The New York Giants worked out wearing shoulder pads for the first time on Thursday, and the most physical practice of training camp included a couple of skirmishes.
A pair of rookies were involved in the second skirmish, with guard Eric Herman and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins going at it. There was a big, sweeping left from Herman that hit nothing but air, and probably qualifies as a "swat" instead of a punch.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the rest of the practice report.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was limited again, although he did take a couple of snaps in 11-on-11 drills. Nicks dropped the only ball thrown his way, a comeback route where he was tightly covered by Prince Amukamara.
Wide receiver Jeremy Horne was carted off the field during practice with what coach Tom Coughlin said was a foot injury of undetermined severity.
Call this a nod to the Big Blue View Beezer Brigade, but this was a good day for several linebackers.
- Aaron Curry dropped into coverage and picked off a Curtis Painter pass intended for Kris Adams. Curry, bidding for a spot as an outside linebacker, sliced into the backfield to make back-to-back run stops in one sequence.
- Kyle Bosworth showed up several times in run defense, making some impressive stops in the backfield and at the line of scrimmage.
- Dan Connor, Spencer Paysinger and Jacquain Williams all showed up strongly in run support on various plays.
Defensive line coach Robert Nunn talked Monday about the versatility of veteran lineman Cullen Jenkins. Tuesday, the Giants debuted a "heavy" defensive set that had Jenkins at defensive end and mammoth Shaun Rogers inside at defensive tackle. Jenkins recorded a sack and at least one nice run stop from there, and Coughlin said the Giants would continue to experiment with personnel combinations using Jenkins outside at times.
Pugh continued to struggle with Damontre Moore in pass protection, had a false start and had one play where Adrian Tracy blew past him untouched to the quarterback. Pugh did get nice help from guard Brandon Mosley on one play. Moore used a beautiful spin move to the inside, but Mosley stepped in to knock Moore off-balance and out of the play.
The Giants lined up in a "Jumbo" package on a handful of snaps, using Pugh as the third tight end.
Aaron Ross continues to work as the first-team nickel cornerback, and had an interception for the second straight day. He picked off Eli Manning on a pass intended for Victor Cruz where there appeared to be some mis-communication between the quarterback and the receiver.
Tuesday marked a second straight rough day for rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib. He threw two awful deep balls, one of which fell harmlessly to the ground 10 yards short of Ramses Barden, and the other an underthrow for an open Brandon Collins being picked off by cornerback Junior Mertile. Nassib had a few other off-target throws, and spent some time after practice throwing.
Rueben Randle flashed on a few plays again on Tuesday, the best of which was a long ball from Manning where he jumped over Corey Webster for the catch. On that play, however, Manning never would have gotten the pass off in game conditions as Justin Tuck had overrun James Brewer, sliding out from guard to try to handle him, to get to Manning.
Rough practice for Bear Pascoe, who struggled to get open and had a couple of balls thrown his way knocked down. The one time he did get open on a 20-25-yard seam route he dropped a perfectly placed ball.
Marvin Austin recorded what would have been a sack on one play.
As a general comment, the run defense seemed to hold up well. Coughlin was pleased, but cautioned that it takes longer for an offensive line to come together than a defensive line.
That's it for me today. I am packing up shortly and heading back home for a few days. I hope you have enjoyed the first-hand accounts I have been able to bring you, and there will be more a bit later in camp.