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Giants training camp, 8⁄15: Five takeaways as camp closes

Giants moving to next phase of preparation for regular season

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Monday will mark the final training camp practice of 2016 for the New York Giants. For fans, camp is basically already over as today’s 10:40 a.m. ET workout is closed to the public. Little will change for players, other than the fact that they get to go home at night rather than back to a local hotel.

With camp closing up shop, let’s look at five takeaways from Ben McAdoo’s first training camp as Giants head coach.

Concern for Cruz

If you don’t think the fact that Victor Cruz could not play Friday night or complete practice on Sunday due to his groin issue is an ominous sign, the belief here is that you are kidding yourself.

The Giants have a number of young receivers who have been impressive during training camp, and coach Ben McAdoo recently said the wide receiver depth “it is a great problem to have.”

“We have a lot of competition there and there is a lot of competition in different positions. We really look forward to seeing these guys progress in practice and playing in games.”

The problem for the 29-year-old Cruz is that he needs to prove to the Giants first and foremost, after a season-and-half away due to serious leg injuries, that he can be relied on to be on the field. Secondly, he needs to get in some games and prove he can still contribute.

Right now, he can’t do either. The longer this lingers, the more you wonder what the future holds for him.

The good vibes remain

All through the spring what we heard about, and what I felt when I had the opportunity to get to New Jersey for OTAs and minicamp, was the sense of optimism that surrounded the organization as the McAdoo era began.

That hasn’t changed. As the season creeps closer, this appears to be an organization that feels like it is pointed toward a brighter future.

The Giants are healthy

I know, I know. Don’t mention it. But, I just did. Aside from Cruz and the fact that linebacker J.T. Thomas remains on PUP with a hamstring issue, the Giants are healthy. It’s been a long time since the Giants got to this point without having already lost several players to debilitating injuries. Knock on wood that the good health continues.

Optimism about the defense

The way the starting defensive line buzzed around Friday, the play of Owa Odighizuwa as an extra pass rusher, the combination of Landon Collins and Darian Thompson at safety, the improvements at corner. All of these are reasons to be optimistic that the Giants will be much-improved on the defensive side of the ball this season.

Back injuries really stink

The Giants have been pretty healthy. As I mentioned before camp started, though, yours truly has not been. This marks the first time since I began covering training camp in 2008 that I haven’t been able to get to any of training camp.

Many, many thanks to all of you who have commented or e-mailed with suggested remedies for my ailing back. It is sloooooowly improving. At least I’m not sleeping on the hardwood floor anymore. I hope to soon be ready to start making the trip to East Rutherford when it’s necessary.

Chris and I have done everything we could during camp to keep you up to date on what’s been going on, and to give you some added insight/analysis when we could. We hope we’ve done enough.

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