Well, at least there was a change in the Osi situation. Rather than warm up on the exercise bike and watch practice from the sideline as he had for the previous six workouts, tonight Umenyiora was nowhere to be found. Spidey Senses tingling, the Giants told us that he was simply inside the building getting treatment, presumably on tat sore knee. Make of that what you will. Progress? Regress? Just something that happened?
My guess is that Osi heard it from the fans a little bit on Friday night, the last time the team practiced outside and in front of the public, so why would he want to subject himself to that any more than he has to? Just a guess, though.
Right now, in terms of football, there are other concerns beyond Umenyiora and they have to do with players who have actual injuries. Quite the list tonight:
Marvin Austin (hip flexor), Jim Cordle (knee), Spencer Paysinger (groin), Devin Thomas (finger), Brian Jackson (back), Cary Harris (shoulder), Lawrence Tynes (quad), Joe Burnett (hamstring).
That doesn’t include Prince Amukamara, of course.
Well, not everyone is upset.
“I think everything’s going smoothly,” Manning said this afternoon.
Some good news? Clint Sintim, Domenik Hixon and Mario Manningham, all of whom missed last night’s practice, were back on the field for this one.
Before we get into the guts of the practice report, a real quick funny story. The team was working on kickoffs early and one of the balls sailed over the fence. It was caught by a little boy who was wearing a Giants jersey. A No. 72 Giants jersey. They made him throw the football back. I wonder if he had a different number on they might have let him keep it!
Anyway, let’s dig into the football. A few guys who really popped tonight were Andre Brown and Tyler Sash. We’ll get into that in a bit. Also, among the things I noticed was that Mathias Kiwanuka was wearing a gray roll on the neck of his shoulder pads. I don’t know if that is brand new as in today or if I just missed it in last night’s practice, but it is certainly new in terms of him not wearing it last year. It’s obviously there as some kind of protection for his neck and the bulging disc that sidelined him last season.
Practice began with 1-on-1 drills, receivers against defensive backs, and Manningham struck the first blow with a deep reception down the right sideline over Corey Webster from Manning (remember this one) … Victor Cruz, who we spoke with earlier today about being more consistent, dropped the first ball thrown to him although he did beat Aaron Ross on a hook route on the play … Jake Ballard slipped coming out of his route … Jerrel Jernigan made a nice triple move on a go-stop-go-stop-in (I guess that’s what we’ll call it) … Woodny Turenne broke up a pass intended for Cruz … Darnell Burks made a really nice play to break up a long pass for Daniel Coats from Manning, jumping up from behind to bat the ball away. Burks came up limping a bit but he remained in practice.
Some highlights from the first series of 11-on-11 snaps:
Hakeem Nicks beat Terrell Thomas and Kenny Phillips on a 40-yard pass … D.J. Ware had a run in which he trampled his own guy, tackle Will Beatty … Rosenfels hit Hixon on a pass that buzzed right past the helmet of Sintim, who had turned to run back in coverage … Hixon made a diving catch on the next play as well … Charles Scott would have been tackled for a loss by Phillip Dillard and Tyler Sash … Da’Rel Scott had a run to the left and lowered his shoulder to give linebacker Jacquian Williams a good pop. The other defensive players were complaining about that because guys aren’t supposed to be lowering their shoulders in practice … The Giants showed their defensive alignment with Terrell Thomas playing the extra safety/linebacker role. There were some snaps where Justin Tuck was rushing from a two-point stance as well … Thomas did a nice job reading a screen for Nicks … Henry Hynoski, who got popped by Sash last night, got a little payback when he drilled the safety while leading the way for Charles Scott … Andre Brown caught a pass from Rosenfels while he was split wide … A David Carr pass went through the hands of Michael Clayton … Justin Trattou was in the backfield and would have had a sack against Perrilloux.
When the team practiced kickoff returns, Tynes was unable to kick so Matt Dodge stepped in and seemed to do a pretty good job. Maybe the Giants found a way to use his strong leg without having to worry about his actually touching the football? Interestingly Domenik Hixon was not taking part in the returns. Jernigan and Reynaud were doing it. I asked Hixon if he realized he was getting fewer special teams snaps this afternoon, but he said he hadn’t noticed. I have.
In 7-on-7s, Manning again tried to go deep down the right sideline for Manningham against Webster. This time, though, Webster was able to keep pace and reach up to get a fingertip on the ball and break the play up (told you to remember that one!) … Hixon has looked very good catching slants and made a few of those plays in the drills … Jernigan dropped a pass from Rosenfels and unfortunately the ball popped up in the air. It was reminiscent of last year when all those tipped balls were picked off early in the season, although this one wasn’t intercepted.
Some highlights from the second series of 11-on-11 snaps:
Jon Goff did a nice job of chasing Brandon Jacobs to the sideline on a toss to the right … Justin Tuck was there to break up a screen pass to Bradshaw … Sash was lined up covering Manningham in the slot but came screaming in on a blitz and batted down a pass from Manning for Manningham … Hixon made a graceful over-the-shoulder catch on a deep pass down the left sideline from Rosenfels and over Michael Coe (who will be a very important Giant moving forward) … D.J. Ware dropped a checkdown pass … Sash and Tollefson were in position to stuff a run by Charles Scott … Da’Rel Scott had a good run to the right behind a strong block from Bear Pascoe against Kenny Ingram. Pascoe had to hold the block for a while before Scott got there and he did so well … Andre Brown made a terrific cut and showed good vision on a run that was supposed to go right but wound up left. Then he beat Burks in a footrace to the endzone … Mark Herzlich stuffed a run by Da;Rel Scott … Ibraham Abdulai was there to make the play on a checkdown pass to Brown … Perrilloux’s pass for Hynoski out of the backfield was high and incomplete.
In red zone plays, Manning had a pass batted back at him by Tuck and caught it and ran … Bradshaw leaked out of the backfield and was wide open for a little swing pass from Manning for a touchdown … Some miscommunication as David Carr threw a fade to the left corner of the endzone and Michael Clayton ran an in route.
Practice ended with a hurry-up drill with the third team led by Perrilloux. They started with 1:12 remaining and the ball on their own 35. Perrilloux’s first pass for Ballard was high. He hit Jernigan on the next pass and he got out of bounds with the first down just past midfield with 1:02 left. Ballard dropped the first-down pass and on second-and-10 from the 47 Perrilloux hit Jernigan for about 7 yards but he was tackled in the middle of the field by Terrell Thomas. The offense rushed to the line and Perrilloux threw a pass that was a little behind Jernigan but the rookie reached back and made a one-handed catch for a first down. He was again in the middle of the field so the offense used the first of their two timeouts with :32 left. Perrilloux finally connected with Ballard for a gain of about 13 yards from the 35 and then he completed a pass to Clayton for another 11 or so yards before calling a timeout with :08 remaining. I guess that was close enough for a gimme – or maybe they just needed a field goal in the situation Tom Coughlin concocted – but that was the final snap of practice for the evening.