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Dillard checks out the "normal cats"

Phillip Dillard has been surrounded by fellow rookies for most of this camp. But every once in a while he allows himself to look around and appreciate his surroundings. And then he’ll catch a glimpse of a Giants veteran. Or look to his right and catch the locker of Justin Tuck out of the corner of his eye.

“You see all these guys on TV and then you see them walking in here just normal cats,” Dillard said. “They’re all grown men though. That’s for certain. But they’re all normal guys and they’re real cool.

“It feels good in this locker room,” he added.

Unlike other players drafted by the Giants, Dillard comes to the team and is dropped in the middle of a position battle with some unproven competition in Jonathan Goff, Chase Blackburn, Gerris Wilkinson and others at middle linebacker.

Where will he turn to learn how to lead when so few at his position have that experience?

"You can learn from any guy," he said. "It doesn’t have to be a linebacker to learn leadership. You can learn from Osi Umenyiora or Tuck. You can learn leadership from anybody. At the linebacker position, they’ve all been here. Even if they weren’t the starters last year or the year before, they’ve still been here and you can still learn things from them."

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New York Sports