For instance, Tim Carter is going to be the third wide receiver, for as long as he stays healthy. This will be his fourth season with the Giants and he has yet to complete one. He has fallen to weird injuries -- torn Achilles tendon when no one was hitting him; a fractured hip socket, et al.
"He has all the tools," says veteran Amani Toomer. "He has size and speed (6-0, 200). He may be the fastest guy in camp. He has great hands and a feel for the ball. He can separate. It's just that he keeps getting hurt."
But the Giants have uncovered a wealth of wideouts. In addition to Carter, there is Jamaar Taylor, David Tyree, Willie Ponder and Mark Jones.
And that doesn't even approach in importance the arrival of Plaxico Burress as an UFA from Pittsburgh.
For young Eli Manning, who will begin his first season as the starting quarterback, it must feel like a buffet table.
If they stay healthy.
There is also no question that guard Rich Seubert has come all the way back from his horrific compound spiral fracture of the right tibia, fibula and ankle. He missed the second half of the '03 season and all of last season.
But there he is, as active and agile and feisty and tenacious as he was when he quickly became one of the NFL's up-and-coming young guards. Now he is being pitted against a good friend, tackle-turned-guard David Diehl, for the starting job.
"It's the NFL," says Diehl, 6-5 and 315. "It's how things are done. Nobody gives you a starting job; you have to earn it year after year."
For his part, the 6-3, 305-pound Seubert feels the same. "David is my friend and that is not going to change," he says. "Well, something might. If I win the job, I guess I'll have to pay for dinner on the road."
CAMP CALENDAR: The Giants will break camp Aug. 24, two days before their penultimate exhibition game.
The Saturday scrimmage-practice sessions against the New York Jets started with a fight and continued to be ultra-competitive all day. On the first play in a 9-on-7 drill, TE Jeremy Shockey was blocking when he felt someone hit him hard from behind. Always a loose cannon with a short fuse, he turned and took a swing at the culprit, SS Oliver Celestin. That caused Jets MLB Jonathan Vilna and FS Erik Coleman to hit Shockey from behind and knock him to the ground.
By this time, another dozen or so Jets congregated around the melee, some trying to land a blow, others trying to pull combatants away. Then an equal number of Giants arrived on the scene and a full-scale brawl broke out.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was fuming. "We don't practice that way," he said. "The plan here was for instructional and helpful practices. We don't want that kind of behavior."
He and Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson were seen jawing at each other on the field, though neither would report the conversation. There were other skirmishes -- WR Amani Toomer vs. LB Erik Barton -- but generally the tone calmed down after that.
"I guess," Toomer said, "they do practice differently than we do. We try not to hurt our players. I guess they don't do it that way."
It appears that Toomer has been moved from his split end position to the flanker/slotback role to make room for Plaxico Burress, the 6-5, 226-pound UFA from Pittsburgh. "I've been around long enough," said the 10-year veteran, "to know that when the coach says, 'we'd like you to try the slot,' then that means I'm moving. I don't care much about it. I just want to play. And to win."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The way he was situated, nobody would have blamed Red Grange if he decided to transfer out." -- Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, on rookie RB Br5andon Jacobs' decision to leave Auburn because he was the third back behind Ronnie Brown (second overall pick) and Cadillac Williams (fifth overall).
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