by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF
Bits & Bytes “If” Camp Report
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
Rudyard Kipling, 1895
Training camp…the challenges of your body, your mind, and dealing with all the outside influences that prey on the time you need to get ready. “If” was not written with NFL training camps in mind, but it rings true, every stanza of it. This is what camp is all about, and more than camp as well.
After a weekend of rain, Coach Coughlin must be pleased…nice weather the rest of the week that the Giants are here, and it starts off today. Sun’s out, I fire up the Honda, and zoom towards University at Albany. If you haven’t been there recently, it sort of looks like this:
No worries, they say the construction will be over by next year!
The Temp is 80 degrees, dew point 61, humidity at 54%, and a gentle breeze out of the NW at 3 mph. I get my seat between Fields 2 and 3, and get my notebook out! First on the field today is Coach Coughlin, to applause. Then Pat Hanlon shows, and there’s a new slogan on his T-Shirt! (he’s wearing blue shorts, and a gray t-shirt with a “NY” on the front, and BUILD THE BRIDGE on the back!)
The Offense is on Field 2, the Defense on Field 3. Both are going through plays the coaches call. Weatherford, Tynes and DeOssie are on the other end of Field 2, in the end zone, warming up.
Hey, Will Beatty is back, and on the first team! (he didn’t get in a lot of plays, though, but it’s good to see him taking some reps).
Speaking of Weatherford, he runs to the fence (after the extremely loud noise that indicates change on the field), and drops a football to a kid on the other side. No, I haven’t any idea what that was about!
On Field 2, we start with punt returns, which should be fun to watch after the debacles seen in the first preseason game. Back receiving kicks are Hixon, Cruz, Jernigan, Randle and Hosley. The coaches are concentrating on the PK offensive line; it looks like they are working on how to handle various blitzes.
Field 3: The QB’s settle into their regular drills of shotgun snaps and center exchanges with the following; Snee, Baas, Goodin, Parker and White. Once the ball is snapped, the linemen doing the snapping work on blocking a coach who is hitting them with arm shields.
Field 2: Conditioning (sprints, arm waves, backpedals, leg bends, etc).
Field 5: The guys who are not going to practice still loosen up. Sintim, Canty, J. Williams, Nicks, Douglas, Boley and Beckum. No routes for Nicks today, it seems.
Field 3: The QB’s are doing pitch and catch with Bradshaw. Further up the field, the O Line is working on coming out of their stance and blocking drills.
Field 2: More punt returns with Randle, Hixon, Jernigan and Hosley. Jernigan and Hosley use their body too much, I think, and if they aren’t in perfect position to catch the ball it isn’t pretty. Randle and Hixon extend their arms out, and the ball disappears smoothly into their hands.
Bradshaw comes around to our end, and after some chants raises his hat to the crowd (to great applause! This is a LIVE crowd, and attendance continues to be very good).
Field 3: The D Line is standing around, taking instruction from the coaches. Over at the other end of Field 3, the DB’s are doing “gunner” drills – punt return drills, where the player who is a “gunner” has to work around 2 other players trying to block him.
Field 2: The Offense is going through plays at a higher speed.
Field 3: The rotation drill again! This is where you have 4 drills, and the various groups (linemen, LB’s, CB’s and safeties) rotate clockwise to each station. The drills are as follows:
1) Hit the big medicine ball, then go around it and through the gap (line of 2 pylons on the ground).
2) Hit the pop-up QB who has a ball snuggled into one of it’s “arms,” knock it to the ground and the ball from it’s hands, and then fall on the ball to recover it.
3) Break back and catch a ball thrown by one of the coaches.
4) One player will hold the ball, the other will try a “Tomahawk” chop from behind to get the ball out (LT’s signature move).
Field 2: The Offense spits up. The WR’s do 10 yard sprints, up and down the field, then form 2 lines and catch “hot” passes from coaches 10 yards away. The passes can be high, low, to the left or right. The QB’s and RB’s are on another part of Field 2, and are working on proper handoff drills. The TE’s are working on ball security…one tries to rip the ball out of the other’s hands.
Field 4: The O Line is working on keeping their blocking stance through metal bars (think of a Limbo, only the lineman has to keep down until he passes the bar, in his stance).
