Aug 062012
 
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August 6, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

Now Y’all Can Write About My Speed

TE Martellus Bennett caught the ball and came racing toward the sideline and us.  At the last moment he made a pivot and turned up field.  Most of us exhaled a sigh of relief.  On his way back to the huddle, he said to the assembled press, “Now y’all can write about my speed.”  Hey, when a six foot six guy tells you to do something, you do it.

Martellus is big, fast, and can catch.  My only question is whether his ego will help or hinder him.  Most players don’t play to the press.  If all he wants to do is prove that people underestimated him in the past, that’s fine.  But, if he puts his own success ahead of the team’s success, then that could be a problem.

It was a fine day and the team was in full pads.  The defensive backs were doing a drill where two backs would run to hit two tackling dummies.  Regardless of the point of the drill, it was significant to me that most of the defense was watching the drill and it turned into a series of two man races to see which could hit his dummy first.  The fact that you had the rest of the d-backs cheering them on shows the spirit of this defense.

There were punting drills and WR Jerrel Jernigan made a terrific twisting runback in traffic that drew loud cheers from the fans.  He caught the ball with his palms facing up, as did the rest of the returners. P Steve Weatherford was only having a so-so day because of the brisk cross-wind on the field.

In a scary moment, DT Dwayne Hendricks went down and lay motionless on the grass for what seemed like a minute.  He was helped off the field.  After a while, I saw him walking unaided on the far sidelines.  I did not see him limping.  Let’s hope the injury is not serious.

LB Michael Boley is back, but LB Jacquian Williams is not.

Both WRs Victor Cruz and Domenik Hixon had a good day catching passes from QB Eli Manning in the 11 on 11 drills.  (Strangely, there were no 7 on 7 drills today.)  Cruz had the more spectacular catches.  On many of them he leaped to pluck the ball out of the air.  He also had a fine sideline catch where he was able to stay in bounds.  This catch was blocked from my view, so I am only repeating what I heard.

Unlike prior years, the running backs are catching all the balls thrown their way.  Ahmad Bradshaw had three or four and the other backs had at least one or two.  FB Henry Hynoski continues to look good catching the ball.  He only had one catch, but he made it look easy.  He also put on a decent burst of speed.  I have nothing but good things to say about this guy.

Some of the younger receivers had a chance to shine today.  Isaiah Stanback out-fought CB Justin Tryon for a ball thrown by QB David Carr.  David Douglas made a leaping catch over CB Antwaun Molden (I think), of a QB Ryan Perrilloux pass.  Perrilloux then threw the ball to Julian Talley.  Talley  caught it and then slipped and fell on the moist turf (as did Cruz and others) .  However, Talley was so open that he got up untouched and continued to run with the ball.  It was a smart play by a rookie to use the NFL rules rather than the college rules.

In a red zone drill WR David Douglas stayed in bounds to make a super tiptoe TD catch of a QB Ryan Perrilloux pass.

All this is not to say that the offense had its way with the defense.  On a David Carr pass to WR Brandon Collins, Collins made a superb tumbling catch.  However the ball was thrown well out of bounds.  Credit the defense on that.

There were many plays were the QBs would have been sacked had it been a real game. LB Mathias Kiwanuka got into the backfield as did DE Adrian Tracy to stop a run by David Wilson.  LB Greg Jones had several good stops of running backs.  RBs Ahmad Bradshaw, Da’Rel Scott, David Wilson, and Andre Brown, all got stopped a goodly number of times when the offense attempted to run the ball.

Aug 042012
 
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August 4, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF

Bits & Bytes “7 Minutes of Terror” Camp Report

No, not a Tom Coughlin Drill!

7 minutes of terror is a NASA video about the upcoming Martian Space Laboratory’s landing on Mars Monday morning at 1:31am EDT. If they can pull this off, it will be the most amazing moment of the NASA program besides the Moon Landings!

The Heat Shield on Curiosity is supposed to get as hot as 3800 degrees, but I’m sure the humidity at UA has that all to beat! Weather Channel has us at 86 degrees (feels like 92), Dew Point of 71, Humidity at 60% and winds out of the West at 10 miles an hour (it got gustier than that later…hi Weatherman!).

I roll off in the Honda Fit today (car pooling with Carol, who’s going to her Mother’s). Once I get at UA, I start drinking water and wading through the thick air to the lower fields. I don’t envy the players on the field today!

Hey, there’s Pat Hanlon! He’s walking towards the Sports Authority Tent (where they are selling all sorts of Giants nick knacks). Hey, Pat, I thought you used that thing just for tweeting! You’re actually going to talk on it??

Pat is wearing a red shirt (with khaki shorts), and two toned Nike running shoes (white/blue). He’s also wearing sunglasses, and later puts on a gray Giants windbreaker and a white Giants cap. Thus ends the PH fashion spot!

Yea! The film towers are on Field 2; I’ll have a good spot (dusty, though) and shade!!

The players start walking on the field; Eli hears the cheers for him (and for people who want a repeat), and not only gives a fist pump, but gives us the “I got this, no problem!” stare!!

Tuck walks by, and hears a “nice facemask!” He smiles, and raises his helmet to show it off. We have a live crowd today! Beatty walks by with no helmet, and a white cap, so it’s evident he’s taking today off as well, most likely because of his back, if the reports are accurate.

Horn.

Defense goes over to Field 3, where 5 garbage cans upside down await. They start to go into their pass rush and coverage drills.

On Field 2, the Offense walks through plays (if you’ve ever played organized football, you know all about these.

Horn.

Field 2: Kickoff Returns with Jernigan, Wilson, Collins.

Field 3: The QB’s are working on center/snap exchanges, and shotgun exchanges. Boothe, Baas and White are the centers.

Field 3: The O Line goes through stance drills and instructions.

Speaking of Beatty, he walks off to the locker room.

The coaches are not happy with Jernigan and his lead guys not communicating, as a Tynes KO falls between them. I hear:

“Communicate out there. You want to make the team??”

Horn.

Sprints and all the loosening up stuff I mentioned before in the other reports. The Giants are really going after the pulled hamstrings and other pull injuries; the coaches are paying close attention as the players loosen up.

Hey, it’s the almost real referees again! Same crew, I think, numbered 38, 92 (white cap), 14, 17, 71, 95.

Oh, looks like the players are not wearing full pads, only shoulder pads. They are wearing just shorts, I guess. (No, I will NOT check this out, just trust me!)

Hey, I see Howard Cross again today! I didn’t mention it because I wasn’t sure it was him until I saw him on Giants.com yesterday.

Howard has lost a LOT of weight, and looks really good, almost in playing shape. Check him out on Giants.com!

TC is checking out the players loosening up, when one of the fans near me yell out “Let’s get another one, we’re hungry!” (Not sure if he means Ball on a Stick, or not!) Tom presumes he means the Super Bowl, and starts smiling and leading the applause from the crowd, clapping along with them.

As I said, live crowd! They were clapping after almost every horn break, which I think sounds really good to the players on the field.

I spy Nicks being brought to the locker room on a cart, but no indication why.

Horn.

On Field Three you have the RB’s, D Line and O Line. I’m not sure what kind of drills they were doing. Might have been verbal instruction.

Field 2, you have the safeties, LB’s and WR’s. They line up in 5 lines, where groups of 5 run 20 yards down field, then turn around, jogging in place. I have NO idea what that is!

The players split into groups, and on Field 2 we have the TE’s vs the DB’s with blocking drills.

Field 2: QB’s are at the other end of the field playing pitch and catch with Cruz.

Field 3: It looks like punt returns, but more than the usual guys from the WR/DB’s are there; the return defense team is using the foam arm shields.

Field 2: Running Pitch-and-catch with the full 11 (everyone in motion, but no defensive or faux defensive players).

Field 3: The defensive players are split into groups. The DB’s are doing press cover drills, the LB’s are doing backpedal drop into zone drills, and the safeties are playing “follow the ball”…this is where a coach moves the ball to the left or right, up or down, and the player reacts to where the ball is going by following it (if it goes down, he leaps to the ground, for example).

Field 4: Hey, the D Line is enjoying “Ball on a Stick”!! I love this drill…you get 4 D Linemen, they line up and wait for the coach to pull the stick to simulate the Center exchange with the QB.

The Giants should have had people selling ice cream footballs on a stick, that would have sold a TON today, instead of the “Yearbook, getcha Yearbook” chant. I tried a yearbook, and I agree with Charles Barkley:

Ball on a Stick rules!

Field 3: LB’s work on defeating blocks with a coach who was wearing foam arm wraps (that was different!)

Field 2: DB’s and WR’s work on press coverage. The DB coach keeps telling the players “Use your hands! You gotta push!”

Field 2: On the other end, the QB’s are doing pitch and toss.

Field 4: D Line working on fumble recoveries.

Field 3: DB’s and LB’s work on drop back coverage zones.

Field 2: 2 Lines of WR’s doing “Hot Catches” from coaches, who on occasion try to make them jump or dive.

Field 2: Here’s a drill with the QB’s where a tall coach will put his arm up, and force the QB to float a pass over him to the RB in the flat.

Field 2: Two QB’s now working on slant throws to WR’s…now they change the routes to outs, middle drags, long sideline passes.

