by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
The practice was again on the lower fields, but with milder weather. The Giants are in what Tom Coughlin calls “uppers” – shoulder pads, helmets and shorts. This should be closer to playing in full pads which is scheduled for tonight.
Although WR Mario Manningham was dressed, he did not participate in the practice. He did not appear to be injured. Mario Manningham is very slender and built for speed. Mario has skinny legs like a Greyhound. If Mario wants to survive in the NFL, it may be necessary for him to add a little muscle to his angular frame, because the Cowboys and the Eagles have defensive backs who are built more like Dobermans than Greyhounds. Rowff!
I don’t mean to short-change the Giants defensive backs. They are all large and well-muscled. Except for Chihuahua-sized CB Kevin Dockery. Okay, okay, Dockery may be a Chihuahua, but he thinks he’s a Doberman.
Speaking of Greyhounds, OT Shane Olivea is also built like a Greyhound— a Greyhound bus! He has a very blocky frame and enormous arms. It looked like Shane and OG Kurt Quarterman were going up against the newest Giant, DT Jeremy Clark. Clark has inherited DT Nate Robinson’s jersey number of 73. Clark looks to be pretty much a carbon copy of Nate. (Do any of you youngsters even know what carbon paper is?)
There was more punt return competition. The lion’s share of it went to WR Domenik Hixon, who was last year’s KO returner. R.W. McQuarters and WR Michael Jennings also participated. Domenik looked comfortable catching the ball out of the Juggs machine. Long snapper LB Zak DeOssie was not dressed; P Jeff Feagles has the mornings off, and OC Grey Ruegamer was doing the faux long snapping. There was a scary moment when one of the defenders accidentally tripped Hixon on a run-back. Hixon fell heavily. He got up, shook it off, and was apparently okay. If I remember correctly, he also held onto the ball.
Hixon continues to play with the first team and looks more and more comfortable catching the ball. The only dropped pass that I noticed was from QB Anthony Wright. It was behind Hixon and he could only get a hand on it.
Wright also spoiled TE Kevin Boss’ string of completions with an off-line pass. Boss, I am happy to report, is not making so many diving completions. Instead, he is making many of his receptions look routine. On one pass, he ran down the field and turned just in time to catch the pass over Kevin Dockery. No muss, no fuss. Boss was almost nonchalant.
It is also very encouraging that TE Darcy Johnson continues to catch everything that is thrown his way. However, TE Eric Butler was not so lucky this morning. In the 7 on 7s, LB Mathias Kiwanuka made a fine pass defense by batting away QB Anthony Wright’s pass to Butler. However, Butler then went over to the other side of the field, the non-Kiwi side, and caught a pass.
QB André Woodson, in my opinion, has consistently out-played QB Anthony Wright. Woodson finds his receivers quicker, is more accurate with his throws, has a stronger arm, and has better timing. I am not an expert, but I do not see any great hitch or long wind-up in his throws. He certainly showed no hesitation on a shotgun snap in the seven on sevens that he threw deep down the middle to WR Sinorice Moss. It hit Moss right on the button. On the other hand, Wright is consistently late in throwing the ball which results in them being under-thrown. He often puts too much air under the ball as well. In the 11 on 11s Wright could not find an open receiver so he threw it to CB Corey Webster who made the interception and happily ran it back. I have to add that Wright has experience, which counts for a lot, and Woodson has none, so lets not say that Woodson is our savior just yet.
QB David Carr continues to practice his throwing motion and footwork under the watchful eye of Quarterbacks Coach Chris Palmer. This morning Carr was playing catch with WR David Tyree instead of with WR Plaxico Burress as he had on Friday and Saturday. Plaxico may be in a snit because he does not have a new contract (and IMO will not get one until his health issues are resolved and the Giants are sure that he can go full-speed.) I don’t know if Carr has a nickname, but the one that come’s to mind is “legs like sticks.”