Training camp enters its second full week for the DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPION New York Giants today. What have we learned so far? Quite a bit, I think. Here is a list of the top 10 things I've learned.
- Mathias Kiwanuka is going to be an absolute monster. Read the practice reports from the beat reporters and you see his name all over the place. He is making plays down the field in pass coverage, in the back field against the run and pressuring quarterbacks when lined up at defensive end. Let me say this right now. If Kiwanuka is healthy all season, he will be the Giants best defensive player.
- Eli Manning better not get hurt. David Carr is a reclamation project and he is, well, an adventure every time he takes a snap. Anthony Wright is, well, Anthony Wright and that means you better hope he never has to play. Andre Woodson is a rookie with a lot to learn.
- The Denver Broncos didn't know what they had in Domenic Hixon. The Broncos released Hixon last season, and he made an impact with the Giants on kick coverage and returning kickoffs. During camp, Hixon has shown he is much more than a special-teamer, and he is pushing hard for time at wide receiver.
- Kenny Phillips is a bundle of energy who loves to hit people. The Giants will be hard-pressed to keep their No. 1 pick out of the starting lineup once the season begins.
- The Giants are anything but complacent. They may not win another Super Bowl, but it won't be because they have gotten fat and lazy. The Giants still feel largely disrespected, and I really don't mind the fact that they still feel they have a lot to prove.
- It's a good thing the Giants signed free-agent linebacker Danny Clark. It's pretty obvious the veteran is going to wind up starting at one outside linebacker spot since Gerris Wilkinson has yet to get on the field due to his injured knee. Wilkinson's knee seems worse than anyone let on during the off-season, and you have to begin to wonder about his future.
Terrell Thomas, the second-round pick from USC, is as advertised. A big, physical corner who loves to play bump-and-run and dare receivers to beat him.
Sinorice Moss needs to show more -- and soon -- or he will play his way out of a job. Hixon, Steve Smith and free agent Brandon London have all apparently been very impressive, and coach Tom Coughlin has always been intrigued by Michael Jennings. Plus, Super Bowl hero David Tyree will be around if and when his knee is healthy enough.
- The Giants want to get more quick strikes into their passing attack. They have begun almost every practice with a deep pass, and Coughlin is emphasizing the fact that he would like more big plays from the passing game.
- Plaxico Burress' ankle has to be the Giants' biggest concern right now. Burress, who swears this is a different injury than last season's, has not practiced yet. We know 'Game Day' always shows up to play, but with a bad wheel and a contract issue lingering it's time to begin wondering just how much of a problem this is going to be.