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ALBANY: No getaway for Giants

Running back Reuben Droughns had his welcome to New York moment when he arrived at New York Giants' training camp last Friday.

As soon as Droughns stepped out of his car at the University at Albany, he was surrounded by the dozens of reporters that had gathered to cover the players as they moved into their dorm rooms.

It was a moment Droughns never experienced at his two previous NFL stops, Denver and Cleveland. But after spending the past two seasons playing for the perennial doormat Cleveland Browns, he welcomed the change of scenery.

"It reminds me of the Denver Broncos' atmosphere. They were expected to win, and the Giants are expected to win," said Droughns.

The high expectations are tempered a bit as the Giants go through their first week of training camp at UAlbany. Tailback Tiki Barber is no longer in the backfield after retiring to a television career, leaving a void that Droughns and Brandon Jacobs must fill.

"Coming over here, I knew the team was trying to bring in the two-back system," said Droughns, who was traded to New York in the offseason. "The two-back system works. They did that in Denver with me, and it worked well."

There may be a hole to fill on the defensive line as well. Veteran defensive end Michael Strahan hadn't reported to training camp as of Monday as he has been holding out for a contract extension. But head coach Tom Coughlin said at last Thursday's media day that he believes Strahan will be back and at full strength.

"I think he can perform at a high level," Coughlin said of Strahan, who is coming off foot surgery. "Michael has a lot of pride, and I know he wasn't happy with his performance last year."

Another player who is seeking improvement is quarterback Eli Manning. Though he threw more touchdowns (24) than interceptions (18) and guided the Giants to their second consecutive playoff appearance, many feel Manning has a lot to prove this year " including Manning.

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