By the time the start of the regular season everyone is eager to play against another team and go up against players other than their teammates. This year during training camp, the Giants are having joint practices with the Cincinnati Bengals. On Friday, the two squads play each other in their first preseason game. Running back Shane Vereen, one of the additions the Giants made to the offense in the offseason spoke to us about his thoughts on the first couple days of joint practices as well as looking forward to the preseason games.
A free agent addition from New England, Vereen specializes in third-down scenarios both in pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. However, Vereen has been proving himself to be a good all around back.
According to nj.com, “The more versatile Shane Vereen logged the most snaps during Tuesday's practice. It's been that way most of the summer.” Vereen touched on the joint practices saying that, “To be able to switch it up and go against somebody that you haven’t seen throughout camp or OTAs, it really helps you hone in on your abilities, I guess.” He also added that it gets mundane after a while going against the same people.
When asked if going up against a new defensive scheme that runs different things must help him mentally, Vereen agreed saying, “ Yeah, absolutely. You've got to come in with the right mentality. The mentality [of] be aggressive—it’s a physical game. Prepare yourself and just compete.”
By now the Giants offense probably can anticipate what the defense is going to try to do, and the defense has an idea of the plays the Giants are going to run, so it is refreshing and also a bit of a challenge to be able to try it on someone new. The Bengals have consistently been a playoff contender (even if they haven’t made the playoffs) the past couple of seasons, so how the Giants fare could give them a benchmark as to where they stand. Having said that, nothing is won in August, and the best teams improve mightily from August as well as improving week to week.
Speaking about what he is looking for in the first preseason game Vereen said, “Just get the jitters out and just get back to try and feel as comfortable as possible playing football, and just getting back in the swing of things.”
For the rookies Vereen gave a piece of advice when he looked back on his first real NFL preseason game, “You’re nervous as all heck and you just want to make a good impression. As a rookie, I would say just do exactly that. Do your best, if you mess up, mess up at 110 percent.”
So far, with his new team, it seems like Vereen is making a very good impression.