by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Although it rained heavily all afternoon several miles north SUNY, there was hardly a drop on the playing fields and the Giants practiced in full pads under warm and sunny skies. The bad news is that their health does not seem to be improving.
WR Steve Smith, WR Mario Manningham, and LB Antonio Pierce were not dressed and OT Shane Olivea was not even on the field. Except for a somewhat spirited red zone drill at the end of the practice, the team played like they wanted to avoid injury, or perhaps they were just bored with hitting the same guys day after day. In any case, the 11 on 11s did not appear to be run at the same speed or intensity as in the past. The passing and the running plays appear to have been throttled back.
In the 11 on 11s Manning found WR Sinorice Moss and WR Domenik Hixon, but missed WR Michael Jennings coming across the middle. QB André Woodson found a diving WR Brandon London.
Many things were the same as in prior practices. For instance, punts were returned by WR Sinorice Moss, CB R.W. McQuarters, WR Michael Jennings, and WR Domenik Hixon.
QB Eli Manning made some fine throws. I think his best was a TD pass where he rolled to his right and connected with TE Michael Matthews in the red zone drill. He also found a wide open HB Brandon Jacobs for a TD in the red zone drill.
QB Anthony Wright continues to hold his own against QB David Carr although neither of them looks, at the moment, like a fit replacement for Eli. QB André Woodson continues to get very few reps and looks every inch the rookie. Woodson might have had the best pass of the day – a deep pass to WR Craphonso Thorpe – although it took a while for this play to develop. Then Woodson went up to the line and for some reason had to call a time out.
The defensive backs were again making use of a very deep-cushioned mat for tackling practice. Clearly, the drill is teach tackling technique rather than timing, because the tackling is done at about half speed.
S Craig Dahl and S Kenny Phillips are dressed but it looks like S James Butler and S Michael Johnson were the starting safeties.
LB Chase Blackburn filled in for LB Antonio Pierce at MLB and intercepted an Anthony Wright pass intended for TE Kevin Boss in the red zone drill. That was the best defensive play that I saw. Basically it was just good coverage by Chase. Wright sometimes throws into coverage when he should not and was nearly intercepted by CB R.W. McQuarters on another play.
Today, I stationed myself where I could see the one-on-one linemen drills. Unfortunately I’m not sure that even here the players were going 100 percent. Generally, an offensive lineman will try to hold out a defensive lineman. Then the two linemen repeat the rush.
- OT Kareem McKenzie handled DE Justin Tuck well enough twice.
- DE Osi Umenyiora got past OT David Diehl on an outside rush, but the second time Diehl put Osi on the ground.
- OG Rich Seubert held off DT Barry Cofield, twice.
- OT Adam Koets did a decent job against DE Renaldo Wynn pushing him to the outside on one of the two rushes.
- OG Kevin Boothe sent DT Jeremy Clark to the ground, but at least Clark got his name on his shirt.
- OC Grey Ruegamer handled DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo twice.
- DT Rodney Leisle pushed OT Na’Shan Goddard backwards, but not too bad, with the second time a stalemate.
- OT Guy Whimper did a good job on DE Dave Tollefson twice.
- OC Grey Ruegamer and DE Dave Tollefson, I think, a stalemate.
- OG Kurt Quarterman held out DT Jay Alford.
- DT Jeremy Clark tried a spin move against OC Digger Bujnoch but Digger handled it.
- DT Rodney Leisle against OT Jonathan Palmer was a stalemate.
- DE Wallace Gilberry against OT Guy Whimper was a stalemate.
- OT Adam Koets did well against DE Robert Henderson, but then got some instruction from the Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty, so maybe he was not perfect.
- OC Shaun O’Hara went up DT Fred Robbins (I think) and O’Hara did well.
Frankly, in the past there have been more winners and losers than ties. This makes me think that the linemen were not going all-out. I’ll continue to check on them.
HB Brandon Jacobs had a nice run where he could find no hole off-tackle so he bounced outside and ran around end.