Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Giants [Print without images]

Thursday, September 9, 2010
A 4-star practice

By Ohm Youngmisuk

It wasn’t hard to spot the Giants’ special guest at practice on Thursday.

With secret service-looking security guards in suits and ear pieces watching anything but the Giants practice, Gen. Raymond Odierno stopped by in his military uniform to watch his favorite team.

Odierno, who was the Commanding General for U.S. forces in Iraq, talked to the team afterward and he had the undivided attention of the team.

“(Odierno spoke) about team, about mental physical toughness, resiliency, about overcoming anything and everything, about having each other’s back,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “Equated it to the group of soldiers who captured Saddam Hussein.”

Coughlin has developed a relationship with Odierno and it meant a great deal to have the General talk to his team.

“Very significant; very, very, very significant for me,” Coughlin said. “When you stop and think about the devotion that people such as the General have, to our country, and to the opportunity for the rest of us to sleep under the blanket of freedom, it is incredible what sacrifices are made by our brave and loyal soldiers.”

Justin Tuck said practice was a little different and not because of the General’s security detail.

“He’s a very important guy, and for him to take time out to come out and check the pulse of our football team, that says a lot,” said the defensive end, who was voted defensive captain by the team. “When he comes, guys pick it up a little bit. We try to kind of put on a show for him and play a little harder in practice. So it was fun to be out there today and it was good to see him.”