Jul 082014
 
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Ryan Nassib, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

The Giants have announced their training camp schedule– © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have announced the team’s 2014 training camp schedule. Camp will be held at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center (formerly Timex Performance Center) in East Rutherford. The team’s first practice will be held on July 22 and conclude August 14. As has been the case for all camps held in East Rutherford, most practices that are held outside are open to the public but may be forced inside due to inclimate weather.

The practices scheduled on Aug. 5 and Aug. 7 are closed to the public due to an ongoing event at Metlife Stadium.

2014 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Tuesday, July 22; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Wednesday, July 23; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Thursday, July 24; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Friday, July 25; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Saturday, July 26; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Sunday, July 27; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Monday, July 28; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Tuesday, July 29; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Wednesday, July 30; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Thursday, July 31; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Friday, August 1; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Saturday, August 2; No Practice
Sunday, August 3; Hall of Fame Game vs. Buffalo, 8:00 p.m. Canton, Ohio
Monday, August 4; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Tuesday, August 5; Closed Practice due to MetLife Stadium Event
Wednesday, August 6; 5:40- 7:50 p.m. – Practice
Thursday, August 7; Closed Practice due to MetLife Stadium Event
Friday, August 8; No Practice
Saturday, August 9; Steelers vs. Giants, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 10; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Monday, August 11; 3:20-5:30 p.m. – Practice
Tuesday, August 12; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Wednesday, August 13; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Thursday, August 14; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice (End Camp)

Jun 192014
 
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Ryan Nassib, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Ryan Nassib – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Well, that was quick. In the final installment of the New York Giants mandatory, three-day mini-camp, practice was over essentially before it began. The Giants took the field, practiced kick return, stretched, huddled and broke. It also began to rain.

Off went Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and others for a 32-day break before the team comes together again for training camp on July 21. Without further ado, here is your practice report:

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Odell Beckham – Photo by Connor Hughes

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • The Giants practiced a full-team kickoff. The returners? David Wilson, Michael Cox, Odell Beckham Jr., Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps. I guess, because this was the only portion of practice other than stretching, you could say Beckham and Wilson were full participants. So, there’s that.
  • Coughlin spoke to the media afterwards and said that the team did a walk-through before the media got out there.

THE INTERVIEWS While many players ran out with heel clicks knowing their summer vacation started a couple hours early, a few stuck around. As was the case this week, everyone headed on into the locker room to catch whomever was still around.

  • Coughlin talked at length and said he plans on taking a vacation with his family. He also made a really nice quote that stuck out: “The NY never comes off.” He said he told the players to make sure they didn’t get in trouble. Essentially, if Will Hill would do it, don’t you do it.
  • I had a great conversation with undrafted Notre Dame linebacker Dan Fox, who is loving every second of being a Giant. Fox said when the team called and he signed, he got a second call from Bennett Jackson, his teammate who the Giants drafted in the sixth round. Fox, who suffered a knee injury his senior year, said that playing hurt last year was one of the reasons he went undrafted. We’ll have much more on him later this evening.
  • Talked to Prince Amukamara as well for a few minutes who said he is enjoying the married life. As far as his proposal, see below, not many on the team got on him too much aside from Jason Pierre-Paul and Eli Manning. Amukamara also said the secondary is striving to be the best in the NFL.

  • Michael Cox said he was “hoping” to get a chance to play as a rookie last season, but didn’t really know. This year, Cox said the biggest difference is he understands the game and “knows everything a lot better.” He also is around the same weight as last season. Didn’t gain much more, or lose anything.

THE COACHES For the first time this offseason, the Giants made their assistant coaches available to the media. From new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, to linebacker’s coach Jim Herrmann, all spent time with reporters. Below you will find some interesting tidbits pulled from those interviews.

TOM QUINN (Special Teams Coordinator)

  • Quinn seemed extremely happy about not only his new returners, but gunners as well. The coach spent time praising free-agent acquisition Zack Bowman, along with Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps.
  • Holliday, who has struggled holding onto the ball throughout his career, is being taught “high and tight” according to Quinn.
  • It seems as if all returners are going to be dual returners, working both on kicks and punts.
  • Personally, when I saw Temple rookie Brandon McManus’ name on the Giants’ roster, I assumed it was nothing more than a leg to give Josh Brown a break. According to Quinn, that isn’t really the case. It looks like McManus will be given every chance to win the kicking job. Quinn raved about the 22-year-old’s accuracy and ability to kick in cold weather.
Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN McADOO (Offensive Coordinator)

  • McAdoo seemed to echo what Tom Coughlin said a few weeks ago, the offense is a work in progress. Has there been progress? Yes. Is it “mastered?” No. It’s going to take time, but the first-year play caller seemed excited about where things are headed.
  • As of right now, McAdoo isn’t exactly sure where he will be calling plays, just that he will be. McAdoo said he expects to be on the field, but that’s not certain.
  • Trindon Holliday, who has impressed in camp, hasn’t just taken reporters by surprise, but the coaching staff, too. McAdoo said he’s making plays and looked good as a slot receiver. “He’s been a pleasant surprise.”
  • In offenses across the NFL, the fullback position has slowly but surely been disappearing. That apparently won’t be the case in New York. While the exact role is in the air, a fullback will be used: “The way I was raised, the full back was a big part of the things you do.”

KEVIN GILBRIDE JR. (Tight Ends Coach)

  • Gilbride, the son of former Giants’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride Sr., said his dad is doing well and enjoying life away from football. Jr. said his dad has been taking time to speak at football clinics and high schools, something he always wanted to do but wasn’t able to when coaching.
  • As far as Adrien Robinson, Gilbride said he’s been extremely active in the meeting rooms. The biggest issue with Robinson is that when the coaching staff tries to teach him too much, he forgets some of the basics.

DANNY LANGSDORF (Quarterbacks Coach)

  • Langsdorf said that he has been excited and pleased with Eli Manning. The coaching staff has worked with Manning on improving some of his footwork, accuracy, ball fakes and other mechanics.
  • Ryan Nassib has impressed Langsdorf with his intelligence and praised the quarterback for getting people lined up correctly. Another attribute that Langsdorf credited was Nassib’s mobility, saying he has the ability to extend plays and take off.

PAT FLAHERTY (Offensive Line Coach)

  • The Giants’ offensive line has been one of the more revamped positions in the offseason and Flaherty said it’s been a little different not seeing the same faces. As of today, the coach still doesn’t know who will start versus Detroit. It seems like an open competition.
  • John Jerry, who has been sidelined with an injury, was brought in with an opportunity to potentially start according to Flaherty. If Snee isn’t able to go, looks like position is his. Side note, Flaherty did say he doesn’t know what he has with the line simply because the team isn’t in pads. He doesn’t seem to like the “no contact” rules.
Perry Fewell, New York Giants (June 19, 2014)

Perry Fewell – Photo by Connor Hughes

PERRY FEWELL (Defensive Coordinator)

  • Perry Fewell seems very excited about the secondary and what he’ll be able to do with it. The coach mentioned multiple times about the potential the group has with all the new acquisitions.
  • Another area Fewell seems excited for is the linebacking unit, and in particular, the rookies. Fewell is very intrigued by rookies Devon Kennard and Dan Fox, saying both are extremely intelligent.
  • Two players that have stuck out to Fewell: Johnathan Hankins & Marcus Kuhn.

JIM HERRMANN (Linebackers Coach)

  • After three years, it looks like Jacquian Williams is finally starting to put everything together. Herrmann offered high praise to the linebacker saying he has taken the next step during the offseason. After playing strictly in the nickel package, Williams is now the starter in the base 4-3 as well. “He made a big jump this spring.”
  • Herrmann, similar to Fewell, credited Dan Fox’s intelligence as a strong part of his game.

DAVID MERRITT (Safeties Coach)

  • Merritt offered two big pieces of information: 1- Antrel Rolle has just begun to reach his true potential 2- Quintin Demps wants to play more in the box. Apparently when Demps signed, he went to Merritt with the goal and the coach told him he’d help him get there. After watching players like Eric Berry have success, Demps wants to try it out too.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED With practice essentially cancelled, questions regarding how certain players performed aren’t really able to be answered.

FROM MILTON – Which of the rookies have impressed them the most?

  • Not too many players were made available, but from a coaching stand point it looks like it’s Devon Kennard. The fifth-round pick is presently running with the 1′s and few offer anything other than praise.

FROM GEORGE FROM PA – What position in your opinion still needs to be improved?

  • It’s tough to say with these drills being zero contact. From a pure “paper” perspective, I still say offensive line. I like Geoff Schwartz and J.D. Walton a lot, but without Chris Snee or William Beatty… I still see a lot of holes.

FROM BOB IN TX – Does the staff see Ryan Nassib ready to be the No. 2 QB?

  • Right now, yes. Nassib is getting all of the No. 2 reps and it’s really not close. Curtis Painter, the only other QB on the roster, get’s anywhere from 3-4 per drill.

FROM BC4LIFE – Once healthy where does Pat Flaherty see John Jerry?

  • Asked him this question myself, his answer surprised me. Flaherty said that Jerry signed with the Giants because of his chance to start. From talking to him, looks like they view him as a starter. Where? That’s yet to be seen.

FROM AFNAVY – Will Ben McAdoo be calling plays from the field or from the booth?

