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Giants turn page with first OTA; lose Witherspoon

The SportsXchange

Offseason workouts aren't vital only for teams with new coaches and high draft picks. For the Super Bowl champion Giants, they must work in new pieces after several key players were pilfered from their roster by other teams.

Wide receiver Mario Manningham signed with the 49ers, running back Brandon Jacobs joined him after not being able to work out a restructured contract with the Giants and cornerback Aaron Ross is now in Jacksonville.

The Giants' veterans donned helmets for the first times this offseason Tuesday, and coach Tom Coughlin's first goal was simply to get his team back into a football frame of mind. The team has two OTAs this week, three next week, four the week after that and then a mandatory minicamp in June.

"The development is real important. Just to learn the new language is really critical to be able to come and execute with," said Coughlin, adding that the Giants have two less weeks to the offseason due to playing in the Super Bowl. "If you're on offense with the quarterback, on the defensive side of the ball to get the communication down, the adjustments down. All this stuff is very, very important, obviously, to the development of our team."

Despite having their trip to the White House coming up next month, Coughlin said "you can sense it and you can feel" the need to move on from last season.

--Cornerback Brian Witherspoon was the first casualty of the offseason program, tearing his left ACL - the same one that he injured last Aug. 22 and caused him to miss the season.

The Giants hope it's not history repeating itself. They also lost cornerback Terrell Thomas on Aug. 22 last year as part of a slew of preseason injuries to the secondary.

Witherspoon was injured in a coverage drill Wednesday.
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