The Giants added a lot of pieces to their secondary this offseason and brought back a number of key players. But Prince Amukamara said while newcomers Walter Thurmond Jr. and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have brought "a different dimension" and helped the unit "get into our swag," it's a lesser-known player who really drives the group's mentality.
"C.J., he gets us amped up," Amukamara said.
You probably have to check the roster to figure out who C.J. is. That would be Charles James II, whose voice resonates throughout the secondary from the bottom of the depth chart. The second-year player started last season on the practice squad and then was called up during the year and played sparingly. Now in his second NFL training camp, James is providing the veterans with a spark.
"C.J. definitely does pick us up," Amukamara said. "C.J. definitely plays with a chip on his shoulder, he kind of has that undrafted mentality. Anytime he gets on the field he's always trying to prove something."
For a group of players that includes three former first-round picks in Amukamara, Rodgers-Cromartie and Antrel Rolle plus established veterans such as Thurmond, Stevie Brown and Zack Bowman, James' feistiness can be a good reminder of the hunger that unheralded players need to have.
"C.J. is ?," Amukamara said, trying to find the right phrasing, "always a great time."