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    "Terrell Thomas was held out of the Giants' organized team activities and their
    mandatory minicamp this week, but when they open training camp on July 27 there
    isn't a doubt in his mind about whether he'll be participating.

    "I'll be out there," he said. "No limitations."

    That is, of course, unless the Giants want to play it safe with the
    cornerback, who is coming off a torn ACL.

    "They pay me," Thomas said chuckling. "I got no choice."

    Thomas said he plans on going to California in the coming weeks and training
    with fellow USC Trojans and others, including Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Matt
    Leinart, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, whom he works out with out with every year.

    Thomas said he expects to enter the season as the starting cornerback
    opposite Corey Webster and it's a matter of registering as many reps as possible
    between now and the start of the season; he says he's already overcome the
    injury mentally.

    "The biggest thing is I trust my knee to throw in the dirt," Thomas said.
    "I'm not hesitant at all. It's more just I need more reps out there, just
    running around and putting my body in different situations that you can't really
    do on the side."

    With Aaron Ross in Jacksonville, the Giants are hopeful Thomas can return to
    his usual form, which resulted in five interceptions in 2009 and 2010.

    "He's in our plans," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "We have a
    back-up plan also in case he's not ready, but he's heavily I our plans and again
    we'll have to wait until Albany to see which plan we go with, but like anything
    that we try to do we have a Plan A and a Plan B and he is in Plan A."

    * * *

    Marvin Austin hasn't played a game in two seasons; he was kicked off the
    football team at North Carolina before his senior season and tore his pectoral
    in preseason last August. Yet, Fewell still has high hopes for the defensive

    "He excited me last year in training camp and the preseason games," Fewell said.
    "He's different than the other defensive tackles we have because he has
    legitimate speed, quickness and get off and so I'm going to have to learn how to
    use Marvin a little differently than how I use Linval Joseph and Shaun Rogers
    and Rocky Bernard because I think that he can really cause some offensive line
    some problems with the some of the things he can do."

    Asked if he looked like he put on some weight and needs to improve his
    conditioning, Fewell said he isn't worried.

    "It'll be up to Marvin now to come back in peak condition so these next five
    weeks that he has off, I would assume that he will really crank it up and get
    into better condition," he said. "Right after practice today he was on the
    elliptical, he was working. I know we've talked about him being the best
    possible condition he can possibly be in order to get peak performance and we
    expect that."

    Fewell added, "You know what? He doesn’t look big besides
    [generously-listed-at-350-pounds] Shaun Rogers."

    * * *

    Dave Tollefson is now an Oakland Raider, which means Fewell is taking
    applications for a position on the NASCAR package front. An obvious candidate
    would be Mathias Kiwinuka, who lined up at defensive line on several occasions
    this week at minicamp.

    "Obviously, losing Dave was a blow for us, but we do have a plan and Kiwi
    will rotate and play some defensive end," Fewell said. "More? I don't know, that
    remains to be seen, but he's definitely going to be in that rotation."

    Fewell also highlighted Adrian Tracy and Justin Trattou as possible


    "Kevin Gilbride has coached his fair share of dynamic weapons in his five
    seasons leading the Giants offense. He's had Tiki Barber, Ahmad Bradshaw and
    Brandon Jacobs at running back; and Plaxico Burress, Hakeem Nicks and Victor
    Cruz at wide receiver to name a few.

    The list is long and accomplished, but Gilbride doesn't believe he's ever had
    a piece to utilize quite like rookie running back David Wilson.

    "I don't know if we've had a guy as explosive, regardless of the position,
    here," said Gilbride of the Giants' first-round pick. "Tiki was a tremendous
    all-around back, Brandon would give you something, Ahmad gives you toughness,
    but this guy's got the explosion I'm not sure how many guys in the league have."

    Gilbride, entering his sixth season as Giants offensive coordinator, added
    that it's early and Wilson has plenty of learning to do before he can transfer
    his skill set to when it matters most, but during the team's three-day minicamp
    this week Wilson provided a dose of his potential by consistently darting to the
    outside and turning the corner out of the backfield.

    "There are guys in this league who have physical credentials and you say,
    'Oh, why can't he play?' Because he can't learn." Gilbride said. "I don't think
    David's that case. I think he's going to learn, but right now he's very
    definitely in step one."

    Gilbride contrasted Wilson to second-year running back Da'Rel Scott, whose
    straightaway speed is perhaps tops on the team and is different than the
    shiftiness Wilson brings.

    "A waterbug kind of a guy, that's what he looks like to me," Gilbride said of

    * * *

    With or without Jake Ballard officially on the roster, Gilbride knew he
    wasn't going to get on the field in 2012 and he'd need to find another starting
    tight end for the second straight season.

    With the timetable for Travis Beckum's return still in question, his top
    options presently are Bear Pascoe and Martellus Bennett, but with Bennett
    nursing a minor hamstring injury, the starting spot belongs to Pascoe.

    It's very similar to the position Gilbride found himself in last year.

    "Right now we got a long way to go with that," Gilbride said. "In fairness
    when we lost Kevin Boss [last year], I kind of was thinking, 'Woah, where are we
    going to go.'

    "You're hoping Martellus, that's why he was brought here. You're hoping
    Adrien Robinson down the road will be the guy, if not Bear's going to be the
    guy. Somebody's got to do it."

    Ballard's inability to play in 2012 didn't make his loss to the Patriots
    easier for Gilbride.

    "He'll be sorely missed," Gilbride said. "We knew we weren't going to have
    him this year, but he was a guy that could've been a starter for a long time so
    now somebody else has got to step up."

    * * *

    Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Hakeem Nicks has recorded statistics
    that compare to the league's best to begin a career, becoming Eli Manning's
    go-to target in the process. But even with his early success, Gilbride said the
    foot injury that has Nicks out for about 12 weeks came at an inopportune time
    during his career.

