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    "It's been one of the looming questions surrounding the Giants this offseason:
    Who will be the middle linebacker?

    That's usually been followed by: Does it even matter?

    The most notable competition heading into the season will be who emerges as
    the team's two-down middle linebacker in the base set. Fewell said it is Chase
    Blackburn's spot now, but that can change. He expects Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones
    and traditional outside linebackers Michael Boley and newcomer Keith Rivers to
    compete for the position.

    Fewell emphasized that Boley has the ability to play the role, but it's up
    for grabs.

    "Whoever can take the bull by the horn and lead us will have the opportunity
    to step up to the plate," Fewell said.

    Last season, the Giants played a sizable amount of packages with three
    safeties, having just two linebackers on the field and leaving a traditional
    middle linebacker off of it. Fewell said the team would like to continue
    providing a does of three-safety looks, but he believes the personnel in place
    at linebacker allow them to be more creative.

    "We might have to redefine [the middle linebacker position] a little bit as
    we continue to evaluate what offenses are continuing to do in the national
    football league," Fewell said.

    * * *

    Rookie minicamp practices are usually displays of confusion, inefficiency and
    organized chaos as players attempt to learn on-the-fly. So it's not a surprise
    that one of the camp's standouts for the Giants has been a non-rookie.

    Cornerback Brandon Bing, who spent last season on the Giants practice squad,
    himself a strong couple days of camp
    and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell
    was impressed, enough to create a nickname for the 5-foot-9 Rutgers product:
    "Bada" Bing.

    "It's not a surprise because he's enthusiastic," Fewell said today. "He
    worked last year on the practice squad and then coming into this camp he's shown
    what he can do. We're excited about him competing for one of those jobs this
    spring and going into the fall. And he's picked up where he left off from
    practice, the playoffs, etc."

    * * *

    Julien Talley knew the Victor Cruz comparisons were coming. It's too easy.
    Both are from New Jersey, both attended UMass, both went undrafted and both
    signed with the Giants.

    Talley isn't against it. If anything, he agrees: Talley believes he's the
    same type of player Cruz is.

    "We're one in the same type player," said Talley, who is wearing the same No.
    3 Cruz wore when he first got to the Giants. "We can stretch the field, get in
    and out of routes; speedy guys in the slot that can make plays."

    Talley said "five or six" teams contacted him after the draft and got offers
    from at least three, but he chose the Giants he felt "comfortable" with the

    * * *

    Seventh-round draft pick Markus Kuhn is not participating in camp because of
    a leg laceration he received while helping a friend move. The cut happened as he
    was carrying a box and a knife stuck through and sliced him. The cut required

    * * *

    Former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson said on Friday that he was participating
    in Giants minicamp to
    see what he had left in the tank
    . Apparently, he didn't have much.

    After participating in both of yesterday's sessions, the eight-year veteran
    told the Giants that he decided to retire.

    "He just said, 'Coach, I just don’t feel like my heart is in it,'” Tom
    Coughlin said."


    "Considering he was a second-round pick and had a big game in the 2006
    National Championship game, Limas Sweed was one of the more
    interesting names on the roster for Giants rookie camp.

    After the past few days, it'll be a shock if he's on the roster come

    The veteran wide receiver struggled to make an impact and this afternoon and
    dropped three passes, thus reinforcing a knock on him from his days with the
    Pittsburgh Steelers.

    On one play, he nearly hauled in a pass up the right sideline but couldn't
    control the ball as cornerback E.J. Whitley (tryout, Abilene
    Christian) got his hand in there. The next two should've been easy catches but
    bounced right off Sweed's hands. Even on a catch he did make, Sweed didn't make
    it a clean grab. Sweed also slipped on one play, leading to an easy interception
    for cornerback Dante Hughes (veteran tryout).

    Sweed came here trying to make an impression. It's extremely unlikely at this
    point it was a good one.

    * * * *

    And now, a rundown of a short final practice for this year's rookie camp:

    --LB Korey Williams (tryout, Southern Miss) came on strong
    at the end. He had a beauty of an interception when he reached up to pick off a
    pass from QB Ryan Perrilloux to WR David
    (undrafted free agent, Arizona), who was running the in cut
    behind Williams. It was a smooth play by Williams, who showed good hands and
    very good leaping ability on that play. To me, it was the defensive play of
    camp. Williams wasn't done, though, as he sniffed out a screen on the final play
    of practice, much to the coaches' delight. We'll see if those two plays and his
    performance on the whole are enough to get him a roster spot.

    --CB Jayron Hosley (third round) is "athletically arrogant,"
    to Jerry Reese
    . What that means is he plays some intense football. After the
    Giants picked Hosley, Tom Coughlin was asked if the coaches will have to let
    Hosley know overly aggressive play won't fly on the NFL level. Coughlin said
    he'd encourage Hosley to remain aggressive. Well, Hosley was a bit too
    aggressive during 1-on-1 passing drills when he jammed the receiver after 5
    yards. There was way too much contact there and that would've been an easy
    penalty for an official to call in a live game. Also, Hosley was playing a bit
    of the nickel corner spot and followed his receiver into the flat while playing
    a zone. That left a gap for a completion in his vacated zone. "Don't take the
    bait," secondary coach Peter Giunta told him.

    --Another player who had to be reminded this isn't college football anymore
    was S Janzen Jackson (undrafted free agent, McNeese State).
    "You can't touch him after 5, J.J.," safeties coach David Merritt said.

