Coughlin report: Cruz knocking rust off

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants coach Tom Coughlin says Victor Cruz is still "knocking some of the rust off."

"He's coming along and he's definitely gonna get there," Coughlin said, noting the key is that Cruz is on the field and getting his practice time in. "And we know that he'll work his way through camp and he'll be ready to go."

Cruz recently signed a six-year contract worth nearly $46 million -- including $15.6 million guaranteed.

The 26-year-old wide receiver had 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Giants last season.

Happy they're hitting: The Giants put their shoulder pads Tuesday, which made Coughlin happy.

"It was good. It's always good to get started that way it was real good to see the majority of time we were on our feet," Coughlin said. "There was a few occasions where I didn't appreciate it, but it was good to see them. They were very enthusiastic about it, and we like to think that that would be maintained."

The Giants will have their first fully padded practice on Thursday. They are off Wednesday.

Chip on their shoulders: Coughlin likes the fact that many of his defensive players are going into the season with something to prove.

"I'm going to like it even more if it's maintained on Sundays, yeah," Coughlin said. "They do have a lot to prove."

Jumbo package: Coughlin rotated defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins in at defensive end on some plays, adding extra beef to the D-line.

"Not just matching personnel but matching it with some large bodies, large people inside," Coughlin said.

The Internship: Sam Madison is on Coughlin's staff as a training camp defensive backs coach.

The four-time Pro Bowler played with the Giants from 2006-08.

"It's good to have Sam around here. Sam's good medicine," Coughin said. "Sam was like that as a player when he was here with us. He was working, he was coaching, he did a nice job in that capacity, he did a good job with all the young corners. The guys seem to respond to the fact he's here now."

The Tutor: Coughlin was asked about quarterback Eli Manning mentoring rookie Ryan Nassib.

"Well I've seen that since Day 1, oh yeah. Eli does a great job with that," Coughlin said. "And he does enjoy that role.

"I talked to [Eli] about bringing in a young player [Nassib] and how challenging it was gonna be for the young guy. I'm sure he remembers his early days and he really does try hard."