John Fennelly, Lead Writer
WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) and Justin Tuck (back) will be returning to the lineup tomorrow night. Both are in the final year of their respective contracts and both need to show management they are worth re-signing or extending.
Although everyone here (including Victor Cruz) still sees Nicks as the team’s No. 1 wideout, the reality is he’s getting pushed by both Rueben Randle and Louis Murphy right now. The Giants are hedging their bets with Nicks. They planned this.
Jerry Reese saw this coming last spring when he drafted Randle, and again this spring when he signed Murphy. If Nicks plays well this year and they can bring him back, that’s a good outcome. If he signs somewhere else (Carolina?) they are covered by not one, but two players to fill the void.
Tuck (back) is at a crossroads in his career. He knows the Giants may not be able to bring him back next year, especially if injuries continue to cut into his playing time. He looks good, physically, but looks may be deceiving.
The Giants are preparing to move on with or without Tuck. They moved Mathias Kiwanuka back to DE and drafted Damontre Moore this spring. They will also be getting Jason Pierre-Paul back soon.
JPP (back) is off and running at camp but did not work on Friday. Tom Coughlin seemed more encouraged than concerned:
“If you saw him yesterday, he worked well yesterday. He was right out here. He’s a little sore today, so they slowed him down again. But yesterday was an outstanding day. He ran well and he worked in the weight room.”
The coach was prodded to divulge more on his star defensive end…
“I’m not a doctor,” the coach reminded everyone. “He ran well yesterday. He’s sore today, probably because he hasn’t been running, so they just held him back today. In other words, he’s not ready to come out two days in a row and do what he did yesterday, but I’m encouraged by what he did.”
Coughlin was asked if he sees some of the same things from safety Stevie Brown this summer he saw from him last year:
“We’ve seen plenty. He’s done a good job. He’s much more aware of what we would like from that position and he can get us in coverages and the right coverages. He and Antrel work well together. I’d say yes…”
GEICO SportsNite covers Giants training camp and talks about whether Brown is the defensive back of the future