Practice report: All eyes on the receivers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants held their fourth OTA of the offseason, and the second one open to the media, on Thursday. The big story was the continued absence of wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.

Cruz was not expected to attend, with his contract status still up in the air. But Nicks' reason for staying away is a mystery, and coach Tom Coughlin isn't happy about it -- click here the read the full news story.

In other news from Thursday:

Hakeem Nicks

Hakeem Nicks

#88 WR
New York Giants

2012 STATS

  • Rec53
  • Yds692
  • TD3
  • Avg13.1
  • Long50
  • YAC215

• With Nicks and Cruz out, everyone's watching the rest of the wide receivers, to see who stands out. Second-year man Rueben Randle made several catches, and continues to impress. And third-year vet Jerrel Jernigan made a nice play on a stop-and-go route, beating cornerback Jayron Hosley.

Jernigan did leave practice early with a left hamstring injury. "Just a little tweak," Jernigan said. "I'll be all right."

Two other wideouts that Coughlin praised after practice were free-agent acquisition Louis Murphy and Brandon Collins, who was with the Giants last season but did not play in a game.

• Center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee were in the uniform, but spent most of the day on the sideline as they continue to recover from injuries.

Jim Cordle and James Brewer filled in for those two on the first-team offensive line, with David Diehl at right tackle.

The 32-year-old Diehl missed time due to injuries last season, starting only nine games, and could eventually be replaced by first-round draft pick Justin Pugh at right tackle.

Coughlin said he expects Diehl to be highly motivated in the coming days and weeks.

"He’s motivated all the time," Coughlin said. "There’s never been a problem with that at all. He’s the most positive optimistic guy, a full team player, anxious to overcome his nicks and get back on the field."

Justin Tuck

Justin Tuck

#91 DE
New York Giants

2012 STATS

  • Tot45
  • Solo27
  • Ast18
  • FF0
  • Sack4.0
  • Int0

• On defense, both starting defensive ends, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul, were absent on Thursday. Unlike the situation with Nicks and Cruz, Coughlin said he'd been told Tuck and Pierre-Paul would be missing on Thursday, and expects to see them on the field Friday.

Mathias Kiwanuka and Adrian Tracy replaced Tuck and Pierre-Paul as the first-team defensive ends.

Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger served as the team's starting linebackers, as they did in last week's open OTA session.

• The Giants announced that front office exec Marc Ross, previously the team's director of college scouting, has been promoted to vice president of player evaluation.

"Marc has done an outstanding job of running our college scouting and the draft, and we wanted to give him a title that reflected that," said Giants general manager Jerry Reese. "He will continue to do that, but I also want him to work on some special projects in pro personnel along with pro personnel director Ken Sternfeld."

• It was also announced that Bill Austin, a former Pro Bowl offensive lineman who played for the Giants' 1956 NFL championship team, has died at the age of 84.