Cowboys’ second-year QB Ben DiNucci said transitioning to the league in a pandemic season was a strange experience and is grateful to have a normal offseason program this time around.
“Yeah, I think last year was weird, and being a rookie I think that was just kind of all that we knew,” DiNucci said, via Rob Phillips of the team’s official site. “So this is really nice just getting in here and getting some reps, get comfortable going into camp and just kind of getting my feet on the ground. It’s a lot better when you’ve got guys around to bounce things off each other. It’s nice to be in the building and see faces and get out and practice a little bit.”
DiNucci called starting the Cowboys’ Week 8 game last season a “surreal moment” and felt more comfortable playing as the game progressed.
“It was a surreal moment for me,” DiNucci. “That’s something I’ll be able to say for the rest of my life – ‘Hey, I started a game for the Dallas Cowboys my rookie year. But I think just some positives for me, as you watched the game progress, I felt like I got a little more comfortable every quarter. Just some things, when the checkdown is there, take the checkdown, a positive play is a good play, no negative plays, just throwing the ball out of bounds when guys aren’t open. Just things that come with playing. And that’s all stuff that I’ll be able to work out in the preseason.”
DiNucci added that he’s glad to have a preseason this year and is eager to “show what I can do.”
“It’ll be nice to have preseason this year just to kind of be able to get back in the flow of games, play in games and get out there and show what I can do.”
Former Giants QB Eli Manning said he wanted a year away from the game before deciding whether to return the team in the front office.
“I wanted to take a year off anyway,” Manning said, via Giants.com. “That was the game plan to analyze what you want to do, analyze how busy you want to be, how involved you want to be, just to give the players a break, let the coaches have a fresh start and let Daniel Jones have his fresh start. But I was hoping there would be a spot back with the organization to do the things because of what it’s meant to me. The Giants organization is what I know. Since I’ve been out of college, this is all I’ve done and all I’ve ever wanted to do was do well for the Giants and win games and represent the organization in a positive way, and hopefully I can continue to do that.”
Manning explains that he has no regrets about retiring when he did.
“I think I was just ready,” Manning said. “I was ready to be done, I was ready to be retired. I think the fact that I wasn’t allowed to watch a practice or I wasn’t allowed to come and be around training camp or even go to an actual football game probably helped the transition a little bit. But I was at peace with my decision when I decided to retire, that I was ready to be done playing football. I think that made it easy for me to watch the Giants on T.V. and watch football games because I wasn’t bitter, I wasn’t saying, ‘Hey, I should be out there, I’m good enough to be out there.’ I was just saying, ‘Hey, I did my time, I played, I gave it all to the team and to the organization and now I’m ready just to be a fan.’ And I am a Giants fan, so I watched every game, rooted for them every game, pulled for them, so I’ll continue to do that.”
Washington HC Ron Rivera said first-round LB Jamin Davis is the exact type of linebacker teams need in the NFL.
“You have to have linebackers who can run. We were in Carolina, we had Luke [Kuechly] and we had Thomas Davis,” Rivera said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post. “What we lacked was that third guy that could run, just flat out run, because if something were to happen to Luke or Thomas, we’d be deficient at that position. The speed takes a guy from being a solid player to being an impact player, in my opinion. When we were in Carolina, we did that one year and, lo and behold, that guy [Shaq Thompson], his rookie year he becomes part of our crew and we got better. At that position, we were looking for a high-impact guy, and that’s who Jamin was as far as we were concerned.”