Jun 122014
 
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New York Giants Defensive Backs (June 12, 2014)

New York Giants Defensive Backs – Photo by Connor Hughes

The second-to-last Organized Team Activity (OTA) for the New York Giants may have been the most impactful yet.

With media in attendance for the last time before next week’s mandatory 3-day mini-camp, the Giants worked on special teams, offense, defense, the two-minute drill and full 11-on-11. During the-two minute portion of practice, middle linebacker Jon Beason jumped in the air in an attempt to bat down a pass for wideout Rueben Randle. Beason landed awkwardly, instantly limping off of the field.

After reaching the sideline, with help from Stevie Brown, Beason sat on an equipment box while being evaluated by trainers. After roughly 10 minutes, a cart was brought out to take Beason back to the locker room.

Coughlin addressed the media after practice, but knew little in terms of the linebacker’s health, saying nothing more than it was a “foot” injury. Beason is undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury. No more information is known at this time.

Below you will find the complete practice report, followed by your questions answered.

With rain hitting East Rutherford throughout yesterday evening and overnight, the Giants elected to practice in their field house. As was the case during the team’s last OTA open to the media, this made observing practice a bit easier. Also, some local referees were brought in for the first time during a media-open session.

MISSING FACES

  • Peyton Hills, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

    Peyton Hillis – Photo by Connor Hughes

    The same players were absent from practice today. Mario Manningham, John Jerry and Will Beatty are out until training camp. Odell Beckham Jr. continues to be sidelined with a hamstring issue, although he did attempt to field one punt. Chris Snee had another scheduled day off.

  • One “new” addition to the injury report was running back Peyton Hillis. Apparently in the first set of OTAs, the RB injured a muscle. He practiced through it for a week and a half before the injury worsened. He expects to be back by soon and did not seem very worried after practice.

SPECIAL TEAMS

As was the case last week, the Giants opened their OTA with a full 11-on-11 punt drill. The team worked what appeared to be the starting units for both squads.

  • Returner rotation was a little different this week from last. Trindon Holliday got the first rep, followed by Walter Thurmond III, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz. During the second “rotation” of this, Odell Beckham Jr. jumped in after Randle, but Steve Weatherford’s punt hit the roof and was not returned. Beckham was then removed.
  • Looks like the starting “gunners” for the Giants on punt return are Zack Bowman and Bennett Jackson. Bowman has always specialized in special teams and Jackson excelled at it at Notre Dame. Bowman made a nice play when he jumped at the goal line, turned around in mid air and batted the ball backwards. The ball was then downed at the 1/2-yard-line. I’m not terribly sure, but Bowman’s foot “may” have touched the endzone line, thus making it a touchback.
  • The Giants ran an interesting drill after a few reps in which the punt team kicked from the 40-yard-line, but the gunners lined up at the 20. The team worked through a bunch of different rotations with the gunners. Guys that saw reps included: Bowman, Jackson, Preston Parker, Charles James, Travis Howard, Marcus Harris, Julian Talley and Jayron Hosley.

DEFENSE

Jacquian Williams, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Jacquian Williams – Photo by Connor Hughes

Following the special teams session, all teams split up. The offense set up on the far end of the field, the special teams (including OBJ) went outside and the defense worked directly in front of us. We’ll start with the D.

  • Not too much to go around here. The team worked on some stripping drills. Jacquian Williams stood out a bit there. He’s a guy that has all the physical tools to be a real good player in the league.
  • Jameel McClain is a talker. His voice is loud, carries and you can sense how passionate he is about the game. He may be the biggest, and most underrated, addition to the team this year.

OFFENSE

The Giants’ offense worked out with quarterbacks, tight ends and wideouts running similar patterns and simply working through the lineups. Basically how you see the team warmup prior to a game.

