Well, training camp 2013 is in the books. The team breaks camp Wednesday and when they arrive for work Thursday, things will be vastly different. Wait, what? They won’t be? Oh. Nevermind then.
The last day of training camp used to be ceremonious, with the Mayor of Albany coming to wave goodbye and the players jumping in their cars for the drive down the Thruway. The Albany 500, we called it. Gentlemen, start your engines! Now, with the Giants here at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for camp, about all it means is that the players can go home if they have one (most of the younger, bubble-type players presumably do not) instead of staying in the hotel and they don’t have to work through the evening.
“We’ll move into a program which by and large is a 4 or 5 p.m. exit,” Coughlin said, “but next week following this game our first day back will be a long day because we have so much to do. With the few days that are left to practice, the only thing we’ll really miss will be looking at the tape at night and making the corrections. Everything else will be basically the same.”
The Giants will practice Thursday, their last before the Jets game. Then they’ll have two practices next week to prepare for the Patriots game on Thursday. Those are the only three practices left before the team is cut down to 53 and they begin Cowboys Week on Labor Day.
Time flies when you’re having fun.
As for Wednesday’s practice, it was mostly off the cards, which meant not a lot of live stuff even though the guys were in full pads. Even the 9-on-7 drills were off cards, which took some of the oomph away from them.
We’ll start at the end with the only starter vs. starter action, which came in the form of a hurry-up drill. The offense had the ball at around the 20 with 1:08 remaining. Eli Manning’s first pass was deep down the left sideline intended for Hakeem Nicks, who was well-covered by Prince Amukamara. The ball was incomplete but probably would have been out of bounds had Nicks been able to make the catch. Manning went to the same spot on second-and-10, this time trying to hot Jerrel Jernigan down the left sideline. The ball was slightly overthrown and Terrell Thomas was able to accelerate to it and was in position to make a practice-ending (and training camp-ending) interception. The ball slipped through his hands for an incompletion, though.
That brought up third-and-10 with :51 left. Manning had to get the first down so he hit Brandon Collins on the right sideline for a gain of about 12 yards with Trumaine McBride in coverage (McBride in for Thomas, who had just run the sprint on the deep ball). Collins ran out of bounds to stop the clock with :45 left and set up first-and-10. Justin Tuck ran a stunt up the middle and new center Jim Cordle came off his block to attend to him, although I’m not sure Cordle did so in time to actually stop him were Tuck an opposing defender and not a good Giants teammate who doesn’t want to destroy Eli Manning. Anyway, with the extra time, Manning threw a deep ball down the seam to Kevin Hardy which he caught within field goal range to end the drill and the practice and the camp.
Yes, good of you to notice I said Jim Cordle is the new center. With David Diehl out for at least six weeks following today’s thumb surgery, the Giants decided to move Kevin Boothe back to left guard after his one day adventure at center and insert Cordle at center.
“Corlde played very well the other night and we thought that was the best move for now,” Coughlin said.
Another option would have been to keep Boothe at center and insert James Brewer at guard.
“We do have that option, but for now the option we took is this one,” Coughlin said. “We’re really excited about the way Cordle played the other night. Hopefully he’ll keep right on going.”
Cordle is in his fourth NFL season, but he’s relatively inexperienced when it comes to regular-season snaps. He and rookie Justin Pugh could be opening day starters for the Giants against the Cowboys.
“It’s time to go figure it out, that’s for sure,” Coughlin said. “We have two games to play and hopefully they can have a lot of things occur on the field that we can take care of and learn while doing it right instead of causing problems for other areas.”
In other words, don’t get the quarterback killed!
A few injury notes: Damontre Moore (shoulder) remains sidelined, as does Corey Webster. Coughlin clarified Webster’s soreness as coming from his previous groin injury as well as an MCL strain. Coughlin thought either WR Ramses Barden or Louis Murphy would be available today, but neither practiced. Nor did Antrel Rolle, although he was once again going through agility drills and was not wearing any brace or wrap on his sprained ankle. Adrian Tracy, who had some dehydration issues yesterday, did not practice today. Although he did walk past reporters during the media availability segment of the day. “I’m awesome!” he yelled. Just not awesome enough to practice, apparently.
And good injury news: Coughlin said Terrell Thomas will play against the Jets on Saturday night. Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of Thomas’ last game, which he limped out of against the Bears at MetLife Stadium in Week 3 of the 2011 preseason.
Ok, a few notes from practice. As I said most of it was off cards but there were a few standout plays. One of them belonged to Thomas, who intercepted a pass from Nassib intended for Hardy in 7-on-7s. It was his first pick of training camp … Hardy dropped an over-the-shoulder pass from Curtis Painter with Jayron Hosley in coverage in the 7s … Jerrel Jernigan, playing the slot in place of Victor Cruz, seemed to run into Hakeem Nicks on a crossing route on the first snap of the 7s, indicating one of the two players was at the wrong depth … Prince Amukamara made a really nice leaping pass defense on a deep ball to Brandon Collins, but it was nearly costly as he rolled into the legs of Stevie Brown. Brown got to his feet and shook it off, even though it looked like his knee might have been hyperextended on the play … Hardy made up for his drop with a long pass reception over his shoulder from Painter, beating Laron Scott and David Caldwell … Justin Tuck jumped up and batted a pass from Ryan Nassib. Linval Joseph nearly picked the ball off before it hit the ground but it looked like it touched turf and was an incompletion … The Giants scout offense ran another Jets-style wildcat play, this time with David Carr sent out wide and a direct snap to Ryan Torain … Hosley intercepted Painter on a pass intended for Hardy ... A few plays later Spencer Paysinger did a nice job of tipping the ball to himself to intercept Ryan Nassib … And Marcus Harris made a pretty jumping catch on a deep pass from Nassib down the left sideline, going up over Trumaine McBrdie for the catch. Harris came down awkwardly, though, and was attended to by trainers on the sideline. It looked like a cramp the way they were stretching his leg.