AUGUST 5, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
With One Direction warming up at Metlife Stadium, the Giants returned to the practice field for the first time since Sunday’s 17-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Who knows, maybe the boy band’s hottest tunes were exactly what the Giants’ defense needed to get fired up.
In a practice dominated by the defense, the Giants’ intercepted three passes (all returned for touchdowns), stymied several attempted runs and recorded a handful of sacks.
Prior to practice, the Giants’ announced the signing of 11-year veteran defensive end Israel Idonije and tight end Jerome Cunningham. The team placed David Wilson on the injured reserve and waived Kendrick Adams.
THE WALKING WOUNDED…
This section may need to be broken down by chapters soon. Of the players that didn’t make the trip to Canton for the Hall of Fame game, Will Beatty (headaches), Eric Herman (hip), Robert Ayers (ankle), Spencer Paysinger (concussion), and Trumaine McBride (hip) all took part in practice.
Odell Beckham Jr. ran a bit on the sideline and fielded punts, but didn’t take part in the team or individual portion of practice. Trindon Holliday (hamstring), Xavier Grimble (hamstring), Mike Patterson (shoulder), Bennett Jackson (ankle) and Daniel Fells (knee) didn’t practice, either. Peyton Hillis left practice early with an ankle injury. The severity to this point is not yet known.
With Trindon Holliday sidelined with an ankle injury, and David Wilson on injured reserve, the Giants’ return unit is getting thinner and thinner with each passing day. Today, it was the punt/punt return team’s time to practice.
- The follow players all got looks as a punt returner: Jerrel Jernigan, Marcus Harris, Odell Beckham Jr., Preston Parker, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz. It should be noted, Beckham seems to be progressing better from his injured hamstring. After each return, he put a little juke/spin move before jogging up the field. Last week, he literally just caught the ball.
- With Bennett Jackson sidelined, Marcus Harris got the majority of the work as the main gunner opposite Zack Bowman.
- Brandon McManus continues to have a very strong camp. He went 4-for-4 on field goals. Each clearing the cross bars by 10-15 yards. I’d really like to see this kid kick from as far as he can.
Last week, we asked you what player you wanted to have spotlighted during practice. You answered Weston Richburg. Unfortunately, the offensive line did their individual work far away from where the media were allowed to stand. I got a few looks, but it was tough to observe everything.
- From the little I saw of Weston Richburg, the rookie second-round pick has a very quick first step. He explodes off the ball with some pretty good speed and seems a bit quicker than his linemates.
- During this portion of practice, Odell Beckham Jr. did some extensive running up and down the field. It started with straight-ahead movement, then transitioned to moving in a snake pattern. The Giants’ first-round pick appears to be getting closer to his return.
- The Giants’ did some extensive work with the hook-and-ladder. Literally, they ran through the last five minutes of practice working nothing but that. When Tom Coughlin spoke to the media, he said the offense would “install” two new sections of the offense. Maybe this was an example of that.
TWO-MINUTE, HURRY-UP OFFENSE…
As is the case with every Giants’ training camp practice, the first full-team portion features a two-minute drill between the starting offense and second-string defense. Normally, after three or four plays, the starting defense replaces the two’s on the field.
- Geoff Schwartz routinely came in-and-out of the lineup throughout practice. When he came out, he was replaced at times by Weston Richburg, at times by James Brewer. Also, Kellen Davis was the first tight end used and Andre Williams the first running back.
- Johnathan Hankins recorded the defenses first sack when he fought his way past Weston Richburg. The team was in just uppers today, so Hankins gave Manning a nice pat on the shoulder pads and let the play continue.
- Aside from throwing two interceptions, Ryan Nassib had a pretty good practice. He made two very nice throws with a lot of zip on back-to-back passes. The first went to Mario Manningham deep down the right sideline. The second went to Marcus Harris on a deep in.
- Speaking of Marcus Harris, he continues to catch just about everything thrown his way. He made another ‘Wow’ grab on a comeback route. Jayron Hosley had near-perfect coverage on Harris and stuck his hand in to bat the ball away, but Harris stuck with the ball, relocating it and hauling it in for a first down. It’s getting to the point where the once-considered ‘long shot’ is becoming a near lock to make the team.
