Here is your Thursday evening practice report from New York Giants training camp at the Timex Performance Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Mathias Kiwanuka took the field for the first time since the fourth game of the 2010 regular season, since a herniated disc in his neck nearly cost him his career. Interestingly, Kiwanuka practiced exclusively at linebacker. He took Clint Sintim's spot with the starting group, and looked as though he had never been away. On one play he flew past Will Beatty on the outside to stop Ahmad Bradshaw for a big loss. Sintim practiced with the second group.
It will be interesting today to see Kiwanuka's reaction to not only being back on the field, but to being used at linebacker.
Eli Manning is going to drive Giants' fans insane if he continues throwing the football the way he did Thursday night. During the evening Manning threw a couple of balls into heavy traffic in the middle of the field which were tipped and fell harmlessly to the ground. Late in practice, during a goal line drill from the seven-yard line, Manning was intercepted by Brian Witherspoon on a throw to the left sideline.
Don't sleep on Witherspoon, by the way, especially with the season and possibly career-ending injury to Bruce Johnson. Witherspoon, 26, played one game for the Giants last season. He has also played for Jacksonville and Detroit in a three-year career. He has made interceptions two practices in a row, has been getting reps catching and returning punts and has been getting some praise from the coaching staff for his work in coverage.
Terrell Thomas lined up in the slot whenever the Giants first unit went with extra defensive backs. For the second straight night Thomas got smoked by Mario Manningham, who ran past him on one play to haul in a long corner route from Manning.
The Giants have been saying that Bear Pascoe would be their fullback. Well, in his first practice of camp Thursday, Pascoe did run with the first unit. At tight end. During position drills Pascoe also worked with the tight ends. He did line up in the backfield on some plays, mostly when teamed with Travis Beckum. Henry Hynoski was the only player working exclusively at fullback Thursday.
Speaking of Hynoski, he seems to be comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield. He smoothly hauled in several passes Thursday. Hynoski was also getting lots of attention from coaches, who seemed to be working with him on blocking technique at the point of attack.
Steve Weatherford and Matt Dodge alternated during punting drills. Maybe he was making a point, but Weatherford seemed to intentionally direct three of his first four punts out of bounds. It's interesting to watch the two punters because their styles are much different. Weatherford meets the ball much closer to the ground than Dodge.
Players who practiced for the first time after ratification of the CBA were Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Kiwanuka, David Baas, Stacy Andrews, Gabe Watson, Ben Patrick, Pascoe, Kevin Boothe, David Carr, Michael Clayton, Andre Brown, Weatherford, Chris White and Jamon Meredith.
Attendance Thursday night was announced as 1,815.