July 31, 2006 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Morning Practice)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor jaenyg

Practice was in the lower fields this morning which makes it difficult to observe without the vantage point of the hills that border the upper fields. Therefore I don’t have a very detailed play-by-play analysis (a la Beez), just some small tidbits in no particular order.

QB Eli Manning really throws a very nice swing pass. This is an underrated aspect of the NFL. A swing pass has to arrive with perfect timing leading the back perfectly with enough velocity to get there before defenders can swarm but smoothly enough so the back can catch it. Eli does this and HB Brandon Jacobs looks nice catching them also.

LB Nick McNeil hit somebody (HB James Sims I think) hard today sending them to the ground. This led to many things: (1) The entire defense got hyped, not just those on the field, but everyone on the sidelines, especially LB LaVar Arrington, who started jumping up and down like a kid for like five minutes. The buzz lasted 5-10 minutes. (2) The entire offense got pissed, especially TE Jeremy Shockey, who got so livid he tried to run on the field to fight McNeil, but was restrained. His anger took a while to cool off. (3) Head Coach Tom Coughlin ran to the next defensive huddle and bugged out on McNeil with a nice curse storm. He was so crazy that MLB Chase Blackburn couldn’t get the call from Defensive Coordinator Tim Lewis until the last second.

The whole incident got everybody fired up for sure. Later on I was talking to a buddy of mine who is one of the beat reporters about the incident and he said he was talking to Arrington yesterday and Arrington said when he was in his second year there was an undrafted linebacker who was always hitting and starting fights and got himself noticed by everybody. His name: Antonio Pierce. I thought that was cool.

Speaking of Shockey, he was really animated today. He waltzed onto the field of play after every play that he is not apart of to hand out enthusiastic congratulations to offensive players. He has always been like a defensive mentality on offense ever since the Hall of Fame game in 2002, and that is what I love most about him. He really was paying close attention to Shank (TE Visanthe Shiancoe) today. One play where the ball was overthrown to Shank when Brandon Short had coverage on him, Shockey ran onto the field and yelled, “How you gonna let HIM cover you”. He didn’t let it go either, continuing to rip Shank at the huddle. Later when Shank caught a nice long pass, Shockey ran all the way out to him to give him a high five. The two seem to a have a nice bond, and Shockey seems intent on firing Shank up.

One play OC Shaun O’Hara got poked in the eye and he took his helmet off to attend to his eye. Not one trainer, coach, or player came to his aid, except for one. Guess who? LaVar Arrington. He really seems like a TEAM guy and I think he will go out of his way to make plays this year. During coverage drills today, Tim Lewis was directing most of his attention to Arrington. I don’t think it was because LA was not understanding the defense, just because he is new and will be such an integral part of the team, Lewis wants to make sure he is on the same page.

I saw LB Carlos Emmons coaching up Brandon Short a bit as well.

I have been to three practices so far and CB Sam Madison seems to get abused in every one by either WR Plaxico Burress or WR Amani Toomer. CB Corey Webster has looked better in my opinion.

Will Demps sat today out and was replaced by Quentin Harris. I am a little worried about who will be quarterbacking the secondary now that Alexander is gone. This was an underrated aspect of Alexander’s game that will be missed. I am pretty sure the team is looking at Demps to be that guy but I have yet to see him be that vocal pre-snap.

Coughlin paid close attention to the defensive back drills today and was very attentive to CB Curtis Deloatch. Deloatch got semi-burned by WR Willie Ponder today, but QB Jared Lorenzen underthrew it and Deloatch made a leaping beauty of an interception on the ball, just getting his feet in bounds. It drew big praise from the staff.

WR Michael Jennings is this year’s Juan Dawson, this year’s Atavious Cash. His only hope was for WR Tim Carter to falter but Carter as actually looked good and has been in for every practice.