Giants linebacker Jameel McClain speaks to the press in the...

Giants linebacker Jameel McClain speaks to the press in the locker room during the first day of minicamp on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jameel McClain grew up in Philadelphia, so he knows what to expect from the fans there on Sunday.

"I know somebody is going to crack a joke at my mom,'' the Giants linebacker said.

This, however, is his first time participating in the Giants-Eagles rivalry. He's played at Lincoln Financial Field in the past with the Ravens, but never in a prime- time division game like this upcoming one, with first place potentially on the line.

"I expect it to be a battle like I've known it to be,'' McClain said. "I know what both teams stand for and what they represent and what this game means. I've never run from a fight in my life, so I've got my knuckles balled up. I'm ready.''

While some Giants have been bad-mouthing Philly, there is a large contingent of players who have roots in the area and grew up singing "Fly, Eagles, Fly!'' Justin Pugh, Ryan Nassib, Mark Herzlich and Andre Williams all grew up in the area.

"I love Philly,'' McClain said. "I love the fans. I love everything about it. I'm a Philly guy through and through. I represent that first beyond anything. It's my blood.''

Returning as a Giant likely will reverse that affection, though.

"I enjoy the heckling, I enjoy the boos,'' he said. "It excites me. None of that makes me back up at any point.''

And how will his mom take to those taunts toward her?

"She would laugh.''

Now that's Philly!

Andre the aggressor

Running back Andre Williams may be a rookie, but the Giants are showing no trepidation about his inexperience as he prepares to make his first NFL start against the Eagles.

"He is an aggressive guy,'' offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said. "He is the same guy we saw on college tape. He runs like he is going to tackle you. That is probably what we like about him the most. He is a big, physical guy. He is a cerebral guy, but he runs very aggressively.''

Giant steps

WR Odell Beckham Jr. said he believes his limited NFL exposure gives him an advantage over the Eagles. "I only have one game on tape, so they have to just go off the one game and try to measure up to that and seeing tendencies and techniques just off of one tape,'' he said. "It definitely works in my favor, I'd say.'' . . . Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he is more confident that LB Jon Beason (foot/toe) will play on Sunday than he was a week ago. Tom Coughlin said Beason is improving and doing more in practices, but he still is listed as limited . . . Also limited for the Giants were CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle/hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle). Rodgers-Cromartie is expected to be ready for Sunday's game.

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