New York Giants: 2014 NFL Training Camp Report

Giants Camp Report: Day 16

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
8:00
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • OK, so now I think the Giants' offense is just trolling us. There was a play Thursday when Eli Manning looked right, Rueben Randle cut up the field but Manning threw short and cornerback Zack Bowman intercepted the pass and ran it back into the end zone. Which is the exact same thing that happened in the Giants' loss to the Bears in Chicago last October -- right down to Bowman, who was playing corner for the Bears that night! That had to be staged, right? Like some kind of obscure Civil War battle re-enactment? Maybe they're just messing with us and they're going to be the 2013 Eagles offense when the curtain goes up next month. Think about it.
  • Tom Coughlin said Curtis Painter would be the No. 2 quarterback behind Manning on Saturday night in Indianapolis, which is a change from the first two preseason games, in which Ryan Nassib was. And it's not a coincidence -- it's because Painter is playing better. Asked whether this was the plan all along or whether that's just where things stand right now, Coughlin said the latter.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz had a strong practice, beating slot cornerback Walter Thurmond for one of the few times this camp and scoring on an Eli Manning pass up the seam.
  • Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. continues to do more and more, and his hamstring is feeling better to an extent that he's able to be a bit less careful out there. He caught a pass from Nassib with Ross Weaver in coverage and fell to the ground with Weaver tumbling on top of him. He got up without issue and walked back to the sideline. Beckham won't play Saturday, but Coughlin said they believe he'll play in next week's preseason game against the Jets.
  • The Giants are lining up fullback Henry Hynoski all over the field, and had him split out wide on one play in practice Thursday, though Coughlin said the idea of lining Hynoski up at the line is far fetched. "Up position, wing position, all over the backfield," Coughlin said. Hynoski's versatility could be important for a team struggling to find answers at tight end.
  • Tight end Daniel Fells continues to miss practice with a knee injury. Return man Trindon Holliday continues to miss practice with a hamstring injury. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder) was back at practice Thursday.
  • Coughlin, GM Jerry Reese and Eli Manning all took the ice bucket challenge for ALS after practice.
  • Though they will continue to practice in the same place and at the same times next week as they have been for the past three, Thursday was the last official day of Giants "training camp." So no more practices open to the public. The team is off Friday and will travel to Indianapolis for Saturday night's preseason game against the Colts.

Giants Camp Report: Day 15

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
8:00
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continues to make significant progress from the hamstring injury that has held him out of practice since the first day of camp. The team's first-round pick even took a couple of snaps Wednesday in 11-on-11 drills and caught a touchdown pass on one of them. Giants coach Tom Coughlin didn't even rule out the possibility that Beckham could play in Saturday's preseason game in Indianapolis, though I have to think that's a long shot and that next Friday against the Jets is more likely.
  • Coughlin said left tackle Will Beatty and cornerback Trumaine McBride, who have been practicing but didn't play in the first two preseason games as part of the plan for their recoveries from offseason surgery, would play Saturday. He said to expect Beatty to play about as much as a starting offensive lineman would play in a first preseason game of the year. For comparison's sake, Geoff Schwartz and J.D. Walton played 20 snaps in the Hall of Fame Game, and right tackle Justin Pugh played 24.
  • Cornerback Walter Thurmond continues to dazzle, and I have to think it will be a huge relief for Giants slot receiver Victor Cruz to go up against whoever the Detroit Lions are using as a nickel cornerback Sept. 8 in Detroit. Thurmond's highlight plays Wednesday included a pass breakup on which he had tight end Larry Donnell blanketed over the middle and a stop on running back Rashad Jennings when Jennings caught a pass in the flat.
  • Other highlight plays: Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard knocking rookie running back Andre Williams to the ground in the backfield on a run play; Rueben Randle's acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in one-on-one goal-line drills; Rookie cornerback Bennett Jackson ripping the ball out of wide receiver Travis Harvey's hands at the end of a long pass play; Interceptions of Curtis Painter by Mark Herzlich and Chandler Fenner in early team drills.
  • Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan was back at practice after sitting out Monday and Tuesday with a knee injury. New to the list of injured players sitting out practice was cornerback Zack Bowman (unclear what his injury was). Also sitting out were running back Peyton Hillis (ankle), tight end Xavier Grimble (hamstring), tight end Daniel Fells (knee), return man Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder).
  • Cruz, who had some knee issues in practice this week, seemed completely fine and appeared to do everything in Wednesday's relatively short practice.
  • Though they will continue to practice here next week as they have been, Thursday marks the final official day of Giants training camp. That means Thursday's 1:20 pm practice will be the final practice of the year that is open to the public. So take off work and come out to say hi. Tell your boss I said it was okay.

