EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Being forced to adjust their schedule because of the weather isn’t anything new for the New York Giants.
They got used to it last season when a blizzard first delayed their trip to Minnesota, then forced the game to be moved to Detroit when the Metrodome’s roof collapsed.
The Giants are adjusting again with the East Coast being hit by Hurricane Irene. The category 1 storm forced the Giants, Jets and the NFL to move Saturday’s game at MetLife Stadium from Saturday to Monday night.
The Giants announced the postponement on Friday night, with the team learning about it while in meetings. The team practiced on Saturday.
“I thought the guys adjusted,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “We came in today and I thought we really had a crisp, sharp practice. Guys were flying around, moving around. I got to see a few more Jets looks, since we had a short week in the first place. I think guys are now set on going home, resting up today and tomorrow.”
Coach Tom Coughlin sent his players to their homes after practice on Saturday to be with their families. They have been told to return Monday for a team meeting and pregame meal. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
“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,” Coughlin said in quotes released by the team. “We pray that all those people have taken the necessary precautions and that the aftermath is something that can be managed effectively.”
Coughlin isn’t worried about the Giants (1-1) being ready for the annual preseason game against the Jets (1-1).
“We’re getting good at mid-stream adjustments,” Coughlin said. “I don’t know if that is something you necessarily want to perfect, but I think we’re close.”
Manning said this year’s delay is different.
“Last year, we were traveling around and staying in hotels and we didn’t know where we were going to play or what was going on,” he said. “That was different. With this game, we know when we’re playing, we know the time. We adjusted and got to have an extra practice.”
The delay might help the Giants. They had a short week to prepare for the Jets, having played the Bears on Monday night.
The negative is the Giants won’t have any time to prepare for the preseason finale against the New England Patriots on Thursday night in Foxborough, Mass.
“That’s why this game is so important,” Manning said. “I thought getting in another practice and running around today was helpful. This game coming is going to be very important. We’re going to get some looks and see how we stand against a 3-4 team, a team that does some exotic blitzes and a top-quality team.”
Coughlin said earlier in the week that he planned to play his starters for roughly a half.
It’s possible that the starters may now play a little longer and then very little in the final preseason game.
The Giants and Jets will have to cut their rosters from 90 to 75 players on Tuesday.
“Listen, there is nothing we can do about the current set of circumstances,” Coughlin said. “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.”
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)