- Flowers and Collins are learning to swim in the deep end.**
Following up a year in which a multitude of rookies and second-year pros made big contributions, the Giants have big plans for the newest draft class, beginning with left tackle Ereck Flowers and safety Landon Collins. The Giants' top two draft picks have been thrown in with veterans on the first team at their respective positions throughout organized team activities.
"I think, if anything, if you put yourself in that situation, that really makes it interesting," coach Tom Coughlin said after Monday's practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "'Holy cow, here I am.' They have to earn those spots. They have the opportunity right now."
2. Collins: defense is similar to Alabama.
While returning Giants players learn a new system under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Collins comes from a powerhouse college program that ran a similar style. That should be good news for Giants fans because not only did coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide dominate on that side of the ball, but Collins was a major part of it as a unanimous All-American.
"I love the defense," Collins said. "It's kind of similar to our defense back at Alabama. The only thing that changes are the calls and where you line up and stuff like that -- just key details."
>> 3 STANDOUT PLAYERS AT OTA PRACTICE
Meanwhile, practicing with the ones is giving Collins the confidence that he can make it in the NFL.
"I'm kind of sensing that," Collins said. "Every day I'm just on a different battle, just making sure I know what's going on, I know what everybody's doing, where I'm supposed to line up, and I'm flying to the ball. Just a sense of it, that's about it."
3. Giants are being smart with Beason.
Middle linebacker Jon Beason, who played in just four games last season as a defensive co-captain before undergoing foot surgery, said today that he is "extremely happy" with his health right now.
Taking a limited number of reps is just a precaution at this point.
"I am able to run around. It feels great," Beason said.
"Change of direction feels good. It is literally a non-issue. We are just being smart. I am still limited just based on the time of year."
4. Washington is "more than a jump-ball receiver."
At this time last year, Washington's top priority was just to make the roster. While that is still the objective, the second-year wide receiver out of Newberry, who caught four touchdowns last preseason, is out for a bigger role.
And standing at 6-foot-4, he also wants to prove that he is more than a target on jump balls for quarterback Eli Manning.
"My confidence level is high," Washington said after another productive practice. "I am gaining Eli' s trust and coach's trust and he is throwing me out there with the ones, so I just have got to continue to work and keep it up."
5. Eli wears knee sleeves to look like a great athlete.
A reporter today asked Manning about the knee sleeves that he has been sporting at practice, to which the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback gave a tongue-in-cheek response: "I'm 34, I think. I just like the look; it's a good style."
Manning then added, "It is just a little sleeve that seems to help a little bit. I think it looks good, looks like I'm a great athlete." Manning has 243 career rushing attempts for 462 yards (1.9 avg.) and five touchdowns, including one last season in Washington to go along with the four touchdowns he threw on Thursday Night Football.