August 8, 2007 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Evening Practice)

by Contributor Marty in Albany

The Giants were not in full pads but in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts Ð “uppers” as Coughlin calls it. It was a warm day and perhaps the shorts were warranted. The stationary bicycle peloton consisted of DT Fred Robbins, CB E.J. Underwood, S Michael Stone, CB Aaron Ross, DE Osi Umenyiora, and WR Plaxico Burress.

There had been reports that QB Jared Lorenzen had injured his throwing hand. He appeared to be okay and throwing without restraint. He overthrew WR Sinorice Moss on a pass that traveled at least 50 yards in the air.

Overall, I think the defense looked sharp in defending the run regardless of whether it was first, second or third teams. DE Adrian Awason filled in for Osi Umenyiora. Osi is on the one practice a day schedule and I guess this morning’s walk-through counted as a practice.

QB Eli Manning was intercepted twice. The first was a deep pass that was under-thrown and picked off by CB Corey Webster. The slanting rays of the sun, if anything, added to the difficulty of the pick. Corey had a good day and I believe had another pass defense. The second Eli interception was by FS Gibril Wilson. It was an endzone drill and a long way off. It looked like Eli threw behind the intended receiver and right to Gibril.

Let’s not dwell on the negatives, Eli Manning made a lot of excellent throws with tight spirals, that were on target and in rhythm. Sinorice Moss got open in the endzone and Eli lead him perfectly for a TD in an endzone drill. Sinorice caught another TD from QB Anthony Wright, I believe. Eli seems to be working on his touch passing with several short passes that lead his receivers nicely. There were several to TE Darcy Johnson. Eli also tossed an effective shovel pass to RB Reuben Droughns, who continues to look like a great pick up for the Giants. Although Darcy Johnson continues to look good, he messed up an easy catch in one drill and heard about if from TE coach Mike Pope.

The practice was on Field 1. The spectators were behind one endzone and much of the practice was held at the opposite end of the field. Binoculars were the order of the day.

TE Kevin Boss fulfilled his minimum daily requirement of one spectacular sideline catch per practice. In an end zone drill, I believe, he made a super leaping catch in heavy traffic for a TD. He makes those types of catches with grace and also under control. This makes them even more impressive. When Boss returned to the sideline after the catch, he was greeted by TE Jeremy Shockey with a leaping high five and chest bump. Although Jeremy was dressed, he did not see a lot of action.

Two offensive drills deserve mention. The running backs were practicing holding the ball like Tiki Barber (high and in front) while others were attempting to punch the ball out of their grasp.

The second drill was an option pass drill. The coach would toss the ball to a running back who would run several steps and then throw the ball to a second running back who was already in motion about 15 yards away. RB Brandon Jacobs looked great in this drill. When he was the passer he make an accurate throw. When he was the receiver, RB Ahmad Bradshaw lead him by an impossibly large margin, but Jacobs accelerated and caught up to the ball. It was impressive.

Aside from his speed, Brandon Jacobs continues to demonstrate quickness and agility. It does not seem reasonable to describe a 260 pound man as a “darting runner,” but there it is. Brandon may have the talent and ability to run over a lot of small defensive backs and fake defensive linemen and linebackers out of their socks. If he can throw the option pass as well, perhaps Kevin Boss will get a TD catch from Brandon. Scary!

At the beginning of practice, LB Zak DeOssie was practicing long snaps to P Jeff Feagles. I thought his snaps were accurate and had more pace than those of C/G Grey Ruegamer. Zak’s feet also seemed to keep more solid contact with the ground as he snapped the ball. It was a definite improvement over recent practices.

PK Josh Huston practiced four on-side kicks. He seems to have a talent for it as they were all very recoverable. Maybe he was just having a good day, but they were far more consistent than past Giants kickers I’ve seen. He also kicked off five times. One landed at the 10-yard line and a line-drive kick (his worst by far) landed at the 5. The other three were at, or well inside the end zone. PK Lawrence Tynes did not participate in these drills.

Josh Huston and Lawrence Tynes also tried some field goals at the other end of the field. I could not really see how well they were doing.

In a warm-up drill with no defenders, QB Tim Hasselbeck threw a ball that was behind WR Steve Smith, but Smith reached around and caught it with one hand. Catching a ball when there is no defender is usually nothing to brag about, but this was an exception. Smith also made a leaping TD catch of a pass from QB Anthony Wright in the 11-on-11 end zone drill.

In the option pass drill, after RB Derrick Ward caught his pass, he threw the ball on the ground in such a way as to make it spin like a top. TE Jeremy Shockey does this all the time. It wasn’t quite as good as when Shockey does it, but it was good enough for some cheap applause, which I think was Ward’s intention all along, as the drill was conducted right in front of the fans. Ward also caught a bullet pass in stride from QB Anthony Wright with no difficulty at all.

Amani Toomer continues to run, cut, get open, and make catches. However, I don’t think that he is running flat out, nor should he unless he is 100
percent healthy.

At the end of a running play, DT Jonas Seawright demonstrated a bit of irrational exuberance by putting a shoulder into RB Ahmad Bradshaw. I was clearly after the play was over and Ahmad was lying motionless on top of a pile of players. Seawright will undoubtedly hear about it from Coach Coughlin and it may cause a short-term decline in his stock value.

WR Kevin McMahon rand down field, got a 5-yard lead on CB Travonti Johnson, and caught a very deep pass from Anthony Wright, I believe. It would have been an impressive 60-yard TD. It was perhaps the most exciting play of the practice. Several of QB Anthony Wright’s other passes had a little too much air under them and had poor results, including an interception by DB Richard Yancy of a ball that appeared to bounce out of Kevin McMahon’s

QB Tim Hasselbeck is fourth on the depth chart and does not get many chances. Perhaps that is why in the 11-on-11s there was a fumbled snap. It was the only fumble of the practice and it spoiled what I thought was a pretty decent practice by Hasselbeck. On the very next play, Tim found WR Sinorice Moss in the end zone for a 5-yard TD.

Coach Tom Coughlin, ever the brutal taskmaster, ended the practice 20 minutes early. There is a nasty rumor that Major Tom won’t let his players put marshmallows in their cocoa, but I for one, do not believe it.