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 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 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


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 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 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.

Aug 142012
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August 14, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by Contributor JohnF

Bits & Bytes “Your Time is Now” Camp Ends

See the moon roll across the stars
See the seasons turn like a heart
Your father’s days are lost to you
This is your time here to do what you will do

Would you teach your children to tell the truth
Would you take the high road if you could choose
Do you believe you’re a victim of a great compromise
‘Cause I believe you could change your mind and change our lives

Your life is now your life is now your life is now
In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how

Your life is now

– John Mellencamp/George M. Greene

Last day of Camp 2012 at University at Albany…a cloudy, gloomy day that threatens rain. I’ve convinced work to let me go one more time, so it’s a quick stop at Dunkin Doughnuts, hop in the Accord, turn on the tunes and zoom over to Camp Scooby Doo one more time. I flash my orange “All Sessions” pass at the attendant and make that walk one more time past the Tennis Courts.

It’s not the same, though. Back in 1996, the tennis courts were full, balls flying through the air. This year, they are eerily quiet. When I first walked on campus back in 1972, most of the trees were saplings. Now, they are full grown, though many of those I remembered are cut down, wiped out like the old “Autograph Alley,” where I saw Strahan’s with a smile that lit up a cloudy day, Rich Seubert limping down with a huge raw gash in his leg, and Ike Hillard staying to sign every autograph and shake everyone’s hand the last day of his last camp in Albany.

I take the long walk around the old UA stadium, and make my way to the “Hill,” where I’ve sat all these 16 years. A brief shower, but it’s not long enough or heavy enough to threaten practice, although things will start a bit later than normal.

Temperature is 76, Dew Point 64, Relative Humidity 66%, so it’s a bit muggy, and winds out of the SE at a gentle 6 mph.

Oh, Linval, I’ve heard your comment about the beds at UA dorms. Hey, no kidding; if you think the beds are hard now, you should have seen the same beds back in 1972! We figured they wouldn’t soften up till 2050…

Get my spot on the hill, between Fields 2 and 3. The main field will be with the camera towers, on Field 3. Lo and behold, what is on Field 2???

Yep, TWO CARS are on Field 2, on the 20 yard line. One’s a GMC Terrain SUV with Conn. plates, the other is an Accura with Arizona plates. The tires look really low, too, as if someone let the air out.

So, I look for Eli, and he has a “you know what” grin on his face! The players are laughing when they go by the cars (well, not all of them…I hear a couple of “Come on, Man!!”)


The Offense goes to field 2, the Defense to field 3. Both are running plays. The staff drives both vehicles off of field 2; I can hear the thump of their tires as they go by…


Punt returns on Field 3. DePalma, Cruz, Randle, Hosley and Jernigan (yes, I know Tom Rock didn’t see him, but I did!) take punts.

Offensive line in the end zone of Field 2, doing stance drills. Beatty is there with them, a good sign!

Field 2: The QB’s are working on shotgun and center/exchange snaps with Parker,Boothe, Baas and White.

Field 5: Hey, the Tour de Albany is back, as Beckum, J. Williams, Barden, Sintim, Canty, Coe, Boley and Nicks are there (Nicks had his jersey off, but I could see his red towel).


Field 2: The usual calisthenics (sprints, arm waves, backpedals, etc. with almost all the team.

Field 5: Weatherford is working on coffin corner kicks, assisted with long snaps from DeOssie.


Field 2: The QB’s are doing pitch and catch with Bear, Cruz and Bradshaw.

Field 3: Punt Returns with Hosley, Hixon, DePalma and Douglas.

Field 4: O Line with stance drills.

Field 4: CB’s have a drill where the sprint 10 yards then break down as if they are ready to tackle someone.

Field 5: The guys not practicing are loosening up. Nicks does some short sprints.

Field 4: The O Line stands around their coaches, taking in instruction.


Field 2: The Defense does “Corner” drills again…this is where you have 4 stations, and the linemen, safeties, CB’s and LB’s rotate to each one.

1) “Gunner” drills…1 guy tries to beat two blockers going down the field.
2) Two men from opposite sides rush each other from 20 yds out, one simulating the ball carrier, the other the tackler. They veer off at the last second.
3) One guy fights off a block to go after the second guy simulating a RB.
4) Form tackle drill

Field 3: The offense is running plays at faster speed.

Field 2: The Defense now splits up:

1) The safeties are working on backpedaling into zones.
2) The CB’s are working on covering out routes
3) The linemen are doing fumble recovery drills.
4) The LB’s are using the upside down garbage cans and guys who simulate RB’s (using foam arm shields to block) to work on defeating trap plays.

Field 3: The WR’s are working on ball safety drills, then working on getting off the line against press coverage. The RB’s are working on footwork, using the pylons while they carry the ball. Then the RB’s go with the QB’s, and work on short pass patterns. The TE’s are working on blocking.

Field 2: The safeties are catching “hot” passes from 10 yards out, to work on their hands. Then the DB’s and LB’s come together, and work on drop back coverages.

Field 3: The QB’s are throwing slants to the WR’s, the RB’s are running screen passes (thrown by the coaches), and the TE’s intensify their blocking against players with foam arm shields.

Field 4: Offensive Line – two linemen are working together to synchronize their footwork while they block.

Field 3: While the WR’s are working on patterns, I see Randle slip and fall. He gets up right away, but I hope the coaching staff ices him afterwards…the field, despite the shower, is hard. Rueben still has spring in his step, though, after he stretches the side he fell on.

Field 3: Three QB’s throw to three WR’s, one short, one medium, one long.

Field 2: Eli and Carr are throwing to WR’s covered by DB’s.

Field 3: Perrilloux is throwing to RB’s/TE’s covered by safeties.


Field 3: Weatherford, Tyens and DeOssie loosen up.

Field 2: Offense vs Defense, 11 on 11

Eli: Hixon on the left flat for a short gain, good aggressive coverage by Prince. Screen to Bradshaw, Prince and Kiwi cover. Hixon on the left flat, covered by Prince. Bradshaw off tackle right. Jernigan gets one in the middle.

Carr: Brown up the middle. Hynoski makes two catches in a row on the right sideline.

Eli: Ware off tackle right, then off tackle right again. Hixon with a nice left slant over Bruce Johnson.

Carr: Wilson with a sweep right, then Carr with a reverse handoff to Brown off tackle left, but Brown fumbles (he recovers the bounce, though).

Perrilloux: Purvis with a catch on the left flat. Wilson off tackle left for no gain. Tuck was right in on him for a sack but eases off. Talley with a left curl. Hendricks stops Scott going up the middle. Ryan with a ROCKET (way too hard) pass to Purvis, who’s blowing the smoke off his singed hands…


The Defense (Field 2) and Offense (Field 3) are both running plays, at a quick pace.


