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Leading the Charge

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Arguably the most punishing position on the field, fullbacks pave the road for the backfield, both receiving and administering physical blows.

For the Giants, the gap between the past and future role looks like it will be bridged with another country boy.

Madison Hedgecock, known for his bruising blocks as much as his camouflage hats, was released on Thursday, leaving a vacancy for the more classic Western cowboy, Bear Pascoe.

An integral member of the Super Bowl-winning team in 2007, Hedgecock, a North Carolina native, played in 51 games over four seasons with New York, but suffered what would become a season-ending hamstring injury during an October meeting with Chicago in 2010.

Queue the California rancher.

Pascoe, whose family has been working on a large plot of land for generations in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, took over in Hedgecock's absence, playing in 15 games of his second season in the NFL with 11 starts.

Coaches praised the 6-foot-5 Pascoe all season for his ability and willingness to convert from his natural position of tight end, helping the Giants' sixth-ranked rushing attack. The transition was nothing different for Pascoe, who was a standout quarterback in high school and only switched to tight end at Fresno State because his team needed one.

Also vying for playing time will be Pittsburgh's Henry Hynoski, who the Giants signed on Thursday. Hynoski, who rushed for more than 7,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in high school, took over the fullback role at Pitt in his sophomore season after redshirting as a freshman.

In his first press conference of training camp, general manager Jerry Reese addressed the issue on Friday afternoon.

"(Pascoe) really played a fulltime role basically all of last season at that position so we know he can do that," Reese said. "Hynoski is a young kid we signed as an undrafted free agent and we like his ability as a fullback. With the percentage of fullback plays that we have and we have used in the past, I don't think that is an issue for us at this point."

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