isn't always on the line every time. So you have to get a feel for where five yards is and get a feel for the officiating crew, too. Some of the guys will let you go to six to seven yards and other guys are a strict five yards. They are trying to make it more of a strict five this year."

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