The Giants have been under pressure from their team president, CEO, and co-owner John Mara after the miserable end to a disappointing 2009 season. Last year, Mara spent $86 million in salary and bonuses to attempt to fix their defense. We all know how that turned out. The defense gave up over 40 points a game in 3 out of their last 4 games. So, at the end of last season, John Mara said he was “unhappy at everybody.”
But the off-season seemed to be looking up. Their new stadium was unveiled, they were awarded the 2014 superbowl, got a new defensive coordinator who the players haven’t been threatening to walk out on, and they signed pro bowl safety Antrel Rolle from Arizona.
But, what goes up, must come, you guess it, down. Training camp doesn’t open for 6 weeks but, at practice last week, the Giants decided to let their starters try out the new field and it’s new turf. That’s the kind of move that will get one of your starting players injured during a punt return…oh right, that actually happened. Dominik Hixon is now out for the entire 2010 season due to an ACL tear. I know his injury is old news but, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to ask management the following question, isn’t this why teams have practice squads? Hixon is a huge loss on special teams. He set single season franchise records in 2009 returning 57 punts for 1,291. That was 5th in the NFL. So, yeah, no biggie.
While Jerry Reese said the new turf had nothing to do with Hixon’s injury, after the injury he took another look.
“Actually I just went over there and looked at the field again and we talked about some things that may need to be changed in respect to the field. We’re working on that, we hope to have all the kinks out before we get on it again.”
Antrel Rolle told ESPNNewYork.com,
“I don’t know what it was,” Rolle said. “My feet were burning at the bottom on the turf. I was slipping on each and every play. It just didn’t feel good to me at all. I can’t lie to you about that. I am not one to really complain or make excuses or anything but they should definitely look into that as far as playing on that field in the future during the season.”
He wasn’t the only player to voice concern either. “I thought it was real slippery,” wide receiver Steve Smith said. “We were all slipping and stuff. Hopefully it settles in when more people do stuff on it.” Okay, fine. But can the more people please be people like Sinorice Moss?