Full disclosure here. I'm not at rookie minicamp today. Gotta see a guy about a thing. But from everything I'm reading, first-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul seemed to have some trouble dealing with the high temperatures during morning practice. He was seen getting winded and getting his back stretched out.
Tom Coughlin indicated he wasn't too concerned about the physical state of his tall pass rusher.
"He is going through the conditioning aspect of this," Coughlin said. "I think he is suffering a little but he hung in there.
"I just think he is – like a lot of them, they are suffering a little bit because it is hotter than it has been. They have had two (practices) yesterday and they had a time to cramp up and get sore and then come back in this morning and have to do again. I wish he was running around like perhaps I had the thought that he would be. But he learns; he learns every time he gets out there."
Pierre-Paul told the media that he gets "a little pinch" in his back whenever he takes a long break from football, but that it's nothing to worry about. And he said he was in shape despite the stamina problems.
“No, I’m not out of shape,” he said. “I feel like I’m in good shape right now. The fact that I was out there bending down and stuff, it wasn’t that I was out of shape. I kept on telling coach that. I’m not out of shape now. I feel like I’m in great shape. It’s just my back was just killing me.”
Coughlin has put Pierre-Paul at both defensive end spots. As usual, he, like all the other rookies, are getting a lot of information thrown at them at once. But Coughlin didn't sound all that impressed with Pierre-Paul's ability to absorb it all. The coach called his progress only "so-so."
"Just like all young guys, they take a step forward and a couple of steps back and then in another period they go ahead and take maybe a couple of steps forward and only one step back," Coughlin said. "So it has been kind of that way."
Coughlin was somewhat more optimistic about fourth-round middle linebacker Phillip Dillard, who seems to be taking to the pro position.
"He seems to be doing well," Coughlin said. "He flashes. He seems to be enjoying himself and flying around and in good shape."
Dillard has been trying to be vocal out on the field, which Coughlin likes. But he also said the Nebraska tackler needs to get comfortable with his own game first.
"Solid football player who is smart enough to help us get lined up," Coughlin said as he enumerated the qualities he wants his middle linebacker to possess. "Can especially use on first and second down. Has got leadership tools, will earn the right to be a leader and perhaps be an individual that doesn’t mind telling other people when they are not in position properly; so a lot of those things.
"But I think the first thing that has to happen is that the young player has to get his own game in line before he can talk to anybody else."