    --Douglas looked pretty good out there today and a lot more comfortable as
    camp went along.

    --WR Rueben Randle (second round) and TE Adrien
    (fourth round) both have had impressive camps but had bad
    drops this afternoon. Robinson looked like he might've been crossed up on his
    pass up the seam because, as athletic as he is, he was very discombobulated on
    that one.

    --I'll have more on OT Matt McCants (sixth round) at some
    point in the next few days. For now, know he's looked pretty quick on his pass
    sets coming out of his stance. And considering the competition he'll soon be
    facing in practice, he'd better be.

    --S Will Hill (tryout, Florida) was yanked off the field by
    Merritt after missing an assignment. I just don't think the former St. Peter's
    Prep star is going to stick. We'll see, though.

    --I didn't see WR Damian Davis (tryout, Mary Hardin-Baylor)
    on the field this afternoon. It could be he's headed home for whatever reason.
    If so, that's a shame because he made some plays on Friday."


    "I’d say let’s take a look at some highlights from this morning’s Giants rookie-camp practice, but it was more
    like a bunch of lowlights out there.

    Though Tom Coughlin said Friday morning’s practice was sloppy, that was a
    work of art considering the abundance of mistakes today. Players were jumping
    early, passes were thrown behind players, balls were dropped and the technique
    was shaky at best.

    The moment that encapsulated it all was when tight ends coach Mike Pope told
    Christian Hopkins after a series of false starts from him,
    “You’re offside on every play.”

    That’s a long way of saying it was tough to get a read on the players this
    morning, as 7-on-7 passing drills turned into an exercise in check-down passes
    and the team portion of the workout often had players running into one

    But some guys showed up in spurts, so here we go with the low, er,

    --Former Rutgers CB Brandon Bing, who was on the Giants’
    practice squad for a portion of last season, has had three solid practices now.
    As I mentioned Friday, the guys who have been around always seem to be moving
    the fastest during rookie camp because they know their assignments. Bing has
    looked that way and his technique has been solid as well. This morning, he did a
    great job of staying on top of a go route by WR Rueben Randle
    (second round) up the left side. QB Ryan Perrilloux had thrown
    a perfect pass, so Bing needed to stay tight to Randle. Plus, he had the deep
    third of the field in a Cover-3 look, so he had no help over the top. Also,
    S Will Hill (tryout, Florida) was late breaking to Bing’s side.
    So in all, a nice play by Bing, who got some props from Coughlin after the

    --TE Adrien Robinson (fourth round), who said he didn’t have
    a drop during his senior season (though his position coach disagrees; more on
    that in Sunday’s paper), had one today. It was a bit behind him, but Coughlin
    yelled, “Catch the ball!” This came after Robinson showed good form by catching
    a pass up the seam in traffic with his hands and controlling it quickly before
    Hill came down on him.

    --DE Matt Broha (undrafted free agent, Louisiana Tech) has
    shown a few good quick moves. Today, he got inside OT Brandon
    (fourth round) on a rip inside. But a few minutes later, Mosely
    was ready for the same move and simply rode Broha to the inside as the
    quarterback escaped to his right.

    --Jerry Reese said CB Jayron Hosley (third round), despite
    his smaller stature, will stick his nose in there on run defense and Hosley is
    showing that so far. Now, it’s limited contact so I can’t tell you how he’ll
    finish the play, but he is willing to slip around blockers to put himself in
    good position so far.

    --Speaking of Hosley, he was one of three players returning kickoffs today.
    Randle and Hill were the others. They went “against air,” so it’s impossible to
    evaluate them at this point.

    --Former Rutgers FB Joe Martinek (undrafted free agent) can
    move in space with the ball, as he showed on a screen pass today. The Giants
    like his versatility, so he’ll be an interesting guy to watch moving

    --One guy that made a few plays today was CB Al-Rilwan
    (tryout, San Diego). He had a diving interception off a
    deflection this morning. He also defended a pass on Friday. We’ll see if he can
    close well this afternoon and earn himself a roster spot.

    --When I see an undrafted free agent receiver from UMass wearing jersey No.
    3, I can’t help but think of Victor Cruz, who had that number until changing to
    80. But this year it’s Julian Talley wearing that jersey. As
    with many rookie receivers, he seems to be thinking a bit too much about his
    assignments while running his routes. We’ll give him time, though he had a drop
    today on a quick in cut. It was a low ball but the coaches thought it should’ve
    been caught.

    --Nice pass by QB J.R. Suozzo (tryout, Merrimack) over a
    defender and into the soft spot in the zone for Randle, who ran a perfect sail

    --LB Jay Dudley (tryout, Lousiana Tech) showed up a few
    times as a slippery guy who is able to avoid blockers in space. He’s flashed a
    bit over the past few days.

    --DT Markus Kuhn, who is not participating in rookie camp
    because of a gash on his leg, said he was injured while moving. He sliced
    himself with a knife that was sticking out of a box. So, you know, don't mess
    with Kuhn. As a scouting report said before the draft, he's "German tough."

    --And finally, former Eagles C Jamaal Jackson was not at
    practice today after suggesting on Friday he was thinking about retirement. Sure
    enough, he came in this morning and told the team he was done. “He came in, he
    was very nice,” Coughlin said. “He just said, ‘Coach, I just don’t feel like my
    heart is in it.”



