July 30, 2005 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Afternoon Practice)
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Whew! What a relief. WR Plaxico Burress returned to practice after injuring his knee during the morning practice when he collided with a defender. He made several catches including a deep one in which he tumbled to the ground after the catch. He looked fine and had no wraps on his legs. Plaxico seems very cool and laid back. He does not get excited. It gives the appearance that he is not trying hard or excited about practice. Appearances are often deceiving.
Kareem McKenzie also returned to practice this afternoon after sitting out the last half of the morning practice. His leg was wrapped, but he played.
The second team offensive line appears to be LT Bob Whitfield, LG Rich Seubert, OC Wayne Lucier, RG Jason Whittle, and RT Brandon Winey. It’s early and I would not be surprised if there are changes in the next few days. After watching Seubert a little more carefully, you can tell that he is not at full speed yet. His leg is wrapped. I would think that he will get into much better shape if and when his leg improves. If it does, Dave Diehl will have a fight on his hands for the starting LG spot.
And speaking of fights, the first fight of the year was an exaggerated shoving match between TE Jeremy Shockey (naturally) and a defender who I could not identify. It was over very quickly, but it got big cheers from the fans. Shockey made some more catches and didn’t drop anything. He is sporting a tattoo that appears to be a large American Flag on his large biceps. This year, Shockey seems to be joined by a bunch of TEs who are good receivers. Chris Luzar continued where he left off this morning by making a very athletic catch and run, and Darius Williams caught a pair of passes. I don’t know if Luzar can block, but he seems to be a better receiver than Visanthe Shiancoe.
SS Gibril Wilson was back at practice. I’m not sure if he played. He had some kind of brace on his lower leg.
OT Greg Walker practiced without the large brace that he had on his leg during the morning practice. DT Ahmad Childress was back at practice after his “asthma” attack yesterday. He did not play, however.
WLB Barrett Green was not on the field for the afternoon practice. I believe that he will practice only once-a-day until his knee is better. (Editor’s Note: Coughlin said before camp that Green would only be practicing once-per-day initially). He was replaced by Nick Greisen. I do not know why Mr. Greisen chose to tell the press that he brought his pillow to camp along with his TV, computer, etc. I would be not be surprised if Nick is called “pillow” in the Giants locker room, if not around the League. Come on, Nick. My sister, bless her heart, takes her pillow along when she travels.
Unfortunately, CB draft choice Corey Webster was not at the practice. I thought I saw him before the morning practice, but clearly, I was wrong.
Eli Manning was not as sharp this afternoon as in the morning. Some of his deep passes hung up and one pass found a patch of grass with no player within 7 or 8 yards of the ball. There were some good throws mixed in. Can you say “screen pass?” Eli threw some very nice touch passes to Tiki Barber and others. They were almost lobs, but they were caught.
WR Amani Toomer caught a deep ball on CB Will Allen who was with him stride for stride, but that was Allen’s only bad play. During the rest of the practice Will Allen played with a vengeance. He must have made five or six spectacular diving deflections of passes. SS Shaun Williams made a nice play to deflect a pass as well.
I think that WR Tim Carter made a catch this afternoon. There is no doubt that he is a very fast runner. WR Jamaar Taylor made a bunch of catches. The one that impressed me the most was where he ran fifteen yards down field then cut across the middle and caught a bullet thrown by Manning right into his gut. The timing had to be perfect on that. Jamaar also easily beat William Peterson on a deep pattern, but Manning’s throw hung up in the air and was too short to be caught.
QB Tim Hasselbeck continued to look better than Jesse Palmer, but it is clear that Tim has not yet learned the system or his receivers very well. Even Jared Lorenzen had his moments on some passes. He dropped back, threw in tempo, and hit open receivers.
There were more punts in the afternoon. It will be a battle among Willie Ponder, Ataveus Cash, Michael Jennings, and incumbent punt returner, Mark Jones. There may be others including S Diamond Ferri.
RB Brandon Jacobs continues to impress with his running ability and receiving skills. He caught a pass over the middle (from Manning, I think) and made a beautiful pivot to immediately turn up the field. The problem (if you can call it a problem) is that running backs Ryan Grant, Mike Jemison, and Derrick Ward all have obvious talent. Ryan Grant impressed me with his balance, and ability to change direction. I’m not sure that either Grant or Jemison has the power to run the ball off-tackle in short yardage situations.
Although I have not mentioned specific plays by defensive backs, it looks like there are a lot of young players with talent. CB Curtis DeLoatch made a good defensive play this afternoon and none of the young players was made to look foolish by the receivers. Diamond Ferri, James Butler, Antwain Spann, Ahmad Treaudo, all have athletic ability. Who knows if one or more of them might push a veteran off the squad? The talent should increase when CB Corey Webster is signed.