  • That’s yet to be decided. McAdoo did said they’re leaning towards having him on the field.

https://twitter.com/lilylondon1013/status/479633616066973696

  • McAdoo avoided any real questions about anyone specific, instead saying he likes the player’s in the tight end room. Said they’re “Big bodies.”

  • From my understanding, he’s impressing everywhere. The kid is looking very much like a steal in the draft.

  • He’s moving all over the field. No one set position.
Jun 172014
 
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New York Giants Mini-Camp Practice (June 17, 2014)

New York Giants Mini-Camp Practice – Photo by Connor Hughes

As the summer weather finally made its way to East Rutherford, the New York Giants took the field at Quest Diagnostics Performance Center for the first day of the team’s three-day mandatory mini-camp.

Maybe the warmth was exactly what Eli Manning needed as he put together his finest performance of the offseason with the media watching. The two-time Super Bowl MVP was accurate, put some nice zip on the ball and connected with Rueben Randle for the practice’s play of the day. On a play fake, Manning rolled out to his right before unloading on one down the left side of the field, hitting Randle perfectly in stride.

As a side note, once again referees were in attendance at practice.

MISSING FACES

  • Same group was still out: OG John Jerry (knee), LT Will Beatty (leg), RG Chris Snee (elbow), WR Mario Manningham (knee), RB Peyton Hillis (undisclosed muscle), and CB Trumaine McBride (hip). Tom Coughlin said Snee’s surgically repaired elbow was bothering him; Beatty assured me he will be ready for training camp. LB Jon Beason (foot) was obviously out too.

SPECIAL TEAMS

In what is looking like a trend during practice, the Giants began with their special teams punt drill. Unlike we’d seen the last two media-available OTAs, the Giants didn’t appear to work any gunners, simply returners and the front line of the punt team.

  • The media was finally able to see WR Odell Beckham Jr. in action…sort off. New York’s first-round pick participated in the individual portion of practice and also fielded some punts. It looks as if CB Walter Thurmond is the odd-man out when Beckham goes back to field. Rotation went as follows:  WR Trindon Holliday, WR Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham Jr., and WR Victor Cruz. Thurmond was over with the returners, he just didn’t field any.
  • One nice little variation seen during this portion of practice. The Giants ran a fake punt, snapping the ball directly to S Quintin Demps. Not sure if they’d pull it out in the regular season, but it was there. Looked very similar to the design used when RB Da’Rel Scott scored in the preseason versus the Patriots.
  • Not directly after, but later in practice the Giants worked on kick off/kick return. Rotation went as follows: Quintin Demps, Trindon Holliday, WR Jerrel Jernigan, and RB Michael Cox. Beckham was in the area, but did not field any.

OFFENSE

Following the special teams, the Giants transitioned to a split offense/defense. It was tough to see the defense as they worked off in the distance, so we’ll still with offense.

  • Nearly every time a tight end talks, he speaks about how much the position moves around compared to last year. They aren’t lying. There was one particular formation in which the Giants came out with three tight ends: Kellen Davis in the slot, Larry Donnell in the traditional position and Daniel Fells split out wide right.
  • Because there was no defense, RB David Wilson was able to partake. The former first-round pick worked with the No. 2′s. When Wilson is healthy, it looks like rotation will read as follows: Rashaad Jennings, David Wilson,  and Andre Williams.
  • The fullback has been used very, very little during the offseason, but today John Conner came in with the first-team offense. I wouldn’t look much into it, but potentially he has the early edge.

After running through some full offense, without the defense, the Giants offense split up. First, the wideouts went and caught passes from the coaches while the tight ends worked with the quarterbacks.

  • First off, get this out of the way early, no drops from this group.
  • TE Xavier Grimble moves with some pretty good speed for his size. You can tell he has some power, too. Would be interesting to see him and a defensive back in the open field.
  • TE Adrien Robinson continues to flash. He caught one in the flat and turned up the field, tip-toeing down the sideline. He demonstrated some good balance.

After about 15 minutes of running the route tree, the tight ends went off to work on blocking and the WR’s came together.

  • Saw a few drops. Rueben Randle missed one, Odell Beckham Jr. and Corey Washington, too.
  • If Eli made the play of the day, Odell Beckham Jr. made the “catch of the day.” Running an out route, Beckham jumped in the air (showing off his vertical) adjusting to the ball in the process, caught it at its highest point before toe-tapping to stay in bounds. It was very impressive.

  • Not sure if it was a point of emphasis in the offseason, but Rueben Randle looks very good running routes. The third-year pro is smooth in and out of breaks and has some good burst. He makes it look easy. Beckham, on the other hand, may have been showing some effects from hamstring strain. He didn’t look 100 percent in his breaks and lacked the speed so many have talked about.

TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Following the individual portion of practice, the Giants came together for their two-minute drill.

  • First thing is first, Jameel McClain is your starting middle linebacker while Beason is out. In the nickel package, he works with Jacquian Williams. In the base, it’s him, Williams and rookie Devon Kennard. Kennard really seems to be impressing coaches.
  • We saw a very interesting formation with the nickel package. Instead of a traditional four-man/two linebacker package the Giants defense read as follows: Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown at safety, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara outside with Walter Thurmond in the slot. On the line, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DT Cullen Jenkins and DE Damontre Moore. Mathias Kiwanuka played a roaming LB/DE position.
  • Kiwanuka hinted at it and even took some reps during 7-on-7, but it appears he’s working some at LB again.
  • DE Kerry Wynn had a would-be sack on Ryan Nassib.
  • With Chris Snee and Will Beatty out, the Giants’ offensive line read as follows: Charles Brown (LT), Geoff Schwartz (LG), J.D. Walton (C), Brandon Mosley (RG), and Justin Pugh (RT). I would almost expect that RG position to be John Jerry’s come camp if Snee still isn’t able to go.
  • Eli Manning hit Adrien Robinson for what would have been a touchdown down the seam. Again, Robinson continues to flash. There is no sign if he’s in the lead for the spot atop the depth chart, the Giants are still working in a rotation.
  • Devon Kennard made a nice play. Manning took a three-step drop and looked for someone in the flat, couldn’t tell if TE or RB, but Kennard came in on a blitz and batted the ball down at the line. There were three-to-four passes that were batted. It’s obvious the ball is coming out of the quarterback’s hand faster and the defense looks like they’ve picked up on it.
  • The running back seems to definitely be featured in the passing game. I can’t count how many times we saw RB Rashad Jennings hit with one in the flat where he was the primary target.
  • During the two-minute drill, Ben McAdoo spent a lot of time with the tight ends, standing around whoever wasn’t on the field.
  • One area of Ryan Nassib’s game that is very similar to former quarterback David Carr’s is his ability to run with the ball. He’s not Mike Vick fast, but very shifty. He has some wheels and can accelerate, too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him break off a few this preseason.
  • This was the portion of practice when Manning hit Randle. Manning had easily his best day of practice in which the media were allowed to attend. He looked in mid-season form.

7-ON-7

After the two-minute drill, the Giants went to 7-on-7.

  • He didn’t get many, but Mathias Kiwanuka got some reps at linebacker. He’s versatile and could be an option.
  • On the sideline, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie practiced his one-handed interceptions again. It’s impressive, I must say. He palms the ball coming directly down on top of it. A few different players took turns throwing.
  • Adrien Robinson again made a nice grab down the middle, juking and maneuvering his way through defenders after the grab.

11-ON-11

The Giants ended practice in their normal fashion, working a straight 11-on-11 drill with the starting offense versus the starting defense.

  • LT Will Beatty sighting: The offensive tackle was walking around the outskirts of the field with no considerable limp. He told me later he wasn’t 100%, but close.
  • Jerrel Jernigan’s strong start to the end of the season looks to have put him in good faith with the coaching staff. He’s gotten all looks as the outside wide receiver opposite Randle with Victor Cruz in the slot.
  • Manning made a real nice play on a play-action bootleg. He rolled out to his left, threw across his body, and made an accurate throw to Victor Cruz cutting across the field. He hit Cruz in stride, not something that is easy to do when throwing across your body.
  • The offense seems to be getting the play off at a much quicker pace than in OTAs. I counted a bunch of times when the ball was snapped with 10-15 seconds on the play clock. You’ve gotta figure the more comfortable the team gets, the more that number will grow.
  • WR Marcus Harris burned CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie bad on a double move. Eli hit him in stride, as he did with nearly every target, for a touchdown in the back of the endzone.
  • Adrien Robinson again caught one down the middle of the field. There is no clear indication of who’s No. 1, but I’d give the edge to the former fourth-round pick.
  • Practice once again ended with a touchdown…this one not from the offense. Eli Manning fired a rocket to Jerrel Jernigan who had the pass bounce off his hands. Antrel Rolle jumped in the air, caught it with one hand and returned it all the way for a score. The whistle was blown well before Rolle reached the end zone, but he wasn’t stopping.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

As has been the case all off season, we asked what you wanted us to observe.

FROM VIGGIE – Does McClain take over calling the defensive plays?

  • Yup, that’s all McClain now. He was the middle linebacker and made all reads and adjustments.

FROM ALLIGATOR PIE – Defensive ends, who looks physically prepared this year to smash face O tackles when called for?

  • Kiwanuka looks the same as he always does. JPP looks good. Damontre Moore also added about five pounds to his frame.

FROM MUSHROOM – How is Mosley doing? Is Paysinger getting any MLB reps? Anyone surprising you (good or bad)?

  • No reps for Paysinger at MLB. Tough to say on Mosley, no contact and he’s playing guard. It’s tough to really mess up.

