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Giants linemen try their hands -- and chests -- at catching punts

New York Giants defensive tackle Markus Kuhn looks

New York Giants defensive tackle Markus Kuhn looks on from the field during the second day of minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Typically a team's defense is ahead of its offense at this early point in training camp. Turns out that's true when it comes to big ol' linemen catching punts as well.

The defensive linemen dominated their counterparts in a competition to see who could field the most punts at the conclusion of Sunday's Giants practice. It wasn't always pretty, but all four of the defensive players caught the football: Johnathan Hankins, Damontre Moore, Markus Kuhn and Robert Ayers Jr. Moore even supplied a short celebratory dance after running up to field his punt.

The offense was less adept and, truth be told, much more lumbering. Marshall Newhouse had the ball go over his head and through his hands. Weston Richburg lined his up well but could not hold on. Only John Jerry was able to secure the catch, although it wasn't exactly with proper technique.

"For some of them, their sternums held up well," Tom Coughlin said of the thumps that resonated as the footballs smacked into the players' chests. "Did you hear some of the hits?"

The competition, which ended with the losing offense doing pushups, wasn't the only point of merriment during a light practice on the third full day of workouts at training camp. The team also stretched to music for the first time this summer, amplifiers blasting an odd mix of songs that spanned all tastes and generations and included everything from "Uptown Funk" to Uptown Frank (Sinatra, that is). The music was turned off when the team began working, however. But the fun continued right through to the end.

Coughlin was impressed that four straight defensive players managed to hang on to their punts.

"We may have found a tight end or something," he said.

Hey, maybe this is how J.J. Watt got started?


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