Practice report: Pugh with ones, Nassib goes deep, Eli throws two picks
When was the last time it rained in training camp and Tom Coughlin used the word “fortunate” to describe the situation? It wasn’t while the team was in Albany, I can tell you that. But here at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center the Giants have a fieldhouse that they can duck into whenever the weather becomes an issue. It meant that practice was closed to the fans, but more importantly to Coughlin it meant that practice could go on for the team.
There was one slight change of plans. The team was supposed to be in full pads Thursday. Instead they were in just shoulder pads and shorts, as they were on Tuesday.
All of the five guys on PUP remain there, although Coughlin seemed to be leaning toward saying that one or more of them could be close to returning. “It’s kind of a wait and see,” he said. “If I mentioned something and it doesn’t happen … So we’ll all wait and see. Hopefully sooner than later.”
Besides the five PUPpies, Hakeem Nicks (groin) was sidelined during practice. And DT Cullen Jenkins was excused from practice. His grandmother passed away, Coughlin said. Shaun Rogers took his place with the starting defense.
It was another good day for the defensive backs, who finished with three interceptions including two off of Eli Manning, who hadn’t thrown one in almost a week. The first was on the first play of the team portion of practice as Manning aired out a deep pass for Victor Cruz but Prince Amukamara was able to track it down. It was Prince’s only pick of the day, but not his only nice play. He poked a ball out of the hands of Kris Adams from behind later in 7-on-7s – a ball that Adams seemed to have secured. Amukamara is having a great camp.
The second interception was by Corey Webster in 7-on-7s. It came after Webster was driven back and slow coming up on a curl route by Cruz for a completion and then, a snap later, was beaten off the line by Rueben Randle on a seam route. Just a few snaps after that, though, Webster came flying over and timed his jump nicely to pluck a pass from Manning to Cruz out of the air near the right sideline.
Laron Scott had your third interception, jumping up and battling for a pass from Ryan Nassib to Ramses Barden in the red zone. Scott is listed at 5-9. Barden is 6-6. Hmm.
Despite that interception, Nassib had what seemed to be his best day of training camp so far. Especially when he went long. He hit Kevin Hardy for an over-the-shoulder catch on a deep ball in 11-on-11s, then came back and connected with Hardy again in 7-on-7s. He also found Adams and would have found Hardy again in the red zone had the pass not been dropped.
“He’s got a strong arm,” Coughlin said, although he seemed to dismiss my theory that having played in the Carrier Dome in college and practicing in the fieldhouse today he is the Giants’ best indoor option at quarterback.
We’ll see what happens when the Giants play their only certain-to-be indoor game of the season against the Lions on Dec. 29. Maybe Jerry Jones will close the roof at his place for the opener and force the Giants to decide between Eli and Nassib.
We laugh, but if this was the Jets today's story would be about how the draft pick had a better performance than the veteran. See how good you have it, Giants fans? Like Coughlin said of the rain: Fortunate.
Speaking of Syracuse guys, Justin Pugh got his first snaps of training camp with the first team. He wasn’t starting, but he split reps with David Diehl and stayed on with the second team. He looked good, standing up Mathias Kiwanuka on a pass rush at one point.
“We’d like to be able to do that,” Coughlin said of working Pugh in with the first unit. “Basically, the first couple of groups are being interchanged every once and awhile, so you’ll see that.”
A few other random observations: The newest Giant, WR Julian Talley, jumped right in and looked good beating a double team by Amukamara and Cooper Taylor as a gunner under a punt in special teams drills … There was nearly a situation as Damontre Moore blocked Michael Cox into a tackling dummy early on and the two fell awkwardly to the ground. No one was hurt, though … It seemed as if Webster was slowed a bit on the field and spending time with trainers on the side working on his groin. He didn’t miss any reps that I noted, but it was definitely something he was stretching when he was off the field … Adrien Robinson looked sharp again, beating Aaron Curry on one out route, going over Dan Connor on another, and beating Jacquian Williams on a third. Coughlin said he and Larry Donnell could give the Giants a lot of versatility at TE this year … Michael Cox has looked quick and strong when carrying the ball, but I thought his best play today was when he picked up a blitzing Kyle Bosworth. Of course just after that play finished he and Justin Trattou got into a little altercation and Cox took a swing at the defensive end. He missed. But he connected on the block, which was more important … Remember Adewale Ojomo? He finally showed up in practice. He had a would-be sack in the red zone snaps and it looked like he was the one who blew up a Cox running play in 11s … James Brewer hasn’t been mentioned much as Chris Snee’s replacement at guard, but he’s getting more and more comfortable at the position. He had a nice seal-off block today that allowed David Wilson to slice through the line of scrimmage … Barden may have been beaten by Scott in the red zone but he ran a nice route on the left sideline and beat Ryan Mundy earlier in practice … Jerrel Jernigan dropped an easy pass from David Carr that hit him in the chest.