Field 2: Coaches are throwing them flat or bubble screen passes.

Field 2: Three QB’s work with a short green zone, passing to crossing WR’s/TE’s.

Field 4: Tynes, Weatherford and DeOssie are doing their usual drills. Or watching the Olympics on their phones. Hard to say.

Horn.

I take a peek at 57 (Williams)…he seems to be moving fine today. He had something or other yesterday that kept him out of practice. I saw him close up later…he is still skinny, even if he put up the 20lbs of muscle that was reported.

The Offense goes to Field 2, the Defense to Field 3.

Field 2: The offense is back to running plays.

Field 3: The Defense is working on backfield coverage.

Horn.

Seven on Seven’s!

Eli – A direct snap to Bradshaw, followed by a play action screen to Ware in the middle. Phillips with a stunning interception after Boothe is flagged for a fragrant hold on Brewer.

Don’t faint…Eli fakes getting the ball as Ware takes a direct pitch running right, then laterals the ball to Jernigan running to his left on an end around. The crowd is stunned!

Carr comes in, and hands off to Brown for an off tackle left. Scott on a right screen pass.

Oh, JPP gets a huge cheer as he disappears into a conveniently located Porta Potty near the fence. Don’t know if this will make the highlights on Giants.com. And NO, I didn’t take a picture, though I’ll bet there’s plenty of ‘em on Facebook right now…

Carr throws to Robinson, and the TE leaps high into the air and nearly grabs it by his fingertips (he can’t control it when he hits the ground). This guy can leap.

Perrilloux’s time, and he hands to Wilson, who’s off tackle left run is stuffed. Perrilloux overthrows TE Donnell on a right sideline out. Wilson tries off tackle left for a short gain, then Perrilloux throws a bullet to Talley over the middle. Martinek rumbles up the middle, and I hear some thunder. It’s far off, though.

Eli’s back, and hands off to Bradshaw, who meets Herzlich up the middle. JPP is back from…well, you know…in time to reject Eli’s pass with passion, but Eli comes back with a dink to Bradshaw in the right flat. Eli then sprints right and throws a screen to Bennett.

Carr’s revved up, and hands off to Brown, who meets Jones up the middle. He overthrows Jernigan, good thing because Coe was in perfect position to pick him off. Then hands off to Scott for an off tackle right sweep. Carr sets up in the shotgun, but finds no one (sack).

Perrilloux is back, and he hands off to Wilson off tackle right…blink…the guy is gone. I swear, he doesn’t run through holes, he flickers through them! DePalma with a strong showing as he makes a nice catch on an out on the left sideline. Ryan tries to thread the needle to Stanback, but he’s double covered and SMACK, the two DB’s hit each other as they go for the ball…but Horton makes a great interception, hanging on to ball as he goes to the ground!

Perrilloux tries again to hit Douglas, but Bruce Johnson will have none of it, as he knocks the ball down.

Horn.

Field 2: Kickoff returns by Collins, Jernigan and Wilson.

Sky is getting dark, but I think we may miss it…we’re on the edge of the clouds. The temperature is starting to drop, and the wind gusts. Snoopy might say “It’s a dark and stormy day…”.

Field 3: QB’s are doing pitch and catch with Bradshaw and Cruz.

Field 2: Coaches yell “Field Goal-Field Goal Block!”

Tynes comes on, and hits 2 field goals in a row. Then…

Then….

Then…I don’t know if I can type this…

FAKE! Weatherford picks it up, drifts to the sideline, and tosses it to Diehl, who scores!!!

Someone HAS kidnapped TC!! Quick, get the milk cartons out!

No, not that one!!!

So, Tynes is 5 for 5, with one fake!

Horn.

Field 3: O Line vs D Line working on pass rush/pass blocking.

Field 2: 7 on 7′s

Eli – Hits Hixon on the right sideline for a long out pass! Jernigan just gets over Rolle’s coverage, and grabs a left slant. Now it’s Bear on a right slant. Ware on a middle dink. Barden with a deep catch over Prince..wow, Eli just dropped that in there, no way to defend that!

Carr – Hits Cruz on a left curl. Collins finds a hole in the zone with a right sideline slant. Hynoski with a short left side flat pass reception. Douglas (who’s having an impressive camp) snares a sharp Carr pass up the middle zone. Then David finishes with a pass on the left sideline to DePalma.

Perrilloux – Overthrows (!) a wide open Barden streaking up the deep left sideline. Ryan then hits Wilson over the middle on a drag route, but I can see him BirdDog the pass from 100 yds away! Robinson with a seam pass up the middle. Talley with a nice grab in the left flat.

Perrilloux then throws a PERFECT pass to Douglas (who makes the catch right over his shoulder!) up the middle. Pretty!

Horn.

Both Offense and Defense are on Field 2:

Eleven on Eleven:

Eli – Handoff to Bradshaw off tackle right. Then Eli with the hard count (!) after which he hits Cruz deep up the left sideline. I love the way Eli just drops it in Cruz’s hands on this one.

On the next play, Rolle just pulls Collins down, drawing a flag which he picks up and then drops.

Eli with a play action to Jernigan, but Corey is not fooled, and knocks it out of Jerrel’s hands on the left sideline. Eli’s in Shotgun now, and hits Cruz up the middle, after Victor finds his favorite spot in the zone.

Carr’s back, and he hits Collins an a right curl for 30 yds. No one’s open next, so that’s a sack. Scott runs a bubble screen right; then Brown up the middle, but Herzlich meets him in the hole. Carr now with a hard count, sprints right, but overthrows Donnell.

Perrilloux – Hands off to Wilson up the middle. Then hits DePalma with a nice catch on the left sideline. (It’s cooler, and I think we avoided the storm!) Sack on the next play,as no one is open. Then he overthrows Douglas on the right sideline.

Whistle!

Green Zone Work:

Carr, hands to Scott up the middle, but that’s stuffed. Carr’s in shotgun again, Robinson can’t handle a quick pass to him, and Kenny Philips comes in to make sure he doesn’t get it on the bobble. Brown off tackle left, but Joseph runs right at him to stop the run.

Perrilloux – More Shotgun, but he can’t hit Jernigan because Prince is in perfect position, no catch. Wilson with another impressive quick cut in the hole off tackle right.

Eli’s here, and Douglas makes the PLAY OF THE DAY with a…wait…

Catch in the Endzone!

Bruce Johnson with tight coverage on Hixon, so Eli has to toss it away. Eli with an incomplete pass to Bradhaw in the middle flat, and practice ends.

Hey, Nicks is back! Came back earlier on the cart…

What you didn’t see after practice:

Robinson takes one the rubber bands and “snaps” at one of the orange cones. He’s apparently still upset over bobbling the one catch.

Then the team goes into the usual big circle, which breaks up in a “team” chant, then they break into smaller groups.

Tom is talking to his assistant coaches.

Some of the DB’s (the only one with a number is Janzen Jackson) work on press coverage. More guys are doing sideline to sideline sprints.

Martinek is talking to a coach about positioning on his blocks.

Kuhn and Rivers hit the Gatorade bar after some sideline to sideline sprints.

I see in the far distance what looks like a TE (Robinson, maybe?) working on catching the ball (he turns around and catches the ball from a support staff person).

Note: For the first time in 16 years, I have a VIP ticket! I don’t know how much I’ll be able to do Monday, so I may not have a report. We’ll see…

Aug 042012
 
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August 4, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

Razzle-Dazzle Tom

It was another hot day, so perhaps Head Coach Coughlin took pity on his men by letting them wear “uppers” (shoulder pads and shorts) instead of full pads.  As a result, the contact was down a notch from yesterday.  The defense still made its share of plays.

For instance, S Kenny Phillips picked off an under-thrown ball by QB Eli Manning that was intended for TE Martellus Bennett.  Then big Martellus came down on Kenny and just lay across his body for about ten seconds.  It was hot and it was a long run on a deep pass, so maybe Martellus was taking a short rest.  Martellus does run pretty well for a big guy.

S Chris Horton came up with an interception of a QB Ryan Perrilloux pass that should not have been thrown because the receiver was double covered.

On offense, LT William Beatty is still out with back problems and Sean Locklear was in his place.  Second year player,  OT James Brewer was out with back problems of his own.  The only time I noticed rookie OT Matt McCants he had jumped off-sides on a hard count from QB David Carr.

There were a lot of shotgun snaps today.  Usually this means a lot of poor snaps or fumbled snaps.  But today it meant direct snaps to the backs.  Lots of them.  Is this the never take a risk Coach Coughlin that we all think we know?  It would be strange for Tom to spend a lot of time running plays that he does not intend to use.  On one play RB D.J. Ware took a direct snap and then tossed the ball to WR Jerrel Jernigan on a reverse.  Except possibly for one play that blew up, the Giants were executing this play very well.

Early in the practice the Giants were practicing a goal line drill.  During the drill, TE Adrien Robinson caught the ball (as well he should).  Nevertheless, because Adrien has not been doing much in camp, it was cause for a high five from the coach.  However, later in the practice, Adrien went out for what would have been about a twenty yard catch.  He was in good position, leaped high above the defender, and came down with nothing. When he did catch a pass in the 11 on 11s goal line situation, he had the ball stripped by Kenny Phillips.