    "The thing that's a tragedy here is that there were so many things that we
    were looking forward to really developing with him and really taking advantage
    of this time to really focus on developing his entire skill set.

    "This was going to be a great chance for him to really, really – us to go
    another step ahead for him. But there's nothing you can do, you can't do it.
    He's hurt and he's not there."

    Gilbride said he hopes Nicks will be ready for the season opener, if not
    training camp.

    "I'm hoping. I got my legs crossed, my knees are hurting from praying," he

    With Nicks out, Gilbride said he's been impressed with Rueben Randle's speed
    and threw a name out there that most don't recognize: Brandon Collins.

    Collins, a rookie out of out Southeastern Louisiana, made a few catches in
    traffic during Tuesday's practice and Gilbride admitted he didn’t know much
    about him going in.

    "I've seen more quickness than anything," Gilbride said. "Good speed, great
    quickness, but also picking up the offense pretty quickly."

    * * *

    The similarities between Victor Cruz and Julian Talley are almost too easy.
    Both are wide receivers out of UMass, both are from New Jersey and both signed
    with the Giants as undrafted free agents.

    The two are even close friends, but Gilbride put the brakes on assuming the
    two are the same on the field.

    "Victor is just a thicker, more muscular, type of guy," Gildbride said.
    "Victor's run-after-the-catch right from the first year kind of stood out. We
    haven't had a chance to assess that [with Talley]. I'll get a better – I think –
    feel for him maybe two or three weeks into training camp. Right now it's hard
    for me to make a good judgment on him."



    "Prince Amukamara is like a glorified rookie at this point,
    given how much time he missed with a broken foot after what was already an
    abbreviated 2011 offseason.

    “Prince is making progress, yeah, he is,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin
    said of last year’s first-round pick. “They’re letting him do up to a point and
    he’s out there competing. It’s a whole different year for him, really, since he
    has had that experience and a lot of that is behind him. He’s doing a good job.
    Hopefully, he’s going to continue.”

    I mentioned in Tuesday’s
    practice report
    and previously here Amukamara has to work on playing
    aggressively and with an edge. Coughlin expects that part of the game to come in

    “That will happen,” Coughlin said, “If he gets himself in position where he;s
    comfortable and knows what he’s doing, we have seen that other aspect – the
    physical part of the play. You saw it, too. As a collegiate player, that's what
    he was. He was a physical player.”

    * * * *

    And now, the rundown of today’s practice, which included a bunch of
    interceptions left on the field by Amukamara’s buddies in the defensive
    backfield. But first, the injuries:

    --Sitting out: TE Travis Beckum (knee), CB Corey
    (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), DT
    Chris Canty (knee), LB Clint Sintim (knee), DT
    Shaun Rogers (elbow) and DT Markus Kuhn (work

    --CB Terrell Thomas (knee) sat out all of today’s session
    after doing limited work for much of the spring. We’ll see if he’s back on
    Thursday. Similarly, it appeared RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) was
    held out today as well.

    --DE Osi Umenyiora was back in action after sitting out on
    Tuesday in order to pace himself and manage unspecified “soreness,” as Coughlin
    termed it. Umenyiora ran with the second team but was also a part of the
    first-string "NASCAR" (four defensive end) package.

    --No team reps for S Kenny Phillips (knee) and LT
    Will Beatty (back).

    --LB/DE Adrian Tracy left practice briefly after appearing
    to knock or jam his left elbow. (He missed all of the 2010 season with a right
    elbow injury.) Tracy, who impressed LBs coach Jim Herrmann with
    a nice pass-rush move early in practice, got the elbow wrapped and returned to
    show good speed in chasing WR Jerrel Jernigan on a crossing
    route. He appeared to be fine.

    * * * *

    To the action we go:

    --Okay, so I mentioned the dropped interceptions. All of them were on passes
    by QB Eli Manning. The guilty parties were: rookie CB
    Jayron Hosley, S Stevie Brown and S
    Antrel Rolle. Hosley jumped a route at the start of 7-on-7
    passing drills but couldn’t bring it in. The entire defense groaned and safeties
    coach David Merritt told Hosley, “You owe us one!” Brown’s
    dropped pick came right after that. Rolle’s would’ve been a tough one but
    probably should’ve been caught. He had slipped underneath a slant route from
    Manning to WR Domenik Hixon in the end zone.

    --CB Justin Tryon had seen enough of the drops. While his
    fellow DBs were missing out on the easy interceptions, he grabbed a tough one by
    getting position on WR Rueben Randle as the rookie tried to run
    a hook route. Tryon won that little battle and held on to the ball from QB
    David Carr for a nice interception.

    --Just so you don’t panic about the camp Manning has had so far (eye roll),
    I’ll let you know he had a terrific touch pass to TE Bear
    on a route up the right seam over LB Jacquian
    . Manning also got LB Michael Boley to jump
    offside with the hard count to start the play.

    --Speaking of Pascoe, he said this today: "My plan is right now to work hard
    and make our team better and hopefully kind of take over that No. 1 spot." We'll
    see if he can do it.

    --WR Ramses Barden put on a show with a few sliding grabs
    from Carr in the 2-minute drill to end practice. One catch required excellent
    concentration because LB Keith Rivers was breaking underneath
    him in an attempt to get a hand on the pass. The other one came with CB
    Bruce Johnson on his back. The one negative for Barden today
    came early in practice when he got past Tryon on a go route and had very good
    separation, only to have to work back to an underthrown ball from Manning. He
    went up to try getting the ball with a one-handed attempt that didn’t seem to
    please the coaches.

