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Practice report: Aug. 4

New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (94)

New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (94) reacts after sacking Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young during the first quarter of an NFL football game. (Sept. 26, 2010) Credit: AP

Osi Umenyiora had a few more people to push pedals with today.

Besides the usual PUPpies that join him on the exercise bikes – Ramses Barden and adam Koets – there were two others there for today’s practice. Domenik Hixon, who is coming off knee surgery, was sidelined. And Devin Thomas, who rolled an ankle in practice on Wednesday, was also sitting this one out.

Also, bad news for Bruce Johnson. The third-year DB ruptured his Achilles early in practice. I didn’t see it happen – it sounded like he did it while trying to down a punt on a drill – but I did see him get carted off the field. So sad when that happens because there’s no wiggle room in it. You get the diagnosis right there and your season is over.

This was the first practice where the free agents and re-signed players were allowed to work, so there were quite a few differences. The team went back to shells for the workout because Tom Coughlin wanted to move everyone along at the same pace and not have some people working on one level and others on another. So in effect, this was like the first team practice.

Kept an eye on the Matt Dodge-Steve Weatherford battle. It seems tohave brought out the best in Dodge because he had a very strong performance. Weatherford wasn’t booting them as high or as far as Dodge, but it was clear that Weatherford had more control over where his kicks went. Returning the punts, by the way, were Jernigan, Ross and Witherspoon.

Before they began 11-on-11 snaps, there were 1-on-1 coverage drills. Those are my favorites to watch during training camp and I was able to see the receivers go against the cornerbacks. Terrell Thomas had a strong pass defense against Hakeem Nicks, but the most impressive play was a go route down the left sideline for Jernigan thrown by Rosenfels. Jernigan beat Ross on the sprint. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen Ross lose a footrace like that before, which is more a compliment to Jernigan than any disrespect to Ross.

On the other field the running backs and tight ends were running routes against the safeties and linebackers. I didn’t see much, but at one point the crowd made some noise when Ben Patrick put a double move on Kenny Phillips and found himself wide open down the middle of the field. Trouble was he dropped the ball.

Once the team got to 11s it was easy to see where the new guys fit in. The offensive line was just as we figured with Baas at center flanked by Diehl and Beatty on his left and Snee and McKenzie on his right. Bear Pascoe was the starting fullback and Ahmad Bradshaw got the first rep at tailback. On defense, the front four remained the same with Tuck, Joseph, Canty and Pierre-Paul, but there was a change at linebacker. Mathias Kiwanuka slid into the SAM spot in place of Clint Sintim, who was bumped to the second team. Ironically, or maybe because he was playing against second-stringers, Sintim had one of his better practices. He was on a line with Kenny Ingram (who we wrote about earlier and who continues to impress) and Phillip Dillard. Boley and Goff were on the first linebacker string.

A few highlights from the first series of snaps:

Antrel Rolle came down to the line of scrimmage and would have made the stop on Bradshaw’s first run … Nicks was wide open on the left sideline with Phillips and Thomas seeming confused in coverage, but Manning’s pass was a wobbler and barely made it to the target … Ross made a nice pass defense coming underneath Michael Clayton … Stacy Andrews had his way with rookie Marvin Austin on a run by Charles Scott … Sintim and Dillard were in position to blow up a draw run by Andre Brown and two snaps later Sintim read a screen pass to Da’Rel Scott and came up to make the play … Chris White botched a snap with Perrilloux but later he had a very good seal block on a run by Charles Scott … Spencer Paysinger, who dropped an INT yesterday, came up with a great play when he stripped the ball right out of the hands of Sam Giguere on what should have been a completion. They don’t play that kind of defense at Hoboken High School!

A few highlights from the second series of snaps:

Kiwanuka and Boley were both in position to make the play on a toss to Bradshaw going left. Boley then had good coverage on Manningham and broke up a pass that went up in the air and was nearly intercepted by a diving Kenny Phillips … Terrell Thomas broke up a deep pass from Manning to Reynaud down the left sideline … Alex Hall and Brian Jackson came in to stuff a run by D.J. Ware … Manningham dropped a pass from Rosenfels even though he was wide open in the middle of the field … Henry Hynoski made a catch in the flank and had room to run so he showed decent speed going down the sideline.

The team then went to 7-on-7s where Manningham was able to beat Thomas deep. Ingram had a solid pass breakup against Bear Pascoe. Reynaud caught a deep pass from Perrilloux.

Back to 11-on-11 snaps:

Justin Tuck would have had a sack but he pulled up for the red jersey and Manning hit Bradshaw on a checkdown … Andre Brown had a sweet highstep through the traffic on a run off right tackle … Witherspoon dropped an interception on a pass from Carr to Todd Watkins, but later in practice he made up for it with a pick on a redzone pass from Manning to Clayton … With the offense pinned at their own 1, Tuck would have had a sack for a safety and Thomas and Canty both had pressure on the quarterback before Manning his Bradshaw … Manning seemed to have just one minor glitch with his new center, juggling a shotgun snap in a redzone play and having to rush his pass to Nicks … Rosenfels hit Clayton for a touchdown with Joe Burnett in coverage … Travis Beckum made a juggling catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Manning for a touchdown. Dave Merritt signaled that Beckum was out of bounds but I think he’s biased and I had a pretty good view of the play. Not that it really matters since Craig Marshall probably would have had a sack on the play anyway … Rosenfels hit Watkins on a fade in the right corner of the endzone over Webster … The final play was a pass from Carr that was batted down by Dillard.

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