Fun play of the day:  Kicker Lawrence Tynes had a good day.  He booted five field goals.  They were all under 40 yards, but there was also a stiff cross wind so he did a nice job.  On his third FG attempt, holder Steve Weatherford grabbed the snap, ran to his right and tossed the ball to RT David Diehl who was in the end zone, or close to it.  After catching the TD pass, Diehl also caught Weatherford who ran up to him and jumped into his arms.  Diehl stood there grinning and holding Weatherford like a bride being carried over the threshold.

The 11 on 11s produced a tip of an Eli Manning pass by DE Jason Pierre-Paul and a blocked Eli pass by LB Mathias Kiwanuka (I think).  There was also a fine TD throw and catch from QB Ryan Perrilloux to WR David Douglas.

In the 11 on 11s, it looked like there was a direct snap to RB David Wilson.  It was either that or a reverse.  Either way, it was a good play for the offense and Wilson looked good, cutting three or four times while dodging defenders.

WR Jerrel Jernigan made some good plays today.  His best was a cut that he made for a look-in pass from Eli Manning in the 7 on 7s.  The pass was perfect and Jernigan’s cut put S Antrel Rolle on his rear end.  Jerrel would have been gone with that ball.  Also in the 7 on 7s, QB David Carr seemed to take forever to throw the ball, but he finally found WR David Douglas who had beaten safeties Chris Horton and Will Hill on a deep pass.  Douglas caught the ball in stride about five yards ahead of the defenders.

WR Ramses Barden had and up and down day.  Looking good sometimes and not so good at others.  Frankly, I was more impressed with him two years ago when I last saw him in camp.  On the other hand, two people who did impress me today were RB Da’Rel Scott and FB Henry Hynoski.

Scott has the reputation of being just a fast straight line runner.  He is fast, but he has bulked up so that he looks like he can pound the ball.  He caught the ball very well today, including a quick outlet pass in heavy traffic thrown by QB David Carr in the 11 on 11s.  He also impressed me with the cut that he made while running at full speed to stay in bounds while running with another catch from Carr.  Scott looks very comfortable catching the ball.

FB Henry Hynoski catches the ball with apparent ease and I know why.  Pat from Inside Football graciously introduced me to Henry’s mom.  She was watching from the stands today.  Mrs. Hynoski is a lovely person and I told her that I think that her son has a bright future with the Giants.  I also said that it has been a while since the Giants have had a fullback who can catch as well as Henry.  Mrs. Hynoski told me that Henry has been catching footballs since he was one.  They were thrown by his dad who played for the Browns.

CB Corey Webster broke up an Eli Manning pass intended for WR Jerrel Jernigan.  Apparently Corey felt that he should have picked it off since he uttered a loud [expletive deleted] at the time and then he did push-ups as penance, in front of the defensive coach.

Aug 042012
 
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August 3, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF

“Trader Joe” Camp Report

Yes, people lined up overnight for the opening of a grocery store.

Oh, and I think there are under 90 parking spots. This is going go well, eh? And they call football fans “fanatics.” Right…

Oh, this is Bytes and Bytes, and it’s Hot, Hazy and Humid today. That sounds like a great name for a running back by committee (ala Earth, Wind and Fire), but it’s early for that yet.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Cowboys camp in Oxnard, CA is looking at 67 degrees, vs the projected 90 at Albany. TC must be pleased!

I fire up the Honda Accord, but no coffee today, we just hydrate with water and diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale. UA is still working on the 100 year re-enactment of WWI…they should have the “Battle of the Marne” exhibit ready any day.

Pain is the word today, as the main field for today is Field 4, one of the two fields facing Western Avenue. I will say in advance that it’s almost impossible to follow most of camp from behind the 8 foot black steel fence (and the lines of players or ViP fans in front of you), but I’ll do what I can.

The Offense is on Field 4; the Defense is on Field 3, but they are just running plays. While that is happening, I’m pumping in water, as yellow jackets hover along the fence (their nests were probably disturbed by the UA construction crews working on the Western Avenue entrance during camp. Ah, the smell of diesel in the air!!)

Horn.

Punt returns as usual start things off, with Hixon, Cruz, Jernigan, Randle and Hosley. If you’re wondering, Sash is still starting at PR fullback, after a while, Steve Brown takes those duties over. Weatherford is booming the punts, but Victor Cruz starts his day off badly dropping 2 punts in a row.

Horn.

Sprints, stretches, jogging backwards, side skips, leg bends…if you pull something this camp, it’s not from the staff not including all this stuff. It’s more than I’ve ever seen at any Albany camp.

Hey, the faux NFL refs are back. I think they are the same group as yesterday.

Horn.

Field 4: PUNT RETURNS STARRING Hixon, Hosley, Jernigan and Randle.

Field 3: YOUR NY GIANTS OFFENSIVE LINE is doing stance drills.

Field 3: THRILLS AND CHILLS with the QB’s, plus Bradshaw and Cruz doing pitch and catch.

Field 2: YOU WON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES viewing the D Line doing high step running across pylon drills.

er…enough of that.

Horn.

The Defense retires to Field 3, and I have no way of seeing what’s going on there, as there is a line of players.

I’ll ask Tony Starks later if he has an XXXL suit I can borrow. That should help me cover the field as well as Marty!

Field 4: The Offense is doing Green Zone drills, pretty much the QB’s handing off to the RB’s.

Then, the offense splits up.

Field 4: The QB’s are on the 5 yd line, doing sprint run tosses to the RB’s. On the other side, the WR’s are catching 10 yd hot passes from the coaches. The TE’s are working on proper blocking stance with Coach Pope.

Field 3: Peeking through the Blue line, I see some of the LB’s doing the flow to the ball attack the gap drill. The D Line is doing a similar drill on Field 2. Back on Field 4, the RB’s are high stepping across the foam pylons.

Field 3: The O line is working on drive blocking, with the players being blocked using the foam arm shields.

Field 4: The QB’s are working on short touch to WR drills.

Field 4: The RB’s form a circle around a RB with a ball that stands in the center. Then out of the blue one of the RB’s without the ball try and hit the guy with the ball. I think this is to simulate getting hit by someone that you don’t see.

Field 5: Tynes, Weatherford and DeOssie hang out doing their own drills. Or pitch and catch, it’s hard to tell.

Field 4: The two fullbacks (Martinek and Hynoski) work on a drill where one FB has his knees on the ground, and his hands touching the ground. He then explodes out to block the arm shield being held by the other running back. Later, they do this with the blocking FB standing.

On the other end of Field 4, two QB’s at a time are passing to two receivers, one short, the other running a medium route.

Field 3: The DB’s are doing backpedal and cover drills.

Field 4: The TE’s are working on blocking drills, against other TE’s with foam arm shields.

Field 2: Hey, it’s Ball on a Stick…it’s back! For those of you who didn’t see my previous report, a coach will hold a ball on a stick while 4 D Linemen line up; the coach simulates the QB/Center exchange by pulling the stick back.

For some reason, Rogers and Bernard are looking extra quick on this drill. Hey, at this point, the “ball on a stick” looks good to me, too!

They then go to another drill (grumble), where they are teaching arm techniques (like swim moves, hitting an O Lineman’s hands, etc.)

Field 4: All the RB’s are doing full block drills against other FB’s…no shields, so you hear the cracks. At one point, two masks stick together and the helmets have to come off their heads.

No, the heads didn’t come off as well, silly. Make a good Monty Python skit, though…speaking of Python, I just read the Alex Raskin talks trash about BBI Award Ceremony thread.

Here’s my response to Mr. Alex Raskin:

Horn.

Field 4: 3 QB’s are throwing to 3 receivers, one goes short, one goes medium, one goes long.

Field 3: O Line vs D line blocking drills.

Horn.

Full contact plays with D (Safeties, LB’s, D Line) vs O (QB’s, RB’s, O Line, TE’s). The QB’s hand off to the running backs (no passes), and have to get through the line. Lots of hard hitting. Fewell wants the Defense to get loud, saying “I can’t hear anything!”

Horn.

Defense on Field 3, Offense on Field 4, they are both doing walk-throughs. The pace isn’t as frantic as yesterdays, but it’s humid and hot.

Horn.

Eleven on Eleven O vs D.

Eli – Hixon can’t catch a ball thrown to the right sideline, but I think Corey would have gotten flagged on that one. Hixon comes back with a curl catch on the left side against zone coverage. Barden makes a nice blitz route adjustment and catches a pass over Prince.

Carr – Handsoff to Bradshaw over the middle. Throws over Stanback, who is double covered and not open. Sack (and the refs throw a flag!). Handoff to Brown off tackle right. Handoff to Scott but Rivers nails him in the backfield!

Perrilloux – Pass caught by DePalma on the right sideline, but there’s another flag. Sack. Wilson shows his leg drive going off tackle…the guy can drag people! DePalma snags a right out.

Horn.

Punt returns with the machine (Hosley, Hixon and Jernigan are catching). This seems to be more gunner coaching, though, than working on returns.

Horn.

Eli – Cruz is not having a good day. Drops a flat pass. I hear a coach yell “ENERGY!” Barden with a nice stop and go reception on the right sideline. Cruz can’t catch up with a beautiful deep pass by Eli. Jernigan with a nice curl and up catch up the middle. Tryon with a big play knocking the ball away from Cruz in the right flat.

