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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
TERRELL THOMAS HAS NO DOUBT HE'LL BE READY FOR TRAINING CAMP
"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
"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
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
replacements."GIANTS' KEVIN GILBRIDE SAYS DAVID WILSON IS UNLIKE ANY PLAYER HE'S COACHED WITH THE TEAM
"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
"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."http://www.nj.com/giants/
DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPS QUIETLY BACK TO WORK, AWAITING FOR TRAINING CAMP
RIVERS TRYING TO HOOK ON WITH GIANTS
"There were times throughout the Giants’ three-day minicamp when Keith
Rivers felt strangely confused.
"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
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
GILBRIDE CONCERNED ABOUT TIGHT ENDS
"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,
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
BRADSHAW FEELING "GREAT"
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
UNTIL TRAINING CAMP, SASH GOING ON A ROLLE
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."GIANTS' PRINCE AMUKAMARA THRIVES IN SECOND CHANCE AT FIRST IMPRESSION WITH BIG BLUE
"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
Coughlin 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.”
RARIN’ TO GO
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