It's not often a pair of sixth round picks and two undrafted free agents contribute immediately to an NFL team. Let alone at the same position. Let alone for a Super Bowl champion.
But that's exactly what Greg Jones, Jacquian Williams, Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger did last season. The four of them earned every letter and diamond on their rings, making a formidable corps of special teamers while finding time on defense.
As second-year players, the latter is what they now strive for more of.
They first got the physical part out of the way and emerged bigger, faster, and stronger from their first true offseason program. The second phase came in Albany with training camp, and now they return to the Timex Performance Center, where the tempo is ratcheted up a notch entering the second preseason game.
"I think that's evident around here," Paysinger said on Thursday, the first practice day back in New Jersey. "Obviously today it's a lower tone day because we're two days out of playing the Jets. But the season is coming up in less than three weeks, so you feel that and we're getting ready for it."
Two days from the Jets is also two days closer to finalizing rosters.
Leading the team with six total tackles (five solo) in the first exhibition game against Jacksonville, Paysinger is trying to shelve that idea as far back as possible.
The hard work paid some dividends when Tom Coughlin took notice.
"He's been impressive since he made our team as a rookie," the head coach said earlier this week. "He's probably our top special teamer. He gained a lot of good muscle weight in the off-season. He's done pretty well when he's had the opportunity; he played a lot the other night. He just gets better; he's continuing to get better."
But there are always improvements to be made.
"I think there are still some more things to accomplish," Paysinger said. "There are still some more cuts to be made, two more series of cuts. But right now I feel like if I play well on special teams, keep doing well on defense, I have a shot."
While every day is an audition at the professional level, the undrafted University of Oregon product expects to be on the stage for a "decent" number of snaps this Saturday night.
He'll cherish each one he gets.
"Myself and [linebacker] Keith [Rivers] will have a good amount of plays in there," Paysinger said. "I'm not saying that I'm going to get taken out anytime soon because coach said if you think you're getting taken out, you might want to rethink that."