Notebook: Scout team good, Nicks healthier

November, 29, 2012
11/29/12
6:16
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It might not be as catchy as RG3, but Jerrel Jernigan has earned himself a nickname for his scout team work impersonating Washington's rookie quarterback: JJ1.

"That almost sounds like he should have been in Star Wars or something," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said.

Tuck praised Jernigan, as well as backup quarterback David Carr for their roles on the scout team pretending to be Robert Griffin III. The pair has to study the quarterback's tendencies, and play as RG3 would to give the defense a look at what they might see Monday night.

"I give our scout team a lot of credit, they got a lot on their plate to kind of learn on the fly and give us good looks. Today they gave us good looks and it had us puzzled a little bit in some situations," Tuck said. "A lot of times our scout team doesn't get the necessary credit that they deserve because they gave us some pretty good looks this week and last week too."

Jernigan, a second-year receiver, is used to imitate Griffin's speed. Carr, as the backup, normally does quarterback work for the scout teams. Jernigan, who has been active for just five games this year, has only caught one ball as he's low on the team's depth chart.

NICKS GETTING THERE: As the Giants offense struggled entering the bye, a lot of talk focused on the injuries of Hakeem Nicks. The talented receiver had missed time with knee and foot issues and hadn't quite gotten back to form.

Over the last two games, Nicks is finally starting to look like his old self as he's caught 14 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay and Cincinnati. In the previous four games, he had caught a combined 13 passes for 152 yards without any touchdowns.

"I know at some point during the season I will get back to playing ball the way I play, at a high level," Nicks said.

Having Nicks operating near 100 percent opens up the passing game as teams have to give the Giants different looks. It makes life easier on Victor Cruz as well as quarterback Eli Manning.

It's that level of play that makes opposing defensive backs, like Washington's DeAngelo Hall, describe the receiver as a beast. Nicks believes his improved health can be a boost as the team tries to secure the division and a playoff spot.

"Start this run," Nicks said of how his improvement can benefit the team. "Get back to where we want to go."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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