The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants hit the field for training camp on Friday. Here are some news and notes from the team’s first practice in Albany:
— The pecking order behind starting back Ahmad Bradshaw is as follows: D.J. Ware, Andre Brown, Da’Rel Scott and David Wilson.
This so-called pecking order may come as a surprise at first glance. Despite being the team’s first-round selection in the 2012 draft, David Wilson currently finds himself at the bottom of the chart.
But Wilson’s talent level has nothing to do with him backing Ware, Brown and Scott at this point. It’s the fact that he has yet to play a professional game.
He’s a rookie. Of course he won’t be ahead of the veterans, especially after the first day of training camp. If you’re a Wilson supporter, do not get caught up in this early report.
His body of work at Virginia Tech clearly showed why he was just one of three halfbacks selected in the first-round. Wilson ran for a combined 953 yards and nine scores in his first two seasons as a Hokie. He capped off his three-year collegiate career in 2011 with 1709 rushing yards, good for fourth in the entire nation, and reached the endzone nine times.
As far as his current skill set goes, Wilson definitely has some nice positives. He has good speed, solid running instincts and excellent cutting ability. Wilson is also quick to the hole and can break off quite a few tackles.
After the completion of camp and the preseason schedule, I do expect Wilson to start the 2012 campaign as the No. 2 back on the depth chart.
— The competition for the No. 3 wide receiver starts with Domenik Hixon followed by Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle.
The fight for this spot is very similar to the one just mentioned. And just like Tom Coughlin has with Wilson, rookie Rueben Randle is at the bottom here as well.
I do, however, expect Randle to end up as the winner of this position battle.
The LSU product is more talented than his opposition and should suffice as Eli Manning’s third option based off his considerable success playing in the SEC.
— Linebackers lined up on the first team included Chase Blackburn, Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka. The second team consisted of Keith Rivers, Jacquian Williams and Mark Herzlich with Greg Jones, Jake Muasau and Spencer Paysinger lining up on the third team.
The current groups should remain as is for the start of the season. The obvious candidate that can crack into the first team is the newly acquired Keith Rivers.
The Giants completed a low-risk-high reward deal for Rivers back in April, shipping off a fifth-rounder to Cincinnati for the four-year linebacker.
— Four players, including Hakeem Nicks, were placed on the PUP list.
While participating in an OTA workout back in May, Hakeem Nicks went down with an injury. The team’s No. 1 wideout broke fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.
On Thursday, Nicks was one of four Giants placed on the physically unable to perform list at training camp. Chris Canty, Clint Sintim and Travis Beckum, all suffering from knee injuries, were among the others.
The initial report had Nicks missing around 12 weeks of activity. But judging from his rehabilitation at camp, it seems as if Eli’s favorite target is a bit behind schedule.
According to coach Coughlin, Nicks has “just started” running in the wading pool.
This is some discouraging news considering his anticipated return date has already passed without any on-field running activity.
— Terrell Thomas left practice after his back tightened up.
After suffering a devastating ACL tear, Terrell Thomas had his 2011 campaign completely halted before it even began.
Thomas, unfortunately, wasn’t exactly injury free upon his return. The cornerback left the first practice early after tightening his back. Although Thomas and team officials believe he will be fine, this can’t be the best news for a Giants secondary that allowed the fourth-most passing yards last season.
Michael Coe replaced Thomas in the workouts.
— Justin Tuck on if there’s room for two dynasties in the NFC East:
“No, there’s not. Right now there’s not one here yet. Hopefully we can become that first.”
— Tom Coughlin on repeating:
“Great thing about the mountain is that everybody starts the climb again right at this particular time.”
— Victor Cruz on playing in his contract season:
“I don’t need a contract to stay motivated. Just the thrill of winning with my team, at home in New York, a place I grew up, that’s all the motivation I need to play football.”
— Ahmad Bradshaw on the Giants’ 32nd ranked rushing game:
“Being 32nd, that’s devastating for us. That’s a tough thing as a running back, actually being the starter and being a big part of it.”