Rookies Wilson, Hosley showing promise

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Running back David Wilson and cornerback Jayron Hosley showed glimpses Friday night against the Jaguars of how much more explosive the Giants' return game could be this season.

Wilson showed off his speed and big-play ability on the second kickoff return of the game. The Giants’ first-round pick caught the ball about two yards from the end zone on the left side, took off toward the right, and was tackled just a yard shy of midfield.

Hosley had two good punt returns. On his second one, he turned nothing into a 20-yard gain when he reversed field to his left, but the play was called back due to holding.

The Giants' return game lacked punch last season, with the longest kick return going for 40 yards. Their longest punt return went for 18 yards. Their last return touchdown came in 2009.

But not everything was positive on Friday. Hosley muffed a fair catch near the end zone with 41 seconds left in the first half, setting up a Jacksonville touchdown. Second-year wide receiver Jerrell Jernigan later muffed a punt as well after taking over for Hosley.

“The truth of the matter is that it’s 24-7 and there’s 41 seconds left [in the first half] ... [Hosley] is just a young kid and he’ll learn,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “It’s a hard way to learn. I don’t care; let it go. I don’t care; just don’t do what you did. We’ve got to go the length of the field with 41 seconds, we’re ahead 24-7, we’ll end the half right now. It’s not that complicated.”

Hosley said he miscalculated the location of the ball and could have done a better job looking it in. He called it a learning experience.

“You’re going to have ups and downs,” he said. “You don’t determine your success out there on ups and downs, you determine your success on how you bounce back and what you improve on and what you learn from it.”

Jernigan is in the mix for the punt return position along with Hosley, Domenik Hixon and Rueben Randle. Jernigan had some trouble with muffed punts last preseason, but had looked solid in camp going into Friday’s game.

“That was all on me,” Jernigan said of his muffed punt. “I just took my eyes off it at the last minute. I should have just called a fair catch.”

HOSLEY BLITZES: In addition to returning punts, Hosley also looked good in coverage and sacked Chad Henne for a three-yard loss in the second quarter.

Hosley said he rarely blitzed in college playing on the outside. That’s something he’s going to have to learn as he competes for the nickel corner spot.

“That’s the position I’m competing for, I want to make an impression on -- so whatever comes within learning the nickel and blitzing, I have to perfect it,” Hosley said. “So that’s definitely something that I’m working on.”