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5 things we learned at Training Camp practice (8/2)



  1. Jackson lined up at first-team safety. **

Ratcheting up the intensity with shoulder pads for the first time and with Queen's "We Will Rock You" among the songs blaring on the field during stretches, the New York Giants held their third practice of training camp on Sunday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. With the added pads, the defense was buzzing around all afternoon in the East Rutherford heat. One notable tweak occurred today when Bennett Jackson, a 2014 sixth-round draft pick who is converting from cornerback to safety, lined up with Landon Collins as the top tandem. Previously, Cooper Taylor had been playing alongside Collins throughout spring and the first few days of camp while Nat Berhe is also looking to become a factor.

"Guys are going to rotate, guys are going to rotate," coach Tom Coughlin said after practice. "Should be going on at other positions as well."

"I didn't think too many people on offense showed me anything today," Coughlin said after practice. We'll see which side wins tomorrow when Coughlin says the team will be in shoulder pads.

2. Schwartz was out with soreness.

Right guard Geoff Schwartz did not practice today due to soreness, coach Tom Coughlin said after Sunday's session. While he stood on the sidelines, Schwartz was replaced by John Jerry, who started all 16 games at the position in 2014. Schwartz was limited to two games (five quarters) last season after dislocating his toe in the preseason and then breaking his ankle in Week 13.

"We'll see what happens tomorrow," Coughlin said. "Was it planned? No, we'd like to have him practice. Trainers just said they'd be better off holding him; maybe he can go tomorrow."

3. Cruz finished first weekend strong.

So far, so good for Victor Cruz. The wide receiver cleared a major hurdle on the opening day of training camp by practicing in team drills for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury last October. The sixth-year pro keeps picking up more and more and "seems to be doing well," Coughlin said, adding, "There's no complaints and he's gone through some things that I think he's maybe challenged himself and came out the other end."

4. Large humans returned punts.

To wrap up practice, Coughlin huddled up his players at midfield for a surprise: a punt return competition between offensive and defensive linemen. With footballs being launched out of a JUGS machine, Johnathan Hankins, a 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive tackle, led off by making a catch as he fell backwards for a show of big-man comedy at its finest. Defensive end Robert Ayers anchored and won it for the defense, forcing the losing offense to do pushups.

"Some of them, their sternums held up well," Coughlin said. "Did you hear the sound of the hits? But they caught it; four-straight defensive lineman caught the ball. We may have found a tight end or something."

Photos from Sunday's Giants Training Camp practice

  1. Giants signed another WR, DE. **

On Sunday, the Giants signed wide receiver Derrick Johnson and defensive end Brad Bars, who both tried out during the Giants' rookie minicamp in May. Johnson is a 5-foot-10, 186-pounder out of Maine who spent time last summer with the Patriots, and Bars, 6-3 and 263 pounds, played at Penn State. >> READ MORE

Monday, August 3: 2:30 p.m. - Practice (Autographs: DL, alumni Keith Hamilton and Jim Burt)

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