While the most interesting aspect of this first minicamp practice was happening off the field (and just off the field) as Jake Ballard showed up to say goodbye after being claimed off waivers by the Patriots, there was an actual practice going on. Here are some of the things that happened there:
First, the guys who did not participate:
Osi Umenyiora was in his familiar practice pouting pose on the stationary bike, but after restructuring his deal this one had nothing to do with a contract. Apparently since he missed almost all of the OTAs he just wants to pace himself. He actually was off the bike and jumped in on some slow-motion, non-contact drills that the defense did.
Hakeem Nicks, who was not wearing a boot in the locker room this morning, was wearing one during practice. He did not work. Neither did Corey Webster, Shaun Rogers, Markus Kuhn, Travis Beckum, Tyler Sash, Clint Sintim or Chris Canty.
Terrell Thomas seemed to be doing some things but not full team work. Prince Amukamara was doing all of the drills, but may not have been going full speed. Will Beatty was doing some things but sat out for most of practice. Same with Linval Joseph.
So where did that leave us? Well, the “starting” defense had Justin Tuck, Rocky Bernard, Marvin Austin and Jason Pierre-Paul across the front, Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn and Jacquain Williams at linebacker, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon at cornerback and Antrel Rolle and Steve Brown at safety. The “starting” offense had David Diehl at right tackle followed along by Chris Snee, David Baas, Kevin Boothe and Sean Locklear starting at left tackle. Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz were starting receivers. Henry Hynoski was at fullback, Bear Pascoe at tight end, and D.J. Ware at running back (although Ahmad Bradshaw took some reps). I’ll let you guess who the quarterback was.
The punting practice was focused more on coverage than returning, so rookie Jayron Hosley was working as a gunner and not as a returner. Those who were fielding the punts were Hixon, Cruz, Jerrell Jernigan and Rueben Randle.
Ah, speaking of Randle. He looked very polished. He caught just about everything thrown at him, seemed to be running crisp routes, and was able to catch the ball in stride and turn quickly up field. He was probably the receiver who stood out the most.
There were some other plays, too. Michael Boley intercepted a pass that was underthrown by Eli Manning for Cruz early in 11-on-11s. Jacquian Williams had pressure in the pocket on the play … Isaiah Stanbeck caught a pair of passes in traffic, one from David Carr and the second from Ryan Perrilloux … In 7-on-7s Hixon had a rare drop after he was bumped by Hosley. Hosely looked a little lost in coverage at first on the play in an area flooded with receivers but recovered to help coak Hixon into dropping the ball … Manning was not in sync with a lot of his targets, overthrowing Cruz deep (after underthrowing him on that Boley interception), putting the ball outside on a deep one for Jernigan in which Jernigan was inside (my money is on Eli doing the right thing there), and tossing a high pass along the sideline for Ryan Purvis who tried to jump up and catch it but had the vertical leap of a library chair … Will Hill made a nice pass deflection against Brandon Collins … Dan DePalma made a good catch, keeping his concentration despite some contact from Mark Herzlich … Ramses Barden also made a catch in traffic on a pass from David Carr, having Hill and Janzen Jackson bounce off of him. That big Barden body could come in handy in crowds.
Oh, and one last thing: The Giants showed their “new” NASCAR look today with Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka at ends and JPP and Rocky Bernard at the tackles. That NASCAR may need a pit stop!