FROM BOBBY EPPS – How is Kerry Wynn doing?

  • He had a sack today.

FROM JIMMY GOOGS – How the Tight Ends look with the first and second teamers.

  • TE’s as a unit look good. They are much more involved in the offense then in the past. A formation was run today in which three were on the field at once, all running routes.

FROM TRAINMASTER – Does the defense look even more ahead than the offense from year’s passed?

  • It’s tough to say. This is my first year here, but today there was a noticeable climb from the offense from when we saw them in OTAs.
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.

Jun 052014
 
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Mike Patterson (93) and Kelcy Quarles (97), New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Mike Patterson (93) and Kelcy Quarles (97) – Photo by Connor Hughes

Please note, after practice a lot during was discussed in regards to ex-New York Giant safety Will Hill. We will have a separate article coming recapping all of that. “Quick hits and tidbits” is designed for your practice overview.

Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice No. 6 – the second available to the New York media – wrapped up Thursday afternoon as the New York Giants continued their offseason program. Unlike the first, rain and wind forced the Giants into their “field house.” Located directly next to their outdoor practice facilities, the field house is an enclosed building with two full-length football fields.

With practice being held inside and on two field as opposed to nearly half a dozen, most, if not all, of practice was visible.

As was the case last week, we asked you, the fans, what you wanted BBI to keep an eye on at practice. At the end of our practice report, you will find your questions answered. First, lets set the stage.

Missing faces…

  • There were a few absences from practice today. The regular candidates – OG John Jerry, WR Mario Manningham, LT William Beatty - missed practice again and will be out until training camp. RG Chris Snee missed practice as a precautionary/planned measure.
  • There was a new addition to the injury report: WR Odell Beckham Jr. New York’s first-round pick tweaked his hamstring near the end of practice on Tuesday and sat out today. There were mixed reviews on when the Giants expect him back. Tom Coughlin said “it could be more than one day,” meanwhile Beckham seemed to think he’d be out there tomorrow if there was practice.
  • Jerrel Jernigan was another absentee, missing practice due to a death in the family.

The starters…

As was a huge plus with the practice being held indoors and the players being closer for the visible eye, starting lineups were more evident.

The starting offensive:

  • Justin Pugh (RT), Brandon Mosley (RG), J.D. Walton (C), Geoff Schwartz (LG), Charles Brown (LT), Rueben Randle (OWR), Victor Cruz (SWR), Adrien Robinson (TE), Marcus Harris (OWR), Eli Manning (QB), Rashad Jennings (RB).

The starting defense:

  • Jason Pierre-Paul (DE), Mike Patterson (DT), Cullen Jenkins (DT), Mathias Kiwanuka (DE), Jameel McClain (SAM), Jon Beason (MIKE), Spencer Paysinger (WILL), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB), Antrel Rolle (SS), Stevie Brown (FS), Walter Thurmond III (Nickle), Prince Amukamara (CB).

Now on to practice…

Special Teams:

  • The Giants opened practice with a full 11-on-11 punt return drill. Unlike the first OTA, the media was allowed to stand near where the returners fielded from a machine. Today Steve Weatherford was kicking them back. New York worked in a three-man rotation for returners: Trindon Holliday started, followed by Randle,Thurmond and Victor Cruz. Thurmond muffed the last punt of the day.
  • The Giants’ field house doesn’t really have the highest of roofs, so fielding for the returners was a bit annoying. I counted five of Weatherford’s kicks that smacked the ceiling, then came straight down.
  • The Giants starting “gunners,” or those that line up outside and chase down the punts, worked in two teams. The first featured Charles James and Travis Howard; the second Zack Bowman and Bennett Jackson. Jackson, the Giants’ sixth-round pick, downed one off a bounce at the five-yard-line.

Offense:

  • After the initial special teams drill, the Giants split up between offense and defense. Running backs, quarterbacks, wideouts and tight ends all went on one field; the defense to the other.
  • The offense ran through your basic warm-up drill with the QB’s tossing passes to their receiving options. I took note of the types of patterns the targets were running. Each started on the left side of the field, ran a drag before instantly turning it into a curl in front of the quarterback. After catching the pass, the player turned up field, ran through a few players with bags and then either hurdled, or darted around, bags lying on the ground. I didn’t witness any drops occur during this drill.
  • During his college career, RB Andre Williams wasn’t exactly a threat out of the backfield, so I tried to keep an eye on him during this drill. From what I saw, he went through one rotation and caught the ball. The one thing that I noticed was how he caught the ball: no hands, pure body.
  • Not sure if this was a drill, or just Eli Manning messing around, but after the above drill broke, the quarterbacks gathered together. Manning stood as if he was lunging forward, then took the football and proceeded to hand it off between his right and left hands quickly between his legs. He did this roughly 20 times, then passed it off to Ryan Nassib followed by Curtis Painter. After one rotation, the QB’s switched it up going between both legs, then behind the back. Not that it counts for anything, but Manning moved the ball in-and-out the fastest of the bunch.
  • After that basketball dribble drill, the the receivers (TEs included) split from the running backs. Most likely nothing, but Nassib went with the running backs and practiced handoffs while Manning and Painter threw passes.
  • Offensively, the ball certainly comes out of the quarterback’s hand quick. Curls, roll-outs, ins and outs looks to have replaced New York’s signature double moves from years past. Comparing this week and last, Manning looks much more comfortable with who he is throwing the ball to. Although, that could have been because there were no defenders.

Two-Minute Drill:

  • Granted there is no contact, but one player that really jumped out was RB Rashaad Jennings. The free-agent acquisition made a couple real nice moves in the hole to dart free to daylight. Jennings has a nice second gear too, pulling away from defenders.
  • As was mentioned above, the offense seems to feature a lot of draws, outs, curls and screens. Compared to the first practice, we didn’t see nearly as many running-back screens, but instead only three or four to tight ends and wide receivers.
  • Kelcy Quarles, a rookie free agent defensive tackle, came up with what would have been a sack on Eli Manning. He got a nice jump to get past I believe Geoff Schwartz.
  • The first time we saw Manning in the 2-minute drill last week, the quarterback was a bit timid with the ball. Nearly everything was a check-down, screen or dump off. Today, Manning took a few more shots down the field. He made a really nice throw to Marcus Harris on a deep out 15-20 yards down the field. Following the pass, he was replaced by Nassib.
  • Nassib and Manning took all of the reps in the two minute drill. Maybe Nassib just doesn’t like the media because once again he wasn’t very impressive. He was nearly intercepted a few times, including one by CB Jayron Hosley in which the ball was ripped away. The Syracuse alum does show some good quickness out of the pocket, moving and extending place pretty regularly.

  • One thing to keep a big eye on as we go forward is the use of WR Trindon Holliday, not just on special teams, but on offense. The former Denver Bronco and Houston Texan is seeing a lot of action and impressing. Last week, he caught a pass on a drag and had a lot of room to run. Today, Holliday caught what would have been a 40-50 yard touchdown on a wheel route. The 5-5, 166-pound LSU alum got behind the secondary and Nassib found him.
  • Shortly after the pass to Holliday, Manning came back in for Nassib. WR Julian Talley replaced Harris and TE Kellen Davis replaced Adrien Robinson. The TE’s sub in and out for each other pretty regularly, but Robinson is normally the first one out. He seems to have an early edge.
  • Speaking of Adrien Robinson, he continues to flash. He made a couple nice grabs including one down the seam for 10-12 yards. I asked Tom Coughlin after practice what he thought of the former fourth-round pick and he said he’s been “impressed.”
  • One thing we saw a lot during the two-minute drill was the movement of the tight end. One time, the position lined up in the backfield, once in the slot. One particular formation had a TE in the normal position (Robinson), and then one (Daniel Fells) in the slot. That certainly isn’t something that has been seen recently.
  • Antrel Rolle had a good practice, nearly coming away with an interception. We saw a couple different variations of the safety rotation during this portion of practice. Combinations included: Rolle and Cooper Taylor, Rolle and Stevie Brown, Taylor and Quintin Demps, and Thomas Gordon and Demps.
  • For those that were wondering, Cooper Taylor has replaced Will Hill on the second team.
  • Probably the highlight of practice: Eli Manning found Victor Cruz on an out after the Pro-Bowl wideout got wide open. After hauling in the pass, Cruz went full-steam up the sideline… you would have thought it was the Super Bowl. Seeing this as a challenge, Prince Amukamara, Jon Beason and Antrel Rolle sprinted after him laughing each step of the way.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was beaten twice by my count. Once by Julian Talley, once by Holliday (seriously, Holliday is impressing as WR).
  • On a draw, Andre Williams had a nice juke to get to the next level.
  • Kellen Davis made a real nice grab down the seam. That’s an area we’ve seen the TE’s attacking pretty frequently.
  • We had a Damontre Moore flash. The DE jolted into the backfield and disrupted a toss play. Showed great speed and jump.

Special Teams/Kick Return:

  • After the two-minute drill, the Giants transitioned to kickoffs. Brandon McManus handled the KO duties. The rotation for returners worked as follows: Quintin Demps – Trindon Holliday – David Wilson. Demps has a real nice burst when he hits the extra gear.

