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Practice report: Giants go deep

Prince Amukamara goes through drills during practice in

Prince Amukamara goes through drills during practice in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Welcome to 2013 training camp and the first practice report. We’ll get right into it.

First the players who didn’t participate. That would be the five guys on PUP: Jason Pierre-Paul (back), Chris Snee (hip), Henry Hynoski (knee), Terrell Thomas (knee) and Markus Kuhn (knee). All of them were on a side field early doing some activities. Thomas even stayed after practice to do some work. No word yet on how close he is to returning from a third ACL reconstruction, but he must be almost there since the Giants and the player both thought he’d be ready for the start of camp.

“We’re all frustrated about it,” Tom Coughlin said. “He is himself, number one. The sooner he can get out there, the better off we’ll all be. And he came in fully feeling like he could start right out in practice and just wasn’t able to do that right away. We’ll be patient, but know full well that we’re all excited the moment he gets a chance to come out and practice and we get a sense of where he is, how he’s going to be and that type of thing.”

Thomas re-injured his ACL early in camp last year, so having him push himself to be out there now may not be in anyone’s best interest.

My guess is the first guy off PUP is Chris Snee. But that’s just a guess.

As for the players on the field, here’s how the units looked:

The first team offensive line had Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, James Brewer and David Diehl going left to right. Brewer was in there in place of Snee. Diehl got the first day’s first-team reps with first-round pick Justin Pugh beginning his career with the second team. The rest of the starting offense included Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz at receiver, Brandon Myers at tight end, Bear Pascoe at h-back and David Wilson at running back.

The first defensive unit had Mathias Kiwanuka, Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins and Justin Tuck up front, Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich and Keith Rivers at linebacker, Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara at corner, and Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown at safety. The second unit for the defense was Adrian Tracy, Jonathan Hankins, Shaun Rogers and Damontre Moore up front, Jacquian Williams, Dan Connor and Aaron Curry at linebacker (although Kyle Bosworth stepped in for Curry later in practice after Curry left with a cramp), Aaron Ross and Trumaine McBride at corner and Tyler Sash and Ryan Mundy at safety.

The Giants were trying to air it out on the first day of practice. They just weren’t very good at it. I counted six deep passes in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills and none of them were completed.

“I thought the throws were pretty darn good,” Coughlin said. “I liked the way we were positioned from the corner spot.” Prince Amukamara made the best play on the deep ball, catching a pass from Eli Manning over his shoulder for an interception. It was intended for Rueben Randle. Aaron Ross nearly picked off one from Carr for Kevin Hardy down the right sideline and Corey Webster had tight coverage on Kris Adams on a deep one from Manning a few snaps earlier.

The Giants had Randle, David Wilson, Jerrel Jernigan, Victor Cruz and Aaron Ross returning punts against the coverage team. Ross and Cruz each muffed one.

A few random observations: Rookie Ryan Nassib, who took snaps with the third-string, looked more comfortable throwing on the run than he did while settled in the pocket. He made a nice toss across his body early in practice and then made a good move to the outside to buy time before completing a pass to Brandon Collins a few snaps later … I thought Aaron Ross had one of the better practices I’ve ever seen him have, and that goes back to his first go-around with he Giants. He was very active and batted down a few passes. The Giants may have to rely on him and he appears to be ready … Pugh was a shade late popping out to stop a blitzing Kyle Bosworth on the outside in 11-on-11s. That’s fine. It’s his first real NFL practice. But if that happens in a game, of course, I can’t be responsible for the number of short arm Tweets that I’ll unleash … Speaking of Bosworth, he was playing on the first unit on special teams. He could find a spot on the 53 through that route … I don’t know how much weight to put into these types of things, but it was interesting that during receiver drills one of the last players to go during route running and such was Ramses Barden. Does that reflect on his place in the depth chart or was he just being polite and letting others go first? … The almost-great catch of the day was by Kris Adams, who juggled a pass from Eli Manning and batted it in the air about four times before it fell to the ground incomplete during early drills without any defense … I was very impressed by Michael Cox, the rookie running back. He showed moves like David Wilson flashed a year ago (although not quite as quick and elusive). The Giants vets tried to break Wilson of those habits in practice last year. Wonder if now Wilson will do the same for Cox.
 

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