Giants Camp Report: Day 14

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
8:30
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz is worth watching over the next couple of days. He missed practice Monday with a knee issue, and while he returned to practice Tuesday, he went down in a collision with a defensive back in one-on-one drills and was limping a bit when he got up. He returned to practice and caught a long pass in double coverage a few plays later, but he wasn't on the field very much for the two-minute drill that ended practice on a field that was starting to get slippery due to light rain. It goes without saying that the Giants' wide receiver corps, which is littered with unproven entities, could not stand to lose Cruz.
  • Some injured guys are working their way back, though. Rookie receiver Odell Beckham made good on his promise to keep progressing from his hamstring injury. He worked in individual drills Tuesday and was the intended target on one of quarterback Eli Manning's interceptions in 7-on-7 drills. Also catching passes was tight end Daniel Fells, who'd missed some time earlier in camp with a knee injury. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo named Fells and Larry Donnell when asked who among the tight end group has stood out so far. Donnell has been the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart all camp, but Fells has the best chance of anyone to overtake him from what I've seen.
  • Second-year safety Cooper Taylor continues to impress. He kept running back Rashad Jennings from getting around the corner on one run play I noticed in team drills.
  • Veteran defensive end Israel Idonije, who signed last week, could be getting a legitimate look for a roster spot. He's been getting some defensive end reps, and it helps his cause that Idonije is a player who can contribute at a high level on special teams, where he's been working a lot. Just something to keep an eye on.
  • Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan (knee), return man Trindon Holliday (hamstring), fullback John Conner (concussion), running back Peyton Hillis (ankle), defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder), cornerback Jayron Hosley (foot) and tight end Xavier Grimble (hamstring) all sat out. Coach Tom Coughlin said Conner looks as though he could practice this week and that Hillis' progress is "slow."
  • Former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was a guest at practice Tuesday and watched from the sideline.
  • The Giants practice from 1:20 pm to 3:30 pm ET on Wednesday. Practice is open to the public.

Giants Camp Report: Day 13

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
8:25
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. participated in individual drills Monday. Beckham, the team’s first-round draft pick, hasn’t practiced since injuring a hamstring on July 22, the very first day of training camp. “They said he did all right, and maybe they can extend it a little bit tomorrow, I hope,” coach Tom Coughlin said. The highlight of Beckham's day was a one-handed catch on a pass from Eli Manning. “He’s out there running around, doing individual (drills), that’s all I saw,” Coughlin said. “Did he look fast? He probably wasn’t full speed today, but he did some things. I won’t be able to ascertain anything until he takes some team stuff.” Fellow wideout Victor Cruz (knee) was given a day off as a maintenance day, but Coughlin said Cruz will practice Tuesday.
  • The injury report was a long one. It included wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (knee) and Marcus Harris (hip) -- both are expected to return Tuesday as well. Also sitting out: fullback John Conner (concussion), tight ends Daniel Fells (knee) and Xavier Grimble (hamstring), running back Peyton Hillis (foot), wide receiver/kick returner Trindon Holliday (hamstring), cornerback Jayron Hosley (foot), defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder) amd linebacker Jon Beason (foot).
  • Third-string quarterback Curtis Painter worked with the second team, while backup QB Ryan Nassib took snaps with the third team. Painter had been working with the 3s, and Nassib with the 2s, but Painter played extremely well Saturday against the Steelers. “Curtis certain did earn it, but I never put them in any kind of order for you and I won’t do it now, either,” Coughlin said. “They both have worked with the seconds, they both have worked with the threes and we will decide later in the week how we are going to play.”
  • Wide receiver Corey Washington -- a long-shot at the start of camp, but with two touchdown catches in the team's first two preseason games -- had a phenomenal practice. Working with the starters, he had three consecutive catches during a 2-minute drill and made a jumping grab over cornerback Zack Bowman near the sideline. Fellow wideout Rueben Randle made an amazing one-handed 50-yard catch in the back of the end zone from Manning with Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown draped all over him.

