Giants have large turnout at workout
ORADELL, N.J. -- It took until early June but the New York Giants players finally organized their biggest offseason workout to date as nearly 40 Giants joined quarterback Eli Manning at Bergen Catholic High School (N.J.) on Tuesday.
Manning had previously organized light workouts with a handful of receivers at Hoboken High School (N.J.) last month. An average of about seven or so players participated in those workouts at Hoboken.
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This week is the first time during the lockout that defensive players joined offensive players on the field. Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka and linebackers Michael Boley, Jonathan Goff, Clint Sintim, Chase Blackburn, Adrian Tracy and cornerback Bruce Johnson were among the defensive veterans participating in the workout.
Prince Amukamara, the rookie cornerback and team's top draft pick, shadowed some of the eight wide receivers that were there. Hakeem Nicks, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, Victor Cruz and Devin Thomas were some of the receivers who joined Manning and backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels.
Some players, like guard Rich Seubert, who are still recovering from offseason surgery, were in attendance but did little as they continue to recover.
None of the 39 Giants players on hand talked to the media afterward.
While some teams like the Saints and Patriots have already had large team workouts, the Giants had not organized a mass workout of this size until this week.
O'Hara and Justin Tuck explained last week that many Giants live elsewhere and were scattered around the country during the offseason and that players also didn't want to risk any injury since they are not covered by teams during the lockout.
Since the Giants are loaded with veterans, O'Hara and Tuck say players can train individually and be ready once the lockout ends.
"I'm not really concerned about our team," O'Hara said last week at Tuck's celebrity billiards event to benefit the R.U.S.H. for Literacy charity at Slate in Manhattan. "We are not installing any new offenses, we are not installing a new defense, we are a veteran team. I feel like we can start training camp tomorrow and 90-to-95 percent of the guys will know exactly what to do. We can run plays tomorrow without any meeting time or film time or any of that."
O'Hara, who had two offseason surgeries to repair injuries to his ankle and foot, did take some snaps with Manning during some light, non-contact offense-versus-defense drills.
A few defensive players had said that a team workout wouldn't really benefit them as much. They also expressed concern about injuries as well.
Kiwanuka, who was cleared to resume playing again back in February after suffering a season-ending neck injury last year, worked on his technique and did participate in the light offense-versus-defense portion of practice.
"For us, I think these workouts, they (the offense) do seven-on-seven," Boley said last week at Tuck's celebrity event. "Defensive guys, we get nothing out of that. It's more for offense, more for timing, great for receivers and quarterbacks. For us, our technique, it comes more getting with coaches and working on team stuff."
Defensive rookies do benefit from being around veterans during a workout like this since they do not have playbooks and have not been able to participate in any rookie camps or practices due to the labor work stoppage. On Tuesday, some veterans could be seen guiding rookies through plays and helping them with questions that they had.
The Giants players started off splitting up into groups by position and going into some individual exercises before running some light, non-contact plays. Manning handed the ball off a few times to running backs D.J. Ware and rookie Da'Rel Scott for some non-contact running plays.
But mostly Manning and Rosenfels threw to receivers and tight ends with defensive players on the field during light non-contact plays. The quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends remained after the hour-plus workout to go through passing drills.
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.
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