Giants safety Nat Berhe back after missing 2015 season
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Nat Berhe didn't play in a game in his second season with the New York Giants and learned a lot about life in the NFL.
It can be taken away very quickly.
The safety missed all of last season with a calf injury that turned out to be a little more than a pulled muscle. He developed a blood clot in the leg and had to have it removed.
After an offseason of rehabilitation, Berhe was listed as ''full go'' when the Giants opened a three-day voluntary minicamp under new coach Ben McAdoo.
''I have had a year off and it was probably one of the longest years of my life,'' Berhe said Wednesday after the second day of workouts.
Berhe is not only back, he is returning with the same opportunity as a year ago when the Giants came into the spring with a starting job open at safety.
Actually both safety jobs were open last season with Antrel Rolle signing with the Bears and the team electing not to re-sign Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps.
The Giants drafted Landon Collins in the second round last season and signed veteran Brandon Meriweather to handle the other job.
Meriweather was not re-signed, and Behre will compete with Cooper Taylor, Mykkele Thompson and Bennett Jackson for the other starting spot.
A fifth-round draft pick who played in all 16 games as a rookie, Berhe said he isn't looking simply to make the roster.
''I don't put any limitations on myself - never have, never will,'' he said. ''I am who I am, I am a football player and I play the game like it is everything to me and I play to win.''
Because of the calf injury, Berhe is taking more time to warm up properly before practice. He is taking every precaution to stay on the field because he knows every step can change a career.
First-year wide receiver Ben Edwards took one of those bad steps in the workout on Wednesday and was carted off the field. He was diagnosed with a leg injury, but the team had no immediate word on his condition.
Berhe took notice.
''It is all fleeting,'' Berhe said. ''I mean you are watching practice and you see Edwards go down and practice continues, so it is a thing that you just have to thank the man above that you can be able to come back and play this game.''
Berhe wasn't the only one thinking about last season. So was Collins, who started all 16 games for the Giants as a rookie.
He was invited to the draft and spent the opening night watching other players being taken in the first round.
The Giants made a deal on the second day and took Collins with the No. 1 pick in the second round.
Collins admitted it was tough not being taken in the first round, but he would not change what he did. It was an experience that motivated him.
He also is confident the young group of safeties coming to camp this year can get the job done.
''We all know the defense,'' Collins said. ''The fact we all get to work together again, and pray to God nobody gets injured again, if we continue pushing that forward we are going to have a great secondary.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL