by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
There was not a whole lot of contact this afternoon because the Giants were in shorts and shells. There was a pretty stiff wind as well, so that made deep passing more difficult. The practice started out with 8 or 10 punts by P Jeff Feagles the “43-year-old phenom,” as TEs Coach, Mike Pope calls him. Jeff managed to make some nice punts while kicking into the teeth of the wind. The punts were fielded by WRs Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, Shaun Bodiford, and Domenik Hixon, and HB Danny Ware. Mario muffed one, but I’ll cut him some slack because of the wind.
The Giants offense was practicing the flea-flicker with HB Brandon Jacobs taking a handoff then wheeling around and tossing the ball back to QB Eli Manning, who then passed the ball to WR Steve Smith. This worked perfectly when there was no defense on the field. When the 11 on 11 drill started, it was the first play called by Eli, but it failed because the receiver was too well covered. It’s nice to know that the Giants will at least consider using a trick play every now and then.
K Lawrence Tynes kicked field goals of 30, 35, 38, and 42 yards. They would probably have been good from 60 yards because of the following wind. They all went straight as an arrow. I am not an expert on kicking, but my feeling is that kicking into the wind accentuates any spin or angle on the ball, while kicking with the wind tends to straighten the ball out. If I am right about this, then Tynes could have silenced all of his detractors at BBI by bombing a bunch of long FGs with the aid of the following wind instead of kicking chippies.
There was also a full-team kickoff return drill with WRs Shaun Bodiford, Hakeem Nicks, and Taye Biddle, and HB Danny Ware doing the returns.
The quarterbacks handled the windy conditions quite well and often put the ball right into the receivers’ hands. The receivers then proceeded to make some inexcusable drops. WR David Tyree dropped a QB David Carr pass when he was wide open on the sidelines and was visibly upset about it. Later on, another Carr pass bounced off Tyree’s hands. Tyree did not do anything during the rest of the practice to redeem himself.
Uncharacteristically, TE Kevin Boss had a bad miss in the 7 on 7′s with Eli Manning’s pass bouncing off his hands. He is the entrenched starter so he can get away with it. Not so, for TE Lee Vickers, who was just as open as Boss and just as horrified as he watched the ball hit the ground. At least TE Travis Beckum upheld the honor of the TE squad with a pair of receptions. A fine sideline grab of a QB Andre’ Woodson pass, beating CB Stoney Woodson, and a leaping catch of a Woodson pass later in the practice.
Not all the offensive failures were self-inflicted. The defense had come to play. DT Fred Robbins blocked a Carr pass at the line of scrimmage and got an “atta boy” from a coach. LB Danny Clark also blocked a Carr (?) pass. CB Corey Webster intercepted a Carr pass that was intended for WR Domenik Hixon. Corey has a blue streamer hanging from his belt. It says, “Webby #23.” It’s nice to know that Head Coach Tom Coughlin has not stifled all the individuality on the team.
WR Hakeem Nicks had a good day. He caught a bubble screen pass from David Carr; beat CB Terrell Thomas for a 30 yard sideline catch from Carr, and then caught another short pass from Carr. WR Ramses Barden made a wonderful sideline catch of QB Andre’ Woodson’s throw by leaping over two defenders. Barden seems to just lope down the field and go up gracefully for the ball with no wasted motion and apparently little effort. Barden also made a smart play when he came back towards Carr for the ball when nobody else was open.
All of our running backs got a lot of carries today and they all caught just about everything thrown their way. My favorite was a running catch by HB Ahmad Bradshaw of a Carr pass over the middle. The ball bounced off his chest, but he kept his concentration while running and eventually grabbed it out of the air for a completion. LB Chase Blackburn, the defender, was not happy that Bradshaw had gotten so open and the five and six-year-olds on the nearby sideline learned a new word.
WR Sinorice Moss had at least three catches and WR Domenik Hixon and WR Steve Smith both looked fine.
QB David Carr did not look fine. He holds the ball much too long before throwing it. On one play he took the handoff and ran in a complete circle in the backfield before throwing the ball.
WR Mario Manningham had a bunch of catches today including three in a row from Eli Manning in the 11 on 11′s drill. After making a catch, he is easily the most dangerous runner on the team because he is so quick and able to dart in any direction.