August 2, 2007 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Evening Practice)
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Will Allen/Peterson
The evening session started off with a punt return drill with the same players returning punts as two nights ago; R.W. McQuarters, Sinorice Moss, Michael Jennings, Aaron Ross and Ahmad Bradshaw (in that order). Moss showed proper technique on his attempts, including one where he chased down a directional kick aimed for the sideline at full speed and made the catch. On one attempt, Jennings was barely unable to get to a low, short kick with the ball bouncing off his right hand. Besides that however, he performed well in the drill. Ross made a nice adjustment on a low, short kick by making a quick recognition of where the ball was going to land, camping under it and making the catch.
After the punt return drill, the players separated into groups by position. The DB’s practiced a scoop and score fumble drill while the DL were practicing a strip drill. A few moments later, with the DL now practicing a drill where they burst out of their stance at the snap of the ball, the DL coach snapped, screaming out, “Quit fu**** walkin’!” Up until he said it, everyone seemed quite lackadaisical. E.J. Underwood showed nice hands with a leaping interception in a defensive back drill where he adjusted nicely to the ball in the air. After dropping a simple checkdown on what was likely due to nothing more than a lack of concentration, Brandon Jacobs made a nice reception in stride on a wheel route up the sideline from Eli Manning.
Kevin Boss, who had a terrific evening, made a nice reception on a pass from Jared Lorenzen that was slightly behind him. On a 10-yard post route over the middle, he reached to his back shoulder and easily made the catch with his hands. Eli Manning made his first of many terrific throws on the night with a perfectly placed toss to Charles Davis on a deep corner route.
WR’s vs. CB’s
This was a terrific drill to witness with receivers and defensive backs going one on one at the 10-yard line. Steve Smith went up against R.W. McQuarters in the first attempt, resulting in an incompletion. However, Smith did everything right on the play, from the use of his hands to break the press coverage at the line of scrimmage to the route he ran, which was a fade pattern; Manning just slightly overthrew him. Kevin Boss went one-on-one with James Butler and scored a touchdown on an out route that was run precisely. Corey Webster had blanket coverage on Michael Jennings on an attempted fade route giving him no room to breathe, resulting in an incompletion.
Brandon London went up against Sam Madison and was unsuccessful, with Madison deflecting the pass. Sinorice Moss showed terrific concentration on a fade in the corner with Aaron Ross closely defending. On an over the shoulder reception, he tried tiptoeing his feet in front of the end line but the referee signaled incomplete, much to the crowd’s surprise. It looked like he was in and it certainly would have drawn a review if it had occurred in a game. Underwood showed perfect technique in defense of a fade pattern intended for Kevin McMahan, turning around at the correct moment and swatting the ball away at the pylon.
11-on-11 (All Offensive Players – Half Speed):
It was interesting to see on a toss play to Jacobs how he was carrying the ball exactly like Tiki Barber had been for the past few years, high and tight to prevent fumbling problems. It was hard to tell if it was something different he was trying because the drill wasn’t being run at full speed or if it was a technique he may be implementing from here on out. Manning made a series of impressive, accurate throws to Boss, Jennings and Moss twice on various routes. It’s hard not to get excited about Moss, whose hands have appeared flawless in the two sessions I’ve seen him thusfar this summer. He goes up and attacks the ball, not letting it come near his chest and immediately bursts upfield as quick as anyone I’ve seen.
Jacobs had a nice run off right tackle, following his blocks patiently before making a nice cutback inside at the sideline to get extra yardage. Just one of the subtle things Giants fans are going to love about Jacobs’ game is that I don’t think there will be one occurrence this year where he runs out of bounds to shy away from contact. He is going to try to take the defender’s head off at the sideline to gain those few extra yards. Manning sold a play action beautifully before rolling out to his right and delivering a strike to Darcy Johnson on an out route after he made a run block fake to the inside. On a 2-step drop by Manning, he quickly threw an out route to Burress who made a quick move inside, juking the corner out of his socks before running upfield in what would have been a foot race between he and the safety to the end zone.
Derrick Ward displayed nice vision on an inside run as he was able to find a slight crease enabling him to reach the next level of defenders. Corey Webster made one of the most impressive plays of the session on a quick fade where he tipped the ball up in the air and made an acrobatic INT at the sideline. As he was falling down, he somehow managed to get his feet in bounds drawing a big ovation. Gerrick McPhearson had tight coverage on Kevin McMahan on a comeback route, making an easy deflection on a very soft throw from Hasselbeck. Ahmad Bradshaw showed very quick feet on an off tackle run, making smooth cuts downfield. Jacobs shot up quickly through the hole on a draw play, hitting it hard once he saw the opening.