Field 3: Offense vs Defense, 11 on 11

Eli: Bennett drops a pass on the right sideline while covered by Rivers.

Carr: Middle screen to Ware. Stanback catches one on the left sideline vs Tryon. Scott off tackle right.

Perrilloux: Jernigan with a catch deep up the left sideline against Coe. Then after a handoff fake Ryan runs right, but no whistle…hey…are they working on Wildcat? I think they are! (He should have Tebowed!) Ends with another rocket to Purvis, who has singe marks on his hands (no catch) while being covered by Sash.

Scott again up the middle, then another fake handoff and run by Ryan (yep, no whistle, so it’s Wildcat!). Now Ryan does a great impersonation of Tebow by overthrowing Purvis (covered by Herzlich). Scott off tackle right, but Jones and Kiwi are there.


Field 3: Back to punt returns, with Jernigan, Hixon, DePalma, Hosley and Douglas.

Oh…almost forgot the Pat Hanlon Fashion report! If this is my last report, I can’t let that go! Pat is wearing khaki pants, black Nike sneakers, his trademark gray Giants windbreaker, and sunglasses! Way to go, Pat!

Tynes makes an appearance, making four field goals with the full FG team and FG defense on Field 3; he also hits the film tower twice!

Now, Eli comes on with the Offense for a short flat to Bradshaw in the same spot Tynes was kicking, then the FG team rushes on to get a kick off in 15 seconds. They do and it’s GOOD!!


Field 3: Seven On Seven, Offense vs Defense.

Eli: Cruz with a catch on the right sideline. Then Cruz again with a patented left curl. Bennett gets one in the middle flat, but Kenny gets the next one (interception), then starts his dance!

Carr: Jernigan with a nice catch on the left sideline over Prince. Bear with a catch on the right flat. DePalma’s on the right sideline, but a dive only results in a trap, not a catch. Pass to Bear up the middle, then Brown gets a middle dink. Scott with a catch on the right flat.

Field 5: The guards are throwing a couple of medicine balls around (one at a time). The tackles were working on blocking against swim and other arm techniques.

Field 4: Meanwhile, the D Line is working on swim and other arm techniques!

Field 3:

Perrilloux: Martinek with a catch on the left flat, then Bing with a beautiful knock down of a pass to the left flat to Stanback..that was a QUICK close!

Eli: Hixon’s dragged down trying to get a long left sideline pass by Bing, who would have drawn a flag (then again, with the replacement refs, who knows?).

Perrilloux: Scott runs up the middle.


Field 3, Offense vs Defense, 11 on 11

Eli: Ware off tackle right, then Cruz snags one on the left flat vs Prince. Ware again off tackle right.

Carr: Ware off tackle left. Jernigan with a middle curl. Stanback can’t catch up with a badly thrown pass on the right flat.

Perrilloux: Scott off tackle right. DePalma on the right sideline. Ryan overthrows Collins on a right slant. Scott off tackle…and

The players crowd in, line up, and it figures…I miss most of the rest of the plays!

Eli: Bennett with a long left slant.

Perrilloux: Martinek on the left flat, then Scott off tackle left. Tryon and Hosley team up to knock the ball away from Collins…

And that’s it. Rubber bands come out, practice is over!

What you didn’t see after practice

The players gather into a big circle, then it breaks up with a “Team” chant. Smaller circles form, as has happened every practice…after a bit, those break up as well.

The TE’s throw pitch and catch to each other.

Mr. Mara, Jerry Reese, and the rest of the coaches huddle, then they also break up as well.

Tryon is working in the far corner of Field 3 end zone, working on his backpedal with one of the coaches.

Molden is working with Talley on press coverage over on Field 4.

I sit back on my camp chair, close my scratch pad, and let out a sigh…


Practice is over. The players will leave for New Jersey, to get ready for this weekend’s game against the Jets. As always, thanks to John Mara for keeping his promise to come back. Thanks also to all the Mara’s, the Tisch’s, the Giants Front Office and staff, the Players and Coaches, and the University at Albany.

Almost everyone has left, the fields are empty, yet I sit here, staring at my scratch pad, unwilling to leave. For some reason old Sam Watkins words to conclude Company Aytch roll through my thoughts:

The tale is told. The world moves on, the sun shines as brightly as before, the flowers bloom as beautifully, the birds sing their carols as sweetly, the trees nod and bow their leafy tops as if slumbering in the breeze, the gentle winds fan our brow and kissour cheek as they pass by, the pale moon sheds her silvery sheen, the blue dome of the sky sparkles with the trembling stars that twinkle and shine and make night beautiful, and the scene melts and gradually disappears forever.

I’ve mentioned before, it always takes longer to get back to my car after the last practice. I hear the rumbles that the Giants won’t be here next year, things I’ve heard every year. Then I think of my father, gone for five years. He was a medic in the Pacific, in WWII…got caught behind enemy lines. The Japanese were bayoneting bodies, to make sure they were dead. He played dead until the Marines came just in time with a counter attack that saved him.

My father used to say this:

“Remember the best of yesterday, make tomorrow from your dreams, and enjoy every moment of today!”

I think of him, and what he said.

It’s been a great 16 years of camp. Like the raw rookies who will make the cut for now, or the veterans who are hanging on by a thread, every day is an adventure.

I stride back to the car, with a smile on my face.

In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd

Your life is now
Your life is now
Your life is…

Aug 142012
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Rueben Randle, New York Giants (July 28, 2012)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 14, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by Contributor Marty in Albany

The Last Practice?

This may be the last practice held in Albany. When the Giants did not return to Albany last summer, it left me with a void that for the prior ten years had been filled by watching football, writing about it, and sharing that time with others to whom the Giants are important. It now appears more likely than not, that last year’s void will become permanent.

I know that there are many in the Giants organization and elsewhere, who are thrilled with the prospect of having the Giants stay in New Jersey for training camp. For me, this is a poignant moment. If this turns out to be the last practice in Albany, I want to thank all those people who have read and enjoyed my Camp Reports. Your enjoyment and appreciation has always been of great satisfaction to me. On to today’s practice:

The Giants were in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts today, but they played hard nevertheless. As usual, Head Coach Tom Coughlin wandered amongst his players as they were stretching. He was spreading his usual message of “energy” and “no mental errors.”

I noticed that OT James Brewer had returned to practice and sometimes was playing with the starters. It was only on my way home that I realized that I did not see OT Sean Locklear on the field. I hope Locklear is okay, because Brewer got yelled by the line coach at least once today.

