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JULY 22, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
For the first time since the team broke mini-camp 32 days ago, the New York Giants put on their helmets, jerseys and cleats and trotted out of the locker room at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Below you will find our complete practice report for the Giants’ first training camp practice of the year. Earlier in the week, we asked you what you wanted observed. You’ll find answers to those questions at the conclusion of the report.
SETTING THE STAGE…
Before we dive too far into the camp report and details, just a little heads up on all the minor odds and ends. The team was without pads for the first of three practices, otherwise known as the ‘acclimation period.’
As was announced yesterday, the only player that was inactive for the start of camp was linebacker Jon Beason, who remains on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. Mario Manningham, David Wilson, John Jerry and William Beatty all participated in practice on a ‘limited basis.’
- Of the three, it appears Manningham did the most. The wide receiver took part in individual drills, 7-on-7, strictly offense and the final 11-on-11 drill. He didn’t stand out much in the team portion of practice, but the fact he’s out there is a good sign. When wide receivers did some work with the quarterbacks, Manningham did two rotations, took one off, then did the third.
- William Beatty split reps early with Charles Brown at left tackle. He took reps in all facets of practice.
- Former Dolphins guard John Jerry was more limited than the other two, but still saw reps. He spoke before and told the media his biggest issue is conditioning because he hasn’t run in some time.
- David Wilson took some reps with the No. 2’s and made a few really nice plays. More on that later.
As will be the case most practices, the Giants start with a little special teams before transitioning into their team stretch. Today, it was the punt returners turn to draw the eye of reporters. The Giants had a make-shift punt team, no gunners, and while Steve Weatherford fielded snaps, a punt machine was used to send balls to the returners.
- The return rotation was very, very similar to the one displayed in OTAs and mini-camp. First Trindon Holliday, then Odell Beckham Jr., then Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz closed it out. Mario Manningham fielded one punt as well.
- It’s looking more and more like Trindon Holliday is going to make this team as a returner. He gets all reps there and flashed a few times on offense again. There’s been talk he may be cut or is on the bubble, I just don’t see it. In every practice the media has been at, he’s taken his first reps as a returner each time.
- Damontre Moore is sporting a brand new facemask that looks very, very nice. Does it meet the new regulations? Not sure. But it will look good until he’s told not to wear it anymore.
- Something shown in OTAs was again shown today in camp. The Giants practiced a ‘fake punt’ where they direct-snapped the ball to Quintin Demps.
With the Giants now having the full disposal of each practice field, it’s hard to keep an eye on everything. After the special teams portion of practice, the offense and defense split up. I ran with the offense today, will keep an eye on the defense tomorrow.
- With the defensive and offensive lines off in the distance, the Giants’ quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks and tight ends came together to work. All players participated, including Mario Manningham, as each ran basic routes. Nothing traveled more than 15 yards or so.
- John Conner made a pretty nice grab on a quick screen-ish pass. It looked as if the pass slipped out of the hands of Curtis Painter. Conner reached up and pulled it down. Was it impressive as a catch by a tight end? Probably not. But to see the fullback pull the pass down was nice.
- Xavier Grimble and Adrien Robinson each dropped easy passes on curls. Both slapped their helmets and the ball when the passes bounced away. A coach yelled in the distance. I couldn’t completely make out what he said…but it wasn’t good.
- It didn’t take long for Grimble to bounce back. On the next rotation, he made a really nice grab extending away from his body to make a ‘hands’ catch. The crowd gave him an appreciative round of applause.
- Eli Manning didn’t look that sharp in this portion of practice. He missed a couple and bounced others. He regrouped later.
- Kellen Davis looks very, very slow coming in-and-out of his breaks. It really wasn’t pretty. None of the tight ends looked agile, but Davis stood out as being painful to watch.
- I took a keen look at Grimble in this portion as I know some fans were curious about him during OTAs. He has some good straight-ahead speed, but struggled a little stopping on a dime to get into a break or cut. Although, he is 6-4 and 261 pounds. Other than that he showed some good hands and ran a pretty nice route a few times. He’s just not very agile.
- Mario Manningham showed no signs of a knee injury in-and-out of breaks. He showed some good speed, didn’t hesitate and made a few hard cuts. He did drop one pass on a deep-in.
- Odell Beckham Jr. reminds me a bit of Hakeem Nicks in that he plays bigger than he is. A few times during this portion of practice he extended his body fully to make finger-tip grabs. If he can stay healthy, he can be explosive.
Normal Giants routine running two-minute drill as the first ‘team’ portion of practice.
Before going into some highlights, here’s your starting line:
LT: Charles Brown, LG: Geoff Schwartz, C: J.D. Walton, RG: Brandon Mosley, RT: Justin Pugh. *William Beatty spelled Brown a few reps in.
And your back-ups:
RT- Troy Kropog, RG: Dallas Reynolds, C: Weston Richburg, LG: Jamaal Johnson-Webb, RT: James Brewer
- Just to start this off, the Giants’ offense was night-and-day better during the two-minute drill. Comparing how the team left off from mini-camp, and how they reported to camp, it was a big step. Manning was crisp and looked on the same page as his receivers. It was impressive.
- Being in a two-minute drill, the Giants ran with three wide receivers. Victor Cruz worked in the slot. Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan were outside. Jernigan made a nice grab on a deep-in from Eli Manning and Randle caught one in front of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the sideline.