Carr – Randle is just amazing. He snags a back shoulder pass from Carr on the right sideline like he’s been doing this for years for a 30 yard catch. If he can pick up blitz adjustments, this guy has to be not only in the lead for #4 but is going to push Hixon hard for #3.

I now see why all the NFL GM’s are saying JR got away with robbery with this pick at #2. Randle is going to be quickly what we were hoping Mario would evolve to.

Carr – Barden with a drag route over the middle, nice catch. Stanback gets a left flat pass. Collins gets another drag route over the middle, then Robinson with a left flat catch.

Perrilloux – Goes to Collins in the left flat. Wilson gets right dink. Ryan throws to Collins in the right flat, but Molden stops him cold. Talley gets a pass in the left flat, runs up the sideline, but Rivers knocks it out of his hands! Then Perrilloux throws what looks like a lateral to Wilson on the right sideline.

Horn.

11 on 11

Eli – Hands off to Bradshaw, who is swallowed up by Rogers and Joseph. Don’t worry, he pops right back out of the pile like Jonah. Eli dinks to Ware, but Tuck would have had a sack. Eli then hands off to Ware, who goes off tackle left despite great penetration by JPP. Eli with a play action, then throws to Hynoski on the right sideline. Then Ware goes off tackle right, but meets Mr. Rolle in the hole.

Carr – Brown with a nice burst up the middle. He’s not showing any effect from that injury he had. Cruz picks it up with a nice drag route over the middle in heavy traffic. Brown gets the ball again off tackle left but Jones fills the hole quickly. Scott is stopped when he hits the line..no hole to run. Austin slices in and tips Carr’s pass which Rivers makes a wonderful int and return to endzone for a TD! Stanback with a bad drop with no one around him.

Perrilloux – Pitch toss to Wilson off tackle right. Play action pass is underthrown to Collins, Horton nearly intercepts the ball. Brown with a strong burst right off tackle. Wilson with a two cut move into the hole…he can do with without losing acceleration, that’s rare. Jones blows through the line for a sack. Martinek with a strong off tackle left run.

I’ve just notice #57 Jacquian Williams, is not wearing pads. He does not seem to be injured, but they may be holding him out for some reason.

Eli – Throws a touch pass to Bradshaw in the middle flat. Hands off to Ware off tackle left. Pass to Randle.

Carr – Brown goes off tackle left. Robinson nearly pulls in a pass off his fingertips. Carr throws a pass out of bounds left. Brown with another off tackle left run.

Perrilloux – Wilson off tackle right.

Carr’s back in, throws to Barden on the left sideline, but that was a sack by 3 linemen blowing in his face and stopping. Carr lofts a pass over Tracey to Randle, who makes a nice catch on the right sideline. Barden can’t hold on to a pass, but that may have been knocked out by a DB coming back from a Barden drive route. Carr runs out of bounds,and his next pass is nearly intercepted. A pass behind Randle gets popped up into the air, but Jernigan with a smart play in leaping to knock it down before it’s intercepted.

Practice over, and out come the Rubber Bands!

What you didn’t see after practice:

QB’s doing sideline to sideline sprints. None of them had their shirts off.

Just noticed we have a #70 Marshall on the roster. No, not Leonard, it’s Craig. Still, we old timers remember…

Prince having a discussion on back shoulder fades with a coach.

Tuck is showing his kid how to get into a 3 point stance. The kid is about 2 feet tall, this is really a precious photo shot if someone was close enough.

The BBI Hope Award.

I meet Eric and BB26!

Eric was more than charming, and BB26 was as impressive as I thought.

Hey, reverse that!

Or not…

Aug 042012
 
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August 3, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

The Hope J. Award Presentation and All Things Eli

After the practice was over, about 80-100 BBIers and their kids were on the practice field to watch Eric give Eli Manning the Hope J. Award for Giant of the Year.  I did a video of the proceedings as did many others.  The Giants had a TV camera there so hopefully there will be a professional video to watch on Giants.com.  They also interviewed rnargi, who is the prime mover for BBI in acquiring the award, and who is responsible for all the logistics involved.  Hopefully, we will see that interview as well.

It was a hot day and a sweaty Eli Manning had just walked off the practice field, so Eric kept his remarks to a minimum.  Eli mugged for the cameras and got the BBIers laughing when Eric asked him to demonstrate his “heroic, determined look.”  In accepting his award, Eli mentioned how much Rich Seubert, last year’s recipient, had appreciated getting it.  If Eli is the face of the Giants, it is a very good face.

Today’s Practice.

It was really hot today and the Giants were again in full pads.  Unfortunately the team was practicing very far away from everybody, including me.  I feel bad for the many BBIers on hand.  They could not have had a very good view, or a comfortable one today.  I was standing next to Pat From Inside Football and she made a remark about what RB Joe Martinek was doing.  I said, “I can’t even see him, much less, what he is doing.”  Oh, to have Patti’s young eyes!

You may have heard that QB Eli Manning is a bit of a prankster.  I can confirm that. Today there was a QB agility drill in which the QBs maneuver over and around some obstacles on the ground.  They complete the drill with a quick pass to a receiver.  When it came time for backup QB Ryan Perrilloux to run the drill, immediately after he threw his pass, a football bounced off the top of his helmet, compliments of Mr. Manning, who was standing about 7 yards away. Everyone who saw it chuckled.

There was an interesting offensive line drill in which the players worked on their bottom-of-the-pile pushing.  Each player would put his shoulder against a tackling dummy and keeping his shoulder about a foot off the ground, along with the rest of his body, push the dummy up the field.

Getting back to Eli Manning, when he has to make a short outlet throw over the middle, he can make a lofted touch pass and it is generally a good one.  Today he made them to RB Ahmad Bradshaw and then to RB Henry Hynoski, who caught it, got up a head of steam and threatened to run over anything standing in front of him.

When Ryan Perrilloux has to make that same outlet pass, he throws it hard and it is going downward on an angle from above his Ryan’s shoulder to below the receiver’s waist.  This severely downward slanted pass is much tougher to catch and it often fails.

Here is the second string offensive line from left to right.  OT Brandon Mosley, OG Selvish Capers, C Jim Cordle, OG Mitch Petrus, RT Joel Reinders.  It is possible that I have Mosley and Capers reversed.  The third string is OT Matt McCants, C Chris White and OG Stephen Goodin.

DT Shaun Rogers ran by and he is huge, but looks to be in pretty good shape.

In the actual practice, WR Domenik Hixon had several catches and WR Ramses Barden had a few including a leaping tumbling catch over CB Prince Amukamara.  I have reported that TE Adrien Robinson was having a rough camp.  Today, I heard a collective groan go up from amongst the beat writers.  I was told that Robinson had misplayed a pass that he should have caught.

There was a drill for defensive linemen going up against their opposite numbers on offense.  Of interest was Jason Pierre-Paul, who executed a fine swim move to get by OT Sean Locklear.  I did not see OT William Beatty on the field today, but viewing conditions were difficult.  DEs Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck were not going to get stopped either.  DTs Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard also demonstrated excellent push.  DT Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn look like they have some game as well.

QB David Carr had a pass that was blocked by DT Dwayne Hendricks (I think).  It was picked out of the air for an interception by LB Keith Rivers.  Rivers was also right there to stop RB Da’Rel Scott in his tracks after a handoff from QB Ryan Perrilloux.

Full Pads.

You may be wondering why people make such a big deal about the Giants playing in full pads.  Allowing the players to get more physical, and thus better demonstrate their talents, is only one of the differences between wearing full pads instead of shells and shorts.

Full pads restrict your freedom of movement.  It is harder to throw a football and harder to catch it in full pads.  You can’t run as fast in full pads and running with a football is even harder.  If a running back is not careful, his pads can sometimes even knock the ball out of his hands.  To a small extent, they change your center of gravity (balance).  They make you hotter, which is a big deal for 300 pound linemen in warm weather and they add weight which is a big deal for 190 pound backs, who want to accelerate and/or make water bug moves.

Finally, even in practice, if you are in full pads you know that you are going to get hit.  Players react differently when they know that they are going to get hit.  Receivers get “alligator arms.” Players who tense up, mess up.  Ask Tom Brady about that.

I know that I would write more poorly if I knew that I was going to get smacked every time I misspelled a word.  When I watch a practice, if a player makes a big-time play in full pads, it counts more than if he makes that same play wearing shells and shorts.

While we are on the subject of playing under pressure:

The Manning to Manningham Pass.

Here is my take on the much–discussed Manning to Manningham sideline pass in Super Bowl XLVI.  It was a big-time throw and catch – even a great throw and catch.  But the greatness of the catch should not be measured by its degree of difficulty.  For years, Giants receivers like Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress made a living by catching that very same tiptoe sideline pass from Eli Manning.  It is the type of pass that professionals practice all the time (if they have a QB with enough talent to throw it).  If the offense does everything right, they get a completion.

The greatness of the catch was that it was made at a pivotal point–when the game was on the line and when everyone on the team was under the maximum pressure to perform at his best.  The pass will be remembered because of the difference that it made in the game and because it was so obvious that the Giants were trying as hard as they could to complete a pass while the Patriots were trying hard as they could to stop it.