Giants Camp Report: Day 12

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
8:10
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Let's get the nightly interception rundown out of the way first. Zack Bowman intercepted Curtis Painter, Charles James intercepted Eli Manning and Bowman intercepted Ryan Nassib in the end zone. Chandler Fenner almost got a pick for the second night in a row, but Corey Washington turned into a defensive back and knocked it away from him at the last second. The secondary is ahead of the offense, is the basic point here.
  • The star of the secondary is Walter Thurmond, though. He came on a corner blitz and got to Andre Williams in the backfield on one play. And while they love him as the nickel corner, Thurmond got a lot of work on the outside Thursday night as well, staying on the field with the first-team base defense while Prince Amukamara or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie took a break.
  • Left guard Geoff Schwartz returned to practice, but his left knee is obviously bugging him and he didn't take many reps. Weston Richburg got most of the snaps at first-team left guard. Charles Brown took most of the first-team left tackle snaps, but not because of any fresh injury to Will Beatty. It's just that Beatty isn't playing Saturday and Brown is.
  • I watched running back pass-catching drills. The most natural pass-catchers in the group are Rashad Jennings and fullback Henry Hynoski. Rookie Andre Williams seems to be doing a bit better job catching the ball in his hands (as opposed to against his body), but it's a work in progress.
  • The tight ends still look bad catching the ball, other than Larry Donnell. Adrien Robinson had a bad drop. Kellen Davis caught a ball awkwardly near the sideline and stepped right out of bounds even though there was no one near him. Some of the players not in on that play groaned a bit.
  • Marcus Harris made two nice catches, including one jumping at the goal line to corral a touchdown pass from Nassib.
  • I'm always fascinated to see who stays after practice for extra work. Charles James, Preston Parker, Harris and Jayron Hosley stayed to work on punt returns a bit more. Cooper Taylor was off to the side with a blocking sled, presumably honing that punt-protection technique. Amukamara and Rodgers-Cromartie stayed late for the third night in a row so Amukamara could work on jumping for interceptions. And all three quarterbacks, including Manning, stuck around to practice taking shotgun snaps from all three centers.
  • The Jets were playing a home preseason game across the parking lot at MetLife Stadium that kicked off about an hour and 20 minutes into Giants practice. During Giants practice, some (presumably Jets) fans kept driving by on Paterson Plank Road and hollering insults at the Giants. None were printable, sorry.
  • The Giants are off Friday in advance of Saturday night's preseason game against the Steelers at MetLife Stadium.