The Defense:

  • After the kickoff/return practice, the Giants split up practice again with offense and defense. Having previously watched the offense, I turned my intention to the ‘D.’
  • The second-team safeties were Quintin Demps and Cooper Taylor. Third team were C.J. Burnett/Nat Berhe and Thomas Gordon. Newly acquired CB/S Kyle Sebetic worked entirely as a corner.
  • The Giants split up the starting defense into a “nickel” base during one portion. In this package, Jacquain Williams entered as a LB with Jon Beason. Also, Stevie Brown spent a few reps up in the box. The second-team nickel LB’s were Jameel McClain and Spencer Paysinger.
  • CB Charles James has been very active in the two practices the media have seen. The second-year player in constantly talking, moving, running and just looks to be having a blast on the field. In the two-minute drill, James nearly came away with an interception off Nassib.
  • One funny situation occurred during the above drill, several starters played “offense” with caps on just to mimic offensive moves. Rodgers-Cromartie, who lined up in front of James, didn’t take this too lightly. The free-agent acquisition showed some good burst off the line and actually got a few steps on an unexpecting James. This didn’t sit well with Demps, who called James over for a few words. Nice leadership shown by Demps.

11-on-11 Drills:

  • Not too much excitement in this portion of practice. RB Peyton Hillis made a few nice moves and showed a good burst. More quick passes and curls.
  • Manning hit Cruz over the middle on a nice pass. Eli drove the ball pretty well and it had some zip.
  • Curtis Painter got a few reps here. On one, he tried to find a target (couldn’t make out who) over the middle but Jacquian Williams flashed across for the bat-down at the line.
  • Harris flashed once on a real nice play over the middle from Nassib. He made a few catches with some additional reps.

Overall Impressions…

  • In just a week, you can tell Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo is installing more and more of his offense. We saw a few deep shots, some nice variations and different formations. It’s going to be fun to watch the offense evolve over the offseason.
  • I mentioned it before, but Trindon Holliday may be a very nice addition to the offense. He showed a few times that he has some game-breaking ability. If you get him in space…look out. Rueben Randle is also having a pretty good offseason.
  • The offensive line looked a lot better this afternoon than it did last week. Looks like they’re starting to jell together.
  • Charles James continues to flash showing he has made some significant improvements from a year ago.

Your Questions Answered…

FROM SNEAKERS O’TOOLE - I’d like to know how comfortable Eli looks on his feet after coming off the ankle thing. I know he was taking snaps, a lot of short throws apparently. I’d like to know if he looks comfortable planting and driving the way a QB must to deliver a ball with power.
– He looked a lot better today than he did last week. Drove on a few and put some nice zip on the ball. He’s getting better and better with each passing day.

FROM BLUE42 - Can you please detail how Andre Williams is doing catching the ball and if the screen pass is still a W.I.P.?
– Believe it or not, we didn’t see many screen passes to RBs worked on today, mostly just to TEs and WRs. I saw Williams catch one pass with his body. He wasn’t target on anything else.

FROM GREAT WHITE GHOST – Who looks like they have the edge in the Fullback competition?
— It’s very difficult to tell this early on. Most of the formations the Giants have been running don’t feature a FB (shotgun). The few times Eli has been under center, Henry Hynoski has gotten the first reps.

FROM WEATHERMAN – Are they showing more 4 CB alignments with the newly acquired quality depth at the position?
– I haven’t seen any four-corner sets yet.

FROM KEOWEEFAN – Cooper Taylor, is he showing progress?
– Taylor looks decent. Only reason I say that is because he hasn’t done anything to really stand out – nothing negative or positive. He says he’s put on weight and spent a lot of time in the weight room.

FROM RASBUTANT – See if you can get any quotes from players about Will Hill
– Antrel Rolle put it best that he wasn’t “surprised” at the situation and you can’t depend on a player that is getting suspended “year, after year, after year.”

FROM DAVIDINBMNY – The strongest position on paper for the team is CB. As opposed to the 3 safety look, are there any signs or indications that the 3 CB / 2 LB package will be used more often?
– Yup, all nickel package is three corner, two backer.

FROM ATL_GIANT – Please let us know if Snee looks healthy. Is he practicing fully? Is there any indication of where his performance level may be at the start of the season?
– He was out today. Precautionary reasons. Coughlin said it was part of the plan.

FROM JOEGUIDO - How does Eli like the new offensive scheme in comparison to what he had been running and does he think the new offense will produce?
– Much better from a week ago. He didn’t speak today.

FROM JAY IN TORONTO – I’d like to know who (either by your observation or what you’ve heard) is demonstrating accelerated development (esp Robinson, Nassib etc).
– Coughlin said he’s impressed with Robinson and Donnell.

THE NEXT MEDIA DAY IS THURSDAY, JUNE 12. BBI WILL ONCE AGAIN BE IN ATTENDANCE.

May 292014
 
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Ryan Nassib (9), Eli Manning (10), Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (May 29, 2014)

Ryan Nassib, Eli Manning, and Ben McAdoo – Photo by Connor Hughes

For the first time this season, the New York Giants allowed media access to the team’s Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices. While rookies WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and RB Andre Williams were not in attendance due to an obligation for the NFL’s “Rookie Symposium,” the rest of the team was.

For nearly two hours, New York displayed Ben McAdoo’s new offense, a retooled secondary and a revamped offensive line. Below you will find a few highlights from this afternoon’s practice.

Earlier this week, we asked you, the fans, what you wanted us to focus on at today’s OTA’s. You answered, and we obliged. At the end of the recap, you will find your questions answered. This will be a trend that continues throughout OTAs, minicamp and training camp.

Please note, this blog will contain a bit more scene setting as this is the first time the media was allowed to see players in action. In following reports, you’ll get many more highlights.

Before we get to practice, I’ll set the groundwork and foundation for the afternoon. Practice was held at Quest Diagnostics Performance Center and media were permitted to stand on the patio. The Giants practiced in the corresponding field but little was able to be seen of the offensive line, quarterbacks, or wide receivers in their individual drills. The groups practiced just past where the eye could clearly see what was transpiring. The two-minute drill, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 were all conducted on the near field driving towards the media. These we were able to get accurate details of, but not much from the line perspective. With three levels of defenders standing in front, it was tough to gauge what was going on in the trenches.

  • As mentioned above, WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and RB Andre Williams were not in attendance as they were at the Rookie Symposium held by the league. WR Mario Manningham and OG John Jerry were in attendance, but both were not practicing. Tom Coughlin addressed the media afterward and said the two will be held out until training camp. Manningham is still recovering from a knee injury that cost him all of last season Jerry recently had a scope. LT Will Beatty also did not practice as he is still recovering from his broken leg.
  • Much has been talked about in regards to those that make up the Giants’ running back corps, but little has been said about RB Peyton Hillis. The bruising one-time Madden cover boy quietly put together a solid season last year and this season looks like an absolute monster. Hillis is ripped, isn’t afraid to show it, and is sporting a nice mohawk to pull the look together. The Bergen Record’s Art Stapleton referred to him as “Peyton Hochuli” and there may not be a better name.

  • The Giants opened practice with individual drills and split the punt returners off to the side to work on fielding from the machine. Those that occupied the group were RB David Wilson, CB Walter Thurmond, WR Victor Cruz, WR Trindon Holliday and WR Rueben Randle.
  • During the above drill, an interesting technique/practice was used that I personally have not seen before. The returner turned and faced away from the machine, lay flat on his stomach with his limbs spread out, waited for the ball to be shot out before popping up, locating and eventually fielding the ball.
  • S Stevie Brown, who is recovering from knee surgery, seemed to be moving pretty well in the individual portions of practice. The safety cut and broke on the ball without much hesitation. Brown also is working with the No. 1′s opposite S Antrel Rolle.
  • Troubled safety Will Hill was also in attendance and a full participant. Hill was working with the No. 2 defensive unit and paired with Quintin Demps. Coughlin spoke about Hill after practice and said it’s “difficult” not knowing the 24-year-old’s status and has no idea when that status will be determined. When on the field, Hill is a dynamic player.

Now on to the highlights, we’ll start with the two-minute drill…

  • Stevie Brown, New York Giants (May 29, 2014)

    Stevie Brown – Photo by Connor Hughes

    The Giants initial team-related function was a two-minute drill. It was tough to really gauge a depth chart in this particular portion of practice because the No. 2 skill position guys were working with the starting offensive line against the No. 1 defense. QB Ryan Nassib took the first reps.

