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Corey Washington and Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Corey Washington and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 11, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
Throughout the course of this year’s training camp, Corey Washington had made highlight-reel catch, after highlight-reel catch against the third- and fourth-string Giants’ defense.

While the catches were impressive, they always came with a bit of an asterisk simply because of who was guarding the 6-4, 214-pound rookie.

Then Monday’s practice came. Victor Cruz, Marcus Harris, Jerrel Jernigan and Trindon Holliday did not practice and Washington got his first chance to play with the starters.

The result? Catch… after catch… after catch. Then, just for good measure, another catch.

Washington stole the show at Giants’ training camp as he continues to make a push for a spot on the final 53-man roster.

John Conner, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

John Conner – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SETTING THE STAGE…
The same faces were absent from practice again today: Trindon Holliday (hamstring), Peyton Hillis (foot/ankle), Xavier Grimble (hamstring) Mike Patterson (shoulder), and Jon Beason (foot). Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) and Daniel Fells (knee) practiced in a very limited capacity.

Then there were the new faces. Victor Cruz (knee), John Conner (concussion), Marcus Harris (hip) and Jayron Hosley (foot) did not practice. Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin did say after practice he expects Cruz, Harris and Jernigan to return tomorrow.

SPECIAL TEAMS…
The Giants were in shells today, so it’s really tough to gauge anything that really transpires at practice. You can look at little things, but it’s more flag football than anything else. Special teams falls in that same category. Really the only observations to be made are that of who’s lining up where.

  • The Giants worked punt team and punt return today. Your returners have dwindled down quite a bit since camp started. Just Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham Jr. and Preston Parker were back fielding kicks. This group, more than any, has thinned out the most.
  • Josh Brown kicked today and went a perfect 4-for-4. The kicking battle really is tight this year.
  • Charles James II and Bennett Jackson were your starting gunners. Ross Weaver and Zack Bowman were on the second unit. In a drill that practiced downing the ball inside the five, neither James or Jackson stood out. James misjudged one and had it go through his hands. Jackson misjudged a hop and missed it entirely.

INDIVIDUALS…
There was just one player I was keeping my eye on during the individual portion of practice: Odell Beckham Jr. For the first time since the very first practice, Beckham was back on the field doing something with the group of receivers. Here are a few observations:

  • It seems as if the drill involved even a little contact, Beckham was held out. The first thing the Giants receivers did was a one-on-one with defensive backs where all they had to do was get by them. No quarterbacks were involved…and no Beckham. Odell sat this drill out.
  • The first portion of practice Beckham took part in was one where a route-tree drill was run with the quarterbacks. The group of receivers would line up facing one direction of the field, run a pattern and the quarterback would throw the ball. Beckham moved well and didn’t waste any time bringing the crowd to their feet…

  • I did my best to see if I could find something…anything…to pick out on the negative front with Beckham. Truly, I couldn’t. This wasn’t because Beckham was perfect, but rather he didn’t do all that much. Aside from the route tree, Beckham was with the trainers. Tomorrow’s another practice and we’ll see if Beckham does more. Maybe this segment should just be renamed “Beckham Watch.”

TWO-MINUTE DRILL…
Overall, Eli Manning and the offense looked pretty good in the two-minute drill. The starters connected on a few big plays and three-straight touchdowns down in the redzone. Albeit, the scores came against the reserves.

  • On three straight plays, Eli Manning went to Corey Washington. On three straight plays, Corey Washington made the catch in front of Prince Amukamara. The first two came via a curl route, the third on a skinny post. It was only the beginning of Washington’s stellar afternoon.
  • Corey Washington doesn’t just play receiver, he plays defensive back, too. Eli Manning made a terrible decision attempting to force the ball to Washington and it was traveling directly to Jameel McClain. Truly, it was going to hit him between the ‘5’ and the ‘3.’ Washington jumped up and over McClain, reached around and batted the ball out of his hands.
  • Pretty interesting development that Coughlin shook off, but I took as much bigger. Curtis Painter took all second team reps while Ryan Nassib worked with the third team. The quarterback rotation worked as follows: Manning, Painter, Manning, Manning, Painter, Nassib.
  • Eli Manning strung together three straight touchdowns in the redzone. The first – Manning found Rueben Randle on an in-route at the goal line. The second – Manning hit Randle for a touchdown on a fade route. The third – Manning hit Julian Talley on a flag route. Again, these all came versus the second- and third-team defense.
  • It’s very tough to gauge Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, simply because no one throws his way. On Monday, Manning wanted desperately to take a shot to Washington, but had to pull back because Rodgers-Cromartie had lock-down coverage.
  • Mario Manningham is on the roster bubble and needs to catch everything thrown his way. Instead, he dropped three passes today. If his name wasn’t ‘Mario Manningham,’ I’d give him zero shot to make the team.

    Mario Manningham, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

    Mario Manningham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

  • Maybe being dropped to the third team was exactly what Ryan Nassib needed because on his first pass he made an unbelievable throw. Rolling out to his right, Nassib put one on a line to Preston Parker on a deep comeback. The issue? Two throws later he sailed one over Randle’s head on a slant.

SEVEN ON SEVEN…
Of all drills run in shells, the seven-on-seven may be the one you can take the most out of. It’s simple, the receiver has to get open and the defender needs to prevent that from happening. Today was a relatively slow day in the drill, but here’s the update:

  • Andre Williams is now catching just about everything with his hands. The issue? It still doesn’t look natural. Still…progress. He’ll improve each day.
  • Eli Manning made his best throw of the entire training camp. Manning dropped back and fired a pass deep down the field to Rueben Randle who was covered by both Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown. Despite the double coverage, Manning placed the ball where only Randle could get it. The LSU alum reached out and caught it with his finger tips on the way to the endzone. The throw and catch caused several to say “Wow.”

ELEVEN-ON-ELEVEN…
It’s not a New York Giants practice until the quarterbacks start throwing interceptions. The Giants made it to the final leg of the race before the pick birds came out. Two INTs by the starting defense versus the starting offense.

  • Antrel Rolle notched the first interception of practice, jumping an Eli Manning pass intended for Rueben Randle.
  • A play later, Manning was intercepted again, this time by Prince Amukamara. Not sure who the pass was intended for because it went directly to No. 20.
  • Corey Washington continued to shine. When Curtis Painter checked in, the quarterback when deep down the far sideline for the rookie who was covered by Amukamara. Washington reached up and made the grab for a 40+-yard gain. Washington wasn’t done, making a toe-taping reception on the sideline and his best catch of practice.

The Giants will hold practice tomorrow from 1:20-3:30pm. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo will speak to the media at 11:15am. 

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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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