Against an all out blitz, Manning read it immediately and found Burress on a quick out. Plax, who had a terrific night, made a juke inside on the safety to get extra yards. Smith showed his elusiveness on a quick screen to the outside, shaking defenders in the open field while using his blockers well. Winning the prestigious award of one of the worst passes ever made was Tim Hasselbeck, who threw a ball that bounced almost 5 feet in front of Marco Thomas on a 5-yard out route from the slot.
Kick Return Drill:
Though they only ran it once, it was interesting to see the Giants practice a lateral play on a squib kick. The up men let the ball bounce back to Sinorice Moss who charged upfield for about 15 yards before pitching it back to his right to Michael Jennings, who had a few blockers out in front of him.
7-on-7 (Back Seven):
On the first play of this portion of the session, Manning went to his checkdown when he should have continued through his downfield progressions. He missed a wide open Moss, who torched Madison with a beautiful route where he slanted in for a few steps off the line of scrimmage and ran upfield for about 12-15 yards before breaking to the corner at an angle. He clearly had 3-4 steps on Madison after the corner move. Boss made a fantastic catch over the middle of the field on a seam route on a terrific throw from Eli. Manning led him perfectly and Moss made the catch with his arms outstretched and his momentum forcing him to fall to the ground, displaying terrific hands and athleticism.
Smith ran a few plays with the first team out of shotgun, with Toomer sitting out and Moss taking his place. He once again showed his elusiveness with nice open field moves after a five yard reception. Lorenzen spent too much time going through his progressions in the pocket on one play in particular, where he would have been sacked in a real game situation. Anthony Wright hit David Tyree on a 10-yard comeback with good velocity. Marco Thomas made a reception on a 5-yard out route where Zak DeOssie showed impressive speed by keeping up with the wide receiver in coverage. Manning made another terrific throw, this time on a corner route to Johnson with Kawika Mitchell all over him. The ball was placed exactly where it needed to be with perfect accuracy and Johnson made the nice over the shoulder catch.
On the next play, Manning threw another perfect ball, this time on a go route to Plaxico Burress. Burress torched Webster, who had an otherwise great session, straight down the field and Eli hit him in stride to a big ovation. Webster later on made a nice break on a 10-yard curl route intended for Jennings, diving and knocking the ball down. In the two sessions I’ve attended, I’ve noticed a clear change in attitude for Webster. He is playing much more aggressively than I saw him play last season, breaking on balls with assertiveness and no hesitation. Lorenzen made a very nice throw on a seam route to Johnson but James Davis got his arm up in between the young tight end’s just as he went to catch the ball, knocking it down.
Jacobs juked McQuarters out and bounced off him as he fell to the ground before continuing downfield on an off tackle run. Burress made an excellent catch downfield from Eli, beating Madison to the inside, going up high and snatching the ball out of the air. Steve Smith, who had an overall excellent night, made the clear play of the session. Antonio Pierce blitzed up the middle with the offense in shotgun formation. Manning saw it quickly and threw it up in Smith’s direction. However, McQuarters was all over him and was in a better position to catch the ball than Smith was. In a remarkable display of determination, Smith leaped up and reached in front of McQuarters. He deflected the pass to prevent an interception and as he was falling down at the sideline, somehow managed to catch it and get his feet in bounds while wrestling with McQuarters for the ball. The crowd erupted in applause, appreciative of the incredible effort.
Hasselbeck airmailed a 5-yard out route intended for Marco Thomas, sending it five yards over his head to accommodate for the one he threw five yards in front of him at his feet earlier in the session. DeOssie made a nice, quick reaction to a draw play, recognizing it right at the snap of the ball before he fought his way in and made the play at the line of scrimmage on Ryan Grant. Ward showed nice hands on a HB out route from Manning as the throw hit him in stride and he looked like a natural scatback. If he stays healthy, I don’t think there’s any way he doesn’t make the team.
Smith once again turned heads with another terrific reception, this time in the end zone. Manning quickly recognized an all-out blitz, realized he had single coverage on the outside and threw the fade. Smith burned McQuarters by breaking the press coverage at the line and made a difficult catch as he had to wait for a moment for the ball to come down to him, which allowed the defender to close on it. He managed to get his feet in bounds in the back of the end zone with McQuarters draped all over him, drawing another massive ovation. Boss made a nice falling reception in the end zone from Lorenzen on an out route, once again displaying his hands and athleticism. Ross made an impressive break on the ball on a quick out by Smith from the slot position, making an aggressive decision and swatting the ball away.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to return until Monday at the earliest since I have to work each of the next 3 days (which sucks tremendously). But I hope you all enjoyed the report and I’ll be returning to camp early next week.