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Giants training camp practice report: OL, safeties shuffle ... and a fight breaks out

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Highlighting what happened Monday at Giants training camp.

Justin Pugh
Justin Pugh
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants completed their fourth day of training camp practice Monday afternoon at Quest Diagnostics. We had our first significant injury news, and our first fight. Let's review.

Ereck Flowers injury update

We reported earlier that the first-round pick missed practice and is day-to-day with a hip flexor. Head coach Tom Coughlin said it's something that has been bothering the team's starting left tackle for a couple of days.

"This morning he was sore," Coughlin said. "Hopefully it's just a short amount of time."

Flowers, the ninth overall pick, is playing left tackle because of the torn pectoral muscle suffered by Will Beatty.

Offensive line shuffle

So, what did the Giants do with Flowers sidelined? They moved Justin Pugh from left guard to left tackle, with decidedly mixed results.

Pugh, of course, was a college left tackle at Syracuse but played right tackle with the Giants the past two seasons. Matched up largely against Damontre Moore on Monday afternoon, Pugh had his struggles with the third-year pass rusher.

The two got into the first real fight of camp at one point, throwing some wild punches. Pugh appeared to hold Moore on at least one pass rush. It's certainly not fair to draw any conclusions about Pugh's ability to play left tackle at the NFL level from one training camp practice, but Moore did seem to get the best of him.

Coughlin, by the way, was not happy with the Pugh-Moore dust-up.

"I have a problem with all of ‘em [fights] because they're out there swinging and I've been hurt first-hand by a guy who broke his hand in a fight," Coughlin said. "In the old days they used to wrap it up and play with, they don't do that anymore.

"I was upset about the fight and losing their temper and all that stuff. The bottom line is you can't afford to do it."

Geoff Schwartz returned to practice after missing Sunday's workout to rest his surgically-repaired left ankle. Schwartz was primarily at his customary right guard spot, but did swing out to right tackle for a handful of plays with John Jerry at right guard.

The left guard with the first group, incidentally, was Adam Gettis. Coughlin said Gettis had been practicing well and the Giants wanted to give him an opportunity. The coach didn't seem terribly impressed by what Gettis did with the chance.

"He had a good day yesterday. I'd say so-so today," Coughlin said. "We thought this would give him a chance. If he was going to catch our eye this would be a good way to do it."

TC encouraged by Reese, JPP chat

Coughlin said he had not spoken with Jason Pierre-Paul himself, but was pleased that the injured defensive end had spoken with general manager Jerry Reese.

"As long as he's talking to Jerry or somebody in the building there it looks like there's a chance that the communication thing will open up," Coughlin said. "When that does I'll end up on the phone with him, I'm sure."

Safety switcheroo

Earlier on Monday, safeties coach Dave Merritt indicated that rookie Mykkele Thompson would get a look with the first team defense and that Thompson would be paired with Bennett Jackson, bumping -- for at least one day -- second-round pick Landon Collins to the second unit.

Merritt proved good to his word. The safety pairings on Monday were primarily Thompson and Jackson with the first unit, Collins and Jeromy Miles with the second unit and Cooper Taylor and Justin Currie with the third group. While he may have taken some reps along the way, I don't recall seeing Nat Berhe on the field during the team drills.

Thompson appeared to have one noticeable breakdown. Eli Manning completed a long touchdown pass to Odell Beckham down the right sideline with no one in coverage. Since Beckham had been lined up with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and DRC appeared to let him go, the guess would be that the rookie Thompson blew the coverage.

Practice notes

A few other odds and ends from practice.

-- Tight end Jerome Cunningham has caught the ball exceptionally well. The concern often voiced with Cunningham is whether or not he can block. You will continue to hear that after linebacker Jonathan Casillas flattened Cunningham during a blocking drill.

-- Defensive end George Selvie drew the ire of the crowd when he bumped Victor Cruz at the end of a reverse, knocking the wide receiver to the ground. The noticeable thing for me? The Giants felt good enough to give the ball to Cruz on the reverse in the first place. And he bounced right up.

-- Undrafted free agent tight end Will Tye flashed a little bit Monday with a couple of catches.

-- Cornerback Trevin Wade had the day's only interception, taking a slightly underthrown Ricky Stanzi deep ball away from Juron Criner. To Criner's credit, he had actually beaten Wade on the play.

-- Wide receivers coach Sean Ryan was talking earlier Monday about the experience and route-running savvy of newly-signed James Jones. That was on full display during 1-on-1 drills early in practice when Jones put a gorgeous double move on Jayron Hosley before catching a short comeback route.