    "Ryan Perrilloux had a chance to find Rueben Randle during seven-on-seven
    passing drills Friday, but his throw was off the mark and batted away.

    “Man,” Perrilloux, a Giants’ backup quarterback, thought to himself, “I need
    to hit that.”

    Minutes later, he did.

    Perrilloux looked up the right sideline, saw Randle running a go route, noted
    he was shoulder-to-shoulder with cornerback Jayron Hosley, recalled the old
    adage, “If he’s even, he’s leavin’,” and dropped a deep ball right into Randle’s

    Two former LSU players had connected during the first practice of Giants rookie camp. And while Perrilloux’s throw
    proved he has become more comfortable since joining the Giants more than a year
    ago, Randle’s route and catch showed Jerry Reese & Co. might be on to
    something when they say the second-round pick is “NFL-ready” and capable of
    contributing immediately.

    “Definitely. He has the NFL body, speed, he’s coming in and out of cuts, he’s
    doing everything he’s supposed to do right now,” Perrilloux, who was in training
    camp and on the Giants’ practice squad for most of last season, said between
    sessions Friday. “I’m excited about it. I couldn’t wait to work with him, and he
    showed me he’s a guy that’s going to be able to go get it and make plays for

    Randle made a few plays Friday: the deep ball past Hosley (a third-round pick),
    a leaping catch near the sideline and a few other grabs. He bobbled two passes,
    but those hiccups were excusable on the first day of rookie camp.

    Especially since Randle displayed very good athletic ability and polished
    fundamentals, including a big cushion between him and the sideline on his deep
    routes. Such fine points in his game are tough to find in a rookie and are a big
    reason why the Giants believe Randle can get on the field right away to help a
    corps of wide receivers that lost Mario Manningham via free agency.

    “They brought me up for a reason. It’s my job to go out there and do what
    they brought me in to do, which is make plays,” Randle said, adding this when
    asked if he’s indeed NFL-ready: “I think I can get there. I’m still young. I’m
    still learning on the fly, but I think with the right time and the right
    opportunities, I can be there.”

    Randle took the proper first step. After all, Tom Coughlin was reluctant to
    answer a question about which players impressed on the first day, but he did
    mention one by name.

    “I was very impressed by Randle out on the field this morning,” the Giants
    coach said.
    As was Perrilloux, who loves the combination of ability and size
    (6-3, 210) Randle provides. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Randle was
    “thinking” about his assignments, as all rookies are at this point, so he
    doesn’t quite have that burst.

    But if he’s going to contribute, particularly as a replacement for Manningham,
    he must find it.

    “What you see on film, it looks like we have a receiver that is capable of
    making some deep catches, running by some people,” Gilbride said. “As you guys
    have seen us unfold with those other two guys (Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz),
    they’re intermediate (threats) and certainly Hakeem can go deep.

    “But you need that third component so that when people start skewing over and
    clamping down on Cruz and Nicks, you’ve got a guy who, if he gets 1-on-1, has
    the ability to get over the top and hurt people like Manningham did.”

    Perrilloux said he’ll be telling Eli Manning that Randle, who averaged 17.3
    yards on 53 receptions in his final season at LSU, is capable of being such a

    “Real good in and out of breaks,” Perrilloux said of Randle. “He’s just that
    kind of guy a quarterback can rely on because he has all that athletic ability
    you need so when you get in trouble you can never go wrong just throwing it his


    "After going undrafted, former Rutgers fullback Joe Martinek said he was in
    contact with Buccaneers – and former Rutgers – head coach Greg Schiano, but
    chose the Giants because it "was the better fit for me."

    Martinek, a Hopatcong naitive, said he didn't grow up a fan of any particular
    NFL team, but his friends and family are big fans of the Giants and he views
    being close to home as an advantage.

    Now that he's got his chance, he's looking to make the most of it.

    "I think my first impression was good," the converted fullback said. "I got
    to get into the playbook -- the different terminologies are frustrating at times
    but you got to get into the playbook, got to remember and just follow the
    schedule and do whatever you're asked to do."

    Martinek is one of eight undrafted free agent signings at rookie minicamp
    this weekend and Gilbride said he projects the former tailback as a fullback,
    though he maintained Martinek brings versatility to the table.

    "That fullback position is so versatile depending on who it is that's
    playing," Gilbride said. "But if he ever became the fullback, I think you would
    probably expand the movement in terms of taking him out of the backfield and
    putting him into that detached position that sometimes the tight ends will go to
    and see if he can catch the ball and do some things."



    "Limas Sweed never imagined that he'd be here one day, on a football field
    with a group of kids, most of whom won't ever get any closer to an NFL game. He
    was once supposed to be the big-play receiver that was going to transform the
    Pittsburgh Steelers offense.

    Now he's just a 27-year-old tryout at the Giants' rookie minicamp this
    weekend, two years removed from his last NFL game, hoping that someone will give
    him one more shot.

    "I've been playing football all my life," Sweed said. "And when you've lost
    something like football, you don't let it go. You do what you have to do. That's
    putting the work in, overtime, being here at a rookie minicamp and just having
    fun and starting all over again.

    "By whatever means it takes to get back, I'm willing to do it."

