New York Giants: Practice Report

Jason Pierre-Paul increases workload

August, 27, 2013
8/27/13
4:22
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Jason Pierre-PaulJohn Munson/USA TODAY SportsJason Pierre-Paul could be ready for the Giants' regular season opener in Dallas on Sept. 8.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who was activated from the physically unable to perform list and practiced for the first time Monday, was back on the field Tuesday afternoon.

After just doing individual work Monday, Pierre-Paul took some 11-on-11 team reps on Tuesday and looked good, making it more likely he will be ready for the team's regular- season opener in Dallas on Sept. 8.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the trainers gave Pierre-Paul permission to do more. "He jumped in there, did a couple good things," Coughlin said.

In other news from Tuesday's practice:

• Coughlin stuck with the same revamped first-team offensive line he unveiled on Monday. Kevin Boothe remained at center and James Brewer at left guard, along with left tackle Will Beatty, right guard Chris Snee and right tackle Justin Pugh.

You can expect that to be the starting O-line on Thursday against the Patriots.

• On defense, Dan Connor continued to get the first-team reps at middle linebacker, over Mark Herzlich.

The starting secondary remained intact, with Ryan Mundy replacing the injured Stevie Brown at safety. But interestingly, when the Giants unveiled their first-team nickel unit, Terrell Thomas was the third cornerback alongside Prince Amukamara and Corey Webster, while Aaron Ross was on the second unit. The Giants are showing great confidence in Thomas, who's coming off a third ACL surgery.

Practice report: Two big plays on D

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
5:46
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The defense made the flashiest plays of the day in the Giants' final practice before they face the Jets on Saturday.

Safety Stevie Brown had an interception of rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib, and then linebacker Spencer Paysinger picked off Nassib later on. Paysinger's interception was particularly impressive -- he deflected the pass with his right hand initially and then corralled the ball into his arms.

It was the second interception in two days for the third-year man out of Oregon.

Much of Thursday's practice was devoted to walkthrough preparation for the Jets, but here are a couple of other notes:

• The revamped offensive line from Wednesday, thanks to the absence of David Baas (knee) and David Diehl (thumb) remained the same on Thursday. Jim Cordle was the starter at center, with rookie Justin Pugh at right tackle, joining left tackle Will Beatty, left guard Kevin Boothe and right guard Chris Snee.

On defense, Dan Connor continued to get the first-team reps at middle linebacker, ahead of Mark Herzlich.

• Fullback Ben Guidugli, who may be out of a job soon with Henry Hynoski coming off the PUP list, actually made the prettiest catch of the day. Guidugli ran a deep pass route down the right sideline and made an over-the-shoulder catch of a bomb by quarterback David Carr.

Guidugli is an undrafted free agent from Cincinnati who just signed with the Giants last week, after fullback Ryan D'Imperio abruptly decided to retire.

• Quarterback Curtis Painter, who is competing with Carr for the No. 2 quarterback job and will play instead of Carr on Saturday against the Jets, was given the final drive of practice, a two-minute drill featuring backups on both sides. But Painter couldn't steer his unit to the end zone. We'll see if he does better Saturday night.

Practice report: Connor at MLB

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
4:49
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Dan ConnorAP 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.

Practice report: There's no place like home

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants' decision to hold training camp at home, as opposed to Albany, paid off Thursday.

The team worked outdoors for the first 90 minutes of practice. But then the rain came, and with lightning reportedly in the vicinity, everyone quickly shifted inside the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the final half-hour.

Part of the appeal of staying home for camp was the ability to use an indoor facility in inclement weather -- something not available in Albany.

"To be able to come inside and finish practice on a day when we would have lost some very good opportunities, that means a lot to us," coach Tom Coughlin said.

Now, on to some of the highlights and lowlights of the Giants' final practice before their first preseason game, Saturday night in Pittsburgh:

• The Giants were not in full pads for the second straight day. With DE Justin Tuck sitting out again, Cullen Jenkins once again shifted over from tackle to end with the first unit. Shaun Rogers moved up to first-string DT to replace Jenkins. On offense, OG Chris Snee took a few live 11-on-11 reps for the first time in camp.

