Notes from Giants practice

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York Giants began Wednesday morning’s practice with most of the team stretching while the defensive linemen met in a separate group. It is a distinctive group in many ways. As for the practice, here are some observations:

» The team began practice working on kickoff returns. Receivers Shaun Bodiford, first-round pick Hakeem Nicks, Sinorice Moss and RB Ahmad Bradshaw were among the group fielding kicks. A nice, capable quartet. The Giants use a jugs machine to save wear and tear on kickers for this drill. It also ensures each kick gets a desired height.

» Coach Tom Coughlin yelling to his running backs in a pass-catching drill: “Everyone talks about how much talent we have! Let’s see it!”

» Running back Allen Patrick — cut by the Jets in a spring minicamp and signed quickly after by the Giants — looks lean yet powerful in early drills.

» The Giants receivers are working on quick-post patterns. Nicks and Steve Smith ran the sharpest routes in this drill, closely watched by offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

» Moss is rising in the drill, in which Coughlin took a long look at his receivers.

» The team worked 11-on-11 in walk-through form. There was an emphasis on the short passing game.

» Gilbride emphasized to his tight ends to create space, not run into defensive traffic.

» It is obvious in these drills how much Eli Manning puts into the cerebral part of his craft.

— Thomas George

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