(AP) Sage Rosenfels and Darius Reynaud are doing a lot of cramming for their first game with the New York Giants.
It’s part of the job when you are traded to a new team a little more than a week before the season opener and you have to be ready.
Rosenfels is the only other quarterback on the team and has to be prepared if something happens to Eli Manning. Reynaud, who also was acquired in the same trade with the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night for future considerations, is now the No. 1 punt returner as well as a member of possibly two or three other special teams units.
Rosenfels and Reynaud got their Giants’ playbooks on Saturday and have been in super study mode.
“If I were to play I have to be ready,” Rosenfels said after practice on Monday. “There is no excuse not to be ready. I have to get into that play book as much as I can and that’s what I am doing.”
Rosenfels stood next to quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan at practice on Monday, exchanging ideas after each play. Reynaud spent time with receivers coach Sean Ryan and special teams coach Tom Quinn.
“It is totally different from what we are doing in Minnesota,” said Reynaud of the returns schemes.
The trade filled needs for the Giants. They lost veteran backup quarterback Jim Sorgi to a shoulder injury in the first preseason game and they did not feel that second-year pro Rhett Bomar was the answer as the backup despite tremendous improvement in training camp.
While cornerback Aaron Ross showed some promise returning punts, he hurt his foot in the second preseason game and has not returned to practice. The kickoff return game has been nonexistent with several players getting shots.
Halfback D.J. Ware might be the top option there, but he sustained a concussion in the preseason and coach Tom Coughlin has been reluctant to put him back there.
So Reynaud might have to do both jobs. He also was the Vikings’ No. 1 gunner on punt returns and was on the starting kickoff coverage team. He also plays receiver, running back and can be a third-down back.
“Anything they want me to play, I’ll play it,” Reynaud said.
Rosenfels has much more to learn. While much of the offense is similar to stuff the 10-year veteran has run previously, the way the Giants call the plays is totally different.
“That will be the challenge,” said Rosenfels, who spent Saturday afternoon watching football with Manning. “Basically, I will be learning a foreign language and trying to relate my old offense to this offense and the pass protection here as it relates to the pass protection in the old offense.”
While confident in his ability, Rosenfels said it will be impossible to learn the entire offense in a week. His goal will be to learn the 100 or so plays in the game plan for the Panthers.
The 32-year-old Rosenfels wasn’t surprised by Brett Favre’s decision to play another season in Minnesota, adding that he felt that might open an opportunity for him elsewhere.
While many in Minnesota obsessed over Favre’s situation, Rosenfels said he enjoyed working with him.
“He has great passion for the game,” Rosenfels said. “He taught me a lot about the game, how to play the position and also certain intricacies of protections and route combinations. He has a great mind for the game.”
Reynaud felt he had a job locked up with the Vikings until the trade.
However, he said for some unknown reason he told his wife on Thursday that he had a feeling he would be playing for a team in New York this season.
“It was a shock,” Reynaud said of the trade. “I thought I was good to go in Minnesota until I got that phone call, and here I am now.”
Rosenfels called Reynaud one of the best punt returners he has seen.
“It was very surprising to me that the team let him go because we got a lot of great drive starts last year because of his punt returns. He is one of those players that may not fit a mold for an exact position but he is a football player and an exciting kid to watch.”
NOTES: Two-time Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara return to practice after missing the last two preseason game with a tendon problem in his ankle. … LB and special teams leader Chase Blackburn (knee) also practiced for the first time in two weeks. … CB Corey Webster (groin), LB Phillip Dillard (hamstring) and LB Gerris Wilkinson (groin) did not practice. … Giants signed RB Charles Scott as the eighth member of their practice squad.
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