Giants Camp Report: Day 11

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
8:30
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Watching the Giants' offense in practice right now is a little like watching HBO's "The Leftovers." You so badly want to believe things will get better for these poor, lost, overwhelmed people, but there's no sustained evidence on which to base that hope. Marcus Harris makes a couple of nice catches, then Eli Manning throws a pass that hits fullback Henry Hynoski in the back and pops into the arms of defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, who rumbles the other way for a touchdown. Later, after a couple of more great catches, Harris hurts his knee. It's the occasional flare-up of hope, followed immediately by a return to confused bleakness. I'm not saying this is how it's always going to be, and I admit they looked better in Sunday's preseason game than they do out here on the field where they're installing a bunch of new stuff every day. But I'm supposed to give you my impressions of practice, and right now the offense is tough to watch.
  • Harris was the offensive star of the day, though, making at least six catches that I counted. Victor Cruz praised Harris earlier in the day as a standout among the young wide receivers scrapping for a roster spot, and it's easy to see why. His cuts are crisp and he's finding space in the short-range and medium-range passing game on which the Giants will rely this season. I think I'd give him the edge right now over, say, Mario Manningham for a roster spot. Also, he did return to practice after hurting the knee, so that's a positive.
  • Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles did not return to practice after being carted off with a sprained ankle. Wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan also did not practice. He wore a wrap on his right lower leg. Odell Beckham Jr. is definitely making progress, running 100-yard sprints (with injured linebacker Jon Beason, by the way) on a back field and even serving as a cornerback on the scout team. He could practice next week if he keeps it up. Rookie Weston Richburg was the fill-in at first team left guard for the injured Geoff Schwartz (knee).
  • Cornerback Chandler Fenner of Holy Cross, signed last week in an churn-the-bottom-of-the-roster move, made two nice plays. He leaped to tip a pass away from Rueben Randle in coverage, and he intercepted Manning late in the final team period. Walter Thurmond also had one of the defense's many nightly interceptions. Thurmond is as good a player as there is in this camp, and he's dominating Cruz in the slot.
  • The Giants will practice from 5:40 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. ET again Thursday, though this practice will not be open to the public, due to the Jets' preseason game across the parking lot in MetLife Stadium. The Giants are off Friday and play a home preseason game Saturday night against the Steelers.

 

Giants Camp Report: Day 10

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
8:15
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Cooper Taylor's missed block that led to a blocked punt Sunday night against the Bills annoyed Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who personally oversaw a punt-protection drill in the early part of Tuesday's evening practice and stayed after to watch Taylor work one-on-one with Mathias Kiwanuka on improving his technique. Funny thing about it is, Taylor has actually looked very good at safety this camp (as he did in Sunday night's game). On Tuesday, Taylor had a nice leaping interception of a Ryan Nassib pass. Later, on a play on which Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was covering Victor Cruz and let him go inside, Taylor did a perfect job picking up Cruz and covering him while Eli Manning went through his progression. Taylor can help as a safety, but he needs to get the special-teams work cleaned up if he wants to make the team.
  • Cornerback Prince Amukamara was upset that he didn't intercept a deep pass from Jeff Tuel to T.J. Graham on Sunday night, so he too stayed after practice to work on jumping and catching the ball at his highest point. He ran about a half-dozen plays, and his quarterback for the drill was fellow cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie, who doesn't throw a terrible deep ball and who showed Amukamara how it's done with an athletic leaping catch of his own at the end.
  • Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who's been out of practice with a hamstring injury since July 22, did more on the field than he's done in two weeks. He stretched with the team and did a good deal of running on his own, practicing making cuts and running not at top speed but at something quicker than a jog. It's definitely progress, though there's no timetable for Beckham's return to the field.
  • Other injury notes: Running back Peyton Hillis left practice with a sprained ankle, but he was able to walk off and into the building on his own power. ... Guard Geoff Schwartz was in and out of team drills for some reason and could be seen flexing his left leg in discomfort on the sideline when he came out. I asked Schwartz after practice if he was OK and he said yes, but did not elaborate. ... Linebacker Spencer Paysinger (concussion), left tackle Will Beatty (illness) and cornerback Bennett Jackson (ankle) all returned after missing practice last week. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder), return man Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and tight ends Xavier Grimble (hamstring) and Daniel Fells (knee) all sat out. Defensive end Robert Ayers (ankle) was limited.
  • Two little highlights: Tight end Larry Donnell made a nice high-point catch in coverage. And wide receiver Corey Washington caught a ball in traffic and, instead of stiff-arming defensive back Jayron Hosley, slapped him in the side of the helmet on the way by.
  • The Giants signed former Bears and Lions defensive end Israel Idonije and tight end Jerome Cunningham. To make room, they put David Wilson on injured reserve and waived defensive lineman Kendrick Adams.
  • The Giants practice from 5:40 p.m. ET to 7:50 p.m. again Wednesday, and this one is open to the public.

