Pataki, wearing a blue Giants training camp cap, spent the latter part of practice talking with General Manager Ernie Accorsi. When practice ended, Fassel asked Pataki to address the team, telling the players that the governor was instrumental in bringing the Giants to Albany.
"You have ‘New York' on the side of your helmets and we're very proud of you," Pataki told the team. "You have great talent and we have high expectations for you. We want to see you in the Super Bowl this season. Have a great year." Pataki then spent several minutes chatting with Fassel before leaving the field.
"It's nice of him to come out here," Fassel said… Fassel said some progress had been made in the contract talks with first-round draft choice William Joseph, who had missed 10 practices.
"The glacier is starting to move a little bit, and hopefully we can get something done," Fassel said… The Giants have signed rookie offensive lineman Dion Meredith from Morris Brown College.
Meredith, 6-5, 310, played the first game of the 2002 season at left tackle for the Wolverines before he was declared academically ineligible. He did play the entire 2001 season at left tackle. The Giants considered him a prospect prior to the 2002 season and wanted to take a look at him…
The highlight of the morning practice was Kerry Collins' deep pass up the left sideline to Amani Toomer...
Reserve wideout Derek Dorris made several nice catches….
The highlight of the afternoon session was a spirited live short-yardage drill that featured the first serious hitting of camp. Ron Dayne made a couple of tough runs up the middle, and Charles Drake and Ray Green flattened Antonio Warren after a nice run up the right sideline.
Some of the veterans proposed a twist on the now-familiar sprint-free kicks.
"They wanted to bet me all 10 on the snap," Fassel said. "Last year I'd have taken that bet. I'm not taking it this year."