I spoke with Derek Hagan earlier today for an article I’ll be writing in the coming days. I noted two things about him when we chatted:
1. That he catches everything that is thrown to him.
2. That he stays healthy and on the field.
Sorry Derek. Because at today’s practice, neither held up. Hagan first appeared to get rattled when he hit the ground on a running play and came up wincing and grabbing at his ankle. The very next play, though, he ran a deep pattern down the left sideline and had D.J. Johnson beat by a step before dropping a pass from Jim Sorgi.
Later in practice Hagan slipped on a route in which he would have been open and Sorgi had to move on in his progression and throw it to Mario Manningham (D.J. Johnson broke that one up). He also tried to make a jumping catch down the right sideline but Seth Williams broke it up. Then finally, on one of the last plays of the abbreviated practice, Rhett Bomar threw a ball to him that he jumped for and seemed to catch. But Michael Greco wound up ripping the ball away from him and knocking him out of the rest of practice. Looking wobbly and clutching his forehead, Hagan walked slowly off the field with the help of the training staff and made his way to the injury area where he was checked out further.
Tom Coughlin, who walked all the way over to the spot of that final injury to check on Hagan, said he didn’t have an immediate update after practice. “He seemed to be fine once he got walking,” Coughlin said.
One other player who was hurt (although apparently not too badly because Coughlin was laughing about it) was long-snapped Zak DeOssie, who was stepped on during a punting drill. He also let loose a string of expletives, which was the real reason Coughlin found it amusing.
“The language he used, he didn’t pick it up in English class,” Coughlin said of the Brown-educated player. Asked if perhaps he learned them by watching the Jets on Hard Knocks, Coughlin stopped laughing. “I don’t know that show,” he said.
A few other new injuries: CB Terrell Thomas is “fighting his way through some leg stuff” according to Coughlin and wasn’t out there for team drills while S Michael Johnson missed all of practice with a back issue. Coughlin said he was surprised that Johnson didn’t practice.
I mentioned it was an abbreviated practice. It lasted about an hour and a half. Afterwards the players were scheduled to have meetings and then they were going out for dinner in a team-building exercise.
Bad moment for Mario Manningham today. He was running a route down the left sideline in 7-on-7 drills and stopped, figuring, I guess, that the ball wasn’t coming his way. Instead, Eli Manning lofted a pass in his direction and he had to restart the route and try to catch up to it. Of course he didn’t. It was not a pretty moment for him.
The Giants also tried to run a direct snap to D.J. Ware out of the backfield a few times. They did it once yesterday and he fumbled it and they did it again today and he fumbled it. Finally on the third time he got it right.
A few standout defensive plays: Clint Sintim wound up with an interception after Chris Canty jumped up and batted a pass from Manning. Later in practice it was Michael Boley who batted a pass at the line of scrimmage only to have to fall to Jonathan Goff for an interception. And Seth Williams, who had his best practice of camp, picked off a pass from Sorgi to Duke Calhoun down the right sideline. Calhoun jumped up and tried to make a one-handed grab. He nearly came down with it, but all he did was tip it in the air and keep it aloft long enough for Williams to grab it. Oh, Kenny Phillips was the safety on that play and he was in the vicinity as well.
Remember yesterday when we were all excited about Victor Cruz and wondering why he doesn’t get a shot at returning punts on special teams? Well, today he showed why. The Giants put him back there and he dropped the first two that were kicked to him and then let another one hit the ground in front of him that he probably should have caught.
Here’s the chart on Matt Dodge’s 15 punts today, which were all over the map:
It's not even really worth noting the averages here because there are such extremes, as Coughlin pointed out.
"I told you, 65 and then today there were a lot of 35s," he said. "Consistency with a young guy will be the issue."
That’s it for now. Remember, just a jog-through tomorrow morning and then a full practice in the evening.