Giants Camp Report: Day 9

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
4:45
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:

• Coach Tom Coughlin said "we'll see" when asked how many snaps his starters would play in Sunday night's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, but he added that there will be a "minimal number." Victor Cruz eluded to what might be a ballpark figure. When asked how his role has changed going into his first preseason game of the year, Cruz mentioned that he's gone from a player who plays the second half to one who will just get 15-20 snaps Sunday. Coughlin also said that snaps could be impacted on health and position battles, which might necessitate more snaps.

• Cruz thinks the Giants will run their West Coast offense from the beginning. "I think they are going to put us right to the test and see how well we know the offense, how well this thing can perform at a high level," he said. "And I think right out of the bat we will be maybe not no-huddle, but a little bit more up-tempo."

• Asked what his team wants to accomplish Sunday, Coughlin mentioned keeping penalties to a bare minimum, not turning the ball over, avoiding sloppy play and establishing the running game. And, of course, staying healthy.

• Coughlin said rookie cornerback Bennett Jackson has a "significant" ankle sprain, though X-rays were negative. Jackson had gotten his feet tangled with wideout Corey Washington in Thursday’s practice. Left tackle Will Beatty (headache) was on the field but did not practice Friday. So were defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder) and defensive end Robert Ayers (ankle). Rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did his standard JUGS routine.

• Linebacker Spencer Paysinger (concussion), receiver/kick returner Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and tight end Xavier Grimble (hamstring) also watched from the side.

• During practice, Charles Brown was with the starters at left tackle, while second-year pro Johnathan Hankins moved in next to Cullen Jenkins at defensive tackle. Rookie Andre Williams got a look with the ones, as Rashad Jennings was given more of a rest. Jennings is not dealing with an injury, so don’t read into that. Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells got the majority of snaps at tight end. Seems like those two players have emerged from the pack at that position. Donnell did have a drop during 11-on-11s. Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard is one of the more intriguing players to watch Sunday. The coaches think very highly of him. Quarterback Eli Manning's pass was intercepted by corner Trumaine McBride in red-zone drills.

• The Giants conducted the last half-hour of Friday's practice in their practice bubble because of the threat of lightning.

• The Giants placed tackle Troy Kropog (foot) on injured reserve and signed tackle Adam Gress. Gress is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Penn State; He is 6-7 and 300 pounds.

• The Giants also signed cornerback Chandler Fenner and waived/injured cornerback Travis Howard.