    --The defensive coaches, particularly Merritt, are really working hard to
    coach up undrafted free agent S Jojo Nicolas, whom Merritt
    praised when he was able to track TE Ryan Purvis out of a bunch
    formation. Nicolas came down and fought through traffic to get to Purvis when he
    recognized the out route. Later, Nicolas was slow to react while playing the
    deep middle. He could’ve come crashing down to step in front of the receiver
    running the out cut and make a play on the ball. “That should be a pick, Jojo!”
    defensive coordinator Perry Fewell yelled. And finally, it was
    Hixon yelling at Nicolas during team drills when he said, “Watch yourself! Pick
    (me) up!” after he set up to lay out Nicolas on a crack-back block. Hixon and
    Merritt then had a playful exchange of gestures seemingly about whether it
    would’ve been a clipping penalty or a clean hit by Hixon. Whatever the case,
    Nicolas’ head would’ve been ringing. But thanks to the no-contact rules of
    practice, he stayed in there and did a good job of communicating with CB
    Dante Hughes to cover Randle on a hook route, forcing QB
    Ryan Perrilloux to throw wide and incomplete of Randle.

    --You can tell former Rutgers CB Brandon Bing trusts his
    speed. (And he does have plenty of it, by the way.) He wasn’t giving Randle much
    of a cushion, nor was he backpedaling much, as Randle ran the “stem” of his
    route toward him. Obviously, he felt he could turn and sprint to cover any deep
    stuff. When Randle broke on an in cut, Bing was right on his hip, forcing the
    quarterback to look elsewhere.

    --One of the big issues with Perrilloux the coaches have been trying to fix
    and that we’ve written about at length is his ability to see the whole field. On
    Tuesday, he missed Randle running free through the secondary. Today, he had WR
    David Douglas breaking past the DB on a go route but instead
    chose to throw for Purvis in traffic on a post up the middle. The ball fell
    incomplete. However, Perrilloux did lay one perfectly for WR Dan
    on a sail route near the sideline. Hughes was underneath
    DePalma, who ran a nice route, and clearly DePalma thought Hughes was going to
    get a hand on it because the ball hit him right in the face mask. “That was a
    great pass,” a shocked DePalma said as he jogged back to the huddle.

    --Jernigan showed good hands on a quick out from Carr. He had to kind of
    reach back and turn his body to make the catch. Jernigan had a few grabs late in
    practice, too.

    --Undrafted WR Brandon Collins ran a pair of stop-and-go
    routes very well. One was up the middle of the field and didn’t result in a
    completion because the ball from Perrilloux was behind him (tough to see if LB
    Chase Blackburn got a hand on it, but he was at least close)
    and the other was up the left sideline forcing CB Janzen
    to grab him after he bit on the stutter step. Good shiftiness
    by Collins on both of those routes. Plus, he added some more on a post-corner
    route pas Hughes in red-zone drills to grab a touchdown when he barely got both
    feet in. “Put your hands up!” Bradshaw yelled to the rookie. Added Hixon, “Call
    it now!” Collins seemed to nod at their advice but decided to humbly jog back to
    the huddle. Smart move, rook.

    --I can’t recall if I mentioned or not that Jackson is playing corner despite
    arriving as a safety. At 6-1, 190 pounds, he’s much better suited at this point
    to play corner.

    --I got an email last night about the lack of updates on DT Marvin
    , to which I told the gentleman what I’ve written here a bunch:
    there’s really no point in trying to assess the play of the interior lineman
    because there’s no contact and the players aren’t wearing pads. We’ll wait until
    like drills and games for that. That being said, DT Martin Parker
    got off the ball really quickly on one play to get past OT Joel
    and into the backfield to make a stop on RB Da’Rel
    . That play reminded me of how Parker did a bunch of that last
    summer in camp before injuring his foot and being knocked out for the season.
    It’s a small sample size, but Parker has flashed. He’s a guy I’m interested to
    see in camp and in the preseason.

    --Rookie RB David Wilson continues to look as quick and
    shifty as advertised. He's going to make some people miss.

    --And finally, I recall writing about how LB Mark Herzlich’s
    pass coverage needed to improve after the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last
    season. (To his credit, he
    was the one who said he struggled in that department that night
    .) I’ve been
    watching Herzlich in coverage from time to time this spring, and something tells
    me we’ll be writing about how solid he is in pass coverage because he’s been
    looking extremely sharp in that department this offseason."



    "Kevin Gilbride has had a long list of talented, fast running backs at his
    disposal in his six seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. But he’s never
    had one quite like this.

    His first impressions of David Wilson, the
    Giants’ first-round pick out of Virginia Tech, have been off the charts so far
    during spring drills and the full-team minicamp that wrapped up on Thursday
    afternoon. Gilbride glowed about Wilson’s speed and particularly his

    He even said Wilson might already be one of the most
    explosive backs in the league.

    “I don’t know if we’ve had a guy as
    explosive, regardless of the position, here,” Gilbride said. “I don’t know if
    we’ve seen quite the darting, the explosiveness in short bursts that we’ve seen
    with him. That’s kind of exciting to see.”

    Gilbride acknowledged the
    rookie still has a lot to learn about the Giants’ offense and how to protect Eli
    Manning, but Wilson’s uncommon talents obviously had him dreaming about his
    potential. He said that “explosiveness” was more than he saw in Tiki Barber or
    even current starter Ahmad Bradshaw.

    “There’s a long way to go before
    you can tap into it, but it looks like there’s something that he can give you,”
    Gilbride said. “He’s got some excitement that I don’t know if we’ve had that
    kind of guy. In this guy you’ve got the kind of explosion that I’m not sure how
    many guys in the league have.”

    No holding back Terrell Thomas

    CB Terrell
    Thomas, trying to make his way back from a torn ACL that cost him all of 2011,
    did mostly individual drills at minicamp, but promised he’ll be “full go” when
    training camp opens on July 26.

    “I’ll be out there,” he said. “No

    The Giants’ doctors may limit his work, but Thomas said
    his knee feels like it could handle a full workload.

    “The biggest thing
    is I trust my knee right now to throw it in the dirt,” he said. “I’m not
    hesitant at all.”

