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OTA preview: What to look for when Giants take the field for offseason workouts

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It still isn't real football, but OTAs at least give us a little taste of the 2015 Giants.

Tom Coughlin will get to see his Giants on the field this week.
Tom Coughlin will get to see his Giants on the field this week.
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants begin Phase Three of the NFL offseason program on Wednesday, marking the first time offensive and defensive players will be allowed to work against each other on the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Let's examine how the NFL offseason program works, and what the schedule will be for the Giants going forward. Phase One was two weeks of strength, conditioning and physical rehab. Phase Two allowed on-field work on a "separates" basis -- no offense vs. defense or contact permitted. Here are the guidelines for Phase Three:

  • There are 10 OTAs allowed over a four-week period.
  • No live contact is permitted, but teams can run 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
  • Players will wear helmets, but no pads or shells.

Here is the Giants' offseason practice schedule:

  • OTA offseason workouts: May 27-29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, June 11-12
  • Mandatory mini-camp: June 16-18

Media will have access to one OTA each week. Wednesday's first OTA will be one of those that media will be able to witness. What can we hope to learn? Well, with the caveats that no jobs will be won or lost during OTAs, that you simply can't get a read good read on line play and that no personnel groupings shown by the Giants are permanent, let's take a look.

  • We get our first glimpse of how the Giants might consider aligning their offensive line in the absence of Will Beatty. Again, the Giants are likely to look at a variety of combinations throughout OTA, mini-camp and training camp. Don't freak out if you aren't thrilled with whatever alignment the Giants open Wednesday's practice with.
  • We get our first look at the Giants new group of safeties in some live passing drills.
  • We might get our first glimpse of Victor Cruz as he works to return from his torn patella tendon. Cruz won't practice with the team, but perhaps we will see him working off to the side individually. He has said he is running and cutting at 75-80 percent speed. Maybe we get a look.
  • We get an idea where several other players are in their injury rehabs. That list would include players like defensive ends Robert Ayers and Damontre Moore, middle linebacker Jon Beason and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz.
  • We get our first look at the group of players competing for the nickel and reserve cornerback roles. Solving those questions will take some time.
  • We get our first inkling of what the Giants defense might look like under the direction of Steve Spagnuolo.
  • We get our first glimpse of the rookie class mixed in with the veteran players. That might gives us our first indication of which players look like they really belong, and which guys might be able to contribute in key roles.
  • We get to see the Giants' free-agent acquisitions for the first time. In practices like this with no contact and players in just shorts and t-shirt, players like running back Shane Vereen and wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris might be the ones to really look at.

What are you looking forward to hearing about, Giants fans?