Chris Snee needed to look no further than the recently completed NBA Finals for non-participation inspiration.
"You saw what the Spurs did, right?" the Giants' veteran right guard said. "They rested some older guys. We're following that blueprint."
Snee, 32, spent the first day of minicamp on the sideline taking mental reps and, at times, working on his conditioning by running. After being on the field for a decent amount of the OTAs and coming off two significant surgeries that robbed him of most of the 2013 season, he and the Giants feel there is no need to push him through these practices.
While it was Snee's hip that sent him to injured reserve last year, it's his wrist that is keeping him on the sideline now. That was supposed to be an after-thought surgery, just something to clean out what had been bugging him for years while he was already on the shelf from hip surgery.
"It was more involved than I thought it was going to be and the rehab has been longer, so that's why we're taking this approach," Snee said. "I appreciate that. There's no need to rush back. But my lower body feels great."
Snee also said that his being on the sideline gives younger players a chance to "earn their stripes." He said he sees no reason for the wrist or hip to keep him from being cleared when the Giants take pre-camp physicals next month. Until then, he'll keep training, try to add back the last 10 of the 35 pounds he lost rehabbing from the surgeries, and take advantage of the perks that come with being the second-longest tenured Giants behind Eli Manning.
"At this point in my career when they say take a breather," Snee said, "I'll take a breather."