New York Giants 2013 training camp primer

USA TODAY Sports

Multiple starters have left the Meadowlands, and a new-look, more youthful Giants squad has its eye on the Super Bowl.

The 2012 New York Giants finished 9-7, the same record as they posted in 2011. The result was very different, however, as the Super Bowl champions found themselves out of the playoffs for the third time in four years. A younger roster will take their field in 2013, and hope they can return to the organization's winning ways.

Statistically it was a down year for Eli Manning, but the nine-year veteran quarterback is in his prime. In the past it was easy to write off the younger Manning as the "clutch" one, but lacking gaudy regular season statistics. While Eli's name may not be on as many records as Peyton's, he's shown a knack in recent years to protect the ball, lead the Giants with more poise and fight through adversity. Last year this adversity manifested as lacking a healthy Hakeem Nicks, which put a damper on the team's passing attack. Now Nicks is back, but other offensive changes could have a large effect on the offense this year.

On defense the Giants took an unexpected step back. Jason Pierre-Paul was ineffective for the first time in his career, registering just 6.5 sacks and 24 tackles -- the lowest since his rookie season. This helped contribute to a faltering defense that once again allowed a lot of yards, but uncharecteristically lacked a punch in their pass rush, falling to 22nd in sacks.

Head coach Tom Coughlin faces the biggest challenge of his tenure in New York -- handling a roster turnover, and installing young players while trying to get the Giants back to dominance.

Offseason changes

Retaining wide receiver Victor Cruz was the most important step in keeping a semblance of continuity for Eli Manning and the offense. In locking up the team's most productive wide receiver they ensured they can stretch the field, and that is much-needed on a team with turnover at other key offensive positions.

Starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw left for the Indianapolis Colts, and took over 1,000 yards rushing with him. Bradshaw was often maligned by the Giants' fan base for his inconsistency and ball control issues, but he was a reliable back on a team that's had one for the better part of a decade. The focus now changes to Andre Brown and second-year back David Wilson -- who showed promising flashes as a rookie -- but it's unclear whether he can be an every-down back.

The passing attack will rely on Hakeem Nicks returning to form. Rueben Randle was a non-factor during his rookie season, and reliable third option Domenik Hixon has left for the Carolina Panthers. One might be tempted to overvalue the loss of Martellus Bennett, the 600-yard tight end who caught five touchdowns in 2012. However, the Giants believe they've found an upgrade in Brandon Myers, who comes to New York from Oakland where he broke out last year with over 800 receiving yards on a woeful Raiders offense.

Most surprising are the team's defensive changes, particularly on the defensive line. Long-standing veteran defensive end Osi Umenyiora is headed to the NFC South where he'll play for the Falcons, while defensive tackle Chris Canty joins the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Cullen Jenkins will replace Canty at tackle, which is a lateral move -- but New York will need to hope they can find a rotational defensive end who can fill the large void vacated by Umenyiora.

Training camp location and schedule

Camp will once again be held at the Timex Performance Center at the Meadowlands. Practices are free and open to the public, and will begin on Saturday, June 27th.

Full training camp schedule courtesy of Giants.com

Day Date Time Activity
Saturday July 27, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Sunday July 28, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice (Autograph Day)
Monday July 29, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Tuesday July 30, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Wednesday July 31, 2013 No Practice
Thursday August 1, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Friday August 1, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Saturday August 3, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Sunday August 4, 2013 Closed to the Public
Monday August 5, 2013 No Practice
Tuesday August 6, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Wednesday August 7, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Thursday August 8, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Friday August 9, 2013 No Practice
Saturday August 10, 2013 Giants at Steelers 7:30 p.m.
Sunday August 11, 2013 No Practice Players' Day Off
Monday August 12, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Tuesday August 13, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Wednesday August 14, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Thursday August 15, 2013 No Practice
Friday August 16, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice
Saturday August 17, 2013 No Practice
Sunday August 18, 2013 Colts vs. Giants 7:00 p.m.
Monday August 19, 2013 No Practice
Tuesday August 20, 2013 3:25-5:25 p.m. Practice
Wednesday August 21, 2013 1:30-3:45 p.m. Practice (Fan Access Concludes)

Position battles

Third wide receiver

The Carolina Panthers and New York Giants swapped No. 3 receivers, as Louis Murphy arrives in New York to replace Domenik Hixon. In order to win playing time he'll be battling second-year player Rueben Randle who had flashes like his 82-yard game against the Cleveland Browns, but didn't show a lot of consistency in 2012.

Murphy has the ability to stretch the field, but showed a propensity to drop easy passes when needed. The Giants will give Randle ample opportunity to win the job, hoping he can show enough to be a long-term replacement for Hakeem Nicks, who's a free agent following the season. However, there are no guarantees he'll develop enough this offseason to hold off the veteran receiver.

Right tackle

David Diehl is rightfully penciled in as the team's starter, but it's clear the Giants have a desire to move forward with youth on their offensive line after selecting Justin Pugh with the 19th overall pick in the draft.

This battle depends on where the Giants decide is the right place for Pugh in his rookie season. There have been some reports that the team could use him at left guard, or even see if he can play left tackle. However, as it stands he's seen as the backup right tackle and with a good camp he could push the 32-year-old Diehl for the starting job.

Middle linebacker

The ties between the Giants and Panthers continue as 2012 starter Chase Blackburn left for Carolina to play a backup role, and primarily serve on special teams. In his place arrived Dan Connor, the former third-round pick of Carolina, who left the organization when he was unable to find playing time at middle linebacker with Jon Beason.

Connor has the inside track for the job, but he'll be pushed heavily by former UDFA Mark Herzlich. Coming off a 30-tackle season that saw Herzlich play in 16 games, the chance to start may be slim -- but he'll get opportunities. In his single game as a starter he registered an impressive eight tackles against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and while Connor had moments in Dallas, he failed to live up to expectations.

The full roster can be found on the team's official website.

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