    Sweed isn't alone in his battle for one of the last two roster spots on the
    defending Super Bowl champs. He's joined at this camp by Jamaal Jackson, an
    eight-year veteran who spent five seasons as the Eagles' starting center, trying
    to see for himself if he has anything left. And there are players like safety
    Will Hill, a former New Jersey schoolboy sensation whose hype turned out to be
    bigger than his game.

    Sweed had plenty of hype, too, when the Steelers drafted him in the second
    round out of Texas in 2008. But he caught just six passes as a rookie, dropped
    plenty more, and quickly was labeled a "bust". He caught just one pass in 2009.
    Then he tore his Achilles in a 2010 spring minicamp and his shoulder prior to
    training camp last year.

    That was not the way he was expecting his NFL career to work out at all.

    "Obviously when you're drafted high there's a lot of expectations," Sweed
    said. "You would like to stay injury free and for things to work out
    differently. But injuries took their toll and brought me to a different place.
    They brought me here."

    Sweed is still just six months removed from surgery to repair a torn labrum
    in his shoulder, but he insists he's fully healthy. He's worked out for the
    Bengals and Bears but got no offers, and he's probably a longshot to get a deal
    from the Giants, too. But he insists "I'm still the same" player, "just probably
    a lot wiser" after all he's been through the last few years.

    If that's not enough to land him a deal with the Giants, Sweed said he has
    three more workouts scheduled in the coming weeks. He also has no plans to give
    up chasing the dream that once slipped away.

    "I'm still young. I still love this game. I still want to play," Sweed said.
    "So we're going to see where it takes us. I definitely believe if I keep pushing
    at it and don't give up, somewhere it'll work out. Somewhere it'll work out.
    Never give up."


    "In the dog days of last summer as training camp opened, Kevin Gilbride was
    piecing together an offense that was missing five of its starters. Then this
    offseason he lost a running back, receiver, right tackle and (to injury) two of
    his tight ends.

    So yes, the Giants offensive coordinator was pretty
    happy when the Giants used five of their seven draft picks this year on
    offensive players. And so far Gilbride likes what he sees.

    definitely needed,” Gilbride said after Day 1 of the Giants’ rookie minicamp.
    “We lost a lot of guys. We lost five starters the year before on offense. You
    lose a couple other guys (this year). You certainly need to start to replenish
    the troops. “

    And on Day 1, it looks like the troops will be well
    replenished. Running back David Wilson, the Giants’ first-round pick, showed off
    his speed and explosiveness in the two practices the team had on Friday.
    Receiver Rueben Randle, taken in the second round, showed potential as a deep
    threat. And tight end Adrien Robinson flashed some of the athletic ability that
    had GM Jerry Reese labeling him “The JPP of tight ends.”

    “It looks like
    you have an explosive guy in the running back,” Gilbride said. “And what you see
    on film, it looked like you had a receiver that is capable of making some deep
    catches, running by some people.”

    It’s not easy to tell much about
    running backs (and linemen and anyone else that plays a high-contact position)
    in non-contact drills. Quarterbacks and receivers, though, are much easier to
    evaluate. And on Day 1, Randle looked “smooth” to Gilbride, though he said the
    LSU product was “obviously thinking … so you don’t see maybe the explosiveness
    that we expect to see and know we’ll see down the road. But in terms of going
    deep and just going down the field, he looked pretty good and did the things
    that we needed him to do, which was go catch the ball when we threw it to

    “As you guys have seen us unfold with those other two guys (Hakeem
    Nicks and Victor Cruz), they’re intermediate (receivers),” Gilbride added. “
    Certainly Hakeem can go deep, but you need that third component so that when
    people start skewing and clamping down on Cruz and Nicks, you got a guy that, if
    it’s one-on-one, has the ability to get over the top and hurt people like
    Manningham did. “

    From what Gilbride could see in the first two
    practices, Wilson has some big-play potential, too.

    “He looks very fast,
    which we knew going in,” Gilbride said. “But to actually see it on the field, it
    was- I’m trying to think of the right word- encouraging, exciting. Both of those
    things seem to come to mind. He looks like if he has a hole, he’ll hit it and
    has a chance to do some damage.”

    As for Robinson, he d***led with a
    couple of outstanding catches during the two practices, though even he admitted
    his route-running needed some work. That figures, considering that while he was
    at Cincinnati he wasn’t often a focal point of their passing game.

    sure he’s starting a little further back, but he looks like a big guy that can
    run,” Gilbride said. “He made a great catch on the last play. Of course he ran
    the wrong way. He was supposed to be going inside and stole the curl from the Z,
    but that’s kind of what I think we’re going to be battling for a

    “The good thing is you just like to see a guy that has the
    physical potential to do some things. He looks like he has that. How quickly he
    can assimilate our offense, how quickly he can recognize what defenses are doing
    and make the appropriate and correct adjustments, that’s a long way off. I don’t
    expect that to happen (immediately). But I did want to see a guy that could run
    a little bit. He looks like he can do that.”

    As for Reese labeling him
    “the JPP of tight ends,” Gilbride said “That’s quite an endorsement, but added
    “I’m not sure I’m ready” to go that far.

    “I know [Jerry Reese] just said
    that and I’ll live by his critique, but he does look like he’s got a lot of
    physical ability. But he’s just real, real raw.”



    "Rueben Randle heard there were two knocks on him, two main reasons why he
    slipped out of the first round of the NFL Draft and very nearly out of the

    “I’ve heard work ethic was an issue, and knees were the two main things,’’
    Randle said yesterday during the Giants’ rookie mini-camp. “I’m here trying to
    prove I’m fine and work ethic is no issue.’’

