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5 Guys missing


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Five missing


You probably could guess the five Giants who were missing from Tuesday's third voluntary Organized Team Activity session _ and we stress the word "voluntary."


But while 75 players at least were at Giants Stadium, these five were not: TE Jeremy Shockey, WR Plaxico Burress, DE Michael Strahan, DE Osi Umenyiora and LB Antonio Pierce. In addition two others, WR David Tyree (knee) and TE Mike Matthews (shoulder) did not participate as they rehab from their injuries.


This was the first of the OTAs to feature team sessions _ the first two were limited more to group and technique work. It also was the first the media was allowed to witness.


Veteran WR Amani Toomer was the star of the day, grabbing a bomb from Eli Manning, making a one-hand catch of a deflected pass and making another diving catch. He certainly seems ready for a 13th season.


LB Mathias Kiwanuka was one of those happy to see the OTAs arrive. They give him a chance to get back on the field for the first time since he suffered that broken fibula last Nov. 18 in Detroit. Kiwanuka showed no signs of the injury as he ran with receivers and chased plays to the opposite side of the field.


"This is excellent for me," said Kiwanuka, who was just getting into his position switch from defensive end when he was injured last season. "I can use every rep I can get because they have played a lot of games without me and there is a lot of stuff [in the defense] which I have not run yet."


The Giants will have two more OTAs this week and a final one next Monday leading into the June 11-13 full minicamp, which is mandatory _ and we stress the word "mandatory."



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I wouldn't lose any sleep over the "5 missing", Afterall, these workouts are voluntary.


Shockey....has never shown up for voluntary workouts since he became a Giant. He'll be there for the mandatory workouts.


Burress....was told to rest his knee and ankle. The team wants him to be as healthy as possible this year.


Pierce......is on his honeymoon having just gotten married


Osi......was around camp a couple days before and has no issues with the team so there's a private reason why he wasn't participating. But certainly nothing to worry about.


Strahan.....will get out of mandatory workouts so why would he show for volutantary workouts.




I love the enthusiasm of the new guys and yeah, Toomer looks ready to make big contributions this year. I'd certainly like to hear more news about Phillips, Thomas, and Manningham.




Here's another writeup (Mike Garanflo's columns) about yesterday's practice:


A few highlights from this morning's practice, which was conducted in helmets and shorts and no pads with limited contact:


*WR Amani Toomer had no trouble oiling the joints on his aging body and appeared to be in mid-postseason form. He made a juggling catch on a deep go from QB Eli Manning after the ball bounced off CB Corey Webster's arm. A few plays later, Toomer made a one-handed catch on a deep out from Manning past Webster.


*Before you start hitting the panic button and think that Webster has reverted to his second-year form, just know that he's working on things whose success aren't necessarily dependant on the outcome of the play. For instance, while Toomer is making the catch, Webster is working on his form and fundamentals - "stuff people don't really notice." He also said he was getting good input from Toomer on what a veteran receiver would do if he saw Webster making certain moves in front of him.


*Credit these guys with nice PDs this morning: S Michael Johnson on a deep ball from Manning to Toomer; CB R.W. McQuarters on a post from Manning to Toomer; and CB Darren Barnett on a Manning to rookie WR D.J. Hall out (after which Barnett jumped up and gave the incomplete pass signal as if it was a Divisional Playoff game).


*DE Justin Tuck blew past RT Kareem McKenzie on one early play. Hey, it's June, so give big Kareem a break.


*Newly signed DE Renaldo Wynn put a veteran move on third-year backup OT Guy Whimper for a hurry.


*Nice fill by rookie LB Jonathan Goff on a run up the middle by RB Danny Ware.


*TE Kevin Boss, who admitted it's been tough to remember a lot of the stuff from the playbook after all this time off, made a heck of a juggling catch on a ball up the left seam in front of S Nehemiah Warrick.


*S Terrance Stringer had a diving interception off WR Domenik Hixon's hands.


*And the ugliest play of the day actually turned into a heady play by RB Derrick Ward. Manning bobbled the snap up in the air and Ward ran forward, grabbed it and plowed ahead for a nice gain.


*TE Michael Matthews (shoulder) was limited today to some light work on the side and QB Andre' Woodson, who hurt his quad in rookie minicamp, was also sidelined. And as I mentioned in the previous entry, WR David Tyree (knee) didn't practice, as expected.


That's about all you can get from these OTAs. Just some individual highlights while these guys are working on fundamentals and basic stuff.


But the entire team - minus five guys - is back to work. The title defense has officially begun.



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*TE Kevin Boss, who admitted it's been tough to remember a lot of the stuff from the playbook after all this time off, made a heck of a juggling catch on a ball up the left seam in front of S Nehemiah Warrick.



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