EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It feels like we have been down this road before. The New York Giants held an OTA Monday that was open to the media, and second-year wide receiver Corey Washington was one of the more noticeable players, as he apparently has been throughout the offseason workouts.
Head coach Tom Coughlin singled out the 2014 undrafted free agent from Division II Newberry College, saying he has had a "nice spring."
"He's taken full advantage of his year to learn," Coughlin said. "I think he's matured a little bit and he's had a solid spring."
Washington, of course, was a standout last year during training camp and the preseason, making the team and becoming a fan favorite. He quickly became a spare part for the Giants, though, catching only five passes all season. Toward the end of the season Washington expressed frustration about how his rookie season had gone.
This year Washington is getting more reps with the first team. Monday he made a handful of nice catches, including some matched up with Prince Amukamara.
Washington said he learned last year that he has to earn the "trust" of his teammates and coaches.
"Gaining the coach's trust, quarterback's trust. Just taking everything day by day, not rushing it," Washington said. "My confidence level is high. I'm gaining Eli's trust and the coach's trust. He's throwing me out there with the 1s, I've just got to continue to work and keep it up."
Washington said he knew entering the season that he had to start again in earning trust.
"I came from Newberry. You probably know where Newberry[is]. I have got to show the coaches that I'm going to keep working and gaining their trust," Washington said. "Like I said, gaining Eli's trust and coach's trust to throw me out there to help this team win games."
Manning told reporters he has seen improvement from Washington in his second season.
"I think Corey has had a good camp. He has made some plays and has a better understanding of the offense in his second year," Manning said. "I think he has always had the ability to make the great catch and run the go routes and fades but just kind of adding the complete package to his game. I think that he has had a good camp and done some good things."
Berhe injury frustrates Coughlin
Nat Berhe is expected to compete with Cooper Taylor, Bennett Jackson and Mykkele Thompson for playing time at safety alongside second-round pick Landon Collins. Berhe, however, has yet to practice during OTAs due to a calf injury. He was not seen even watching practice on Monday, and Coughlin senses a missed opportunity for the second-year man.
"This would have been the ideal time for him," Coughlin said after Monday's practice. "Unfortunately he hasn't been able to get to where he can really drive, so it's been very sad."
In addition to Berhe, several other Giants were on the sidelines. Most notably, of course, wide receiver Odell Beckham did not practice. He was on the sidelines doing stretching with a trainer, but that's all. Coughlin saud Beckham "seemed to be a little bit better." Coughlin said he didn't know if Beckham would practice during next week's mandatory mini-camp.
Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis), Jonathan Casillas, Jameel McClain (back), Marcus Harris, Robert Ayers (knee) did not work out at all. Defensive ends Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who has what Coughlin is a "leg" injury, did not do any team drills. Neither did Damontre Moore, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery. Geoff Schwartz, recovering from a broken ankle, watched as John Jerry took all the first-team reps at right guard.
Not too many practice highlights today, but we can note a few things.
Josh Gordy, referred to by GM Jerry Reese as a safety when he signed him, worked exclusively at cornerback.
Tight end Jerome Cunningham got some work in two-tight end sets with the first team and made a couple of nice catches.
Veteran Cullen Jenkins again spent more time at defensive end than inside at tackle.
Brett Jones played some at right guard with the second-team offensive line.
The only interception of the day came when Amukamara picked off a Ryan Nassib pass intended for Julian Talley.