    Randle dismissed any health concern, saying a bout with tendinitis in his
    knees as a sophomore at LSU is no longer a problem. As far as a
    less-than-desirable work ethic, well, Randle said judge him on what you see, not
    what you have heard.

    “I guess it’s my demeanor,” he said. “I’m not one of those quick-twitch kind
    of guys. I’m a strider, so I can come off as being a little lazy.”

    The Giants do not share the perception Randle is lazy, which is why they took
    him with the final pick in the second round. Randle made an extremely positive
    first impression. After the first practice of this camp, coach Tom Coughlin,
    though not wishing to single out any player after such a small sample, did
    admit, “I was very impressed with Randle out on the field this morning.’’

    The highlight of the session was Randle, who is 6-foot-2, getting a step on
    third-round pick Jayron Hosley, a 5-foot-10 cornerback from Virginia Tech.
    Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who spent last season on and off the practice
    squad, hit Randle in stride and he made an over-the-shoulder catch deep

    “He’s coming here and he’s proving to everybody he’s going to be the guy for
    us to go and get it,’’ said Perrilloux, who like Randle played at LSU. “He’s
    definitely polished. After this mini-camp I’ll go to Eli [Manning] and tell him
    what to expect, what kind of guys we have. He’s definitely going to be a guy
    you’ll like throwing to.’’

    It was not the only eye-catching moment for Randle, whose production suffered
    this past season primarily because of LSU’s struggles at quarterback. On the
    first passes thrown to Randle, cornerback Brandon Bing from Rutgers anticipated
    the throw and knocked the ball away. Next, Randle bobbled a pass out of bounds.
    After that, Randle caught everything thrown his way, including a leaping grab
    over San Diego rookie cornerback Al-Rilwan Adeyemi.

    “In terms of going deep and going down the field he looked pretty good,’’
    offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. “We saw what we needed from him,
    which is go get the ball.’’

    * All seven Giants draft picks signed before or immediately after stepping on
    the field.

    Running back David Wilson, the first-round pick from Virginia Tech, signed a
    four-year deal (with a team option for a fifth year) for $6.68 million,
    including a signing bonus of $3.3 million.

    Wilson, as advertised, looked extremely quick.

    “He looks like if he’s got a hole he’ll hit it and he’s got a chance to do
    some damage,’’ Gilbride said.

    * Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, the seventh-round pick from North Carolina
    State, did not participate in practice because of a non-football related leg
    laceration he suffered in the past week. ... The Giants signed eight undrafted
    free agents: WR David Douglas (Arizona), WR Julien Talley Massachusetts), FB Joe
    Martinek (Rutgers), G Stephen Goodin (Nebraska-Kearney). DE Adewale Ojomo
    (Miami), DE Matt Broha (Louisiana Tech), S Jojo Nicolas (Miami) and S Janzen
    Jackson (McNeese State).

    One player in on a tryout basis is S Will Hill of East Orange, N.J. Hill was
    suspended, then kicked off the team at Florida, left school a year early and
    spent last season in the Arena League.

    Another player in for a tryout is WR Limas Sweed, a 2008 second-round pick of
    the Steelers who never panned out because of injuries and too many dropped


    "It’s clear as soon as Markus Kuhn opens his mouth (think Arnold
    Schwarzenegger) he is no ordinary newcomer at the Giants’ rookie camp this

    Just the second native of Germany ever to be drafted by the NFL, the hulking
    defensive tackle is trying to be just the second German native to stick in the
    NFL after the Giants made him a seventh-round pick last month.

    Kuhn is trying to follow in the footsteps of Patriots offensive tackle
    Sebastian Vollmer, a native of Dusseldorf and second-round pick in 2009 who
    faced the Giants in the Super Bowl last season.

    Though Kuhn’s bid to make it in American pro football is an unlikely one (he
    is 26 and has never seen an NFL game in person), it wouldn’t be the first time
    his quest has been described that way.

    “It was only six years ago that my father and I were traveling the East Coast
    with a DVD highlight tape, asking small colleges like Liberty University if they
    wanted to give me a chance,” the 6-foot-4, 303-pound Kuhn said Friday after the
    first day of the rookie mini-camp at the Meadowlands.

    “To be standing here now and talking about being just the second native of
    Germany to be drafted in the NFL is pretty remarkable, I would say.”

    Vollmer hadn’t emerged by the time Kuhn and his father went on their American
    scholarship quest, so they didn’t know quite what to expect. When Liberty and
    the other small schools showed immediate interest in Kuhn, who already was 21 at
    the time, his father told him to step back and aim higher.

    It was a smart move, because Kuhn quickly landed with North Carolina State
    and didn’t need long to show he belonged in a foreign game. He started the first
    game of his college career in 2007, was named a freshman All-American by the
    Sporting News.

    After battling injuries that forced him to redshirt the 2009 season, Kuhn
    came back strong and was an anchor for the Wolfpack last year with 4˝ sacks and
    10 tackles for lost yardage.

    Not bad for someone who didn’t take up the sport until he was 15 (Kuhn said
    he was too bulky for soccer and liked football from watching the NFL on
    television) and who occasionally had to play quarterback for his club team
    because it didn’t have enough players.

