New Digs Lead to New Routes For Giants WRs

Louis GiangarraCorrespondent IJune 8, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 09:  Ramses Barden #13 of the New York Giants works out at rookie camp on May 9, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Apparently during practice in recent seasons, one of the most successful franchises in the NFL could not complete a pass over 40 yards on their own field. That was because their practice bubble was only 55 yards long, and the roof prohibited any deep balls from being thrown.

"If I was playing defensive back," Coach Tom Coughlin said, "I think I could take the underneath stuff away and count on the wall behind me in the bubble to run guys into.  The quarterback is not going to run a guy into the wall."

That will not be a problem any more as the Giants have moved into a state of the art new facility with much more appealing dimensions for Eli Manning and his speedy group of wide receivers.

"In the bubble you always had to worry about running the guys into the back of the end zone," Manning said. "You'd naturally see it, and you'd be scared to let some balls fly. If you threw it on time it wouldn't be a problem, but sometimes you'd have to move around and you'd make a late read and that prevented you from doing some stuff."

The new field is a full 100 yards long and provides much more room outside the lines to allow for receivers to finish their routes without fear of bouncing off a wall.

The defense and offense used to have to share a field roughly half the size of the current one, but now they each get their own half and can even run a scrimmage should the coach request one.

"The new turf, along with being able to run deep routes, is a tremendous help," Domenik Hixon said. "If the ball is thrown to the sideline you are able to catch it and run a solid seven to 10 steps without having to slow down."

There is also another added benefit to the new field that Hixon has discovered.

"All the space for punting is there. You can catch punts, which is another big thing, too," Hixon said. "For us returners, we were talking about catching punts in there. It's great."

Even the cornerbacks can feel the difference, and are benefiting from the changes.

"The field house makes it more realistic," Corey Webster said. "I like it better in the field house.  In the bubble, you were not really aware of your situation. It was a 60-yard field, so you'd think, 'They can't go deep, so you can slow down.' This way you get the real feel of how it's going to be in the game."

The new digs are getting rave reviews from offense and defense alike. They will be able to be even better prepared for their weekly opponents than they were in previous seasons.  Judging by their record in the recent past, that can only be bad news for the rest of the league when the come to town to play the Giants.