Also back is WR David Douglas, but he did not make any plays of note. He may have been limited so he was not able to make up any ground on WR Ramses Barden, who for some reason, was not dressed today.

There was a punting drill and the first return man was CB Jayron Hosley. Walking back after the catch, Hosley looked in our direction, smiled and asked, “Was that okay?” It looked okay to us, but not to Coach Coughlin who gave him a few minutes of additional instruction. The returners also practice making fair catches. Perhaps that was a result of Jacksonville game, where a fair catch, or even letting the ball drop, would have been a better option that attempting to catch the punt.

There was a one on one passing drill. S Kenny Phillips defended a QB David Carr pass intended for TE Bear Pascoe. QB Eli Manning had a bunch of his passes defended. CB Prince Amukamara defended against WR Brandon Collins, S Kenny Phillips against Bear Pascoe (again), CB Jayron Hosley against WR Rueben Randle, CB Bruce Johnson against WR Victor Cruz, and S Kenny Phillips against TE Martellus Bennett.

In the 11 on 11s, WR Jerrel Jernigan used good reflexes to catch an Eli Manning pass that was tipped up into the air by CB Bruce Johnson(?). I’m not sure who the intended receiver was. Later, Manning’s play action pass found WR Domenik Hixon, who was defended by CB Bruce Johnson.

I have not mentioned TE Ryan Purvis much, but he managed to snag a QB Ryan Perrilloux pass in the 11 on 11 drill. In that series, CB Prince Amukamara defended a pass intended for WR Julian Talley. Later on, CB Justin Tryon defended a pass intended for WR Isaiah Stanback. Isaiah is a really big guy and he can easily push Tryon backwards when coming off the line at the snap.

QB David Carr threw a very long sideline pass to WR Jerrel Jernigan, who was covered almost step for step by the speedy CB Brandon Bing. Jerrel hauled it in over his shoulder to the great appreciation of the fans. Later on, QB David Carr hit Jerrel Jernigan over the middle in a lot of traffic and covered by S Chris Horton.

There were many plays where a pass was completed long after a sack would have taken place had this been a real game. LB Mathias Kiwanuka, S Tyler Sash, and others penetrated the offensive line. On one handoff to RB Da’Rel Scott, DT Linval Joseph was right there to wrap him up. WR Brandon Collins made a wonderful leaping catch on a pass over the middle, long after Ryan Perrilloux would have been sacked.

S Antrel Rolle dropped an easy interception and in disgust, gave himself punishment pushups.

There was some kicking and K Lawrence Tynes continues to look strong. None of the kicks are very long, but they are straight and after they cross the goal posts they hit the top of the 40 foot TV crane that is positioned behind the posts.

In the 7 on 7 drill, S Kenny Phillips had a fine interception and CB Brandon Bing made good plays against WR Isaiah Stanback and then against Brandon Collins on a deep pass attempt.
Back in the 11 on 11s, WR Victor Cruz beat CB Prince Amukamara on a Ryan Perrilloux pass.

Here is a play that I think we are going to see a lot of: Victor Cruz and TE Martellus Bennett are lined up on the same side. Cruz goes deep and clears out the defensive backs and Bennett comes underneath Cruz’s route for an easy wide-open catch in the flat.

The State of the Giants, August 14, 2012

What is the essential difference between playing Madden and playing football? Playing football requires courage. In a tough game, courage is often the difference between winning and losing.
You can’t measure a player’s courage on the practice field. The measurement must be taken when there is a crisis and that only happens in a real game.

I say this as a preamble to my annual evaluation of the players. BBI has come to expect these evaluations and I don’t want to disappoint anybody. However, I’ve only had two weeks at training camp to observe the team. That is not a whole lot of time to come up with something useful, so I am desperately trying to cover my butt in case my evaluations turn out to be caca.

“The roster is never something that’s 100 percent predictable. So anyone on the outside trying to do that will be surprised by some of the people we have on the final roster. It’s a constant shaping and molding and that’s how it finally emerges.” – Tom Coughlin


Eli Manning is the man. He looks better than ever. He is throwing more accurately, with less hesitation, and with prettier spirals. As in the past, the Giants success rests on his shoulders. David Carr is a career backup and could fill in for a brief time without destroying the team. Ryan Perrilloux is not ready for prime time. If his primary receiver is covered, he either has to throw the ball away or run for his life.


Ahmad Bradshaw is still the starter. He has played well in camp, both running and receiving. If he can stay healthy he will gain a lot of yards for the Giants. David Wilson, the first round pick. With the departure of Brandon Jacobs, the Giants needed another back to share time with Bradshaw. Neither Bradshaw nor Wilson has the build to carry the ball 400 times a season. Wilson could be the home run hitter that the Giants have really never had. In practice he has looked very fast and very agile. He has made unbelievable cuts and has caught the ball extremely well.

If the Giants need an extra wide receiver to run a play, say in the hurry-up offense, I could see Wilson moving up into the slot receiver position allowing the Giants to leave the same personnel on the field. As a rookie, he will probably run a more limited set of plays than Bradshaw and they will probably be designed to take advantage of his abilities.

He is not a big guy. He has had problems in the past with ball security. As a rookie he still has a lot to learn about the offensive scheme. Does he have the toughness to take the pounding that RBs take? Will he develop the skills needed to pick up blitzes and block much larger defensive players? Only time will tell.

D.J. Ware is versatile. He’s a good pass blocker, a hard runner, and a decent receiver. He has caught the ball well in camp and seems to be healthy. I think that staying healthy is the deciding issue on his continued career with the Giants. He is the logical choice for short yardage situations.

Andre Brown and Da’Rel Scott. Scott is faster. Brown has more experience and is more reliable as a pass blocker. Both have caught the ball well in practice. Both can run with some wiggle. They are probably both competing for the fourth running back slot.

The Giants have five serviceable running backs and will only keep four. It is always better (in football) to have one too many, than one too few.


Henry Hynoski is the starter. With a year of experience under his belt and a lot of muscles above it, he looks ready to have a great year as a lead blocker and pass protector. At 265 pounds, he is not going to get many yards rushing the ball, but he is a fine receiver and runs very well after the catch.

Joe Martinek. If Hynoski were injured, the 40 pounds lighter Joe Martinek could play fullback or the Giants could look for somebody else. Joe is a good receiver and perhaps a decent runner, but I doubt he can make the team as a running back unless several players are injured. He would have to play much better in the pre-season games than what he has shown in camp if he is to stick.