    The Giants don’t lack for defensive linemen, but general manager Jerry Reese
    always has been a believer in the “best available player” philosophy and sees
    Kuhn as a project worth the gamble

    “He’s a gym rat — big, strong and tough,” Reese said last month. “He would be
    great to put in your defensive-line rotation. He’s still learning, but I love
    his energy. He’s like a buzz saw.”

    Though Vollmer is the natural comparison, Kuhn has another prominent — much
    more prominent — German sports transplant in mind when he dreams about how his
    NFL career will unfold.

    “Dirk Nowitzki is definitely a role model for me, coming here and making it
    big and winning a championship just on hard work,” Kuhn said of the NBA star.
    “It would be a dream to become the Dirk Nowitzki of American


    "Back in 2007, there were genuine voices of concern for the running back
    position after Pro Bowl New York Giants record-holder Tiki Barber retired
    following the 2006 season. How would Big Blue overcome this loss with running
    back Brandon Jacobs (entering his 3rd year) now the starter? He only had two
    years behind Barber with 134 carries/11 receptions under his belt after all and
    his relief/ back-ups were: journeyman RB Reuben Droughns, a guy coming off a
    foot injury in Derrick Ward and a 7th-round pick in Ahmad
    . Well, we all know how that turned out.

    The New York
    Giants aren’t exactly in the same situation as Jacobs has moved on to another
    team, but many fans and pundits seem to be quite skeptical that this team can
    recover yet again. Most of it surely comes from 2011’s regular season run game
    rank of last in the league. Improvement is on the agenda for this skill

    As the roster stands, the G-men will go into camp with five running backs: Ahmad
    , D.J. Ware,
    Da’Rel Scott, Andre
    and 1st-Round pick out of Virginia Tech, David
    . As things progressed in the offensive gameplan last season, the
    fullbacks (Henry
    , UDFA Joe Martinek and TE/FB hybrid Bear
    ) can’t be counted out as possible contributors.

    Focusing primarily on running back position, a closer look at what’s being
    said prior to OTA’s may help clarify the importance of both Bradshaw and rookie
    RB Wilson for the 2012 season success. Late last month, the veteran in #44
    stepped out and claimed:

    "…I plan on using him as my project. He's a very talented running back and
    he's from Virginia. Two Virginia guys in this running back corps is going to be
    dangerous. I expect to use him as my project to get him better, to get him
    smarter and just to mature him a little bit, just to help him understand the NFL. As a Giant
    running back, it's one of the toughest things. I don't see a lot of guys coming
    in and being able to grasp all of the different things you can do as a running
    back. You just have so many pass protections, so many pass route terms, so many
    run terms…"

    Hopefully, Bradshaw can build upon what David
    is already picking up in rookie mini-camp with running backs coach,
    Jerald Ingram and Head Coach Tom Coughlin, who back after the draft had a few
    things to say or defend) about his first-round guy:

    “…This young man was attractive to us for many reasons. Obviously his speed,
    you have a 4.4 running back. You have a guy who’s the ACC Player of the Year,
    1700 yards rushing, kickoff returns for a career over a thousand yards,
    1300-plus yards, caught the ball out of the backfield…he has great energy when
    you speak to him. He is knowledgeable. He presents himself very, very well…he’s
    the kind of guy that we felt would add very much to our present situation in
    terms of the big play potential. He’s one of the guys that has the speed and
    maneuverability to make the big play and that’s what was very important to us at
    this time…” he said post NFL Draft.

    Popular belief (or doubt) also has many referring back to another former
    first-round running back that didn’t add the exact dimension that was hoped for
    back in 2000. Way to pre-judge. Wilson is not the same type of running back, had
    a very different college type of career and he’s over forty-plus pounds lighter.
    Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is coaching. Ingram and Coughlin
    along with veteran leadership on this Giants team will help encourage this eager
    rookie and by listening to his own words, one can almost bank on him absorbing
    everything and anything he can while in blue:

    “…It’s a great team with a good tradition and a lot of great players on the
    team…So I’m joining a great club, and there’s nothing in my head that says this
    isn’t the best move for me. I’ve led the country in yards after contact this
    season. Good hands out of the backfield, great hands out of the backfield,
    special teams player – kick return specialist. I’m willing to work hard and I’m
    always getting better each season. I’ve never taken a step back from when I
    first started playing football – it’s always been excelling each year and
    getting better and better."

    He continued…

    "I’m still learning the game, and that’s a good thing coming up there with Ahmad
    , a guy from Virginia who’s been there for a while, held down his
    position pretty well. Coming up there, I’m looking forward to competing with him
    and we’re both going to make plays…the NFL has been a dream of mine since a very young age,
    about five-years-old…so it’s something I’ve been working toward for a long time,
    and having that dream come true and coming to a special team like the New York
    Giants, it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s like a dream come

    Here’s to a dream that ends with him becoming a major contributor to a
    winning championship team."


    "No one get excited just yet, but wide receiver Rueben
    , running back David
    and tight end Adrien Robinson made a positive first impression
    during their first day with the New York Giants.

    Unlike regular training camp, this mini-camp is closed to the public.
    However, the reporting pool allowed to attend seemed to agree that after a slow
    start, Randle began to find his groove.

    He wasn’t the only one. Reports indicate that Adrien
    took steps towards subduing the notion that he was a reach
    selection. While critics fear that he is a one-dimensional player and will be
    unable to serve as a receiving threat, Robinson made an impressive grab on a
    poorly thrown ball this morning.

