Wednesday is the final day of training camp for the New York Giants. The afternoon practice will be the final chance for fans to see the team work out at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Practice begins at 1:30 p.m. ET.
With the training camp portion of the Giants' preparation for the 2013 season ending, let's look at what we have learned thus far. Here are 10 takeaways from training camp.
- The future is now: Maybe it happened only because of the injury to starting center David Baas, but first-round pick Justin Pugh is now the starting right tackle. I said this on Tuesday, and I believe it to be true. If he proves up to the task I think the job is his for the foreseeable future. The Giants, obviously, want the young man to play.
- Dan Connor is your middle linebacker: Mark Herzlich operated with the first team during the offseason and the beginning of training camp and the preseason. Connor started the second preseason game and worked with the first team on Tuesday, a telling sign although the Giants have not made any official announcement. Fact is, Connor has outplayed Herzlich through two games.
- 'DaMonster' is da real deal: I was asked about rookie defensive end Damontre Moore during a radio appearance I made Tuesday evening on 'AllPurposeRoto.' My prediction? I told the hosts I thought Moore would become a star, leaving people shaking their heads and wondering how in the world he lasted until the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
- Larry Donnell needs to make the team: Donnell looks, on paper, like the fourth tight end on a three-tight end roster. The Giants, however, have to find a way to keep him. He is athletic, can catch the ball, can play fullback and if the Giants try to cut him and re-sign him to the practice squad he won't get there. Someone will snatch him up. Donnell scored huge points with Tom Coughlin by insisting on playing Saturday night after injuring his knee during practice on Friday.
- The Giants need JPP desperately: Jason Pierre-Paul is the Giants' best defensive player and after two games it seems pretty obvious that unless he comes back and is a dominant force there is little chance this can be anything other than an ordinary defense.
- Prince has arrived: Please don't read that to mean Prince Amukamara is now on the Darrelle Revis-Richard Sherman level as one of the game's elite cornerbacks. Watching training camp and two preseason games, it is clear, however, that Amuakamra is coming into his own in his third season. The preseason games have also shown that other teams have noticed. The Colts in particular consistently attacked the side opposite Amukamara in their passing attack.
- Michael Cox is making the team: The rookie seventh-round pick from UMass has impressed on kickoffs, running the ball and catching the ball. There isn't much more he needs to prove, other than that he can continue to master the nuances of the Giants' offense. Say goodbye to Da'Rel Scott and Ryan Torain.
- The Giants will carry three QBs: Fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib may develop into a quality NFL quarterback one day, maybe even a starting-caliber guy. Right now, however, he is not ready for prime time. I believe he has a long way to go before the Giants are willing to trust him in meaningful games. Thus, either David Carr or Curtis Painter will be No. 2.
- Touchdown Brown: Memo to fantasy football team owners. Andre Brown appears to be the short-yardage and goal line back for the Giants, meaning few touchdowns for David Wilson.
- Justin Tuck is still fragile: Tuck has dealt with injuries for years now, and they have been part of the reason why his productivity has dropped off. We know all about how hard Tuck worked this offseason, how his attitude seems to be better and he seems committed to being the best player he can still be. He has, however, already dealt with back and hamstring issues. Neither sidelined him for a long period of time, but his ability to remain healthy has to be a concern.
It goes without saying that, along with Pierre-Paul, the Giants need injured players like David Baas, Victor Cruz, Antrel Rolle and Henry Hynoski to get healthy as quickly as possible. There are, seemingly, a lot of pieces to the Giants' puzzle that are not in place right now.