With Hakeem Nicks limited yesterday, a day after experiencing groin tightness, his quarterback seemed to have more patience than his coach did.

"Hakeem is being smart," Eli Manning said. "He's coming off some injuries. He's going to take it slow and do what he's got to do to make sure when he's out there he is full speed . . . We just want to make sure he goes at a pace that's going to keep him healthy for the upcoming year."

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Tom Coughlin was less understanding. "We just want him out there competing and practicing," he said. "The guy has not practiced and he needs to get out there."

With Nicks mostly sidelined -- he took a handful of reps but caught no passes in team drills -- Rueben Randle took advantage of his turn with the starters. He made several pretty catches, including two with Prince Amukamara draped on his back.

The Giants will wear shoulder pads for the first time Tuesday and be in full pads on Thursday. "We need that," Coughlin said . . . Tyler Sash, Aaron Ross, Jayron Hosley, Junior Mertile and Laron Scott each had an interception Monday. None came against Manning, who has not thrown a pick since Amukamara got him in the opening workout . . . Defensive line coach Robert Nunn thinks DE Justin Tuck will rebound this year. "I thought it was just outstanding how he approached the OTAs in the offseason," Nunn said. "He's in very, very good shape. I think he's got to prove it when the pads come on, but I think he's prepared to have an outstanding season."