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Friday, February 28, 2014
Big Blue Morning: An early start

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

The New York Giants spent the 2013 season looking like a team that could use more practice, and they will get it. The announcement Thursday that the Giants will play the Buffalo Bills in the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3 means the Giants (and the Bills) will get an extra preseason game and be allowed to start training camp early -- July 19 if they so choose.

I see this as a good thing for the Giants. The extra game is whatever, and they don't need to expose their best players to the added injury risk if they don't want to do it. But they are going to have a lot of new players and be learning some new offensive schemes under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. So the potential for an early start to training camp is a beneficial thing for a team that can't wait to put 2013 behind it and recover with a strong 2014.

And speaking of young McAdoo, he spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since the Giants hired him in mid-January, which was nice of him and them. He didn't offer much beyond the typical coach-speak about fundamentals and tailoring the system to fit the personnel. But there were some little tidbits, including praise for Victor Cruz and an insistence that they will attempt to resurrect their screen game. McAdoo sounds like a guy who knows what he wants to do but just doesn't want to tell us all what it is. Which is fine, since it's the first part that matters to the Giants and their fans.

Anyway, I'm in Boston these next two days for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which has nothing to do with the Giants but hopefully will help me become a smarter football journalist. So if something happens with the Giants, I'll keep you posted in between seminars. Enjoy your chilly Friday.