"New York Times"
August 20, 1970
Written by GEORGE VECSEY
"Dryer Surfaces as Defensive Star
BROOKVILLE - Aug. 19 - Fred Dryer thinks the training season is too long. Heīd limit it to two weeks of drills and three weeks of exhibitions and then heīd open the gates and start the season.
"Two weeks is plenty", Dryer said yesterday at the Giant camp. "You spend too much time in the humidity in the East and your body canīt replace the weight fast enough. I think everybody is in favor of a shorter camp - except the owners."
The tall and agile defensive end did his bit for a short training schedule when he reported three days behind the rest of the Giant regulars two weeks ago. But he proved his point last Saturday night, when he was the best defensive player on the field as the Giants lost in San Diego.
Some Underwater Training
The former San Diego State star, who has left 41 tickets for assorted friends and relatives, recovered a fumble, participated in seven tackles and pressured the Chargers into several incompleted passes. He was, in short, everything the Giants expected when they made him their top draft choice for 1969.
Naturally, not every player has the loose physique of the 6-foot-5-inch, 235-pound beach boy who could probably dance ballet if he wanted to.
Dryer wasnīt surprised that he played so well on Saturday night. After all, he hadnīt been sitting around an office all winter, shuffling papers and watching the market dive. Heīd been preparing for offensive lineman by diving for doubloons off the California coast - and staring down hammerhead sharks.
"Thatīs why I was late for camp", he explained.
"I figured the strike was going to go for a while so I got in my camper, a converted panel truck, and I was doing some diving with a friend of mine. I canīt tell you where we were diving, but we came up with some interesting stuff.
"One of the last days we went down, I could see about 15 feet away there was this hammerhead shark", Dryer said. "Heīd circle around me and the circles got smaller and smaller. Thatīs what they do before they attack. But he finally disappeared and I went
to the surface.
A Special Year
"I mean, we could have shot him, but then there would have been blood and other sharks would have come into the area, so we couldnīt have done any more diving anyway."
Shortly after that, Dryer established contact with the outside world and found the strike was over. Now he is concentrating on the other part of his life, football, convinced that he and the Giants are ready for a special year.
Without bragging, Dryer says that the Giants could win the division title and he also says, "Oh, I could be the best in football just yet", but he is the best on the Giant squad as they prepare for the Jets next Sunday."