Notebook: Webster has high praise for Ross

After losing starting cornerback Terrell Thomas for the season to a torn ACL, the Giants are turning to former starter Aaron Ross to fill the void. And fellow starting CB Corey Webster spoke highly of Ross on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

"He's been preparing like a starter, even when he wasn't," Webster said of Ross. "He's been doing a great job."

Ross was a starter in 2007 and 2008, his first two seasons in the league. But he has been hampered by hamstring problems and plantar fasciitis in his foot the past two years. Webster said, from his vantage point, Ross has been working very hard to get past those injuries and regain his starting job.

"I think he did everything in his power to try to eliminate them, whether it was yoga, pilates -- whatever he could do to help step on the field or be healthy, he did those things," Webster said. "I didn’t think he ever had his head down at all, he just kept working hard to get better, knowing that his time would come."

BOLEY IMPRESSED: Starting linebacker Michael Boley was asked Tuesday which young linebackers have impressed him so far in training camp. And he mentioned two rookie undrafted free agents.

"Spencer Paysinger, he came in and worked himself into a pretty good backup role. He’s done a good job of turning some heads so far this preseason," Boley said. "And also (Mark) Herzlich, he’s done pretty well also. They’re both very knowledgeable, came in and picked up on the defense right away and were able to step in and make some plays."

The competition to make the final roster is heating up, to say the least. The Giants must cut down from 85 to 80 players on Friday, the day after the Giants' final preseason game against the Patriots. And then comes the final cutdown, all the way to 53 players, on Saturday.

Boley was also impressed with linebacker Clint Sintim's performance on Monday night against the Jets. "He looked pretty good, coming back from that knee (injury)," Boley said. "He’s had a little Achilles problem early on in training camp. He looked pretty good out there, moving around -- his knee and stuff didn’t seem to bother him at all the way he was flying to the ball and running around."

COUGHLIN ON JERNIGAN: A day after rookie Jerrel Jernigan had three muffed punts and a fumble against the Jets, coach Tom Coughlin weighed in on his third-round draft pick's performance.

"They were really poor," Coughlin said. "On one of them it was poor body position and not being properly aligned on the ball. He was surprised about where the ball was and trying to make a much more difficult catch out of it. It is mechanics and we have worked with that pretty much all training camp and we will continue to work with that."

"His one return was very nice, though," Coughlin added, indicating he may not be ready to throw in the towel on Jernigan returning punts.

When asked about other candidates to return punts, Coughlin mentioned Ross and wide receiver Victor Cruz -- but with Ross now starting at cornerback, Coughlin sounded hesitant to use Ross in that role at this time.

"The number one criteria is ball security," Coughlin said. "Just catch the ball, that is the number one criteria."