by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Shaun O’Hara & Kenny Phillips Return to Practice; Corey Webster Excels
Head Coach Tom Coughlin must have been happy. Not only did he see the return to practice of C Shaun O’Hara, the leader of his offensive line, and S Kenny Phillips, a player who had rapidly been developing into an NFL star prior to his knee injury, but he finally got the hot weather he wanted. It was in the 80s and the strong sun made it seem much hotter. The Giants were in helmets, shorts and shells, so that may have given them a bit of relief.
O’Hara practiced pretty much as if he had never been injured, while Phillips was more limited. He was only in for a few plays in the 11 on 11s, before he was yanked. I’m guessing that the Giants want to see if there is any swelling or soreness before they let him practice more vigorously. C Adam Koets is still second string behind O’Hara and OT Guy Whimper is still filling in for LG Rich Seubert.
OT David Diehl is still the starter at LT and William Beatty is behind him. Beatty gave us a scare when he went down in the 11 on 11s and walked off the field slowly accompanied by some trainers. Apparently, he took a poke in the eye. He was back in practice about ten minutes later.
There were some kickoff return drills. HB D.J. Ware, HB Andre Brown, and WR Duke Calhoun each caught and ran back two kicks from the goal line. As I mentioned before, I don’t think Brown is up to full speed or full power yet.
Duke Calhoun has made a few nice catches and he has a good amount of speed. As with WR Victor Cruz, Duke is somewhat shorter than the roster indicates. Calhoun is about the same height as WR Derek Hagan, who is 6-2, while Cruz is clearly under 6-0 rather than the 6-1 height listed in the roster.
In addition to punt returns, the Giants practiced kickoffs after a safety. (A free kick from the 20 yard line.) In the past, the Giants would tee the ball up at the 20 and the kicker would kick the ball. However, this morning, P Matt Dodge punted the ball (without a snap) as is permitted by the rules. Matt got good distance with his first effort, but apparently his timing was off and his later tries were not as pretty or as deep.
- After a safety, if the ball is kicked from a tee and it goes out of bounds without being touched, is it a penalty and the ball placed at the 40 yard line?
- Is there a penalty for punting the ball out of bounds after a safety?
- Can you have an on-side kick after a safety?
There will be a test on this later on.
In the 11 on 11s, CB Corey Webster made a tumbling one handed pass defense of a QB Eli Manning intended for WR Ramses Barden. Later, in the 7 on 7s, Webster made a fine interception of a deep QB Eli Manning pass that was either under-thrown or not thrown soon enough, (because Webster had to wait for the ball to arrive).
Later, in the 11 on 11s, Webster victimized Ramses Barden again when he defensed another Eli Manning pass. Next, Corey made yet another fine pass defense of a Manning pass; this one intended for WR Mario Manningham. It would seem that Corey is not ready to relinquish his star CB billing to Terrell Thomas.
Although the players were only in shells, the hitting was brisk and the play a bit more urgent as the 11 on 11 drills included keeping track of down and distance along with a game clock and the 35 second buzzer, which went off multiple times prior to the ball being snapped.
Some of the best receptions were made by WRs who have little chance of making the roster. WR Tim Brown made a diving side line catch in traffic on a QB Jim Sorgi throw and another one over the middle from QB Rhett Bomar. WR Victor Cruz turned on a burst of speed to catch a ball out that was thrown out of bounds and made a fine over-the-shoulder catch of a deep pass from Rhett Bomar.
Bomar got away with throwing the ball into triple coverage on a reception made by TE Bear Pascoe. FB Jerome Johnson continues his impressive camp by making two receptions in a row of Sorgi passes.
The defense made its share of plays this morning, including DT Chris Canty knocking down another Manning pass at the line of scrimmage.