Yesterday, Jason reported that Giants QB Eli Manning held an "organized" workout in which 11 reporters showed, while only a handful of Giants showed, including just 2 starters other than Manning, which started World War 3 between Giants and Eagles fans in the comment section. Today comes news from Pro Football Talk via Ralph Vacciano of the NY Daily News that the Giants won't be practicing due to "safety" reasons. Per Justin Tuck:
"We kind of have a tendency to get a little competitive when we start working out together. So we wouldn’t want anything stupid to happen. The best way to prevent that is to have nothing organized."
I'm not so sure these "workouts" really get as intense as Tuck is making them out to be. I haven't covered any of these makeshift workouts, but they seem like little more than receivers running routes at shoddy facilities. However, Tuck may be onto something - PFT makes a great point that players are risking their livelihood by participating in these unofficial gatherings:
Tuck’s right. Any serious injuries suffered during players-only workouts would constitute non-football injuries if/when the lockout ends. And if a player can’t play in 2011 because of an injury suffered during a lockout workout, his team can choose not to pay him.
Regardless, it's almost kind of comical how much attention these workouts are getting. A.J. Hawk of the Packers recently chimed in on these impromptu workouts in an interview with Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"The most the defense can do when we get together is seven-on-seven," said Hawk. "I can understand quarterbacks throwing to receivers and stuff like that. I think it's more of a camaraderie thing.
"I've heard that different guys' workouts from different teams have just been a disaster. They're working out at bad high school fields and equipment and all that kind of stuff."
Hawk said every one of his teammates is working out individually, every day, so he's not concerned if they don't have any of these players-only practices.
"We're all ready to come back. We never got out of shape," said Hawk. "The player gatherings are a good thing to get together and be with your teammates - that's the most I would take from it."
So that's where we are on May 12th, 2011. The offseason for hardcore fans has become "My team is working out more than your team!" Thanks, NFL.