by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
The Giants were in full pads and the offense more than held its own. More on that later.
Let’s talk about the Giants’ running backs. HB Brandon Jacobs continues to look good finding holes and running with power. He caught yet another pass which makes at least 7 or 8 in a row. No drops. That is not to say that he will catch the ball in a real game, but it is very encouraging because last season he dropped so many in practice. Clearly, he is doing better.
HB Danny Ware is Brandon Jacobs Lite. He’s smaller (who isn’t?), but he runs with power, finds holes to run through, and has a lot of speed for his size.
Rookie HB Andre Brown is Ahmad Bradshaw Heavy. He has great balance and terrific lateral movement. He can stop on a dime and change directions. You don’t usually see this in a player his size. This evening Brown was running full tilt towards the sideline, he then came to a complete stop in bounds and ran back the way he came. Most players would have fallen down.
Speaking of size, I just noticed that HB Allen Patrick is 6-1, taller than all the other backs except Jacobs. Patrick is fast and catches the ball very well. He appears to have more straight ahead speed than shiftiness.
QBs Eli Manning and David Carr were completing many more passes this evening. The first pass in the 11 on 11′s was a deep one to WR Domenik Hixon, who got open and had the leeway to wait a bit for the ball to arrive. (If Eli had thrown a good spiral, the ball would have arrived right on time.)
Making an easy catch is not easy. When Eli throw the ball to Hixon (or Smith) the catch is generally an easy one because they have had the opportunity to work on the play in the past and have developed timing and confidence in what they are doing.
When you run the play according to the way it is drawn up, it becomes an easy catch. You can tell just from watching Hixon and Smith (and to a certain extent WR Derek Hagan) catch the ball that they and Manning know where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to do. The operative word is execution. So even if I don’t always say it, Hixon and Smith generally make well-executed catches.
Rookies who don’t have the experience or number of reps in practice to execute plays with the precision of veterans have to rely on speed, raw talent and/or improvisation. The completion is often a diving circus catch (Tyree’s helmet catch), but good execution leads to a higher percentage of success.
In the 7 on 7′s, TE Michael Matthews made a rare catch over the middle of an Eli Manning pass. WR Sinorice Moss should have caught a pass that bounced off his chest. WR Derek Hagan then hauled in a fine catch and WR Sinorice Moss followed that with a catch. On the next play, nobody got open so WR Derek Hagan made a veteran comeback move to give Eli an open line of sight. It would have been complete except for an excellent pass defense by CB Bruce Johnson. Later on, Hagan made a similar move that resulted in a catch (if you ignore the fact that Eli threw the ball after the time had expired).
QB David Carr replaced Eli and made completions over the middle to TE Darcy Johnson and WR Taye Biddle, and to HB Brandon Jacobs in the flat.
QB Andre’ Woodson came in and after an incomplete pass to TE Lee Vickers, he found HB Allen Patrick in the flat, who had a nice catch and run.
QB Rhett Bomar is not getting a whole lot of reps. His pass to WR Taye Biddle was well defensed by CB Bruce Johnson and CB Vince Anderson. Then he came out.
In the 11 on 11′s, WR Domenik Hixon had a rare drop of a catchable Manning pass.
Also in the 11 on 11′s, QB David Carr hit his receiver in the hands, but it bounced out and was intercepted by CB Stoney Woodson. Later on LB Chase Blackburn stepped in front of a Carr pass that was intended for TE Lee Vickers and made a sparkling interception which caused great cheering amongst the Giants defensive squad.
Again, QB Rhett Bomar came in for only one play. He could not find an open receiver and held onto the ball.
HB Ahmad Bradshaw caught one pass over the middle, and also dashed up the middle almost untouched, with a David Carr handoff.
A lot of running plays were stopped, but there were some good ones too. HB Andre Brown ran around right end twice in a row for good effect and HB Danny Ware had a fine run up the middle.
Towards the end of practice QB Andre’ Woodson completed a sideline pass to TE Darcy Johnson that upset Safeties Coach David Merritt who yelled at his men, “That’s not supposed to happen!”
I’m not sure whether to credit HB Brandon Jacobs with a second catch if QB Eli Manning would have been sacked prior to the throw. On the next play, a shotgun snap, Eli completed a very dangerous line of scrimmage pass to WR Domenik Hixon.
David Carr had success throwing to WR Derek Hagan whom he hit over the middle in full stride and Eli Manning completed a TD pass to TE Kevin Boss in the red zone drill.
Along the way, CB Bruce Johnson had a nice pass defense on an Eli pass and CB Terrell Thomas had a nice defense of a car pass to WR David Tyree which I thought was a tough catch, but the coach talked to Tyree about it afterwards.
OC Adam Koets continued his string of bad snaps by rolling a shotgun snap to David Carr.