The Giants wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp on Thursday at the Timex Performance Center and won’t fully return until training camp at the end of next month. Until then, here are 10 takeaways from the offseason program:1. Hakeem Nicks is sweet on Tom Coughlin.
The wide receiver, who did not attend OTAs, returned to the Giants’ facility for minicamp and is feeling healthy. While he would not discuss the reason for his absence publicly, Nicks straightened out the issue with his head coach. “Coach Coughlin…that’s my guy,” he said. “That relationship can’t go sour.” >> READ MORE
2. Mark Herzlich found his voice.
The wide-open linebacker competition is far from closed, but the more vocal Herzlich turned some heads while manning the middle in minicamp.
3. Chris Snee and David Baas progressed.
The two veteran offensive linemen, who both underwent offseason surgeries, did not work in minicamp but were present at the facility as they continued to rehab. Coughlin said they are coming back strong and is optimistic they will be ready for the start of training camp. >> MORE
4. Bear in the backfield.
After fullback Henry Hynoski
suffered a knee injury during OTAs, tight end Bear Pascoe
is there to man the position until he returns. The versatile tight end has experience back there, having played 160 snaps at fullback last season, according to tight ends coach Michael Pope. >> MORE
5. Rueben Randle reached the next level.
With Nicks away for OTAs and Victor Cruz
still unsigned, Randle seized the opportunity and benefitted from reps as the main guy. When Nicks did return, Randle wanted to show his mentor how much he’d grown. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride saw it too. “Not only did he grow, he kind of became the bell cow of the receiving corps,” Gilbride said. “He was first in line. He did all of those things. That was not what we saw last year; not by a long shot.” >>MORE
6. With JPP out, Moore and Tracy stepped up. Jason Pierre-Paul
’s back surgery opened up some room behind Justin Tuck
and Mathias Kiwanuka
at defensive end. Damontre Moore
, the Giants’ third-round draft choice, and Adrian Tracy
, who had his first healthy season in 2012, took advantage of the opportunity. They’ll have more to prove in the coming months when they put on the pads. >>MORE7. David Wilson still wants to return kicks.
Wilson will have an increased load at running back this season, begging the question if he can double as the kick returner. Wilson, who was named second-team All-Pro last season as a return man, is willing to help in that department if it helps the team. He has returned kicks since age eight. >> MORE
8. Terrell Thomas optimistic to return.
After repairing a torn ACL the last two seasons, Thomas was off to the side during practices, working through drills with the team’s athletic trainers. Whether it’s at safety or cornerback or a hybrid role, Thomas just wants to play football again. >> MORE9. Ryan Mundy became a strong candidate for third safety.
Playing behind safeties like Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark in Pittsburgh, Mundy transferred his knowledge and professionalism to New York this offseason. Mundy is also a strong special teamer, which will help his case heading into preseason. >> MORE10. Rookies hit the books.
There is a lot to learn in the Giants’ playbook, and it all gets thrown at the rookies right away. After finishing the final minicamp practice on Thursday, Coughlin said they “have been a good group that way” in the classroom and had no complaints about how they work. However, pro football is cumulative, and that process has just begun. >> MORE