Giants Camp Report: Day 8

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
8:30
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • There seemed to be a lot more practice reps than usual for backup quarterbacks Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter on Thursday, likely because those are the quarterbacks who'll get the most playing time in Sunday night's preseason opener in Canton, Ohio. Eli Manning was fine and worked with the first team, don't worry. But it seemed as though the guys more likely to play Sunday got on the field a bit more on Thursday.
  • Nassib had some nice throws, including one to running back Kendall Gaskins up the left side with linebacker Devon Kennard in coverage, one that Corey Washington high-pointed on the right sideline and one on which Travis Harvey shook Prince Amukamara in the open field and got clear for a long gain. Painter had a ball tipped in the air and intercepted by Jordan Stanton. And the last play of practice was a Manning pass that Jacquian Williams batted into the air and Jameel McClain intercepted near the goal line.
  • Tight ends continue to be everywhere. There was a play on which Daniel Fells was the receiver lined up wide left and Larry Donnell was in the backfield. Running back Peyton Hillis was the one who ended up with the ball on that play, but it's clear the Giants would like to use the tight end liberally, and in a wide variety of roles, in their new offense. Now they just need to find one they can consider a starter.
  • Wide receiver Rueben Randle, who missed Tuesday's practice with a sore hamstring, was back practicing Thursday and made a nice touchdown catch from Manning in the back of the end zone. He and the tight ends (who are all 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7) seem to be the primary and logical red zone targets since the rest of the receiving corps lacks height. Another reason they want the tight ends to step up. Fells caught a touchdown pass from Manning in goal-line drills, and Victor Cruz dropped one on the very next play.
  • Before he had to leave practice due to an illness, I thought left tackle Will Beatty was doing a good job dictating the action in his one-on-one matchups with Jason Pierre-Paul. Charles Brown got the bulk of the practice reps at left tackle, though. Beatty isn't likely to play Sunday, but he's done a good job so far in his recovery from a broken leg.
  • The Giants are scheduled to practice from 1:20 pm to 3:30 pm ET Friday and have Saturday off as they travel to Canton for Sunday night's game.

Giants Camp Report: Day 7

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
7:30
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Unfortunately, the news of the day was injuries, headlined by running back David Wilson's neck burner. The Giants sent Wilson to New York and the Hospital for Special Surgery for a full battery of tests because they want to be as careful as possible with his neck as he's coming off spinal fusion surgery and only last week was cleared for full practice. It's possible this turns out just to be a low-level scare, but it's important to take every possible precaution given the recent history with Wilson and his neck. By comparison, the nagging hamstring troubles that kept Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle, Xavier Grimble and Trindon Holliday sidelined seem like minor issues.
  • Interesting practice for Larry Donnell, who's still No. 1 on the team's tight end depth chart and possibly in the coaches' hearts. He fumbled a ball near the goal line after one catch, but then got back up and made a leaping, one-handed touchdown grab in the back right corner of the end zone on the next play. All of the tight ends (except the injured Grimble) are getting lots of run, and they're all getting their share of first-team reps. There are a lot of formations the Giants are using in practice in which two tight ends are on the field at the same time, and they're lined up all over the place. They really need one or two guys to step forward from this group.
  • Jerrel Jernigan dropped three punts that my "NFL Insiders" colleague Field Yates and I counted during punt-return drills. That's not good, and with Beckham and Holliday unable to return punts we're seeing a lot of David Wilson (before he had to leave), Victor Cruz (who's not going to do it in games) and Charles James on the punt return unit. Maybe that's a way for James to sneak onto the roster, who knows? It was good to see Field, regardless.
  • Humorous highlights included a halfback pass from Peyton Hillis to Donnell that, shockingly, fell incomplete and a Trumaine McBride interception of Curtis Painter that he ran back for a touchdown with fellow corners Prince Amukamara and Walter Thurmond rushing off the sidelines and accompanying him home. I also thought it was funny that Jason Pierre-Paul joined in the defensive backs' post-practice huddle but left because their motivational chants are growing too complicated. Pierre-Paul continues to look fantastic in practice, by the way.
  • And I haven't been charting each and every rep, but it seemed to me that John Jerry got more time at first-team right guard Tuesday than he has been. Brandon Mosley's still the main guy there, and certainly has an opportunity to hold off Jerry and claim the spot for his own. But they do like Jerry and want to give him a look as his surgically repaired knee allows.
  • The Giants are off Wednesday and return to practice Thursday.

