For the Giants, training camp in Albany is over — and the players are happy about that. For sure, they will be happy to go home and sleep in their own beds.
What the team sleeps on in camp became headlines after several players ended up with back injuries. That led to open season on the beds in the college dorm.
Said defensive tackle Linval Joseph, “Everybody’s been complaining about their back because the beds in the dorms are fairly hard. My back’s been hurting, too. Like I said, I think it’s just the bed.”
Asked by a reporter if he believed the mattresses were to blame for the injuries, Joseph said: “Yes, I really do.”
Tight end Martellus Bennett said, “We’re big humans. Every bed is small. You can’t put a damn dinosaur in a twin-sized bed. … A normal-sized human jumps into a regular-sized bed and it fits perfectly. Large, big humans jump in a regular-sized bed, the bed’s too small.”
Of course, Bennett then added, “My back doesn’t hurt. My back feels great. I have a great back.”
Rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley said, “It’s like one of those Sleep Number beds. It’s just not comfortable. It’s just like you’re back in college again.”
Linebacker Spencer Paysinger took to twitter to say, “Is it a surprise that players have problems with dorm beds? Asking 250-350lb players to sleep on twin beds? Lol common sense.”
Tackle James Brewer had his back tighten up this past week and while he said it was mostly because of dehydration, he couldn’t resist jumping on the bad bed bandwagon.
“Those beds are not the best,” Brewer said. “I’m not going to knock Albany because hey, it could always be worse, but I definitely do miss my own bed. … I have like a little kid’s cot, like I’m in college all over again.”
Finally, coach Tom Coughlin was asked about his bed. Coughlin said, “I don’t know. My rear end is bothering me, but it’s not from that.”
The War of Attrition
When Green Bay Packers fullback John Kuhn injured his ankle in practice earlier this week, a frustrated coach Mike McCarthy cut short practice because of diminishing bodies.
That day’s practice lasted just 1 hour and 48 minutes, the fifth consecutive practice that lasted less than two hours.
Said McCarthy afterward, “We’re not where we wanted to be. That’s obvious. But two of the four practices that have been cut were part of the design, so technically they weren’t cut because you come off a night practice to a morning practice; it’s not practical to go two hours and 45 minutes, two hours and 30 minutes. But today’s practice was supposed to be 2:21. The tempo was outstanding. I thought it was a heck of a practice just from an operation standpoint, but when John went down, I just didn’t think it was worth the risk to try to get through the last team period with three running backs. And whatever practice we had to cut back before, the injuries were just starting to pile up on us.”
Who is That Guy?
Duane Brown might not be a household name, but he should. He is one of the stalwarts on the Houston Texans’ offensive line, a fact that was rewarded Thursday when Brown signed a six-year contract extension worth $53.4 million that includes $22 million in guaranteed money. A first-round pick in 2008, Brown was scheduled to enter the final year of his contract.
Said quarterback Matt Schaub, “In my opinion, Duane molded himself into the best left tackle in the game. I never have to worry about Duane because I know he’s going to get the job done.”
“We’re happy for him,” said coach Gary Kubiak. “As a coach in this business, you love seeing players who do it the right way get rewarded. He’s been exceptional since the day he walked in the building, not only as a player but as a person. He’s got a lot of bright years ahead of him so we’re very happy for him. The whole team is.”
Asked what is special about Brown, Kubiak said, “Well, you’re around Duane every day just watching him handle himself as a pro, how he works and his abilities. That’s easy to look at every day. You’re getting an accountable young man for a long time so it’s an easy situation for us as an organization and it’s a great one for him. I think it’s good for the players because he got rewarded. He’s handled himself the right way, done things the right way and he’s being rewarded so that’s a very positive thing.”
Is Flynn In?
It’s looking more and more like Matt Flynn will be Seattle’s starting quarterback and that Tarvaris Jackson might end up somewhere else. But rookie Russell Wilson has done will this summer.
Wilson believes he is capable of being the team’s starter. He told KJR Radio in Seattle, “I definitely believe I’ve moved closer. You take one step at a time, one day at a time, one rep at a time and you just improve. You respect the process and that’s the biggest thing is just respecting the process and taking one day at a time and just learning as much as I can. I’m on a constant quest for knowledge and just trying to gain as much knowledge as I can so when I do get that opportunity I just keep growing. I know there’s going to be ups and downs, it’s a process like I said, and always in a process there’s ups and downs but as long as I keep moving forward, that’s the key.”
A Changing Game
Peter King of Sports Illustrated visited the St. Louis Rams training camp Thursday and witnessed yet another team practicing without full pads. The Rams completed their third week of practice, and have been in full pads once.
On days when shoulder pads are worn, some players wear pads below the waist, but not many. Most are in shorts.
So I asked King how many teams he has seen this summer, and he said 19. I then asked how many had he seen in pads, and he said eight or nine. After thinking about that for a minute, he added, “I haven’t seen one tackle.”
Somewhere, Dick Butkus is cringing.