SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants brought puppies into their new facility at Scottsdale Stadium on Thursday afternoon and encouraged players to go spend some time with them as the organization's marketing arm took photos and videos.
The activity in the morning was a bit more serious.
Herm Edwards, the head coach at Arizona State and a longtime coach in the NFL, visited the clubhouse in the morning to kick off a guest speaker series that the new staff has instituted. Edwards grew up in Seaside and was a Giants fan. He was an easy choice as a guest speaker since he's right down the road in Tempe.
"He shared with our players that he recognizes that they're all independent contractors, but then once we're in that room together we're a team and we're fighting for one another," manager Gabe Kapler said. "I thought it was a really powerful message at a really good time of camp. I think our players and staff both benefited from having Coach Edwards in the building this morning."
Kapler had never met Edwards before Thursday morning. He said the staff has kicked around names to be brought in as other guest speakers.
"We will be looking for people to come in and share stories but we're not going to overdo it, either," Kapler said. "We want impactful people to be spliced into camp and have a nice balance between fun and lighthearted things in the morning that keeps the entire group loose, and then some more serious messages. In some cases like this morning, a combination of both. He has the ability to make people laugh and hold the attention of the room. A powerful speaker."
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Kapler said players seemed to enjoy their time with Edwards, who was legendarily intense during his NFL days. And yes, when it came time to ask questions, one of them did raise his hand and ask Edwards why you play the game.