• TE Larry Donnell has created some buzz early in camp, but he had a drop early Thursday in 11-on-11s. It was a short pass from QB David Carr and hit Donnell in the numbers, but he couldn't pull it in.

• QB Eli Manning looked on his game in 11-on-11s early, hooking up with WRs Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz on deep passes down the left and right sidelines, respectively. Manning also connected with WR Jerrel Jernigan in the same sequence -- the pass looked a tad high, but Jernigan did a nice job going up to get it.

• Right after the players moved inside, Manning connected on another deep ball, this time to WR Louis Murphy down the right sideline. Murphy hauled it in over his shoulder, a nice play.

• Soon after came the first interception of the day -- Carr threw left, hoping to connect with Jernigan, but the ball was wrestled away by CB Jayron Hosley.

• Rookie QB Ryan Nassib had another roller-coaster day. He completed a long bomb to WR Julian Talley near the end of practice. He probably should have had another fairly long completion earlier during 7-on-7s, but TE Bear Pascoe dropped the ball. Nassib also threw behind a wide-open Kevin Hardy in the first 11-on-11 sequence of the day, and did the same to RB David Wilson during 7-on-7s.

And, on the final play of practice, during an 11-on-11 two-minute drill, Nassib was picked off by CB Laron Scott. Sound familiar? The same exact thing happened on the final play of Tuesday's practice.

Practice report: Let's get (less) physical

August, 7, 2013
8/07/13
5:09
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants were back in shells and shorts on Wednesday, after practicing in full pads on Tuesday.

Coach Tom Coughlin wasn't happy about the amount of contact that occurred Tuesday, saying he doesn't want players getting knocked to the ground in practice. Offensive lineman James Brewer and running back Ryan Torain suffered concussions on Tuesday, and safety Cooper Taylor left early with a strained hamstring.

But there was still plenty of action Wednesday. Here are some highlights/lowlights:

• WR Rueben Randle continues to look good. In a goal-line 1-on-1 passing drill, Randle beat CB Aaron Ross badly on an inside move for a touchdown.

• TE Adrien Robinson also continues to open eyes. QB Eli Manning hooked up with Robinson for a nice gain on the first play of 11-on-11 drills.

• With DE Justin Tuck sitting out because of a sore back, Cullen Jenkins shifted from tackle to end with the first unit, and Shaun Rogers stepped up to first-team DT with Linval Joseph. On offense, OG Chris Snee is still not taking live reps. With Brewer missing practice as well, Brandon Mosley stepped up in Snee's place.

• Rookie QB Ryan Nassib threw the lone interception of the day, after throwing two on Tuesday. Wednesday's pick came during 7-on-7 action -- Nassib threw to his right, but CB Junior Mertile corralled the ball just inside the sideline. Just prior to that, however, Nassib hooked up with TE Larry Donnell for a long gain down the middle.

• S Tyler Sash and CB Terrence Frederick combined on a nice breakup of a long heave by Manning intended for WR Louis Murphy.

• During 11-on-11 red zone work, fourth-string QB Curtis Painter had a shotgun snap hit him smack in the facemask. Painter recovered from the embarrassment to connect with WR Kris Adams for a touchdown on the next play.

• WR Brandon Collins made the final eye-opening play of the day -- an acrobatic leaping grab in the back of the end zone for a score.

Practice report: Nassib picked twice, again

August, 6, 2013
8/06/13
5:17
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan had some very nice things to say about Ryan Nassib prior to practice on Tuesday.

But the rookie looked like ... well, a rookie, throwing two more interceptions as the Giants got back to work after a day off on Monday.

[+] EnlargeRyan Nassib
AP Photo/Seth WenigRyan Nassib struggled Tuesday at Giants training camp.
Both happened during 11-on-11 drills. On the first one, Nassib heaved a deep ball down the right-hand side of the field -- cornerback Charles James ran under it to make the grab.

The second one came on the final play of practice. Working in the red zone, Nassib fired a shorter pass that was intercepted by cornerback Laron Scott.

