First things first, right? You got to have a place to put your stuff, a place to sleep.
For now, Antonio Hamilton resides in a hotel not far from the Giants’ training facility in East Rutherford — along with his wife, Tiara, and daughter, 1-year-old Aubrey. It has been quite a whirlwind since Hamilton, a good-sized cornerback, was waived by the Raiders last Saturday after two seasons in Oakland. The next day, he signed with the Giants. The sudden cross-country move was stressful for Antonio and Tiara, not so much for Aubrey.
“She doesn’t have to do nothing but kick back and play,’’ Hamilton said.
If only life was that simple. Hamilton is one of eight players added by the Giants’ in a two-day span, changing 15 percent of the 53-man roster. It is not the ideal way to build a team, but the Giants were not happy with the depth they assembled this summer — especially on defense — and dove heavily into the waiver wire to pick up players discarded around the league.
Hamilton and defensive end Mario Edwards came from the Raiders, kick returner Kaelin Clay came from the Bills, defensive backs Mike Jordan (Browns) and Kamrin Moore (Saints) arrived, along with offensive lineman Spencer Pulley (Chargers), defensive tackle John Jenkins (Bears) and linebacker Nate Stupar (Saints).
Not all of the newcomers will be active for Sunday’s opener against the Jaguars, but some of them will be and have to be ready.
“We’ll have to do things that they’re good at,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said. “Right now, it’s a matter of them learning the game plan and how it works against the opponent we’re playing and this week it’s Jacksonville. Most of these guys are veteran enough that they’ve probably been through this once or twice.”
Hamilton, 25, said “most definitely’’ when asked if he can be ready less than a week after arriving.
“I’m a smart football player,” he said. “Everything is pretty much simple. It’s football still. A lot of the stuff it doesn’t really take long to learn.’’
Pulley, a shaved-headed, bearded 25-year-old, started all 16 games at center last season for the Chargers but was not shocked he did not stick in Los Angeles.
“It’s not something that completely blindsided me,’’ Pulley said. “I’m pretty happy with the way it worked out.’’
Pulley will start out working at guard until he better acclimates to the Giants’ offense. He fills an interior line reserve role opened up when veteran John Jerry was released.
Like Hamilton, Pulley for now is living in a hotel. He previously did not know anyone on the Giants’ roster, and after “a crazy couple of days” he says “it’s starting to calm down a little bit.’’
Such roster turnover is not only difficult on the newcomers.
“It’s part of the business, something you got to adjust to,’’ center Jon Halapio said. “It sucks some guys you’re so close to leave, but you can only keep 53 guys, It’s good we replaced them with good guys, Spencer’s an example of that.’’
Pulley, like the others, met his new teammates and coaching staff and got to work. Learning the names and the culture will come later.
“I’m starting to get the idea,’’ Pulley said. “I love the mentality around here, I love how everybody handles things how everybody approaches the game. It’s made me very excited. There’s just a sense everyone’s on the same page, everyone’s working toward the same goal. It’s new, but I’m all in.”
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