The New York Giants were in full pads for the first time during Thursday evening's training camp practice at the University at Albany.
Here are some observations from the evening session.
- Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, as promised, was in pads and on the field with the first-team offense. He started slowly, but ended up with a handful of receptions on the evening. It was great to see him out there, and to see him moving well.
- This one is sort of a good news, bad news note. Osi Umenyiora absolutely overwhelmed David Diehl on two successive plays during 11-on-11 drills, "sacking" Eli Manning once and pressuring him on the second play.
- So, with Diehl struggling a bit that's an opening for Will Beatty, right? Well, not so fast. Beatty had an awful practice. Mathias Kiwanuka practically bull-rushed Beatty into the ground on one play with Beatty lined up at left tackle, then the second-year player completely whiffed on Dave Tollefson on successive plays. He was quickly replaced by Herb Taylor, and caught an earful from offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.
- Aaron Ross seemed in great spirits this evening, playfully kidding with coaches and teammates during stretching and bouncing all around during the early part of practice.
- Lawrence Tynes went 7-for-7 in field goals, starting at 20 yards and finishing at 41. Notably, rookie Matt Dodge did a nice job on one kick, scooping up a low snap, getting it down and allowing Tynes to hit a 34-yarder. Tynes s now 15-for-15 in two kicking sessions, his long being 47 yards.
- Dodge also did some punting during the session. I counted 16 kicks, most of them excellent. There were a couple of low liners and one shank, but the young man does have a powerful leg.
- Derek Hagan continues to impress. I cannot think of a thing he has done poorly yet. Tonight's highlight was a tremendous leaping catch of a Rhett Bomar pass, taking it away from D.J. Johnson.
- As he did in the morning session, Rich Seubert took a handful of snaps at center.
- Shaun O'Hara (ankle), wide receiver Mario Manningham (groin), safety Deon Grant (groin) and tight end Travis Beckum (hamstring) did not practice.
- Practice ended with Antrel Rolle dancing in the end zone after picking off a pass from a heavily-rushed Eli Manning and running it back. By the way, the defensive line on that play? Umenyiora and Justin Tuck at the ends, and Mathias Kiwanuka and Tollefson at the tackles.