The injury news regarding cornerback Terrell Thomas overshadows pretty much everything that went on during Monday's practice at New York Giants training camp. There is no official word from the Giants yet on Thomas' MRI.
Let's take a look at what happened on the field during Monday's practice, the first one during which the Giants have worn full shoulder pads. I am going to try an expanded format today, so let's see how this goes.
Players Who Impressed
- Safety Will Hill, trying to make the as an undrafted free agent, had a nice day. He dove to knock a pass from David Carr away from Chris Hopkins on a short out during 11-on-11s. Hill closed really well on wide receiver David Douglas on another play, putting himself in position to deliver a big hit.
- Middle linebacker Mark Herzlich has shown surprising quickness in pass coverage. Today, he showed physicality with a couple of really nice run plays. Right now, he is out-performing veteran Chase Blackburn.
- Bear Pascoe and Martellus Bennett. The tight ends both had good days. During 7-on-7 drills Pascoe made three straight catches, and had a fourth catch later on a high throw from Ryan Perrilloux he had to stretch for. Bennett had a couple of nice catches, including an out route where Eli Manning slipped a beautiful ball in-between two defenders.
Players Who Struggled
- Tough day for veteran cornerback Antwuan Molden. A free-agent signee from the New England Patriots, Molden was beaten several times Monday. He has not distinguished himself yet in camp.
Now let's try summarizing some of the plays that took place during the live drills.
If you aren't familiar, this is simply cornerback vs. receiver with a quarterback trying to complete a pass.
- Jerrel Jernigan had another pretty nice day, but he dropped the first ball thrown his way. Matched with Prince Amukamara, Jernigan dropped a 50-50 ball deep down the left sideline.
-- Rames Barden caught a quick out in front of Justin Tryon.
-- Jayron Hosley dove to break up a quick out for Chris Hopkins. This is the play on which Hosley was cut, forcing him to leave practice.
- Wide receiver David Douglas made a beautiful inside fake and got behind Molden for a long reception down the left sideline.
- Amukamara batted away a short pass for Victor Cruz. As an aside, Amukamara probably belongs in the 'players who impressed' category. He had good coverage all day.
- Jernigan beat Bruce Johnson to haul in a quick slant.
- Ramses Barden got completely stuffed by Antrel Rolle at the line of scrimmage, and Ryan Perrilloux never even got to throw the ball. This has been an issue for Barden. With 'off' coverage he seems able to use his body to make short catches. With 'press' coverage he seems to struggle to get into his route.
In this drill there are no offensive or defensive linemen.
-- Pascoe began this drill by catching the first three passes, defeating Michael Coe, Kenny Phillips and Chase Blackburn in succession.
- Jernigan beat Phillips to the post and made a terrific catch in a tight space over the middle.
- Martellus Bennett squeezed in-between Brandon Bing and Spencer Paysinger to make a nice catch over the middle.
- Wide receiver Dan DePalma had two short catches.
The Giants usually do this drill twice during each training camp practice. Monday was no exception. Here are some of the highlights.
- The offense seemed to pick on cornerback Michael Coe a bit. Manning hit Domenik Hixon and Barden on successive short passes in Coe's direction early in the first 11-on-11 session.
- Bennett caught a 20-yard sideline route on a brilliant throw between defenders from Manning. Easily Manning's best throw of camp thus far.
- David Wilson got stuffed on a run up the middle (it was hard to tell who made the play in the mass of bodies). That caused the effusive Perry Fewell to yell "Hey, welcome to the league, baby."
- In the second 11-on-11 session the defense dominated the early portion, leading Fewell to scream something I won't print. Among those plays, was a run stop up the middle, a bat-down of a pass by Jason Pierre-Paul, a stop in the backfield by Mathias Kiwanuka and a play broken up by a combination of good pressure from Osi Umenyiora and good coverage by Amukamara on Reuben Randle.
- Manning tried to hit Hixon deep down the left sideline and Hixon, blanketed by Amukamara, hauled the cornerback to the ground. The obvious offensive pass interference was called emphatically by safeties coach Dave Merritt, who took off his hat and flung it at Hixon.
- Brandon Collins has done some great things, and some not-so-great things. Here, he did both in one play. With David Carr quarterbacking, Collins ran a beautiful stop-and-go route then cut to the sideline, leaving a befuddled Coe behind. Only Collins dropped a perfect pass that hit him right in the belly.
- Herzlich and Dwayne Hendricks, among others, blew up a pitch out to Andre Brown for no gain.
- Manning made maybe his worst throw of camp, trying to force a deep slant to Cruz and having the underneath defender, cornerback Dante Hughes, pick the ball off. That sent Hughes, and Fewell, on a 70-yard sprint to glory for a touchdown.
"We've had a couple of plays that come through. I'm not so sure yesterday wasn't better than today, but we've made a little progress. Certainly, I think it's a day that I would like to have seen what I'm constantly talking about through our team's improvement. Improvement, improvement, improvement, improvement. The only way you're going to improve is to have everybody test the guy across from them continuously. There's some good and some bad. We're looking to get a bit more consistent in that regard as well."
-- Coughlin on the progress of the running game
" I expect us to do well. When people say that, it’s funny. It’s almost as if we mistakenly won the Super Bowl. I don’t understand how you do that mistakenly. We caught a break here and there and we beat those teams – we beat them fair and square. All we need to do is carry over the focus and intensity from those past couple of games and link it up to what we’re trying to do this year, and I think we’ll be successful"
-- Osi Umenyiora on talk the Giants were lucky to win the Super Bowl