Nassib also threw two picks during Saturday's practice. But his position coach said we can expect to see better things from the rookie in the days and weeks ahead. He also lauded Nassib's work ethic, mentioning that he came in Monday for extra help even though the team was off.

"He's got a strong arm, we knew that going in," Ryan said. "I think with him getting more comfortable with the concepts, that's gonna start to show more, in terms of his accuracy. He'll be thinking less, and relying on his athleticism and that arm strength."

Other highlights/low-lights from Tuesday's practice:

* During 1-on-1 drills, WR Brandon Collins badly fooled CB Jayron Hosley on a double move for an easy touchdown. Also, wideout Kevin Hardy made a nice grab in the air with CB Charles James draped all over him.

* During 7-on-7's, QB Eli Manning found TE/FB Bear Pascoe wide open in the middle of the field, but Pascoe dropped the ball. Also, Collins had a drop over the middle, on a pass thrown by Nassib.

* In 11-on-11's, RB Da'Rel Scott had a fumble, which won't help him in his attempt to be the Giants' third running back. Scott is currently listed as No. 3 on the depth chart, ahead of Ryan Torain and Michael Cox.

* Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers continue to serve as the starting linebackers. But Jacquian Williams got some reps with the first unit, particularly as one of the Giants' two linebackers in the nickel package.

* Coach Tom Coughlin said there was actually too much contact during Tuesday's practice for his taste, with several players getting knocked down. "Yeah, we don’t want them on the ground," Coughlin said. "There was too much of that today."

Practice report: Eli goes 4-for-5

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
7:48
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants quarterback Eli Manning got the best of the team’s starting defense during a two-minute drill Friday, completing four of five passes.

The only pass Manning didn’t complete? A clock stoppage.

The second-team defense prevented the second-team offense from scoring.

Friday was the team’s first full-padded practice and its first nine-on-seven drills.

Ryan Nassib struggled in seven-on-seven work, going 0-for-4. One of his passes was nearly intercepted.

Hakeem Nicks (groin) watched practice from the side. Fans yelled at him, asking when he’s coming back. He responded soon. Corey Webster (groin) was on a stationary bike.

Rueben Randle made another highlight-reel play, jumping over Prince Amukamara to catch a deep ball from Eli Manning.

Justin Tuck was standing up out of the defensive end position on several plays.

Cullen Jenkins, who missed Thursday because of the death of his grandmother, blew up a running play on the first play of 11-on-11s, blowing by David Diehl.

David Wilson made some great cuts during practice and had a pretty kickoff return.

Brandon Myers struggled during the early portion of practice, dropping a pass and running a wrong route. Eventually he got it together, though, and caught a couple of balls.

• Offensive lineman Michael Jasper was injured during nine-on-seven drills. It is unknown how he was injured or the extent of the injury. Looked like an ankle injury. Shaun Rogers almost fell on Wilson during nine-on-seven work.

Practice report: Eli throws two picks

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
7:00
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning isn't competing for the Giants' starting quarterback job, like the Jets' Mark Sanchez is up north in Cortland, N.Y.

Still, Manning won't be thrilled with his performance on Thursday, after throwing a pair of interceptions.

The first came on the very first 11-on-11 play of the day. Manning hoisted a deep ball down the left side of the field, intended for Victor Cruz. But the ball was overthrown, and ended up in the hands of cornerback Prince Amukamara.

A little later, during 7-on-7 drills, Manning aimed a somewhat shorter pass for Cruz on the righthand side, but cornerback Corey Webster stepped in front to snag the ball.

It'll take a lot more than that for coach Tom Coughlin to turn the keys over to David Carr, or rookie Ryan Nassib.

As for the rest of practice:

• Nassib actually made some excellent throws on Thursday, including hooking up with rookie wideout Kevin Hardy on a pair of long balls down the right sideline. Hardy, a rookie free agent from the Citadel, was impressive in reeling in the passes, too.

• Carr also made a long connection to wide receiver Ramses Barden during 7-on-7 drills. During 11-on-11s, however, Carr delivered a short pass to wideout Jerrel Jernigan that Jernigan let bounce right off his chest. Not good for Jernigan, who was relegated to the third string on the unofficial depth chart the team released on Thursday.