  • From watching practice today, it appears as if this was a very vanilla version of what we can expect from McAdoo’s scheme. With that being said, the ball certainly comes out of the quarterback’s hand faster, but some familiar aspects were still there. We saw quite a few draw plays and screen passes.
  • Speaking of screen passes, something was shown on multiple occasions that I have not seen on a consistent basis since the Jeremy Shockey era: tight end screens. Quite a few were run, one in particular to Adrien Robinson stood out. It appeared as if it would have picked up a good chunk of change down the sideline.
  • There was no clear-cut No. 1 tight end displayed today, as Coughlin & Co. seem to have the competition completely open. Everyone saw reps and a few stood out. Adrien Robinson hauled in three passes from what I saw. Daniel Fells made a nice grab. Larry Donnell stood out for the opposite reason, dropping a wide-open pass down the seam. For what it’s worth, Fells was the first tight end on the field.
  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie looks very, very good early on. A few times we saw him matched up with Victor Cruz and he shut the Pro-Bowl wideout down. There was little, if any, window for Eli to fit the ball in.
  • With David Wilson awaiting a hopefully medical-clearing MRI (scheduled for June 4), Rashad Jennings is the back getting reps with the first team. He looked as good as a running back can look with no contact. Jennings caught a few passes out of the backfield and ran it a few times on draws.
  • WR Julian Talley, who made the practice squad and saw action at the end of the year, dropped a pass down the seam on what appeared to be a fourth down. He rebounded later with a grab between two defenders.
  • Little variation of a trick play, first and only we saw today. Ryan Nassib faked a handoff then handed to to Jerrel Jernigan on an end around.
  • Ryan Nassib certainly didn’t have a very impressive practice, but he did stand out on one specific occasion. In the two-minute drill, a rusher came off the edge (couldn’t tell who), Nassib pump-faked, got the defender in the air, rolled out to his left and threw across his body for a completion on the sideline. I believe it was Daniel Fells who made the sliding catch.
  • S Nat Berhe had a near interception of Nassib, jumping in front of a deep in. Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell could be heard nearly 100 yards away screaming, “Come on Nat!”
  • Adrien Robinson looked good in the action he saw. By my count, he caught two passes in the two-minute drill and showed some good burst. He stood out among the other TE’s.
  • During the two-minute drill, New York had two play clocks set up. A nice touch considering how many times Eli was called for “Delay of Game” last year.
  • Unlike the offense that ran variations, the starting defense was the starting defense during the two-minute drill. The lineup read as follows from left to right looking behind defense: Mathias Kiwanuka, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, and Jason Pierre-Paul on the defensive line; Jameel McClain, Jon Beason, and Spencer Paysinger at linebacker; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Stevie Brown, Antrel Rolle, and either Prince Amukamara or Walter Thurmond in the secondary.
  • The reason I say Amukamara/Thurmond is because the two switched out nearly every other play, while Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) stayed on the field the entire time.
  • John Conner, who is competing with Henry Hynoski for the starting full back position, looks very, very big. He caught a screen pass out of the backfield and several reporters, and myself, had to double check the roster for who it was.
  • Jon Beason dropped a sure-fire interception when Eli Manning overshot Peyton Hillis on a screen pass. Yes, a screen pass that didn’t go as designed.

Now onto the 7-on-7′s…

  • Victor Cruz, New York Giants (May 29, 2014)

    Victor Cruz – Photo by Connor Hughes

    This may have been when the Giants’ offense struggled the most. The team opened with Randle and Jernigan split outside, Cruz in the slot and Robinson at TE.

  • There was quite a bit of miscommunication in this drill. WR Trindon Holliday and WR Preston Parker ran into each other once. WR Travis Harvey did the same another time. A few times the wide receiver broke in when the quarterback threw out, or vice versa. It’s early, very early, and with a brand new offense these kind of things should be expected.
  • CB Charles James notched the lone interception of the practice. Randle ran a curl, Nassib threw it a bit behind him and James jumped it for what looked like a pick-six. That sent the defensive players and coaching staff into a frenzy.
  • There wasn’t much dispersion with quarterback reps as Manning and Nassib took nearly them all. Curtis Painter saw a few reps in the 7-on-7 and Josh Freeman got a few (3-4) in all three drills.
  • Will Hill got two reps opposite Rolle with the No. 1′s.
  • One interesting wrinkle, Trindon Holliday caught a pass with first team on an in-out route and had a LOT of room to run. Curious to see if McAdoo ties to work the speedy returner into the offense.

Now on to 11-on-11′s…

  • Think this is going to be the largest section? Wrong. Much ado about nothing here. Few completions, few drops, nothing much to showcase.
  • One thing to take out of this is we did see the “first team” offensive line. Justin Pugh is at right tackle, Chris Snee at guard, J.D. Walton at center, Geoff Schwartz at left guard and today Charles Brown was at left tackle.
  • One interesting variation of the line we saw, Snee came out and Weston Richburg played right guard with the first team.

Overall impressions…

  • Ryan Nassib did not look very good today. No one looked “great” on offense, but Nassib stood out as noticeably struggling. He missed behind on a few occasions, had nearly three interceptions and looked rattled. It’s early, and he’ll most likely settle in with the new offense, but he didn’t look good.
  • I mentioned this above, but the offense we saw today I assume is very vanilla. Either way, lots of screens, draws and curls. A few shots down the field, mostly taken by Nassib, but none connected.
  • I don’t think Eli Manning made one pass more than 10 yards down the field, nearly everything was a screen, draw, or dump-off.
  • I figured some fans may be interested, so I kept completion stats for all quarterbacks. I did not keep them for 7-on-7′s, so this includes just two-minute and 11-on-11: Manning - 14/19 • Nassib - 6/9 • Freeman - 2/3.

Your questions answered:

From Tom in NY: 1. The O-Line….how is Snee moving? How are the Tackles, without Beatty (or even with), can the reserves stand up to NFL DEs.

  • Snee looks like he is moving pretty well. Took part in all aspects of practice. Tough to gauge how other guys did because of our vantage point.

From Tom in NY: The TEs — Robinson and Donnell…are both or either up to being a quality NFL starter?

  • I was impressed with Robinson, looked good. Donnell didn’t stand out much aside from a drop down the seam.

From DavidinBMNY: Is snee going to practice with the 1s or is he more of a backup…Does jpp look healthy…how does mainingham look? Which rb looks like the 1..

  • Snee practiced with the ones and looked healthy. Can’t say much more than that because he’s a lineman and there was no contact. JPP looked fine and assures everyone he is healthy. Manningham is out until training camp.

From BillT: A run down on the OL. Who is lining up with the 1s, 3′s etc.

  • Tough to say who lined up with 2′s because of our vantage point. 1′s were Pugh-Snee-Walton-Schwartz-Brown.

From dorgan: An inverted bone. Two backs (probably FBs) lined up behind the gap between guard-tackles at 3-4 yards of depth and a TB lined up behind QB at 5-7 yards.

  • This is tough because the offense was very, very vanilla today. I can tell you, as Robinson said last week, the TE position does move around a bit more. There was one formation which was a “trips right” featuring a WR and two tight ends bunched together near the right tackle. Also, I believe it was Donnell, lined up as a tight end before coming in motion and lining up as a full back in the backfield.

From Racer: Interested to hear if in the passing game they run spacing concepts with a trips receiver running a curl @6y directly over the ball like GB. Jim Miller mentioned on Sirius that this was something he expected to see from McAdoo. Appreciate all the work you’re doing.

  • Lots and lots of curls. Look above for trips description.

From Jay on the Island: I would like to know where Mosley lines up. Is he focusing mostly on LG or RG or is he seeing any time at LT or RT. Is he lining up with the 2nd or third team. Personally I would like to see him lined up at RG in the event Snee can’t rebound.

  • I’m sorry Jay, it was very hard to pick out Mosley from where we were standing.

From Klaatu: I’d also like to know how Beatty’s rehab is coming along, along with Snee’s and Mosley’s, too.

  • Coughlin said Beatty will “supposedly be ready for the fall.” Snee and Mosley both 100%.

From Sir-Yes-Sir: Leadership

  • Tough to tell this early. Beason stood out being vocal. Too far to tell for offensive line.

RiffRaff: Does JPP have his old step off the offensive line?

  • This is tough to say because it’s OTA’s and everyone is going at their own pace. JPP did say after practice he was going at full speed.
Aug 122013
 
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Michael Cox, New York Giants (August 7, 2013)

Michael Cox – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 12, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor djm

This won’t be a very detailed 2013 New York Giants training camp report but I figured I’d share my experience at camp today. I was lucky enough to catch practice today from the VIP area behind the end zone. First off, I Got to see the trophy case inside the Timex Center. Four shiny trophies all in a row. Awesome. We then ventured out to the area behind the End Zone where they had some food and drink available. Had some pulled pork on a roll, a hot dog and some cole slaw. Food was actually pretty damn good.

Players emerged to the cheers of many and went into their stretching and warm up routine. Being so close to them was pretty cool. As they were walking towards us the players acknowledged our calls and cheers. The best thing I took from the stretching phase was Shaun Rogers had the most awesome stretching routine I’ve ever seen…and when I say awesome I mean he basically goes through the motions in hilarious fashion. Everyone else is stretching things out in unison and then there’s big old Shaun kind of just kicking a leg out or moving an arm…pretty funny sight. He’s a gigantic man. This routine went on for a few minutes and then the players went into drills.

I managed to see Cruz, Randle and Wilson all fielding punts. All fielded them without a hitch. Paysinger was barking out cadence as the ball was snapped to the punter.

On to the fun stuff…I guess it was 11 on 11 drills? Not sure but the offense was going against the defense and everyone was wearing upper pads.

