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Land of the Giants: Nicks is feeling fine

As I mentioned Monday evening, the work done by No. 1 pick Hakeem Nicks in the afternoon session had everyone buzzing. Well, managed to catch up with Nicks after practice.

"It was fun," he said. "Every day is fun, this is football. A lot earlier in the practices, the hamstring (injury) came and that was a setback. It's just a football injury, but it was a lot to think about. I was thinking too much at the beginning and now I feel like I'm playing within the team and within the system and playing my game.

"I know what I'm doing and I'm good with the sight adjustments. I'm good on every play now, so I am just me out there now. It's a lot off me now; I feel like I can play within the team and just contribute the best way possible."

"I wouldn't say that I had been frustrated, because I knew that it was going to come sooner or later," Nicks said. "It's just a matter of me getting comfortable. The hamstring set me back awhile and I just had to work my way back. It affected me on the depth chart and I got mental reps, but I couldn't do it physically so therefore the plays weren't really sticking with me. They were moving a lot faster and I'm a type to learn by getting reps. It was just a matter of me being patient and waiting until this passed by and the man upstairs has got a plan for me. Now I feel like I'm right where I need to be, so I'm ready to go."

Quarterback Andre Woodson could not believe the catch Nicks made when Woodson tossed him a fade route in the end zone.

"Oh man, remarkable catch," Woodson said. "That was amazing. I think that shows right there why he was the first pick for us in the first round. He has a lot of potential, he really does. The big thing for him is learning the playbook, finding the hot (reads) and adjustments and he'll be fine. But he's pretty nice to watch. To see him go up there one-handed and the defensive back really doesn't know where the ball is, he just did a wonderful job of going up there and getting it at its highest point."

  • Plaxico Burress has spoken for the first time about what happened the night he shot himself. Ralph Vacchiano has the sad details.

"It wasn’t like I was trying to hide (the gun) or go into this place and go through security," Burress said. "They knew I had it, they pat me down and they said OK. They let me in, with it.

"I’m there for maybe five minutes. It was getting so crowded, everybody coming over, so the VIPs, they said ‘I’ll take you upstairs so you can relax and no one will bother you.’ I’m walking up the stairs and I miss a step, and my gun slides down my pants. So, it’s getting ready to hit the ground. I don’t want it to hit the ground, when it slides down my jeans, and I go to stop it from hitting the ground.

"I don’t think you could do it a million times. Through your pants you can try to stop it from hitting the ground and my finger hit right on the trigger. What are the odds in that happening?"

There are signs that indicate the group is faltering.

For instance, left tackle David Diehl, a more natural guard, has held on to the position for two seasons because the Giants like to run the ball, and he is nothing if not a world-class road-grader as a run-blocker. But he lacks quick feet and a sense of awareness of the on-rushing defensive end to be a truly proficient left tackle. Despite the team’s denials, there has been effort to find one.

The right tackle, Kareem McKenzie, is an "old" 30, a man troubled by recurring back spasms. Whether he lasts the entire season is argumentative, but even more disturbing is the fact that there isn’t much depth behind the two tackles.

  • We have talked a lot about how jittery backup quarterback David Carr has been throughout training camp. Well, when asked about him Monday quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer was unusually candid in his assessment of Carr's camp performance.

I’m not pleased with David right now. I think he’s got to be more consistent. He’s a quarterback, he’s got to prove he’s a winning quarterback and I think there are certain things that he has to improve on, and I’ve told him that. He has the ability to play in this league, he’s a very, very talented player, but he’s got to do the things the way we want them done.

  • Zak DeOssie will now handle all of the special teams snapping duties with Jay Alford injured. DeOssie told the Star-Ledger's Jenny Vrentas that he expects a 'smooth transition.'

"There was some question there whether or not I was going to do it or Jay, because Jay is a really good D-tackle" DeOssie said. "But now the decision is easy for the coaches because unfortunately Jay got hurt, and I've got to step in there."

DeOssie did both snaps at Brown. He also got experience at the pro level during February's Pro Bowl, when he was selected as the NFC's "need" player to short snap for John Carney's field goals/extra points and long snap for Jeff Feagles' punts.

DeOssie is right-handed, while Alford is left-handed, but Feagles -- who is the holder for field goals -- said that just changes the spin on the ball. Feagles is used to that spin from DeOssie's snaps on punts. The only other difference is that DeOssie (6-4, 249) is smaller than Alford (6-3, 304), which can easily be adjusted for.

"He's not as big as Jay, but he's certainly as good as Jay," Feagles said. "We just have to give him a little bit more protection in the middle because of his size. But that shouldn't be a problem. As far as our operation and stuff goes, we've been working pretty diligently with both of them."

DeOssie has practiced short snaps daily for the past two seasons in case Alford got injured. Feagles said center Shaun O'Hara is the emergency snapper, and tight end Lee Vickers has also been working as a backup to DeOssie on the punt unit.

"I'm sure it will be a smooth transition," DeOssie said. "We won't miss a step."