This afternoon Tom Coughlin was very happy to remind us that the first practice of training camp was a fairly clean one. No penalties, no fumbles, no dropped passes, no real blunderous mental mistakes that you’d expect after a four and a half month lockout.
He won’t be thinking the same thing about practice number two, which was considerably more sloppy than the first.
We’ll start where we always do, on the bikes. Riding today were Ramses Barden (ankle), Adam Koets (knee) and Osi Umenyiora (hip). Yes, Umenyiora was on the field and added to the active roster after first being designated to the reserve/did not report list. And Koets was actually moved to the PUP list. The Giants made that decision yesterday before the first practice but couldn’t file the paperwork until after 4 p.m., so for now he’s a PUPpy with Barden.
Terrell Thomas made the first big play of the practice, stepping in front of Hakeem Nicks to intercept the first pass by Eli Manning in 11-on-11s. (I jokingly Tweeted after that play that Plaxico would have made that catch, which some folks took a little too seriously. Lighten up!) Manning then threw a long incompletion to Manningham down the right sideline and had a pass dropped by Beckum on his next two throws. He finally completed a short checkdown to Ware (with Antrel Rolle right in his face). His best pass in the first series was a quick slant to Jernigan.
When the Giants worked on kickoff returns, Domenik Hixon took the first reps followed by Jernigan. Devin Thomas was the third guy and worked with the “hands” team. Lawrence Tynes attempted five field goals, but from my angle it was difficult to see if they were good or not and how far they were. One of the reasons I miss Albany.
In 7-on-7s, Kenny Ingram made two nice plays in pass coverage, the second of which earned him a scream and a high-five from defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Sage Rosenfels overthrew Victor Cruz deep down the left sideline.
When the team went back to 11-on-11s, Manning tried to hit Manningham deep again, this time down the left sideline. The throw was on target this time but Terrell Thomas did a nice job of catching up and defending it. In fact, he probably should have intercepted it. Manning also had to deal with a bobbled snap on the play after an iffy exchange with Chris Snee, the Pro Bowl guard who is filling in at center for now. Snee also had a low shotgun snap for Manning a few plays later and then had a botched snap with Rosenfels.
Clint Sintim did a nice job of being there for a potential stop on a counter option pitch left to D.J. Ware. On the next play Charles Scott tried to run outside but he was string out by Kenny Phillips and Michael Boley.
Hixon made a strong cut on an in route and made the catch over the middle, showing that his knee appears to be in fine shape.
Bruce Johnson made a really pretty play on a deep pass from Rosenfels to Jernigan, jumping up and over the receiver to bat the ball away. Safeties coach Dave Merritt took particular joy in that one.
Jernigan ran an end-around in which he was bumped by Jacquian Williams – the hardest hit of camp so far! – and fumbled the ball. It was picked up by Joe Burnett.
The final plays were all in the red zone and finally the Eli Manning-led first offensive unit showed something. Manning threw a sweet fade to the left which Hakeem Nicks was able to jump for and grab over Terrell Thomas, perhaps giving Eli a little revenge for that first pass that was picked off. Manning also threw a “touchdown” pass to Hixon, who made a nice double move on a post-corner.
Burnett, who recovered the fumble, was in good position to make a stop on Cruz and I saw the first flash from Marvin Austin this camp when he was in place to stuff a run by Da’Rel Scott. The final play of practice was a pass from Perrilloux to Beckum that was broken up by Corey Webster in the end zone. So practice began and ended with key plays from the starting cornerbacks.