However, the absence of receiver Hakeem Nicks was unexpected. Just a night before, he was in New York City to be honored by the United Way.
"Yeah, sure I did," said Coughlin when asked if he expected Nicks, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery, to be present at the camp.
Coughlin said that had Nicks attended, he likely would have been limited physically.
"I mean he would have some kind of limitations, I'm sure. Not right away, but that's not the reason (for Nicks' absence)," Coughlin said.
The OTAs, which are voluntary, are the ideal time for the offense to work against the defense and fine-tune individual skills and timing with teammates old and new. While Coughlin said he understands the voluntary nature of the OTAs, as a coach, he always prefers players attend to build chemistry and conditioning."I expect everybody here. I'm trying to get our team better," Coughlin said.
With Nicks and Cruz missing, it was an opportunity for other receivers to step forward. Louis Murphy, who signed in the offseason and holdovers Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle got most of the reps.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Murphy was one of the players who would work in Cruz's slot position while Cruz remained out of camp.
"I've been here three years; I know the offense and just have to go out there and make some plays and contribute to my team," Jernigan said.
Randle expressed a greater comfort level with the offense. He noted that one of the things he is hoping to show the coaches he can do this summer is pick up yards after the catch.
"Last year I didn't have a lot of deep balls -- caught slants and bursts and trying to get about 15 yards extra after the catch. That's something I want to show that I can do this year," he said.Murphy, meanwhile, who was the most consistent of the three receivers in the Giants' first OTA practice, said the Giants' offense is a little different than what he's been accustomed to in the past, but so far, he likes how things are coming together.
"It's a little different but I like it a lot," he said. "It does a lot of different things that works to my benefit. I like to stretch the field, I can go into the slot, play outside -- I can do it all. But I do like to stretch the field."
Giants fullback Henry Hynoski, who suffered a left leg injury during Wednesday's OTA workout when he collided with teammate Andre Brown on a running play, was diagnosed with a medial collateral ligament injury and a chip fracture to the lateral plateau (tibia).
Hynoski will undergo surgery on Friday to repair the ligament and the fracture. The surgery will be performed by Giants team physician Dr. Russell Warren at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
"I am going to set my mind to being ready for the first game of the regular season," said Hynoski. "They said that is not an unrealistic goal, and I will do everything in my power to be ready for the start of the season."
The Giants also announced wide receiver Ramses Barden has been re-signed. The fifth-year veteran was at the team's headquarters and participated in Thursday's workout.
"I'm happy to be back," Barden said. "This is where I wanted to be and now I'm here. I was out there listening to the calls, getting back into the rhythm of the cadence, enjoying the camaraderie and absorbing everything. I remember everything; I've had four years to soak it all up. I'm happy to be back on the field. I feel great. I expect the best."
The 6-4, 224-pound Barden was a third-round pick in 2009, but has struggled to live up to expectations, in part due to injuries. He has played in just 29 games over his first four seasons, catching 29 passes for 394 yards and has yet to score a touchdown.
However, he showed a glimpse of his potential in his lone start in 2012, catching nine passes for 138 yards - both single-game career highs. He has caught just 20 passes in his other 28 games.
Barden finished last season with 14 receptions for 221 yards.
With Victor Cruz still unsigned and Hakeem Nicks a no-show at this week's workouts, the Giants needed to improve their wide receiver depth.
With Rueben Randle a lock to make the team as the third receiver, Barden will be vying for a roster spot with the likes of Louis Murphy, Kris Adams, Brandon Collins, Kevin Hardy, Jeremy Horne and Jerrel Jernigan.
Offensive linemen Chris Snee (hip), David Baas (multiple surgeries), linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee), cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee) and defensive lineman Markus Kuhn (knee) were all present but did not take part in team drills.
Williams, who is projected to be the starting weak-side linebacker, said he's been trying to rest the knee in which he suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury last year. Williams characterized his spring practice schedule as "day to day" and noted that he wants to make sure he's fully right by camp.
"Yeah, I'm just taking a little time with it, just getting it (right)," he said. "It is getting better—definitely better than it was."
Williams did not undergo surgery this offseason; instead he's been rehabbing his knee and was limited to a few individual drills for the team's first OTA.
Thomas, who is trying to come back from a third anterior cruciate ligament injury, said that while he's in no rush to get back on the field before he's ready, his knee has been holding up well. He said he might soon do individual drills in the OTAs.
"You gotta get back out there; you gotta jump back on that horse," he said. "I'm not scared at all, man. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. I've done everything I could last year; it just wasn't meant to be.
"I'm taking that same attitude, just work my butt off, rehabbing. When the doctors say I'm clear, the Giants feel I can go out there, and I feel like I'm ready, then I'm good."
Kuhn, who last year was part of the Giants' defensive tackle rotation, was also encouraged by his progress, even though he hasn't been cleared to participate fully so far. He had surgery in November to repair a torn ACL.
"Right now I'm getting used to running a little bit and things like that, but it feels good," he said. "My goal is to be full go by camp."
Recently signed linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft by Seattle, was asked after the team's OTA Wednesday about failing to live up to the expectations of being such a high selection.
He said, "It was like … I knew I could do it and I knew I would do it. I just don't think at the time I was interested in doing it. I think I was interested in other things and at the time football just wasn't my top priority, just to be honest. I just had so much going on that I tried to make a balance out of everything instead of doing it the right way. When coach (Ken Norton Jr.) got there (in 2010), he taught me how to handle it the right way and I think that really started the next stage in my life."
"Everybody has got an opportunity. There is nothing in concrete there and as a matter of fact I speak about that all the time."- Head coach Tom Coughlin regarding the wide open competition at linebacker.
