Still fuming moments after his team looked sloppy and mistake-prone in a 36-24 preseason loss to the Falcons in Atlanta, Jim Fassel promised he would make some changes once the Giants returned to Albany for their final week of training camp. Today, those changes were unveiled.
First, officials were on the sideline, as Fassel instructed assistant Dave Brazil to make sure local football officials were available to work for the remainder of camp. When rookie guard Pat Crummey jumped too soon for a false-start penalty, Fassel's whistle blew practice to a halt. Every player had to retreat to the end zone and then run the full length of the field, up and back, 200 total yards. Even injured players had to participate, walking far behind if they could not run.
This was the punishment for four offsides penalties in Atlanta.
Moans and groans could be heard when DE Cedric Scott was called for offsides and grew louder when TE Marcelus Rivers was flagged for a false start. That made three full-field runs for the Giants, after which they completed their practice and then had to endure their usual conditioning running.
"The desired effect happened,'' Fassel said. "They started getting on each other about it. If I need to put any more pressure on the person who jumped off, what's going to happen is he's going to stand at the 50 with me and I'll let him blow the whistle while all his teammates have to run. They really won't like him at that point in time.''
Fassel was clearly turning up the intensity. Once, paying keen attention to a punting drill, Fassel shouted at rookie FB Darian Barnes: "You want to make this football team? You want to play? Show me some spunk!'' The Giants had a punt blocked vs. the Falcons.
More Camp News
LB Wes Mallard sprained his left ankle in practice but it is not expected to be serious.
RB Ron Dayne sat out with a stiff neck.
Giants signed C Morris Unutoa, who has been long-snapping in the NFL since 1996. That puts the heat on LB Jody Littleton, who has handled the snapping duties this summer. Unutoa has played for the Eagles, Buccaneers and most recently the Bills.
CB Jason Sehorn, slowly getting more and more work in practice, had an interception of Kerry Collins.
Owen Pochman, who missed a 23-yard field goal inside the clinmate-controlled Georgia Dome, tried to take a philosophical look at the dreadful miss. "I missed a field goal, it's inexcusable, there's really nothing more you can say about it,'' Pochman said. "I missed the kick. Pretty cut and dry on that one. I kind of dug a little smaller hole for myself, but it's part of kicking.