Training Camp: Wednesday August 14

Nick Greisen

The sounds of cheering players nearly drowned out the rumble of thunder as Fassel canceled the afternoon practice after 15 minutes because of an arriving storm.

Dusty Zeigler returned from a trip to Colorado relieved that his right knee is healing but still not satisfied that he will be ready to return to action any time soon.

"I'm very aggravated, I've got a real bad attitude, I'm disappointed, frustrated, that's an honest answer,'' Zeigler said.

Zeigler met with specialists in Vail, hoping to hear that he could fast-forward the recovery time on his right knee, which was operated on following last season. He was told to be patient.

"From my understanding it's like you got a nice green lawn, you get a hole knocked in it, you go back and throw a little dirt in it, plant some grass and keep everybody off it for a while so it will grow back,'' Zeigler said. "I hope it grows back thick.''

Camp was buzzing with the coming of the annual Rookie Show, which this year was going to feature and spoof the Jeremy Shockey-Brandon Short dining hall fight.

"I think the fight is going to be the main issue,'' Quincy Monk said.

The rookie linebacker had a feature role. Monk was to play the part of Brandon Short. Another rookie linebacker, Nick Greisen, was to fill the role of Shockey, while a third linebacker, Wes Mallard, was to play the ring announcer. "I'm the Michael Buffer,'' Mallard said.

"It's all in fun,'' Short said. "If I was a rookie I would definitely be on that theme, there's no question.''

Interestingly, Shockey sang during lunch and then was fell victim to a prank. Jim Fassel concocted a story about a tradition where the first-round pick and head coach take a picture together for a team history book, and that Shockey had to get dressed up and meet Fassel in his office at 1 p.m. "He got all dressed, showered, hair combed,'' Fassel said. "I said 'Sit down boy, we're not taking any picture,' '' Fassel said. "He sat there for about a half hour and we just talked about things. He's all about football. We talked about winning, playing hard, the league, all that stuff.''

The sounds of cheering players nearly drowned out the rumble of thunder as Fassel canceled the afternoon practice after 15 minutes because of an arriving storm.

Gov. George Pataki made his annual appearance at camp and impressed Giants officials with his knowledge of not only the key players, but also the key issues on the team. Pataki actually asked if Chris Bober can make the transition to center. "You can really sense this is a team that isn't going in feeling 'Hey, two years ago we were in the Super Bowl,' '' Pataki said. "This is a team that has a quiet confidence in itself.''

As for his conversation with general manager Ernie Accorsi, Pataki added "We did talk a little bit about the salary cap. He'll leave the state budget to me, I'll leave the salary cap to him.''

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