Defense Dreams and Realities

With little action now that the draft is behind us and the lockout still in full swing, I am left with only one form of football entertainment that no one can take away from me…in a dream. That’s right, last night I had a fairly detailed dream that I was at the first Giants game of the season. Unfortunately they were not doing well. In one play they made it to the end zone, but the random lineman who was carrying the ball could not slam dunk the football through the basketball hoop that was inexplicably hanging where the uprights usually are, thus losing an easy 7 points. It was infuriating!

Well, right now this weird version of football is all I will get so I will take it, but it did get me wondering how the players are fairing during this time. By now everyone has probably heard that Eli Manning has been organizing practices at Hoboken High School for the quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends. I have been excited to see that our offense has been working on light drills and timing which will no doubt help give them an advantage when the lockout ends. But what about the defense?

The New York Daily News caught up with team captain Justin Tuck to ask this very question: What is the defense doing during the lockout? According to Tuck, he has decided to not pressure his squad to hold group practices, no matter how low key. Injuries are a concern, especially since most players are now paying out of pocket for insurance, or else going without. Instead, Tuck has been in regular contact with team members to check in and make sure they are on track with their workouts.

“I like the fact that Eli has stepped up and gotten guys together,” Tuck said. “But for us and for me personally, I just chose to make sure guys are working out and doing the right things for safety reasons.”

As a fan it is frustrating to know something like insurance is stopping the team from getting ready for the new season, should there be one. But these guys are used to receiving the best care from top doctors and trainers at their facility, so the prospect of anything less is probably frightening, especially when their entire livelihood depends on their health. As someone who has been out of work for 6 months with no insurance, I can certainly understand their concern! Just ask my soccer team, who I have had to leave behind due to a bad ankle. I could never afford physical therapy if I were to sprain it again!

But on the bright side the guys are getting in their workout, and I like the leadership I see emerging from Tuck and Manning. We need guys like them to make their teammates accountable when their coaches can’t be involved. These are the kinds of things that are not only beneficial now, but will make these guys better and more respected leaders on the field.

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