by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Four Aces & Rolle Wrap Up Practice with Eighty Yard Interception
Okay, last things first: the Giants played in full pads for the first time and both offense and defense had their moments. The best moment for the defense came at the end of the practice in the two minute drill.
QB Eli Manning had moved the starters down to about the thirty yard line and called time out with fifteen seconds left on the clock. The defense sent in a defensive line of DEs Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Osi Umenyiora, and Dave Tollefson. When Eli dropped back to pass, two linebackers blitzed Eli.
I don’t know who the intended receiver was, but S Antrel Rolle intercepted the ball at what looked like the 20 yard line and Antrel took off like a shot straight down the field. Nobody chased him past the 50, but he continued to run the full 80 yards to the opposite goal. He covered the 80 yards with amazing speed.
Consider that Rolle’s interception and run came at the very end of the second practice of the day. I think it is fair to say that Rolle is doing exactly what Coach Tom Coughlin expects from this savvy veteran: leadership by example. If, when we acquired Rolle (and paid him a bundle of cash) you were wondering if he had anything left in the tank, I think Antrel answered your question this evening.
LB Keith Bulluck is another savvy veteran and I had a chance to watch him this evening. What I saw was a guy who looks to be in very good shape and is speedy and agile on the field. Whether he knows the playbook and whether his surgical knee will permit him to hit with power are questions for another day. Probably after a few preseason contests.
As with the morning practice, WR Sinorice Moss managed to catch just about everything thrown his way, including a sliding catch of a flea-flicker pass from Eli Manning. Sinorice probably had as many catches as WRs Steve Smith, Ramses Barden, and Hakeem Nicks combined. Nicks made several catches and looks to be okay.
TE Kevin Boss started the session running gingerly, but he made several catches including a nice sliding catch. He had no drops and looked much better than yesterday.
I’m always pleased when HB Brandon Jacobs makes a catch and has no drops during a practice. Jacobs even cut back when his path was blocked at the line of scrimmage on a hand off from Eli. HB Ahmad Bradshaw looks like he has no trouble cutting and he seems to cut multiple times on every run. I continue to be impressed by HB D.J. Ware’s speed and power.
P Matt Dodge had about a dozen and a half punts this evening. I think that he improves with every practice. He is catching the snap and getting the ball to his foot in a much smoother more efficient motion. Unfortunately, LB Zak DeOssie was not having a good day snapping the ball. It seemed to me that when the snap was low, say at thigh level, Dodge’s kicks were also low and when the snaps were high, say at helmet level, then the kicks were high and short. However, when the snaps came in at chest level, that is when Dodge hit the high arching punts that turned over and bore into the wind.
DeOssie’s bad snaps continued for the field goal attempts of K Lawrence Tynes. His first snap to was wildly off line and uncatchable. There was at least one other bad snap, but Dodge (the holder) managed to get the rest of the snaps down for Tynes’ kicks. Tynes was successful on all 7 of his kicks. By my estimation the kicks were from distances of 28, 30, 35, 35, 35, 38, and 42 yards. He was kicking into the wind and he kicked from both the left and right hash marks.
Throughout the practice, the quarterbacks continued to make accurate throws that were completed, but on many occasions, the defense had already penetrated the offensive line and would have disrupted the throw or gotten a sack.
Let me mention a few players that I have not said a lot about. WR Derek Hagan continues to make excellent catches. He has size, speed, and grace and is having a terrific camp. He made an outstanding tumbling catch on a deep side line pass from QB Rhett Bomar in the 11 on 11s.
FB Jerome Johnson continues to show that he is a skillful receiver.
In the 11 on 11s, DE Dave Tollefson got into the backfield and would have smothered HB Andre Brown for a five yard loss. DT Nate Collins managed to get into the backfield shortly thereafter.
LB Bryan Kehl made an excellent pass defense in the 7 on 7s drill, although it was not as good as spectacular as CB Terrell Thomas’ leaping one-handed pass defense of an Eli Manning pass to Steve Smith in the two minute drill. Thomas continues to make play after play at CB. It may well be that CB Aaron Ross will be competing with CB Corey Webster for a starting spot rather than with Thomas.