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SportsFootballGiants

Giants rookie minicamp resembles freshman orientation

The old days of military-style boot camp have come and gone in the NFL.

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur speaks

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur speaks to the media during the first day of Giants rookie mini-camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday, May 11, 2018. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Giants rookie minicamp is more like a college orientation than a cannonball submersion in the deep end of the NFL pool. There are signs everywhere identifying places like the cafeteria and meeting rooms, arrows pointing to the practice field and the training room.

It wasn’t always like that.

“In a former life, way back when, what you did with the rookies, this was like shock treatment,” Pat Shurmur said of how the process of welcoming players to the pros has evolved. “You blew them up physically, emotionally, mentally and then by the time Monday came around, they’re like, ‘Holy smokes.’ ”

That military-style boot camp indoctrination has pretty much subsided.

“What you’re trying to do is orient the guys, get them up to speed, get them going, challenge them physically and mentally and then let them go out there and show you what you can do,” Shurmur said.

That goes for draft picks and tryouts.

“We’ve seen something good in all these players that are running around this weekend and we have an anticipation of what they’re good at and we’re kind of just touching the paint to see if it’s wet,” Shurmur said. “If we’ve got a player that we’ve liked for some reason and they have a chance to come in and maybe be better than one of the guys that is on the roster, then we’re willing to trade it out. Until we get to the 53, we’re going to try to have the best 90 that we can have.”

Even with the less intense introduction, there is plenty that can be gleaned from rookie minicamp.

“I’ve taken tests before where you look at the first question and you say, ‘This isn’t going to work out well,’ ” Shurmur said. “But I’ve taken tests, too, where you answer two or three right and things go well. So that’s what you look for.”

New York Sports