    A few other notes from minicamp (and there’s more to

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) said he “felt great” after
    minicamp. He also was limited, but said that was mostly precautionary. … A
    couple of names to watch for the summer. Gilbride praised rookie WR Brandon
    Collins, and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell liked what he saw from veteran
    safety Stevie Brown. … Fewell said he “would love” for Chase Blackburn to win
    the MLB job this summer. Blackburn will certainly begin camp as the


    "Don't get Kevin Gilbride wrong; the Giants' offensive coordinator loves Bear

    He just never expected Pascoe to wind up emerging as the Giants' starting
    tight end. Yet that's how things looked at the end of the Giants' three-day

    "Except for Bear, there's nobody that's done it before," Gilbride said
    Thursday. "You were hopingto have Bear as a swing guy, a second tight end that
    could motion back and play the fullback position, give you what he's always
    given you which is unbelievable toughness and somehow making plays that he
    shoujldn't be able to make.

    "Not necessarily a starting tight end, but right now he's a starting tight

    Pascoe is the starter by default, in what's turning into a dicey spot for the
    Giants. With Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum injured, the Giants hoped to find a
    tight end answer in free agent signee Martellus Bennett. But Bennett, a former
    Cowboy, has struggled with a hamstring issue throughout minicamp.

    When minicamp ended Thursday, Bennett said he planned to take a few days off
    to rest the hamstring, the return to training.

    Rookie Adrien Robinson, meanwhile, faces a stiff learning curve after missing
    all of OTAs to finish classes at Cincinnati.

    "You're hoping Martellus (is the guy); that's why he was brought here,"
    Gilbride said. "You're hoping Adrien Robinson somewhere down the road. If not,
    it's Bear."

    Then again, for all this fear, Gilbride knows it's too early to panic. After
    all, wasn't it just last year that a certain Jake Ballard emerged from nowhere
    to catch 40 passes and beat the Patriots? Gilbride realizes that, too.

    And that realization gave the coach one final chance to lament the loss of
    the injured tight end to New England.

    "Right now, we've got a long way to go at that spot," he said. "In fairness,
    when we lost Kevin Boss, I was thinking where are we gonna go? I thought Jake
    could be that guy. He looked like he coud be a big strong blocker. Like I told
    you guys, he exceeded. He'll be sorely missed. We knew we weren't going to have
    him this year, but he was a guy who could have bene a starter down the

    Ahmad Bradshaw did not handle a
    boatload of carries during the Giants' three-day minicamp. But don't worry about
    the Giants' most experienced tailback one bit.

    "I feel great," he said Thursday. "I got (a procedure) in the beginning of
    March. They said it would take like three months and I'd be fine. I was ready in
    like a month and a half, and I'm ready to go."

    Bradshaw said he could have done more in camp, but he didn't mind taking it

    "I could have," he said. "I just want to take it slow. Just see how my foot
    reacts to a lot of pounding. That's what I wanted to do for the OTAs and that's
    why I was so active."

    Bradshaw said he does not plan to see any doctors during the break, because
    "I feel my foot is fine."

    It's all a good sign for a Giants team that lacks experienced tailbacks. With
    Brandon Jacobs in San Francisco, the injury-prone Bradshaw is the lone tailback
    with big-game experience. He's backed by veteran D.J. Ware, second-year man
    Da'Rel Scott, promising first-round pick David Wilson and untested Andre

    safety Tyler Sash did not do anything in the three-day minicamp as he continued
    to work his way back from a severely injured hamstring. He said that he has not
    even "attempted to run yet," but promised "I'll be good to go by (training)

    Sash still also hopes to nail down a job alongside Kenny Phillips and Antrel
    Rolle in three-safety alignments. And even though he hasn't taken the field
    recently, he believes he can still grab the spot.

    "Safety is a lot more than just being out there on the field," he said.
    "You've got to know what you're doing."

    To that end, Sash said he is planning to train with teammate Antrel Rolle in
    Miami over the next few weeks.

    "That's a good edge," he said.

    He also plans to start running in "the next couple weeks."


    "When the Giants drafted Prince Amukamara
    in the first round of the 2011 draft, they thought they had added a tough,
    physical cornerback to their roster. And now, they are finally seeing that

    Amukamara, 23, is still not fully recovered from the broken foot that
    hampered him throughout his rookie season, but he has still impressed Tom
    throughout the Giants’ three-day minicamp.

    “It’s a whole different year for him,” Coughlin said Wednesday. “Really. He’s
    had that experience, and a lot of that naive is behind him. He’s doing a good
    job. Hopefully, he’s going to continue.”

    Amukamara has participated in seven-on-seven drills and team drills, although
    the corner said he’s still not going “full full.” But Amukamara seems more
    comfortable with the defensive schemes, and Coughlin thinks that will allow him
    to finally fulfill his potential.

    “If he gets himself in a position and he knows what he’s doing, we’ve seen
    that other aspect, the physical part of (his) play,” Coughlin said. “As a
    collegiate player (at Nebraska), that’s what he was.”

    TE Travis Beckum said his surgically
    repaired knee felt “great” on Wednesday, one day after he ran for the first time
    since he tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI. He admitted to feeling “a little
    weird” on Tuesday just after he completed his running, but it was all cleared up
    by Wednesday morning.

    Beckum said that what he felt was “not necessarily discomfort, just a feeling
    that I hadn’t felt in a while — kind of weird just because of the whole patella
    situation. I kind of felt something on my patella, right where my scar was.
    Today I didn’t feel that, so I’m assuming it’s just breaking up the scar tissue.
    My knee feels great.”

    Beckum had surgery in February to repair his ACL and torn meniscus. As part
    of the surgery, the doctors used part of his patella tendon as a graft to help
    rebuild and strengthen his ACL.

    The Giants plan to rely on a host of players
    in their return game, including rookie Rueben Randle, second-year man Jerrel
    Jernigan, and the always-dangerous Victor Cruz. All have handled punt returns in
    minicamp, and Coughlin expects things to stay that way.

    “We would like to have a committee of guys,” Coughlin said. “So it is a
    matter of having three, four, or five guys that can do it.”

