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Thursday, June 6, 2013
Practice report: A pair of interceptions

By Kieran Darcy

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants held their eighth OTA of the spring on Thursday, the final one reporters were allowed to watch, before next week's mandatory minicamp.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul wasn't present following his back surgery earlier this week, but he was still a hot topic of conversation. Wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz weren't present again, either.

The Giants worked a lot on goal-line sets and red-zone packages on Thursday. And there were a few standout plays, and players:

Mark Herzlich had an interception -- for the second straight day, according to coach Tom Coughlin. Herzlich again served as the Giants' starting middle linebacker, and picked off a short Eli Manning pass over the middle intended for tight end Brandon Myers during a seven-on-seven drill.

Second-year safety Will Hill also had an interception, of rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib.

Rueben Randle, who is the Giants' No. 1 wide receiver in the absence of Nicks and Cruz, continues to look good. Randle got behind safety Tyler Sash to haul in a long touchdown pass near the end of the practice.

Two young tight ends also made nice receptions in the end zone. Second-year man Adrien Robinson had a leaping grab (which he made look easy), and rookie Chase Clement made a tough catch as well.

Both are big targets -- Robinson is listed at 6-foot-4 and 264 pounds, while Clement is 6-5 and 265. And tight ends coach Mike Pope spoke glowingly about both afterwards.

"Adrien Robinson appears to have gone to the land of believers," Pope said of Robinson, the Giant's fourth-round draft pick in 2012. "Yes, he has been making some good progress."

"When I first looked at him, I had visions of [former Giant] Jake Ballard," Pope said of Clement, an undrafted free agent out of LSU. "He was a good blocker on the goal line, they seldom ever threw him the ball. But when the ball was snapped he had kind of that tough-guy mentality. ... He really had a motor."

• The Giants showed a new wrinkle on offense, lining up their top two tailbacks -- David Wilson and Andre Brown -- in the backfield on the same play. Brown served as the fullback, in front of Wilson, and motioned out wide before the ball was snapped and handed off to Wilson.

Neither running back knew the play was coming -- it was given to them on the fly.

"It was actually spur of the moment I think," Wilson said, chuckling. "Cause neither one of us was prepared for it. They were kind of talking us through the play, cause neither one of us knew."

• Center David Baas and guard Chris Snee were in uniform, but were again limited as they recover from injuries. Jim Cordle and James Brewer continued to fill in for them at their respective positions on the O-line.

• Linebacker Jacquian Williams got limited reps for the first time this spring. Williams is battling back from a knee injury that hampered him in 2012, causing him to miss six games.