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New York Giants Linebackers (July 23, 2014)

New York Giants Linebackers – Photo by Connor Hughes

JULY 23, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…

Practice No. 2 is officially in the books for the New York Giants. It came and went without a single player being carted off the field…seriously! Below you will find a few quick hits and observations from the day’s events. Remember, this report focuses strictly on the on-field aspect of practice. Click here for updates on William Beatty and Jameel McClain, along with here for news on the re-injured Odell Beckham Jr.

SETTING THE STAGE…
As will be the case with each practice, we’ll set the stage with some key facts before diving into the report. Basically, throw at you what we know is on your mind:

  • Unlike yesterday, not one player was carted back to the locker room. This could be because Tom Coughlin gave his team a ‘water break’ midway through practice. During the two-minute drill, Coughlin sent everyone back to the field house. Coughlin didn’t credit this for the lack of heat-related injuries, but it couldn’t have hurt.
  • It was a hot, hot one.

SPECIAL TEAMS…
Yesterday, the team worked on punt returns. Today it was kickoff returns. At different points throughout practice, the Giants worked on field goals, coverage and kick returns.

  • Brandon McManus, Temple Owls (September 8, 2012)

    Brandon McManus – © USA TODAY Sports Images

    The Giants worked through a couple different guys at kick return. Jerrel Jernigan, David Wilson, Corey Washington, Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps all got reps at some point or another. It looked as if it was Demps first, followed by Holliday and Wilson.

  • Wilson’s agility was again on display. During a drill focused primarily on kickoff coverage, Wilson returned the kick as gunners ran at him. He bobbed, weaved, juked and cut his way throughout the incoming defenders with ease. He can be deadly with the ball in space.
  • Some notable names on the Giants return unit: John  Conner and Henry Hynoski were both featured as up-men.
  • Notable names on kick-off coverage unit: Walter Thurmond III, Devon Kennard, Spencer Paysinger, Jacquian Williams, and Bennett Jackson.

THE DEFENSE…
After spending most of my time with the offense yesterday, I turned my attention to the defense today during the individual portion of practice. In particular, I focused on the linebackers.

  • The linebackers performed a drill where they set up just a few feet from a blocking sled. On the coaches command, the backers looped around and exploded into the bag, extending their arms and shedding the bag. The drill itself wasn’t that impressive; the strength displayed by both Mark Herzlich and Devon Kennard was. Both players made the bag (which is not light) look like a rag doll. Kennard nearly threw the thing on its side. Really impressive display of strength.
  • The more I watch Kennard, the more I’m amazed at how much faith the coaching staff is giving the rookie. It’s rare that first round picks get this much attention, but a fifth? Kennard ran with the one’s in McClain’s absence in the middle after running with the one’s at SAM yesterday. It’s a lot to throw at one player, but Kennard is handling it remarkably well.
  • McClain took part in this portion of the drill, but struggled a bit. He exploded, but not with much strength. It could be he couldn’t drive off of his foot.
  • The defense then came together and practiced a bit more of its three-safety package. The safeties remained the same in Quintin Demps, Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown, but the linebackers were a little different. Spencer Paysinger joined Devon Kennard while Jacquian Williams practiced with the two’s opposite Mark Herzlich.

TWO-MINUTE, 11-On-11…
As has been the case throughout the entire offseason, after positional drills, the Giants come together for a full-team two-minute drill. One interesting note here, Newsday’s Tom Rock made a very poignant observation on the timing between snaps:

It seemed as if the Giants were moving at a much more constant pace. Now its confirmed. The offense is definitely up-tempo and should only get faster as camp progresses.