    DT Chris Canty (left knee) said he will be
    “ready to roll” come training camp. . . . Tyler Sash (hamstring) is
    “progressing,” Coughlin said, and the safety should be back by training camp. .
    . . CB Corey Webster said the injured hamstring that has kept him out all spring
    is not serious. . . . DE Osi Umenyiora was held out of Day 1 of camp because “he
    said he was sore,” Coughlin said. Umenyiora returned on



    "Tom Coughlin and Jerry
    Reese must hope the phone doesn’t ring with more bad news in the next 42 days in
    what is the scariest time of the year for NFL teams. The Giants end minicamp on
    Thursday, and the next time Coughlin and Reese will see their players is the
    start of training camp in Albany on July 26.

    That’s a long 42 days. That’s a lot of time for players to be stupid and

    Here’s what is really scary for the Giants: If they were to have made a list
    a week ago of the least likely players to worry about, David Diehl would have
    been in the top five for sure.

    If Diehl, a married father who has done as much community work as any of the
    Giants, can do something as stupid and dangerous and inexcusable as driving
    drunk and playing bumper cars down the narrow streets of Astoria on Sunday, then
    it’s impossible to predict what player could be next.

    Unless the NFL can get the players association to do the right thing and
    agree that players who get a DWI for the first time can be suspended, the Giants
    should take it upon themselves to bench Diehl for at least the first half of the
    season opener on Sept. 5 against the Cowboys. The Jets succumbed to public
    pressure and sat Braylon Edwards for the first quarter of a game in Miami in
    2010 less than a week after he was arrested for drunk driving in Manhattan even
    though by NFL rules they were not obligated to take any action against Edwards
    at all.

    In his final talk to the players before they go on vacation Thursday,
    Coughlin must use Diehl — arrested for DWI after registering a .18 on the
    blood-alcohol test, more than twice the legal limit — as an example in front of
    his teammates, to emphasize the need to be responsible. If they happen to drink
    too much, pull the card out of their wallet with the phone number for “Player
    Protect,” the car service the Giants set up five years ago to drive a player
    home when they don’t feel capable of driving home. The players can also just
    leave their cars at home and use the service to get to their destination if they
    feel they might be drinking during the evening.

    Don’t be reckless. Pick up the phone. Make the call.

    It’s not against the law to drink, so players shouldn’t be concerned about
    confidentiality by scheduling a pickup. It’s against the law to be drunk and
    drive. If they are worried about the team holding it against them, they can just
    call their own car service.

    The Giants split the cost of the car service with the players, not that the
    players can’t afford it. The Giants players heard from NFL security on Tuesday
    night and were encouraged to make the call rather than drink and drive.

    The NFLPA also has a program, Player Transportation Link, where players can
    get a ride home. The cost is reportedly $85 per hour. The union took over the
    program from the league in 2009 ostensibly as a result of player concerns about
    teams finding out if they were too impaired to drive home.

    “Anytime I go somewhere and I know there is a chance I will have any sort of
    drink, I try to have a car service,” Eli Manning said Wednesday. “Just being
    smart and understanding whatever that car service is going to cost you, it’s a
    lot cheaper than what the consequences are.”

    Diehl is fortunate he didn’t kill anybody. Manning doesn’t even put himself
    in a situation of having to make a decision if he’s capable of driving home.
    “It’s gotten to the point now that anytime I am going into the city, I just take
    a car service,” he said. “You never know what is going to happen. I’m not the
    greatest driver in the world in the city.”

    Is Coughlin surprised Diehl didn’t reach out for a ride home?

    “I don’t know how to speculate that way,” he said. “I won’t even try.”

    Football players have been conditioned to embrace the structure that meetings
    and walkthroughs and practice and injury treatment sessions provide in their
    lives that are filled with temptations. Now they have 42 days out on their own.
    Coughlin and Reese will jump every time the phone rings."


    "Tight end Travis Beckum said his surgically repaired knee felt “great” on
    Wednesday, one day after he ran for the first time since he tore his ACL in
    Super Bowl XLVI. He admitted to feeling something “a little weird” on Tuesday
    just after he completed his running, but it was all cleared up by Wednesday

    “I guess that’s a good sign,” he said.

    Beckum said that what he felt was “not necessarily discomfort, just a
    feeling that I hadn’t felt in a while – kind of weird just because of the whole
    patella situation. I kind of felt something on my patella, right where my scar
    was. Today I didn’t feel that, so I’m assuming it’s just breaking up the scar
    tissue. My knee feels great.”

    Beckum had surgery in February to repair his ACL and torn meniscus. As part
    of the surgery, the doctors used part of his patella tendon as a graft to help
    rebuild and strengthen his ACL.

    Since that surgery, Beckum said he has put on about 20 pounds. He said he
    ended last season at about 232 pounds, but dropped to 222 after his surgery and
    now is up to 242 – the biggest he’s been since the scouting combine before his
    rookie season. He thinks that’s about where he should be, and he said he’s
    actually happy because “I was one of those guys that I could eat anything and
    never gain weight.”

    “It’s really hard for me to gain weight, so I’m actually really excited
    about this,” Beckum said. “I’m going to take what I can get.”

    Beckum is still very optimistic about his rehab and though he’s likely to
    begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list he refuses to rule
    out the possibility of being able to play in the regular-season opener on Sept.
    5. But he said he has to be cautious, no matter how good he feels.

    “The thing about this injury is you don’t want to overdo it,” Beckum said.
    “You don’t want to develop tendonitis in the patella, which I had removed. It’s
    going to be tough, but I’m excited about my journey.”

    "Jerry Reese thought Jake Ballard would clear waivers on Tuesday and said it
    was “disappointing” that the New
    England Patriots claimed the tight end
    . But he had no interest in explaining
    why the Giants waived Ballard in the first place in what Tom Coughlin called a
    ” that went wrong.

