Diary: 'I feel like I can play on this level'

Super rookie Kenny Phillips shares his thoughts exclusively with TGI…

I think camp is going pretty good. I'm definitely getting used to playing with my teammates. It feels good to be running around again. Because of the OTAs and the minicamps, the defense really isn't that hard for me to pick up because we've gone over it all already. I feel pretty good. One-a-day, two-a-days, I feel pretty good.

To be honest with you I believe that our college camp at Miami was way hotter and harder than this. We were in full pads every day. I'm not saying this is easy but I could get used to this.

People told me that it was going to be a little tougher here. They said that the speed was going to change and this and that, that the guys are so much bigger and stronger. Honestly, I haven't seen it. I feel like I can play on this level. Nothing's really changed. Sometimes the quarterbacks still stare down their receivers; sometimes they look you off. I'd have to say that the biggest eye-opener for me so far is that it's been exactly like college. I feel like I can play here now.

The older guys have been great to watch. They've been showing me the ropes. They don't even really have to say anything; I just watch them. I watch what they do on the field, what they write down in the meeting room. I just learn from them, see what's important to them and take notes from that.

I like the reputation that it seems like I already have that I'm a big hitter. One thing I'm trying to do is just stay around the ball. They don't want us to take anyone down or get anyone hurt so I'm basically just trying to get myself in position. That way when they take that leash off me I can just let it go and let it loose. It's really tough right now; it's really messing with me. I like to finish a play and right now I can't really finish them. Sometimes I feel like I could go up and pick off a pass but because I can't hit them I can't jump so I have to back off a little bit. It's kind of tricky right now. I'm not going to write much about what's going to happen in the regular season; the Giants fans will just have to wait and see.

A lot of the guys and the coaches have been saying that I have good range, which is good. A lot of people didn't know that I had good range because I played in the box so much. That's basically just playing the ball and just trying to get there. You're just trying to read the quarterback and beat him. I've heard that word ‘range' tossed around a lot.

I like my time with the second and third teams because that's my time to learn. I get to watch what the veterans are doing, the mistakes they're making and the plays that they are doing very well. Going with the ‘twos' and the ‘threes' is great because I'm getting extra reps. Sometimes it hurts, and I have to push myself even when I'm tired. That helps me even more. But it isn't really messing with me. When all is said and done, the best players are going to play and I feel I'm making a valid run for that position. I sure hope I'm out there with the starting team on opening day.

Well, one day after writing about running with the second and third team, they slid me right in with the ‘ones.' I actually felt kind of weird. I didn't expect them to throw me out there; it was just something they did as soon as practice started. I didn't know beforehand. It was kind of awkward. I was so used to playing with those guys on the second team that when I got with the first team it was kind of weird because I didn't know what the other guys around me were going to do. But as practice wore on I got more and more comfortable with it.

None of my teammates really said anything to me about it. I feel they respect me as a player so no one really gave me a hard time. I think I did pretty good for my first time out there. I made some plays in every period and had a pass break-up that turned into an interception so it felt pretty good.

Moving onto the first team wasn't something that I was forcing. I wasn't saying "I can't wait to get on first team." There wasn't any pressure from me. I was comfortable where I was, second team, trying to work my way up. I don't feel it should be given to me. I haven't played any games yet; I didn't prove anything to be on first team. It was kind of a shock but I'm glad they did it.

I've been lucky so far with all the pranks they usually do to the rookies. I got booed pretty badly when I sang, but for the most part everybody's been pretty cool. We just have to take the veterans out to eat whenever they get hungry. We took them to The Cheesecake Factory up here.

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