Giants running back David Wilson gets ready to put on...

Giants running back David Wilson gets ready to put on his helmet during team training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Aug. 2, 2013) Credit: James Escher

It’s usually not a great day for the offense when the best catch at practice is made by a cornerback. But that was the case today as the Giants practiced in full pads outside in a ripping breeze that made for a legitimately chilly afternoon. The wind was playing with anything that was thrown or kicked into the air – Steve Weatherford was warming up by popping 70-yard punts or so over the fence and into the crowd with the wind at his back – and it may have had a role in the interception.

Here’s what happened: It was midway through 7-on-7 drills. Eli Manning had already thrown a deep ball to Victor Cruz that overshot its target by about 7 yards (wind). Now it was David Carr’s chance to unload a bomb and he went down the left sideline looking for Louis Murphy. It seemed as if that pass would be going too far as well, but Laron Scott kept running and running and at the last second he reached out and made a fingertip grab over his shoulder for the interception. Murphy grabbed Scott (no tackling, even for the offensive players!) and the defense began chiding Murphy for not giving Scott a chance to return the pick. Murphy eventually let go and Scott ran back the length of the field, from one end zone to the other, with his trophy.

Let’s stick with the 7-on-7 plays for a moment before getting into the injury report because there was a good deal of action there. Just before the Scott interception the defense forced another turnover, but this one wasn’t on a pick. Eli Manning threw a nice pass over Dan Connor to Brandon Myers for a completion, but Aaron Ross was there to strip the ball away from Myers and force a fumble … Jacquian Williams showed great speed getting to the sideline to bust up a pass from Carr for Hakeem Nicks … Prince Amukamara made a really nice play, coming up to break up a pass from Manning to Murphy on the left sideline. The rest of the defense loved it, and it drew praise from cornerbacks coach Peter Giunta. But Prince was disappointed. “Pick it!” he yelled, unhappy to settle for just a PD when he thought he could have had an INT. That’s the second time this camp I’ve seen Prince make a shining defensive play and come away unsatisfied because he thought he could have picked it … Ryan Nassib’s long throw in the session was also overthrown (wind). His was intended for Kevin Hardy.

Ok, injuries. A few guys came back today. OL James Brewer (concussion) and CB Corey Webster (groin) were both in full pads and participating, although it seemed like both were fairly limited. The PUP guys remain active on the side with Henry Hynoski (knee) going through some agility drills and perhaps most importantly Jason Pierre-Paul (back) running sprints and working with a tackling dummy.

Tom Coughlin said Damontre Moore is “getting there” in his return from a shoulder contusion. He’s missed the last three practices. Some of the others who missed practice were: WR Brandon Collins, WR Jerrel Jernigan, RB Da’rel Scott, S Cooper Taylor, T Chris DeGeare. And of course Antrel Rolle was not practicing, but he did show up on the field about halfway through the workout. He again had no protective boot on his right ankle (they’re for wimps, remember) and was walking without much of a limp (limps are for wimps, too, I guess). The only way you would know he was injured was by the tight wrap on his right ankle which went no higher than a crew sock and the fact that he was not in pads or a helmet. Other than that, Rolle looked like he could play on Sunday against the Colts if he had to. Of course, it’s a good thing he doesn’t.

One last item in a non-football practice vein: The Giants had a visit from Jon Bon Jovi at practice today. There’s been some speculation that Bon Jovi could be the halftime entertainment for Super Bowl XLVIII in February. I wonder what the chances are that either he or the Giants will be performing at MetLife Stadium that day.

With the boys in full pads, we had some 9-on-7 running drills. There weren’t as many big hits there as there have been in the past. But it is worth noting that the Giants defense once again came out in a 3-4 look on the first snap with Cullen Jenkins, Shaun Rogers and Linval Joseph as down linemen, Mark Herzlich and Spender Paysinger inside linebackers, and Keith Rivers and Mathias Kiwanuka as the outside backers. The defense seemed to be able to control the pace of the drill, even if there was no live tackling. Linval Joseph had a nice stuff on a run by Andre Brown. Jenkins and Rivers combined to stop David Wilson. David Diehl had a false start at right tackle. Dan Connor made three “tackles” in a row at one point. The best hit of the drill was when new fullback Ben Guidugli popped linebacker Etienne Sabino on the edge. Michael Cox had the one big gainer for the offense, finding a hole on the left side with the third stringers.