  • The Giants have worked a tight end by committee approach during practice, making sure everyone gets their reps. That didn’t change today. In nearly every drill, Kellen Davis was the first on the field. Joining him at the skill positions were Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle on the outside, Victor Cruz in the slot and David Wilson at RB. This portion of practice featured no defense, thus Wilson participated.
  • The wideouts continued with the quick-pass trend we’re seeing early on. They’d start by taking one step up field, then instantly coming back. It wasn’t so much a curl as it looked like a screen. Either way, I didn’t see a drop.
  • The running backs also did this pattern and two players made some impressive grabs. David Wilson had one sail a bit behind him, but he jumped up and reached behind to make the grab. John Conner did something similar. Both showed some nice hands.
  • Andre Williams continues to catch the ball with his body. He doesn’t have much experience catching the ball and it shows a bit.
  • After running everyone through the same routes, the RBs split and took handoffs while the WRs and TEs continued to run routes. Interesting little double-moves displayed as the WRs had to get around the coach, make one step outside before cutting inside and up the field on a short post.
  • The offense then gathered again near the goal line (5/10-yard-line) and ran through several shot gun formations. One thing that really stood out was how the RBs were used in the passing game. On one play, Wilson came out of the backfield and darted out, then instantly made a hard cut and came inside to catch a pass over the middle. On another play, he cut inside first, before changing direction and going out. Wilson looked pretty good out of the backfield, running nice routes and displaying good hands.

TWO MINUTE DRILL

As has been the case in each OTA, the Giants moved from the split practice to the two-minute drill. Matching first team versus first team.

  • I’ll set the scene first offensively for both first- and second-team offensive lines. First unit read from left to right – Charles Brown, Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, Brandon Mosley, Justin Pugh. Second unit – James Brewer, Weston Richburg, Dallas Reynolds, Troy Kropog, Steven Baker.
  • Starting skill positions were the same as the just offense drill, Randle and Jernigan outside, Cruz slot and Davis at tight end. Only change was Rashad Jennings taking over at RB for Wilson.
  • Davis saw some action early, catching a couple balls in the flat. The play was open and Manning hit him pretty quickly. Both looked well designed and set to pick up eight or so yards.
  • The offense sputtered a bit around the 40 and was replaced by the second unit. Nassib started off well, making a few really quick decisions and looking calm in the pocket. That quickly changed, more on that later.
  • First time we saw the “shuffle pass” with the Giants and it really couldn’t have gone much worse. Nassib attempted to get it to Andre Williams, who had it bounce off his hands and nearly into those of a defender. Again, he tried to catch with his body.
  • After a few passes looked very good, Nassib began to look very…very bad. He was rushed, forced passes and missed others. When the dust settled, he had been intercepted three times. His first was by C.J. Barnett, who jumped a deep pass down the sideline. The second was by Charles James, who jumped one on a roll out. The third was by Cooper Taylor, who picked one off after it bounced off the hands of Larry Donnell.
  • Charles James, by the way, is looking as good as a football player can without pads on. He flies around the ball, is constantly talking and has great ball skills. He may be one to keep an eye on. If it comes down to James or Jayron Hosley, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the last year’s undrafted rookie get the nod.

  • Brandon Mosley and Weston Richburg were switching in and out at guard with the first team.
  • J.D. Walton had a snap that went over the head of Eli Manning.
  • Eli Manning drove the Giants down the field to roughly the five, but missed Jernigan on what I believe was a fourth down. Following the play, the team reset at the other end of the field. Jernigan ran along the back of the endzone and the pass came a bit low.
  • Trindon Holliday continues to impress on offense. He is very, very shifty and his juke is LeSean McCoy-like. He caught a screen and caused a few yips from teammates as he maneuvered his way in and out of the defense.
  • During this drill is when Beason went down. He was replaced by rookie Devon Kennard, not Mark Herzlich.

GOAL LINE

After the two-minute drill, the Giants worked goal line for the first time in front of media.

  • Not too much was able to be made out from the offense as they lined up at the end of the field. One play that did stick out was a pass to Hynoski out of the backfield. It looks like every back is going to be involved in the passing game.
  • Got our first look at the Giants’ goal line defense. From right to left (looking back at the defense) the line read as follows: Robert Ayers, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mike Patterson, Johnathan Hankins, Cullen Jenkins and Mathias Kiwanuka. Backers were Spencer Paysinger, Jameel McClain, Devon Kennard and Jacquian Williams.

