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Science intrudes on Tom Coughlin's practices

Head Coach Tom Coughlin of the New York

Head Coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants speak to the media after conditioning drills at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 21, 2014. Credit: Mike Stobe

It used to be that football teams would practice twice a day in training camp. Now the Giants barely get one of them in.

After Tom Coughlin grudgingly brought the team into the field house to cool off from the heat on Wednesday, the Giants held an abbreviated workout on the field on Thursday before retiring to the climate-controlled area for about a half-hour of stretching.

This ain't exactly The Junction Boys.

"That was a recovery stretch," Coughlin said of the odd end to the short workout. "Trying to enhance this soft-muscle business."

Coughlin said the team studies the data from GPS devices that are attached to each player during practice. That information helps structure the practices and lets the coaches know when they should be cutting down on the reps on the field.

"The whole purpose is to be able to come back and have a full-speed practice tomorrow," Coughlin said.

And how is old-school Coughlin dealing with this new-age scientific intrusion on his football team?

"Well," he sighed, "I'm doing the best I can. How about that?"

Beckham hammy bugs Coughlin

One of those soft-tissue injuries Coughlin was hoping to avoid is already testing his patience. First-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. missed a second straight workout with a sore hamstring he suffered in the opening practice of training camp.

"Let's face it, I don't want it to be like it was in the spring," Coughlin said of Beckham missing most of the OTAs and minicamp with the same hamstring injury. "We need to get the guy back out here and get him back on the field."

Giant steps

It took until the third practice, but Eli Manning and Victor Cruz connected on their first pass in team drills. In fact they did it twice . . . Rookie Devon Kennard is listed as the starting strongside linebacker on the team's unofficial depth chart released Thursday. Kennard has looked impressive playing with the first unit. . . The Giants will be in shoulder pads for the first time todayFriday, will not practice tomorrowSaturday, and be in full pads for the first time when they return on Sunday

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