Due to Hurricane Irene, tonight's game has been moved to Monday night, which is just 18 hours before teams are required to trim their rosters down to 80 players from the current 90.
After that, the timetable becomes more condensed. In as brutal a leg as any team has experienced in recent years, the Giants will travel to Foxborough to play the Patriots on Thursday night with less than 72 hours rest. Two days later, they must cut 27 more players in order finalize their 53-man roster.
Players, coaches and executives will all be under pressure in the coming week. Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese will be burning the midnight oil to make a team out of this bunch. After scorching Chicago last week in which they got some eye-opening performances, they will be watching the seconds closely (and a few of the firsts) against the Jets in the Snoopy Bowl to determine who will get to keep their playbooks this fall.
Coughlin snuck in a workout in this morning and then spoke briefly to the pool...weather was the topic du jour. Understandably so...
"First and foremost, our thoughts are for the safety and well-being of everybody who has been and will be impacted by the hurricane system. We pray that all those people have taken the necessary precautions and that the aftermath is something that can be managed effectively. I think those officials responsible for public safety have done a good job of educating the public and helping people prepare."
How is the team’s preparation affected by the extra two days before the game and how was today’s extra practice? Conversely, how difficult will it be to have virtually no practice time before the New England game?
“We were on a short week last week, so the extra day of preparation was beneficial. The players came in here this morning and we had good meetings and a good practice and we were able to get them on their way by 1:30. The coming week is going to be challenging, no question about it. But we will adjust and adapt and make the best out of it.”
How will this affect playing time? Will you leave the starters in longer with the idea of having them play less against the Patriots? Do you have to make play-time decisions with two games in mind?
“We can only play one game at a time. We are going to play the starters the first half on Monday night, and then we will take a look at how we will handle personnel on Thursday. That would be the game we would deviate from how we’ve done things in the past, simply because you are talking about only two days between games and no real practice time.”
Will this make it more difficult to make decisions on the cuts that must be made Tuesday?
“Listen, there is nothing we can do about the current set of circumstances. We have to adjust and adapt. We have been evaluating our roster since the start of training camp. All we can do is take what we have had in terms of the totality of the preseason and make our decisions based on that. There really has been no precedent for this entire preseason.”
How were the changes in the schedule communicated to the players? Since they do not have to stay in a hotel the night before the game, what time will you bring everyone together on Monday?
“We were in our team meeting last night when we were informed of the postponement. Again, we had a good day today. We have told everybody to stay home tomorrow and stay safe, and we will gather again for our pregame meal and meetings early on Monday afternoon.”
Did the experience of having your schedule altered on the fly last year for the Minnesota game help everyone adjust to this?
“We’re getting good at mid-stream adjustments. I don’t know if that is something you necessarily want to perfect, but I think we’re close.”
transcript courtesy Giants Communications Dept