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Former Tennessee LB Keith Bulluck getting a chance to work on outside, not middle

Keith Bulluck may not play middle linebacker for the New York Giants after all.

Bulluck appeared to be penciled in there for the Giants' after signing with New York in late July as a free agent.

The theory was that the veteran coming off ACL surgery would have no problem moving from the outside linebacker spot where he played 10 seasons in Tennessee to middle with the Giants, where he would replace Antonio Pierce.

Roughly three weeks into training camp, the Giants are experimenting with Bulluck as an outside linebacker and leaving the middle to third-year pro Jonathan Goff.

"I came into work yesterday and they said I'd be taking some outside linebacker snaps," Bulluck said after practice on Tuesday. "That's all I know."

When Bulluck was working at middle linebacker, he was working primarily with the second-team defense. Now that he is on the outside, he is getting some snaps with the ones in place of second-year pro Clint Sintim, who worked with the starters since the opening of training camp.

Sintim embraced the opportunity to play to learn from Bulluck.

"He's know the ins and outs of the game that I don't know too well, what I can do better and things like that," Sintim said. "I'm excited to be out here and just to take his two cents in."

Bulluck never looked at any of the outside linebacker duties in training camp. Now he's cramming.

"I am just happy to be in the situation I am in," Bulluck said. "I am getting an opportunity to learn the system and play. My best is just as good as yours, but I knew it always helps a team when you have players that can be versatile and flexible to play multiple positions within in the defense."

One of the things that is a little confusing is the Giants' linebacker terminology. Almost every NFL teams refers to strongside linebacker as the player who lines up over the opposing tight end. New York does the opposite and uses its weakside linebacker to line up over the tight end.

Bulluck is playing strongside with the Giants, which is away from the tight end. That's what he did with the Titans.

"It really doesn't matter," Bulluck said. "I just want to get out there and help and contribute and be the best linebacker that I can be for this team, so if and when my number is called and wherever I will be ready."

There still is some question about Bulluck being ready. He was limited to one practice a day in training camp because of the injury to his left knee. The 33-year-old did not play in the preseason opener against the Jets and was limited to six plays in Saturday's game against Pittsburgh.

Questions about his knee are starting to bother Bulluck. He insists it is fine, adding he considers himself just a new kid on the team learning the system.

"I don't put expectations on people, I only put them on myself," Bulluck said. "If I am a starter in this defense, that's what I have been working toward with the limited reps I had and I am trying to stay on point with that. If I am not, I feel like I am too talented not to play. We'll see. It's a long season."

Bulluck wants to play a lot more on Saturday against the Ravens in Baltimore in the third week of the preseason. He noted, however, that the decision will probably be made by the team's coaching and medical staff.

With Tennessee, Bulluck used to play into the third quarter in the penultimate preseason game.

"If everything was perfect I am a guy who never would come off the field," Bulluck said. "In my eight years as a starter I never came off the field unless it was a big win. If we're losing, I'm not coming off the field. I am accustomed to playing and practicing more. The situation is different now and I am rolling with the punches. I'm not complaining and bickering."

NOTES: First-round draft pick Jason Pierre-Paul did not practice after tweaking his groin against the Steelers. He hopes to play Saturday. Fellow DE Chris Canty also has a minor groin problem. ... The Giants signed former Tampa Bay S Matt O'Hanlon and waived-injured S Michael Greco, who hurt his knee Saturday. ... C Shaun O'Hara missed practice because of general soreness. ... QB Eli Manning practiced in a baseball cap again. He hopes to wear a helmet on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a gash on the left side of his head. ... CB Aaron Ross went to North Carolina for a second opinion on the inflammation in his right foot (plantar fasciitis).