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Chase Blackburn sees a 'veteran day' off from the other side

David Douglas (19) and Chase Blackburn (93) during

David Douglas (19) and Chase Blackburn (93) during NFL football training camp in Albany. (July 30, 2012) Credit: Hans Pennink

Chase Blackburn knows all about a “veteran day” off, which is where an established player sits out a training camp practice with a minor injury that a younger player would probably work through. He used to love them because they gave him an opportunity to play with the starters.

On Saturday, though, he took another perspective on them. Blackburn sat out with a minor thigh bruise, meaning that Mark Herzlich, who has been breathing down his neck for the starting job at middle linebacker, got to take snaps with the first unit.

“I’m sure Mark was licking his chops, too,” Blackburn said.

In fact, he was.

“It's cool getting a feel playing with JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul), playing with (Justin) Tuck, playing with Linval (Joseph),” Herzlich said. “Those guys up front and getting the communication in the back end because it's a little different with every guy. To be able to get a feel for that, I think it's good practice for hopefully in the games.”

Blackburn knows that feeling well, which may be why when the team practiced today he was right back on the field. With the ones.

"When I was young, I took advantage of every opportunity that I had," he said. "When Antonio (Pierce) would be out, I’d try and take advantage of every rep I could get. He’s doing the same thing. He’s trying to take as many reps as he can get. When we’re out there practicing, he’s trying to get reps."

New York Sports