The Giants' Aaron Ross fields a punt during training camp.

The Giants' Aaron Ross fields a punt during training camp. Credit: Jon Winslow

ALBANY - The Giants have a pretty good idea about who will be starting at almost every position come the regular season. The one area they are still uncertain about is on special teams, where Domenik Hixon left a large hole in the return game. So Monday night will be an audition of sorts for kickoff and punt returners.

Tom Coughlin said he'd like to see D.J. Ware, Andre Brown and Victor Cruz on kickoffs. He also will have Aaron Ross and Cruz returning the punts.

For Ross, it will be his first chance to work on returning. The former first-round pick was always kept away from the job because he was a starting cornerback. Now he appears to have lost that starting job - although he may be starting tonight in place of Corey Webster - and is getting a chance.

"Unfortunately, Hixon had to go down for it to happen, but I'm just going to try to take full advantage of the situation," Ross said. "It was something I loved to do in college and something that I excelled at. So once I knock the little rust off, I think I'll become a nice punt returner for the Giants."


Giants feeling freshThe Giants and Jets obviously have two different personalities that will be on display Monday night. They also have two different methods of preparing for the season. While the Jets have been hitting at full speed with full pads on for most of camp, the Giants have been mostly in shells and have gone full contact on only a handful of goal-line drills. Even when they are in full pads, Coughlin has them play "thud" with the goal of keeping everyone on their feet.

Which is better? The answer will be clearer in December, but for now, the Giants think they have a physical leg up.

"I think it's working because guys feel good," S Deon Grant said. "I talk to a lot of guys, some of my homeboys who play for the Jets and other teams, and they feel worn down right now. We're not worn down."

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