by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
The Giants were still in shorts and shells and I was still on the hill that overlooks the end zone of the practice field. The wind was whipping. It was mostly into the teeth of the QBs, but with enough of an angle to make throwing even more difficult. Shades of the Eagles playoff game!
My conclusion from watching the practice is that with this much wind the only accurate passes are ones that are thrown on a line. This limited Eli Manning, Rhett Bomar and David Carr to about 20 yards if they wanted to be accurate, and QB Andre’ Woodson, who has the strongest arm on the team, to maybe 25-30 yards. Any pass with loft on it would get knocked down by the wind and become a jump ball for the receiver and defenders, who usually outnumbered the receiver.
So how should the Giant play when it is really windy? Strengthen your arm, throw hard and short, and run the ball as much as possible.
When the offense turned around and played with the wind, the ball was still hard to control because the wind was at an angle.
LB Zak DeOssie was practicing field goal snaps, but I believe that it was still Jay Alford snapping when K Lawrence Tynes attempted seven field goals (with the wind). I’m certain that Tynes made at least six of them. Most of them were from the 35-37 yard distance. I’m sure that the beat writers have the exact distances in their reports. Considering the strength of the wind, I thought it was a good first effort.
Later in the practice, but still with the strong, quartering wind behind him, Lawrence Tynes kicked off. Twice the ball went 5 yards deep into the end zone, once 3 yards in, and once to the goal line. I thought that he could have done a lot better considering the strength of the following wind. Maybe the kicks were not high enough.
Okay, enough about kickers and snappers. Let’s talk about real football players. OG Kevin Boothe was playing Center for the third string team in place of Tutan Reyes who was still filling in at LG for injured starter Rich Seubert.
There were a lot more contact drills this afternoon than in the first three practices. I’m guessing that this is in preparation for Thursday and Friday, when the Giants will be wearing full pads and will be able to hit each other – not hard enough to knock you down mind you – but harder, nevertheless. Newly acquired Safety C.C. Brown found that out today when he threw TE Travis Beckum to the turf during the one on one drills. He received a scolding for it.
In the drill where DBs attempt to jam WRs at the line of scrimmage, the WRs all looked fine. I don’t think that this will be a big problem for the Giants during the season. They all have very good quickness and agility. Speaking of agility, in another drill WR Hakeem Nicks showed fine quickness and agility as he zigzagged all over the field chasing after WR Shaun Bodiford.
More wind: In the one on one drill, CB Kevin Dockery intercepted a deep QB Eli Manning pass intended for WR Derek Hagan. Hagen has been having a very good camp so far. He has caught a bunch of passes and has looked good (as opposed to awkward) on those that he failed to catch.
The next time Eli threw to Hagen he caught the ball despite Dockery. Later, Hagen also caught a David Carr pass against Dockery. Even later, Hagen dove to make a shoestring catch of a QB Rhett Bomar pass. Finally, Hagen caught a Carr pass when CB Aaron Ross fell down. Ross got up a bit gimpy, but looked okay.
Also in the one on ones, S Kenny Phillips batted away a pass intended for TE Michael Matthews.
When it was QB Andre’ Woodson’s turn in the one on ones, WR Hakeem Nicks faked rookie CB DeAndre Wright out of his socks for an easy completion and WR Shaun Bodiford beat CB Terrell Thomas to the ball despite interference by Thomas.
In the 11 on 11s, Eli handed the ball to HB Brandon Jacobs, who ran to his right. He saw nothing there so he reversed his field and found plenty of room to his left. Jacobs got the ball on the next play too. This time he ran around right end. He was greeted at the line of scrimmage by CB Corey Webster, who had the good sense to get out of the way of a charging bull. Jacobs also had his first catch of the day. It was a thigh high catch while running across the field.
Although short passes were working, a deep pass by QB Andre’ Woodson was almost picked off by S Sha’reff Rashad. Carr was picked off in the 7 on 7s by CB Corey Webster – a nice play.
Rhett Bomar was intercepted when his pass was too high and was caught by CB Vince Anderson. Vince got a big hug from the coach. Vince intercepted Bomar a second time when Bomar’s pass was caught by WR Sinorice Moss in a diving, rolling catch. However contact with the ground caused Sinorice to lose control of the ball and it went up into the air and into Anderson’s grasp. Gasp!
The interceptions are not over yet. In the 11 on 11s, Eli was doing fine with short passes until he threw to TE Kevin Boss running over the middle. It was picked off by LB Bryan Kehl running in the opposite direction.