  • Yesterday, Charles Brown opened as the team’s starting LT and Will Beatty relieved him. Today, it was Beatty first out of the gate.  Brandon Mosley got the first reps at guard.
  • Linebackers with McClain absent: Jacquian Williams, Devon Kennard and Spencer Paysinger.
  • Eli Manning missed a few passes today that were head-scratchers. It’s early in camp and he’s still looking to get on the same page with his wide outs, but it was noticeable. Manning overshot Victor Cruz over the middle, missed Rueben Randle on an in-route and Trindon Holliday on a deep pass.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had blanket coverage on an out-route by Jerrel Jernigan. He jumped in front of the play and batted down the ball.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul exploded off of the ball, but William Beatty handled him well. Beatty extended his hands with power and knocked Pierre-Paul off balance. The play gave Manning enough time to launch one down the field. Although, Manning’s pass did fall incomplete.
  • With Odell Beckham Jr. out, Mario Manningham, Marcus Harris and Corey Washington were your second-team wide receivers.
  • The tight ends were a lot more active today than yesterday. Adrien Robinson made a few impressive grabs, including one on an rollout where he was wide open. Larry Donnell caught one down the seam. Much better showing from the group.
  • My pick for a player that is going to surprise some people is Andre Williams. The rookie continues to look very, very good and flashed again today. Williams scored on a stretch run that had his teammates ooh-ing and ah-ing at a cut. He has incredible speed once he gets to the second level and also runs with power. If he can learn to catch, he may be the complete package.
  • We’ve been seeing a lot of motion from the tight ends. One particular play stood out where the Giants brought Larry Donnell from the slot and motioned him to the fullback position. The team then ran behind Donnell. The more I take note, the more I realize how often the tight end lines up at fullback for the Giants.
  • As referenced above, Manning missed an open Trindon Holliday on a streak route. Holliday ran right past Walter Thurmond, but Manning couldn’t get him the ball.
  • Mario Manningham sighting. The wideout made a nice grab over the middle from Manning.
  • The Giants offense looked to be getting in a pretty good rhythm after Manning hit Adrien Robinson and Mario Manningham in back-to-back passes. Then James Brewer jumped offsides. Not good from one who appears to be on the roster bubble.
  • Mike Patterson continues to take every single rep with the first-team defense. A lot of people expect that spot to belong to Jonathan Hankins. I’m not so sure. It looks like it’s Patterson’s to lose and he’s done nothing to have it taken from him.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

7-On-7…
After some special teams and field goal work (see above), the Giants went to a 7-on-7 drill. For those that don’t know, the drill works the receivers/tight ends/running backs versus the linebackers/corners/safeties.

  • The first tight ends used were Adrien Robinson and Daniel Fells. Those two seem to be coming on the field a lot together.
  • David Wilson caught a couple of passes out of the backfield and looks good as a receiver. If he can learn to block, he could be an excellent third-down back.
  • Trindon Holliday dropped a curl route.
  • Jacquian Williams made a great defensive play on a slant to Jerrel Jernigan. Jernigan got his hands on it but Williams instantly ripped the ball out.
  • The tight ends stood out pretty well here, too. Adrien Robinson made a really nice grab on a deep curl when split out wide, beating Bennett Jackson. He had a good practice.

11-ON-11, FULL-TEAM… 
Maybe the team is tired, but once again today there wasn’t much excitement from the 11-on-11′s to close practice. Either way, here are a few notes.

  • Two tight ends started on the field at once for the Giants: Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson.
  • There was a pretty nice catch from Rueben Randle on a come-back route. He fooled Prince Amukamara pretty bad. Randle has had two nice practices and has caught every catchable ball thrown his way.
  • Yesterday, John Conner got the first reps at fullback; today it was Henry Hynoski. I saw a few running plays today with a tight end in the backfield.
  • David Wilson made Devon Kennard look silly on a swing route. Wilson juked Kennard out of his shoes. Kennard didn’t do anything wrong; I am not sure anyone could have made the play.
  • Damontre Moore had another would-be sack on Ryan Nassib. He chased Nassib out of the pocket before pulling up.
  • It was only a matter of time. Ryan Nassib threw his first interception of camp right to C.J. Barnett. I think it was a miscommunication on someone’s part.
  • John Jerry got some reps with the first team today. He relieved Brandon Mosley about four snaps into the first drive. Trumaine McBride also got work with the first-team defense.

Tomorrow’s practice will follow the same routine as the previous two. It will also be the last without pads. Players will be made available to the media from 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Practice begins at 1:20 pm. Be sure to check out our complete LIVE recap of today’s practice

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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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