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Collins catching on, Rivers impressing, Eli likes Randle, no 'Giants South'

New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride talks

New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride talks with quarterback Eli Manning during practice at the Timex Performance Center. (Aug. 10, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Joe Epstein

In case you couldn’t tell, today is “Shake Out The Notebook Day.”

Minicamp ended Thursday and things will be very quiet (hopefully) for the next several weeks. There may be a few additions and subtractions, but no one is expecting any big drama or headlines from the Giants.

So this is a perfect day to gather all of the crumbs of information, nuggets of nuance and interesting quotations and present them all to you. I’ve already shared some thoughts on Chase Blackburn, Will Beattty, Marvin Austin, Bear Pascoe and Giants facemasks below. Here we’ll just give a few subjects a quick hit before moving into summer vacation.

• One of the WRs who has caught Kevin Gilbride’s eye is Brandon Collins, a rookie free agent from SE Louisiana. “I think Brandon Collins has looked really, really impressive in practices,” Gilbride said. “That has been fun to see, because I didn’t know much about him … I’ve seen better quickness than anything. That is what I have seen, great quickness, great speed, more quickness than speed. Good speed, great quickness, but also picking up the offense pretty quick.”

• Everyone expects WR Hakeem Nicks to be back from the broken bone in his right foot in time for the opener. But if he’s not, who would replace him? “I don’t even want to think about it,” Gilbride said.

• Perry Fewell thinks Keith Rivers is picking up the Giants’ defense quickly. “I was very pleased with how he performed in our OTAs and our mandatory mini-camp,” Fewell said. “I think he’s becoming more comfortable with our terminology and within our defense. I have high hopes for him and again, we’ll have to wait for training camp and preseason games. But I did see flashes of excellence in his play and I saw talent that we could use in our package to help make us a better defense.”

• Eli Manning seemed to have a connection with rookie Rueben Randle in the minicamp, something that the Giants hope will blossom this season. “I thought Rueben has been good,” Manning said. “I think he has a good feel for things. He is starting to understand some of the concepts and just the ins and outs of what his assignments are, what his options are. There is always a learning period with those guys. But you see some speed, some size, coming in and out of breaks, and just a pretty good feel and understanding of how to get open. So that is always a good start. Now just continue to learn. The more reps that he can get in live action, the better he will be.”

• Unlike the Jets, Manning isn’t planning on holding a grand camp at his old high school (The Newman Giants? Giants South?) or anywhere else during the time off. He will, however, try to make time to work with the receivers. “Some of them, maybe here and there,” Manning said. “Just call them up when you are in town. We don’t have anything scheduled right now. But some of the guys that stay local, yeah, I’ll definitely see them a few times and throw some routes just to keep the arm going and them catching some balls.”

• This was the first year of the offseason program under the new CBA. Obviously there were differing opinions. “I like this CBA,” Justin Tuck said. “I think this CBA is huge for veterans. I think it might put younger guys behind the 8-ball because they don’t get as much work as we did when we were younger, but I think it’s got to help prolong a lot of guys’ careers and I don’t think you’re going to see as many injuries because it’s giving us a little bit more time to heal our bodies after a long season.” Manning said the Giants still got their work in. “It is a little shorter and some of the rules are a little different,” he said. “But I thought the guys had a good focus and practices were sharp. And we got some good workouts.” Tom Coughlin, naturally, was not as enamored with the limited time spent on the field and the shortened program. “This is a required nine-week program, rather than a normal 10- or 11-week program, so there is still work to be done, obviously,” he said. “The players have got to understand, as we tried to make them understand, that there is three or four times the mental part of it to the physical part of it now. And that is evidentially the way they want it … We’ll see about that. We will have to evaluate everything.”

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