by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor UberAlias
Note: If you want to cut through the intro and get to the meat of this 2013 New York Giants training camp report, skip down to Practice Observations.
So I’m on my way to the practice wondering of the weather is going to hold up when sure enough it starts to rain. They have been predicting thunderstorms and if they the team decides to head indoors practice won’t be open to the public. But the rain is not coming down hard so I decide to keep going.
When I get to the facility a half hour prior to the start of practice I am surprised to see groups of people in blue walking from the stadium lots to the center. This is odd I thought, until I realize the lots at the practice field have already filled up and overflowing into the stadium parking. In the practices I attended in 2011 and yesterday this was never required. To further my surprise, I see there is a huge line to get in wrapping itself half way around the lot at the center. In my other experiences here there is nowhere near this sort of crowd and you can just walk right in. The rain was still coming down and I was thinking to myself, this may not be happening today, and even if it does, there is no way I’m getting a seat with a view in the bleachers. That’s autograph day on a weekend for you, I guess.
I knew if I was patient I could eventually get a spot on the bleachers once people started leaving their seats to get a spot in the area they do autographs, but that could take a while and the masses of people by the fence was four or five deep already, and I’m not particularly tall, so I needed a strategy, and fast. I knew they didn’t permit people to stand in front of the bleachers, so I figured if I could get myself on the edge of that area I might be able to get some limited portion of that view, just not all of it, and not straight on. Not bad – it worked, to an extent.
So as practice was starting, they were having some challenges keeping people away from the fence in front of the bleachers. There were just too many people and not enough spots with a view. There was one man pushing a boy of, maybe 14, who was in a wheel chair with a big cast on his leg. He was in this area trying to get his boy a spot where he could see. I thought for sure they would find him a spot and asked the man and he said they told him to move because they were blocking the views from the bleachers. I could not believe it. They should have offered to let him come to the other side of the fence, or have some kind of handicapped accommodations, but apparently they didn’t and the security guys weren’t going to cut this man and his boy any slack. Not cool. In the end, they seemed to give up yelling at people to move away from in front of the bleachers and started letting kids sit there and only asked them to sit. I think eventually this man got a spot near the fence and it worked out, but this was all not well managed.
Anyway, onto the practice.
My initial views were limited to only what was right in front of me, but what I could see was right in front of me permitting me to make some physical observations of players, mostly on the defensive side. Here are some of those impressions (most of them we already know):
Mathias Kiwanuka is no longer that slender kid he was when he first came in. Maybe he’s bulked up a bit with his return to the trenches, but he looks bigger and thicker than I recall.
Kevin Boothe is a big boy. We all know his lower half, but he’s got big powerful looking arms and upper body bulk to go with it.
Prince Amukamara looks big enough to play safety.
Aaron Curry is huge. He’s not one of those athletic narrow-waist broad-shoulder types, he’s thick and powerfully built.
Ryan Mundy has good size and looks like a Kenny Phillips clone physically.
Michael Jasper looks absolutely massive. (Is there an adjective to describe bigger than massive?) He makes every other big guy look small.
If anyone has any ideas of Cooper Taylor playing LB, you can forget it. Maybe that 3rd safety role, but there is no way he can be taking on blockers and playing the run play in play out. He’s got the weight because he is tall, but he’s narrow and built nothing like a LB. We can check back in a few years if he fills out, but for now, he’s all safety and specials.
In team drills I got some good views of the defense. They seemed to be working a lot of turnover drills. First where they would practice stripping the ball from behind the runner. Most of them would strip it out and then pick it up off the ground, but Kiwi, with his long arms, would simply reach around and take the ball from the guy’s hands. They were later doing work with the secondary playing your man but then breaking off to make a play on the ball in the air. They did a lot of work on playing your man and focusing on keeping proper positioning.
Soon after they worked on specials. Josh Brown has a boot. I did not know much about him and was wondering if he was a strong leg type, but he looked it to me today. The one thing I didn’t like about Tynes was too may kicks returned or not enough height on his kicks. I am wondering if this was one of the factors in deciding to make a change.
When it came to the passing portion Hakeem Nicks made a sweet catch on a deep ball early on and that was it for him. We’ve seen the reports from TC and I guess we will have to see how that plays out. As bad a sign as it is, early on, these types of tweaks are very common because you are not used to working and they aren’t going to push anything with him. Tyler Sash seemed to injure himself at the end and they were looking at his lower half. My guess at the time was that it was a cramp and I believe that is what TC ultimately reported. There was one other injury I saw where one of the young WRs (Editor’s Note: Kris Adams) looked like he jammed a finger trying to catch a ball. They were working on him and he seemed in pain.
If you were to ask me the one thing that stood out to me most today I would say it would have to be the tight ends. Both Adrien Robinson and Brandon Myers had strong practices. Myers looks on the small side to me where as Robinson is big and powerfully built, but both can catch. Robinson in one of his catches caught a TD on a fake field goal, but had others. Myers in particular looks like one of those guys sure handed guys who knows how to find the holes in coverage. I came away very impressed and if we can ever find a way to solidify the line to a point where we aren’t always having to rely on TEs chipping on guys as they release, these tight ends could end up playing a very big role in the passing game.
I reported this yesterday and will repeat again today. Rookie QB Ryan Nassib is getting a lot of reps. He is getting at least as many as Carr, possibly more. If I did not know any better I would might actually think they were going to give him a legitimate chance to compete for the back-up job. That said, he has a ways to go. He throws a good ball, but the timing is not there, as expected, and I think there are a lot of throws he needs work on. He seems to work well off of play action.
Some final notes:
Eli had a great looking TD to Cruz on the first play of red (cough cough green) zone.
The back up defensive linemen were stuffing the running plays (hard to tell with no pads though).
LBs Paysinger and Curry blitzed through the middle for what would have been as sack in 11 on 11s.
Damontre Moore looked fast off the ball.
Ever other player was wearing blue shorts except Frank Okam. He was quite silly looking in his grey work out pants. Couldn’t somebody have found the guy a pair of blue shorts to wear?
Sean OHara walked by the fence a few times and received well deserved cheers of appreciation from the crowds.
As a group, the LBs seemed to have a good day. I’ll reserve judgment until the pads come on and we see some action in the preseason, but I am starting to think it would not be surprising to see this shape up to be a relatively solid group.