Two months ago, the New York Giants reported for the start of their offseason workout program.
Beginning with a focus on strength and conditioning and introducing the playbook, the team then moved onto the field for organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp, which concluded Thursday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
During that span, the main objective was to set the tone for training camp, which starts July 30. While we won't see the team fully together until then, here is a look at five players who stood out this spring:
CB PRINCE AMUKAMARA
Amukamara, who is entering his fifth season, did not shy away from stating his goals back at the end of April, the beginning of the offseason workout program. As always, his objectives include being the top cornerback on the team, as well as one of the best in the league. From what we saw this spring, there's no reason to think he won't continue to trend upward and be able to cover No. 1 receivers.
"The thing about it that we feel good about is hopefully we have two guys that can be that," new cornerbacks coach Tim Walton said, referring to Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. "And that is the confidence and level of expectation that we have is that [Rodgers-Cromartie] definitely will be that guy and a guy that has that ability, and we need to build on a consistent basis. We also feel that Prince has the ability to do that, also, and that is where we become better as a football team where we can have that with both guys because that gives you the ability that you can handle the matchups."
QB ELI MANNING
As spring football carried on, a general consensus grew that Eli Manning's arm looks stronger than ever. Heading into his 12th NFL season, Manning's teammates and coaches agreed.
"It is lively, very lively," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He has worked hard on that."
"I would definitely agree with you on that," wide receiver Rueben Randle said. "He overthrew me twice and I don't ever recall that happening. That is something we noticed down at Duke working with him. We noticed that his arm got stronger and that is exciting for us."
"Eli has put a lot of time and effort into his footwork and his training there and to his upper body and his strengthening and maintenance in those types of things," offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said. "I like the look in his eye right now. His offseason has been encouraging."
WR RUEBEN RANDLE
He started strong, and he finished strong. With Victor Cruz still rehabbing from his 2014 season-ending knee injury and Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined with a sore hamstring, Randle relished the opportunity of being Manning's go-to wide receiver for most of spring. He was a fixture on the Giants.com highlight reel that included one last touchdown from his quarterback on the final two-minute drill of spring.
"We really went back and looked hard at the film last year, corrected things and made sure that even some of the basic plays, that we were doing them perfect," Manning said. "I feel like we are doing things a little bit crisper [and] a little bit faster. [We] have a little bit of a better feel for the timing of the offense, and I feel that we're making some big plays."
CENTER WESTON RICHBURG
Coaches never know what they really have in their linemen until they see them with pads on in training camp. But the center position is as much mental as it is physical at this level. Richburg, a second-round draft choice who cut his teeth last year as a rookie starter at guard, has moved back to his natural position of center, where he was a standout at Colorado State. He has been a key to the development of the Giants' new-look offensive line as a player who "does a nice job of getting up and on the ball and getting the party started," according to McAdoo.
"He really has embraced the center position because you are the voice of everybody to start out and the quarterback may change things, but you are telling everyone what to do," offensive line coach Pat Flaherty added. "I think that Weston has a little bit of boss man in him and he likes that."
WR COREY WASHINGTON
Quarterback Eli Manning admitted he had never heard of Newberry College until Corey Washington came along. But the wide receiver's alma mater doesn't matter now after he made the team in 2014 due to a big preseason in which he had four touchdowns, including three that proved to be game-winners. That production didn't carry over to the regular season, but now Washington is out for more in 2015. A strong spring was a good start.
"I think Corey has had a good camp," Manning said. "He has made some plays and has a better understanding of the offense in his second year and playing faster, and 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.