    “I could explain it but I don't want to
    explain it,” Reese said Wednesday morning in an interview with Bob Papa and
    Amani Toomer on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Because it’s really irrelevant at this
    point. All I want to say about Jake is he did a tremendous job for usand we
    hope he gets well soon.It’s really pointless for me at this point to try
    explain it to people.

    “It’s rare that somebody takes a guy under these
    conditions off the waiver wire but it happened and we wish Jake all the

    It seems obvious the Giants are stunned by the Patriots’ decision
    to claim Ballard just four months after he needed surgery to repair a torn ACL –
    a surgery that included a microfracture procedure. Ballard is not expected to
    play in 2012 at all, though if the Patriots don’t waive him they’ll have his
    rights when he’s an “exclusive rights” free agent in 2013.

    “Yes we
    thought that he would clear,” Reese said. “It's rare, but it’s not the first
    time something like that has happened. It's disappointing for us that we didn't
    get him back. He did a tremendous job for us and we hope he gets well soon and
    that he can finish his career, whether it’s with New England or whatever team he
    ends up with. I

    “It was disappointing, but that does happen, every blue

    Like Coughlin, Reese also indicated that the Patriots didn’t do
    anything wrong when they claimed an injured player the Giants were obviously
    hoping to keep. And he said there’s no bad blood between the Giants and the team
    they beat in Super Bowl XLVI.

    “No, absolutely not,” Reese said. “There
    is no reason for us to have hard feelings about it. When you put a guy on the
    wire, he's free game for anybody. There are no hard feelings for us. They think
    that they can salvage the situation, so we will see what happens. But again, we
    only wish the best for Jake.”



    "Tom Coughlin did not go ahead and blast his own front office, but it was
    clear yesterday that he was more than irritated about losing injured tight end
    Jake Ballard to the Patriots and less than pleased this situation could have
    been avoided if only the Giants had protected Ballard’s rights.

    “Very disappointing,’’ said Coughlin, who added to characterize him as
    discouraged was “a minor description’’ of his emotional state. “I don’t have a
    lot to say about that one. Just the fact we’re disappointed, very

    Oh, but Coughlin did have more to say.

    The Giants were stunned Tuesday when the Patriots claimed Ballard off
    waivers. Ballard can’t play this season while he recovers from a devastating
    knee injury suffered in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVI — playing for the
    Giants and against the Patriots. On Monday, Ballard as expected failed his
    physical and the Giants waived him, believing this was simply a procedural move
    and that once he cleared waivers he’d revert back to their Physically Unable to
    Perform/reserve list to spend the 2012 season rehabbing his knee, hoping to make
    a return in 2013.

    To ensure that Ballard’s rights were protected, the Giants could have kept
    him on their 90-man training camp roster until moving him to PUP after camp. But
    the Giants front office did not take that safer option, feeling fairly certain
    no team would put in a waiver claim on a tight end who can’t play at all this

    “I could explain it but I don’t want to explain it because it’s really
    irrelevant at this point,’’ general manager Jerry Reese said on SiriusXM NFL

    Asked why the Giants didn’t simply keep Ballard protected on the roster,
    Coughlin snapped.

    “Don’t ask me those questions,” he said. “I’m not the ... I don’t have the
    answers for you. We’re all disappointed, that’s all.’’

    Reese admitted, “Yes we thought that he would clear’’ and said, “It’s rare
    but it’s not the first time something like that has happened. It’s disappointing
    for us that we didn’t get him back. He did a tremendous job for us and we hope
    he gets well soon and that he can finish his career, whether it’s with New
    England or whatever team he ends up with. It was disappointing, but that does
    happen, every blue moon.’’

    Coughlin said it was his belief Ballard could return in 2013 and be a
    productive player.

    “I certainly thought so, for sure,’’ he said. “So did everybody, the whole
    building felt that way.’’

    Putting Ballard on waivers, in Coughlin’s view, was “a calculated risk that
    didn’t work.’’

    The Patriots are well-stocked at tight end with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron
    Hernandez, but Bill Belichick has made these types of unconventional moves
    before. Belichick scoffed at the notion he broke some unwritten rule about
    claiming an injured player.

    “First of all, there aren’t any unwrittens,’’ Belichick said in New England.
    “Any time you put a player on waivers, you know there are 31 teams out there
    that can take him if they want him. We all know that.”

    Coughlin seemed to agree, saying “All is fair.’’

    Reese said there is no bad blood with the Patriots.

    “There is no reason for us to have hard feelings about it,’’ he said. “They
    think that they can salvage the situation, so we will see what happens.’’

    Ballard, 24, caught 38 passes last season, was a revelation for the Giants
    and wanted to stay. He arrived at the Giants facility on Tuesday figuring he’d
    cleared waivers but was informed that the Patriots claimed him at 3:50 p.m., 10
    minutes before the waiver deadline.

    “Obviously he built a reputation here, he’s very close with the guys here,
    the staff, the team,’’ tight end Travis Beckum said, “and I think if he could
    have picked he would have picked to stay here, but that is not how the NFL


    "After sitting out for a good portion of the offseason program while allowing
    his broken foot to heal completely following an injection procedure, Prince
    Amukamara is slowly making strides on the field in this three-day veteran

    “They are letting him [go] up to a point and he is out there competing,’’ Tom
    Coughlin said. “It is a whole different year for him, really. He is doing a good
    job. Hopefully he is going to continue.’’

    The Giants are counting on Amukamara to step into the No. 3 cornerback role
    this season behind starters Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas, who is coming off
    major knee surgery. Amukamara entered his rookie season with virtually no
    professional on-field experience, because the lockout robbed him of all the OTA
    work and a broken foot forced him to miss nearly all of training camp and the
    first nine games of the season.