When the game is on the line, the great ones don’t tense up and as a result, under-throw their receivers.  They also fight off the waves of adrenalin coursing through their system and don’t throw the ball over the receiver’s head.  When there is a chance to salt away a big game, the great ones don’t succumb to pressure and miss a wide a wide-open receiver.  Ask Tony Romo about that.

There may be a few out there who only watched the Super Bowl and who never saw all those tiptoe sideline passes to Burress and Toomer that I mentioned previously.  They might think that it was just a “lucky heave” by Manning.  Well, even if the Super Bowl was the only game they ever saw, they would still have seen Eli start the game by completing his first nine passes–a Super Bowl record for starting a game.  It’s hard to believe that all nine of Eli’s completions were just lucky heaves.  Those nine completions were the mark of a champion and so was Eli’s throw to Manningham.

Aug 022012
 
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August 2, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF

“2 Headed Shark ” Camp Report

YES! From The Asylum; when you see a flick that comes from “The Asylum”, you know it’s…something!!

Anyway, if you want to roar out loud laughing, check out this IMDB thread, Things I Learned from 2-Headed Shark Attack. It could save your life (or stomach) some day!

Oh yeah, Camp Report! Sorry, I’m still laughing from the IMDB thread. Much warmer, humid, and lots of Sun today. No threat of rain. Fire up the Accord, turn up the AC, and lets go (first to DD, to get a large French Vanilla…no, I don’t drink Peter King lattes!), then off to UA.

The University at Albany, which right now looks like Petersburg, VA circa 1865 or so. Lots of mounds of dirt, lots of construction, which I avoid as I wander over to the lower fields.

Now, for first time readers, I number the fields this way…the original Field 1 is where you would first enter the lower fields, but that’s where the new UA field is being built. Next to it are Fields 2, then 3; across from Fields 2 is field 4, and opposite field 3 is Field 5. Four and Five are near Washington Avenue.

The main field today is Field 3, so I settle under the shade on the hill between Fields 2 and 3. The players start to wander in. Of note was Tom Coughlin walking with Marcellus Bennett, of all people. I wonder if they were discussing Black Unicorns…

The players gather on Field 3, where KO coverage starts things off. The usual returners (Randle, Wilson, Jernigan) do their stuff. On the right sideline, the QB’s are working on shotgun snaps and center exchanges with Bass, Boothe and White.

Horn sounds, and now it’s Sprints, arm swings, jogging backwards, skipping, hoping, more kicks, and now stretching.

Hey, there are NFL officials here! They are wearing numbers 72, 92, 14,17 and 38 (who wears the white hat).

Pat is on the sideline as well, wearing the same gray Giants windbreaker with blue shorts (later, he puts on a white Giants cap…the Sun was hot!

Tynes wanders to Field 3, where he starts working on FG’s. Weatherford and DeOssie follow him later, and do their usual stuff (Weatherford working on punt ball drops, and Steve on long snaps).

Horn.

Either Einstein is working the practice clock, or they are really speeding drills up. I’ll try and give you a flavor, but it was impossible to see what everyone was doing, or to clock all the plays. Here goes…

Field 3: QB’s Bear and Cruz doing pitch and catch.
Field 4: O Line works on guard pulling drills.
Field 5: D Line…high stepping across pylons, then tackle dummy QB pop up.

Field 3: The WR’s and DB’s line up in two lines. They both are running to circular orange saucers on the field, then turn back. I have no idea what this drill is supposed to do, but I’ll bet BBI’s coaches know.

Other End Field 3: RB’s & LB’s are working on blocking drills with foam arm shields.

Field 4: D Line with a drill where they take a foam arm shield, hold it up like it’s an O Lineman blocking them, then drop it and go around it.

Field 2: The QB’s have a drill where they go back to pass, a coach rushes them straight on, then they have to move left or right and throw the ball.

Field 3: Kickoff drills (only cover drills, no return team).

Horn.

Field 4: O Line does high stepping over pylon drills.

Field 3: RB’s, WR’s and TE’s do “Gauntlet” drills; they run a ball between two lines of players with foam arm shields, who try and knock the ball out. Think of the scene in Star Trek: Next Generation where Worf undergoes the gauntlet of pain sticks, only wimpier.

Field 5: D Line knocks ball from pop up QB dummy, then dives to recover it.

Field 3: (Sideline). TE’s doing blocking drills.

Field 3: QB’s and RB’s with center exchange and handoff drills.

Field 3: WR’s working on short passes thrown by coaches high, low, left or right.

Field 4: D Line working on “Intercepting Tipped Ball out of the air” drills, where a coach flips a ball end over end over the D Lineman’s head, and he has to catch it.

Field 4: Backpedal Interception Drills.

Field 4: LB’s go next to the 5 trash cans for gap filling drills.

Field 4: D Line does pylon stepping, then pylon stepping and going after the QB pop up dummy.

Field 3: WR’s and DB’s working on press coverage.

Ok, take a breath. It was that rapid…looks like TC is trying to get two practices in one, to compensate for yesterday. (Speaking of yesterday, the weather was PERFECT in the AM…everyone could go to Weather.com and see the night before that there was only a risk of rain in the afternoon. Why he didn’t move practice,something he’s done before, baffles me).

Notice something…the NFL refs look like they are working out the kinks as well, following WR’s when they do routes, etc. I’m guessing this is a bit tougher than the Lingerie Football League some of them were working (google it yourself!).

Tynes and Weatherford are still working out the kinks on Field 2.

Field 5: DB’s are doing the backpedal, then break back for int drill. D Line working on gap rushes.

Field 3: QB’s are doing green zone pitch and catches with the WR’s.

Nicks and Beckum are hanging out on the sideline. Nicks body posture is better than I’ve seen it all camp, and he’s laughing, which is a good sign.

Field 3: RB’s catch short passes from coaches.

Field 2: Two QB’s throw TE’s/WR’s, one on the left, one on the right.

Field 4: D Line work against O Linemen with arm shields.

Field 4: DB’s and LB’s working on coverages.

Field 5: D Line working on countering traps.

Field 3: RB’s working on blocking. Against outside LB rushes?

Field 3: Now it’s 3 QB’s throwing to receivers, one short, one medium, one long. Eli can’t help it, he moves receivers around even when there’s no DB’s…you can see him giving hand signals.

Water Break.

Field 4: LB’s press cover TE’s going out for a pass.

Field 3: QB’s are throwing to receivers covered by DB’s. It’s a one on one, notable catches are by DePalma, who faked a DB to the ground, and Bear, who throws Kenny down and then catches the ball. I think there were four yellow flags on the ground for that one!

Horn.

The pace slows down, as the Offense goes to Field 3, and the Defense to Field 4 (the camera towers were on Field 3, which makes it the main field today). They are just doing play walkthroughs.

In case you’re wondering, the “NFL Experience” (that’s the bouncy bounce and a few kid slides) are on the left side of Field 3. I think the food tents are there as well).

The offense splits up into two groups; both are doing what looks like “hurry up offense”.

Horn.

Field 3: Hey, the crowd’s been waiting for this…O vs D!

Manning is up, and hands off to Bradshaw for a run up the middle. Then the crowd roars as he hits the Unicorn (85) on a seam pass right. Ware with an off tackle right run.

Don’t faint. On the next play, Mr. Manning throws a FLEA FLICKER to Barden.

Who has kidnapped TC???

Mr. Cruz brings out the cheers with a diving catch on the right sideline over Mr. Rolle.

Mr. Carr is now in. The next pass may have been tipped, it hits the ground in front of Barden. A middle run by Brown is stuffed by Rivers and Jones.

Carr overthrows Randle. And I notice David is back to BirdDogging! He’s a vet, he knows better. I notice every time he feels pressure, he’s staring at his primary target…that’s a big no no in the NFL.

The next pass goes off Talley’s hands, to the ground.

Monsieur Perrilloux is next, and hands off to Wilson, who shows a nasty jump cut. Another run by Wilson off tackle right stops with a bone jarring hit by Dante Hughes! Hughes strikes again with a nice strip of a pass to Donnell. Ryan is almost intercepted on a pass to a double covered (Donnell and Bing) DePalma. Bing does pushups in disgust over not snatching the ball out of the air!

Douglas comes back with a nice diving catch on the right flat.

Horn.

Eli’s back, and he hands off to Bradshaw off tackle left. The next pass is out of the shotgun, a left screen (!) to Ware. Bradshaw tries the middle, but is gobbled up by JPP and Rogers (don’t worry, he’s ok. I haven’t seen the Ball on a Stick for a couple of practices, so don’t think Shaun is that hungry!)

Hixon with a nice catch in the right flat against Tyron, then Eli hits Brown on the right flat.

Carr’s revved up, hands off the ball to Brown, who meets Mr. Herzlich in the hole. Loud Noises occur. Kaboom!

Another BirdDog by Carr trying to hit Collins results in a pick by Hosley. Carr hits Scott in the flat…and he’s gone! TD! He was hardly touched, it was like everyone else was in mud!

Wilson takes a handoff off tackle right (he should have cut into the middle, he’ll learn, though.)