A closer look at the Giants' picks:
Round 1/19 - Justin Pugh, T, 6-5, 307, Syracuse
The Giants need offensive line depth at guard and right tackle and Pugh can play anywhere along the line. While he'll compete this year at right tackle, a move inside to guard could be in his future.
Round 2/49 - Johnathan Hankins, DT, 6-2, 320, Ohio State
Big-bodied run stopper with unusual quickness and athleticism who should be able to immerse himself as part of the defensive interior rotation to help improve a porous run defense.
Round 3/81 - Damontre Moore, DE, 6-5, 250, Texas A&M
Productive college pass rusher with impressive sack totals. However at just 20 years old, his preparation and work ethic is in need of refinement.
Round 4/110 - Ryan Nassib, QB, 6-2, 227, Syracuse
The Giants traded up six spots to nab this young prospect, giving up their sixth-round spot in order to begin grooming Eli Manning's possible successor. While Nassib might not see the field for a while, if he develops, he could bring value down the line in a trade.
Round 5/152 - Cooper Taylor, SS, 6-4, 228, Richmond
Feel-good story who overcame a potentially life-threatening heart condition, Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, which is characterized by abnormal electrical pathways in the heart. He can cover the slot corner, drop into coverage, and play up in the box all equally well.
Round 7/225 - Eric Herman, G, 6-4, 320, Ohio
Solid offensive lineman who was known for delivering pancake blocks while in college. While not the best of athletes, he has a mean, nasty streak and is more of a technician.
Round 7/253 - Michael Cox, RB, 6-3, 214, Massachusetts
No. 1 running back for the Minutemen in his lone season following his transfer from Michigan. Has good hands and an initial good burst out of the backfield.
TE Travis Beckum showed potential, but was never able to build off it due to injuries. He is unlikely to be re-signed.
DT Rocky Bernard is unlikely to be re-signed given that the Giants re-signed Shaun Rogers and added Cullen Jenkins.
CB Bruce Johnson was once a promising prospect but has fallen on hard times with multiple season-ending injuries that have likely convinced the Giants to move on.
OT Sean Locklear suffered a serious knee injury that might delay any hope he has of being ready for training camp. Throw in the fact that he'll be another year older, and his return is far from being a sure thing.
RB Kregg Lumpkin saw some time as the Giants' third-down back when injuries struck the running backs, but the team might instead look at their younger players currently under contract to step up in that role.
CB Justin Tryon struggled when pressed into action at cornerback and is unlikely to be brought back.
K Lawrence Tynes declined to negotiate a contract extension during last season, and is determined to test the open market. With the Giants signing Josh Brown, Tynes is not expected to return.
CB Brian Witherspoon is coming off season-ending knee injury and is unlikely to be re-signed.
WR Victor Cruz (tendered at $2.879M with first-round pick as compensation) has received "substantial offer" according to team COO John Mara. Cruz, however, appears to be in no rush to sign his first-round tender and was expected to draw interest from other teams such as the Vikings, Rams, and Patriots.
DT Johnathan Hankins (2/49): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
DE Damontre Moore (3/81): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
S Cooper Taylor (5/152): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
G Eric Herman (7/225): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
RB Michael Cox (7/253): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
WR Ramses Barden: UFA; $780,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
T Will Beatty: Potential UFA: $38.75M/5 yrs, $12.5M SB/$19M guaranteed.
G Kevin Boothe: UFA; $905,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
RB Andre Brown: RFA tendered at $2.023M with second-round pick as compensation; $2.023M/1 yr.
S Stevie Brown: RFA (tendered at $2.023M with second-round pick as compensation); $2.023M/1 yr.
QB David Carr: UFA; $1.005M/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
C Jim Cordle: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
TE Bear Pascoe: Potential RFA; $900,000/1 yr, $185,000 SB.
LB Keith Rivers: UFA; $715,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
DT Shaun Rogers: Potential UFA; $1.005M/1 yr, $20,000 SB.
RB Ryan Torain: Not tendered as RFA; $715,000/1 yr.
DE Adrian Tracy: ERFA; terms unknown.
DE Justin Trattou: Potential ERFA; $555,000/1 yr.
K Josh Brown: UFA Bengals; $940,000 base/1 yr.
K David Buehler: FA; $630,000/1 yr.
LB Dan Connor: FA Cowboys; $715,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
LB Aaron Curry: FA; terms unknown.
DT Cullen Jenkins: FA Eagles; $8M/3 yrs, $2M SB/$3M guaranteed.
CB Trumaine McBride: FA; $630,000/1 yr.
S Ryan Mundy: UFA Steelers; $715,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
WR Louis Murphy: UFA Panthers; $715,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
TE Brandon Myers: UFA Raiders; $14.25/4 yrs, $1.5M SB (final three years at $12M voids).
DT Frank Okam: FA; terms unknown.
QB Curtis Painter: FA; $630,000/1 yr.
TE Michael Palmer: Not tendered as RFA by Falcons; terms unknown.
DT Mike Patterson: FA Eagles; $905,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
CB Aaron Ross: FA Jaguars; $715,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
LB Aaron Curry: Raiders (released 2012); terms unknown.
TE Martellus Bennett: UFA Bears; $20M/4 yrs, $4.5M SB/$9M guaranteed.
LB Chase Blackburn: UFA Panthers; terms unknown.
LB Michael Boley (released).
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (released/failed physical).
DT Chris Canty (released).
WR Domenik Hixon: UFA Panthers; $1.2M/1 yr, $250,000 SB.
DT Martin Parker (released).
S Kenny Phillips: UFA Eagles; $2M/1 yr, $1M RB.
DE Osi Umenyiora: UFA Falcons; $8.5M/3 yrs, $2.5M SB/$5M guaranteed.