AUGUST 18, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE REPORT…
If there was ever any wonder about the state of the New York Giants heading into the 2014 season, Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin summed it all up in two harmlessly-informative, self-posed questions.
“Who’s going to be the play makers? Who are they?”
Is it Odell Beckham Jr.? The receiver who has yet to take reps in an 11-on-11 drill. Rueben Randle? Who has caught one pass in three preseason games. Is it Victor Cruz? Who’s, well, catchless?
Is it Jerrel Jernigan? Last year’s end-of-season hero?
“He’s had days when he’s done very well and he’s had days when he hasn’t,” Coughlin said.
The regular season, the time when the games count, starts in three weeks.
On to the practice report…
THE WALKING WOUNDED…
The Giants got back some familiar faces today in Mike Patterson (shoulder) and Daniel Fells (knee); both appeared to practice fully. Trindon Holliday (hamstring) was in pads and limited, catching punts. Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) caught punts and was in on a couple seven-on-seven drills. Prince Amukamara (groin) missed practice, although he did stretch and warm up with the team in pads.
Then, there were the following that missed practice entirely: Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), Jayron Hosley (foot), Ross Weaver (ankle), Kellen Davis (Achilles strain), Xavier Grimble (hamstring), Charles Brown (shoulder) and James Brewer (back). Coughlin made reference after practice that both Davis and Brewer should not miss much time. Of course, Jon Beason (foot) remains on the PUP.
A few familiar faces made a return to the special teams portion of practice which featured mostly punt and punt return today.
- Josh Brown kicked today, he went a perfect 4-for-4.
- The returners were as follows but not in this order: Rueben Randle, Preston Parker, Trindon Holliday, Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr.
There was actually some different things to break down in the individual portion of practice, more so than had been shown in recent days. There was a neat drill from the defensive line, Andre Williams getting handsy and some lineup adjustments.
- Ryan Nassib is back with the second unit taking all of the snaps. He didn’t look great today, but no one really did. Also, no change at right guard. At this point, it’s still Brandon Mosley starting there.
- Before practice, Jon Beason said he was going to be very aggressive in his workout today with trainers. He worked on some pass coverage drills and also pursuit drills. I watched him a bit here and he looked very good. No limp in between reps and had some good explosion off his plant.
- It still isn’t pretty, but it’s not nearly as ugly as it used to be. Andre Williams continues to work on catching with his hands and it looks like it’s starting to become more natural. In the beginning, the ball was straight beating him up. Now, it’s just a little push-and-shove.
- Pretty cool drill run by the defensive linemen. A few bags were lined up on the ground and all had to high-step over them sideways. Once they got past the last bag, the coach fired a pass at them. If they dropped it, the drop-ee had to do pushups. Only one I saw drop a pass was Damontre Moore, but my eyes were bouncing around today.
I’ve had a few people tweet me and call me a ‘Negative Nancy’ and I’ve had others say I’m too critical. So, to help display what the Giants quarterbacks and passing game have been doing in camp thus far, I kept completion stats.
- Mario Manningham, Marcus Harris, Adrien Robinson and Corey Washington all got some first team reps as the Giants had a pretty steady flow of different receivers in-and-out of practice today.
- Replacing Cooper Taylor was Nat Berhe. Also, replacing Prince Amukamara was Walter Thurmond III in two-corner sets. When a nickel corner was brought in, Trumaine McBride went outside and Thurmond in to guard the slot.
- I’ll throw it out there, I’d be utterly shocked if Mario Manningham makes the team. He has zero burst anymore and Manning went deep to him multiple times, all incompletions. At one point, Manning went deep to Manningham guarded by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rodgers-Cromartie was at a steady jog behind before bursting when he had to in order to come away with a near interception.
- Something was up with Quintin Demps today as the safety was hitting anything that moved. He absolutely lit UP Michael Cox on a running play. I think he also hit Kendall Gaskins.
- Something to monitor: Weston Richburg got some first-team reps today, but he wasn’t subbing out Brandon Mosley. The rookie came in for free-agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz. It wasn’t to spell Schwartz, either. When Richburg came in, Schwartz worked with the second unit.
- Completion stats: Manning – 2/9 (one completion was a screen). Nassib - 1/4 (completion a screen). Painter 1/1.
A little more life from the Giants here when the defensive line was removed. Manning made a few nice throws underneath and deep once, while Nassib looked pretty good, too.
- Eli Manning connected with Rueben Randle on a deep play down the left sideline. Randle beat Trumaine McBride and made a leaping catch.
- There was a Corey Washington sighting as the rookie caught one deep down the field from Curtis Painter.
- The first reps of the day for Odell Beckham Jr. were in this drill and they were also his last. Beckham injured/didn’t injure/who knows on a drag route and didn’t return.
While none of the passes were down the field, Eli Manning looked much better during this drill, nearly all of his passes were underneath. That is the way of the West Coast offense.
- Ryan Nassib went to Corey Washington on a deep in. He beat Charles James II.
- That Devon Kennard guy continues to shine. He popped Andre Williams again pretty good. On a stretch play, Kennard knocked Williams over with his shoulder pad.
- There was another Marcus Harris sighting, too. Ryan Nassib went to the second-year pro deep down the seam.
- Longest touchdown of the day came when Curtis Painter hit Julian Talley for a 50+-yard touchdown. Talley beat Bennett Jackson down the sideline.
This may have been the ugliest set of plays I have ever seen throughout this entire training camp saga. A third-team offense versus third-team defense two-minute drill with 1:24 left on the clock. There was a sack, false start and interception before the offense turned the ball over on a dropped pass by Travis Harvey.
The Giants have an early practice tomorrow beginning at 12:00 noon. Players will be made available to the media later in the afternoon.