Jul 262008
 
 July 26, 2008  Posted by  Articles, Training Camp
July 26, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Afternoon Report)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

I apologize for this somewhat truncated report. The Giants decided that the lower practice fields had dried sufficiently to hold the afternoon practice there, so they moved the practice out of the Stadium and onto one of the two lower practice fields.

I can’t explain it. Maybe it was the fact that there was a stiff swirling wind blowing that tended to deflect passes. Maybe it was the change from the high crown of the Stadium field to the flat surface of the practice field. Whatever it was, QB Eli Manning was intercepted on his first two pass attempts — LB Antonio Pierce and CB Corey Webster. Eli also fell down on a handoff. Maybe he got stepped on by OC Shaun O’Hara. I couldn’t see.

Then QB Anthony Wright was intercepted on a diving interception by CB Terrell Thomas. QB André Woodson fared no better. He was intercepted by S Sammy Knight and S Nehemiah Warrick. Because of the limited vision that I, and most other spectators, have when the Giants practice on the lower fields, I can only speculate about some of the goings on.

Maybe after three practice sessions, the defense has figured out the offense’s scheme and its tendencies. Maybe the defense figured out what “Omaha!” means. Who can say?

I left about five minutes before the end of the practice because the skies went from sunny, to dark and threatening. The wind had shifted and I could smell the ozone in the air. I left because I knew that there was no shelter from the rain between the practice field where I, and perhaps 1,200 other people, stood straining to see the proceedings and the parking lot where our cars were located, about half a mile away. If the rain started while we were still on the lower fields, we would all be drenched.

Okay, as best as I can tell, here is what happened during the practice. By far, the least significant item is that I can now confirm my observation of last season that HB Ahmad Bradshaw is bowlegged.

WR Plaxico Burress was not dressed again and he was playing catch with David Carr while the Giants were warming up. Carr throws a nice hard tight spiral.

Defensive Line Coach Mike Waufle’s squad was hitting the blocking sled. The sled was not the type that you lift and push along the ground. The part of the sled that you hit is spring-loaded and bounces back after you hit it. The idea of the drill is to get the players into the proper stance and hitting angle and then for them to maintain their balance after the hit. Defensive linemen have to engage their opposite number on the offensive line, then slide off the offensive players to either locate the ball carrier or the QB or, to maintain their position so that there are no gaps in the line for the offense to run through. That is what this drill appeared to be about.

In the 11 on 11s WR Domenik Hixon continued to make progress and there was an outstanding diving sideline catch by WR D.J. Hall and an equally impressive (from the sound of the applause) diving catch by WR Sinorice Moss. WR Brandon London and TE Darcy Johnson each had a pair of receptions. WR Craphonso Thorpe also made a sparkling catch from Wright, I think.

TE Kevin Boss had a disappointing miss of an easy catch that went right through his arms, but he made up for it with a sparkling reception where he jumped slightly and deftly plucked the ball out of the air with his hands while in almost full stride.

LB Bryan Kehl was playing MLB and LB Jonathan Goff was playing the weak side with the second team. I am going to wait awhile and let the personnel settle down before reporting on who is on the first, second, and third teams. PK Lawrence Tynes kicked an indeterminate number of field goals from indeterminate distances with indeterminate success.

As much as I hate the Cowboys, I have to say that if Jerry Jones owned the Giants he would have installed some large TV monitors around the practice fields so that the Giants fans who took the trouble to come to see the Giants could actually see them.

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Jul 262008
 
 July 26, 2008  Posted by  Articles, Training Camp
July 26, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Morning Practice)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

The practice was held on the stadium field again because the practice fields are wet. This may soon take on some significance because space is limited here. On the practice fields the team can really spread out onto adjacent fields. In the stadium they are cramped and I would not be surprised if Head Coach Tom Coughlin feels that even on Day 2 of camp that the team is falling behind. This morning’s practice, under sunny skies was in shorts and shells (minimum contact) and lasted the full two hours.

