August 9, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Afternoon Practice)

by Contributor Marty in Albany

The Giants were in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts on this warm sunny afternoon. A big crowd saw WR Steve Smith finally return to practice. It was good to see him leap high in the air for a catch during a warm-up drill. During the 11 on 11s, Manning threw to him twice. He caught one easily. On the second throw, the two appeared to be out of sync.

I know that most of BBI watched the Giants-Lions game with great interest. Please realize that it was only one game and should not by the basis to conclude that this or that player is a bust or a HOFer. Needless to say, S Michael Johnson was still playing with the first team the one time I checked.

There was no change in the second team offensive line and LB Zak DeOssie is still long-snapping for punts. Speaking of punts, CB R.W. McQuarters, HB Ahmad Bradshaw and WR Domenik Hixon were returning punts. It was especially difficult today because they had to look right up into the sun to catch the punts. They shaded their eyes like outfielders making a catch. There were no muffs.

There was also kickoff returning. Hixon, Bradshaw, and maybe significantly, HB Danny Ware (rather than HB Reuben Droughns) were the returners. Ware is significantly slower than Hixon and a less elusive runner than Bradshaw, but he has 35 pounds on Bradshaw and 50 pounds on Hixon.

In the 11 on 11s (and there were no 7 on 7s today), Hixon caught a nice comeback catch from Manning. It was a sliding catch reminiscent of the sliding catches that Jeremy Shockey used to make and it evoked the same oohs and aahs from the fans. Later, Hixon caught a look-in pass from Manning that was very much in tempo.

Manning also hit WR Sinorice Moss on a pass over CB Kevin Dockery. The fans cheered. They want to see Moss do well. Moss had another good catch from QB Anthony Wright, I think. However on a medium length, sideline pass from QB André Woodson, Moss could only get one hand on the ball. He tapped it up into the air and tried catch it as he dove to the ground, but it was a few inches past his fingertips. Returning to the huddle, Moss said one brief emphatic word, unfit for publication. Depending on how you want to look at Moss’s incompletion you could say, “A taller receiver would have caught the ball” or you could say, “Only Moss is quick enough to even get that close to the ball.” Who knows?

Except for Hixon, who had a great day receiving, most of the receivers had one or two good catches followed by a messed up pass play. Manning and Wright got the lion’s share of the reps today. In his competition with QB David Carr, looks like Wright is holding his own or even pulling away, but by no means has Wright been brilliant or Carr horrible. Woodson got a few reps, but not much for the rookie to build on. Woodson has a cannon for an arm and can also throw the ball with touch.

The offense is not doing as well as the coaches would like and Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride let them have it loud and long with a string of expletives after one disorganized play that went nowhere. The disorganized plays included a running play with Ahmad Bradshaw carrying the ball. OG Rich Seubert pulled to his right to lead the play up field. There must have been some miscommunication because Bradshaw ran smack into Seubert’s chest and knocked Seubert flat on his keister. It was embarrassingly funny. After the play, Bradshaw gave Seubert a friendly hug – no hard feelings. Needless to say, Bradshaw’s arms aren’t long enough to go the full way around Seubert’s torso.

DE Justin Tuck may nursing a slight injury. He did not appear to be comfortable when walking, but it did not keep him from practicing.

S James Butler intercepted a Carr pass. Not to be outdone, Wright threw a ball directly to S Sammy Knight who turned and ran the interception up the field.

S Kenny Phillips made a pass defense of a ball intended for TE Michael Matthews by hanging onto him pretty much the entire time the ball was in the air. Phillips continues to show that he is going to be a fine defensive back.