    “If he gets himself in position where he is comfortable and knows what he is
    doing, we have seen that other aspect — the physical part of the play,’’
    Coughlin said. “As a collegiate player, that is what he was. He was a physical

    * TE Travis Beckum on Tuesday ran for the first time to test
    his surgically repaired ACL and followed that up yesterday with some jogging in

    “Just a feeling that I hadn’t felt in a while, kind of weird just because of
    the whole patella situation, kind of felt something on my patella, as far as
    like right where my scar was,’’ Beckum said. “I’m assuming it was just breaking
    up the scar tissue but my knee feels great.’’

    Beckum is noticeably bulkier and said he weighs 242 pounds, up 10 pounds from
    a year ago.

    “It’s really hard for me to gain weight so I’m actually really excited about
    this,’’ Beckum said. He is trying to eat more and eat healthier but admitted, “I
    have the worst sweet tooth ever. Whether it’s candy, the fried foods, I always
    go out to eat. Double cheeseburgers with Mac sauce from McDonald’s.’’

    * DE Justin Tuck has a new and fairly fearsome-looking
    facemask but, it’s not the one Jason Pierre-Paul likes best. “I
    really like Chris [Canty’s] facemask, it looks
    super mean,’’ said Pierre-Paul, who described his own facemask as “a simple
    one.” ... DE Osi Umenyiora practiced after sitting out Tuesday
    because of soreness. ... Corey Webster won’t see the field
    during this mini-camp because of a lingering hamstring issue. ... Eli
    could have been intercepted three times if not for some
    slippery hands by Giants defensive backs. Rookie CB Jayron Hosley
    and S Stevie Brown dropped Manning passes in their
    hands and S Antrel Rolle deflected away a pass to
    Domenik Hixon in a red zone drill."



    "When Jake Ballard showed up at Timex Performance Center late Tuesday afternoon,
    teammate and longtime friend Jim Cordle believes he came ready to sign a new
    contract that would bring him back into the fold with the Giants.

    Ballard never expected having to say goodbye.

    Yet that was the case when the Patriots claimed Ballard off waivers,
    essentially ending his time with the Giants following a breakout season that
    concluded with a devastating knee injury against his new team in Super Bowl XLVI
    four months ago.

    Less than 24 hours later, Tom Coughlin admitted Ballard’s abrupt departure to
    the Patriots was "the nature of the business," but that doesn’t mean the Giants
    were happy about losing the 24-year-old tight end to Bill Belichick in New

    "Very disappointing," Coughlin said before Day 2 of the team’s minicamp got
    under way Wednesday. "I’m not going to have a lot to say about that one – just
    the fact that we are disappointed; very disappointed."

    Cordle said he and Ballard – teammates at Ohio State and roommates along with
    Bear Pascoe until Ballard boarded a plane to Boston on Wednesday morning — were
    preparing to sign a year-long lease on their North Jersey apartment.

    "You hope he’s not being used to spite the Giants," Cordle added.

    The Giants believed Ballard would have an impact for them in 2013.

    "The whole building felt that way. Everyone did," Coughlin added. "It is
    obvious that it was a calculated risk and it didn’t work."

    The Giants waived Ballard – expected to be out for the season following ACL
    and microfracture surgery – when he failed his physical, which was not a

    Clearly, the Giants were hoping Ballard would clear waivers and, presumably
    once he did that Tuesday afternoon, they would have re-signed him and placed him
    on the PUP-reserve list; by doing that, he would not count against the team’s
    90-man roster limit.

    That was until New England spoiled the plan.

    Asked why the Giants did not simply keep Ballard on the 90-man roster,
    Coughlin quipped: "Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t have the answers for
    you there. We are all disappointed, that’s all."

    In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, general manager Jerry Reese said
    there are no hard feelings toward the Patriots. He would not elaborate on the
    decision to waive Ballard, however.

    "I could explain it but I don’t want to explain it because it’s really
    irrelevant at this point," Reese said. "All I want to say about Jake is he did a
    tremendous job for us and we hope he gets well soon."

    In Ballard’s anticipated absence for this season, the Giants already were in
    the process of trying to fit the right pieces into their offensive puzzle.

    Pascoe has been working with Eli Manning and the first team, while newcomer
    Martellus Bennett and rookie Adrien Robinson attempt to get up to speed in the
    playbook as quickly as possible. Travis Beckum – also recovering from an ACL
    tear suffered in the Super Bowl – ran for the first time since surgery

    "Me and Eli, we’ve worked together the past couple of years and I think I’ve
    built some good trust with him," Pascoe said. "Right now it’s all about building
    on that trust. He’s not worrying about me. He knows I’ll be in the right

    "This is a big year for myself … hopefully, take over that No. 1 spot [at



    Tom Coughlin was in no mood to be noble toward the New England Patriots for
    plucking injured tight end Jake Ballard off the
    waiver wire.

    Ballard, coming off ACL and micro-fracture surgery and
    likely unavailable for action until 2013, was claimed shortly before Tuesday's
    opening workout of Giants minicamp, a day after he was waived because of a
    failed physical. It was the Giants' intention to re-sign him and eventually
    place him on injured reserve, where he would continue rehabilitation and
    anticipate a full recovery next season.

    But the Patriots beat them to it, leaving Coughlin
    displeased with the entire situation on Wednesday.

    "Discouraged is a minor description," Coughlin said.
    "Very disappointed."

    When it was suggested that the Giants might just have
    kept their top pass-catching tight end from last season on the 90-man roster to
    ensure keeping his contract rights, Coughlin shot back, "Don't ask me those
    questions. I don't have the answer for you."

    What was depicted as a "calculated risk" by New England
    in taking a fearless tight end who caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four
    touchdowns last year was being viewed in some quarters as a vindictive move by
    Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Of course, New York defeated New England in the
    Super Bowl twice in the past five years, and Belichick, a former defensive
    coordinator for the Giants, did not get the head coaching position with New York
    in 1992, when Bill Parcells stepped down.

    The Giants had hoped to keep Ballard around to compete
    with Bear Pascoe.
    Newly acquired Martellus
    , fourth-round draft pick Adrien Robinson, and first-year player Christian
    are also training camp hopefuls, while Travis Beckum
    anticipates a return from ACL surgery in time for the regular season.

