He’d played at North Carolina State and was even offered a chance to develop in NFL Europe as a youngster growing up in Germany; but until Saturday’s film session, Kuhn had always just imagined what it would be like to see himself in that setting.
And once he was on screen, it didn’t take long before Kuhn saw something good.
“It was a tackle for a loss,” Kuhn said of his first play. “It was not too bad of a start, I thought.”
Kuhn admits his overall performance was a mixed bag. He’s still very new to special teams and he said he needs to work on flipping his hips to squeak through stout NFL offensive lines.
“The guys are pretty strong too so it doesn’t always work if you just try to run them over, run into them,” Kuhn said.
So yes, Kuhn is a novice to the NFL experience, but he’s also big (6-4, 299 pounds) and athletic. And since the Giants have been decimated by injuries at defensive tackle (Shaun Rogers is out for the season with a blood clot in his leg and Chris Canty is on PUP with a knee issue) Kuhn might be asked to step forward before he’s matured as a player.
Kuhn said that the injury situation is “very unfortunate,” and insists he’ll do whatever he can to help out, but it’s anyone’s guess what exactly that would entail. The 26-year-old lineman missed OTAs because of a green card issue and he has less experience than players who are three or four years younger than he is.
“I mean, every guy is a snap away,” DT Linval Joseph said of the chances of Kuhn playing at defensive tackle. “He is young and he is learning and if he has to step in, he has to step in. We’ll see.”
Media availability was before practice, so Kuhn wasn’t able to give any post-practice comments. (He did say he expects to be “more tired” with the increased reps.) The real test will come Saturday at MetLife Stadium against the Jets.
Prior to the season, Kuhn was described as a buzz saw by general manager Jerry Reese. The term has since been translated into German (“Kreissäge”) and Kuhn says it’s starting to catch on over in Germany.
Whether the nickname becomes popular in America completely depends on Kuhn’s ability to acclimate himself and get on the field as often as possible.
Will the Giants return to Albany?: Coach Tom Coughlin insists he doesn’t know if Tuesday’s practice was the last the team will ever have at SUNY Albany. Co-owner John Mara said this is a discussion that would happen in the fall, but that doesn’t change the sense that the team will probably just stay closer to home in the future.
“The thing that I want to say is I think the fans here have been fabulous,” Coughlin said. “Obviously we’re coming off a Super Bowl win so you’d be inclined to think that might be the case, but to have 5,000 people at a Sunday afternoon practice here; I just think they’ve been great.”
CBA restrictions on the number of training camp practices a team can have makes traveling to Albany every summer less practical. And, if it rains, the Giants are forced to move into the SUNY Albany basketball court to finish practice in sneakers, and you can imagine how much that upsets Coughlin.
When asked about the differences in facilities, Coughlin said the only time that’s an issue is when it rains.
“We’ve done it both ways and I can comment on pluses and minuses for either way,” Coughlin said when asked if last year’s camp in East Rutherford was more productive. “Last summer we were home and it didn’t turn out too bad.”
Who didn’t practice?: WLB Jacquian Williams (hip), WLB Michael Boley (hamstring), CB Michael Coe (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), WR David Douglas (quad), WR <span data-shortcode=es Barden" data-canon="Ramses Barden" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_PLAYER" id="shortcode0"> (ankle/foot), DE Justin Trattou (ankle/foot), DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot, season-ending injury), DT Martin Parker (back, requires surgery) and DT Marvin Austin (Back) as well as the PUP players such as LB Clint Sintim (knee), DT Chris Canty (knee) and TE Travis Beckum (knee).
Coughlin said that Nicks will be eligible to practice on Monday (players have to be limited for three practices when they return from PUP) and that he believes Barden’s ankle injury isn’t serious. As for Austin, he’s just hoping for some good news.
Jayron Hosley returns to returning: The rookie cornerback muffed a punt in Friday’s preseason loss, but looked very good on Tuesday. He caught three punts cleanly and had a very nice return on the final punt. The Giants weren’t in full pads, so it’s difficult to tell if the return would have been good for a touchdown.
Jerrel Jernigan, who also muffed a punt on Friday, fielded punts cleanly as well, and looked particularly good on offense.
Kenny Phillips vs. NFL Tight Ends: As the Giants “centerfielder” in 2011, Phillips didn’t have to make many plays against opposing tight ends.
On Tuesday, however, the safety broke up two passes (one to tight end Bear Pascoe and another to Martellus Bennett) before picking off another.
“I think when he gets one-on-one he’s obviously very good at it,” Coughlin said. “He’s got long arms and great anticipation. He made a nice play today.”
Follow the Giants and Alex Raskin @CBSSportsNFLNYG and @AlexRaskinNYC.