It was almost as if Eli Manning was so concerned about defusing the idea that he will no longer throw deep passes in the new West Coast system that he purposely came out chucking it long on Monday. He took several vertical shots down the field, maybe more today than he has all of the previous practices combined.
It would have been a more effective argument if he had completed one of them.
Instead, he was 0-for-3 on the go routes, including an interception on the first snap of team drills in which he tried to hit Rueben Randle down the right sideline and Zack Bowman was able to snag the ball.
Manning definitely wanted to distance himself from talk that the Giants will be dinking and dunking their way down the field this season. The subject came into more focus when QB coach Danny Langsdorf noted that the goal for this season is a completion percentage of 70 percent.
“I think we’re still going to push the ball down the field,” Manning said. “There are some opportunities to throw some short passes, but it’s just the same. You’ve got to push the ball down the field and you’ve got to take some shots. I think it’s a combination of all of them … If you throw them too quickly too much, they can kind of slow down the rush and try to time things and jump. That will be a good time to obviously drop back and throw it deep if they’re not going to rush hard and try to time that up. I think when you say it’s a West Coast offense, I think that’s a kind of a quick passing game.”
Anyway, the other deep passes were also intended for Randle: an incompletion that went off his fingers with Ross Weaver in coverage in team drills and a deep pass down the left side in 7-on-7s.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Xavier Grimble didn’t practice today. Hamstrings. That’s just the kind of injury the Giants are hoping to prevent when they cut practice short as they did today for the second time this camp and retire to the field house for preventative stretching.
The Giants were in full pads for the second straight day and there were a few good hits. Devon Kennard gave his daily dose of pain to the offense in the 9-on-7 drill when he lined up a running back (I missed who it was). Kennard also had a good thump on Andre Williams in team drills. Kerry Wynn made a nice tackle of Michael Cox (even though he wasn’t supposed to bring the ball-carrier to the ground). And Henry Hynoski got into it with a bunch of defensive players after a blocking assignment and wound up having his helmet ripped off by Jacquian Williams.
It wasn’t all violence. Victor Cruz caught a pass and was run out of bounds by Antrel Rolle. Rolle playfully rode Cruz all the way out of bounds to the fence that separates the players from the fans and pushed him against it. Cruz took that opportunity to wave to the fans who had come out to watch practice. Cute moment.
Here are some of the plays that stood out, besides the three deep passes from Manning:
Andre Williams dropped a pass from Ryan Nassib in 7-on-7s … Charles James II made a diving attempt to break up a pass for Travis Harvey, but Curtis Painter was able to squeeze it in for a sideline completion … David Wilson broke through the line on a handoff and sprinted 80 yards or so for an imaginary touchdown (followed, presumably, by an imaginary backflip) … Brandon McManus missed his first field goal attempt of camp and was 3-for-4 on the day … John Jerry made the best block I’ve seen from him so far when he crushed Justin Anderson to open a hole for Michael Cox … Weston Richberg had a rare mis-snap when his shotgun offering to Ryan Nassib sailed away … Cruz made a sweet catch along the sideline, reaching back away from his body to make the grab … Manning missed a wide open Kellen Davis while rolling to his left and gave his trademark frustrated arm snap that we saw so many times last year. Manning seemed startled to see safety Quintin Demps in front of him when he turned to bootleg and may have rushed the pass, which was low … Zack Bowman broke up a pass for Mario Manningham, but the officials on hand flagged it for pass interference … Larry Donnell made a nice catch over the middle that ended with him rolling over in a summersault after securing the ball in an overstride.