    The starting job opposite Hakeem Nicks is Randle’s to lose and none of his
    true competition was present today. Robinson, on the other hand, had to go toe
    to toe with 6’6 Larry Donnell. Donnell, a free agent with a years experience,
    managed to make the
    photo gallery after hauling in a nifty reception.

    also showed some eye catching agility and cut moves according to
    those in attendance.

    Not all the news was positive. Markus Kuhn will miss all of mini-camp thanks
    to a non-football
    injury that he recently suffered. He is currently dealing with a laceration on
    his knee.

    Also, Jayron Hosely required attention from the trainers this afternoon.
    Inside Football’s
    Patricia Traina noted that the injury appeared to be a hamstring issue.
    However, Hosely began to jog near the end of practice and the ailment may have
    been as minor as cramps."



    "Joe Martinek,
    the undrafted free agent running back from Rutgers, continued to get attention
    Saturday morning during Day 2 of New York Giants
    running mini-camp.

    Martinek worked exclusively at running back, and as the single back in two
    tight-end sets, during his reps on Saturday. Friday, the 5-foot-11, 224-pound
    back had spent some time at fullback.

    "He's been pretty good the whole camp, very steady," said Giants coach Tom
    Coughlin. "Probably can play both spots. I think he has some position

    Here are some other notes from the morning.

      , the third-round pick, was fine today after seeming to injure himself
      Friday. Hosley apparently suffered a cramp on Friday, nothing more
      [*]Rutgers grad Brandon Bing,
      a cornerback, made an excellent play on a long throw intended for Rueben Randle,
      slapping the ball away.
      [*]Matt McCants,
      the sixth-round pick from UAB, lined up at left tackle throughout the morning.
      Fourth-round pick Brandon
      was being used at right tackle.
      [*]Tight end Christian
      , who spent last season on the Giants' practice squad, got some
      attention Saturday morning. Not, however, in a good way. After several offside
      infractions, Hopkins was screamed at by Giants tight ends coach Mike
      [*]Undrafted free agent defensive end Adewale
      , from Miami (Fl.) flashed into the backfield on a couple of plays, one
      run and one pass.
      , the eight-year NFL veteran who was in camp on a tryout basis, has
      retired from the NFL.
      [*]Markus Kuhn,
      the seventh-round draft pick from N.C. State, did not work out again Saturday
      due to a laceration on his leg."


    "Rookie offensive tackle Matt McCants
    had his head down and his New York Giants
    playbook open when I approached him in the New York Giants' locker room on

    McCants, an offensive tackle from Alabama-Birmingham was drafted
    by the Giants in the sixth round, 201st overall. I asked him if he was feeling
    overwhelmed trying to assimilate everything after the first practice of rookie

    "Overwhelmed wouldn't be the word," McCants said. "Just a sense of urgency,
    wanting to learn, wanting to get better."

    McCants, who played left tackle at UAB is listed at 295 pounds in scouting
    reports from UAB, but now listed at 309 by the Giants. After Friday morning's
    first practice, coach Tom Coughlin said that McCants is "obviously a little bigger than we told you he was."

    McCants said getting bigger and stronger has been -- and is continuing to be
    -- a focal point for him.

    "I knew I had to get bigger and stronger," McCants said. "That was just one
    thing I focused on to be able to play on this level."

    McCants was one of two offensive linemen drafted by the Giants. The other was
    , taken in the fourth round (131at overall). With Kareem
    being allowed to leave as a free agent and David Diehl
    getting older, the Giants are obviously attempting to replenish the offensive

    Related: Matt McCants Pre-Draft Scouting Report

    Last season the drafted tackle James Brewer
    in the fourth round. With Brewer, Mitch Petrus,
    Will Beatty and
    potentially Mosley and McCants there is a young nucleus of blockers who could
    work their way into key roles eventually. Beatty, of course, was the starting
    left tackle a season ago before being injured and should reclaim that job in

    Again showing that sense of urgency he referred, McCants said he just wants
    to contribute "as soon as possible."

    "My attitude is I want to play. I'll come out here and try to get better,"
    McCants said. "The Giants drafted me, they believed in me. I'm just going ahead
    every day trying to get better, working toward playing in the NFL."

    McCants comes with the reputation of being a versatile player who, while he
    played left tackle at UAB, could fit anywhere along the line. That is an
    assessment he hopes to prove accurate.

    "I feel I can play anywhere on the offensive line. Anywhere the Giants need
    me to contribute I feel I can do it," McCants said. "They just told me to come
    in and work as hard as I can every day. That's what I'm gonna do."

    McCants also has the reputation of being a better pass blocker than run
    blocker as he enters the NFL. He agrees.

    "I feel like I'm a better pass blocker right now than I am a run blocker
    simply because I'm not as strong as I need to be," McCants said. "That's going
    to come."


    "'Frisky' might be the best word to use to describe the way first-round draft
    choice David Wilson
    looked during Friday afternoon's practice, the second of the 2012 New
    York Giants
    rookie mini-camp.

    Let's see. There was a somersault after a short catch-and-run. There was some
    sort of odd slithering on the ground manuever after a run down the field. More
    importantly, the running back the Giants are hoping will complement Ahmad
    showed some explosion and big-play potential during the afternoon

    Related: David Wilson Transcript

    "He looks pretty fast, which we knew going in. To actually see it on the
    field was encouraging, exciting. Both of those things seem to come to mind,"
    said Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "He looks like if he's got a
    hole he'll hit it and have a chance to do some damage."

