by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
Tight Ends Excel in Practice
On a hot sunny day the Giants were again in full pads. After some warm-up drills the Giants went to a one-on-one passing drill. Clearly the receiver has the advantage here, but WR Jerrel Jernigan put a terrific move on CB Michael Coe that got him open by five yards. He then beat CB Prince Amukamara who has returned to practice. Also, in the one-on-one drill, WR Ramses Barden had an easy time defeating CB Justin Tryon and WR Julian Talley had a nice catch against S Antrel Rolle.
In the 11 on 11 drill, QB Eli Manning found WR Domenik Hixon, but the defense played very strong. FB Henry Hynoski caught two passes from QB David Carr, but Carr had little success elsewhere. When it was QB Ryan Perrilloux’s turn in the drill, he found TE Christian Hopkins for a completion. I’m not sure if Hopkins has had more than one or two other catches in camp.
Also, in this series, CB Jayron Hosley made an excellent pass defense on a Perrilloux pass to WR Brandon Collins. Toward the end of practice Hosley made a pick for six on a pass from Carr or Perrilloux. I did not actually see the catch, I only saw Hosley running with it for 50 yards to the endzone.
In the 11 on 11 drill, Ramses Barden had another easy catch against CB Justin Tryon and WR Jerrel Jernigan caught a short hard pass from QB Eli Manning.
Speaking of short hard passes, RB David Wilson is excellent at catching them. I guess that in addition to his fast-twitch muscles, he as equally fast reflexes, because there is little time to prepare for a five to seven yard pass that is zipped to you by the QB. As for long passes, Jerrel Jernigan nearly caught a 40 yarder from Eli, but I think he was interfered with. Actually, Eli would have been crushed by DE Jason Pierre-Paul before he could have made the throw. Eli followed that with a short pass to Ramses Barden and then a sideline pass to Barden over CB Corey Webster. In the two minute drill, Barden beat Webster again and went out of bounds to stop the clock. A good play.
QB David Carr connected with Jerrel Jernigan on one play and then, running to his left, he was able to connect with WR Rueben Randle. Throwing while running to your left is not easy for a right-handed QB. As a change of pace, the Giants tried a direct snap to David Wilson who caught it easily and was stopped shortly thereafter by the defense.
In the kick-off drill, WR Jerrel Jernigan had yet another fine runback. Today, WR David Douglas got a chance at it. He ran the kick back in excellent fashion. Douglas has some running skills to go with his receiving talent.
K Lawrence Tynes kicked 4 field goals. The longest of them was from 43 yards.
Aside from Christian Hopkins, the other tight ends were impressive. Bear Pascoe made a good catch against LB Keith Rivers in the 7 on 7 drill. Rivers later redeemed himself with a good pass defense of a David Carr pass attempt to RB David Wilson.
TE Ryan Purvis caught a ball from Ryan Perrilloux in the 11 on 11s and showed excellent speed pivoting and running up the sidelines.
Martellus Bennett made three catches. He is able to catch the ball, secure it and run with it. On a bubble screen he showed good speed to turn the ball upfield. On the last play of the scrimmage, Bennett and WR Victor Cruz found themselves uncovered in the endzone and they collided with each other going for the ball. Cruz got the TD. It looked like he stole it from Bennett.
Finally, TE Adrien Robinson had his day in the sun! Robinson is a big guy. His legs and rear end look like an offensive lineman’s. If he is a good blocker, he is fast enough for the NFL. He caught a pass in the 11 on 11s from QB Eli Manning. Also in the 11 on 11s, DE Adrian Tracy made a good play to get into the backfield to force QB David Carr to get rid of the ball. Carr flipped the ball over Tracy’s head to Adrien Robinson, who was at the line of scrimmage. Adrien caught it and turned up field. It was a fine play by all three players.
There was plenty of give and take by the offense and the defense. In the two minute drill, after QB Eli Manning got the defense to jump offsides twice in a row, Victor Cruz caught a pass over S Antrel Rolle. There was also a pass in the flat to RB Ahmad Bradshaw, but Eli would have been sacked by DE Osi Umenyiora before he could throw.
Osi had a good day. He jumped in front of a safety valve pass by Eli that was intended for one RB D.J. Ware (I think) and made an easy interception.
WR David Douglas did an excellent job of getting open to pull in a Ryan Perrilloux pass and WR Dan DePalma also made a nice play on a Perrilloux pass.
Rookie Wide Receivers.
I have not written a lot about the new receivers. At the start of camp it looked like Cruz, Nicks, Jernigan, Hixon, and Barden had five of the six receiver slots locked up. Then, starting from day one of camp, Rueben Randle was very impressive. That, combined with Randle’s status as a high draft choice, pretty much took care of all six slots.
Unless one of the top six receivers gets injured, or plays horribly, the remaining five receivers, Julian Talley, Brandon Collins, Dan DePalma, Isaiah Stanback, and David Douglas appear to have little chance to make the team.
Have all five of these young guys made good plays when given the opportunity? Yes. Has any one of them significantly elevated himself above the other four? Not so far as I can tell. Has any one of them played so poorly that I give him no shot at making the team? No.
A big question is whether a young guy can beat out Ramses Barden. Based on less than two weeks of camp; not yet. However, if you listen to what Coach Coughlin is saying to the press, his expects Barden to produce right now. Is that an ultimatum? Is this the last camp that Tom will be patient with Barden? Who knows? I ran out of patience with TE Travis Beckum two years ago, so what do I know about Tom’s patience?
The real issue is the future. You can analyze the heck out of past performances, but still not be able to predict the future. If you could, all the first round picks would be in the NFL Hall of Fame and all the undrafted rookie free agents would be second and third stringers.
Young players can improve a lot in a short time. The preseason games have yet to be played. They could be the deciding factor for a young guy (or for Barden). If I see a trend of success by one receiver, or a trend of failure by another, BBI will be the first to know.
It is perfectly natural for people to want to make up their minds as early as possible despite not yet having all the facts. That is the result of human evolution (so that cavemen didn’t get eaten by saber-toothed tigers while trying to decide if the tiger looked hungry or not). I suspect that the final WR squad might be a mystery until the end of August, so try to hold out for three more weeks.