The NFL season have arrived, after 6 long months of waiting, tonight kicks off the 2014 season as the Green Bay Packers face the Seattle Seahawks at Quest Field in Seattle. Who does Giants360 like in the game? Check the tag “360 Picks” every week through the season to see who we like in all the games.
Tom Coughlin holds a press conference ever week, usually on Wednesday, but this week his schedule is pushed back one day due to the Monday Night opener in Detroit. Preparations for this game began in the spring time as the Giants coaches have been studying the history of the new Lions coaching staff to learn their preferences and trends. Coughlin said they, “Will go back as far as birth,” to learn the secrets of Jim Caldwell and his team. Of course, he was kidding, we think. In looking at the most important statistic in determining success in the NFL, Coughlin points out that the Lions were -12 in turnover margin for the 2013 season and improved to +4 for the 2014 preseason, something he credits to Caldwell.
To prepare for the noisy Ford Field dome, the Giants will pump crowd noise into practice this week. Preparing for Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is another matter, something Coughlin calls a “big challenge,” and says the team is preparing as best they can. Don’t count out newest Giant Adam Snyder, signed yesterday and wearing number 68, for the Monday night game, as Coughlin said that the veteran offensive lineman is learning the plays and sees no reason that we wouldn’t play if he’s needed.
Coughlin plans to keep a close eye on the game officials to see how penalties are being called in the defensive backfield. Having a Monday Night game will provide an advantage as the Lions, Giants, San Diego Chargers, and Oakland Raiders will be able to see how games are called on Sunday and adjust accordingly.
Having a new offensive coordinator has not affected Coughlin’s preparation for this game, as he said he was no more involved in preparing the game plan that he was in previous years. He called Ben McAdoo “excellent” in the efficiency aspects of serving as offensive coordinator and said he is “Entirely prepared for any situation or circumstance from a play calling standpoint.” Coughlin will be available if McAdoo needs help and will say something if he feels the need. As a former play caller, Coughlin didn’t appreciate being interrupted and plans to offer McAdoo the same courtesy.
Coughlin was asked if Eli Manning’s poor 2013 served as motivation for the Giants quarterback and he replied, “There’s no doubt about that.” He said Manning is “focused,” and that this is a “Serious business for him.” Caldwell doesn’t pay attention to Manning’s statistics, saying he is “Dangerous” regardless of his stats.
The media respected Coughlin’s request not to be asked about Odell Beckham and no inquiries were made during today’s press conference.
Snyder also spoke with the media, and shared that in addition to playing all five spots along the offensive line during his career, he also played some tight end. As the Giants can use all the help they can get at that position, could they have a few tricks up their sleeve for their latest addition? Probably not! Snyder sees the Giants as one of the “Best run” organizations in football, and admits to being a little nervous about learning an entire offense in time for Monday night. He says it’s “Coming along.”
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson spoke with the New York media today and admitted that he was “Not as healthy as he wanted to be” during last year’s December game, where the Giants upset victory eliminated the Lions from the playoff race. Johnson compliments both Giants cornerbacks, saying that Prince Amukamara likes to get his hands on you early in every play and called Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie a “Very shifty, very long guy.” When asked if he minds, having a cornerback shadow him for an entire game, Johnson said he doesn’t, as it gives him a chance to learn that player’s moves.
The long and shifty Rodgers-Cromartie repaid the compliment, calling Johnson the best receiver in football, but said he is not changing his style of play, not matching up against Johnson, not for the new “Points of Emphasis.” He often doesn’t go into the huddle, preferring to see the offensive formations first hand. Antrel Rolle tells him the defensive calls when he doesn’t huddle up. Rodgers-Cromartie won’t shadow Johnson on Monday night – he plays his side of the field and Amukamara the other. With Walter Thurmond in the slot.
Thurmond is excited to go line up across from “Megatron,” saying that, “You always want to go against the best. He plans to watch tonight’s season opener, but admits it will be “A little bit weird” watching his former Seattle teammates on television.
Beckham (hamstring) was listed among the six players listed on the Giants pre-practice injury report, along with Jon Beason (foot), James Brewer (back), Charles Brown (shoulder), Markus Kuhn (ankle), and Brandon Mosley (back). Beckham, Brewer, and Kuhn did not practice, while Beason, Brown, and Mosley were participants. Having Mosley available for the game would be a bonus, but John Jerry is still expected to get the start as he has been practicing with the first team.
The Giants have the 27th easiest schedule in the league, based on last season’s records, with opponents having a 46.5% winning percentage.
The Lions worked out Champ Bailey today, who was among the New Orleans Saints cuts this past Saturday. The secondary is a weakness on the Lions team, if Manning can be kept upright in the pocket, he should be able to take advantage of it.
How do you think the Giants will do this season? Who do you think will have a big year for the team? Tweet your thoughts to @Giants360 and your thoughts could get included in the Giants360 season preview article, coming this weekend. We will also be live tweeting the Monday Night game, follow along or miss out on all the fun.
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