Tight End

Bear Pascoe has the reputation of not being very athletic, or a good blocker. In terms of receiving, there have been few catchable balls that he has dropped in camp. He runs very well for a 280 pound man. He is the “move TE” and as such he will complement TE Martellus Bennett. He is also versatile and can play FB in a pinch.

Martellus Bennett is a former Cowboy. He has the reputation of blocking well and dropping a lot of passes. It is hard to tell in practice how good a blocker he is, but I have not seen him drop many passes. Some of his catches have been impressive bordering on spectacular. Of course, that could change in a real game when there is a lot more pressure and hitting than in a practice.

Bennett is big, strong, and fast for a man his size. He seems to be a good receiver and has made a number of leaping catches in camp. If he is a good blocker, he will be able to help the Giants with that alone. If his receiving is as good as he has shown in camp, it will add a dimension to the Giants offense that we have not had since TE Jeremy Shockey.

At first I thought that Bennett was a rather self-satisfied, showboater. After speaking to a number of people who have interviewed him, he comes away as a friendly, funny, and intelligent guy who is trying hard to fit in and to prove that he is a good receiver. Many veteran players don’t go all out in training camp. They already know what they can do and so do the coaches. It is clear that Bennett’s high level of play in camp is because he is highly motivated. GM Jerry Reese may have hit a home run with Bennett; at the very least, a stand-up double. If we can get the Cowboys to kick themselves for letting him go, that would be icing on the cake.

Travis Beckum was injured in the Super Bowl and has not practiced in camp. I cannot remember Beckum ever making a noteworthy play. He is too small to block effectively in the Giants offensive scheme and the Giants have never found a niche for him as a receiving TE. It irks me that Beckum has never tried to gain some weight and muscles to try to fit in as a blocker.

Adrien Robinson, a fourth round pick, is a very big, very athletic, and very raw player. He looks like a lineman and he blocks like a lineman. He also looks like he can catch the ball, assuming he knows which player is the quarterback. He is that raw. In recent practices he has shown great improvement and has shown that he is a fluid runner and receiver. How fast he can learn the system is the big question. NFL football is entirely different from what Robinson did as a TE in college. Frankly, he looks heavier than his program weight and slower than his reported 40 time of 4.57. Those numbers don’t matter if he is as talented a receiver as he appears.

With Robinson, it would appear that the Giants have changed their draft philosophy from “best player available” to “best athlete available.” This is also evidenced by the selections of OT Matt McCants in round six and DT Markus Kuhn in round seven of the NFL draft. With all three players, their “body” is more impressive than their “body of work.” Numbers may decide whether Matt and Markus are heading for the practice squad.

Larry Donnell, Christian Hopkins, and Ryan Purvis have all had their moments in camp. They are all huge and reasonably fast and have caught the ball when it came their way. They have decent speed for such big men, but I really can’t comment on their blocking. Nevertheless, they are all better choices than Travis Beckum in my opinion. Hopkins has had the most catches, but I doubt he will make the team unless Bennett, Pascoe, or Robinson is injured.

Wide Receiver

Hakeem Nicks is rehabbing and has not practiced. Victor Cruz has picked up where he left off last year and is clearly the best receiver on the field.

“You want a receiver that doesn’t make movements that confuse you about where he’s going – that’s kind of like trying to hit a gnat. You want a guy who’s smooth. You want a guy who you understand…his body language, and a veteran guy where you know that if you throw it, he can make a play.” – Jim Fassel

Jerrel Jernigan has surprised me. I feared that because of his height at 5-8, that Eli would not be able to find him on the field. I was wrong. Jernigan has gotten open and has caught the ball very well. Well enough to be in the competition for third receiver now that Mario Manningham has departed. He will probably be the Giants punt returner as well. If he performs as well in the preseason games as in practice, I think he could be the Giants slot (Y) receiver. Performing well in a real game is not yet a given for Jerrel, or for Rueben Randle for that matter.

Rueben Randle, the second round pick, is virtually the same height and weight as Nicks and Cruz. Unlike them, he has been impressive from his first day in camp. He is a smooth route runner and has instinctive ball skills. I see him more as a backup to Cruz or Nicks or in rotation with them, rather than as the slot receiver. I say this not because Rueben lacks the necessary skill, to be the Y receiver, but as the X or Z receiver Rueben would be a threat to run down the field, beat his defender, and catch a TD on every play.

As impressive as Randle has been in camp, he will see a lot tougher coverage in real games, when there is the certainty that he will be hit before, during and after catching the ball. He is taller, heavier, and perhaps faster than Mario Manningham. Very likely, he will run his routes more consistently than Mario did. That would be a real plus. Rueben will have to make a few clutch catches in real games before we can decide if he has anything close to Manningham’s talent.

Domenik Hixon has picked up where he has left off before he was injured and has caught everything thrown his way in camp. Hixon, when healthy, was a game breaker as a kick returner. The continued health of Hixon’s surgical knee will determine how long Hixon stays with the Giants.

Ramses Barden, in my opinion, is the sixth player on the squad…for now. He has performed well in camp. In the past, he has been held back because of injuries. Coach Coughlin expects Ramses to perform now. If he does not do well in the preseason games, it might be hard to keep him on the team, because there are a number of young players who have shown a lot of promise.

When I talk about performing well in a game, I don’t mean making spectacular leaping one-handed catch. I’m talking about running routes that allow you to make a bunch of easy catches, or making a catch under pressure, or making a good play to get a first down. You can’t make spectacular catches all day long. It is far better to make a bunch of routinely easy receptions. Receivers get injured a lot. It is better if you don’t fall down when you catch a pass.

Barden is by far the tallest receiver on the team. At 6-6, he should have a great advantage against most cornerbacks, even if he does not get much separation. He is also 220 pounds which should make him a tiger when it comes to downfield blocking for running backs, or other receivers. “Talk’s cheap. Play the game” should be posted inside his locker.

Julian Talley, Brandon Collins, Dan DePalma, Isaiah Stanback, and David Douglas are all talented and all have made some fine receptions. Do they look as good in camp as Victor Cruz did in his first training camp? Yes. Absolutely. Of this group, perhaps David Douglas has impressed the most. What will it take for Douglas or one of the others to make the team? Obviously, an injury to one of the six above, or he will have to have an outstanding game or games in the preseason. As I said before, consistency as a receiver, not just one spectacular catch, is what a rookie needs to demonstrate in the preseason.