• One more piece of quarterback news -- Curtis Painter, who's only getting limited snaps to begin with, had a fumbled exchange from center during 11-on-11s, which never looks good.

• Tight end Adrien Robinson looked impressive Thursday, with three nice catches during 11-on-11s, including one on which he had to extend his hands to gather in the ball.

• Reserve cornerback Laron Scott had an interception at the very end of practice, during red-zone work, defending Barden.

• Running back Michael Cox and defensive end Justin Trattou got into a brief skirmish near the end of practice, but it was quickly broken up.

• Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins missed practice because his grandmother passed away. Jenkins was listed as a starter on the depth chart released Thursday. He was replaced by Shaun Rogers on the first unit.

Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers were listed as the starting linebackers, but Jacquian Williams also got some snaps with the first team. Also, rookie first-round pick Justin Pugh saw a little action with the starters at right tackle.

• Practice was held indoors because of the inclement weather, for the first time in camp. Thursday's practice was supposed to be the first with full pads, but that plan changed when practice was moved indoors.

Practice report: Randle puts on show

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
6:24
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants coaches have been raving all offseason long about Rueben Randle and his progress.

On Monday, Randle looked outstanding, making several impressive catches. He waged a battle with cornerback Prince Amukamara, who also impressed Tom Coughlin with his competitive spirit.

[+] EnlargeRueben Randle
Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY SportsRueben Randle has one of the early starts in Giants camp.
Randle first caught a pass over the middle from Eli Manning and basically used his body to shield the ball away from Amukamara in 11-on-11's. Randle followed that up with a nice catch on the sideline with Amukamara at his back.

Then came the highlight of the day. Given a ton of time to throw in the non-contact 11-on-11 drill, Manning launched a 50-yard bomb for Randle, who got behind both Corey Webster and Antrel Rolle. Randle still had to make an impressive over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone and held on, garnering a roar from the crowd.

Randle added another leaping grab over the middle in red zone work for a touchdown. The scary thing is, he could've had two more big plays, but he dropped a beautiful deep sideline pass from Manning with Amukamara again in coverage and had another pass in the corner of the end zone batted away by a defender.

Randle seemed to take advantage of Hakeem Nicks being limited in practice. Nicks experienced tightness in his groin Sunday, and took a few snaps in 11-on-11 drills on Monday but otherwise was limited again.

The key will be seeing if Randle can keep this up. He's set to be the third receiver, and could play an even bigger role if Nicks' health becomes an issue again.

Pick city: Randle's catches actually overshadowed a strong day by the defensive secondary. Coordinator Perry Fewell screamed with delight as the Giants intercepted five passes on the day. Every quarterback besides Manning threw at least one pick.

Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter threw two interceptions apiece, and David Carr threw one.

Jayron Hosley, who has been working with the third-team defense, intercepted Painter in seven-on-seven drills. Laron Scott picked off a deflected pass from Nassib in seven-on-seven. Safety Tyler Sash made a diving interception off Painter and Aaron Ross had a pick-six off Carr.

Junior Mertile added the final interception of the day, off Nassib in the end zone in red zone practice.

Flashes: LB Jacquian Williams had an active practice, knocking down two passes. … Rookie DE Damontre Moore continued to impress with his second-team snaps. He had one nice inside move and showed good push against a running play. … RB David Wilson flashed his speed and agility on a few runs. … Rookie Justin Pugh, working with the second team at right tackle, had a nice pull block. … Jerrel Jernigan drew applause from fans on a couple of nice punt returns. … Victor Cruz dropped a short pass but still got a lot of love from the fans.

Practice report: Second impressions

July, 28, 2013
7/28/13
6:04
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants held their second practice of training camp on Sunday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, in front of a big crowd. It was autograph day -- the entire team was slated to sign for the fans afterward.

Here are some of the highlights, and lowlights:

• Linebacker Aaron Curry was back on the field after leaving Saturday's practice early with cramping. Curry was again with the second-team linebackers, alongside Jacquian Williams and Dan Connor. The starters were again Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers.