Perrilloux’s back, but Wilson lost his hands somewhere and can’t catch an easy dink in the right flat. Wilson tries again with a run up the middle, but Herzlich fills the hole forcefully, and Jones cleans up quickly.

Perrilloux then looks around and tries to pass to Brown, but Andre drops it (better part of valor, he was surrounded).

Horn.

Field 2: The QB’s are hanging out with #80. I have no idea what they are doing, it could be rock, paper, scissors for all I can see.

Field 3: KO Drills will full 11 on 11; Wilson and Randall are running the ball back. Canty and Beckum look like they have had enough of the Sun, and walk back to the locker room.

Field 3: FG time with Tynes! The ball is moved back 5 yards each time, but Tynes has great form; he hits all six FG’s, with most of them hitting the camera tower (one lands on the camera tower umbrella!).

Horn.

Seven on Seven!

Eli: Pass to Bear in the left flat. Pass to Ware, who was covered by Corey on the right sideline. Pass to Bradshaw on the flat. Left dink to Cruz. Barden beats double coverage for a catch. Barden’s overthrown on the next play, but Eli may have seen Coe coming in quickly for the interception.

Carr: Randle is ready. He makes a veteran slow down adjustment on the fly on a long right sideline pass that was over 40 yards in the air. Randle really impresses me, I’ve never seen a rookie run routes as well as he has in all the 16 years I’ve been to camp.

Field 4: O line vs D Line 4 on 4 with the NFL refs in attendance.

Back for Field 3:

Carr: Nice right slant pass to Collins for 20 yards. He then over throws a wide open Scott in the flat. Another beautiful curl route that Randle reverses to get open.

Perrilloux: Dink on the right to Wilson. Overthrows Douglas, who tries to make a fingertip catch.

Then the CATCH OF THE DAY! Douglas makes a one handed diving grab on the right sideline while he’s falling down…you MUST catch this highlight, I’m sure it will be on Giants.com.

Ryan then throws to Wilson on the right sideline, and Tally’s next with a comeback catch on the right side.

Horn.

11 on 11, Offense and Defense.

Eli: Cruz makes a catch on the right sideline over Corey. Jernigan makes a catch in the right flat (Eli fakes out JPP with a patented hard count…yeah, he practices that too!. Osi would have sacked him in a real game).

Right now, either JPP is right end or right tackle when Osi is right end.

Eli hands off to Bradshaw off tackle, then Ware runs off a trap off tackle Left run. A dink on the right to Cruz.

Here’s a play where you really have to appreciate what Eli does. He moves right, to pass…his head is right, his body lean is right, yet he swirls around in a flash and passes to Bradshaw in the flat, who is wide open. A defensive player will not only key the head, he will key the body lean. It’s the details where Eli really shines.

Eli throws a right seam pass to Bear who’s covered by Rolle. The Defense gets going, as a float pass to Ware goes nowhere,as he’s surrounded by five defenders!

Carr’s back, and he hands off to Brown off tackle right. Brown comes to a sudden halt on the next play, as Rivers fills the hole hard up the middle. Then a check down to Scott, but David is still Bird Dogging. A dink to DePalma on the left flat. DePalma goes long on the next play right sideline for a TD!

I notice Hosley being carried off by the coaches. He tries to walk it off, but they have him go in the cart to the locker room. Hopefully, it’s just a cramp; with the Sun beating down, there were plenty of water breaks, but cramps happen.

Carr throws to Collins up the middle. Then it’s the Adventures of Perrilloux!

Perrilloux: Passes to Wilson on the left sideline. Then off tackle right with Wilson. Ryan looks and looks, runs right, then throws to Talley in the middle. Ryan tries to pass to Wilson on the right, but is picked by Hall. Martinek goes up the middle, then off tackle right.

2 Minute Drill time!

Eli. Left seam pass to Hixon. Then Hixon makes a great diving catch on the left sideline for 30 yards. He gets back up, to everyone’s relief. A handoff the Bradshaw for the TD, everyone yells, and practice is OVER!

What you didn’t see after practice:

Was Pat tweeting or watching the Olympics on his phone???

The QB’s doing their sideline to sidelne sprints after practice. There were others, but they had taken their jerseys off, so I wasn’t able to identify them.

Tuck goes off the field with his wife and children (he was carrying one of them on his shoulder). Made a great picture!

Hey, did Hopkins just sign a baby??? Hey, get a program, guys!!!

The crowd is chanting “Eli, Eli, Eli”, trying to get him to come to the fence. While they were doing that, Corey Webster was jumping and leading the cheers.

Me, I was tempted to chant “Tim, Tim, Tim!!”

Whew, that’s it!

Aug 012012
 
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August 1, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF

Hammer of Thor” Edition

“I’m Thor.” – “Well, you thould put thome ointment on it, then.”
From the “Old Stale Jokes Anthology”

Thor: Do not touch me again.
Tony Stark: Then don’t take my stuff.

Thor: You have no idea what you’re dealing with.
Tony Stark: Uh…Shakespeare in the park.

Tony Stark: Doth mother know, you weareth her drapes?
2012 Avengers Movie

Ah, yes, it’s a shocking version of Bits & Bites to start August off with. The Sun is warm, with a bit of a breeze, lower 80′s, and we’re at Camp Scooby Doo again. However, the forcast is for storms in the afternoon, and knowing how fronts move around the UA campus, we come prepared with our trusty $2.99 umbrella, with a nice metal tip!

(For those of you expecting to see the Marvel Thor…get over it, this is the real thing. I think…)

I know there will be trouble ahead, as I have a nice shady spot on the sideline between fields 2 and 3. Ok, let’s start off…1:00pm, and the team is split, the defense is on Field 3, the Offense on Field 2. Both are doing play walk-throughs.

I notice that Hixon is wearing white compression socks that go over his knees…he also seems to have a soft knee brace over both knees, but under the compression socks. This may be for some stability support for his ACL, or perhaps just something to protect him from knee scrapes.

Bruce Johnson and Rocky Bernard also are wearing the high compression socks, but not the knee brace underneath…more like white shin wraps.

Horn sounds, and the team moves around again. On Field 3, we have the QB’s doing footwork (coming back from center), with Bass, Boothe and Goodin as the centers. Cordle was with them, practicing his long snaps.

On Field 2, more punt returns with Hixon, Cruz, Jernigan, Randle and Hosley. On the sideline, we have JPP, Rogers, Antrel, Corey, Kenny and Rocky chillin and having some laughs. I try my lip reading skills, though I’m not confident…

Antrel: What’s this I hear about Marvin’s dreads?

Rocky: That’s yesterday’s news. I want to see more of that “ball on a stick”, that looked good to me!

Back to Field 2, and we see the PR/KO machine out sending balls to the usual guys.

Horn.

Sprints, kicks, arm waving, running backwards…it’s the Mitch Petrus Olympics!

Speaking of stretching, Matthew McCants really needs to take some Yoga, or Yogurt, or something, to increase his flexibility. Perhaps some Zombie Zumba…

Over on Field 3, Tynes is flexing his arm with some pitch and catch with the support staff.

Horn.

On Field 3, the QB’s are doing pitch and catch with Bradshaw, Bear and Cruz. Back on Field 2, there’s a drill where the punt returner releases, and there are two gunners chasing him…one long, one short, trying to down the punt.

On the right sideline, the WR’s/TE’s are working with the LB’s/DL. Two release at a time to block, then two defensive guys fight the block and go around them. Chase Blackburn gets a little frisky with one of the offensive guys, and tosses him on the ground (probably fighting a hold).

Horn.

On Field 5, the DB’s have a drill where they line up next to a big pylon square mattress. One guy faces the mattress, while another DB has an arm shield, and pushes the first guy with it down on to the foam bed…probably simulating a trap block. The first guy is trying to defeat the block, of course.

The D Line guys have a drill where they are facing another D player with a cap, have to get around him, then tackle the “running back” (another D player) behind him. The linebackers are working on back pedaling drills.

On Field 2, you have 3 QB’s throwing to 3 of 5 receivers going out at a time (one short throw, one intermediate throw, one long throw). Then more handoffs to running backs, and the WR’s have to catch quick, hard passes from the coaches from point blank range (between 5-10 yds). The DB’s come back to Field 2, and do some one-on-one press coverage stuff.

Over on Field 5, the D Line is now running across pylons and tackling the pop up dummy. The Safeties are working on beating blocking (from other defensive backfield players wearing caps and using plastic foam arm shields to block).

The CB’s are now on Field 3, doing the “Chase the Ball” drill. That’s where the player goes into his backpedal, then goes left or right depending on where the coach moves the ball with his hand.

Hey, a Nicks sighting on Field 2! He’s still moving carefully on that foot, though…no spring. If his body language is any indication, he’s a long way from coming back.

Now, there are 2 QB’s on Field 2 throwing outs to 2 WR’s, one on each side. The D Line is off doing gap drills. The safeties are back pedaling, then breaking to the ball for interceptions. The TE’s and D Line are on Field 4, doing blocking drills with foam arm shields.

I’ve notice a thing with #13 (Barden)…he really should focus on not leaping as often when the ball comes to him. It really robs him of any momentum (he comes to a stop with a leap), and I think he’d get bigger plays by running through the route. He’s big enough not to have to leap for most of the balls thrown to him.

