August 8, 2006 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Both Practice Sessions)
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor TrueBlueMike
QB Eli Manning: Eli was very sharp. I only saw two negatives, the first was an interception. The second was a slightly underthrown deep ball that made WR Tim Carter slow down a little bit. The interception however was thrown right at the defender. I didn’t get a good look at who caught it but it was right at him so it wasn’t to hard to catch. After the play though, TE Jeremy Shockey came back upset with his arms waving in the air like he usually does when he is upset. My assumption is that Shockey messed up his pattern or Eli was expecting him to go in the opposite direction. Either way, one of the two screwed up. Other then those two plays I thought Eli was good. His throws were tight – he actually threw spirals and most of his passes where complete. Two thing I still see him doing however are throwing off his back foot, and locking on to his primary receiver.
Backup Quarterbacks: I know it is obviously not up to me but if it were, Jared Lorenzen would be the backup. He throws a harder ball than any backup we have and probably even harder than Eli. He is accurate and he makes his decisions very quickly. He does tend to double-clutch on his passes, however, and it would be easy for the defenders to see when he is going to throw. I didn’t really care for Rob Johnson at all. And Tim Hasselbeck the same. They both do not have much power behind their throws. They were accurate for the most part however. I think Hasselbeck is falling in the depth chart.
Running Backs: As others have said, Tiki Barber looks good for the few times he touches the ball and no one will touch him either. Of course that may be because it was the morning session and everyone was in pads. The backup to me should be Brandon Jacobs no question. He can catch, runs hard, and is actually lowering his shoulders when he gets to the pile. He seems a little faster than last year as well.
Wide Receivers: I don’t know what everyone’s problem with Plaxico Burress is but I thought he did very well in practice. He caught everything thrown to him and the timing between him and Eli looks good. Plax caught a nice touchdown that was thrown to high for anyone to get but him. That was thrown by Eli as well. He caught a quick slant from Eli that got a few cheers. I didn’t get a chance to see many other receivers though. The view I had wasn’t that great. I did see Amani Toomer drop a gimme in the endzone (thrown by Eli) but other then that he played well.
Tight Ends: I will get to Shockey in a minute but I will start with Visanthe Shiancoe. I was really impressed with Shank at first – he caught a few nice balls, then towards the end he dropped an easy one right in his hands. Now to Shockey – and this is coming from one of his biggest supporters. The dude has to grow up and stop complaining when things don’t go his way. See above about Eli’s interception. The positives however are that he cheers his teammates on when he is not on the field especially Shank, and he seems a little faster. Also, when he catches the ball he seems to start moving up field faster then he did last year. I say when he catches the ball because he dropped two easy passes right in his hands, one from Eli and one from another quarterback (I can’t remember who it was though).
I didn’t really pay attention to the defense to as they were not in pads so I don’t have much to say about them. I was going to focus on them more during the second session.
Ok here’s the deal – because I got such a horrible view of the field in the morning session, I decided to get to practice about an hour early. I got what I thought would be the perfect spot right on the 50-yard line. I would be able to take good pictures from whatever angle. Well little did I know that the media would decide to stand right in front of me the whole time. So I had a horrible view and was not able to take many pictures.
The one thing I can say about the night practice is that from what I saw, the defense pretty much dominated. At the beginning of practice, Eli tried to throw a screen pass that got picked off by a leaping DE Justin Tuck and he ran it into the endzone. The one positive I got from the offense from this session was a deep pass that Eli threw to Plax that was caught. It was a beautiful pass and catch. Other than that, the defense broke plays up or stopped them in the backfield or the receivers just kept dropping the ball.
I saw two trick plays in the evening session – both failed. The first was a reverse to Toomer that got stopped in the backfield and the second was a reverse that turned into an incomplete pass from Plax to Toomer. S James Butler got there just in time to break up the pass. I do believe, however, that if Plax threw the ball a little quicker then it would have been completed for six.
I will also say that I do not know how WR Willie Ponder will make the team this year as all I have seen him do is drop passes.
I do have one more comment on Jacobs as well. On one play, a receiver fumbled the ball after the reception. CB R.W. McQuarters picked the ball up and ran straight down the sideline. (On a side note, CB Curtis Deloatch, who wasn’t even in the play, started yelling something and started running down the sideline blocking for him with his helmet in his hand.) Well anyway, Jacobs came from the other end of the field to make what would have been a tackle near the other endzone, preventing a touchdown, and he was the only offensive player to run down to stop it. This is just another reason why I like Jacobs to be Tiki’s backup.