Giants LB coach thrilled with his group

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Linebackers coach Jim Herrmann said Monday that the Giants are comfortable with whoever is in at linebacker, and he hasn’t had that situation in a long time.

“We really have good, young guys who came in last year and are now back bigger and stronger,” Herrmann said. “We have veteran guys who played in a lot of NFL games, so as a group, we’re very deep when we’re healthy.”

Other notes from Herrmann:

• On if he’s concerned about Michael Boley missing the past week of practice with hamstring issues: “Well I think any time you have an injury, you’re concerned about just getting their body and their mind back in the deal. He’s a guy who’s been and done a lot of great things for us. He’s a veteran, so he understands the game; he understands what’s happening. I think just for him personally, the timing of the game, he’s itching to get back out there. You don’t want to put a guy out there that’s not at full speed. It’s a thing you have to deal with. Every position has that.”

• Herrmann said that Jacquian Williams adding weight to get up to 240 pounds could mean more playing time this year, instead of just playing in passing situations: “A year ago, I wouldn’t say that, because of his weight. Every year, he’s going to get stronger, bigger, and retain the quickness that we saw from him as a rookie. So, any time you get that, it’s a bonus.” Herrmann added that Williams will be used in different roles because of his speed, quickness and cover skills.

• On Greg Jones at outside linebacker: “Actually he’s played both [inside] and [outside]. As a young guy, you try to get them where they can play all three spots, because you know as well as I do when you get into the season, and you have multiple things happen, you need multiple people to go in, and you need flexibility with the guys that go in. They need to be able to play at whatever position you put them at.”

• Herrmann was asked if Keith Rivers, who missed all of 2011 with a wrist injury, is rusty: “I wouldn’t say rust. He was away from the game for all of last year. He’s been through OTAs, minicamp, now training camp. You get back to a sense of playing ball, and get a feel for the game. Not much rust. We’ve played him, and all of the guys at multiple positions. We try to do that as much as we can.”

• On Spencer Paysinger: “I like Spencer. He’s one of those young guys who physically has gotten bigger, he’s 246, 245 [pounds] -- stronger. He knows what the game is all about now. He’s got great promise.”

• On if there is still a competition at middle linebacker, with Chase Blackburn starting and second-year pro Mark Herzlich behind him: “You know, there’s competition at every position, so everybody is still competing.”