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Giants Training Camp: What Have We Learned So Far?

Week One of New York Giants Training Camp at the University at Albany is in the books. So, what have we learned?

  • Well, we have been reminded that the Injury Bug -- that vicious, insidious, impossible to stomp out completely worm that can change a team's season in an eye-blink -- lurks around the corner on every snap of the ball in the NFL. The Giants have seen their share of strains, sprains and broken bones in the first week, but with the news that Rich Seubert should return Wednesday nothing that should have a lasting impact. Unless, of course, your name is Reuben Riley. Remember him? Hurt his knee Thursday, got cut Friday.
  • We have learned that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is, shall I say, a noticeable presence on the field. Good or bad, you always know how Fewell feels about what is going on with his defense. With the energy he brings to the table, I hope Tom Coughlin never lets this guy coach from the press box. He belongs on an NFL sideline.
  • Speaking of Fewell, it is pretty obvious that he is willing to try things. We have seen some of Mathias Kiwanuka at linebacker, which Kiwanuka does not seem to mind, we have seen defensive lines with four defensive ends, we have seen press coverage, blitzes and a variety of zones. Right now it is early and the first week saw lots of stuff being thrown against the wall. Over time, we will find out what sticks.
  • We already thought we knew this, but the first week has made it obvious that Deon Grant and Antrel Rolle are an immense improvement over what the Giants fielded at the safety position in 2009. Today, we begin to see what Kenny Phillips can contribute as he comes off the PUP list.
  • We have found out that life for the Giants could be scary if center Shaun O'Hara were to miss a considerable amount of time. Everybody loves Seubert, who could play there if needed, but watch the man try to stretch and run during warm-ups and it is painful. He has given a lot to the Giants, and it seems that includes most of his athleticism. He does not move well at all. Adam Koets? He can say what he wants, but every snap is still an adventure and I'm not sure anyone would be comfortable if he actually had to play.
  • As usual, we have seen that Eli Manning had better stay healthy for this team to be good. Rhett Bomar and Jim Sorgi have each had some good moments in camp, but they have had just as many bad ones. Can't say I would feel good with either one of them under center in a game the Giants had to win.
  • We learned that Jason Pierre-Paul has awesome abs. I'm not kidding. And no, I don't have a man-crush on JPP. The Giants No. 1 pick is one of the only players who does not wear a t-shirt under his practice jersey (neither does Keith Bulluck), and I think he does it just to show off the wall of muscle in his mid-section. By the way, we've also learned that JPP can play a little. He might not know what is going on sometimes, and his pass-rush repertoire might be limited to a bull-rush, but he has used brute strength and athleticism to make some plays in the first week.
  • We learned that rookie punter Matt Dodge can hit some absolute bombs. He has a tremendous leg. And we learned that he can also hit some awful-looking punts. Consistency and Dodge have not yet found their way into the same sentence, but the kid does have a leg that gives you hope.
  • We learned that Tim Brown is not just a curiosity at Giants camp. The 5-foot-7, 165-pound undrafted free agent wide receiver from Rutgers was among the most impressive players during the first week of camp. I have no idea if Tiny Tim can keep it up, or how he makes the roster even if he does, but he's a guy you have to root for.
  • We have learned that Rocky Bernard is indeed alive. He has to be. A guy wearing No. 95, which my roster says is Bernard, knocked down a pass Thursday night during red zone drills.