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Which players impressed at offseason practices?


* names five impact players from the team's offseason practices: *


>Spags recruits Pierce for coaching assist
>Giants offense is loaded with talent
>Secondary aims to be even better
>Best of offseason practices
>Watch Giants post-practice interviews

The Giants showed their faith in last year's fourth-round draft pick by not re-signing Kelvin Sheppard in free agency. Goodson played primarily on special teams as a rookie, but now he's in the driver's seat for the middle linebacker job. The Giants also enlisted the help of Super Bowl XLII champion and former defensive captain Antonio Pierce, who served as a coaching intern for the last two weeks of the offseason program.

"The things that Antonio can give a guy like B.J. go far beyond what the coaches can give," said defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who coached Pierce in Spags' first stint with the Giants. "Antonio experienced it. He's in the middle of it. He used to do it when he played. He sees things that other people miss because he's a detailed guy and knows how to break down film. He's been doing a lot of that for me now, and he's in that linebackers room talking to those guys all the time."

Spagnuolo added: "[Goodson] has been great. He is really taking this thing on. It's important to him. He takes it serious. I don't believe he was a signal-caller at Clemson, at least that's what he told me, so this is a little bit new. And yet, I think every day we go out there, the guys get more and more confidence in him. That's huge."


While the additions of Brandon Marshall and rookie tight end Evan Engram grabbed a lot of headlines – and rightfully so – Shepard went about his business this spring. More often than not, practice opened with an Eli Manning completion to No. 87, and then they would take off from there.

"The thing is we just have to create matchups and him playing outside a little bit more could be in the cards," wide receivers coach Adam Henry said. "Right now he has been working hard and he has been out there and he looks really good right now."


The red tights alone made Marshall stand out this spring, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Giants signed the six-time Pro Bowler in March to break up the logjam that the offense hit last season. His 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame also presents a massive target for Eli Manning in the red zone.

"I was very impressed with him as a person, first and foremost," offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. "Having played against him and having known his body of work over the years, you know what a dynamic player he is."


Jenkins isn't one to rest on his laurels. After receiving a big contract from the Giants, he went on to earn second-team All-Pro honors and the first Pro Bowl nod of his career. He didn't let up this spring either. Like he did against the opponents' top receivers last year, Jenkins routinely broke up passes in practice. He also got the better of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. a few times in minicamp.


With Eli Apple sidelined for part of spring workouts, Hunter stepped up and made some plays throughout OTAs and minicamp. Hunter, who went undrafted out of Oklahoma State last year, appeared in two games for the Giants in 2016 and spent time on the practice squad.

"I will tell you who has had a good offseason is Michael Hunter," Spagnuolo said. "He has done a really nice job. He has had to jump in there a couple of times because you know that Eli [Apple] has that illness right now, so he is not in there and if you have watched enough practice, I don't know how many you all have been to, but Mike has really stood out. I give him a lot of credit."

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