- Stevie's back. **
After already losing three safeties to season-ending injuries and having a fourth who underwent surgery, the Giants signed Stevie Brown on Monday, bringing back the franchise's single-season record-holder in interception return yards to bolster the position. Brown, who had 307 return yards on eight interceptions in 2012 for the Giants, had been with the Houston Texans since
signing as a free agent in May. He was released on Saturday.
"We parted ways on good terms down there as well," said Brown, who played from 2012-2014 with the Giants and missed all of 2013 with a knee injury. "As for the release, it just wasn't playing into the strengths that I have as a safety, so you know there [was] no point in being around there.
"Pretty exciting just being able to come back here --- seems like a position of need and it is a good fit, [so] definitely exciting to come back."
2. Learning curve to take a few days for Brown.
Week 1 is less than two weeks away for Brown and the Giants, who open on the road against Dallas. In between, they wrap up the preseason on Thursday against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. Brown might be coming back to his old team, but he will be playing for a new defensive coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo.
"I like to think I can come around tomorrow," Brown said. "Realistically, it is going to take a few days --- it is definitely going to take a few days. There is always a learning curve, but I will be good."
On Spagnuolo, Brown added: "I hear nothing but good things from the guys that I talk to, that I was still talking to since preseason has started. They all like him and talking to [safeties] coach [David] Merritt, coach Merritt was just explaining to me a little bit of the philosophy that he runs out here on defense, saying even though I have mainly been known as a post player and everything like that, I can still come down into the box here and do what I need to do and the safeties are interchangeable. So there will be something good that I can do."
3. Cruz has no doubts for Week 1 -- "not yet, at least."
Since suffering a season-ending knee injury last October, wide receiver Victor Cruz set his sights on Week 1. And until a calf injury set him back this summer, Cruz appeared to be on track for that ultimate goal as he hit checkpoint after checkpoint in the rehab process. With Sept. 13 rapidly approaching, Cruz was asked if there is any uncertainty creeping into his mind.
"No," said Cruz. "Not yet, at least. Nothing has been set in stone, in terms of playing that first week or not playing that first week. I'm still excited for Week 1—that's still the goal, that's still the plan, in my opinion. Obviously, the training staff will advise if they see differently as the next week and a half comes along."
Cruz added that he has not been allowed to jog since injuring the calf.
"They just want me to sit down and let it heal, let it repair itself and things like that," he said. "I've just been working out—lower body one leg or whatever the case may be, upper body. Just doing all the things I can to stay in shape."
4. Ayers day-to-day with ankle.
Defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. missed the annual MetLife Bowl against the Jets on Saturday after injuring his ankle in pregame warmups
"We're just taking it day-to-day," Ayers said. "We're going to see how everything feels and how everything goes. But I'll be all right."
5. Jenkins: Winning is urgent.
Over his 11 years in the NFL, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has played in eight postseason games. But none of them have been with the Giants. Rather, they all came during his time in Green Bay. Now the veteran, who is entering his third season with Big Blue, knows there is a sense of urgency, which the team needs to translate onto the field.
"Coming to the Giants, they've got a lot of history, a lot of tradition, a big winning tradition," Jenkins said. "So when you come here, it's one of the things that you expect, to continue with that, continue winning, continue going to the playoffs. And when you're not able to do it, you feel like you're letting down the fans, the organization. There is urgency because we're trying to get back to what's normal and what's expected around here -- and that's winning."
Asked if the team has the pieces to do so, Jenkins said "definitely" but they've "got to make it happen."
"We have to have that game-day intensity," Jenkins continued, "or that switch or drive, where we go out and hit the field on game days, we take that level up another step higher."
Players talk with media before Monday's Training Camp practice