The Giants offense drove inside the red zone and Manning tried a fade route to Jernigan. Jernigan made the grab, but failed to get his feet in. He jumped over Charles James (I think). It would have been some grab if he pulled it in. Two plays later, Manning hit Odell Beckham Jr. for a TD on a five-yard out.
- Marcus Harris continues to flash. He made a nice sliding grab on a deep-in. It offset an easy drop earlier.
- Andre Williams showed he may have some hands after all and made a nice grab. He also showed he really has a second gear when it comes to speed. He sprinted down the field after a running play and surprised with his speed.
- Wilson got a carry and sprinted down the sideline. He still has speed. The run may have meant a little more to him than most: it was his first in a team drill since injuring his neck versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted an Eli Manning pass intended for Odell Beckham Jr. Manning dropped back and heaved one down the field, his only shot of the day. The pass probably shouldn’t have been thrown as Rodgers-Cromartie had good coverage. The concerning thing here was that Beckham gave up on the route and stopped running allowing Rodgers-Cromartie to simply camp underneath for an easy interception. Beckham favored his leg a little running off of the field but it didn’t seem serious. The biggest concern was him giving up on the play, not the ‘injury.’
- Ryan Nassib hit Daniel Fells deep down the seam on a beautifully designed play. A few times we saw two tight ends in the game at once. One would line up traditionally, one in the slot. Speaking of the tight ends, no one really has a strangle hold on the top spot. Still a revolving door.
- Weston Richburg played right guard with the first team when Mosley left practice.
- Mike Patterson continues to take all reps with the first team defense. That includes nickel, dime and the base 4-3. From what I’ve seen this offseason, Johnathan Hankins is no guarantee to be the starter.
JUST THE OFFENSE…
The offense and defense again split up after the two-minute drill. As was illustrated before, I stuck with the offense today and I’ll turn my attention to the defense tomorrow.
- We didn’t see any fullback during the two-minute drill except for maybe one play. That should be expected…it was a two-minute drill. With just the offense practicing an ‘I-Formation,’ John Conner was the first fullback out. In fact, I don’t believe Henry Hynoski got any reps. I could be wrong, but I know the first two-three went to Conner.
- Beckham returned from his ‘injury’ to participate in this drill. He caught one over the middle fully-extending. It looked nice. Again, like Hakeem Nicks, he plays bigger than he is.
- While I was with the offense, Jason Pierre-Paul got his back checked out by trainers and Jameel McClain was carted off.
The offensive and defensive lines split off as the linebackers/corners/safeties joined the quarterbacks/wide receivers/running backs/tight ends for 7-on-7’s.
- Rueben Randle made a nice grab, something he did a few times today. I don’t ever believe he’ll be a Top-5 receiver in the NFL, but he can play a long time. He runs good routes, has good hands and gets open pretty often.
- Mark Herzlich filled in for the recently-departed Jameel McClain. He joined Devon Kennard and Jacquian Williams as the linebackers.
- Cooper Taylor recorded an interception when a Curtis Painter pass bounced off the chest of Kellen Davis.
Not too much took place in the 11-on-11. It could have been because players were tired, but most of it was cut and dry. A few dump-off passes, screens and draws. No one really stood out as great, no one as bad. Either way, here are a few observations.
- Andre Williams’ speed was again on display. He has that second gear where if he gets in the open field, I’m not sure someone is going to catch him.
- David Wilson caught a pass out of the backfield and put on a show. The back made some ankle-breaking jukes and cuts that had some media wowed. It hasn’t been talked about much, but he could be a huge weapon out of the backfield in Ben McAdoo’s offense.
- Saw the first three-safety look. Quintin Demps came on the field to join Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle.
- Spencer Paysinger came in on a blitz and Eli Manning juked him out. It was a surprisingly athletic thing from Eli. Looked a little Vick-ish (I kid).
- Damontre Moore came off the edge and pressured Nassib on a roll-out.
That does it for today’s camp report. Tomorrow will follow an identical schedule as yesterday. Media will have access to players from 11:15am until 12:15pm. There will be an hour break before practice begins at 1:20pm. The practice is open to the public and players will sign autographs after.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
FROM REALE01: Projected availability for Wilson, Jerry, Beatty, Beason, and Snee.
- I know this was submitted before Snee’s retirement, but in case you didn’t know..he retired :) As far as the other three: Beatty worked a lot, so did Wilson. Jerry is limited while he builds his stamina
FROM BIG BLUE BLOGGER: Are there any packages where you don’t expect to run with the 1s? (Short yardage/goal line seems likely. Any others?) How’s Jon Beason’s foot?
- He saw action with the 1’s in the goal line. Worked with rotation on the most. If I had to guess, he’s third on the depth chart behind Jennings and Wilson. Coughlin spoke about Beason and said if he’s feeling pain he’s hiding it very well.
FROM REALE01: How does Will Beatty look? Also Jerry, Richburg, Walton?
- It’s very tough to say because there aren’t pads on yet. They all took part in practice, though.
FROM ED A: Ask Moore if he added some weight this off season and what he weighs now?
- He told me he’s right around the same weight. He added some muscle and lost some fat, but right around the same number.
FROM BOBBY EPPS: Any sighting of Conner or Hynoski in any formations or plays?
- They came in for the I-Formation. Nothing really in the team portion of practice. Fullback doesn’t seem to be used much, but most of the offense vs defense we’ve seen has been hurry-up.