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Herzlich debut goes well

New York Giants' Mark Herzlich (58) runs through

New York Giants' Mark Herzlich (58) runs through a drills before an NFL football preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. (Aug. 13, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

Mark Herzlich is one of the most compelling stories of training camp for the Giants. Many words have been written about the cancer survivor so far, and many more will be coming to a Newsday near you in the immediate future. But last night he finally stepped onto an NFL field.

"It’s fun," he said of the experience. "The biggest thing about it is, no matter what level you are playing at, football is fun. We come out here and play hard, play physical. Obviously we have to do a little bit more because we want to win. It doesn’t matter that it’s preseason, we have to win. No matter what we’re doing, whether we’re playing board games or video games or football games, everybody on this team wants to win. That’s what we have to get to."

Herzlich estimates he was on the field for 20-25 snaps including special teams. He made two tackles and was credited with a forced fumble that went out bounds. All of that happened in the fourth quarter. But Herzlich said he's not really focusing on his defense right now.

"I think (special teams is) one area where I really need to impress people on," he said. "I’m a very physical player. I need to be able to run down the field on kickoffs and bust some people’s heads open. The same thing on punt and punt return. That’s my goal right now. If I can make it on special teams then I can make the team and that’s all I’m looking for right now."

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