--According to a league source, DT Leger Douzable, who was with the Giants in 2008 and 2009 and who was recently claimed off waivers by Detroit from St. Louis, was also sought by the Giants.
The news of the Giants' reported interest in Douzable initially seemed surprising considering that New York appears loaded at defensive tackle and is currently down a safety and receiver/kick returner due to the season-ending injuries suffered by S Chad Jones and WR Domenik Hixon.
Upon further review, however, there could be concern on the part of the team regarding the health of two of its interior defensive linemen and whether both will be able to carry a full workload during this summer's training camp.
DT Jay Alford, who is rehabbing from knee surgery he had last August, suffered a setback during the spring when he tripped over a teammate and ended up tweaking his MCL, an injury that caused him to miss the team's entire minicamp.
While both the team and Alford both expressed optimism that the fourth-year defensive tackle would be ready for the start of training camp on August 1, Alford could be limited to one practice per day as he continues he rehab.
In addition, 31-year old DT Rocky Bernard, who signed a lucrative contract with the Giants in 2009, continues to rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. While the team has said it expects Bernard to be ready for the start of training camp, he too could be limited to one practice per day, thereby creating a potential need for an additional defensive tackle to help with the daily grind.
--Last year WR Steve Smith made it a point to work as much as he could with QB Eli Manning during the offseason. The results paid off as Smith became Smith's "go-to" guy and the Giants' leading receiver.
Now another Giants receiver is hoping to take a page out of that book. Hakeem Nicks, who's entering his second season, told the coaches that he's planning on working out with Manning during the down time in order to get a jumpstart on perfecting their timing and chemistry, especially since Nicks was limited during the spring as he recovered from toe surgery.
"That will help him," acknowledged offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "Catching as many balls from him and trying to use Eli as an extension of the coaching staff will certainly be beneficial to him."
However, the work Nicks does with Manning is only a start and is in no way a substitution for what Nicks still needs to do.
"He needs to be here with the intensity -- coaches telling him what to do and also having the opportunity to compete against that is playing defensively and trying to shut him down," Gilbride said. "You learn your stuff on air from a certain point but then you have to make the adjustments necessary to be successful when somebody is trying to shut you down."
--Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he isn't bothered by the continued grumblings by DE Osi Umenyiora about getting his starting job back this summer.
"If you are a guy that doesn't want to be a starter and you don't come out and compete every day to be starter or be the best that you possibly can be, then we have the wrong guy," Fewell said. "So, hey, I want as much competition, I want them to fight for the job."
Fewell also wants Umenyiora and the rest of the defensive linemen to understand that everyone is going to get a chance to contribute, and that in his defense, taking the very first snap from scrimmage doesn't necessarily matter.
"It is not how you start; it is how you finish," Fewell said. "All of them will play and all will have the equal opportunity to be a starter. They all will have different roles. How they excel in those roles -- that is what I am trying to find out."
--To the casual observer, second-year RB Andre Brown looked like he was all the way back from his year off due to an Achilles injury. Brown ran well, made his cuts, and was reliable out of the backfield. As such, he's in the mix to compete for the third down back this summer along with DJ Ware and Gartrell Johnson.
The coaches, however, aren't convinced that Brown is where he needs to be just yet. Rather, they see a second-year player who in essence is entering his rookie season all over again and who needs to start from scratch.
"Right now he is making a few more mistakes," said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "More than the slowness, which certainly shows up -- is the fact that he has missed a whole season. So there are a few more mistakes right now than we could afford if we had to put him in. Hopefully as the training camp goes and the exhibition goes, those things disappear."
--Giants FB Madison Hedgecock and Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery are teaming up again this year to host a youth football camp on July 6-9, 2010 at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.
Hedgecock and Cotchery will be joined by current and former teammates as well as area high school and youth football coaches as they offer instruction to boys between the ages of 7 and 18.
For more information, visit www.footballcamps.com or call 301-575-9400 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"What you talk about here is when you make a choice make sure it is in the best interest of you and your family, and always make sure that whatever you decide to do, don't do anything that you wouldn't be proud of if it was on the front page." -- Head coach Tom Coughlin, when asked what his parting message was to his players on the final day of the team's minicamp.
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