The Giants left Monday for three days of joint practices with the Detroit Lions in advance of Friday’s preseason game at Ford Field. The New York Jets and Washington Redskins were involved in a joint practice melee that emptied both sidelines Sunday.
“We want our guys to be smart,” Shurmur said. “We want our guys to compete, we want to be smart, we want to stay off the ground. We want to eliminate all that chatter outside the whistle. That’s part of being a pro is being able to practice not only with your team but with other teams.”
Shurmur doesn’t expect the Giants and Lions to get involved in any extra curricular activity that could lead to the type of sideline clearing melee observed at the Jets/Redskins joint practice. He cited having a working relationship with Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Both Shurmur and Patricia worked together in joint practices as offensive coordinators for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots respectively.
Of course, telling players not to fight is one thing. Getting them to do it is another matter altogether.
Fights happen when teammates practice against each other. Giants rookie offensive lineman Will Hernandez is a great example of that. The 6-foot-2, 327-pound Hernandez took on 6-foot-3, 341 nose tackle Damon Harrison on the final day of June’s minicamp.
On Monday, Hernandez was involved in a “squabble” with linebacker B.J. Goodson during half-speed drills. He has gotten into shoving and punching matches with other teammates since he was drafted 34th overall. Hernandez said he will abide by Shurmur’s mandate…to a point.
“Sometimes you can’t avoid those kinds of situations,” Hernandez said. “I’m not against fighting but I’m also not for it. If it happens, it happens. When you have a bunch of guys out there who are competitors, it’s bound to happen. It takes two to fight so obviously that guy is thinking the same thing, so that’s why things like that happen.”
Some Giants players will use the practice time to perfect their craft, which is the reason for the joint practices in the first place.
Cornerback Eli Apple said he welcomes the chance to practice against receivers he doesn’t normally go up against. Quarterback Eli Manning thinks the joint practice is perfect because the defense will be unpredictable.
“Just going against a new defense, kind of getting unscripted looks, and you have to adjust, you kind of test their rules,” Manning said. “It’s different when you’re going against our defense. Now, we got a feel for what they like to do, and this and that. Going against new guys, new techniques, new style of defense, I think it’s going to be a great learning experience for us.”
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.