by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
The practice was on a lower field which requires you to stand if you want to see the action close-up. Unfortunately, my ankle which is okay to walk on is not okay to stand on for two hours. I found a place to watch from a distance, so I will defer to anyone who was close by and could hear as well as see what was going on.
The Giants were in full pads, but I did not notice that the hitting or blocking was any crisper than this morning. Again, from where I sat, it looked like the defense smothered the offense. I have to believe that part of this was that the offensive play was ineffectual. They had officials watching the play and quite a few flags were thrown.
As the Giants were in pads, catching the ball became more of a challenge. One ball bounced off WR Michael Jenning’s chest and CB Corey Webster intercepted it. Michael Jennings also muffed a punt return. WR Sinorice Moss, CB RW McQuarters, RB Ahmad Bradshaw and CB Aaron Ross also took turns on the punts. Jeff Feagles was back to do the punting and he kicked them high and to the sidelines. Aaron Ross had to run far to his left and he caught the ball while falling down. The ball was not secure until he was flat on his back. No doubt the coaches will tell him that this is not a desirable result.
The punt snapping was done by C/G Grey Rugamer and LB Steve DeOssie. From where I sat, it looked like both of them struggled and made some poor snaps. During drills with no defensive lineman on them, they both made serviceable snaps.
There were also field goal kicks by Josh Huston and Lawrence Tynes. Rookie DT Jay Alford did the snapping. I could not see the snaps, but I could see the flight of the ball when kicked: slow, curvy and high. Neither kicker was impressive although Tynes was the better of the two. Giant fans may soon be wishing that we still had Jay Feely.
QB Eli Manning made several good throws in the 11-on-11s. There was a short throw to WR Steve Smith that showed excellent touch by Eli. On another Eli ran about 7 yards to his right and threw the ball to RB Derrick Ward who appeared to be running 10 yards in front of him, still behind the line of scrimmage. Ward caught the ball and turned and ran up the field. Having WR Plaxico Burress to throw to made life much easier for Eli. The one pass that he threw deep (about 25 yards) in the 11-on-11s was to Burress who was covered by Wilson and CB Sam Madison. The only bomb was in the 7-on-7s. It was a long Eli pass to Burress who was covered by FS Gibril Wilson. Most of the passes were short sideline patterns. Eli was reasonably accurate although he had one bad miss, and on one dump off pass, he threw the ball over the head of Sinorice Moss (and yes a tall receiver would probably have caught it for no gain).
Jared Lorenzen continued to play poorly in the 11-on-11s. He missed his receivers, he threw too hard, he waited too long before he found a receiver and in some cases he had to eat the ball (Jared, you’ve eaten enough!). By the way, Jared is not a fast or elusive runner. QB Anthony Wright was pretty much in the same boat as Jared. He was late finding receivers and inaccurate. But QB Tim Hasselbeck in his brief appearances in the 11-on-11s made both Lorenzen and Wright look good by comparison. I counted three passes by Tim that were “nothing but turf.” I’m having some fun with this, but it is really sad to see a veteran like Tim struggle so much.
Although WRs like Brandon London (quiet tonight), Marco Thomas, Sinorice Moss, and Steve Smith (who had an excellent juggling sideline catch tonight) have done well in camp. None of them came up with receptions at the practice that would have been bombs or even 20-25 yard receptions.
Although TE Jeremy Shockey did not play, TE Kevin Boss continues to make plays over the middle where he leaps or dives for the ball. He made a diving tumbling catch of an Eli pass in the 7-on-7s. TE Charles Davis had at least three catches including a diving one where I believe he held on. TE Rodney Burgess executed a nice double move on a defender to get open in the one on one drill.
There were a lot of 11-on-11 drills and there were many running plays which I do not believe were very successful because of good work by the defense. I would not be surprised if Tom Coughlin was very disappointed with the overall quality of this evening’s offensive play.