I think the most significant development of the practice was the improvement in the play of WR Domenik Hixon. He made some excellent receptions and was catching the ball naturally rather than fighting it. Perhaps his bad showing yesterday was just a case of first day jitters. He also has the inside track on KO returns. Others in that hunt are HB Ahmad Bradshaw, HB Derrick Ward, and WR Craphonso Thorpe. Thorpe made several returns and has some speed and elusiveness. Naturally, a very important consideration is whether he will hang onto the ball when he gets hit. That will have to wait until a real game.

Getting back to Hixon, he was covered by two defenders, but he made a diving catch of a deep sideline pass from Manning (about 30 yards in the air). It was probably the best catch of the practice. In the red zone… er green zone drill, Hixon caught a touch pass lofted by Manning. Hixon kept his focus and caught the ball in stride with hands outstretched well over his head despite good coverage from CB Aaron Ross. It was a graceful, Amani Toomer type catch.

TE Kevin Boss and TE Darcy Johnson continued to make catches with style and grace. This is encouraging to me.

Of course, nobody is going to duplicate WR Plaxico Burress’s style. Although he was not dressed this morning, he was again catching passes one-handed from the Juggs machine from about ten yards away. Yesterday the balls were aimed at his chest. Today the ball were aimed about a foot over his head and he was catching the balls to his left with his left hand and to his right with his right hand. If Shockey were still on the team, he would have come over and said, “Hey Plax, let me try that.” Today, so far as I could tell, everyone else just watched.

WR David Tyree and LB Gerris Wilkinson were not dressed either. As they had done yesterday, they trained on the steep, grassy slope (about 30 degrees on the far side of the stadium field. Under the watchful eye of a trainer they ran up the slope and across it to build up their strength and wind. Shades of Tiki and Jim Finn running up that high hill in New Jersey in the off-seasons several years ago!

There were some passes to WR Sinorice Moss, but he fails to make catches look easy. It seems to me that in order for Moss to be a successful receiver he has to use his agility to get wide open rather than to merely rely on his speed to get open. Because Moss is so short, the QB has much less margin for error than with a tall receiver like the 6-4 Brandon London who had an up and down practice. London caught a pass or two, but an André Woodson pass hit him in the numbers, bounced straight up into the air and was nearly intercepted, by (I am told) S Kenny Phillips.

HB Kay-Jay Harris is getting more carries than the rest of the running backs combined. I don’t know why. He has yet to do anything extraordinary. On one handoff he did show some nice lateral movement to his right. The Giants do take their running plays seriously. I noticed OG Rich Seubert pulling on one of them. HB Brandon Jacobs and HB Ahmad Bradshaw continue to impress. Bradshaw needs only about two strides to accelerate to full speed.

They continue to use WR Steve Smith and WR Mario Manningham on reverses. The Giants also had a flea-flicker that was not executed all that smoothly, but still resulted in a completion from Anthony Wright to Domenik Hixon, who had the sense to come back for it. Steve Smith may or may not have made a fine diving end zone catch of a touch pass from Eli over CB Kevin Dockery. I’m uncertain if the ball was caught, but it was a nice play by all concerned.

Quarterbacks: Manning continues to look good. André Woodson needs work on his deep passes. I don’t detect any horrible hitch in his throwing motion. QB Anthony Wright is thowing the ball accurately, but his timing is off. He is throwing the ball too late and often without sufficient depth.

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Jul 262008
 
 July 26, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

July 25, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: To see the latest BBI training camp reports, please visit the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants’ Beat Writer Practice Reports: The following are brief practice reports provided by the NY/NJ beat writers who cover the Giants:

Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday were WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee – PUP), WR David Tyree (knee – PUP), QB David Carr (foot – NFI), and OL Jonathan Palmer (quad – PUP).

Not practicing in the morning were CB Sam Madison (sports hernia) and LB Zak DeOssie (back). But both practiced in the afternoon. LB Danny Clark (sports hernia) practiced in the morning, but not the afternoon.

DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka (leg) participated in both practices.

DT Nate Robinson left the afternoon practice early with a hamstring injury.

Notes: Aaron Ross and Corey Webster are starting at corner. James Butler and Michael Johnson are starting at safety. Danny Clark started at weakside linebacker in the morning; Chase Blackburn started there in the afternoon with Clark and Gerris Wilkinson out.

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