July 29, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Afternoon Practice)
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
It was hot and sunny. The Giants were in full pads and up until the very end of practice, which was cut short by 20 minutes, the Giants offense sputtered. None of the quarterbacks were playing at the level they were at yesterday evening. For instance, Ely threw a ball three feet over the head of a wide open TE Kevin Boss, who was perhaps 12 yards from him. QB Anthony Wright found out that Kevin Boss can’t catch passes aimed at his knees. S Sammy Knight jumped a pass route to pick off a QB David Carr pass in the 11 on 11s. There were sloppy plays mixed in with good plays throughout the practice. I guess this is why you need training camp.
WR Amani Toomer was not dressed, nor was WR Steve Smith. I think I saw Smith take a hard shot/fall yesterday. S Terrance Stringer was not dressed and did not practice. Midway through the practice he walked off the field with a trainer and he grasped his hamstring.
WR Mario Manningham was dressed and he made an impressive catch on an under-thrown pass to the sidelines. He came back for it and then smartly advanced down the field. TE Kevin Boss caught a pass that I hope will be duplicated over and over this season. He was in the middle of the field about twenty yards from Ely. He ran laterally to the right left, got one step on his defender and Ely hit him perfectly in stride. Boss would have been gone.
All the TEs did well today. Eric Butler caught at least two passes and showed good hands and agility. TE Darcy Johnson made at least three catches taking them without the awkwardness reminiscent of former TE Visanthe Shaincoe. Even BBI’s current whipping boy, TE Michael Matthews had his moments. Of course on one reception, LB Mathias Kiwanuka was right there ready to pounce on him.
CB Corey Webster continues to have a good camp. On one play a ball bounced off WR Domenik Hixon’s chest and into the arms of CB Darren Barnett. The play was over, but Hixon ran after Barnett. Webster who was not involved in the play stepped in front of Hixon. Hixon bounced off Webster. QB David Carr and QB André Woodson did not have good days throwing the ball and QB Anthony Wright continues to hold onto the ball too long.
About 20 minutes before the beginning of the practice Tom Coughlin walked onto the field. The fans who were there all cheered and clapped as he passed. He smiled and held up his hand in acknowledgment, for the entire walk of 100 yards or more. What a difference from last year’s camp. When Coughlin got on the field he chatted for about 5 minutes with PK Lawrence Tynes. I could not hear what was said, but it might have been, “Lawrence, you did good yesterday. Now I’d like to see 8 field goals from the 50.”
Tynes kicked off to Hixon twice and to HB Ahmad Bradshaw and WR Michael Jennings once, each. They each ran up behind the wall of lead blockers and sprinted off from there. That part of the practice, at least, looked well executed.
The Defensive backs to an interesting drill where they run backwards for 10 yards, turn around and continue to run in that direction and catch a ball thrown to them. That is unlikely to happen in a game (actually it’s impossible). It seems to me that a more realistic drill would be for them to run backwards, turn as before and then look back over their shoulder in the direction that they originally came from to catch the simulated pass.
A more interesting drill was one all the receivers were each lined up against a defensive back. They stood toe to toe hitting at each other’s hands and chests. They did not make fists exactly and it wasn’t paddycake either. I’m guessing it has to do with how receivers can deal with defensive backs when they are trying to get off the line of scrimmage. In any case, it appears that all the players were enjoying the drill.
There was one running play of note. It looked like a tricky surprise handoff to FB Madison Hedgecock. He danced up field cutting and twisting before the defense knew he had the ball. He then spiked it. Sort of a sop to Cerberus.
The final drill was an 11 on 11 red zone running drill. All of a sudden, the intensity level went way up. You could hear the pads as bodies collided with abandon. There were large piles of player on the ground after each running play. The defense had had enough waving at running backs. This time the offense was not going anywhere if the defense could help it. After four or five similar plays the practice was ended. On the final play, OT Guy Whimper who was under a pile of bodies may or may not have gotten nicked up.