11-ON-11

Giants ran some 11-on-11, matching the starting offense with sometimes the starting defense, other times the third stringers. Really no consistency when it came to that.

  • Kennard continued to fill in entirely for Beason. Even in the nickel formation, he joined Williams. I’m not sure this would continue if the injury is serious. I’d expect McClain to get the MIKE reps.
  • The defensive line looked pretty good. JPP batted one down in the face of Manning while Mathias Kiwanuka and Damontre Moore each had would-be sacks.
  • Saw a couple neat formations from the offense. The team lined up in a trips right, but it wasn’t three wide receivers. Victor Cruz was in the middle and to his left and right were tight ends. Earlier in practice, the team lined up with three wideouts to the right, and a tight end split out wide to the left.

  • Second team defensive line was as follows from left to right looking at the defense’s back: Damontre Moore, Marcus Kuhn, Johnathan Hankins and Robert Ayers.
  • Adrien Robinson was a little quiet today. He caught a few in the flat, but dropped one too. Nothing bad, nothing great.

TWO-MINUTE DRILL (round two)

  • The Giants ended practice with what was supposed to be another two-minute drill, but it lasted just one play. Eli Manning dropped back and fired a beautiful pass to Rueben Randle on an out for what would have been a 50-yard touchdown. The pass split three defenders.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

As is the case each week, we asked you what we wanted BBI to look out for in practice. You asked, we answered.

FROM LINHB – I’d love to hear how the WR feel about the new offensive system.

  • Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle each spoke today and echoed that they enjoy it. Jernigan caught himself when asked if he likes this offense more than last year and if it’s easier, but both did say there are not nearly as many “reads.”

FROM FAST ADAM – Interested to see how the Tom Crabtree workout goes.

  • He wasn’t signed and for now it was most likely testing the waters.

FROM DCGIANTS – What’s the real situation with OBD?

  • He tweaked his hammy and is waiting for medical clearance. He did more today than last week.

FROM ED A – How is the DT rotation shaping up?

  •  Tough to see when it gets to third team, but starters are Jenkins and Patterson, second team Hankins and Kuhn.

FROM GMEN9892 – How have Walton and Richburg faired? Who would you consider the early favorite to start?

  • It’s going to take an injury or something unforeseen to not have Walton the center for game No. 1. Richburg is the future, potentially at guard, but right now it’s Walton’s job. Tough to say how each has played because it’s all non contact. Walton did have a snap over Eli’s head today.

FROM SECTION125 – Has Pugh seen action at LT?

  • Not that I’ve seen.

FROM RIVER MIKE – How is Xavier Grimble progressing with playbook?

  • Didn’t talk to media.

FROM RPTl530 – What does fall mean for William Beatty?

  • Coughlin said that the plan from day one has been to have Beatty a go for training camp. That apparently hasn’t changed.

FROM MARTY IN ALBANY – If the new offensive scheme is easier to learn and to run will it also be easier for defenders to recognize and defend?

  • Not really. It’s not “easier” in terms of picking it up. It’s easier because there aren’t as many on-the-fly decisions made by the WR. In the past, the option routes would need to be read the same by Eli Manning and his target. If one sees something the other doesn’t, it’s an interception.

FROM SHAOLIN SHADOWBOXIN – How is Nassib progressing compared to Painter? How about Damontre Moore?

  • Moore continues to flash, he just needs to be consistent. Nassib has gotten nearly all the reps. I think Painter saw a combined six today? I’ve heard conflicting reports on him from the team, but I have not been impressed with Nassib. Looks rattled, inaccurate and hasn’t made good decisions.

FROM G-BABY – Motioning WRs?

  • Yup, similar to TE, the wideout is in motion a lot.

THE GIANTS WILL HAVE MINI CAMP ON JUNE 17, 18 and 19. BBI WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE FOR THE 17 AND 19 PRACTICES.

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Connor Hughes/BBI

Connor Hughes has been working in both the broadcasting and journalism fields for the last seven years. His work has been heard on WMCX, WBZC and Lenape District Television, while read on the pages of The Star-Ledger and The Burlington County Times. Connor can be reached via email (Connor_Hughes@bigblueinteractive.com) or on twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes)

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