August 14, 2006 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Both Practice Sessions)
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor ttb
I focused on the offense when the two units worked among themselves for the first part of practice. Offensive Coordinator Hufnagel began the offensive drills by practicing screens, a mix between wide receiver and running back. Then they practiced the hook-and-ladder play a few times, with QB Eli Manning dumping the ball to HB Tiki Barber who then gives it to WR Tim Carter while WR Plaxico Burress provides a pick. They also worked on shotgun and spread packages.
Tight Ends Coach Mike Pope, an expert teacher, worked on blocking with the tight ends. Boo Williams struggled with the sled and Pope had him repeat the drill. Visanthe Shiancoe, who as you would expect did well, encouraged Boo.
The active assistant coach on offense was Wide Receiver Coach Mike Sullivan. He was running from place to place and giving directions. I think Hufnagel could be more active for his part. I hope we have the offensive staff we need to succeed in the way of quarterback and offensive coordinator coaches.
When the offense practiced against the defense, Shiancoe stood out with several catches, mostly down the middle. In terms of the wide receivers, Burress is in a league of his own without Amani Toomer practicing. He makes effortless one-handed catches in practice and no one has an answer for his size, although one time a corner was able to swat the ball out of Burress’ hands.
On the other side of the ball, Defensive Coordinator Tim Lewis screamed at CB E.J. Underwood twice for coverage lapses and directed coaching comments, in particular, to S Charlie Preprah. Of the defensive backs, CB Frank Walker stood out with two excellent pass defenses that I saw.
The practice ended with the two-minute drill with Jared Lorenzen in at quarterback. He got the ball downfield to one of the 3rd-string wide receivers on a critical play during the drill, only to see the receiver drop it. (He also was forced to use a time-out, apparently because the players weren’t set.) Overall, I thought Lorenzen looked solid today for a 3rd-QB-level player. Hasselback is as he has been: steady, likes to scramble when he doesn’t see what he wants with his receivers, not a great arm. Rob Johnson, who didn’t do anything impressive that I saw, looks like a goner.
I focused on the defense to begin this practice. Tim Lewis started practice with a fumble recovery and ball strip drill. Then they broke into units. The defensive line worked against the offensive line on the other field. The linebackers did a fight-through-the-block-to-get-to-the-ball drill, while the defensive backs did a tackling drill where they had to bring down a cushion pad attached to a sled. FS Will Demps and SS Gibril Wilson looked good. Charlie Preprah struggled with his technique.
Next was pass coverage work, with the linebackers working among themselves and the corners playing against the wideouts. Walker got plenty of quality reps and I thought he more than held his own today. CB Corey Webster was solid, consistent if unspectacular. CB Curtis Deloatch misplayed a ball, but I didn’t see him that much. CB R.W. McQuarters was the nickel corner, with Webster and Walker outside. S James Butler got a good number of snaps and I didn’t notice any negatives. LB Carlos Emmons remained in for the extra-defensive back packages.
After that drill, the corners worked among themselves on ball skills with the defensive backs coach while the rest of the squad (minus the wide receivers) did 9-on-9 work. The emphasis was on the running game and Coughlin closely supervised the 9-on-9. He was momentarily furious with one of the backup running backs (one of the 30s) after one play for some mistake. He also admonished a defender for not letting the back run free on one play.
The practice moved to 11-on-11 work and I thought the practice was more physical than usual, with Coughlin again emphasizing the run game and practicing several inside runs. In the passing game, Tim Carter dropped a deep ball after the defensive back had fallen down. Many of the completed passes today were comebacks, shallow crosses, passes deep over the middle.
In terms of player participation, Tiki was in on limited reps. LB Antonio Pierce was limited today. LaVar Arrington was involved with the linebacker drills but sat out much of the physical 11-on-11 work. I can’t recall WR Sinorice Moss being in on those at all (so Carter and Willie Ponder got a lot of work today at wide receiver).
The practice ended with goal-line work and the defense twice got caught with an open receiver coming free across the field, a Broncos-esque type play (the receiver appeared to be the safety’s responsibility). It’s difficult to evaluate the run or pass games because the first-team offense doesn’t play the first-team defense much of the time, so Burress is often paired up against third-string corners while third-string running backs face the 1st-defense.
In the way of odds and ends, kickoffs were practiced during the PM practice. Chad Morton looked good on returns. It appeared that Chris Mara attended the PM practice.