[+] EnlargeAndre Brown
AP Photo/Seth WenigAndre Brown and the Giants signed autographs for fans after Sunday's practice.
David Wilson, Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle handled kickoffs at the start of practice. This will be interesting to monitor as camp progresses. Wilson led the NFL in kickoff return yards (1,533) last season, but will have an increased role on offense this year. He wants to continue returning kicks, but will the Giants deem that too risky?

• In individual drills during the early portion of practice, David Carr was on fire, connecting time and time again with several Giants receivers, including on some deep balls. (Don't get excited, folks, there's no chance of a quarterback controversy here).

Perhaps Carr's prettiest throw was a long ball down the sideline that Hakeem Nicks hauled in, with Corey Webster on the coverage. Nicks looked great on the play, but sat out 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills later on. Coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks felt "a little tightness in his groin," but didn't sound overly concerned.

• One of the crowd's favorite plays of the day was a fake field goal during 11-on-11 drills. Steve Weatherford took the snap, rolled right and tossed the ball just over the outstretched arm of Mathias Kiwanuka and into the hands of Adrien Robinson for a touchdown.

• The fans weren't quite as pleased when rookie Ryan Nassib threw the lone interception of the day -- a wobbly pass during 7-on-7 drills, picked off by backup linebacker Jake Muasau.

• Herzlich, trying to win the starting middle linebacker job in his third NFL season, had a nice pass breakup during 11-on-11s. Also, third-round draft pick Damontre Moore flashed some nice moves playing with the second string at defensive end.

Eli Manning got rolling near the end of practice. He hooked up with Victor Cruz for a touchdown in an 11-on-11 red zone drill, and then with tight ends Brandon Myers and Bear Pascoe on back-to-back plays during a two-minute drill.

• Wideout Kris Adams was wide open over the middle during 7-on-7s, but dropped a pass from Manning, and appeared to injure a finger or hand on the play. He came to the sidelines to be examined, but eventually returned to action.

Also, in the final moments of practice, safety Tyler Sash went down with a cramp, but it did not appear to be serious.

Practice report: The first look

July, 27, 2013
7/27/13
4:54
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants hit the practice field for the first time on Saturday in front of a nice crowd at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Here's some of the highlights from the first day of action, including a look at the first team units.

OFFENSE: David Diehl took first team reps at right tackle on Saturday, while first-round draft pick Justin Pugh worked with the second unit. With Chris Snee starting on the the physically unable to perform list, James Brewer filled in as the right guard. Brandon Myers started as the tight end, and David Wilson served as the running back. Bear Pascoe was used as the fullback, as regular starter Henry Hynoski is on the PUP list.

LINEBACKER: Linebacker will be one of the biggest position battles this summer, as the team doesn't have anyone penciled into a job. Keith Rivers, Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich served as the first team unit on Saturday, with Herzlich in the middle. Aaron Curry, Jacquian Williams and Dan Connor were the second team.

DEFENSIVE LINE: At defensive tackle, another position sure to be hotly contested, Cullen Jenkins, the team's biggest offseason acquisition, started alongside Linval Joseph. Rookie Johnathan Hankins and veteran Shaun Rogers were the second string defensive tackles. At end, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka were the starters, while rookie Damontre Moore and Adrian Tracy were the backups.

SECONDARY: Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara were on the outside, while Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown started at safety. Ryan Mundy and Tyler Sash were the second string safeties, while Will Hill, who will miss the first four games, has slipped down the chart. It appeared Trumaine McBride has passed last year's third-round pick Jayron Hosley on the cornerback depth chart.

PUNT RETURN: Receiver Rueben Randle got the first crack at punt returns, followed by Jerrel Jernigan. David Wilson also took some reps, but that's likely just in case the team needs him.

FLASHES: Hakeem Nicks ran his routes well and caught some passes. ... Rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib looked comfortable executing rollouts. ... Amukamara had a nice interception against Manning on an overthrown ball intended for Randle. ... Paysinger made a nice play to knock the ball out of Myers' hands on a short pass. ... Rookie running back Michael Cox flashed some nice moves. ... Manning looked sharp running the two-minute drill. ... Ramses Barden made several catches.

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