It seems the New York Giants offensive and defensive players are getting just a touch tired of each other as Giants Training Camp at the University at Albany has turned a corner into its second week.
Before I tell you about it, a question. Does it count as a fight when it happens between two guys who are almost certainly not going to make the team? That's because tonight's extra-cirriculars happened when third-team corrner Courtney Brown knocked wide receiver Nyan Boateng to the ground and Boateng went all Kung-Fu on Brown, kicking at him from the seat of his pants. Maybe not Boateng's finest moment. Oh, and a heckuva way to get your first real mention of camp.
A little more significant, though, was that just moments after that two of the Giants big-name players had to be separated. Brandon Jacobs was having words with, I believe, Deon Grant though I am not 100 percent sure it was Grant. Could have been a different defensive back. Anyway, someone had to intervene as an incensed Jacobs was headed after him.
I happened to walk past Jacobs as we were leaving and, though I didn't ask him, he still sounded unhappy.
In general, I think the Giants offense has had enough of the woofing and trash-talking that has been coming from Perry Fewell's defense. Monday night's workout was, to say the least spirited. There was more jawing back and forth between the two units than at any time during camp thus far.
Ramses Barden had a tremendous practice. He has been inconsistent to this point in camp. Monday night, though, he was spectacular.
His best play of the night was a highlight reel leaping grab of a Jim Sorgi pass over an outstretched and also leaping Aaron Ross. Barden used his 6-foot-6 frame to haul in the ball, then held on while tumbling over the prone Ross.
He described the catch to Giants.com.
"The thing about Aaron, he jumps out of the gym," Barden said. "If you saw the play he had the other day when it just missed my hands, he out-jumped me. He timed it a little bit better. The wind carried it maybe, but nah - he made a great play on the ball. That just shows you the kind of athleticism he has, so it's not just a jumping game with him. You kind of have to time it. You kind of have to try to beat him to the punch because if you wait to make it an athletic matchup with Aaron, you know, he's one of the more athletic corners in the league."
Barden had several other catches, including:
- A slant in front of Corey Webster.
- A catch over the middle against Terrell Thomas.
- A nice catch down the middle in-between Thomas and Antrel Rolle.
Here are a few other highlights from the evening practice.
- This was the first practice attended by NFL referees.
- Those refs, by the way, came in handy on a great sideline interception by Ross. He batted a ball from Sorgi intended for Victor Cruz into the air, brought it down and smoothly got both feet in bounds for the pick.
- Mario Manningham and the sideline, by the way, still don't seem to get along. He actually got hollered at by one of the officials for failing to get both feet down on a sideline catch.
- Matt Dodge hit 16 punts during practice. Two were more than 60 yards and five others longer than 50 yards. There were, however, at least two very poor punts mixed in there. This young guy has a world of talent, but unless things change dramatically in the next 5-6 weeks we are going to have to live with some ugly punts on occasion.
- Lawrence Tynes went 6-of-8 on field goal attempts, with his longest being 47 yards. He missed left on kicks of 30 and 33 yards. He is 26-of-29 in camp now.
- Mathias Kiwanuka spent some time at linebacker. He dropped into coverage on one play, stepped into a passing lane and batted away an Eli Manning pass for Barden. It appears that what the Giants are doing is taking a look at a 'heavy' defense with Kiwanuka at one linebacker slot and Chris Canty at end, which would seem to be aimed at stuffing the run.
- Speaking of stuffing the run, second-round draft pick Linval Joseph had a great practice doing just that. He made three solo stops right at the line of scrimmage on runs up the middle.
- Osi Umenyiora got past David Diehl for a would-be sack on one play, and Will Beatty was quickly inserted at left tackle. How the offensive line ends up shaking out is still a work in progress.
- The Giants tried a defensive look with everyone standing, no one in a three-point stance. It featured Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka lined up inside at tackle, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora on the outside. They certainly have not been afraid to look at a variety of things thus far.