Field 2: WR’s and CB’s work on press coverage (getting off the line) drills, one on one.
Field 4: The D Line is doing the step across pylons, then dive to recover a fumbled ball at the end of the line.
Field 3: The safeties are breaking back, then forward to intercept balls thrown by one of the coaches.
Field 2: QB’s are working the short pass patterns (flats, outs, slip screen, dinks) with the running backs.
Field 4: The O Line is working on blocking, with the coaches using arm shields.
Field 3: The CB’s have a drill where one plays a WR trying to do a fade catch in the corner of the end zone, while the other defends that pattern.
Field 2: QB’s are throwing long passes to WR’s on the sidelines (probably sideline awareness drill). The TE’s are working on blocking using arm shields.
Field 3: Now it’s the LB’s turn to work on back pedaling and trying to cover someone going to the corner of the end zone.
Field 4: D Line is working on flowing to one side, then hitting the gaps in the line (the line being pylons on the ground).
Field 3: The DB’s are now together working on different drop back coverages.
Field 5: O Line stance drills.
Field 2: RB’s working on flat and out patterns (the coaches are throwing to them).
Field 5: The O Line splits into two groups; the tackles are working on pass blocking, the guards are working on blocking a line of dummies.
Field 2: Gilbride calls out plays with the QB’s, RB’s and TE’s; they go through their pass patterns as a group. Further down Field 2, the DB’s and WR’s work on 1 on 1 patterns into the end zone.
Field 4: The Offensive Line does 5 on 5 with the D Line.
Field 2: 11 on 11, Offense vs Defense
Eli: Bradshaw up the middle. Play action pass trying to hit Hixon, but he’s covered by Brown and Eli throws over his head. Bear with a dink over the middle. Bradshaw up the middle, then Bear on a seam pass on the right side.
Carr: Barden with a nice catch over Coe in the left flat. Brown with a middle screen. Brown now goes off tackle. Bennett with a nice catch in the left flat vs Jones. Then Brown in the flat.
(In what’s becoming a new tradition, the player who goes to the port-a-potties by the fence facing Field 3 gets huge applause…the other day it was Rolle, today it’s JPP!)
Eli: Hixon makes a beautiful adjustment while the ball’s in the air to get to a long right sideline pass vs Corey. Cruz then with a signature middle curl catch. Ware off tackle right. Bradshaw with a sweep left that’s strung out and ended by Rolle.
Carr: Throws a bad pass to Barden’s wrong shoulder on the right sideline, incomplete. Scott catches a left out, then runs up the middle, then it’s Brown up the middle, then Scott again up the middle!
Perrilloux: Talley catches one in the right flat, then Ryan overthrows Donnell on a right out. Wilson up the middle…gone! Then Wilson slips on a hand off, no play.
Canty and Beckum walk off to the locker room.
Field 2: The offense is working on running plays full speed. There are gadgets! (End around pass for TD; RB sweep and toss for TD!) as well as the normal stuff.
Field 3: Couldn’t be sure, but the defense might have put in some Wildcat work.
Uh oh…Brewer is walking off the field with a coach, and he leans foward, as if he cannot stand upright. He then points to his lower back. The cart comes out, and he goes right to the locker room, in obvious pain.
Field 2: 11 on 11 Offense vs Defense
Eli: Handoff to Bradshaw up the middle. Hixon gets one in the left flat. Ware up the middle. Barden can’t handle a pass on the right flat.
Carr: Brown off tackle left. DePalma with a bad drop on the right sideline. Brown up the middle.
Perrilloux: DePalma comes back with a seam pass right. Stanback with a nice catch of a left curl rocket from Ryan, then again with a catch in the right flat (he looked to be the third option there).
(JPP has his shirt off, and one of the coaches is working on his shoulder pads.)
Field 3: Hey, the old net Coach Palmer used to bring out is back! This is the one with three holes cut into it…the holes are the size of a football if you laid it on the ground, both height and width, with the holes starting lower left and ending upper right!)
The QB’s have to go back, then forward, then left, then right, then pass and try to get the balls through the holes. Eli’s done this before, and he gets two “holes in one,” to great applause. Ryan gets one, but the ball bounces back, and Eli waves it off (to great laughter!)…Ryan is hot and cold on this, as he overthrows the net at one point. Carr comes close, but no cigar.