Offensive Line and Defensive Line

Giants have a one-on-one drill where a defensive lineman tries to get past an offensive lineman. In this drill, the players go all out and you can tell who can block and who can rush the passer. In past years, this was the drill that started so many fights between DE Frankie Ferrara and his offensive lineman du jour. When the Giants run this drill, they do it far away from the prying eyes of yours truly. So far as the other drills in camp go, the linemen might as well be playing patty-cake with each other. So the best way to evaluate the linemen is to watch the games on TV and see who the Giants are using as starters and reserves.


Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka are starters and Jacquian Williams is a second year player who flashed last year and is primed for a big year in 2012. Williams is very fast and good in coverage. Lately, Boley and Williams have been slowed by injury and are not practicing. If healthy, they should play well.

Chase Blackburn is the starter at middle linebacker. He re-signed with the Giants in the middle of last season and became a Super Bowl hero. It is very possible that in the near future, he will share the same fate as former Super Bowl hero WR David Tyree. Last year, LBs Greg Jones, Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams were all rookies and very raw. They were basically thrown into the game without much coaching or experience. They made a lot of rookie mistakes.

Chase already knew the defensive system and he had the experience needed to call the defensive plays. He may have been slow, but at least he knew where to run. The Giants are well aware of Chase’s assets and liabilities. Chase is still slow, but last year’s rookie crop has much more experience and has improved considerably. If Mark Herzlich can replace Chase as the starter, and the other young linebackers continue to improve, the Giants may decide that they no longer need the experienced, but slow Blackburn.

Mark Herzlich. At the start of training camp I was worried that Mark did not have the foot speed to get the job done, regardless of how good his head was. After watching some drills, it appears that Mark is at least as fast as Greg Jones and Spencer Paysinger, if not faster. Mark seems to be the heir apparent to Chase Blackburn. My guess is that it will happen when Mark gets a little more experience and his body gets a little stronger as part of his recovery from cancer.

Keith Rivers may just be the veteran free agent acquisition who will seal Chase’s fate. Rivers was a first round pick who disappointed the Bengals. We got him for a 5th round pick. In my opinion, that fifth round pick was a much better investment than the mid-fourth round pick that got us LB Phillip Dillard from Nebraska, in 2010. Keith is currently Mathias Kiwanuka’s backup at the Will linebacker.

The big question is whether Rivers is going to be the second coming of former LB Kawika Mitchell, or of the injury plagued Gerris Wilkinson? Only time will tell. However, let’s not be hasty in our judgment (unless of course, Rivers gets injured and can’t play). Then, we can jump all over him and Jerry Reese, too.) If Rivers stays healthy, his physical skills and experience could make him a great pickup for the Giants.

Please remember that even veteran linebackers need a period of adjustment before they get up to full speed when they change teams. Sometimes that period of adjustment takes half a season or more. Kawika Mitchell, Michael Boley, and Antonio Pierce ALL played poorly at the beginning of their Giants careers and it was well into their first season before they hit their stride.

Greg Jones and Spencer Paysinger and Jake Muasau are also in the mix for making the squad. Paysinger has added pounds of muscle and has been praised by Coach Coughlin for improving his game skills. As such, he has the edge over the others. Unfortunately Clint Sintim has not practiced due to injury.

If Keith Rivers, Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams have no lingering health issues (and that is certainly not a given), the Giants might only keep six linebackers.


Corey Webster is a starter and so is Terrell Thomas, if he plays this year.

The big question is whether last year’s first round pick, Prince Amukamara, can start in place of Terrell Thomas. It appears that he has the talent, but like all of last year’s rookies, he started at a disadvantage because of the labor dispute. It is just a question of how long it will take to learn from his mistakes. Will he be ready to be a starter at the beginning of the season? Maybe, maybe not.

Jayron Hosley, the third round pick, has had his moments in camp. He can return punts and is fast and athletic. He is on the small side, but he makes up for that with his athleticism. Although he has done well in camp, as a rookie, it is unlikely that Jayron would be considered as a starter to replace Terrell Thomas. Aside from special teams, I would expect Hosley to cut his teeth on more limited roles, such as nickel and dime back.

Michael Coe and Bruce Johnson are both seasoned veterans and both were injured last year. In camp, Coe gets beaten a lot and Johnson has not looked good either. Johnson had an Achilles tendon injury, so maybe he still needs additional time before he gets all of his speed and quickness back.

Justin Tryon, Dante Hughes, and Antwaun Molden. These backs all have several years of experience and it shows in camp. Of the three, I think Tryon has played the best. Of course, they are playing against the second and third team offenses, so that has to be taken into consideration.


Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips are the unchallenged starters. The question for Rolle is whether he will be a pure safety or whether he will have CB duties in certain defenses as he did last season. At this point in his career Antrel is more effective as safety than as a CB. The answer to the question will depend more on the versatility of the Giants corners and linebackers than on Antrel.

Tyler Sash is a second year player. He was supposed to be the primary backup to Rolle and Phillips. He has had a quiet camp and has been suspended by the League for the first four games of the season for using a banned prescription drug. Safeties are supposed to be smart and that violation was stupid. I don’t know if the Giants will be allowed to put another player in Sash’s slot until Tyler’s suspension is over. If they can’t, it will severely impact the Giants.

The other players competing for the fourth Safety slot are Will Hill, Jojo Nicolas, Stevie Brown and Chris Horton. Stevie Brown came into camp with the most fanfare, but has been quiet while Will Hill has been making a lot of plays. If Hill (who has had off the field problems of his own) continues to play this well, he is going to make the team. At this point, Nicolas, Brown and Horton are longshots to make the team.

Special Teams

Zak DeOssie is the long snapper, Steve Weatherford is the punter and holder for kicks, and Lawrence Tynes is the kicker. All have looked great in practice. Weatherford looks consistent and Tynes has been booming kickoffs and has looked very accurate and long on field goals. It is nice to go into the season having confidence that the kicking and punting will be reliable and consistently at a high level.


“Let’s talk about winning first before we talk about anything else. We need to win some games. What we talk about is great effort, outstanding preparation, and being the very best that you can be. If you are as good as you can possibly be, the rest of that stuff will take care of itself. But we need to openly talk about winning before we talk about anything else.” – Tom Coughlin

My prediction for the coming year: The Giants will go as far as their health will take them.

Aug 132012
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Will Hill, New York Giants (July 28, 2012)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 13, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by Contributor Marty in Albany

On a Cloudy Day, TEs Martellus Bennett and Adrien Robinson Shine

It was good to see LT William Beatty and LB Jake Muasau playing.  Beatty still split a little time with OT Sean Locklear, but not as much as yesterday, I think.  The one time I noticed Muasau, he had good coverage on a short outlet pass that QB Ryan Perrilloux completed to WR Julian Talley.

