The New York Giants, a team that despite making the playoffs underachieved by many standards in 2006, are already having their issues before even the start of 2007. The New York Daily News reports that two of the teams star players, wide receiver Plaxico Burress and tight end Jeremy Shockey, failed to report for an optional team workout on Wednesday. While both players have every right to not be at the practice, the move by both to not show is already a big story in the Big Apple.
As the story states, both pass catchers had told QB Eli Manning that they would be there for the practices, but both have not been seen in New Jersey for several weeks. Of the 88 players on the roster, 84 of them were at the practice, with DE Michael Strahan and FB Jim Finn being the only other two not to be there. Both Manning and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin were upset at the no-show from Burress and Shockey. Coughlin would not talk about the two missing players – “We’ll talk about the guys that are here.”
As for Manning, the young QB has talked about getting together more often with his wide outs to improve on timing. That will be tough to do with Burress and Shockey both not in sessions that could help that very cause. “I think you always need to work on things and you need your rhythm and timing back before minicamp and everything starts back up,” Manning stated. The thing that is most sad is that Manning seemed to accept the fact that two players that are being counted on so heavily this season just decided to blow off a chance to get better. “You accept it,” he said. “I’ve got to do what I can do. I’ve got to be positive, make the best of every workout, and whoever’s out there and wants to come out there and practice and work, that’s the guys who I’m going to work with.”
If Manning cannot get enough time with his two favorite targets, the Giants, a team that is going to looking to take the next step in 2007, are going to get off to a slow start with players simply not being on the same page.