The Giants’ first-team defense was shaky in its brief stint against one of the NFL’s hard-nosed rushing attacks.
With Jason Pierre-Paul still recovering from back surgery in early June, the Giants practiced Wednesday with fellow defensive end Justin Tuck sidelined by an undisclosed back problem.
The Giants took a major gamble after last season, releasing the injury-plagued Bradshaw and handing the halfback job to David Wilson and Andre Brown. Bradshaw signed with the Indianapolis Colts on June 11.
After being warned by coach Tom Coughlin that now was not the time to slack off, the New York Giants held their final workout before the start of training camp in late July.
The Giants have a glaring need at linebacker. Outside of getting the best available player — which could well be Alec Ogletree, anyway — that’s where the concentration of the first two days needs to be.
Heading into the NFL Draft on Thursday, look for the Giants to fill many holes on defense in the seven rounds. That doesn’t mean, of course, that general manager Jerry Reese will use the 19th pick overall to take a defensive player.
Cruz remained absent from the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program on Thursday. Reese had no idea if he’d see the Pro Bowl standout during the program, training camp or even into the season.
“The entire time I wanted to return to the New York Giants, and fortunately they wanted me back,” Boothe said. “I’m happy to be back. It’s a great organization and a great team. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season.”
Snee told Giants.com the chance to spend time in Hawaii with his family was “something I couldn’t pass up on.” Besides, the hip “feels fine now.”
This week’s Pro Bowl reveal showed us that even as the local teams take a big pratfall, some players remained on their feet long enough to be recognized by their peers.
What’s notable for the Giants is that Eli Manning is not going to the Pro Bowl and there can be no argument that he was jobbed, the voting was a sham or an injustice has been done.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz, guard Chris Snee and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul have been selected to the 2012 NFC Pro Bowl team.
The Giants aren’t giving up despite not being in control of their playoff destiny.
The return of Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to practice on Thursday after missing the previous day with a sprained left knee could only bode well for his on-field rapport with quarterback Eli Manning.
“Your back is against the wall,” Coughlin said. “You don’t have any choice. What we really want is right there for us. There is only one way to get it, and it’s not like playing like we did (on Sunday).”