And so it begins. After an offseason filled with arrests, mall controversies, ESPY awards, book deals, and Tiki Barber news, the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Football Giants have finally made their way up to Albany for the start of training camp. Although the team has only had one day of actually playing football, there were several story lines that played out in practice that deserve significant attention.
Without further adieu, here is everything you need to know from Day 1.
- Cornerback Terrell Thomas started on the first-team defense. However, he left the field shortly after the beginning of practice due to tightness in his back. Although many expected 2011 first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara to step into his place, Michael Coe ran with the first team defense for the remainder of practice. Prince was relegated to third team duties, where he made a nice interception on a deep pass from David Carr intended for Rueben Randle.
- RB Ahmad Bradshaw and TE Martellus Bennett did not practice due to lingering injuries.
- In Bradshaw's absence, D.J. Ware and Andre Brown were the next in line for snaps. 2012 first-round draft pick David Wilson ran with the third-team.
- Although he is on the PUP, WR Hakeem Nicks was seen jogging along the sideline at times during practice.
- The Giants' worked on special teams for a significant portion of practice. The team split punt returning duties between Domenik Hixon, Victor Cruz, Jerrel Jernigan, Jayron Hosley, Rueben Randle, and Brandon Collins.
- As always, Ramses Barden looked great throughout Day 1. He made an acrobatic catch on a David Carr pass with rookie CB Jayron Hosley draped all over him. It should be interesting to see if he keeps it up.
- The crowd broke out the first "Cruuuuuz" chant of the year when the second-year phenom made an improbable catch over the middle of the field. Cruz looked extremely quick and decisive for the first day of camp.
- Staying with the wide receiver theme, Domenik Hixon lined up opposite of Victor Cruz with the first-team offense. Rueben Randle and Ramses Barden ran with the second-team.
- As expected, Chase Blackburn ran with the first-team defense as the starting MLB. Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley (who intercepted Eli Manning for the first pick of camp) accompanied him to round out the starting linebacker core. Jacquian Williams, Mark Herzlich, and Keith Rivers ran with the second-unit, while Greg Jones, Jake Muasau, and Spencer Paysinger were the third-string linebackers.
- Lastly, although we do not have an official measurement, DT Linval Joseph looked lighter and quicker than he was last season. He could be a candidate to have a major break-out year.
As you can see, it was an eventful day up in Albany. The highlight of the practice was definitely when Terrell Thomas left the field with back issues. This had many coaches, players, and fans alike all collectively holding their breath. However, after practice, head coach Tom Coughlin said that the injury was nothing serious. While we shouldn't get too worried about Thomas' durability yet, this is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Other than that, it seems as if at least initially, the coaching staff is going not going to hand out favorable spots on the depth chart just because a player was a first round pick, or is a lock to make the team. A perfect example of that is Andre Brown getting reps ahead of David Wilson. While Wilson is a lock to make the team and Brown is far from it, the coaching staff is sending a message to its youngsters right off the bat. Stay tuned to Giants 101 for further updates regarding training camp.
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