    Losing Ballard proved more of an emotional shock than
    anything for Pascoe.

    "We said there was the possibility that Jake wouldn't
    play this year, but it's still hard to see him go," said Pascoe, who caught 12
    passes for 136 yards last year. "He was surprised, but he understands it. Jake
    will do well wherever he goes. He's just moving on."

    Pascoe, who has taken on more of a leadership role, said
    the task now is for the active receivers to become effective - not the easiest
    thing to accomplish while Bennett, a former Cowboy, recovers from a hamstring

    "I think I've built some good trust with Eli (Manning),"
    Pascoe said. "Right now, it's all about building on that trust. He's not worried
    about me. He knows I'll be in the right spot. And he knows the tight end group
    is solid."

    The quarterback was just as optimistic.

    "We have some young guys, Martellus, some new guys, who
    are coming into the system, so they're trying to get caught up," Manning said.
    "They're learning from Bear, so at least you have a guy who's been here a little
    bit and knows what's going on."

    Coughlin would not have had Ballard for 2012, but that
    didn't lessen his feelings on the situation. In the end, though, he had to admit
    that the Patriots did nothing outside the rules, except perhaps those of
    front-office etiquette.

    "I don't think there's any question about that part of
    it," Coughlin said. "Whatever the options are based on what the rules are, based
    on the procedural circumstance, all is fair."

    Belichick, after New England's second minicamp session
    on Wednesday in Foxborough, Mass., wasn't concerned with etiquette.

    "There are no unwrittens," he said. "You can't negotiate
    a contract with a player while he's under contract. You can't negotiate a
    contract, release him then renegotiate another contract with him that was
    already done in advance. I'm sure the Giants weren't doing that. (When) a player
    is on waivers, he's on waivers - ours or anybody else's."

    A reporter brought up the fact that Belichick was upset
    when the Vikings claimed tight end and long snapper Garrett Mills in similar

    "I don't know what unwrittens you're talking about,"
    Belichick said. "Anytime you put a player on waivers, you know there's 31 teams
    out there that can take them, if they want him. We all know that.

    "There's no secrets about that."

    NOTES: Giants S Tyler Sash, who had
    been running with the first unit, sat out drills with a bad hamstring. Coughlin
    said he is progressing, but that "he doesn't feel like he can fire it right now.
    But it's something I think he'll b."e ready for camp." ... The coach said he'd
    ideally like to have a four or five-player "committee" handling punt return
    duties so that WR Domenik Hixon won't
    have to be back there all the time. Second-round receiver Rueben Randle has
    looked good handling the ball, though his body position needs improvement,
    Coughlin said. WR Victor Cruz, WR Jerrel Jernigan,
    and third-round CB Jayron Holsey are also working there. ... CB Prince Amukamara
    continued to improve his surgically repaired left foot, but he has yet to work a
    full practice. ... CB Corey Webster
    continued to sit out with a bad hamstring as a precaution



    "Jake Ballard’s locker at the Giants’ training facility looked the same Wednesday
    morning, as if it still belonged to him. Jackets hung underneath a shelf holding
    his red, white and blue Giants bag, which was underneath his shoulder pads.
    Below that was a pile of mismatched shoes. On the wall inside the locker hung a
    tribute to his alma mater, Ohio State: a rag with “Ohio” scripted in scarlet and
    gray. Above it was a picture of the Giants tight ends from last season: Travis
    Beckum, Bear Pascoe and Ballard.

    A new reality, one that had made Coach Tom Coughlin visibly upset Wednesday,
    had not taken physical shape yet. Ballard will not be back with the Giants in
    2012, because of an injury that led the team to waive him this week. And if he
    becomes healthy enough to return in 2013, it will not be with the Giants, who
    saw the New England Patriots claim Ballard off the waiver wire.

    “I certainly thought so, for sure,” Coughlin said quietly, about Ballard
    returning to the Giants in 2013. “So did everybody; the whole building thought
    that way. Everyone did. It’s obvious it was a calculated risk, and it didn’t

    Jim Cordle — the backup center,
    Ballard’s teammate at Ohio State and his roommate for the past two seasons — had
    been with Ballard in the training room when Ronnie Barnes, the trainer,
    approached Ballard with the plan. The Giants would waive Ballard, clearing a
    roster spot immediately to sign another player, who would be the defensive
    tackle Rocky Bernard, and then bring Ballard back.

    Ballard is still recovering after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in
    the Super Bowl.

    “Ronnie, you’re not going to worry about him? He’s out there. He’s exposed,”
    Cordle recalled asking, adding: “Ronnie was like, ‘Oh, you know, he can’t play
    this year. It’s a risk, but he clears waivers, he’s on I.R. and we move on from
    there.’ ”

    As Ballard, the 6-foot-6 tight end who developed into a receiving threat,
    left the house on Sunday, Cordle joked about how little time they had together,
    how Ballard had less than 24 hours until he had a new home.

    On Tuesday afternoon, according to Pascoe and Cordle, Ballard came to the
    Giants’ facility expecting to clear waivers and rejoin his teammates, but the
    Patriots claimed Ballard, 24, at the last minute.

    “Discouraged is a minor description,” Coughlin said Wednesday. “Very
    disappointing. I don’t have a lot to say about that. Just the fact that we’re
    very disappointed.”

    It was asked why the Giants did not simply keep Ballard on the 90-man

    “Don’t ask me those questions,” Coughlin said,
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    thanks Roanoke!

    best nfl defense???? i'll pick the Giants based on their superbowl victory.

    i mean what else is there to consider? lol.



    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012 - 11:15 A.M.

      [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

      thanks Roanoke!

      best nfl defense???? i'll pick the Giants based on their superbowl victory.

      i mean what else is there to consider? lol.


      It's a slow news cycle so they need to create drama
      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1