by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
The Giants Prepare for the Jaguars
It was another hot sunny day. The Giants wore shorts, shoulder pads and helmets, not full pads. As such, the contact was much reduced and it did not look like the players were going full speed on their blocks. Our defense still looked like it made its share of plays, but it was hard to tell. It looked like the Giants were running many plays based on what they expected the Jaguars to do in Friday’s game.
LB Michael Boley was not dressed; perhaps he got the day off. I did not see WR Domenik Hixon on the field. I might just have missed him.
Speaking of misses, there was a punt return drill and perhaps WR Rueben Randle lost the ball in the sun, because he let the ball bounce about a yard away. In the 11 on 11 drill that followed, TE Larry Donnell missed a ball thrown by QB David Carr that hit him squarely between the numbers. Unfortunately, the numbers were Donnell’s back, not his chest! Later on, Donnell redeemed himself with a TD catch in the goal line drill.
WR Victor Cruz caught the most balls today and with apparently little effort. Little effort is a poor choice of words. The proper word for Cruz’s receiving style is “grace.” He caught a TD pass from QB Eli Manning over CB Justin Tryon (?) in the red zone drill. In the same drill, WR Dan DePalma made a leaping TD catch on a pass from Ryan Perrilloux.
TE Christian Hopkins also caught a few passes today. He made two nice catches in the 11 on 11s of QB Ryan Perrilloux passes. In the goal line drill Hopkins caught a QB David Carr TD pass at the sideline.
The best catch of the day was also in the goal line drill. Ryan Perrilloux tossed a ball to Brandon Collins which he tapped to himself and then made a leaping, tumbling TD catch.
In that same drill, you could hear Head Coach Tom Coughlin screaming loud and long at RB Joe Martinek. Apparently Joe was not lead blocking (as a FB in a running play) up to Coughlin’s expectations. I suspect that Joe will be thinking about that episode until the next time he has the opportunity to throw a block.
The defensive play of the day was a spectacular tumbling interception in the 7 on 7 drill by S Will Hill on a pass by QB Ryan Perrilloux. Ryan holds the ball far too long before making his throws. It would seem that he just bird dogs a single receiver and waits for him to get open. For instance, there was a fine catch made by WR Brandon Collins, but the catch was made long after Perrilloux would have been sacked. WR David Douglas also showed good hands on a Perrilloux pass.
Also in the 7 on 7 drill both Brandon Collins and Julian Talley showed excellent hands to hold on to Perrilloux passes that were zipped to them.
Back in the 11 on 11s, WR Ramses Barden made a good catch in traffic of a Eli Manning pass. Eli also found TE Martellus Bennett open in that series.
With their many pages of complex formations, NFL playbooks are hard to understand. The Giants’ playbook has the reputation of being especially difficult, with all its route trees and assorted shrubbery. Is it possible that Head Coach Tom Coughlin is making things even harder by using confusing terminology?
Although I am not privy to the contents of the Giants’ playbook, we do have some glimpses of what the players are being asked to digest.
“Red Zone” is standard NFL terminology. It is the area between the twenty yard line and the goal line. Coach Coughlin insists on calling that area the “Green Zone.” He feels that red suggests “stop” and that “stop” is the wrong mind-set for his players. Come on Coach, that’s crazy talk!
Athletes are not blind. They can’t help but notice that the entire field is green, except for the white lines. Calling only a small section of an entirely green field, the “green zone” is weird, even for football. If you don’t like “red zone” Tom, how about “go zone,” or “scoring zone,” or “win zone?”
Then there is the linebacker terminology. By definition, the strong side “Sam” LB sets up across from the offensive team’s tight end (their strong side) and the other outside linebacker, who does not face a tight end, is the weak side “Will” LB.
TC turned that definition on its head and calls the Sam LB the “Will LB,” and vice-versa. My theory is that Tom did this solely out of a perverse sense of humor. Did you ever wonder why it took veteran linebackers, like Michael Boley and Kawika Mitchell, at least half a season to get accustomed to the Giants’ defensive scheme? Maybe it’s because they were suffering from an identity crisis.