Prince Amukamara, the team's first-round choice in the NFL Draft in April, reported to camp and signed his contract after missing the first five practices. Tom Coughlin said he expected Amukamara to be on the field this evening. But the former University of Nebraska All-America must become familiar with the defense before he can be a factor on the field.
"It depends on how fast he can learn a new language," Coughlin said. "It is Chinese to him right now, so he has a lot of work to do that way."
Amukamara was one of two new corners to join the team today. The other was Darnell Burks, a
rookie free agent from Fort Valley State in Georgia.
The Giants waived/injured another cornerback, Bruce Johnson. The third-year pro ruptured his right Achilles tendon in practice yesterday.
"Very sorry and very sad about Bruce," Coughlin said. "Bruce had (injuries) two (years) in a row, the ACL knee and now the Achilles. We were all stunned by it because there was no reason why it should have happened. He was just backpedaling. He was just doing something of that nature and all of a sudden this occurs. Why it happens, I always ask myself that. I feel bad for Bruce."
The Giants were pleasantly surprised to find Amukamara available at the 19th selection in the first round of the draft. Amukamara had a standout career at Nebraska. Last year, he was a unanimous All-America selection and All-Big 12 Conference first-team choice, as well as the conference's Defensive Player of the Year. Amukamara was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (top collegiate defensive back) and the Cornhuskers' defensive captain. He started all 14 games at left cornerback and ranked sixth on the team with 59 tackles (36 solo), including one sack for minus-nine yards.
The Giants are eager to see how quickly he can pick up their defensive system.
"I think you've got to give him the terminology first so that he has the understanding and there is nothing he is confused with from a verbalization standpoint," Coughlin said. "Then you have to just throw it at him. You will bring him to a point where he can help us and then you will assess how he can help us. After that it is continuous extra time devoted to getting there as fast as he can. He has a lot of classroom work to make up for. You figure four hours a day in the classroom since we have been here."
Burks will also be force-fed the defense. A 5-10, 185-pounder, he finished fifth on the Wildcats in tackles as a senior in 2010 with 54. He had 10.5 tackles for losses, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions and four pass breakups.