WR Rueben Randle continues to look smooth as silk catching the ball regardless of whether it is high or low.  He made one of his patented semi over the hip basket catches in one drill and it looked completely natural.  He he made it look so easy.  I bet that there are WRs who would kill to be able to make that catch.  After the catch, I think a coach told him not to do it again.

There was a drill for the RBs on pass blocking.  It looked like RB David Wilson is learning.  It is clear that the Giants want to get Wilson into the game as soon as possible, and not just on special teams.  Speaking of special teams, there was a kickoff return drill and Wilson was the first returner.  He turned on the jets and while running full at speed he veered off by 30 or 40 degrees.  It would have been almost impossible to defend.  The guy leaves me breathless at times.  Wilson also had several outlet passes come his way in the flat (as did the other halfbacks).

CB Jayron Hosley is playing nickel back with the first team.

Eli was not as sharp today as I have seen him.  Perhaps it was the quartering wind.  Anyway, in the 11 on 11 drill, he found TE Martellus Bennett who made a great play by tipping the ball to himself to make the reception.  I did not have a great view of it, nor did I see another of Bennett’s catches.  On that one, all I saw was Bennett whizzing across the field to catch the ball.  On another play, Bennett caught a tipped pass.  I’m not sure if he was the intended target.

WR Ramses Barden had a good day making several fine catches, but so did WR Dan DePalma and WR Isaiah Stanback.  WR Brandon Collins made a great play where he slid and then got up to make the reception.

CB Prince Amukamara had an up and down day.  He did a good job of defending a sideline pass by QB Eli Manning even though it was caught WR Ramses Barden, because the pass was too good.  On the next play Eli victimized CB Corey Webster with an equally good pass to WR Domenik Hixon.

Hixon took Prince to school.  On one pass he made a move which put Prince down on his fanny.  On the following play, Prince managed to remain vertical, but Hixon still got good separation.  Prince did not give up.  In the red zone drill, Prince intercepted an Eli Manning pass.  Also in that drill, CB Jayron Hosley defended a Manning pass intended for WR Victor Cruz over the middle and LB Mathias Kiwanuka was in the backfield to watch Eli make one of his throws.

In other defensive news, Coach Merritt gave S Will Hill a lot of praise.  I don’t know what Hill did, but Merritt said that he was watching and that he liked it.  LB Greg Jones had a fine pass defense by slapping away a Ryan Perrilloux pass in the 7 on 7 drill.  LB Chase Blackburn also had a pass defense on an Eli Manning throw intended for WR Victor Cruz.

There was also good defense from CB Antwaun Molden who intercepted a tipped or juggled pass thrown by QB Ryan Perrilloux in the 11 on 11s.

RB “Jersey Joe” Martinek, as the coach calls him, did not get much play, but he did catch a bubble screen pass from QB Ryan Perrilloux in the 11 on 11s.

In the 11 on 11 drill, QB David Carr was having a pretty good day but had one pass blocked at the line of scrimmage by DT Dwayne Hendricks (?).

TE Adrien Robinson had a pair of catches today.  The best one was in the 7 on 7 drill where he made a diving, tumbling catch of a Manning pass that was defended by LB Greg Jones.  This guy gets better every day.

In the kickoff return drill that I mentioned previously, the name of the Giants’ formation is “Tebow Right.”  That’s an interesting name.  I wonder if it is the religious right.

Aug 122012
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August 12, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by Contributor JohnF

Bits & Bytes “If” Camp Report


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling, 1895

Training camp…the challenges of your body, your mind, and dealing with all the outside influences that prey on the time you need to get ready. “If” was not written with NFL training camps in mind, but it rings true, every stanza of it. This is what camp is all about, and more than camp as well.

After a weekend of rain, Coach Coughlin must be pleased…nice weather the rest of the week that the Giants are here, and it starts off today. Sun’s out, I fire up the Honda, and zoom towards University at Albany. If you haven’t been there recently, it sort of looks like this:

No worries, they say the construction will be over by next year!

The Temp is 80 degrees, dew point 61, humidity at 54%, and a gentle breeze out of the NW at 3 mph. I get my seat between Fields 2 and 3, and get my notebook out! First on the field today is Coach Coughlin, to applause. Then Pat Hanlon shows, and there’s a new slogan on his T-Shirt! (he’s wearing blue shorts, and a gray t-shirt with a “NY” on the front, and BUILD THE BRIDGE on the back!)


The Offense is on Field 2, the Defense on Field 3. Both are going through plays the coaches call. Weatherford, Tynes and DeOssie are on the other end of Field 2, in the end zone, warming up.

Hey, Will Beatty is back, and on the first team! (he didn’t get in a lot of plays, though, but it’s good to see him taking some reps).


Speaking of Weatherford, he runs to the fence (after the extremely loud noise that indicates change on the field), and drops a football to a kid on the other side. No, I haven’t any idea what that was about!

On Field 2, we start with punt returns, which should be fun to watch after the debacles seen in the first preseason game. Back receiving kicks are Hixon, Cruz, Jernigan, Randle and Hosley. The coaches are concentrating on the PK offensive line; it looks like they are working on how to handle various blitzes.

Field 3: The QB’s settle into their regular drills of shotgun snaps and center exchanges with the following; Snee, Baas, Goodin, Parker and White. Once the ball is snapped, the linemen doing the snapping work on blocking a coach who is hitting them with arm shields.


Field 2: Conditioning (sprints, arm waves, backpedals, leg bends, etc).

Field 5: The guys who are not going to practice still loosen up. Sintim, Canty, J. Williams, Nicks, Douglas, Boley and Beckum. No routes for Nicks today, it seems.


Field 3: The QB’s are doing pitch and catch with Bradshaw. Further up the field, the O Line is working on coming out of their stance and blocking drills.

Field 2: More punt returns with Randle, Hixon, Jernigan and Hosley. Jernigan and Hosley use their body too much, I think, and if they aren’t in perfect position to catch the ball it isn’t pretty. Randle and Hixon extend their arms out, and the ball disappears smoothly into their hands.

Bradshaw comes around to our end, and after some chants raises his hat to the crowd (to great applause! This is a LIVE crowd, and attendance continues to be very good).

Field 3: The D Line is standing around, taking instruction from the coaches. Over at the other end of Field 3, the DB’s are doing “gunner” drills – punt return drills, where the player who is a “gunner” has to work around 2 other players trying to block him.


Field 2: The Offense is going through plays at a higher speed.