Field 2: Punt returns by Hosley, Jernigan, Hixon and Randle. I’d hate to be #12, as he drops one of the punts by Weatherford!!!
Field 2: Seven on Seven!
Before we start, Eli brings the offense in, starts back, then turns around and tosses the ball right to the guy in the back endzone film tower…as if to say “Hey, you ready for this??” The crowd roars…Eli is really having fun out there, and it shows (he’s also got the camp beard going, and it looks good on him!)
Eli: Hixon with a drag over the middle vs Corey. Then Eli looks to Barden on the right, then throws to Bennett on a middle curl. Jernigan with a nice catch up the right sideline. Bear with a dink over the middle. Barden with a catch on the right flat vs Corey.
Carr: No one is open. Then Robinson up the middle on a slant. Jernigan with a middle dink. Collins with a catch in the left flat. David overthrows Stanback on the left sideline.
Perrilloux: Randle with a drag catch over the middle. Robinson with a curl over the middle. DePalma with a right slant catch, then Collins with a right flat catch.
Field 3: The O Line splits into two groups, tackles and guards…both are working on combating defensive swim moves and other techniques.
Field 3: Offensive Line vs Defensive Line.
Field 2: 11 vs 11 Offense vs Defense
Eli: Bradshaw with a sweep right. Play action then a pass to Ware in the right flat. A rare bad pass from Eli that’s thrown well over Jernigan’s head; Rolle intercepts! Ware up the middle.
Carr: Johnson and Brown with great double coverage on Jernigan, David has to overthrow the pass or else it’s intercepted. Wilson off tackle left. Carr comes back strong against Johnson and Brown, with Robinson splitting them on the left sideline. Then David fumbles the exchange. Donnell with a nice seam pass, followed by Scott up the middle.
Perrilloux: PLAY OF THE DAY! A PERFECT pass down the right sideline to Bennett; Hill has great coverage on him, but that pass beats 99% of the corners in the NFL – it’s dropped in perfectly over the shoulder for a TD!! Then Wilson up the middle.
Field 2: Green Zone, Offense vs Defense 11 on 11!
Eli: Bradshaw with a handoff up the middle. Play action screen left to Bennett, but Kiwi sniffs it out. Corey with a blatant hold on Hixon on the right sideline, so the pass is incomplete.
Carr: Brown goes up the middle, but Herzlich is right there. Shotgun then a dink to Bennett in the middle for a TD, but someone blew a coverage…that was TOO easy! Robinson on a dink, but Jones is right there.
Perrilloux: Scott up the middle, no gain. Wilson off tackle right.
Field 2: The offense turns around, and has a full field against the defense.
Eli: Bradshaw off tackle left, but Corey plugs that hole. There’s a pass, but I can’t see what happened.
Carr: Brown up the middle with Bear as fullback, no gain. Brown off tackle left. Then someone on the defense blocks the pass from David…and practice is over! The rubber bands come out!
What you didn’t see after practice
Not only the players use the rubber bands to stretch; Gilbride and some of the other coaches were using them!
Eli grabs Jernigan and goes over where he expects JJ to be on a route…you can see him point one way, then another.
The team circles around after stretching, then you hear the chant of “TEAM,” then they split into smaller circles (usually by position), and then break up.
Perrilloux is working with Goodin on the center exchange. One thing I see with Ryan…he is dynamite when he just goes back and throws the ball. If he can speed up his progressions, I think he would throw better passes, and be a viable #2 or better. As I’ve said before, this guy could really use a year in the Arena League…if you talk to Kurt Warner, the Arena League really is great for a QB to learn how to get the ball off quickly, and it makes the NFL seem to “slow down.”
Eli does some sprints, up and down the field. He then hits the Gatorade bar, and waves to the crowd as the “Eli” chants start.
The TE’s do some pitch and catch.
Hendricks (who’s been impressive), Ojomo, Kuhn (who’s sporting a Thor haircut!), Broha and other defensive players do sideline to sideline sprints on Field 3.
Talley and Molden work on press coverage drills.
Bennett does what he’s been doing all camp…he runs 10 yards, turns around and catches the ball from a coach, then goes another 10 yards and repeats until he gets to one end zone, then back again. This guy is serious, and I think he’s going to shock the league this year.