Giants CB Prince Amukamara didn’t have the best performance in the team’s preseason loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday. On the first drive he yielded not one, but two receptions, including an easy touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts and a 29-yard reception to Mike Thomas.
But Amukamara bounced back on the second possession, stripping Rashad Jennings of the ball, and he hasn’t been able to turn off that aggression since.
In the two practices since the Jacksonville game, Amukamara has looked much more physical, particularly during Monday’s fully padded practice.
On one play, Amukamara fought an interception away from WR Domenik Hixon as both players descended into the end zone.
“See the play he made?” coach Tom Coughlin asked. “That’s all he needs. Make a couple of those. That was a nice play. Interception was a nice play. Well done. His teammates will look at that and not as much heat will be sent his way.”
On Sunday, S Antrel Rolle said he expects teams to target Amukamara, who was a first-round pick for the Giants in 2011. But Amukamara’s size and strength might make that a dangerous proposition.
“He’s a strong kid,” Coughlin said. “He’s a big kid. He’s a strong corner, nice-sized corner.”
Yes, it’s still the preseason. But lately, when Amukamara gets his hands on the ball, he’s been able to come away with it -- and that could make up for the loss of Terrell Thomas, who is working his way back from an ACL injury.
“There’s some sore losers in the world,” he said. “I mean I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me much. Last time I checked we won the Super Bowl, and that’s what everybody strives to get to every year. I’m not the type of guy to make excuses about a loss or a win. Regardless, the better team won. You played better that day, that’s why it’s a game. That’s why we have the slogan: Talk is cheap, play the game. It don’t really matter what we say, it’s about what we do on the football field.”
Tuck said NFL players have told him to his face that the Giants were lucky to win last season, but he doesn’t necessarily feel it’s going to provide motivation this year. He feels talk like that can work either way on a team, which is why he isn’t paying attention and just finds it “amusing.”
LB Michael Boley not progressing: Coughlin was visibly upset by the absence of Boley, who has been off and on the practice field this summer with a hamstring injury. “We’re scratching our head on that one,” Coughlin said. “I just keep looking at time going by. That’s not a very good subject.”
Build the bridge: The Giants’ tradition of printing a short maxim on a T-shirt continued on Monday as “Build the Bridge” was met with mixed reviews.
"I had to explain it,” Coughlin said. “A lot of you guys (the media) didn’t get it. That’s a problem.”
Coughlin admitted that he spent an “hour” explaining it to the team as well, but he was probably joking and later added, “They got it.”
So what’s this bridge the Giants are building and what two points does it connect?
Coughlin has emphasized the distinction between the Giants’ first 14 games in 2011 (7-7) against the last six (6-0) and says he wants to build a bridge from the last six into this season.
“Leave the first 14 back where they were with the exception of a few and let’s bring the good things forward,” he said.
Who is YOsi?: As you may remember, we discussed the physical similarities of defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Adrian Tracy on Sunday. Monday, Umenyiora and Tuck both referred to Tracy -- who had a sack against the Jaguars and continues to look very fast in training camp -- as “young Osi,” which was quickly shortened to “YOsi.”
"We had ‘WOsi’ with Dave Tollefson [last year] and now we have ‘YOsi,’” Umenyiora said.
“He’s doing a phenomenal job, and I love the way he plays and prepares,” Umenyiora said. “He’s always willing to learn, he’s always willing to train afterward, working on different things and you hear him asking questions. He’s willing to get better. It’s just very good to see a young guy like that performing the way he’s performing.”
Who didn't practice: C James Cordle (knee), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), RT James Brewer (back), CB Michael Coe (hamstring), WLB Michael Boley (hamstring), WLB Jacquian Williams (hip), DT Shaun Rogers (knee), WR David Douglas (quad) and DT Martin Parker (knee) as well as the PUP guys: WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), DT Chris Canty (knee), LB Clint Sintim (knee) and TE Travis Beckum (knee). Nicks has been taken off PUP and will be limited for three days.
Coughlin said Parker and Rogers went to the Hospital for Special Surgery, but he didn’t have results of any tests on either player.
RT David Diehl had his right ankle taped during practice, but he was able to return, and S Antrel Rolle played with a wrap around his right thigh. ... LT Will Beatty (back) practiced for the second consecutive day.