Most of you are probably following the Tweets and other information that comes from the practice field in an almost instantaneous manner. Case in point was the Tweet from Hakeem Nicks (or, more accurately I’m guessing, someone at the controls of Nicks’ account) that was filed while the team – and Nicks – was still on the practice field.
So practice reports may be a little redundant. But I’ll try to do them anyway.
We’ll start with the guys who weren’t participating. Obviously Kenny Phillips and Kevin Boothe were sidelined and remain on the PUP list. They were joined today by Shaun O’Hara (ankle), Keith Bulluck (knee), Kevin Boss (ankle), Osi Umenyiora (hip) and Nicks (toe). Tom Coughlin said all of those but O’Hara will participate this afternoon on once-a-day schedules.
Now, those who were there: Ahmad Bradshaw looked pretty sharp, and I already wrote about him a few posts below. In fact, when the team had its first 11-on-11 snaps of the season, it was Bradshaw and not Brandon Jacobs in the backfield. Jacobs eventually had his reps, but I found it startling because in just about every practice of training camp last year it was Jacobs who got things rolling. Maybe there’s something to read into that. Then again, maybe there isn’t.
The first group on offense looked like this: McKenzie, Snee, Koets, Seubert and Diehl across the o-line, Bear Pascoe at tight end, Hedgecock and Bradshaw in the backfield, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham out wide, and Eli Manning at quarterback.
The first defense was Tuck, Cofield, Canty and Kiwanuka across the front, Boley, Goff an Sintim at linebacker, Webster and Thomas at corner and Rolle and Grant at safety. The second defense had Pierre-Paul, Bernard, Alford and Tollefson up front, Blackburn, Dillard and Kehl at linebacker, Bruce Johnson and Aaron Ross at corner and Michael Johnson and Sha’reff Rashad at safety.
Who stood out? Corey Webster made a terrific interception in a seven-on-seven drill, reaching up and pulling in a one-handed grab on a pass from Manning to Manningham on a 9 route down the right sideline. But the most exciting part of the play might have been the return, especially when, while he was shouting for him to take it all the way and score, Perry Fewell yelled “I got this block” and gave Webster a little extra room to run.
Who didn’t stand out? It wasn’t a good start for Jim Sorgi at backup quarterback. Not only did his group jump offsides on its first snap, but once it regrouped there was so much confusion that he had to call a timeout. He hadn’t even run a play in 11-on-11s yet and had already taken two steps backwards.
The other guy who had a few miscues was Hedgecock, who dropped two straight passes. One of them was a little low and a difficult one to make, but both were drops. This as opposed to Andre Brown who looked very smooth out of the backfield and caught a nice pass from Sorgi over his head on a dead run.
It wasn’t a very good practice for Travis Beckum. First he dropped a pass over the middle that he should have caught in which he was wide open (Bomar threw it and John Busing was closing in), and then on the next rep he slipped and fell, taking himself out of the play as Bomar hit Pascoe, the other TE on the play, for a nice gain down the seam over the coverage of Gerris Wilkinson. Beckum is supposed to be a pass-catcher who needs to improve on his blocking, so if he’s having trouble catching the ball there could be a problem. It’s early, though.
Steve Smith had an Eli Manning pass go off his hands after he beat Webster and Grant deep. Derek Hagan had a step on John Busing but the ball was underthrown by Rhett Bomar and Busing was able to recover and knock it away.Duke Calhoun made a pretty one-handed catch on a slant pass from Bomar, who besides the missed throw to Hagan seemed to be doing pretty well. And DJ Ware did a nice job of picking up pressure from Kiwanuka on a play-action fake, giving Manning time to find Sinorice Moss for a completion over the middle.
It looks like Aaron Ross has the early advantage as the main punt return guy as he’s been taking the first reps whenever the drills take place. The Giants haven’t run any kickoff return drills yet, but when they do I’ve been told Ware will probably be the main guy in that.
Next practice is at 3:15 p.m. Remember to check Twitter for updates throughout the practice. I’ll come back and post another breakdown and maybe a few more notes after this afternoon’s session.