by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
DE Justin Trattou Helped Off Field; Rain Spoils Coughlin’s Plans
Well today was rainy and the practice had its share of high and low points. The lowest is the possible injury to DE Justin Trattou who went down with an ankle injury during the 11 on 11s. He hopped to the sideline and was helped the rest of the way off the field. During a drill prior to the injury, Justin had shown outstanding speed, which is why so many people thought that he would be Dave Tollefson’s replacement on the D-line. On a happier note, the other large Justin, DE Justin Tuck, swatted down an Eli Manning pass and rookie DT Markus Kuhn did the same to QB Ryan Perrilloux at the very end of the practice.
Today, the defense caught up a bit with the offense. There were a few plays that were stopped before they even started. Even though the Giants were in shorts and shells, there was a lot more physical contact than yesterday.
P Steve Weatherford practiced catching snaps on the sideline. He fielded low snaps, high snaps, spirals, and knuckle balls. He caught them two-handed and he caught them one-handed. All of it under the watchful eye of K Lawrence Tynes. Later on, there was a field goal drill and Tynes boomed 5 kicks that would have been good from 45-50 yards. There were no actual goal posts because the rain (more about that later) forced the team to use the SUNY lacrosse field. So it was not possible to tell if the kicks were wide or not. They looked pretty good to me.
In a startling turn around for Coach Couglin, the Giants ran a fake field goal! Weatherford caught LS Zak DeOssie’s snap and ran with it.
Lawrence Tynes also kicked in the kick-off return drill. The majority of the run backs were by RB David Wilson and WR Jerrel Jernigan, although WR Rueben Randle had one or two as well. Maybe because of their size, Wilson and Jernigan do not look like they are running fast, but Randle looks like he is as fast as anyone on the team. Both FB Henry Hynoski and DT Marvin Austin are on the kick-off return team. They hold hands (if that is still legal) to form the mid-field blocking wedge. Trust me, Henry is a lot faster than Marvin, but few tacklers are going to want to tangle with Austin.
Today I got a better look at WR Victor Cruz. All I can say is he is not the same receiver that I last saw in camp two years ago. He is slick! His footwork, his positioning, and his body control are outstanding. You better have your hands on him when he catches the ball, or he will run away from you. He caught a pass one-handed during one of the passing drills in front the grandstand. The crowd positively erupted. I guarantee that if Cruz is not double covered (or held) on every play, he will not be stopped.
I have wondered just how fast LB Mark Herzlich is. In one of the drills, he ran perhaps a step ahead of Greg Jones and two steps in front of Spencer Paysinger. I think that is good news. Now my only question is about Mark’s judgment. This is based on his remarkably unflattering Mohawk haircut. Did he lose a bet to a teammate?
I think that RB David Wilson had an impressive practice. He is not a big guy and he does not have big arms or big thighs like 195 pound RB Joe Morris did. I’ll have to go with Wilson having “indian muscles.” That is kind of an old-fashioned term for having a lot of strength and stamina without having bulging muscles.
He had better be very resilient, because he is going to get knocked around quite a bit. I wonder about his pass blocking ability and I wonder about his ankles. It appears that he wears wraps around his ankles, I was told, but can’t confirm, that he had done so Virginia Tech as well.
Today he caught passes that RB Brandon Jacobs can only dream of catching. He also runs very well after the catch. His only misstep was a muffed catch of a pitch-out in the 11 on 11s. I could not tell if it was an incomplete pass, or a live ball (lateral). Wilson also got a bunch of hand offs and that is where his agility really shows. On one run he made three cuts in about five yards. He has tremendous balance as well. The rest of the RBs also had a good practice.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw is not even trying to run at full speed yet. He does not have to. He looks comfortable running and that is fine with me. On one play he ran about five yard in traffic, then bounced mid-air chest-to-chest with a LB, kept his balance and continued running down the field.
The Giants have an interesting RB drill. The football is attached to a long and heavy rubber band. The other end is attached to a player sitting on the ground. The running back takes the football under his arm and sees how far he can stretch the rubber band while still holding onto the ball.
In terms of catching the ball, I have seen nothing from RBs Henry Hynoski, D.J. Ware, or Andre Brown that I can complain about.
It was very clear today why QB David Carr is the back-up quarterback. He is a better ball handler, more accurate, and most of all is better a finding open receivers than Ryan Perrilloux. Ryan hesitated frequently before he pulled the trigger on his passes.
It rained this morning so the Giants could not use the practice fields. They used Fallon Field where the SUNY team plays lacrosse. It is astroturf and quite springy. Never-the-less, the Coach was not happy about having to change his plans.
This morning, I figured that Tom would try to get the practice in by starting ahead of the scheduled 1:30 PM time so I arrived at 1:00 to a slight drizzle. The team had already been on the field for a quarter of an hour. Although it was cloudy and threatening, the rain held off until 3:10. That dampened the enthusiasm of the autograph hungry crowd, but TC kept the team on the field until 3:30.
This is not the first time that Coach Coughlin has managed to get in his practice just ahead of the rain. I can only think of two or three times during Tom’s entire tenure with the team that he has lost a practice to the rain. There are three possibilities, Tom is either smart, or lucky, or has made a pact with the devil.