    Wilson, 5-foot-9, 205 pounds was selected by the Giants 32nd overall.

    "He's not a big guy so you would think he's a finesse guy, but that's not
    what I saw," Gilbride said. "He's a very determined runner. He's fighting for
    every yard, breaks a lot of tackles. Probably breaks more tackles than you think
    he'd be capable of just looking at him."

    Practice Notes

      [*]Third-round pick Jayron
      limped off the field after hitting the ground during a passing drill
      with an apparent hamstring injury. Hosley was jogging by the end of practice,
      though. If any word on Hosley is available Saturday I will have that for
      [*]Gilbride said the Giants are using Joe Martinek,
      the undrafted free agent from Rutgers, as a fullback for now. Martinek is only
      224 pounds, though, so lead-blocking would not seem to be his forte.
      [*]Gilbride, as was head coach Tom Coughlin
      earlier in the day, seemed impressed by wide receiver Rueben Randle, the team's
      second-round selection. "He looks smooth," Gilbride said. "You need that third
      component ... a guy that has the ability to get over the top and hurt people
      like Manningham did. He looks like he has the potential to do that."
      [*]There are two practices on Saturday that are
      open to reporters, but again closed to the public."

      "The New York Giants
      have eight undrafted free agents signed as they conduct rookie mini-camp this
      weekend. They are allowed 10.

      The eight signed UDFAs are wide receivers David
      of Arizona and Julien Talley of Massachusetts, fullback Joe Martinek
      of Rutgers and guard Stephen Goodin of Nebraska-Kearney, defensive ends Adewale
      of Miami and Matt Broha of
      Louisiana Tech and safeties Jojo Nicolas of Miami and Janzen
      of McNeese State.

      Bios of the UDFAs, courtesy of the Giants' PR staff, after the jump.

      DAVID DOUGLAS, WR, 6-0, 206, ARIZONA
      Played in 49 games with 23
      starts for Arizona...Caught 151 passes for 1,542 yards (10.2-yard average) and
      11 touchdowns with a long reception of 44 yards...As a senior in 2011, Douglas
      played in 12 games with nine starts as the Wildcats' slot receiver and had
      career-high totals of 65 receptions for 666 yards and four scores...In his
      junior season, Douglas played in 13 games with 10 starts and caught 52 passes
      for 515 yards and five scores...In 2009, played in 11 games with four starts and
      had 31 receptions for 320 yards and two scores...All-District player at North
      High School in McKinney, Texas...Communications major...Born June 27,

      Played in 45
      games at UMass...Caught 162 passes for 2,090 yards (12.9-yard average) and 11
      touchdowns with a long catch of 55 yards...As a senior in 2011, played in 11
      games and caught a career-high 60 passes for 759 yards and four touchdowns...The
      previous season, Talley had 56 receptions for 747 yards and a career-best six
      touchdowns...Caught 28 passes in 2009 and 18 as a redshirt freshman in
      2008...Also had 12 rushing attempts for 152 yards with a long run of 69 yards,
      25 punt returns for 252 yards and 16 kickoff returns for 286 yards...College
      teammate of Victor
      ...Sociology major...First-team All-South Jersey at Winslow High
      School...Born June 9, 1989.

      JOE MARTINEK, FB, 5-11, 224,

      Played in 49 games at Rutgers, where he was both a running back
      and a fullback...Rushed for 1,770 yards on 391 carries (4.5-yard average) and 17
      touchdowns and caught 46 passes for 448 yards and a score...After redshirt
      season in 2007, Martinek rushed for 404 yards on 76 carries (a career-high
      5.3-yard average) and four scores in 2008...Had his most productive year as a
      runner the following season, when he had 206 carries for 967 yards (4.7-yard
      average) and nine touchdowns...Had a career-high 147 yards at Maryland
      (9/26)...In 2010, was plagued by ankle injury but rushed for 276 yards and four
      touchdowns on 85 carries...Switched to fullback in 2011 and played in 13 games
      with eight starts and rushed for 123 yards on 24 carries and caught a
      career-high 27 passes for 262 yards and a score...Played at Hopatcong High
      School in New Jersey...Was named the 2006 Gatorade New Jersey State High School
      Player of the Year... Finished high school career as the all-time leader in New
      Jersey history with 7,589
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2
    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 - 12:09 P.M.

    Officialy Welcome back Blackburn ! But be careful you are in for a CHASE for you starting MLB spot. Lots of competition that I'm sure you don't shy away from.
    Thanks RF!
    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 - 12:09 P.M.

      [quote user="G-Men Surg."]Officialy Welcome back Blackburn ! But be careful you are in for a CHASE for you starting MLB spot. Lots of competition that I'm sure you don't shy away from.
      Thanks RF![/quote]

      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 - 12:09 P.M.

        thanks Roanoke! [B]

        liking this rookie minicamp with so many positives coming from especially the draft picks! []

        i feel good about this team!



        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012 - 12:09 P.M.

          [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

          thanks Roanoke! [B]

          liking this rookie minicamp with so many positives coming from especially the draft picks! []

          i feel good about this team!


          There have also been some failures among the UDFA group but, overall, it seems lime Reese has done a masterful job with the draft picks.
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1