- Dan Fox had a would-be sack.
- Another nice play from Ryan Nassib. The second-year pro dropped back in the pocket, then climbed the pocket to extend the play before finding Mario Manningham on an in-route.
- There really wasn’t too much ‘trickery’ when it came to old offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. In the early goings, it looks like Ben McAdoo has a few up his sleeve. During the two-minute drill, he brought Jerrel Jernigan in motion from the slot. Just before crossing Manning’s path, the ball was snapped and Manning tossed it underhand to Jernigan. This was done with perfect timing.
- Maybe it was because the Giants installed some new things, but throughout practice the team had three delay-of-game penalties.
It was a pick-six party during the seven-on-seven portion of practice for the Giants. The offense never really got in a rhythm, rarely attacked down field and it looked almost like the corners and safeties were sitting on routes. Either way, here’s the report:
- As good as Andre Williams looks running with the ball, he continues to catch it with his body. Throughout every training camp practice, I can recall just once when Williams caught it with his hands.
- Kellen Davis made a pretty nice catch against Jacquian Williams. He beat Williams on an in route.
- It looks like sometimes during practice Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie pulls up on some of the breaks he makes. You can tell he reads the play, makes a huge cut on the ball, but just before getting there lets up and lets the receiver make the grab. This could very well be because it’s practice and it’s his teammates. Either way, the speed in which he closes a small gap is impressive.
- The one thing that is becoming very apparent is the struggle Mario Manningham has at times with getting separation. He just doesn’t look 100 percent. He shows flashes of the old ‘Super Mario,’ but he’s not there yet. The issue with that is Marcus Harris and Corey Washington keep flashing on a far more regular basis.
- Cooper Taylor had perfect coverage on Larry Donnell on a deep pass down the sideline, played the ball perfectly in the air and came down with an interception. Ryan Nassib on the throw.
- A couple plays later, Nat Berhe joined Taylor on the INT club. On a Curtis Painter pass intended for Adrien Robinson, Berhe jumped an in route for a pick-six.
Following the seven-on-seven, the Giants worked through a couple of different variations of the 11-on-11s. It started with the team’s normal scrimmage, transitioned to the red zone drill, then back to a normal scrimmage. Combining all into one, here’s your highlights:
- Mathias Kiwanuka had a monster day. By my count, he had two sacks and beat the likes of Justin Pugh, William Beatty and Brandon Mosley. He looked very good.
- Different NASCAR package displayed: Damontre Moore and Jason Pierre-Paul lined up as defensive end, Cullen Jenkins as a tackle. Mathias Kiwanuka then roamed around coming in to blitz from various areas.
- Eli Manning hit Travis Harvey for a long touchdown on a busted coverage. I believe there was a little miscommunication between Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown.
- It’s starting to take place each practice, Larry Donnell makes some kind of ‘wow play.’ His latest, an over-the-top grab on a deep one. Covered perfectly by Nat Berhe, Donnell reached up and caught it over Berhe’s head.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 5, 2014
- Not sure if it was exactly a pancake, but Charles Brown got Jason Pierre-Paul on his pack during the red zone drill.
- Stevie Brown with some text book coverage on a fade route pass to Kellen Davis in the corner of the endzone. Brown had the ball played perfectly and batted it away. Antrel Rolle came running over with a few congratulatory yells.
- Ryan Nassib put a real nice ball on Julian Talley for a touchdown in the redzone. Video below:
- One last highlight, Trumaine McBride jumped a Ryan Nassib pass and took it back for a pick-six. McBride has quietly had a pretty good camp.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 5, 2014
- Finally, practice ended when Ben McAdoo and the Giants’ offense went to the same hook and ladder they’d been working on earlier. Eli Manning took the snap and went over the middle to Julian Talley. Talley caught the ball and flipped it to Andre Williams who ran up the field.
The Giants will have another evening practice tomorrow (5:40-7:50pm), this one open to the public. The team has some fan-friendly activities planned. You can find details at Giants.com.