Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Updated: November 4, 9:43 AM ET
Giants O-line preparing to face the noise
By Jane McManus
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Poise in the noise.
When Giants right guard Chris Snee was asked if he'd heard coach Tom Coughlin's motto heading into Seattle, he laughed.
"He wouldn't just share that with you," Snee said. "I've heard that 50 times."
The Giants (5-2) have dealt with injuries all season, but heading to Seattle to play in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL without center Shaun O'Hara, the Giants are practicing silent counts and visual cues to keep from repeating history.
During one of the most recent trips to Qwest Field, in 2005, the Giants racked up 11 false-start penalties. Plenty of the players on this team can remember that day, and don't want to repeat it. The coaching staff is preparing them for a loud crowd.
"I don't think there's any more concern than there would normally be," Coughlin said. "The problem is that as you're talking about silent count, you're talking about being able to see and move and all those types of things -- poise in the noise is a big factor."
It can be a tough day for the offensive line, where Adam Koets will likely start at center given O'Hara's foot injury. Koets has played well during the games he had to start for O'Hara, who also has struggled with ankle tendinitis, a separate injury.
"We wouldn't mind getting up on them, quiet them down," Koets said.
Koets can expect to have the backing of the offense if O'Hara can't play this Sunday, although no official decision has been made. O'Hara said his foot feels better, but didn't give any indication of whether he would make the trip west.
"We've got a lot of confidence in Adam and Adam has done well for us," running back Brandon Jacobs said. "Adam would have to hear the same noise Shaun would hear."
And that is likely to be loud. The Giants are perfecting some of the strategies for playing through a loud crowd, which includes loud noise piped in at practice.
"We know what type of environment we're going into," left tackle David Diehl said. "We know how loud it's going to be. The best we can do is go out there in practice and make sure we're communicating, going off the looks and doing whatever we can -- whether it's hand signals or whatever -- to make sure everyone's on the same page and communicating."
Diehl said that plenty of players came to the practice facility during their day off, to avoid a letdown in concentration after a bye week. A few Giants expressed excitement that they would play in such a high-energy stadium.
"It's a great challenge for us, and we've played out there before," quarterback Eli Manning said. "We've played in loud places before so we know what to expect and how we have to prepare this week to get ready."
That could be a challenge for the offensive line especially this week.
"Playing out there, that's the way football is supposed to be," said left guard Rich Seubert. "It's supposed to be loud. It's supposed to be rowdy. It's a fun place to play."
Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow her on Twitter.
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