Jerry Reese said he was waiting for someone to "emerge from the shadows" in the Giants' wide-open tight end competition this summer. In the past two practices, some of them have started to.
Daniel Fells, Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson have all made strong showings lately.
Fells caught a touchdown from Eli Manning in a no-huddle drill on Monday.
Donnell made an acrobatic catch to end Monday's practice and had a one-handed touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone Tuesday.
Robinson was lauded by coaches on the field for a run block on Monday, but he also made a catch earlier in the practice and came off the field yelling, "Easy money!"
"You don't plan on being a backup," Donnell said.
While Donnell and Robinson are young, developing players, the surprise of the group is Fells. He sat out all of 2013 after going unsigned and was preparing for forced retirement in California until the Giants picked him up in January.
Fells, 30, has the most experience, but catching that TD still made him smile. "Anytime you get your hands on the ball," he said, "it always feels good."
Patterson a starter again
Mike Patterson is back to being a starter, and he seems to appreciate it more.
The former Eagles star spent last year as a backup defensive tackle for the Giants, his first full season after undergoing brain surgery in 2012 to relieve a rare congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation, commonly referred to as AVM. Now he's with the first unit.
"Since I have been able to get back to the starting role, I have been taking it very seriously and personal to keep it," he said, adding that he is glad to have the "AVM stuff" taken care of. " . . . Fresh new year with nothing to worry about, and I'm just excited."
WR Rueben Randle sat out practice with a hamstring injury. Also sidelined were WR Trindon Holliday, TE Xavier Grimble, CB Travis Howard, CB Ross Weaver and DT Everett Dawkins . . . Tom Coughlin said the team will visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday before the induction ceremony that will include Michael Strahan and six others.