Wide-open field for Giants' linebackers

Giants linebackers Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich, right, Giants linebackers Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich, right, talk after running drills at mini camp. (June 12, 2013) Photo Credit: Joe Epstein

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Spencer Paysinger ran with the starting defense on the first day of training camp. He knows that might not last.

"They say that when it comes to the depth chart, it can change any day and that we dictate how the depth chart goes," Paysinger said. "If one person has a great day, he might be going with the 'ones.' If a person slips up a little bit, he might be going with the 'twos' and 'threes.' We have to know our stuff and go out there and perform."

With no incumbent, the field is wide open.

"The days of etched-in-stone linebacker positions going into training camp are gone for us right now," Paysinger said.

The first starting group included Paysinger, Mark Herzlich and Keith Rivers. Jacquian Williams, Dan Connor and Aaron Curry ran with the second unit. Curry left the field midway through practice -- Tom Coughlin said he had cramping issues -- and was replaced by Kyle Bosworth.

Any of those seven players could wind up starting for the Giants. Some, such as Rivers and Curry, are former first-rounders and the most highly-touted linebackers to come out of college in the last decade. Others, such as Paysinger and Herzlich, came into the league undrafted.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Giant steps

Quarterbacks threw close to a dozen deep passes in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills in the first practice but did not complete any. "I thought the throws were pretty darn good," Coughlin said. "I liked the way we were positioned from the corner spot." Prince Amukamara made the best play on the deep ball, catching a pass from Eli Manning over his shoulder for an interception . . . Coughlin said CB Terrell Thomas (knee) thought he'd be ready to practice at the start of camp but instead landed on PUP. "The sooner he can get out there, the better off we'll all be," Coughlin said . . . The Giants are scheduled to host Autograph Day after practice Sunday, but if the practice is moved indoors because of inclement weather, the autograph event will be rescheduled for Saturday.

You also may be interested in: