EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The six-week summer respite between the end of minicamp and start of training camp can be handled with varied approaches. This is the time of year when players are allowed to stray from the team’s organizational structure and create their own programs, which ultimately provide different paths to the same summer finish line.
The New York Giants, like the rest of the teams in the NFL, have 90 players spread across the country, going about their business of preparing for the season and/or taking time off to reboot. That many variables can be dangerous, keeping coaches up at night thinking about the possibilities of what could go wrong.
But it’s the offseason. This is summer break. There is no right or wrong approach. Only … different.
Here’s how a few Giants will spend their break:
WR Odell Beckham Jr. — Some Giants returned to their offseason homes and began training on Monday, several days after minicamp ended. Beckham is one of them. He returned to Los Angeles to work with his trainer, Jamal Liggin. He will grind until a “taper down” phase later in the summer that is designed to keep his body fresh heading into training camp.
Beckham held his second-annual Citi camp on Saturday in New Jersey. That night, he hopped a flight home and was preparing for the season less than 48 hours later. He views it as a continuation of the work he put in earlier this offseason.
“I’ve really been training,” Beckham said after noting he never felt better entering a season. “And to have these next six weeks to get another opportunity to train, it’s going to be great.”
Other than during the Fourth of July holiday, Jason Pierre-Paul is planning on being in the gym nearly every day until training camp. Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
DE Jason Pierre-Paul — Pierre-Paul was also in the gym Monday. He is in South Florida with his long-time trainer, Mike Alessi. There are few off days scheduled for Pierre-Paul this summer, aside from a trip out of the country for the July 4th holiday. That became a tradition after he lost his right index finger and parts of several others in a fireworks accident two years ago. Once he returns, he will jump right back into his routine.
“I work out every day, mostly,” Pierre-Paul said. “I probably take one day off, probably, in all the days I work out, but then I start unloading when training camp is about to start.”
LB Devon Kennard — He started his offseason with a cruise to the Bahamas. Some players need this downtime. They find it cathartic.
“I need this time away before camp starts to really clear my mind to get things back in order and just spend some time with my loved ones, because once the season comes, it’s grind all the way until September,” Kennard said over the weekend in a FOX Sports PROCast while on the cruise.
Kennard was back training at Parabolic Performance and Rehab in New Jersey by the middle of the week.
Former Giants and current Chicago Bears wide receiver Victor Cruz has a similar approach. He spent time in Paris this week, and seems to travels to Europe just about every offseason for some downtime.
WR Brandon Marshall — After minicamp, Marshall returned to his home in Florida, where he plans to work out at a Fit Speed Athletic Performance facility that he owns. Marshall is spending his first week post-Giants offseason workout program getting his body in alignment. At 33 years old, he handles the time away differently from some of the younger players. Marshall spends an inordinate amount of time attending to his body.
QB Davis Webb — Webb doesn’t think he can afford to take more than a few days off. He planned to help out at former roommate Bradley Marquez’s football camp over the weekend in Odessa, Texas, before returning to New Jersey to spend the rest of his summer digesting the Giants offense.
Webb, the Giants’ third-round pick out of Cal, still hadn’t moved into a permanent apartment as of late last week. That was on his “Things to Do” list. Webb was in a temporary residence studying furiously to bridge the gap between the Air Raid offense he ran in college and the West Coast offense he must master with the Giants.
That will continue over the next six weeks. Webb is taking his summer break business seriously. His schedule includes a lot of work on and off the field.
“This month is huge. … I plan on studying the script and playbook just about every day,” Webb said. “This is important to me, like I’ve said plenty of times. This is obviously a good time to get away, but for me I’m in no situation to do that. I can take a couple days off here and there, but I don’t really plan on doing that.
“I plan on learning as much as I can and grabbing this playbook by the bull of the horns and running with it.”
OL John Jerry — Jerry isn’t a rookie like Webb, but he also believes the time between minicamp and training camp is vital to success. The veteran offensive lineman committed to LeCharles Bentley’s O-Line Performance last offseason and considered the offseason program “career changing.” He had one of his best professional seasons.
The program includes working through the summer in Arizona. Jerry, who recently celebrated his 31st birthday, flew there with his family over the weekend and began training again alongside center Weston Richburg this week with barely any time off. This is what he believes is best for his body, his technique and his overall game.
“I just think I felt stronger throughout the whole season with no fatigue and wearing out and those things,” Jerry said. “At the same time, staying in shape, that was probably the biggest thing for me. Not taking too much time off and coming in and ready to roll.”
S Landon Collins — The third-year safety isn’t resting on his laurels after an All-Pro season. Next week he is headed back to Ryan Clark’s Traction Sports Performance in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he works out in the offseason. Collins plans to drop almost 10 pounds over the next six weeks because he wants to be even lighter than during his breakout season. Collins, who wants to play in the 210-pound range, was close to 220 pounds at minicamp.
“I want to work on my muscle endurance and I want to run all over the field and definitely keep my weight down,” he said. “I’ve got to keep my weight down so I can fly. Working out, eating right, dieting right and film study. Film study is the biggest key of it all so we recognize formations and stuff like that. That would be the biggest thing to take my play to the next level.”
Coach Ben McAdoo — For most, summer break isn’t exactly a break, and that’s true for coaches. Like his players, McAdoo has a goal to improve this summer. He doesn’t believe that happens by sitting on the beach or hitting the club (can you imagine?) with his new slicked-back hair.
The Giants head coach is going to work on preparing for training camp and the season.
“I don’t shut it down very easily,” McAdoo said. “I am going to stay engaged and get a little bit done each and every day, whether it is on the offensive side of the ball, reflecting on the pieces that we added, or taking a look at the defensive side of the ball and what we can do to help the defense there. Looking at players and personnel and taking a look at the schedule and looking at how we can tweak things and make them a little bit better.
“You never really shut it off; you just work from a different place.”