AUGUST 12, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
Maybe it was the drizzling rain slowly coming down in East Rutherford, bouncing off the helmets of the Giants attempting to hold practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Maybe it was the wind, whipping around the practice field. Maybe, just maybe, the offense still doesn’t understand Ben McAdoo’s West Coast scheme.
Either way, it wasn’t a pretty practice for the Giants’ offense at the team’s training camp today. There were more interceptions, more drops, more bad passes and few big plays. Not even the attendance of Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress could spring life into Manning and the offense.
On to the report…
THE WALKING WOUNDED...
A couple of the players that missed practice yesterday returned today. Victor Cruz, Marcus Harris and Jayron Hosley were all back. Odell Beckham Jr. went from doing just individual work, to some seven-on-seven reps, too.
Then, there were those that were still out. Xavier Grimble (hamstring), Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), Trindon Holliday (hamstring), Jerrel Jernigan (knee), Mike Patterson (shoulder), John Conner (concussion), Xavier Grimble (hamstring) and Jon Beason (foot) were absent again.
Brandon McManus needed to have a near perfect camp if he hoped to upset Josh Brown for the Giants kicking spot on the 53-man roster. Today certainly didn’t help his cause.
- Yesterday was punt/punt return; today was kick/kick return. Your returners? Preston Parker, Quintin Demps and Marcus Harris. Your up-men? Henry Hynoski, Marcus Harris, Andre Williams and Michael Cox.
- I said it was an ugly day for McManus…and it was. The kicker went 2-for-4 with both kicks missing wide. One of the two he made did drill the cameraman atop the crane. At this point, it looks like Josh Brown has the position all but wrapped up. McManus has a cannon for a leg, he just needs consistency. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a good player in the league in a few years, he’s just not there yet.
There were a few interesting drills run during the individual portion of practice. The most interesting? A little-league style tackling drill that the defensive linemen seemed to get a kick out of. Players stood facing each other. When the coach yelled, ‘Go!’ all would wrap up, then roll-tackle the player to the ground. I don’t think one defensive lineman got through this without laughing.
- One little funny incident happened during a linebacker drill: Jim Herrman yelled for ‘Spencer’ to run from the left side to the right. The result? Both Spencer Adkins and Spencer Paysinger jogged over. Herrman laughed and said he meant “Megatron” which means Adkins.
- In a drill with just the offense, Odell Beckham Jr. worked with the second team. The Giants do need him to catch on and get going quickly. The offense right now just doesn’t have the playmakers to be effective. Beckham was supposed to be counted on, but he hasn’t been on the field.
As always, the first team-oriented drill the Giants run (aside from special teams) is the two-minute drill. Normally, like it was today, the Giants’ starting offense matches up against the starting defense.
- For the time being, Curtis Painter is the Giants No. 2 quarterback. Again today Painter took all reps with the third team as Ryan Nassib worked with the threes.
- Eli Manning hit Rueben Randle for a deep play down the right sideline. Zack Bowman was in coverage and Randle simply jumped over top of the veteran to make the catch.
- While he saw some snaps at center during the Giants’ preseason game versus the Steelers, Weston Richburg has worked entirely at left guard these last two practices.
- I’ve seen this quite a bit and I wouldn’t be surprised if it translates to a game: the shovel pass. Manning, Painter and Nassib have all gone to it the last couple practices.
- The more practices that go by, the more likely it appears Mario Manningham will not be a part of the Giants in 2014. Not only is he suddenly buried on the depth chart, but Manningham has now dropped six passes in his last two practices.
The Giants offense and defense split into two. The quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs did some one-on-one drills while the running backs, defensive linemen and offensive linemen did some running drills. Another tell-take sign that Nassib is struggling – he was the quarterback handing the ball off while Painter and Manning threw to the receivers.
- Manningham dropped one of his three passes during this drill.
- In a one-on-one matchup, Quintin Demps had very good coverage on Corey Washington. On a slant, Demps got inside position to take the route away.
- Walter Thurmond III had good coverage on a slant attempt to Victor Cruz. Cruz came up a bit limp, but was back for the next series.
- A nice battle between Washington and Rodgers-Cromartie. Cromartie came away with a nice defense on blanket coverage
I said it in the last report, I’ll say it again. A Giants’ training camp practice isn’t a Giants’ training camp practice until the defense starts intercepting some passes. Yesterday, it was during the 11-on-11. Today, it was the seven-on-seven.
- Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz for a deep touchdown on a flag route past Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. By my count, that’s the first long ball Cruz has pulled in during camp.
- Odell Beckham Jr. took part in his first drill which involved a defense. The results? Not pretty. The first two reps Beckham got both ended in interceptions. The first, Manning went to him on a slant that Amukamara came away with. The second involved Curtis Painter forcing the ball and Jayron Hosley picking it off. On another play, Beckham ran a curl and and Ross Weaver batted it out of his hands.
- Michael Cox dropped a very, very easy pass out of the backfield.
There wasn’t much taking place during either of these two portions of practice. My guess? It was the end of the day, the rain was coming down and the wind whipping around. No one looked good. It wasn’t pretty.
- This is where Mario Manningham’s third drop occurred. Easy curl, Rodgers-Cromartie batted it out.
- A skirmish broke out between Damontre Moore and Weston Richburg. Just as punches were going to be thrown, several players broke it up. Moore didn’t like something that happened and was going after Richburg.
- Ryan Nassib hit Travis Harvey for a long touchdown, sort of. It was a busted coverage and Nassib was ‘sacked’ before the pass was thrown.
- Touchdown pass from Curtis Painter to Kellen Davis in the back of the end zone in the red zone. Busted coverage.
- Kendall Gaskins fumbled the ball very early on a carry. Either he didn’t get the handoff quickly, or a defensive lineman had great hands.
- Bennett Jackson hasn’t had the strongest of camps, both before the foot injury and after. He was beat by Preston Parker for a touchdown on a flag route. Ryan Nassib threw it.
Two previous times the Giants had run a timed two-minute drill. Once it was second-string versus second-string, then it was third-string versus third-string. Today? The ones went at it. The result? A turnover on downs for the offense. They may have picked up one first down and that was discrediting the two would-be sacks by Jason Pierre-Paul.
The second-to-last training camp practice will be held on Wednesday from 1:20-3:30pm.