  • David Wilson had some nice grabs out of the backfield. I guess they would be labeled as swing passes? Sort of like the Jacobs TD in Philly, 2011. He had a few of those. He’s a natural pass receiver – very fluid. I didn’t really see him do much in the running drills. I kind of missed if he did run the ball at all. I saw one nice run up the gut but missed anything else.
  • Andre Brown had one run that stood out but I didn’t really see much else. At the end of practice he started singing an Eddie Money song. And I gotta say the dude has a good voice and I think GiantFilthy should get his jersey based on that info alone. First “he got a ring” and now Eddie Money? Guy’s a ham.
  • The guy I did notice was Cox. I got to see a lot of him. The difference between Cox and Scott was pretty easy to see. Cox had a number of nice runs…twisting and bouncing his way to daylight on a few occasions while Scott really didn’t stand out to me at all. Kind of hard to kill or praise a guy watching these drills but I saw Cox break free a few times while I can’t remember seeing Scott break free at all. Gun to my head I think Cox makes this team. Looks like he belongs.
  • Adrien Robinson. This dude was why I posted this report. I know it’s early but it looks like he has arrived. He made a number of nice plays today. Caught balls in traffic. Got separation. Used that big old frame of his very well and just absolutely shined out there today. Mike Pope has worked his magic once again. Adrien looks very very good. He’s a real big specimen and it looks like the game is slowing down for him. I was hyping Adrien up before practice to my father-in-law and after practice he was fully on board.
  • Speaking of weapons, Mr. Cruz looks dynamite out there. Caught everything in site and just makes it look so easy. His route running and cutting is second to none. Nothing else to say other than Cruz looks to be rounding right into regular-season form.
  • Nicks practiced and had one drop that I remember but also had a nice TD in the corner of the end zone on a sweet pass from Eli. Nicks beat Prince on the play. Nicks practiced all day and that’s all that matters.
  • Randle once again had another good practice. Had a few nice grabs over the middle, in traffic, and like Robinson really seems to be learning how to use that body of his to generate separation and shield himself from the defender.
  • I saw Pugh on the field wearing pads and a helmet but I actually forgot to look to see if he actually practiced? I didn’t notice him until near the end but he was definitely out there in pads and wearing the helmet. But when I saw him he was just standing with some other players watching the action. I would think he practiced since he was wearing the pads.  (Editor’s note: Pugh did practice).
  • Saw JPP walking around. Couldn’t see if he was running or anything but he was out there. Same goes for Webster.
  • Nassib had some nice balls today. And he wasn’t on the run when he threw those balls so that’s probably a positive step for him. He can definitely sling the rock. Really all the QBs had some decent throws but I saw Painter miss one or two that he’d probably like to have back.
  • Eli as mentioned had the perfect pass to Nicks and he was pretty much money the entire practice. Nothing to see here.
  • I really didn’t get a chance to see much of the defense. The only thing I did notice was Ross had a nice play on the outside, I think on Nicks and Fewell really seemed to enjoy that action as he ran all the way up to Ross and high-fived him. I saw Ross make 2-3 other plays as well. He’s happy to be home. Fewell really gets animated during practice as he is one of the loudest guys on the field. The other guy who gets fired up and seems to be having a good time is Marvin Austin. That’s really all I can offer on the D.
  • I saw the Rolle injury. It was a tough, physical play on the outside. I think he was covering Pascoe? They got tangled up on a pass to the outside and I think Rolle broke it up but sadly it came with a cost. He was in a lot of pain. He came over to the end zone area where we were and sat on a cooler while the trainers checked him out. He looked pretty miserable. I heard someone say ankle which is obvious by now…Barnes patted him on the shoulder and away he went on the cart. Fingers crossed.

That’s about it…I met and got Tuck and Wilson to sign a football. The football will now be a good luck charm never to leave my living room. Great day. Great weather. Only complaint was Rolle’s injury.

Aug 022013
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 2, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF

Hello muddah, hello faddah,
Here I am at Camp Granada.
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Camp is at the Timex Quest Diagnostic Training Center (hopefully no medical testing kits!) now, not Camp Albany. Still, I’ve been to the Garden State before (I attended several games at Giants Stadium, and I have relatives in Bloomfield), so no big deal, right? So I figure, I’m going to Quest down and spend a day at camp!

So I pack up the usual gear…Small Giants Cooler, Duffel bag with Laptop, MiFi, notebooks, umbrella, large print edition “Art of War” (it’s hell on flies, bugs, and non Giant fans, Sun Tzu rules!), gum, old smelly towel, stale jokes, old digital camera, batteries, etc. I’m going to light up that metal detector like nobody’s business!

It has been a while, though…I should check directions. Should be easy in this age of GPS, Internet and Tom Tom’s…

2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

Wait a second….W-a-i-t a s-e-c-o-n-d…let me try another map…

Ah, THAT’s better! I’ll get a nice early start in the Honda, get my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (extra large, this is a longer trip), and ramble down the Thruway. Should be a piece of cake…

Why does this ALLWAYS happen when I get off of exit 15 instead of 16????

Ok, let me get a good seat in the stands, so I can see (I’m missing the hills back home already, sigh), and it’s time for

BITS AND BYTES COUNTDOWN EDITION

Oh, did I tell you I got an exclusive from Ralph V? Now, we all know Ralph is famous for his “doom and gloom articles” about the giants (see here), but let us look at his shot of the Giants much talked about “Countdown Clock”:

Enough of the small talk, let’s go!!

For those of you coming to camp, it’s a bit different this year. There’s a fence outside the complex; the gap in the fence is where Security checks your bags and wands you. They are actually very professional and nice, by the way. They let me know about the new game policy (won’t affect me since I don’t do game reports, so on the rare occasion I go down, I travel very light.)

Even so, it’s still feels disturbing when someone has to check you with a wand for a practice. I over heard the staff talking about all the push back they were getting over this.

I arrived later than I wanted to, so the prime spots (the two stands on my left) were full. I went over to the first stand on the right corner of the field (there are three over there, though the last one has obstructed view), facing the VIP tables on the opposite side which are outside the administration offices and kitty korner to the indoor playing field.

In effect, from my view there are three fields, and a small annex field that goes around the right side of the Timex Indoor Field. Yes, I said Timex, as they haven’t changed the huge print on that roof! So I’ll call the fields in front of me 1, 2, 3 (three being next to the VIP tables/administrative building), and the annex field continuing for about 30 yards from the end of field 1.

Enough of that! I scarf down my lunch, just in time to see the first players coming out to applause by the fans (5 minutes early, of course!) The QB’s lead the group, with Painter in the lead (oh, it’s great not to have to spell Perrilloux this year Eric…just sayin!) Cruz and Diehl were chatting as they come out.

The Oline was knocking around the sleds next the extreme right of the Timex Indoor (you could hear the banging from a distance). Mosley, Boothe, McCants and Browning were with the QB’s snapping the ball. I saw the Dline (boy they look bigger this year…not fat, just wide!). I think Michael Jasper lost his waist somewhere (or they found a living Lego player, as he was built like a box!).

Wow, who shrunk #27? Oh, that’s Stevie Brown with Jacob’s old number. Silly me!

Horn…er… Let’s try 184 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes till SB XLVIII!

The usual limbering up (wave arms, stretch, etc) on Field 3. Not so much to watch since Mitch Petrus isn’t around.

Weather Report: 86 degrees, partly cloudy, humidity 50%, wind supposedly at 10 mph (but it starts to gust a LOT later on!).

So, now everyone’s Jumping, Hopping, Skipping, then back to Leg Stretches.! I know most of the action will be on Field 3, since that’s where the camera towers are. They are sneaky, though, since they don’t bring the towers out till the last minute.

Hey, the NFL refs are here! With NFL approved shorts! Let’s check out the injured players…I see Kuhn stepping around horizontal pylons, moving pretty well for a big guy (he’s bigger this year, and yeah, he looks like Shockey’s lost brother). Must have been on the Schnitzel diet.

Hynoski is moving gingerly, but I can’t tell how well he’s walking, as he has some sort of rubber band contraption strung between his ankle. He’s not bending very well, and looks uncomfortable. T2, on the other hand, is stretching gingerly, but looks in a better mood.

184 days, 8 hours, 13 minutes till SB XLVIII

The team splits up into groups.

Field 1: LB’s are covering TE’s/RB’s.

Field 2: Dline is getting coaching; Austin looks lighter, but I still think he needs to grow the dreads back. Sampson would agree.

(Note here…I’m not anywhere near the action, so I can’t be as detailed as last year. Think of trying to report using binoculars from the stands in Albany near the Lacrosse Field all the way over to the field next to Western Avenue; but then not having that elevation, and looking either through a 10 foot chain link fence. The stands I’m on has a cover, but the cover has poles holding it up.

Also, with binoculars you have a limited field of vision, so I had a hard time seeing the action when they had 11 on 11).

184 days, 8 hours, 8 minutes till SB XLVIII

Field 1: Ok, the Defense is going into “circle drills”. Think of a diamond….on each corner of the diamond, you have a different drill. The defensive players rotate, so they are exposed to each drill.

Drill 1. Coach tosses ball to player who’s back pedaling.
Drill 2. Coach fumbles ball, player picks it up, runs with it and hands it to another coach.
Drill 3. Player blitzes dummy that looks like a QB, then picks up fumble.
Drill 4. Player fights off blocker, to fill hole in line.

Field 2: The QB’s are doing pitch and catch (QB’s to Receivers). The TE’s are in another group, where they practice technique blocks (influence blocks on other TE’s who pretend to be Dline guys); for example, blocking under a Dlineman shoulder to “influence” him to go in the direction you want, as he thinks he’s penetrating, but it’s not where he should be.

The Olinemen are doing crab walks across horizontal pylons.

Field 1: Now the QB’s are practicing play action fakes, using the RB’s..they either hand off or play action and throw. The TE’s and RB’s practice trying to catch passes head level or somewhat higher…you have to use your hands, no body catches!

Field 3: Olinemen now are practicing staying low through their blocks, using a metal bar cage that allows them to block through, but not raise their backs. DB’s in another group are back pedaling and breaking to a ball thrown by the coaches. The safeties are in another group…they are following the ball as the coach moves it side to side, working on their footwork. The LB’s are hitting a blocking dummy.

Field 1: More pitch and catch between QB’s and RB’s/TE’s.

