Training Camp: Friday August 2

One unheralded player who has impressed Fassel is Delvin Joyce, a rookie free agent running back from James Madison.

ALBANY - All the talk at the start of camp has centered around how much the Giants offense will benefit from the arrival of Jeremy Shockey and Tim Carter, the team's first and second-round draft picks. On the second day of the draft, though, the Giants attempted to fortify themselves by selecting three linebackers, and early indications are they have done just that.

On the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, the Giants took Nick Greisen out of Wisconsin, Wes Mallard out of Oregon and Quincy Monk out of North Carolina. No one is ready to anoint any one of the three but the trio has been impressive enough to make the Giants believe they are legitimate prospects.

"I like that group of guys,'' Jim Fassel said. "It's highly unusual when you say you got three linebackers and they can all come in and play for us. They're all going to be contributors on special teams.''

Mallard has received extra work filling in on the weak side for Dhani Jones, who has missed several days with a tender hamstring. Monk backs up Brandon Short on the strong side and Greisen plays behind Mike Barrow in the middle.

"There's no doubt in my mind they can help us this year, if not on defense then on special teams,'' defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn said. "They can run and get to the ball and make some things happen. Each one of them was drafted with a position in mind and I think they're even more than what we expected when we drafted them.''

More Camp Notes

One unheralded player who has impressed Fassel is Delvin Joyce, a rookie free agent running back from James Madison. Almost every summer there is a rookie runner who serves as a human punching bag, getting knocked around in practice by the veterans on defense. Joyce plays that role this summer but the 5-6, 195-pound scatback has shown a spark that most everyone noticed.

One Giants defensive assistant coach, without prompting, said "I tell you what, I like that No. 33 kid.'' He was referring to Joyce.

One thing is sure: Joyce provides some excitement in camp. "That's my way of compensating for my lack of size,'' said Joyce, who was a walk-on at James Madison and left as the school's all-time all-purpose yardage leader. "If I'm energetic and show I like to play the game it kind of compensates for my smallness.''

Fassel estimated WR Tim Carter will be out "a couple of days'' after bruising the left side of his lower back during a practice on Thursday. Carter said the injury "is not that bad'' and estimated he would be able to play. He was hurt when he was hit and then landed on by S Ryan Clark, who Fassel accused of being overzealous on the play.

"I was stretching for the ball and didn't see any contact coming,'' Carter said. "It felt like it was a pulled muscle, it's a contusion back there. It hurt like heck, but other than that I wasn't afraid, I didn't think it was anything serious.'' ... Rookie T Jeff Hatch (back) is out for the preseason opener in Canton and was went back to New York in an attempt to fast-forward the healing process. ... How's the Giants full-court press? The afternoon practice was moved indoors to the basketball court because of rain.

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