by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany
This evening, the Giants practiced in full pads on the infamous lower fields, where visibility is often obscured. As a result, I may have missed a number of interesting plays, or plays were the QBs made brilliant passes (although I didn’t hear and thunderous cheers), so forgive me when I say that the passing was no more than ordinary. QB Eli Manning had some good throws, but there were poor ones where CB Sam Madison was the only Giant withing 10 yards of his pass. There was poor judgment on a throw to TE Jeremy Shockey. He was was well-covered by two defenders and it was incomplete. There was a pass that Eli had to eat because he found nobody open.
The other QBs were no better. Jared Lorenzen, seemingly no worse for wear after being tackled by CB Kevin Dockery, missed on a number of passes. He still waits too long to find a receiver. Waiting that long in a game would very likely end as a sack. Anthony Wright still lofts the ball a bit too much on deep passes, and Tim Hasselbeck… well actually, Tim had some decent throws although a handoff to RB DeCori Birmingham landed on the ground (I think) and if so, whether the problem was the mesh or whether it was just a fumble by DeCori, I could not tell.
There was a lot of switching tonight with the second- and third-team offense going up against the first-team defense and the first-team offense against the second- and third-team defenses.
It was a large crowd tonight, despite there being a significant decrease in fan attendance compared to last year. I say this because the guy who counts the fans wandered by my viewing location and told me. He said that the reason for the drop off in attendance was Tiki Barber’s retirement. Apparently, last year lots of fans came to camp to get Tiki’s autograph.
Kicker Josh Huston did all the kicking while Lawrence Tynes watched. Maybe they are resting Tynes’ leg. Josh practiced some on-side kicks, which he does very well. The Giants later practiced an on-side drill and one was recovered and one went out of bounds. Josh also kicked 3 or 4 field goals. The longest was about 45 yards. They were all powerful and straight. The snaps supplied by DT Jay Alford had excellent direction and velocity. Josh, unlike the QBs, was “on” tonight. His kickoffs were also excellent: high and deep. It is only one practice, but it was a very good one for Josh.
There were 8 or 9 stationary bicycles and a Cybex machine waiting for the injured Giants. TE Kevin Boss was using the Cybex as well he should. Although he is big, his biceps and triceps are not. Jeremy Shockey may have tweaked an upper leg muscle during the practice. Toward the end of practice, he seemed to be running at half speed to make a catch from Eli. With Kevin Boss and TE Darcy Johnson injured, and Jeremy Shockey doing fewer reps, the other tight ends had an opportunity to shine and TE Charles Davis seized the opportunity. He must have caught 5 or 6 passes from various QBs. Davis showed excellent balance and hands, and surprising speed. Again, this was only one practice, but a very good one for Davis.
WRs Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress were not dressed (which may be responsible for the QB’s less than stellar showing), nor were DBs Trevanti Johnson and Michael Stone. Although WR David Tyree made an excellent deep catch, neither Sinorice Moss nor Steve Smith made any long catches so far as I could tell.
CB E.J. Underwood was dressed and he might have defensed a pass. Rookie first round CB Aaron Ross was dressed and was in the right place to intercept an errant pass that was knocked about 20 feet straight up into the air.
When I see 5-8 CB Kevin Dockery walking along side 6-4 WR Anthony Mix it seems unreasonable to ask Dockery to cover him. Later in the practice, in a goal line drill, Dockery found himself covering 6-6 TE Charles Davis. Although Dockery was on him like glue, if the pass had not been a yard over Davis’ head, it would have been an easy and unstoppable TD catch.
FB Robert Douglas continues to catch the ball out of the backfield with seeming ease. RB Ahmad Bradshaw did not get many chances to touch the ball tonight.
There was one razzle-dazzle play. It was a “hook and ladder,” but it was during a drill rather than in the 11-on-11s like the other plays that I’ve described above.
LT Guy Whimper played with the first team for a number of plays as well as with the second team. The second-team OL consists of Whimper and G Zach Piller on the left, C Grey Ruegamer, and G Matt Lentz and T Jonathan Dunn on the right. It was hard to see, but it looked like William Joseph was back at tackle with the second-team defense.