Field 3: The rotation drill again! This is where you have 4 drills, and the various groups (linemen, LB’s, CB’s and safeties) rotate clockwise to each station. The drills are as follows:

1) Hit the big medicine ball, then go around it and through the gap (line of 2 pylons on the ground).
2) Hit the pop-up QB who has a ball snuggled into one of it’s “arms,” knock it to the ground and the ball from it’s hands, and then fall on the ball to recover it.
3) Break back and catch a ball thrown by one of the coaches.
4) One player will hold the ball, the other will try a “Tomahawk” chop from behind to get the ball out (LT’s signature move).

Field 2: The Offense spits up. The WR’s do 10 yard sprints, up and down the field, then form 2 lines and catch “hot” passes from coaches 10 yards away. The passes can be high, low, to the left or right. The QB’s and RB’s are on another part of Field 2, and are working on proper handoff drills. The TE’s are working on ball security…one tries to rip the ball out of the other’s hands.

Field 4: The O Line is working on keeping their blocking stance through metal bars (think of a Limbo, only the lineman has to keep down until he passes the bar, in his stance).

Field 2: WR’s and CB’s work on press coverage (getting off the line) drills, one on one.

Field 4: The D Line is doing the step across pylons, then dive to recover a fumbled ball at the end of the line.

Field 3: The safeties are breaking back, then forward to intercept balls thrown by one of the coaches.

Field 2: QB’s are working the short pass patterns (flats, outs, slip screen, dinks) with the running backs.

Field 4: The O Line is working on blocking, with the coaches using arm shields.

Field 3: The CB’s have a drill where one plays a WR trying to do a fade catch in the corner of the end zone, while the other defends that pattern.

Field 2: QB’s are throwing long passes to WR’s on the sidelines (probably sideline awareness drill). The TE’s are working on blocking using arm shields.

Field 3: Now it’s the LB’s turn to work on back pedaling and trying to cover someone going to the corner of the end zone.

Field 4: D Line is working on flowing to one side, then hitting the gaps in the line (the line being pylons on the ground).

Field 3: The DB’s are now together working on different drop back coverages.

Field 5: O Line stance drills.

Field 2: RB’s working on flat and out patterns (the coaches are throwing to them).

Field 5: The O Line splits into two groups; the tackles are working on pass blocking, the guards are working on blocking a line of dummies.

Field 2: Gilbride calls out plays with the QB’s, RB’s and TE’s; they go through their pass patterns as a group. Further down Field 2, the DB’s and WR’s work on 1 on 1 patterns into the end zone.

Field 4: The Offensive Line does 5 on 5 with the D Line.


Field 2: 11 on 11, Offense vs Defense

Eli: Bradshaw up the middle. Play action pass trying to hit Hixon, but he’s covered by Brown and Eli throws over his head. Bear with a dink over the middle. Bradshaw up the middle, then Bear on a seam pass on the right side.

Carr: Barden with a nice catch over Coe in the left flat. Brown with a middle screen. Brown now goes off tackle. Bennett with a nice catch in the left flat vs Jones. Then Brown in the flat.

(In what’s becoming a new tradition, the player who goes to the port-a-potties by the fence facing Field 3 gets huge applause…the other day it was Rolle, today it’s JPP!)

Eli: Hixon makes a beautiful adjustment while the ball’s in the air to get to a long right sideline pass vs Corey. Cruz then with a signature middle curl catch. Ware off tackle right. Bradshaw with a sweep left that’s strung out and ended by Rolle.

Carr: Throws a bad pass to Barden’s wrong shoulder on the right sideline, incomplete. Scott catches a left out, then runs up the middle, then it’s Brown up the middle, then Scott again up the middle!

Perrilloux: Talley catches one in the right flat, then Ryan overthrows Donnell on a right out. Wilson up the middle…gone! Then Wilson slips on a hand off, no play.


Canty and Beckum walk off to the locker room.

Field 2: The offense is working on running plays full speed. There are gadgets! (End around pass for TD; RB sweep and toss for TD!) as well as the normal stuff.

Field 3: Couldn’t be sure, but the defense might have put in some Wildcat work.

Uh oh…Brewer is walking off the field with a coach, and he leans foward, as if he cannot stand upright. He then points to his lower back. The cart comes out, and he goes right to the locker room, in obvious pain.


Field 2: 11 on 11 Offense vs Defense

Eli: Handoff to Bradshaw up the middle. Hixon gets one in the left flat. Ware up the middle. Barden can’t handle a pass on the right flat.

Carr: Brown off tackle left. DePalma with a bad drop on the right sideline. Brown up the middle.

Perrilloux: DePalma comes back with a seam pass right. Stanback with a nice catch of a left curl rocket from Ryan, then again with a catch in the right flat (he looked to be the third option there).

(JPP has his shirt off, and one of the coaches is working on his shoulder pads.)


Field 3: Hey, the old net Coach Palmer used to bring out is back! This is the one with three holes cut into it…the holes are the size of a football if you laid it on the ground, both height and width, with the holes starting lower left and ending upper right!)

The QB’s have to go back, then forward, then left, then right, then pass and try to get the balls through the holes. Eli’s done this before, and he gets two “holes in one,” to great applause. Ryan gets one, but the ball bounces back, and Eli waves it off (to great laughter!)…Ryan is hot and cold on this, as he overthrows the net at one point. Carr comes close, but no cigar.

Field 2: Punt returns by Hosley, Jernigan, Hixon and Randle. I’d hate to be #12, as he drops one of the punts by Weatherford!!!


Field 2: Seven on Seven!

Before we start, Eli brings the offense in, starts back, then turns around and tosses the ball right to the guy in the back endzone film tower…as if to say “Hey, you ready for this??” The crowd roars…Eli is really having fun out there, and it shows (he’s also got the camp beard going, and it looks good on him!)

Eli: Hixon with a drag over the middle vs Corey. Then Eli looks to Barden on the right, then throws to Bennett on a middle curl. Jernigan with a nice catch up the right sideline. Bear with a dink over the middle. Barden with a catch on the right flat vs Corey.

Carr: No one is open. Then Robinson up the middle on a slant. Jernigan with a middle dink. Collins with a catch in the left flat. David overthrows Stanback on the left sideline.

Perrilloux: Randle with a drag catch over the middle. Robinson with a curl over the middle. DePalma with a right slant catch, then Collins with a right flat catch.

Field 3: The O Line splits into two groups, tackles and guards…both are working on combating defensive swim moves and other techniques.

Field 3: Offensive Line vs Defensive Line.


Field 2: 11 vs 11 Offense vs Defense

Eli: Bradshaw with a sweep right. Play action then a pass to Ware in the right flat. A rare bad pass from Eli that’s thrown well over Jernigan’s head; Rolle intercepts! Ware up the middle.

