by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
If it were not for T-Rock’s very estimable blog, I would not have known that the evening practice had been moved up an hour by Coach Tom Coughlin (because of the weather, which turned out to be sunny and warm). I thanked the excellent Newsday writer when I got to the practice.
The Giants were in full pads, and as usual, the defense was thumping the offense in the absence of WRs Plaxico Burress. Amani Toomer, and Steve Smith – the Giants big guns. Burress was dressed by did not participate in the team drills.
Michael Strahan was at the practice and was all smiles. He looked fit an chatted with Giants.com writer Michael Eisen and others. If I recall correctly, last year Strahan did not attend any practices. What a difference a year makes. If Giants.com does not have a picture of Strahan and Coach Coughlin locked in an embrace, they need to look up the meaning of “photo op.”
Josh Houston, wearing number 13, kicked 4 of 4 field goals from about 25 yards out. The snap on the second attempt was bad. It looked as if holder Jeff Feagles placed the ball on the ground with the points horizontal rather than vertical. It does not seem possible that you can kick the ball from that position. Nevertheless, the ball appeared to go through the uprights. PK Lawrence Tynes was on a stationary bike, peddling backwards, as would be appropriate for a kicker.
S Kenny Phillips had a very good practice, including the best play of the day. In the 11 on 11s the starting WRs were Sinorice Moss on the left and Domenik Hixon split off to the right. CB Kevin Dockery gave Hixon a hard bump at the line of scrimmage, but Hixon fought through it and after running about 10 yards down the right side of the field, Hixon had enough separation from Dockery to turn to his left and give QB Eli Manning an unobstructed passing lane. The ball was on its way as Hixon turned. It looked as if Hixon and Manning had executed a perfect pitch and catch when S Kenny Phillips came swooping in out of nowhere to grab the ball for a stunning interception. Phillips then raced towards the opposite goal. Afterwards, as he stood with the other defensive backs, Phillips’ broad smile dazzled in the setting sun.
In the beginning of 7 on 7s I’m pretty sure it was Eli who was intercepted by CB Corey Webster. Manning also made a botch of a 5 yard toss to WR Sinorice Moss. Later, Manning and Moss hooked up for a bunch of encouraging receptions. Manning found Moss, covered well by CB Terrell Thomas, for a nice completion. Thomas and Moss have great speed. Manning’s pass covered only about 30 yards, but Manning must have led Moss by at least 15 yards.
CB Kevin Dockery made an excellent pass defense of a QB Anthony Wright throw to WR Brandon London. In the 11 on 11s, WR Brandon London (who had a good practice) was well covered by Corey Webster, but made a nice catch on a comebacker.
Manning and Wright made some mistakes during the practice, but QB David Carr and rookie QB André Woodson were much worse. If Woodson is to do well in the Monday night game, the defense better be all scrubs. In the 11 on 11s, Woodson was intercepted by S Stuart Schweigert.
I have not mentioned TE Michael Matthews in a while, but he looked very comfortable taking a hard pass over the middle and made at least one more catch this evening. RB Kay-Jay Harris got a bunch of carries, but was stopped by the tough defense. Meanwhile, when HB Ahmad Bradshaw runs, it looks like he is running in sneakers rather than in cleats.
In the 11 on 11s, Wright threw to WR Brandon London who leaped, caught the ball in mid-air and was then tackled in mid-air by CB Terrell Thomas. London landed on top of Thomas and then was gracious enough to help him to his feet. Brandon caught a bunch of passes including a TD from Manning in the goal line drill.
Also in the goal line drill, S Sammy Knight had an excellent pass defense of a throw to TE Kevin Boss. Boss made up for it with a long catch from Manning in the two minute drill. The two minute drill ended with LB Bryan Kehl making a fine interception of a Wright pass gone wrong, and he ran it back for a TD.
In the 7 on 7s, WR Michael Jennings fell down and it was either picked off by 21 Kenny Phillips or 31 CB Aaron Ross, I tend to think it was Phillips. LB Zak DeOssie also intercepted a Woodson pass and looked very comfortable doing it.