by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Practice was in full pads and it got rough, culminating in a leg injury to OT Clifford Louis. Head Coach Tom Coughlin stopped the practice and administered a stern scolding to the entire team. The fans are fickle. They cheered when punches were being thrown and then applauded in a holier than thou fashion, when Coughlin dressed down the team.
It all started in the 11 on 11′s. QB Eli Manning completed a 20 yard pass over the middle to TE Kevin Boss, but away from the play, agent provocateur FB Madison Hedgecock laid out LB Bryan Kehl in a manner to which Bryan, and the rest of the defense, took exception. Not to put too fine a point on it, it looked like a cheap-shot by Hedgecock. Eli came out and QB David Carr came in briefly. He got a bad snap (will this never stop!) from C Tutan Reyes and then he handed off to HB Danny Ware and HB Andre Brown, respectively. Both Ware and Brown continue to look better and better with each practice. Next, QB Rhett Bomar came in for one play – a TD pass to a wide open WR Shaun Bodiford, who made a tough over the shoulder catch. Bomar has been rather quiet in the last few practices. He must have said to himself, “Take that, Andre’ Woodson!”
The next time that Eli Manning (and Hedgecock) got back into the 11 on 11′s, Eli completed a pass to HB Ahmad Bradshaw, but the defense was paying more attention to Hedgecock. They made sure that somebody knocked Madison to the turf. All the while, the line play got rougher and rougher. The players were really hitting each other and there would have been multiple sacks.
Eli then completed a pass to WR Mario Manningham and he picked up some extra yardage with a nice move on CB Aaron Ross at the same time that LB Bryan Kehl was putting a not-so-nice move on Hedgecock. There was a lot of jersey-pulling as they rolled around on the ground hissing. At that point, the starting offense and defense was told to go to neutral corners and QB David Carr was sent in with the reserves.
Changing the personnel did nothing to lower the intensity of the line play. On, I believe, the next play, OT Clifford Louis was injured. I am told that DE Dave Tollefson threw OT William Beatty (who has been on the ground more than once this camp) and Beatty landed on top of Louis. Louis was helped off the field and Coughlin yelled at the team.
Next, QB Andre’ Woodson came in with the third team and OT Adam Koets rolled a shotgun snap to him.
K Lawrence Tynes made all six field goal attempts from 25-41 yards despite a bad snap, but a good hold by Feagles, on the 39 yarder. Earlier in the practice, P Jeff Feagles kicked about a dozen punts. HB Ahmad Bradshaw let a short one bounce in front of him. On an even shorter punt, WR Sinorice Moss ran and got to it to make the catch.
DT Jay Alford rolled two punt snaps along the ground. After that, they put LB Zak DeOssie, the regular punt snapper back in. I have been a staunch fan of Zak since 2007, when he was drafted in the fourth round. Unfortunately, unless he does something noteworthy soon “looks like Tarzan; plays like Jane” may be an appropriate description for his play.
The Giants brought in refs who called a number of penalties. The only egregious error was when QB David Carr got his own line to move illegally instead of the defense’s.
In the 1 on 1 drills, there were two noteworthy plays. CB Stoney Woodson broke up a pass to WR Ramses Barden. Barden has been just about perfect lately and on the very next play, he made a leaping one-handed catch that brought cheers from the fans.
WR Steve Smith and WR Domenik Hixon have had their share of fine catches and are well on their way to solidifying their starting status. However, the receiver with the most catches has been WR Derek Hagan. Derek has made tough diving catches and more importantly, he has easily caught the easy passes.
Speaking of easy passes, HB Brandon Jacobs has caught the last five or six passes thrown his way without any difficulty. Also deserving of praise is S Sha’reff Rashad who intercepted a David Carr pass that was intended for WR Ramses Barden. (Pronunciation note: I have heard that his name is pronounced RamsIss rather than RamsEase.) Later on, CB Corey Webster also had an interception of a Carr or Eli pass in the 11 on 11′s red zone drill.
We all know that TE Kevin Boss is the starter, but the tight end who has had the best camp is clearly TE Darcy Johnson. This evening, he made a wonderful diving, somersaulting catch of a Rhett Bomar pass that was indeed worthy of Mark Bavaro.