EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Training camp has brought something new for the New York Giants the past few years.
A year ago, it was an early start and a five-game preseason that kicked off with the Hall of Fame game against the Buffalo Bills.
This year it’s going to be joint practices with the Bengals in Cincinnati, leading up to the preseason opener on Friday.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like that,” receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said of the practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. “So, I’m kind of going in whatever it is, is whatever it is. I know I play for the Giants and they play for the Bengals, so hopefully we’re out there to get work, but whatever lies is what lies there.”
Most players are looking forward to the workouts. It’s a chance to face someone new after more than a week of banging heads against teammates.
Quarterback Eli Manning said adding uncertainty to the workouts is good.
“It’s different from a game when you go in and you game plan and you have looks,” Manning said. “We might watch a little film on it just to get an idea, but for the most part, you’re just kind of going to go off what we see and make adjustments.”
The concern, of course, is players getting too worked up. The Washington Redskins and Houston Texans had to practice separately after a few scraps broke out in their workouts this past weekend.
The last time the Giants held a joint workout was with the Jets in 2005, and that also featured fights.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis laid down the groundwork for the practices in the spring. They don’t want any extra-curricular action this week.
“It’s already been addressed,” Coughlin said. “Marvin and I have already talked about that, last spring. We want good, solid work, but we don’t want any of that.”
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh said the practices remind him of going to the Senior Bowl. All the players were trying to prove a point in practice, adding that in training camp players tend to ease up against teammates.
“We’ve got to go out there and work at being cohesive unit,” Pugh said. “We’re not going the destructive route and starting fights and that stuff.”
Receiver Victor Cruz, who is coming off his second knee surgery in two years, will not take part. Linebacker Jameel McClain had a recent neck stinger and is expected to miss a couple of weeks.
Cruz wants to practice, but he also understands the big picture.
“There is a 16-game season that we want to grab a hold of and be ready for,” he said. “That’s kind of what I’m looking at, but you know you’ve got to take it one day at a time.”
Beckham, who had hamstring problems in training camp last year, isn’t looking to make an impression, if he practices in the sessions.
“I don’t expect to go out there and try and play a game on Tuesday — especially it being preseason as well,” he said. “Just go out there to compete and get better. If they take it up to another level, then you just go with the flow. You just make sure you’re smart about it.”
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)