by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
The most significant event in the practice was the truly unfortunate injury to fourth round rookie HB Andre Brown. It occurred at the tail end of the practice. I’m told now that it is a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon.
Brown and two defenders were chasing a QB David Carr (I think) pass in the 11 on 11′s and Brown seemed to have jumped and perhaps made slight contact with a defender. My guess is that the injury occurred at that time. He seemed to come down on one leg and lay on the ground rolling over and over in intense pain.
Several trainers rushed over to attend to him, as did HB Brandon Jacobs, and seconds later, FB Madison Hedgecock and Coach Coughlin. At that moment, the entire mood of the practice took a drastic turn from a pretty up-beat offensive performance to one of sadness and loss.
Brown was taken off the field in a cart and he pulled the front of his jersey up over his face. It was clear that he was sobbing and I assumed that it was not because of the pain, but because he knew right then that his season, or maybe even his career, was over. I have watched this athlete in practice and have admired his running and receiving skills. It is indeed tragic that the career of this promising young athlete is now in jeopardy.
Okay, here is some good news. Only OT David Diehl has managed to suit up for every practice. The other OL starters have been spotty. But this afternoon, the five starters were finally all playing together. Perhaps that is what allowed the offense to dominate the defense. The numerous injuries on defense especially with CB Corey Webster and CB Aaron Ross not playing, certainly has had an impact.
There was punting practice and P Jeff Feagles continues to kick beauties. On three of perhaps a dozen long snaps, TE Lee Vickers did the snapping. The snaps were perfect. He also caught a nice pass from QB Rhett Bomar in the 11 on 11′s. Speaking of snaps, the Giants managed to get through the practice without any center snaps hitting the ground – a triumph of sorts for Adam Koets.
The Giants began the day with a drill in which the running backs were given heavy semi-elastic bands. One Giant would wear it as a sort of harness and try to pull another running back, who was holding the other end and trying to remain in place. The idea was to stretch the elastic band. This type of exercise has been in use for many years, but I cannot fully separate the fact that only the running backs did this drill and the later injury to HB Andre Brown.
HB Brandon Jacobs continued his uninterrupted string of catches at the practices I have attended. He also made a run up the middle that was highlighted by two excellent cuts. He is amazingly light on his feet for such a big man.
In the 1 on 1 drill, CB DeAndre Wright made an excellent pass defense of a QB Eli Manning pass to HB Danny Ware and CB Terrell Thomas defended a QB David Carr pass to WR Hakeem Nicks. Hakeem shined on four excellent receptions: a sideline catch of about 35 yards from QB Andre’ Woodson in the 11 on 11′s, a deep over the shoulder catch from QB David Carr in the 7 on 7′s, a sideline catch against CB Stoney Woodson from QB Andre’ Woodson where Hakeem made a lightning-quick adjustment to get into position to catch the ball, and a leaping sideline catch.
Perhaps the absence of CBs Aaron Ross and Corey Webster was the cause, but today was the day for deep over the shoulder receptions. WR Ramses Barden had one, WR Shaun Bodiford had one, and WR Mario Manningham had one. Mario’s was probably the best of the day. He was well covered by CB Terrell Thomas and they were leaning into each other as the ball arrived. Mario had the better position and caught it in spectacular fashion, resulting in a TD and sustained cheers from the fans.
Although WR Steve Smith did not practice, WR Domenik Hixon continues to make catches look easy and WR Derek Hagan continues to make them in bunches. I counted at least five. Again, let’s not get too giddy, a lot of defensive players missed the practice.