The training camp portion of the 2011 New York Giants season is almost complete. Only today and Saturday remain for what is technically training camp. After Monday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears the Giants will have less than three weeks to get ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 11 in Washington against the Redskins.
With that in mind, I thought it was time review the best and worst of training camp. The way we do that, of course, is with our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' So, let's get right down to business.
Kudos To ...
Henry Hynoski -- The undrafted rookie free agent has had an excellent camp. I will be stunned if he is not part of the final 53-man roster, and my guess is he becomes an integral part of the Giants running game before the season is finished.
Jason Pierre-Paul -- Great camp for JPP, and a great preseason opener. He has also handled his role with the return of Osi Umenyiora quite nicely. He could be headed for a huge year.
Mathias Kiwanuka -- For re-signing with the Giants, and for accepting his move to linebacker with class. Kiwanuka has played there grudgingly in the past, but he seems to really be embracing the move this time. Might have something to do with simply being thrilled to be on the field in any role after last season's neck injury.
Tom Coughlin -- All things considered, with two-a-days being eliminated, no offseason program, the constant roster shuffling, etc., Coughlin has seemed to handle it all pretty well. That is important for this team, since we know flexibility has never been considered TC's strong suit.
David Diehl -- For handling his move from the premier left tackle position inside to guard without complaint. He's a pro, a team guy, and the way Diehl handled the switch is what I would have expected. He did not disappoint.
Ahmad Bradshaw -- For taking less guaranteed money than we all know he wanted, and for doing it without one public word of complaint.
Eli Manning -- Yeah, we all know he isn't as good as Tom Brady. I love the confidence, though. Now all he has to do is back it up with a great year.
Worthy of mention -- Lots of players have had good camps. UDFA linebacker Spencer Paysinger and sixth-round picks Greg Jones (LB) and Tyler Sash (S), among them. Cornerback Brian Witherspoon has impressed. Among the wide receivers, Domenik Hixon, Devin Thomas and Darius Reynaud have separated themselves. On defense, tackle Chris Canty and cornerback Terrell Thomas have stepped up.
There are probably other guys I am forgetting who are worth of 'Kudos.' To be honest, though, I am getting anxious to get to the 'Wet Willies.' So, that is what I am going to do.
Wet Willies To ...
Osi Umenyiora -- For whining away three weeks of camp and getting ... nothing. Osi returned and he was still whining, which really shouldn't come as a surprise. The guy has been whining for three seasons now, if not longer than that. I'm tired of listening to him. The guy makes millions of dollars, and it's just too darn bad that he thinks he is underpaid and the Giants don't respect him. He put his name on the six-year contract, so if he is underpaid that is his own fault.
Steve Smith -- I could really care less that Smith left for the Philadelphia Eagles. That's his business and if he followed the money, so be it, even if it was hypocritical after some of the things he has said about the Eagles and how much he said he loved the Giants. This 'Wet Willie' is for all of Smith's begging on his Facebook page for the forgiveness/understanding of Giants fans. You know what, Steve? A lot of the things that were said by people on your Facebook page were classless and uncalled for, but what did you expect? You made a choice, live with it and don't expect your Giants fan Facebook 'friends' to stay that way.
Ramses Barden and Adam Koets -- The PUP twins. I don't know what the deal is with Barden, but he is frittering away his chance to be a legitimate NFL receiver by standing on the sidelines and not getting on the field. Koets should be the team's backup center, and he can't get on the field, either.
Aaron Ross -- Ross scares me every time he is on the field. Seems like I have been watching the guy in what I call 'trail mode' for years now. That means chasing after guys he was supposed to be covering to try and make tackles after they have run away from him. The camp practices I saw showed the same thing, and Ross got burned badly a few times in coverage against Carolina. The really discouraging part of that was he was on the field in the second half against the Panthers' scrubs and was still getting beat.
Travis Beckum -- Two weeks into camp I would have given the third-year tight end/H back a 'kudos.' Then he came up with a sore hamstring, missed some practice time and the preseason opener, then spent last week messing up assignments and getting screamed at by the usually quiet offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Beckum needs to step up -- consistently -- and he is giving off mixed signals on whether or not he can be counted on to do that.
Prince Amukamara -- The team's first-round pick was the final NFL draft pick to sign a contract and get into camp. Then, he broke his foot and will be sidelined for the first few weeks of the season. Not a good start for Prince. Giants fans just have to hope things go uphill from here.