I have to admit that I didn’t get to watch too much of the early part of practice because I was busy staring at Osi Umenyiora in disbelief. Yes, the DDE – shorthand for disgruntled defensive end, a term I’ve written often these last few days – was told he could go home and clear his head and take the evening to consider things, but he decided not to and was on the sideline at practice (which was moved into the fieldhouse due to rain).
Luckily my deadlines are such that I don’t file until after practice. There were some who have earlier ones who had already written that Umenyiora was sent home and they had to scramble to finesse the language in their stories.
Afterwards, Tom Coughlin said he thought it was a positive sign that Umenyiora was in attendance, although he continues to be a non-participant.
You can read more about Umenyiora elsewhere on this site, so I’ll go back to reporting on the practice now. Osi, Barden and Koets were the only guys not working, although there were a few dings to players during the first full-contact padded practice. Devin Thomas seemed to roll his ankle and Jim Cordle had to be helped off the field with a knee injury. Ironically both happened during kickoff coverage practice, although not during the same portion of practice. Thomas did not return but Coughlin said he doesn’t think it’s serious. Cordle did get back on the field.
“That was not pretty there,” Coughlin said of Cordle’s injury. “There were a couple of spots where (the contact) was a little too good, as always. It is an incredible thing as a coach because what I try to do is make it as safe as we can possibly make it even though I want the aggressiveness. If you can define that for me, it would be the first time that I came into a situation where I felt good about yelling at a guy for being overly aggressive. The term that I use all the time is, you’ve got to be smart. It is one team and you can’t lose anybody.”
Thomas was working on returning kickoffs, but Jerrel Jernigan seemed to be getting the first reps there on the scout team.
There was some thumping going on by the time the boys got around to 11-on-11s. D.J. Ware took the first two handoffs and was stopped by Jon Goff and Jason Pierre-Paul. Manning hit Travis Beckum on an out, but the defensive coaches seemed pleased by the switch between Corey Webster and Kenny Phillips on the coverage when Hakeem Nicks went deep and Webster passed him along to the safety to jump on the shorter route by the tight end.
Speaking of Beckum, he saw a lot of action tonight – and at just about the same time Kevin Boss was working out for the Raiders in California, no less! The one play he didn’t make, though, was on a pass from Rosenfels which was broken up by Tyler Sash in good coverage.
Tough practice for Victor Cruz, who dropped a pass down the left sideline early and then couldn’t make a grab over the middle in 7-on-7s.
Charles Scott made a really nice cut on one of his early runs. As the backup running back until the regulars can begin practicing, he’s been impressive.
The Giants had a quirky defensive line look on one snap with Tuck, Joseph, Canty, Boley and Pierre-Paul all rushing from a three-point stance and Antrel Rolle blitzing. It seemed to confuse the offense and Manning quickly snapped the ball and threw it away.
I saw Marvin Austin come crashing through the line between Snee and Petrus on one play, nearly disrupting a pass. Justin Trattou would have had a sack on one play had he been allowed to hit the QB, and there were some good run stuffs at the line by Craig Marshall and Ibraham Abdulai. Darius Reynaud caught a deep post from Rosenfels and was wide open with Jarrard Tarrant and Bruce Johnson running behind. Spencer Paysinger nearly had an interception on a pass to Beckum, but he dropped the ball.
Brain Witherspoon had the only interception of the practice, and it came in 7-on-7s when Perrilloux tried to hit Jernigan deep down the left sideline and Witherspoon cut inside the receiver for the ball.
Coughlin said he was happy with what he’s seeing from the young linebackers. “They’ve been aggressive and noteworthy in their play,” he said. “Sometimes they’re in the wrong spot or something, but they recover and they seem to be able to go and make some things happen. I like the way they’re running around.” Coughlin said he thinks they understand that linebacker is one of the wide open positions in this camp and anyone on the three- or even four-deep has a chance to make the squad. His message to them: “Just let it go. Come on in here and give it all you’ve got. You have absolutely nothing to lose.”
The practice ended with some goal line plays and Hakeem Nicks at one point made a diving catch and while on the ground was pointing at his feet to make sure everyone saw that they had come down inbounds. Brant Clouser made a nice pulling block for Da’Rel Scott on one of the last plays of the practice.