Giants Camp Report: Day 6

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
8:00
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Another short practice for the Giants, who cut it off after about an hour and 15 minutes and headed inside for another recovery stretch. The longer training camp this year gives them a chance to build in rest breaks as dictated by the GPS technology the players are wearing during practice, and they're taking advantage of it. The hamstring injuries to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Xavier Grimble are the only injuries that are holding people out of practices so far, and Beckham's was apparently a holdover from the spring. So I guess you could say it's working.
  • One interesting thing I saw in the 11-on-11 period: There was a play on which wide receiver Marcus Harris was lined up out wide to the right, and just before the snap he motioned a few steps to his left into a three-man "bunch" formation with fellow wide receivers Julian Talley and Jerrel Jernigan. Bunch formations are one possible technique the Giants could use to help offset the fact that their wide receiver group is made up of relative small players. Instead of asking a small wideout to beat a defender off the line, you bunch them up in order to try and create confusion at the snap in the hope that one or more of them gets loose.
  • For the second day in a row, Ryan Nassib completed a downfield seam throw to a tight end. Monday it was Larry Donnell, who had to go high in the air to catch the ball and then somersaulted foward in the air as he fell to the ground with it. Earlier in the practice, Daniel Fells caught a touchdown pass from Eli Manning. It was Kellen Davis who caught the seam pass from Nassib on Sunday. The tight ends continue to rotate in and out of the practice reps as the coaches hope one or two of them start to distinguish themselves. It has not yet happened.
  • It was the second straight day in full pads, and there were some incidents. Fullback Henry Hynoski got into a very brief post-play scuffle with a defensive player. We couldn't see exactly who it was -- could have been Johnathan Hankins or Jameel McClain. But Hynoski's helmet went flying off, and the crowd got a kick out of it. Right at the end of practice, defensive tackle Jay Bromley made a big hit and full tackle on running back Kendall Gaskins, drawing a scolding from coach Tom Coughlin, who doesn't want his players tackling each other to the ground in practice.
  • The Giants mixed-and-matched some interesting defensive line looks, moving ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka inside on a couple of plays. And their NASCAR showed up, with pass-rushers Pierre-Paul, Kiwanuka, Robert Ayers and Damontre Moore all on the field at the same time.

Giants Camp Report: Day 5

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
7:00
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Much better day for the offense Sunday, the team's first day in full pads. They ran a couple of nice short screen passes from Eli Manning to Rueben Randle early in the team period. Victor Cruz made a tough diving catch along the sideline. Rookie Andre Williams looked good slipping through the line on a couple of carries. Tight end Kellen Davis made a nice catch in coverage from Ryan Nassib, who also threw a touchdown to Marcus Harris and was generally much more accurate than he'd been so far. As coach Tom Coughlin says, it's slow progress and there's a lot to learn. But after the way the defense dominated Friday, it was nice for the Sunday crowd of about 3,500 to watch the offense have some fun.
  • Cornerback Walter Thurmond is on Cruz a lot, possibly because he's the slot corner and Cruz is the slot receiver. But Thurmond can stay with guys on the outside as well. I had a scout tell me during the spring that Thurmond is "elite" as a slot corner but more than capable if he has to fill in as a starter as well, and you can see why. He doesn't give up in coverage. When the quarterbacks were throwing deep balls and it was corners vs. wide receivers one-on-one, he knocked the ball away from Cruz. In that same drill, I saw Dominque Rodgers Cromartie break up a long pass to Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan catch one against Prince Amukamara.
  • First-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) fielded some punts but did no running and did not practice with the team otherwise. Coughlin is growing frustrated with the situation. In addition to Beckham, WR/KR Trindon Holliday sat out with some sort of leg injury and TE Xavier Grimble sat out with a hamstring injury.
  • Andre Williams got through the line again later, delivering a shot to linebacker Mark Herzlich along the way. But defensive tackle Markus Kuhn was waiting for him and laid him out without even leaving his feet. Kuhn is quite large.
  • Brandon Mosley continues to take all of the first-team snaps at right guard. Coughlin grumbled a bit when asked about the progress of John Jerry from spring knee surgery, saying "I hope today was better than Friday," but Jerry is still quite limited and you have to think all the reps Mosley is getting set Mosley up well if it's a competition for the spot.

