by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Ten minutes of light rain followed by ten minutes of heavier rain, during the middle of the practice, did not dampen the enthusiasm of about 2,500 fans who showed up for autograph night. There were easily five times more people than at the morning practice. A substantial number of them never actually saw the practice. They just waited patiently along autograph alley for the practice to end so that they could get players’ autographs. What they missed was the Giants in full pads and the first real passing by QB David Carr.
All in all, Carr had a pretty good first outing. He has a strong arm and, for the most part, he got rid of the ball in about two seconds with impressive accuracy on his short and intermediate passes. I don’t think that this surprised anybody. Carr’s real test will come in 10 days in Detroit when he won’t be wearing a red shirt and he will have the pressure of competing against QB Anthony Wright for a back-up QB job. More importantly, he will have to maintain his composure under the pressure of a pass rush. It is fairly certain that the Lions will want to have a good showing against the Giants and are probably thinking, “Let’s go all out to blitz Carr, shake him up, and see what happens.” I would not be surprised if every team the Giants play this year thinks the same way.
The practice ended with QB Eli Manning running the two minute drill. He succeeded. It took him about a minute and ten seconds to go about 80 yards. The last 25-30 yards was a textbook pass and catch by WR Amani Toomer, who made the reception look easy. The prior 35-40 yards was an excellent reception by WR Domenik Hixon, who had an excellent evening practice.
WR Plaxico Burress and WR Mario Manningham were not dressed. If the Giants had to play Detroit tomorrow without help from Burress or Manningham, it appears that Eli would be relying on Hixon to stretch the field. Hixon just might be up to the task.
There were punt returns. LB Zak DeOssie and OC Grey Ruegamer long snapped tolerably well and P Jeff Feagles punted a series of beauties. Feagles is pure gold. Hixon, CB R.W. McQuarters, HB Ahmad Bradshaw, CB Aaron Ross and WR Sinorice Moss were running under the punts. In the still summer air, all the punts were fielded without error. Also without error were the 8 or 10 field goals that PK Lawrence Tynes kicked from distances ranging from about 25 to 40 yards. Apparently, the DT Jay Alford snaps and Feagles holds were also up to the task. The crowd absolutely loved having the kicks go over the fence and into their midst.
During the warm-up drills Jeff Feagles was kicking his punts high and deep. During one punt there were perhaps five or six small birds flying high over the field. Feagles’ punt came within a yard or two of hitting one of those birds and it certainly disrupted their formation. It was worth coming down to training camp just to see that kick.
I probably did not see all of the passing action by David Carr because two fields away, there was a one-on-one lineman drill. I only got a partial view of that as well. DE Renaldo Wynn got by OT Adam Koets. OC Grey Ruegamer was able to hold out DT Rodney Leisle. OT Na’Shan Goddard held out DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo. Actually, he took him down and landed on top of him. OT Kareem McKenzie stalemated DE Justin Tuck. I’m told he did it twice.
I mentioned that WR Domenik Hixon had a good practice. Pretty much all of the receivers made at least one impressive catch and most of the defensive backs also had an opportunity to shine. However, it seemed to me that WR Brandon London had the best practice of the receivers. He made three or four deep catches that required him to adjust to the flight of the ball. He showed agility and grace and it looked like he could have made some decent yards after the catch. I think he really helped himself this evening. He is such a big young guy, he could be a real weapon if he is good enough to make the squad.