The best news of Tuesday's New York Giants practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center was that cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster, offensive guard Chris Snee and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks all practiced to some degree.
The most interesting news was that the Giants spent a significant amount of time employing a 3-4 defense.
With the first unit, Shaun Rogers and Linval Joseph alternately lined up at the nose while the defense employed the 3-4 look, with Cullen Jenkins and Mathias Kiwanuka at the defensive ends. The outside linebackers were Justin Tuck (yes, Tuck instead of Kiwanuka) and Keith Rivers, with Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger inside.
With the second unit, Johnathan Hankins and Mike Patterson each spent time at the nose. Adrian Tracy and Aaron Curry were the outside linebackers with the second unit, with Dan Connor and Jacquian Williams inside.
The Giants did not exclusively work from the 3-4 Tuesday. They also utilized their traditional 4-3. It was an interesting look, however, and if the Giants are going to spend time working on it you have to believe it's something you may see them utilize at times.
A few players were banged up during the workout, which was in full pads.
- Running back Ryan Torain took a big hit from someone in the secondary, possibly Ryan Mundy, and was slow to get up.
- Tight end Larry Donnell appeared to roll an ankle.
- Offensive lineman James Brewer "got dinged" during the morning, according to coach Tom Coughlin. He did not work in the afternoon practice.
- Rookie offensive lineman Justin Pugh attended practice, and Coughlin said he is "feeling better." There is no indication when he might return to the field.
The Giants' defense is apparently ready to hit someone other than players on the Giants' offense.
In addition to the big hit on Torain, there were a few other aggressive tackles. Connor blasted running back Da'Rel Scott on one play and linebacker Jake Muasau slammed running back Michael Cox to the ground on another play.
Coughlin wasn't happy with the overly aggressive defense and at one point could be seen having words with defensive coordinator Perry Fewell as they tried to get the hitting under control.
"We don’t want them on the ground, there was too much of that today," Coughlin said. "We [Coughlin and Fewell] just said, ‘What are we doing knocking people down…’ We’ll get it, we’ll get it under control."
Here are some of the individual highlights from Tuesday.
- You don't see this happen very often during training camp, but Steve Weatherford had a punt blocked by Ryan Torain. It wasn't clear who missed the block that allowed Torain to get to Weatherford.
- During 7-on-7, wide receiver Louis Murphy was blanketed first by Corey Webster, who slapped away an out from Eli Manning, then by Aaron Ross. Ross got good position on a deep ball and nearly made an interception.
- Da'Rel Scott didn't help his case for making the roster with a fumble that appeared to be recovered by Johnathan Hankins.
- Rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib had some good throws, but two awful ones. A deep ball for Kevin Hardy was woefully underthrown, and he later had a quick out intercepted by Laron Scott.
- Connor jumped a screen pass from David Carr for Da'Rel Scott and forced an incompletion.
- Rueben Randle reprised his one-on-one battle with Prince Amukamara, defeating tight coverage to haul in a short pass from Manning.
- David Wilson thrilled the fans in attendance, but probably not Coughlin, by fielding a punt return, running to the right sideline, then reversing field when he was hemmed in all the way back to the left side.