Off on Field 3, the D Line and LB’s are working on positioning for different coverages.

I check the weather…the temp is 84, and I see some nasty clouds coming quickly from the west.

Horn sounds, and the Defense (Field 3) and Offense (Field 2) are working through plays again.

All of a sudden, I hear a coach yell out:

Storm warning…15 minutes!

This is at 2:19 pm…

Horn.

Things now pick up. Time for O vs D. Eli’s up:

Pass to Hixon, who falls down on the left sideline but completes the catch. That’s followed by a middle handoff to Bradshaw, then another handoff to Ware

Kaboom!

(Bah, Thor must be either a Jets or Pats fan. Or it’s the Hammer of Tebow!)

Play of the day comes up…Kiwi slices into the backfield and picks off a Manning pass intended for Bradshaw on the right flat for a defensive TD! Eli comes back, though, with a toss to Cruz who makes a crowd pleasing play with a leap and catch on the left sideline.

Carr comes in, and throws it to Collins, who makes a nice catch. A handoff to Scott, who goes off tackle right. Now it’s a handoff to Brown up the middle. A throw to the right flat to Scott bounces off his hands, but he snaps it out of the air for a nice recovery catch. Another handoff to Brown up the middle.

Now it’s time for the Perils of Perriloux. Stanback makes a nice catch on the right sideline beating Hosley. Wilson with another nice run off tackle left. This guy is going to be one of those runners who make you hold your breath. Hhe really has a second gear and makes lightning fast cuts in the hole.

Now Perrilloux hits Douglas on a slant despite nice tight coverage by Jojo Nicolas.

Drops of Rain??? (It’s now 2:27pm). More rumbles in the background.

Ryan overthrows Stanback on a long pass up the right sideline, then can’t find a receiver on the next play (sack)…

And that’s it! Practice is over, and there’s no hanging around or autographs, they are jogging quickly off the field.

What you didn’t see after practice:

Me!…and other people hanging around…we were all off to cover, or our cars. Some people thought they might continue practice if the storm passed (and it did somewhat later), but I didn’t stick around.

It actually didn’t get that wet, but safety first. I guess a sacrifice to Thor will help for later, or maybe it was a warning if you missed the original Marvel Thor or Avengers flick.

Aug 012012
 
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August 1, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

Practice Shortened by Thunderstorm.  Kiwi Shines.

The Giants were finally in full pads, but the weather did not cooperate.  The thunder clouds arrived with still an hour of practice left to complete.  Unfortunately, that hour is where most of the 11 on 11s and 7 on 7s take place.  It is likely that the team completed their practice on the gymnasium floor.  I didn’t wait around to find out.

I am not the first person to speculate about whether the Giants return to Albany next year may be decided by this year’s weather.  With the limited number of practices allowed by the CBA and the elimination of two-a-days, every practice day becomes important.  Apparently there is very little flexibility to make up for practice days that are missed.

The practice started out with a punting drill for defensive backs.  I think the purpose was to down the punt in the “coffin corner” or at least as close to the goal line as possible.  P Steve Weatherford holds the ball a special way with the point down to make the ball stop its forward progress when it hits the ground.  It is a work in progress for him, just as it is with the DBs who are trying to down the ball.  Catching a punt with pads on is tough.  Catching it over your shoulder is almost impossible.

Back up C Jim Cordle was doing some of the long snapping.  His snaps were acceptable, but not as good as Zak DeOssie’s.

There was one 11 on 11 drill with QB Eli Manning.  He completed a routinely easy sideline pass to WR Domenik Hixon.  That was followed by hand offs to RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and D.J. Ware.  They both got about five yards.  Apparently the defense was doing a good job because at least somebody got an “atta boy” from the defensive coach.

The best play of the session was an attempted pass by QB Eli Manning which was batted into the air by LB Mathias Kiwanuka.  Kiwi then caught the ball and ran it back for what would have been a TD.  You could tell that Kiwi was very pleased as he semi-skipped into the end zone.

The next best play was a 15-17 yard sideline pass from Eli to WR Victor Cruz.  Cruz beat the defender, leaped for the ball and brought both feet down in bounds.  I thought that Victor might lose concentration because there was a possibility that he would run into me, but apparently my presence was not noticed by Mr. Cruz.

When QB David Carr got a chance to run the 11 on 11s, the handoff was missed.  I’m not sure whose fault it was.  The next play was a handoff to RB Andre Brown and he got stuffed by the defense.

The third best play of the day was made by RB David Wilson.  He made a diving, tumbling catch of an outlet pass by Carr.  Carr actually would have been sacked on the play, but he threw the pass anyway.

Carr called several “audibles” in the 11 on 11s.  I know that you are all familiar with the “Omaha” line call.  My favorites include “East Elvis” and of course, “West Elvis” to the other side of the field. There is also the East and West Taco audibles.

QB Ryan Perrilloux only got in one play before the danger of a lightning strike ended the practice.  It was a handoff to RB David Wilson.  What I noticed was that he took at least three good shots by defenders and still maintained his balance.

Prior to the 11 on 11s I finally got close to Coach Mike Pope and his covey of TEs.  He was giving them detailed instructions on how to get off the line and where to stand.  The closest thing that I can compare it to, is a golf pro explaining at length how to address the ball. Not swing–just address the ball.  The guy who needed the most instruction was TE Adrien Robinson.  That should not surprise anybody, based on his college career.  He is a big strong guy, but apparently he does not know his Elvis from a hole in the ground.  I hope that he is a fast learner.

The TEs also took a shot at the blocking sled.  These guys are all huge (except for Travis Beckum, who was an interested observer) and they all did well against the sled.  That was not always the case in prior years.  Against the sled, at least, TE Martellus Bennett did not look much different from the others.  Having listened to Coach Pope’s lengthy instructions, I suspect that there is a whole lot more to playing TE than just having size and strength.

I have to make one more observation about the tight ends as a group.  When they go from one part of the field to another, it is always TE Bear Pascoe in the lead moving briskly and it is always TE Martellus Bennett in the rear trailing behind everyone else.  Is this significant?  I don’t know.

Jul 302012
 
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July 30, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor JohnF

“Zombie Zumba” Edition

Late getting to camp today, as I’m getting the Accord inspected. Not later than 1:30, but didn’t get to camp until 1:00, which is late. The players are already on the field, running through plays.

First day of wearing pads, too…should be interesting.

Most of the players are on Field 3, doing kickoff returns. Collins, Jernigan and Wilson are on board, but not doing hard returns. This is more for the players on the KO return team, and the KO team, to go over gap control, the wedge, etc.

Over on Field 2, the QB’s are working on center exchanges. Bass, Parker, White and Goodin do the honors as snappers.

Horn sounds, and now we go into the gymnastic portion of the competition (Sprints, Kicks, etc). Jacquian Williams gets a 9.5 with a split on a high leap that amuses the crowd.

Horn again, and now the team splits up into groups. The Offensive Line moves over to Field 4 to practice their drills. On the main field, the punt/KO machine is rolled out, and Jernigan, Randall and Wilson run back with a bit more contact between the special teams.

Hey, Pat Hanlon sighting! Pat, always fashionable, is wearing a gray windbreaker (with small Giants logo)…it’s covering his shirt (unless he’s doing a Tebow). He completes the outfit with blue shorts. Way to go, Pat!

On the right sideline, the D line is staring at 5 helmets on the ground (in a line). Looks like the coaches are instructing them on gap coverage. The OB’s are over on Field 5, either running plays or doing pitch and catch with the WR’s/RB’s/TE’s.

Horn Sounds.

Now the upside Garbage Cans (5 of them, for the O line) are on the center of Field 3, with a Pop up Dummy that looks like a QB (with a place to put a football). The D Line is practicing rushes, with twists or bull runs; when they get to the fake QB, they knock the ball out of it’s “hands” and dive for the ball. In the meantime, a coach will throw an “interception” to one of the DB’s or LB’s, and the rest of the backfield hustles to block for that guy as he goes to the endzone.

The QB’s are still on Field 5, now working on plays with the full offense; first walk throughs, then the same stuff at a faster pace.

Now, the Defense breaks up, with the D Line going to Field 4; the DB’s and LB’s have their own groups. First they work on backpedaling, then interception drills, then cover drills (the Linemen are just working on gaps).

Sun is bright and hot today, but there’s a nice cool breeze with a hint of August chill. Just a hint.

Water Break.

The DB’s and LB’s move to Field 3, for coverage drills. The D Line is working with the flat pylons on the ground, doing steps over and around them. The QB’s are making intermediate throws (15-30 yds) to receivers on Field 5, right near Western Avenue.

The Offense and Defense switch sides of the field, with the Offense now close to the University end of Field 3.

Eli is on. He overthrows Jernigan on a long pass up the left sideline. Then misses Hopkins. Short dink to Barden.

Hey, it’s Ryan Perrilloux. Throws a nice 25 yard completion to Collins, then Horton makes a great knockdown coverage play on 46.

Eli’s back, and he throws a slant to Talley. Then a dink over the middle to Douglas, another middle pass to Cruz.

Perrilloux again; he throws a dink to Hixon, another to Jernigan.

