Giants Training Camp: Saturday Morning Notes & Quotes

One of the questions New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked Friday was who he would use to return punts and kickoffs during Monday's preseason opener against the New York Jets.

"We want to take a look at Danny [Ware], Andre [Brown], and I want to take a look at, if [Victor] Cruz is ready to go, we'd like to take a look at him. We just have a couple of nicks that cause us not to be able to do it the way we want to," Coughlin said. "Punt return, I'd like to see Aaron [Ross] back there, [Victor] Cruz can do that, too, I really don't know who the third will be right now, let's see who's healthy enough to be back there but we've rotated a bunch of guys in there."

One of those nicks is Tim Brown, the undrafted free agent wide receiver from Rutgers. Brown, who has flashed tons of speed and a surprising ability to get open despite being just 5-foot-7, 165 pounds, has groing and hamstring injuries that will force him to miss a game that would have provided him a great opportunity.

Back to Cruz for just a second. He struggled with catching punts when I was at practice Thursday, and apparently had some difficulty Friday morning as well. Cruz returned 16 punts for UMass last season, however, so perhaps he is just showing a little rust since Thursday was the first time he had caught punts with the Giants. Cruz averaged only 4.3 yards per return last season for UMass, by the way, so I would not expect much sizzle from him as a returner. He returned three kickoffs for a total of 66 yards while at UMass in 2008.

There will be a dozen or so Giants unavailable Monday night, and Coughlin said the remaining players understand the opportunity they have been given.

"The guys that are practicing realize what has happened to the depth and the extent to which they'll have opportunities," Coughlin said. "They're going to have to rise up and understand that this is a real chance for them."

  • Writing for The Sporting News, Mike Florio says the battle for New York between the Giants and Jets is the No. 1 story of the upcoming NFL season.

    Though they won't play each other during the regular season, the joint tenants of the new Meadowlands Stadium have developed all the tension of twice-a-year division rivals. Plenty of people quickly are tiring of the spotlight-seeking Jets, and plenty of those people work for and/or root for the Giants.

    So it'll be interesting to see whether the team that won a Super Bowl three years ago will fare better this year than the team that has called its shot in unprecedented fashion, laying claim to the Lombardi Trophy even before the first preseason game was played.

  • AOL Fanhouse says the NFC East is overrated. Based on the results of the past few seasons, Fanhouse has a point.
  • Remember that you can still listen to Thursday's episode of 'New York Giants Talk.' Lots of good stuff in there from Pat Traina of Inside Football and JohnB of GangGreenNation.
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