EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants don't face the Washington Redskins for another week, but already the first in-season shots have been fired in what's certain to be an intense matchup that will be headlined by a duel between Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Washington cornerback Josh Norman.
Beckham, the Giants flamboyant receiver, and Norman, who signed with Washington this year after Carolina rescinded the franchise tag, famously and, at times, embarrassingly battled in Week 15 last year, which led to Beckham being fined and suspended for losing his cool against the trash-talking Norman.
The feud spilled over into the offseason, with Beckham suggesting in a GQ interview over the summer that he made Norman "relevant," while Norman, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, called Beckham "a crybaby" whom he planned to "hit him in the mouth ... until he stops crying."
The latest chapter in the feud saw Beckham's teammates take up his cause after receiving questions about the curious decision made by Washington's coaching staff to not have Norman constantly shadow Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
"It's unusual," cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. "At the end of the day, you've got to think about the game plan they had going in. It either was, 'We're gonna have Norman travel with (Brown), or we're gonna have Norman play one side and we double (Brown) on the other side.' So it could have gone both ways.
"But, I think when you're paying somebody $70 mil, there shouldn't be no game plan. The game plan should be, 'You're on this guy,' and that's what it is.'"
Even the normally conservative Victor Cruz, who typically takes the high road, was surprised that Norman didn't exclusively draw Brown in coverage.
"Especially if he calls himself -- I don't call him this, he calls himself -- the best corner in the league, then you have to cover the best receivers on the other team," Cruz told the New York Post. "Going in I thought he was going to follow AB all over the place, but he didn't so it is what it is.
"He can go to the powers that be and say 'Hey, I want to cover this guy.' And if they say no, if maybe he did that and they said no, then I'll have to eat my words. But for the most part you can go and make that request, I'm sure."
Beckham, who last year pretty much drew Norman in coverage in the Giants' 38-35 loss, finished that game catching six of nine targets for 76 yards and one touchdown.
--If you blinked last week, you might not have noticed that Giants safety Landon Collins was lining up all over the field.
To be more specific, Collins, the team's starting strong safety, took reps at free safety, linebacker and as the slot cornerback where he mostly held up well
"From the get-go I prepared for all that stuff and that was to be thrown into all the situations I was put into," Collins said. "Just having (the coaches) prepare me and going over the stuff ahead of time made it easy for me to go out on the field and make plays."
Last week, Collins finished second on the team with six tackles, all solo. He also broke up one pass, although to be fair, he also was on the other end of the Cowboys' longest pass completion of the day, a 21-yarder to tight end Geoff Swaime, and on a deep pass thrown to receiver Dez Bryant that was initially ruled as a touchdown but which was later reversed.
Although his performance had blemishes, Collins was overall pleased with what he put on tape and was appreciative that the coaches put so much on his plate.
"It makes me feel like they trust me no matter where they put me and that's big," he said. "You get that kind of trust from the head coach and you usually end up making a lot of plays for them, especially when they put you in the right position to make the play."
NOTES: QB Eli Manning needs just three touchdown passes to tie Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway of the Denver Broncos for seventh all-time. ... DT Robert Thomas (illness) was the only Giants player not to practice Wednesday. Thomas, who was added to the roster last week after the final training camp cuts were made, was inactive in Week 1. Thomas said he was making progress and hopes to be back on the practice field next week at the latest. ... RB Rashad Jennings leads the NFL in rushing (507 yards) and in rushes of 10-plus yards (15) since Week 14 of last season, according to the NFL Network.