- DRC vs. AJ: "It lets you know where you are as a player."**
Competition is the name of the game this week in Cincinnati, where the Giants yesterday held their first of two joint practices with the Bengals before the preseason opener on Friday.
After going against players like Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. back at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, the Giants' secondary took their first test against another team's corps. That, of course, included Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green, who has made the Pro Bowl and recorded at least 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons in the NFL.
"Their receiving corps is definitely one of notice," cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. "Anytime you get to go against somebody else and not see your own guys, it lets you know where you are as a player and how far you've come along in OTAs."
2. Ayers proud of the D-line.
A major point of emphasis this offseason has been stopping the run, and there aren't many teams that pose a tougher test in that department than Cincinnati, which finished second only to Seattle in rushing touchdowns in 2014. The rubber met the road for the first time on Tuesday in Cincinnati.
"I was real proud of my guys," defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. said. "I was very proud of the young guys. I was very, very proud of Damontre [Moore]. I was very proud of Jay Bromley and Carlif [Taylor] and Owa [Odighizuwa]. Those guys really were impressive, in my opinion, and I was proud of the steps that they took. They came to work, and they got better. So it's good to see and it's a good sign for this unit. We've got a long ways to go, but I'm excited about it."
3. Randle to sit out Wednesday's practice.
Fourth-year wide receiver Rueben Randle left Tuesday's practice early to ice down his knees as he's been dealing with tendinitis. While not ruling out Friday night's preseason opener, Randle said he will not participate in Wednesday's joint practice with the Bengals.
4. Vereen settling into offense.
The last six months have flown by for running back Shane Vereen, who signed with the Giants as a free agent shortly after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots. While he's been picking up offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system over the course of the spring and summer, yesterday provided his first opportunity to put it to the test in live action.
"It helps a lot because there's a lot of things you have to work on," Vereen said. "Going against the same guys over and over each day, it gets mundane after a while. To be able to switch it up and go against somebody that you haven't seen throughout camp or OTAs, it really helps you hone in on your abilities, I guess."
Vereen added, "I'm getting more comfortable as the days go by and I just keep hearing the same things over and over, it becomes a lot more easy to understand my role and what my job is supposed to be."
5. Rookies prepare for first NFL game week.
Albeit preseason, the first NFL game is right around the corner for the Giants' rookies, and naturally, it can be quite a shock as they jump up from the college ranks. However, this year is a little different for the Giants, who have the opportunity to see their opponent in practice this week before squaring off on Friday night.
"It's the same guys we're practicing against, we're going to face them again," wide receiver and sixth-round pick Geremy Davis said. "Obviously you don't do that during the season, so you have to do more film study and pick it up more in practice with the scout team and stuff. So I have the advantage of actually going against these guys now."
Giants players speak with the media before joint practice with the Bengals