The Giants Beat Notebook: Day 2

Many are calling the New York Giants the early favorites to capture the NFC East crown and legitimate Super Bowl contenders. With a countdown to February's Big Game posted in the team's locker room, the Giants still have early questions that need to be addressed during training camp. Find out the latest updates live from the Giants Quest Diagnostics Training center.

Big Blue returned to the practice field this week after missing the playoffs during the 2012 campaign. No one is happier to be back on the gridiron than New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

"It's the typical opening day," Coughlin stated. "There's some good, some bad. But we threw a lot at them."

The Giants have a good chance to compete for the NFC East title and are even considered the favorites by some experts. The G-Men will have to address some lingering questions if they want to make the playoffs this upcoming season.

Now that wide receiver Victor Cruz had a big pay day, it's on to Eli Manning's next target. It's no secret that Hakeem Nicks wants a new contract. Nicks had knee surgery during the offseason, but doesn't appear to be feeling the ill-effects.

General manager Jerry Reese has stated that wants Nicks to be a Giant for a ‘long time'. The playmaking wide receiver already made a few big plays during his first day back from injury. According to some NFL analysts Justin Tuck is slowing down and not the same dynamic player he was during the two Super Bowl runs in 2007 and 2011. But Tuck and the Giants feel there's still some millage left in his tank.

As for his partner lining up on the opposite side of the ball, it's remains to be seen if Jason Pierre-Paul will perform after having surgery on a herniated disc. Pierre-Paul says he feels good and is at 75 percent.

"He's done very well and he's worked hard at it," Coughlin said. "I'd say he's probably within a couple of pounds of his playing weight. I'd say that with what he's allowed to do, he does well. He has a specific routine that he does in the training room and he's been able to do that well. So I am encouraged."

Minus the injury problems, the Giants also have position battles that will begin to heat up as training camp progresses.

Big Blue has David Wilson and Andre Brown fighting for carries. Also, there are around six linebackers battling for three positions. Training camp should get interesting quick. Reese has already set up a countdown to the Super Bowl in the Giants locker room as a reminder of how close the championship game really is. The front office has already set high stakes for the 2013 Giants and Coughlin doesn't mind the pressure.

"When Jerry came in and showed it to me, his was that it is not very far away, and if that's the case, then there would be a sense of urgency about just reminding people what that is, noted Coughlin." "I'm fine with that."

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