Field 3 (Annex): The DL is hitting the blocking sled.

Field 1: The Oline is working on blocking DL twisting (two O Linemen with plastic shields are blocking 2 O Linemen who pretend to twist rush).
Field 1: The Safeties are working on inside coverage technique (WR doing a post or curl in). The LB’s are working on outside coverage (WR doing a flag, or curl to sideline).

Field 3: All the defensive players are gathered. It’s “O” vs “D”, with defensive players simulating offensive players by wearing red or yellow caps against the rest of the defense playing their normal positions. Looks like drop-back coverage and man to man drills.

Field 2: RB’s and TE’s hit the blocking dummy. More Oline practice against twist blitzes by the defense, or hitting LB’s in the hole.

Field 1: Way off to the corner, Weatherford, DeOssie and Brown are practicing snaps for FG’s or Punts.

Field 2: Just Dline and Oline now, coach is playing QB. They are doing a lot of pushing and grunting.

184 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes till SB XLVIII

Everyone goes to Field 3 (by the VIP’s).

Field 3: 11 vs 11, Offense vs Defense.

We start off with run only plays.

Eli hands off to Wilson up middle (x2).
Eli in shotgun shovel passes to Wilson.
Carr hands off to Torain (middle).
Carr hands off to Scott, OT Left through a nice hole.
Carr hands off to Wilson OT Right.
Carr hands off to Torain OT Right.

The NFL Refs become obvious, looking down the line for off sides. I scan left to the sideline, and see Nicks chatting with Corey Webster…both are not practicing, though both are smiling.

184 days, 7 hours, 28 minutes till SB XLVIII

Ok, I can’t see anything for a while. The players are lining up on Field 1 up and down, blocking my view. I think they are going through plays, as I see yellow and red caps.

Field 2: more snap practice with Brown, Weatherford and DeOssie.

Field 3: (way to the right) The DL/LB’s/Safeties are working together on drop back coverage. Now they break out the red and yellow caps, so it’s defensive “O” vs “D”, 11 on 11.

I look at the water station and Nicks and Snee (also not practicing). Snee has a large wrap on one leg (no, I’m not telling you which one). Nearby, Reese and John Mara are talking, but I don’t see Pat Hanlon (sigh, I wanted to do a style report!!!).

184 days, 7 hours, 18 minutes till SB XLVIII

Everyone to Field 3: 11 on 11, O vs D.
Eli pass to Wilson no gain up middle.
Nassib pass to Randle in the Left Flat (I notice Tuck is doing a lot of standing up and rushing).
Eli pass to Pascoe, nice touch pass over defender. Pascoe has good hands today!
Carr pass to Wilson, middle screen.
Eli handoff to Scott, OT Left stuffed.
Nassib pass to Barden, who does a nifty slide over the middle to catch a wormer.
Painter hands off to (can’t see) OT R stuffed.
Nassib throws ball away under pressure.
Nassib to (can’t see) OT R stuffed.
Nassib shows some nice touch on a pass to Carlos in L Flat.

KO’s (hmmm, didn’t see Punt returns, which is unusual in a TC practice). Brown is kicking across Field 2 to Field 3.

Wilson and Randle (up left sideline) with nice returns. Cox does a return, but gets shoved to ground (one of the harder hits today). Jernigan slithers up the right sideline for a return.

Brown then does FG’s on Field 2, starting at the 5, and working back (he hit all of them, though a couple tended to his left). One looked near 50 yds, just making it over the upright (with the NFL refs holding their hands up, good!!!).

Field 2: Oline is banging on Dline (or is it visa versa?)

Field 1: The crowd perks up as we see some long passing.

Eli with a nice bomb to Randle up the L Sideline.
Eli with a L Flat pass to Scott, then throws the next one away after pressure.
Eli tries a long middle seam pass to Myers, but a group of DB’s knock it down.
Carr tries a L Flat pass, almost picked off by J. Williams, who does pushups.
Carr launches a long pass up middle to Barden, but McBride with a nice knockaway.
Carr tries a L Flat, but Scott gets caught up in the “wash” and the ball falls to the ground.
Nassib nearly gets picked off by Charlie James in L Flat.
Nassib tries to hit Kevin Hardy, but a NICE cover by Laron Scott, who knocks the ball away.

Ugh.. the stands are shaking…it’s not those meddling kids behind me, in the playground is it? Nope..the “Hawk” makes its appearance. It’s gusting badly now, and it’s hard to see through the binoculars.

184 days, 6 hours, 53 minutes till SB XLVIII

Eli tries a long pass up the middle to Talley, but Prince will have none of it.
Eli then hands off OT Right to Andre Brown.
Nassib flips a pass to Wilson in the L Flat…then Wilson “flickers” up the L Sideline for a big gain. It’s hard to see this guy when he starts multiple cuts!

Eli hands off to Wilson OT Right, nice gain up the R Sideline.
Eli then throws the ball away, nobody’s open (but he does not see nobody, I guess…).
Carr with a pass to Scott in the Right Flat, no gain.
Carr passes to Scott up the middle.
Painter hands off to Torain, OT Right.
Nassib tries to pass to Scott, but Curry smells him out (can’t be too hard this late into practice) and stuffs the play, no catch.
Nassib tries to pass to Jernigan in the R Flat, but Caldwell (I think) skies over him to deflect the pass. This might make camp highlights.
Nassib (he’s getting a lot of work, eh?) passes to Cox up the middle.
Nassib tries a pass up the middle, but Bosworth with a nice defensive knock down of the pass!
Nassib with his best pass of the day, a pass to Talley in the R Sideline, lofting it over Mertile, who had no chance despite tight coverage.

Ok, time for 2 Minute Drill!!!

Eli’s back, and goes for Bear in the middle flat (and hits him!)
Eli to Randle in the middle flat.
Eli to Scott Right sideline.
Eli to Barden, who gets the pass in the right flat.
Time Out!
Eli to Bear in the Left Flat.

We start the drill again with Carr.

Carr to Barden, R Flat.
Carr to Kris Adams, L Flat.
Carr to Jernigan, L Flat.

(ugh, Hawk is back..the stands are really shaking!)

Carr, throws ball away with pressure.
McBride knocks down a Carr pass in the L Flat.
Carr to Jernigan who comesback in the R Flat.

184 days, 6 hours, 33 minutes till SB XLVIII

Hey, do I hear the Spinners?

Hey, y’all prepare yourself
For the Rubberband man
You never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
You’re bound to lose control
When the Rubberband starts to jam

Yep, the rubber band stretch is out, end of practice. After the stretches, the team goes to a big group, then splits into smaller groups, who have their yell/chant, then break up.

Eli looked good today, Nassib is interesting, but he’s hesitating a bit…you can see him holding the ball for a split second or so when he has it by his head. Hopefully, this is just processing the speed of the game, and his delivery will be more natural.

No real impressions from the rookies, but I’ll leave that to the first pre-season game. The way practice is now, you really don’t get the hard hitting that pads used to inspire.

What you didn’t see after practice:

Bear working out with Keith Rivers, working on footwork.

J. Williams doing some extra work with Sam Madison (who was wearing shades, Red shorts AND a Red top…stylish!).

Myers, Childers and Sabino doing some football “pepper” next to the Timex Indoor.

Tuck kick a football like a soccer ball, (to his kid?).

Sam Madison coming to the fence (for autographs and chat), to a small group of fans. They were doing the usual “hey Sam, you were the best Dolphin player ever!”. Sam laughed and said Marino was.

Sam’s cool, I hope they hire him as full time coach.

*******************************************

This session of camp is over, it’s time to move on. The sun declines in the west, casting shadows that hint of fall, even though it’s still summer. I pack up the binoculars, put away the notebook where I scratched my notes. Camp isn’t over…but I have to go.

I’ve talked many times about football camp. For some of us, it brings back memories of our own time when you could smell the grass from the stains on your uniform, leather pads heavy with sweat, salt pills and wind sprints. Others remember a cool drink, sitting on the grass next to a tree and peering through binoculars, trying to pick out your favorite player, or getting that precious autograph or kind word from an athlete.

Every sport has its time. Baseball has spring training, and the promise of summer. Football has training camp, where its season starts, and you know fall is coming. Every player thinks he will make the team, or start. Every one holds on to hope; the promising rookie, the grizzled veteran, the coaching staff with their long hours away from their families. Every camp has surprises and disappointments, injuries to players, and players coming back from injuries.

Camp is where championships start, or where they might be lost. Every player is a story, and camp is a symphony of stories, common themes with endless variety under the master conductor, the head coach.

For fans…for us…camp is what we make of it. As fans, we can share a common experience, at camp, at the stadium, at home with friends and family. There’s something special that happens when people have a common cause, a common interest, and share a common history.

I’m back at my Honda Accord, time to turn the key and travel north, to home. Home, where the old ghosts are, ghosts of camp past. The Quest, in time, will spawn it’s own stories, it’s own ghosts. Stories never die, as long as there are fans around to tell those tales to other fans, young and old.

