Dwayne Hendricks makes most of opportunity against Jacksonville Jaguars

Giants (from l.) defensive end Justin Tuck, defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks and Adewale Omojo run through practice. 

With 90 guys on the training camp roster, it’s not easy to get Tom Coughlin’s attention. Last Friday in Jacksonville, Dwayne Hendricks definitely did.

The first-year defensive tackle, who spent most of last season on the Giants’ practice squad, had two sacks in the preseason-opening loss to the Jaguars and seemed to have his way with Jacksonville guard D.J. Hall. It’s the kind of performance needed for a team suddenly besieged by injuries on the defensive line.
“Well, he can see that there’s opportunity,” Coughlin said before training camp practice ended on Tuesday. “He goes a million miles an hour. I have the utmost respect for that kid. That kid works his ever-loving (butt) off. As a matter of fact, I use him as an example. If you’re going against him, you better be going full speed or he’s going to make you look bad.”

The 6-3, 305-pound Hendricks, an undrafted free agent out of Miami who grew up in Millville, N.J., understood what he accomplished. “It’s always good to make a name for yourself,” he said. He showed off what teammate Linval Joseph called his “sneaky strength” and the use of leverage he had been working on with defensive line coach Robert Nunn.

Now, thanks to his performance and injuries to Chris Canty (knee), Marvin Austin (back) and Shaun Rogers (calf), Hendricks is the third defensive tackle in the rotation and not far from at least a temporary starting assignment.

“Now I know that people know, so that only has to increase my play level, too,” he said. “I know anybody that’s going to line up or watch the film is going to have heard of (Coughlin’s) comment, so I need to pick my game up.”

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