Practice report: Connor at MLB
August, 16, 2013
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Seth WenigDan Connor is battling Mark Herzlich for the starting middle linebacker job.EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants may be switching things up at middle linebacker for Sunday's game against the Colts as Dan Connor took reps with the first team during Friday's practice.
Mark Herzlich has been the starting middle linebacker, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after the first preseason game against Pittsburgh that no particular linebacker stood out in the win.
Connor, known more as a run-stopper, previously took reps with the first team on Monday. The Giants signed him in the offseason to help bolster the unit.
One of the team's biggest battles this summer is at linebacker, and this competition between Herzlich and Connor will be worth keeping an eye on. After giving Herzlich an extended look, it appears Connor will get his chance.
Here are some other notes and observations from practice:
• Practice ended with a scrum during a two-minute drill led by rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib. It appeared that defensive end Adewale Ojomo was in the scuffle. Coughlin was not at all pleased with the skirmish.
• The defense didn't make many plays during the afternoon, but Aaron Ross intercepted Nassib and had a nice pass deflection on a throw intended for Julian Talley.
• The starters didn't go against each other often on Friday. A lot of the action in the seven-on-sevens and 11-on-11s gave the backups a chance to play.
• Talley and Louis Murphy were active in the passing game, each catching several balls. Murphy appears locked into the second-string receiving unit with Rueben Randle.
• Randle and Victor Cruz each had nice grabs for a good chunk of yardage. Randle caught a ball from Eli Manning down the left sideline, while Cruz extended to haul in a pass from David Carr. Cruz's catch pleased the crowd.
• Brandon Myers continues to be a nice option in the intermediate passing game, as the quarterbacks found him several times over the middle. Manning targeted Myers several times, including during a red zone drill.
• James Brewer served as the right tackle for the second-string unit, while Justin Pugh was at left tackle. Pugh is slated to make his preseason debut Sunday against the Colts.
• The Giants tried a wheelhouse route with David Wilson, but it didn't work as Carr overthrew the running back. Wilson scored on a wheelhouse route in the season finale against Philadelphia, and with his speed, it could be a type of play the Giants look to use to get Wilson in open space.