Carr: Johnson and Brown with great double coverage on Jernigan, David has to overthrow the pass or else it’s intercepted. Wilson off tackle left. Carr comes back strong against Johnson and Brown, with Robinson splitting them on the left sideline. Then David fumbles the exchange. Donnell with a nice seam pass, followed by Scott up the middle.

Perrilloux: PLAY OF THE DAY! A PERFECT pass down the right sideline to Bennett; Hill has great coverage on him, but that pass beats 99% of the corners in the NFL – it’s dropped in perfectly over the shoulder for a TD!! Then Wilson up the middle.


Field 2: Green Zone, Offense vs Defense 11 on 11!

Eli: Bradshaw with a handoff up the middle. Play action screen left to Bennett, but Kiwi sniffs it out. Corey with a blatant hold on Hixon on the right sideline, so the pass is incomplete.

Carr: Brown goes up the middle, but Herzlich is right there. Shotgun then a dink to Bennett in the middle for a TD, but someone blew a coverage…that was TOO easy! Robinson on a dink, but Jones is right there.

Perrilloux: Scott up the middle, no gain. Wilson off tackle right.


Field 2: The offense turns around, and has a full field against the defense.

Eli: Bradshaw off tackle left, but Corey plugs that hole. There’s a pass, but I can’t see what happened.

Carr: Brown up the middle with Bear as fullback, no gain. Brown off tackle left. Then someone on the defense blocks the pass from David…and practice is over! The rubber bands come out!

What you didn’t see after practice

Not only the players use the rubber bands to stretch; Gilbride and some of the other coaches were using them!

Eli grabs Jernigan and goes over where he expects JJ to be on a route…you can see him point one way, then another.

The team circles around after stretching, then you hear the chant of “TEAM,” then they split into smaller circles (usually by position), and then break up.

Perrilloux is working with Goodin on the center exchange. One thing I see with Ryan…he is dynamite when he just goes back and throws the ball. If he can speed up his progressions, I think he would throw better passes, and be a viable #2 or better. As I’ve said before, this guy could really use a year in the Arena League…if you talk to Kurt Warner, the Arena League really is great for a QB to learn how to get the ball off quickly, and it makes the NFL seem to “slow down.”

Eli does some sprints, up and down the field. He then hits the Gatorade bar, and waves to the crowd as the “Eli” chants start.

The TE’s do some pitch and catch.

Hendricks (who’s been impressive), Ojomo, Kuhn (who’s sporting a Thor haircut!), Broha and other defensive players do sideline to sideline sprints on Field 3.

Talley and Molden work on press coverage drills.

Bennett does what he’s been doing all camp…he runs 10 yards, turns around and catches the ball from a coach, then goes another 10 yards and repeats until he gets to one end zone, then back again. This guy is serious, and I think he’s going to shock the league this year.

Aug 122012
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August 12, 2012 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by Contributor Marty in Albany

William Beatty Returns to Practice;
TE Adrien Robinson Shows Promise

As would be expected, the first practice after a game is in shorts and shells.  The hitting was light, but the exhortations of the coaches was heavy.  They were trying to get the players to get back to work and not let down.  I think they were successful.  The practice was crisp.

As you might expect after handing Jacksonville two turnovers on muffs by CB Jayron Hosley and WR Jerrel Jernigan, the Giants worked on returning punts.  The Giants are nothing if not consistent.  Jayron and Jerrel each muffed a punt this afternoon.  There was no wind, no pressure and no excuse.  Well, maybe.  Jerrel’s muff may have been on a punt that was out of bounds.  I could not tell from where I was standing.

William Beatty was back in practice.  He was the starter and he shared time with Sean Locklear.  Da’Rel Scott was also back to practice.  He made sure to run out all his catches.  I think he wanted to show everyone that he is fully healthy.

It is unusual for a camp report to single out the tight ends as a unit, but that is the case.  TE Martellus Bennett continues to make catches, including a TD catch on a QB David Carr pass in what appeared to be a goal line drill.  He made another nice catch on a play action pass from QB Ryan Perrilloux and another play action pass from Eli Manning.

There was a play where Eli Manning had nobody open and he tossed the ball to Bennett in the backfield.  Bennett had nowhere to go and took a big loss.  What that play showed me is that Eli trusts Bennett.  I think that is a good sign.  TE Larry Donnell also had a fine catch today,  showing speed and receiving skill.

As usual, TE Bear Pascoe had a few catches.  He looks best when he catches the ball in stride and continues in that direction.  When he turns to catch a pass in place, with his chest facing the QB, he kind of stands there instead of immediately pivoting to turn and run down the field.

The winner of the most improved award has to go to TE Adrien Robinson.  He did more today than in the rest of camp combined.  He showed decent speed and a lot of fluidity in making a bunch of catches throughout the practice.  That included a TD catch in the goal line drill from QB David Carr and three or four others that showed great promise.  He made a great running catch in the 7 on 7 drill of a QB Ryan Perrilloux pass that he caught in full stride.  I don’t know when this kid will be ready to play, but he has the tools to be a good receiver.

A word about WR Rueben Randle.  In the 7 on 7 drill, he caught a ball crossing over the middle running flat out.  It was thrown very hard by QB Ryan Perrilloux.  The timing on that kind of play has to be perfect, or the throw will miss the receiver completely.  But even though it was perfectly placed, it was a fastball and Randle was running as hard as he could.  I was amazed that he caught the ball.  IMO that is too dangerous a play for a real game, but it shows how talented a receiver Rueben is.  One more thing.  Rueben’s got a strong arm.  He threw one ball about 50 yards.

The defense had its moments today.  Antrel Rolle stepped in the way of an Eli Manning pass intended for WR Jerrel Jernigan and had an easy interception.

QB David Carr had a pass knocked down at the line at the very end of the practice.  I could not see who got his hand up to block it.

There was a 1 on 1 drill and S Tyler Sash made a good play to defend an Eli Manning pass to TE Martellus Bennett.  S Stevie Brown, who IMO has had a very quiet camp, made a good play to defend a Manning pass intended for TE Bear Pascoe.  That was followed by Jayron Hosley making a good defensive play on Dan DePalma? Jerrel Jernigan? I really don’t know.

In the one on one drill, TE Adrien Robinson was not to be denied.  He caught the ball easily despite being covered by S Chris Horton.  I think this catch inspired Robinson and he played great for the rest of the practice.

In this same drill, CB Corey Webster broke up QB Ryan Perrilloux’s pass to WR Victor Cruz and S Will Hill stayed close enough to TE Christian Hopkins to force a bad pass from Perrilloux.