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DE Jason Pierre-Paul can't hide on defense


Jason Pierre-Paul won't be able to hide from anyone this season.

Of course, NFL players who are 6-5, 270 pounds and are as wondrously athletic as JPP are naturally conspicuous. But Pierre-Paul figures to drawn even more attention in 2012 than he did last year. After finishing fourth in the league with 16.5 sacks and being named first-team All-Pro, Pierre-Paul will likely command special attention from every opposing offense, starting Wednesday night against NFC East rival Dallas.

But JPP insists he will not be a target because of his All-Pro status.

"Not at all," he said. "That was just something that (I) was nominated (for), and it's all about hard work and how you play out there on the field. That's how I play."

It was suggested to Pierre-Paul that teams will try to double-team him as often as possible.

"I'm not worried about that," he said. "Probably when they scout you, they say, 'He's an All-Pro.' But so are (Justin) Tuck and Osi (Umenyiora). They're All-Pros too, so who cares?"

Obviously not Pierre-Paul. Nor is he concerned about his back, where he had spasms that kept him out of the final two preseason games.

"It's a big week," Pierre-Paul said. "I'm not limited."

*Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks did not practice today because of soreness in his surgically-repaired foot. Asked if he expects Nicks to practice tomorrow, Coughlin said, "I would think so. He looked like once he got out here and he was moving around on the grass, he looked a little friskier. (It) looked like he was going to do a couple of things."

Also missing practice were cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), defensive tackle Marvin Austin (back) and tackle James Brewer (back).

Three players were limited: tackle Will Beatty (back), Mathias Kiwanuka (groin) and defensive end Adrian Tracy (hamstring).

"Beatty gets a few snaps every day and he's done pretty well with it," Coughlin said of the left tackle who missed the entire preseason. "Again, I always have to be in reserve when it's something like that. We'll see how he is the next morning and that type of thing, but he's working hard at it and he's got a program that he's on and it seems to have worked and helped."

Linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (hand) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (toe) practiced fully.

*Coughlin said offensive lineman D.J. Jones, who was claimed yesterday off waivers from Philadelphia, failed his physical. The Giants re-signed former Guard Mitch Petrus who was waived on Friday.

*Eli Manning has one vocal and influential admirer in Dallas in Jason Garrett. The Cowboys' head coach was a Giants backup quarterback from 2000-2003, a four-year period that included two postseason berths and a Super Bowl appearance.

Manning threw for 746 yards and five touchdowns in two games last season against Dallas, impressive totals that might have been on Garrett's mind when he was asked about the Giants' quarterback this week.

"I just think he's a great player and he has been for a long time," Garrett said. "He's won two Super Bowls, climbed the mountaintop twice. He plays for a great organization, for great teams, for great coaches. He's been an outstanding quarterback. He's been a huge contributor to their success throughout his career there in New York. He's an outstanding pocket passer; he can move around and make plays on the move. He's a very smart player. He can make any throw that you need to make on the football field. He clearly makes his teammates better, makes his team better. He's clearly an outstanding player and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him."

*Manning, Justin Tuck and Zak DeOssie have been elected as the Giants captains for the second year in a row in a vote of the players.

*This will be the ninth consecutive season the defending champion will host the NFL Kickoff game. The previous eight games were played on Thursday night of Kickoff Weekend. The home team won each of those eight games, including Green Bay's victory over New Orleans last year and the Giants' 16-7 victory over Washington in 2008. The Giants-Cowboys game was moved to Wednesday to avoid a conflict with President Barack Obama's Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention.

*The 2012 season will be the second in a row in which the Giants will begin the year against the same team they played in the previous regular season finale. Last year, they opened in Washington after concluding the 2010 season with a victory over the Redskins.

*This will be the first time the Giants closed one season and opened the next one at home against the same opponent since 1994-95, when the Cowboys visited Giants Stadium for back-to-back games – 8½ months apart.


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