Kerry Wynn found himself as a starting defensive end for the Giants on Wednesday.
It took a lot of dominoes (and players) to fall to get him there. Jason Pierre-Paul is a no-show at the minicamp. His replacement, Robert Ayers Jr., was sidelined with an injury. His replacement, George Selvie, also sat out the workout with an injury.
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So there was Wynn, the undrafted rookie free agent from a year ago, playing with the ones.
It was a reminder of just how far he is from possibly having that job for real, and at the same time, just how close he is to it as well.
"Always be ready," said Wynn, "and make the most of it."
That's been the mantra Wynn and fellow second-year defensive lineman Jay Bromley have been chanting all offseason. They've been two of the most omnipresent fixtures at the team's facility since the 2014 season ended -- Wynn moved to Secaucus, New Jersey, just to be close to the headquarters -- and are determined to force their way into the rotation at their positions.
"We both have the same goals," said Bromley, a tackle who was a third-round selection in 2014. "I don't want to give the coaches a reason to take me off the field. I don't want to give nobody an out. There should be no excuse why I don't play."
Last year there were excuses -- or reasons, depending on your perspective -- for the two rookies to be used so seldom. Bromley was not as stout against the run as he could have been, he said. Wynn was unpolished, making the leap from the University of Richmond to the NFL.
"It does get rough not playing," Wynn said of being inactive the first 11 games of the season before finishing with 1.5 sacks and an interception. "You have to wait your turn and when you get that opportunity make sure you do everything to hang on to that opportunity."
Those cameo appearances late in the season weren't enough for Wynn. He said he still plays with "a chip on his shoulder" to prove he belongs in the NFL, a scar most undrafted players rarely lose.
Bromley said his personal goal for 2015 is to be the team's most improved player. And a starter.
"Night and day from last year," he said. "If your goal isn't to start, you're not aiming high enough. If you're not aiming to start, you're aiming for second place and I'm not aiming for second place."
Wynn found himself as a starter on Wednesday, even if it was a de facto promotion. And a temporary one. And in June.
But when training camp starts the two players who have become close friends and constant workout partners, pushing each other and offering support, plan to do exactly what they have done throughout the offseason: Stealthily draw attention to themselves.
"I strived to not purposely be seen," Bromley said of the offseason, "but work hard enough to the point where you can't miss me."