Now for some drama. Barden sets up on the right, starts his pattern, but Perrilloux for some reason stops the play. You can hear all the way back in the crowd Barden yelling “Damn, should have WENT!!!” Little pressure, maybe?

Perrilloux finishes with a short pass to Collins, then the Horn Sounds.

The Offense is on the far end of Field 3, the Defense on the close end, but they are just running plays. It’s nice and warm, and honestly, it’s hard not to just take in the sun and snooze (knowing what’s coming in 6 months!!).

Took a peak at Field 2, where Weatherford and Zak DeOssi are working on long snaps. I’ve seen Zak a few times, staring at the LB’s doing drills. I know he’s a vital part of the team as a long snapper…but there’s a look in his eyes that’s a bit wistful, I think. He was drafted as a linebacker, a long time ago, and used to be with the other guys doing those drills…

Horn sounds. Offense vs Defense…with Pads.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the team is lining up right in font of me, so there’s no way I can see most of the action on the line, so I’ll leave that to Marty.

Eli…handoff to Bradshaw. Then a dink to Hixon, a short out to Barden, and a sweep on the right by Ware. The Defense is not allowing much, they are getting serious. Bradshaw is stuffed by Joseph. Eli tries a play action, then sprint right but overthrows Hixon. Finally, a handoff to Bradshaw goes 20 yds..he earned it, nice burst! Bennett catches another seam pass for 20 yards. He seems to be a lot more effective going down the field on seams and slants, not so much on outs. Brown goes off left tackle for a bit.

Carr in, but his throw to Hopkins is stuffed by great coverage (couldn’t see the guy). He overthows Randle. Hands off to Brown off tackle right, but Bing just smothers Randle, no catch.

Perrilloux is ready to go, and hands off to Wilson. Wilson gets several “Wacks” by the Defense that you can clearly hear. “Welcome to full NFL contact, Rook!” seems to be the message! Bear with a nice seam pass. Collins with a nice catch on the right. Wilson up the middle. Dink to Wilson in the flat. Another dink to Martinek.

Horn, and now we have a quick KO return on Field 3 with Jernigan, then Collins. Tynes comes in for FG practice, and hits all 5 attempts (starting at the 5, and going back 5 yds or so). One of them hits the umbrella on the film tower, to great applause.

Horn.

Seven on Seven.

Eli…Short left sideline dink to Bear, then on the right (but he can’t control it when he hits the ground). Cruz with a catch on the left, then a dink to Ware. Jernigan impresses with a nice catch up the middle despite good coverage by Rolle.

Carr comes up, and passes to Barden on the right sideline. Randle does an “Andre Reed” (older Giant fans know how Andre used to catch those passes underneath the LB’s by going across the field, right to left!). Dink to Brown, then a short pass to Collins up the middle.

Perrilloux with a dink to DePalma. A nice slant to Barnett. Runs out of time on the next play (sack). Talley gets a catch, but fumbles it? Muasau makes a nice play on Robinson. Douglas with a dink catch, then a slant to DePalma.

I did miss some action on Field 2, where there was 1 on 1 OLine vs DLine stuff.

Horn.

Full O vs Full D.

Eli handoff to Bradshaw stuffed. Did Tuck batt down the next pass? Bradshaw off tackle right, but not much. Prince knocks down a pass to Hixon, who falls a bit awkwardly on the left sideline, but bounces back up and jogs back. He looks ok! Finally, a nice run by Bradshaw up the middle, nice burst. The Defense is fierce today, those yards were earned!

Carr passes to Collins, who beats Coe but juggles the ball out of bounds. Another “sack.” Brown with a strong run on the left side. Poor pass to Robinson, Carr overthrows him. Scott with a sweep right. Scott may have had more plays, but a lot of the RB’s pulled their shirt up, so their numbers are hard to read from my spot!

Ryan Perrilloux throws to DePalma who makes a nice leaping grab on the right sideline. Ojomo and Hendricks force a “sack.” Wilson off tackle right.

Horn.

Eli’s back. Bradshaw drops a middle dink. Ware was covered, Eli throws at his feet. Corey with the play of the day covering Cruz…he breaks and intercepts Eli on a slant. Collins catches a right slant. Scott runs off tackle right.

Perrilloux finishes up, tries to pass to Talley but Brown knocks it down. Wlson with an off tackle left run…shows great ballance! Wilson again up the middle. Overthrows Stanback.

Practice ends.

What you didn’t see after practice:

Brewer hanging by the Gatorade bar on Field 2!

The team has a VERY long group circle, longer than ususal. Then they break up into groups (D line, O Line, CB’s, LB’s, RB’s etc). All the QB’s do sideline to sideline sprints on Field 3, and they aren’t alone…on Field 2, more of the guys are doing sideline to sideline sprints (D line, WR’s TE’s, LB’s).

Reinders has a long discussion with one of the coaches.

TC and the rest of the coaches have a long discussion after practice in the middle of Field 2, while the reporters are waiting for the presser under a hot sun way over to the right of Field 4 (near to Western Ave).

#24

I heard this evening about Terrell. All I can say is that I hope he can recover and walk normally, and have a normal life. Football, as important as it is now to him and to us, is just a short phase of a long life…there is so much more to a person than playing in the NFL.

All the best to you, and best wishes.

John F.

Jul 302012
 
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July 30, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

CB Jayron Hosley Injured; RB Da’Rel Scott Returns

In the one on one WR/DB drill, CB Jayron Hosley either slipped on the grass, or got tangled up with the receiver that he was guarding and went down.  He sort of hopped back to the sideline, and lay down there.  It was clear that he was injured.  After he was looked at, he was able to stand and get into the cart without help and was taken off the field.  I was on the opposite side of the field, but it appeared to be an ankle or knee injury.  (Editor’s Note: Hosley suffered lacerations to his knee that required stitches).

It was expected that the results of DE Justin Trattou’s MRI would be announced, but apparently the MRI is not until today.  CB Terrell Thomas and LBs Michael Boley and Keith Rivers did not play.  Rivers was on the field, but I did not see Boley or Thomas.  LB Jake Muasau had a large ice pack taped to his knee area, but he did not appear to be limping, nor did I see the play that might have caused the problem.

I read that the Giants would be in full pads today, but they only played in “uppers”–helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts.  There was still a goodly amount of contact.

RB Da’Rel Scott returned and demonstrated his speed and balance with some power running in the 11 on 11s.

There was kicking but no punting today.  WR Rueben Randle had a quieter day today receiving and managed to muff a kickoff from the jugs gun.  When it came time to make actual kicks, K Lawrence Tynes was booming them out of the end zone.  It is summer and the ball is soft, but that is still impressive.  Tynes also drew cheers from the fans when his thirty yard field goal hit the umbrella that was shading the crane operator.  The crane is about thirty-five feet tall and was directly behind the goalposts.

Getting back to the one on one drill in which Hosley was injured, CB Prince Amukamara made an excellent defense of an Eli Manning pass to WR Jerrel Jernigan and Amukamara also did good job of defending a pass to WR Victor Cruz–no “Cruuuuuzzzz!” for you today.  S Chris Horton stopped a pass to TE Larry Donnell cold, simply by mugging him as the ball arrived.

In a one on one drill, the WR has a big advantage, so you would expect TE Martellus Bennett to catch the pass.  Nevertheless, he made it with speed and enough grace to give us hope that he can make an impact as a receiver.  This is especially true since TEs Christian Hopkins and Adrien Robinson were both dismal today.  Christian Hopkins was covered easily by S Will Hill in the one on ones.  Adrien caught a pass from QB David Carr in the 7 on 7s and then had it immediately stripped.  The next ball to Adrien was in the 11 on 11 and it bounced off his hands.

Happily, TE Bear Pascoe is catching everything in reach.  At one point he had three receptions in a row from Eli Manning in the 7 on 7s.  WR Julian Talley who has had a subdued camp, caught a ball and then dropped it.  He immediately got screamed at by the coaches.  WR David Douglas made a short catch of a Carr pass and would have regretted it in a real game, because he would have been annihilated by S Tyler Sash.  WR Dan DePalma continues to have a good camp and made several good catches today.

The defense had its share of good plays today.  There were a number of plays where they either stopped the runner cold or left nobody open for a pass.  In the words of the voluble defensive coach, “It was all good ‘stuff.’”

At RDE, Jason Pierre-Paul blocked yet another Manning pass in the 11 on 11s.  In that same series, there was a deep deep sideline pass to WR Domenik Hixon.  If he had caught it, it would have been a TD, so Amukamara had no choice but to mug him and break up the pass.

Continuing with the good defensive plays, when Carr could not find anybody open he made a dash for the sideline.  DT Marvin Austin showed good speed to follow him closely all the way across the field.

The best defensive play of the day was the interception of an Eli Manning pass in the 11 on 11s.  It was intended for WR Victor Cruz, but CB Dante Hughes was in good position and picked it off.  He took it about 50 yard for a defensive TD, followed only by the defensive coach, who ran after him screaming at him to “Run it back.”

There have been no fights so far, but S Tyler Sash became visibly upset when RB Andre Brown finished off his run by banging into the backs of two or three defenders who were walking back to the defensive huddle when it was arguable that the play was already over.