Eli Manning was, in fact, practicing without a helmet. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but it turned out to be very odd seeing him work on a field with 21 other guys who were all wearing helmets. He had a blue Giants cap on with a white NY on the front. Tom Coughlin said he looked sharp in his passing.
Someone else thought he looked like Rootie Kazootie. I won’t say who said that, but he probably dated himself so you can figure it out.
I was surprised at how aggressive the overall practice was. The players were in shoulder pads, not just shells, so there was some popping going on. But Manning came out unscathed.
We were also keeping an eye on Shawn Andrews, who was playing left guard and left tackle. He also played those positions in one-on-one pass blocking drills, which were fun to watch. The first time he was at guard and was up against Dwayne Hendricks and did a pretty nice job. The next time through he was up against Chris Canty, who went past him with a strong swim move. You know how Olympic divers try to enter the pool with no splash? That was how Canty entered the backfield on the move. Not even a ripple.
Those two moves were at guard. The final one for Andrews was at tackle and he was up against Dave Tollefson. Andrews would have been flagged for a false start. So basically he was 1-1-1 in the drill.
In 11-on-11s, the first play Andrews was in for was with the third group at left guard and he was slow getting off the snap and was beaten by Jay Alford.
Just to get back to those pass blocking drills, Canty absolutely destroyed rookie Mitch Petrus with a punch to the chest that pushed him backwards five or so yards. Canty has been playing unbelievably well all preseason.
Matt Dodge did some punting. He had six kicks. Four of them were pretty good. Two of them were not. That’s actually more consistent than he has been, so maybe there is some progress. Speaking of punts, without Aaron Ross they had Sinorice Moss, Victor Cruz and Tim Brown working on returning them.
Keith Bulluck was taking snaps at outside linebacker today, which was a first. He’d been playing middle linebacker so far this summer. Is he supplanting Clint Sintim there? Intriguing idea. Boley, Goff and Bulluck as the starting linebackers. Coughlin said he liked what he saw of Sintim on Saturday, but he also said he thought it was important to add a little competition to the position. Bulluck certainly brings that. After all, he played outside his whole career at Tennessee, so he’s familiar with it.
Truth be told, the linebackers were flying in and out of the lineup today so it was hard to tell who was with the ones and who was not. But Bulluck on the outside certainly adds a new wrinkle. I asked Coughlin if he considers Bulluck to be a middle linebacker or an outside linebacker. “He’s a linebacker,” Coughlin said.
For those of you wagering on the 50-50 bet of which foot Aaron Ross has plantar fasciitis in, it’s his right foot. We spotted him with a boot on that foot in the building.
Also, Travis Beckum had a neck injury that he tried to practice through but could not. And Michael Greco tried to go with a sore knee but he had to stop too.