In the first series of 11-on-11s, Manning hit Hakeem Nicks on the first pass but Mathias Kiwanuka gave a strong shiver to Bear Pascoe who picked up his pass rush and was drilled in the chest … Andre Brown took a toss out to the left and Kevin Boothe made a nice block on Amukamara to clear the way … Manning threw a quick hitch pass to David Wilson, who was lined up wide right … Keith Rivers was there to stop Andre Brown after beating Jim Cordle … Michael Cox had a run to the left and Justin Pugh did a nice job sealing off veteran DT Mike Patterson … Louis Murphy made a very nice catch, jumping up for a high pass from Carr while behind cornerback Trumaine McBride who I don’t think ever saw the ball coming … Jacquian Williams slashed through the line and was in position to stop a Michael Cox run in the backfield … While that hitch from Manning to Wilson was quick and effective, when Nassib tried to throw the same pass to Cox it was slow and clunky as the two rookies seemed unsure of the timing. Kyle Bosworth and Frank Okam were there to stop Cox before he could get anywhere … Bryant Browning had a nice block on Bosworth on a Cox run a play later … Chase Clement nearly made a one-handed grab over the middle on a pass from Nassib, but he dropped it.

Bosworth, who we mentioned in the last paragraph for his defense, was a special teams demon today, buzzing all around the field on punts. That could be his path to the 53.

Some excitement in the next series of 11-on-11s as Manning completed a pass to Myers while Will Beatty did a nice job of stopping the pass rush by Kiwanuka … Amukamara was able to shed his block and Paysinger did a strong job of holding the edge and funneling David Wilson inside on a short run to the left … Manning threw a short pass to Andre Brown after which the offense hurried up to the line to try to convert a third-and-1. Corey Webster, who was on the sideline, was yelling at Prince to let him know that the pass was coming his way and to be prepared for it. But Prince played back off of Murphy and Murphy ran a short curl route and Manning hit him for a first down. Despite the strong camp, there is still a lot to learn for Amukamara (and it was impressive to see Webster be able to sniff out the play) … Terrell Thomas has been working mostly in the slot but he was on the outside covering Rueben Randle when Randle caught a quick slant from Manning … Randle caught the next pass too, this one from Carr, and was able to keep a strong one-handed grip on it despite an effort from Jayron Hosley to slap it away … Cox ran up the middle and into Pugh, who had a good initial block but then stood up and found himself clogging the very hole he had helped to create … Nassib hit Jamie Childers on a pass that was just beyond the reach of safety Alonzo Tweedy … Nassib hit Guidugli on a short play-action pass but Marvin Austin was able to beat Eric Herman and get into the back field for what might have been a sack.

Remember how I called Laron Scott’s interception the catch of the day? Well, it was almost knocked off its position when the Giants went down to the 15 and worked on red zone plays. The first one was a fade pass from Manning for Cruz in the left corner of the end zone with Aaron Ross in coverage. Cruz tried to make a one-handed leaping catch, and as he came down o the ground it looked like he might juggle it in the air long enough to hold onto it. But the last bounce went too far away and it hit the ground for an incompletion … On the next play David Wilson showed Manning how it’s done. The running back took a toss to the left and squared up to throw a TD pass to Cruz. It was an ugly left-handed duck, but it was worth six more points than Manning’s pass … Andre Brown took a shovel pass from Manning up the middle but Linval was there and actually lifted the running back up off his feet. Linval is a strong dude … Pugh, who played left tackle today with the twos, did a nice job handling a bull rush by Adrian Tracy to protect Carr … Nassib completed a short pass to Torain but Okam was there to stop the play and Justin Trattou had pressure on the quarterback.

Then the team moved to the 6, even redder in the red zone, and went from there for a few snaps. Jacquian Williams broke up a pass from Manning to Myers in the end zone on the first snap but Victor Cruz caught a quick slant in front of Terrell Thomas for a TD on the second play. Thomas was unhappy with it, perhaps thinking he should have been able to step in front of the route quicker. Remember, Thomas hasn’t seen live football action in almost two years so he’s bound to be a little rusty in his vision and processing time … Jayron Hosley dropped an interception in the end zone on a pass from Carr to Kevin Hardy … Nassib threw a touchdown pass to Ramses Barden with Junior Mertile defending the play.

The Giants have been working in the red zone all week, perhaps because of the three-and-out they put up after the blocked punt gave them the ball at the 5 against the Steelers and they had to settle for a field goal.

“It’s sporadic,” Tom Coughlin said of the improvement in the area. “The defense makes a play, the offense, about every third play the offense made a play.”

Practice ended with a hurry-up set as the second-team offense went against the third-team defense. The drive started with :56 left and Carr hit Hardy for a short pass on the sideline and Hardy went out of bounds to stop the clock at :50. Carr’s next pass was an overthrow of Hardy (:45) and on third down Carr found Larry Donnell going across the middle for a first down with Keith Rivers covering him. The offense ran to the line and Carr spiked the ball with :33 remaining. He hit Barden on second down and tried to hit him again on third but the pass was incomplete (Laron Scott was in coverage). Finally, on fourth down, Carr’s pass intended for Donnell was incomplete. Drive over. Defense wins.

Bands! (And I don't mean Bon Jovi.)
 

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