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5 Standout Players from Giants Training Camp

Posted Aug 4, 2015

Giants.com's Dan Salomone names five players that made an impact so far at Training Camp practice

SAFETY BENNETT JACKSON

Drafted, injured, waived, signed to the practice squad, asked to change positions, and now running with the ones, Bennett Jackson, in the span of 15 months, has experienced just how unpredictable life can be in the NFL. Before players had their first day off at training camp, the cornerback-turned-safety rotated in with the first-team defense for two-straight practices and made plays to back up the promotion, which may or may not be temporary. The competition is still wide open at the position that returns no starters, but Jackson got off to a strong start.

>> 5 THINGS WE LEARNED AT PRACTICE

“Shoot, I remember the day I got that text to get cut,” Jackson said. “It’s definitely humbling. I got another opportunity to go on the practice squad and then I got another opportunity this year. You really just have to make the best of all your opportunities and I’m trying to make the most of this one.”

WR GEREMY DAVIS

Pegged as an immediate core special teamer, Geremy Davis, a rookie sixth-round draft pick out of Connecticut, flashed that potential as well as his receiving skills in the first handful of practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The 6-foot-2, 216-pounder has made a few highlight grabs, beginning with the first day of camp.

“I think he’s come a long way,” wide receivers coach Sean Ryan said. “The thing I really like about him is that he’s really serious. I mean, for a rookie he’s serious about his business. And he’s been that way since day one — he’s a note taker, he pays attention to everything, he’s detailed, he is as good of a worker as you can ask for with a maturity level, for a rookie, that is outstanding. And that is really what’s been most impressive to me.”

WR VICTOR CRUZ

Nine months removed from suffering a season-ending knee injury against Philadelphia, Victor Cruz’s comeback started to become a reality this past Friday when he was able to participate in team drills for the first time. From the first day of rehab, Cruz set his sights on training camp, but even he is amazed by the journey back.

>> WATCH TRAINING CAMP HIGHLIGHTS

“That was me just trying to do it one day at a time, getting better one day at a time, crossing those small hurdles that I needed to cross in order to get to where I am today,” Cruz said. “But if you told me nine months from that time that I’d be playing and practicing and feeling really good about myself, I probably wouldn’t [have] believed you but I knew the work that I was putting in, I knew I would get to a point where I would get to this point. I just didn’t know when at that time.”

LB DEVON KENNARD


Devon Kennard’s physicality stood out immediately during last year’s training camp as a rookie, which ultimately led to him making 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in the final five weeks of 2014. So far in 2015, he’s showing the same mentality in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s aggressive scheme.

“I’m a little more comfortable and settled,” Kennard said. “When you are a rookie, you don’t know what to expect coming into camp and these situations. I kind of understand what to expect a little bit more, and I’m having a lot more fun out here and being able to really understand the defense, pick things up and trying to get better every day.”

DE ROBERT AYERS JR.

A native of Jersey City who played at nearby Hoboken High School for part of his prep career, Ayers grew up watching all-time Giants sacks leader Michael Strahan, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Ayers admitted that last year he went up to Strahan like a fan and asked for an autograph. Likewise, Strahan recently tweeted that he was a fan of his.

And so is coach Tom Coughlin.

“Robert has played well,” Coughlin said. “He’s been a really good soldier, he’s been a good teammate. He’s grabbed guys and talked to them, whether it be in the meeting rooms or out here. He’s worked hard. I’ve seen nothing but good things out of him.”