Hefty Lefty returns

Jared Lorenzen was essentially responsible for two of the biggest surprises of training camp last season.

That the Giants bothered to sign the free agent quarterback from Kentucky was something of a shock, since they already had Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, Jesse Palmer and Ryan Van Dyke around.

Then Lorenzen suddenly left Albany without explanation, a move many felt would automatically end his Giants career before it even began.

That assumption has proven incorrect. Lorenzen is back and hoping to make amends.

"I wasn't sure how it was going to work out," Lorenzen said. "About a month and one-half ago, I finally got a call from Coach Gilbride [Kevin Gilbride, the quarterback coach] who asked me to work out and go from there."

The Giants are obviously hoping Lorenzen can harness a strong throwing arm [he set Kentucky records with 10,354 yards and 78 touchdowns] and control a weight problem that has hounded the left-hander all his life.

Lorenzen, a second-team Southeastern Conference pick behind Eli Manning as a senior, isn't saying how much he currently weighs or what level the coaching staff has set for him.

"It's never where I want it to be," Lorenzen said. "If I had my druthers, I'd weigh 225. I've been moving weight around more [from the waist to the chest] and doing what I can to stay in shape."

Lorenzen also wouldn't elaborate on what caused him to leave camp.

"It was just some stuff, totally on me," Lorenzen said. "I had to take care of some stuff. I went about it the wrong way, but at the time, what was going on was more important to me than football.

"It's going to help that I got to miss the game and had to sit there and watch it on Sundays. I even went to the Giants game in Cincinnati [Dec. 26], which is my home town. The Giants didn't know I was there. It all helped to teach me that football isn't a given that you'll have the rest of the your life. Once I got back home people would tell me, ‘What do you have to lose. You are 24 years old.'

Despite the second chance, Lorenzen understands his chances of making the team are slim.

"It's the same as last year," Lorenzen said. "They have a very good starter [Manning] and a veteran [Jim Miller]. All you can do is work as hard as you can to impress the coach. It's clear Jim and Jesse Palmer are competing for the second spot and I would be in the mix for the third. But I would also expect them to bring in another quarterback from the draft. Teams always do. I would hope my chances would be good, but I need to show them that I'm dedicated again."


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