I switch on the radio, scan for a tune to match my mood. I hear snatches of a Springsteen song, fading in and out…

(well, it IS Jersey…)

We played king of the mountain out on the end
The world come chargin’ up the hill, and we were women and men
Now there’s so much that time, time and memory fade away
We got our own roads to ride and chances we gotta take…

Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away
Makin’ a fool’s joke out of the promises we make
And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray
We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay
And it’s a ride, ride, ride, and there ain’t much cover…

Now on out here on this road
Out on this road tonight
I close my eyes and feel so many friends around me
In the early evening light
And the miles we have come
And the battles won and lost
Are just so many roads travelled
So many rivers crossed
And I ask God for the strength
And faith in one another

‘Cause it’s a good night for a ride
Cross this river to the other side

Jul 282013
 
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Rueben Randle, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 28, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor UberAlias

Note: If you want to cut through the intro and get to the meat of this 2013 New York Giants training camp report, skip down to Practice Observations.

So I’m on my way to the practice wondering of the weather is going to hold up when sure enough it starts to rain. They have been predicting thunderstorms and if they the team decides to head indoors practice won’t be open to the public. But the rain is not coming down hard so I decide to keep going.

When I get to the facility a half hour prior to the start of practice I am surprised to see groups of people in blue walking from the stadium lots to the center. This is odd I thought, until I realize the lots at the practice field have already filled up and overflowing into the stadium parking. In the practices I attended in 2011 and yesterday this was never required. To further my surprise, I see there is a huge line to get in wrapping itself half way around the lot at the center. In my other experiences here there is nowhere near this sort of crowd and you can just walk right in. The rain was still coming down and I was thinking to myself, this may not be happening today, and even if it does, there is no way I’m getting a seat with a view in the bleachers. That’s autograph day on a weekend for you, I guess.

I knew if I was patient I could eventually get a spot on the bleachers once people started leaving their seats to get a spot in the area they do autographs, but that could take a while and the masses of people by the fence was four or five deep already, and I’m not particularly tall, so I needed a strategy, and fast. I knew they didn’t permit people to stand in front of the bleachers, so I figured if I could get myself on the edge of that area I might be able to get some limited portion of that view, just not all of it, and not straight on. Not bad – it worked, to an extent.

So as practice was starting, they were having some challenges keeping people away from the fence in front of the bleachers. There were just too many people and not enough spots with a view. There was one man pushing a boy of, maybe 14, who was in a wheel chair with a big cast on his leg. He was in this area trying to get his boy a spot where he could see. I thought for sure they would find him a spot and asked the man and he said they told him to move because they were blocking the views from the bleachers. I could not believe it. They should have offered to let him come to the other side of the fence, or have some kind of handicapped accommodations, but apparently they didn’t and the security guys weren’t going to cut this man and his boy any slack. Not cool. In the end, they seemed to give up yelling at people to move away from in front of the bleachers and started letting kids sit there and only asked them to sit. I think eventually this man got a spot near the fence and it worked out, but this was all not well managed.

Anyway, onto the practice.

Practice Observations:

My initial views were limited to only what was right in front of me, but what I could see was right in front of me permitting me to make some physical observations of players, mostly on the defensive side. Here are some of those impressions (most of them we already know):

Mathias Kiwanuka is no longer that slender kid he was when he first came in. Maybe he’s bulked up a bit with his return to the trenches, but he looks bigger and thicker than I recall.

Kevin Boothe is a big boy. We all know his lower half, but he’s got big powerful looking arms and upper body bulk to go with it.

Prince Amukamara looks big enough to play safety.

Aaron Curry is huge. He’s not one of those athletic narrow-waist broad-shoulder types, he’s thick and powerfully built.

Ryan Mundy has good size and looks like a Kenny Phillips clone physically.

Michael Jasper looks absolutely massive. (Is there an adjective to describe bigger than massive?) He makes every other big guy look small.

If anyone has any ideas of Cooper Taylor playing LB, you can forget it. Maybe that 3rd safety role, but there is no way he can be taking on blockers and playing the run play in play out. He’s got the weight because he is tall, but he’s narrow and built nothing like a LB. We can check back in a few years if he fills out, but for now, he’s all safety and specials.

In team drills I got some good views of the defense. They seemed to be working a lot of turnover drills. First where they would practice stripping the ball from behind the runner. Most of them would strip it out and then pick it up off the ground, but Kiwi, with his long arms, would simply reach around and take the ball from the guy’s hands. They were later doing work with the secondary playing your man but then breaking off to make a play on the ball in the air. They did a lot of work on playing your man and focusing on keeping proper positioning.

Soon after they worked on specials. Josh Brown has a boot. I did not know much about him and was wondering if he was a strong leg type, but he looked it to me today. The one thing I didn’t like about Tynes was too may kicks returned or not enough height on his kicks. I am wondering if this was one of the factors in deciding to make a change.

When it came to the passing portion Hakeem Nicks made a sweet catch on a deep ball early on and that was it for him. We’ve seen the reports from TC and I guess we will have to see how that plays out. As bad a sign as it is, early on, these types of tweaks are very common because you are not used to working and they aren’t going to push anything with him. Tyler Sash seemed to injure himself at the end and they were looking at his lower half. My guess at the time was that it was a cramp and I believe that is what TC ultimately reported. There was one other injury I saw where one of the young WRs (Editor’s Note: Kris Adams) looked like he jammed a finger trying to catch a ball. They were working on him and he seemed in pain.

If you were to ask me the one thing that stood out to me most today I would say it would have to be the tight ends. Both Adrien Robinson and Brandon Myers had strong practices. Myers looks on the small side to me where as Robinson is big and powerfully built, but both can catch. Robinson in one of his catches caught a TD on a fake field goal, but had others. Myers in particular looks like one of those guys sure handed guys who knows how to find the holes in coverage. I came away very impressed and if we can ever find a way to solidify the line to a point where we aren’t always having to rely on TEs chipping on guys as they release, these tight ends could end up playing a very big role in the passing game.

What else?

I reported this yesterday and will repeat again today. Rookie QB Ryan Nassib is getting a lot of reps. He is getting at least as many as Carr, possibly more. If I did not know any better I would might actually think they were going to give him a legitimate chance to compete for the back-up job. That said, he has a ways to go. He throws a good ball, but the timing is not there, as expected, and I think there are a lot of throws he needs work on. He seems to work well off of play action.

Some final notes:

Eli had a great looking TD to Cruz on the first play of red (cough cough green) zone.

The back up defensive linemen were stuffing the running plays (hard to tell with no pads though).

LBs Paysinger and Curry blitzed through the middle for what would have been as sack in 11 on 11s.

Damontre Moore looked fast off the ball.

Ever other player was wearing blue shorts except Frank Okam. He was quite silly looking in his grey work out pants. Couldn’t somebody have found the guy a pair of blue shorts to wear?

Sean OHara walked by the fence a few times and received well deserved cheers of appreciation from the crowds.

As a group, the LBs seemed to have a good day. I’ll reserve judgment until the pads come on and we see some action in the preseason, but I am starting to think it would not be surprising to see this shape up to be a relatively solid group.

Jul 272013
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 27, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor UberAlias

My apologies for lack of details in this 2013 New York Giants training camp report – I took my six year old, so needless to say, I was often distracted. To make things worse, much of the team stuff was done on the far field so was very hard to see. But here are a few observations.

Just before practice started some idiot walked in wearing an Eagles Jersey and drew lots of boos and shouts from the crowd.

What was closest to me was the offense, so most of my observations were on that side of the ball. As we know, the first few days will be no pads.

The first drop came early – Bear Pascoe had a drop in warm-up, LOL.

When they ran drills passing, Hakeem and Victor were with the first group, obviously. Next was Randle and Murphy. Not much to say about Cruz and Nicks –we know what they are, and if anyone is worried about any lost time, don’t. You can see what they are talking about with Randle. Even during the season he looked off to me a year ago – especially his timing. It’s hard to comment on the timing from today, but he just looks crisper and more polished than a year ago. Murphy had a drop and may have had another later on (was hard to see if it was a drop or uncatchable as they were at the far field at the time) but I saw him make up for it with a good catch a bit later.

There wasn’t much I noticed beyond the first four except they had Barden in the very last group, even after camp fodder guys. I will say this of him, they guy is huge. It is a shame he never mastered the little things the team wanted in him because seeing up close you can see how easy throwing to such a big target makes on a QB. He caught the ball well today.

David Wilson can fly. And I don’t mean just running straight, I mean he zips around with a quickness that is just a different level. No one moves out there like he does. I wish I could have paid more attention to the RB rotation, but was distracted often. It did seem as though Wilson may be first one in ahead of Brown. I am still forming opinions on Michael Cox. He looks to have good size and enough speed. My initial impression was fairly favorable.

I was a little surprised at the number of reps for Ryan Nassib. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but it did seem like he was getting a bit more than I would have expected. I wonder if they are not serious about giving him a shot to compete for the back up job in hopes of freeing a roster spot. I thought he looked pretty good and decent zip.

Specials were done on the far field and very hard for me to see. I say Wilson take punts and KR. I saw Hosley return a punt and looked very quick.

That is mostly it. Unfortunately there was very little on the defensive side I could see well enough to comment on as they worked on the far field. This was also the case for team drills. The one thing I can add there was some info I heard about Will Hill that has not been reported. As I understand, the issue with him was that he missed his drug test. I guess you have a certain amount of time from when the league reaches out to you to respond and get tested. He was away in Georgia and for whatever reason (don’t know if he didn’t get the message, or got it but something else happened), but whatever the reason, he did not take his test. The league has places all over the country so even in Georgia they could have given him a test, but he either didn’t check messages, screwed something up and missed it, or flat out skipped it. But he didn’t take the test. This is what I heard, so take it for what it’s worth. If true, not smart for a guy with such potential, and such history.