CARLSTADT, N.J. -- It was just a few years ago under Tom Coughlin that the New York Giants were considered to be in the dark ages while falling behind the competition technologically. That perception and reality has quickly changed.
Coughlin got the ball rolling in his final years by incorporating GPS and other new technologies, even if he might not have been able to apply them efficiently. Ben McAdoo has taken it to a different level since becoming the head coach last year. It's to the point now that the Giants are now considered a more progressive team with their approach and techniques.
"Our league is a lot of times stuck in its ways, the tradition. They're doing the same things from 40 or 50 years ago, running the same plays, the same terminology, same teaching message," new Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall said Saturday during a Receiver Factory Sports Camp. "When you have younger coaches or coaches who are innovators like Coach Mac, they are more receptive to doing things like that."
Marshall raved about the Giants' use of new-age methods. He specifically noted the GPS and thought overall their approach was at a level beyond any he'd experienced with his previous four teams. And even though Marshall has had only a few months to digest some of it, he's clearly embraced the progressive approach.
"I love it," said Marshall, who worked on the sideline Friday at Giants OTAs with what he called a little soft tissue stuff that shouldn't keep him out long.
McAdoo brought with him a new strength and conditioning program last year. He hired Aaron Wellman and the changes have been met with rave reviews.
Giants players have also talked about nutrition, diet and sleep being an emphasis this offseason. It's a whole new world under McAdoo at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
It's a different world outside, too. Marshall, several current and former teammates and the Receivers Factory staff were working with kids ages 7-18 on Saturday at Capelli Sports Center. They were giving instruction specific to wide receivers.
"For all the guys it's teaching the fundamentals," Marshall said.
Tips included catching the ball with your eyes, not your hands. And being a wide receiver involves "being an actor" and selling your every movement, according to Marshall, who was joined by first-round pick Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. Jets receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson were also there to help.
This is nothing like Marshall had the chance to experience growing up. The only camps he went to were ones run on the hill by his father that were designed for him, his brother and other neighborhood kids.
"He put us through a whole summer camp before Little League football," Marshall said. "He used to take us to the hill, we used to run the hill, we used to pick up old tires, put tires together, run through tires and ropes. It was tough.
"I think that is one of the reasons I'm here today. My dad instilled that work ethic with me and my brother."
Marshall is trying to pass that along to the next generation, one that has significant advantages with the instruction and technology at their fingertips. They can pop up tape of Marshall and break it down any time they want.
Marshall almost seems envious.
"When I was younger there wasn't really a YouTube or a Google. I didn't really have a computer to see what Jerry Rice was doing or Terrell Owens or Randy Moss," he said. "It wasn't until college when I was able to get an old VHS tape from my coach where we saw their practices and saw new techniques."
Now it's available everywhere. The technology is on its way, too.
And his new team, the Giants, have apparently already embraced it.