Giants Camp Report: Day 4

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
8:30
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:


  • Man, the Giants' offense looks like hot garbage right now. Eli Manning threw a ball so badly to Jerrel Jernigan that Antrel Rolle and Prince Amukamara almost killed each other as they collided to try to intercept it. Ryan Nassib (to Charles James) and Curtis Painter (to Mark Herzlich) also threw picks. There was a play in which Manning tripped over the feet of running back Rashad Jennings and fell to the ground. (He got right up, don't worry.) Kendall Gaskins fumbled a ball and coach Tom Coughlin began screaming and cursing at the top of his lungs, wheeling on the offensive players who were standing on the sideline and not in the drill and yelling, "Hang onto the [bleep-bleep] ball!" over and over. Mario Manningham beat Walter Thurmond on a slant route for a nice catch, but Thurmond stayed with the play and knocked the ball out of his hands. I mean, ugly. Still way early, but tough to watch.
  • This was the first day they practiced in shoulder pads, and the first thing I saw when I went out to the field to watch was rookie running back Andre Williams absolutely lay out linebacker Justin Anderson in a one-on-one kick-return drill. It was as though Williams was taking out all of his frustrations about Thursday's dropped passes on poor Anderson. But everyone was feisty. At the end of one drill, linebacker Dan Fox playfully tackled GM Jerry Reese, who was watching by the goal post.
  • Things that are real that you wouldn't have expected: Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard is a guy the coaches and other players continue to rave about, and Brandon McManus remains a threat to take the kicker's job from Josh Brown. McManus is 8-for-8 on field goals so far, was making them easily from long distance Friday and looks more powerful on kickoffs, which ends up mattering to coaches in a big way when these decisions are made. If it's close on the field goals, they take the guy who can kick it out of the back of the end zone. Field position matters.
  • Still no Odell Beckham Jr., and no word on when his hamstring will allow him to practice. Yes, the Giants are frustrated that their first-round pick is not on the field.
  • Keep an eye on Preston Parker, a third-year wide receiver out of Florida State who had legal trouble in college and has bounced around. The Giants are using him a lot with the first-team offense and on returns.

Giants Camp Report: Day 3

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
7:00
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of training camp:


  • I know you guys want to know about tight ends, so we keep asking. As I wrote here, the initial "unofficial" depth chart listed Larry Donnell as the starter and Adrien Robinson as the No. 5 tight end. Robinson has not impressed coaches in the early going with his ability to catch the ball, and Donnell's was the only name coach Tom Coughlin mentioned when asked if anyone was standing out in the group so far. Coughlin said different guys do on different days, but he mentioned that Donnell had a strong practice Wednesday.
  • The Giants cut practice short to get in a "recovery stretch" because the GPS monitors they're attaching to their players told them it would be a good day to do so. There's a renewed emphasis on injury prevention and overall health and wellness in this year's Giants camp. Candy and other sweet snacks have been removed from the players' cafeteria as well.
  • The play of the day at practice was a long Curtis Painter pass that Corey Washington caught with one hand in double-coverage. It was a great play that got the few fans who were on hand fired up, but honestly, if Painter and Washington are in a regular-season game, a lot of things will have gone horribly wrong.
  • The defensive star of the day for me was defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who batted down an Eli Manning pass and also stuffed a Rashad Jennings run play. Kiwanuka seemed to be getting into the backfield quickly all day. He said earlier in the day that his pass-rush responsibilities have increased this year due to the free-agent departure of Justin Tuck.
  • No one who was worried about rookie running back Andre Williams' ability to catch the ball out of the backfield went home Thursday feeling any better about it. It's not just bad hands. Williams seems to pick up the ball late and doesn't get himself or his hands in position to catch it. They can use him as a goal-line back right away, and he does show more speed and shiftiness getting through the line than his reputation may indicate. But there are plenty of parts of his game that need work, as he himself has admitted.
  • Coughlin said the players would practice in "uppers" (meaning shells and shoulder pads) on Friday and that the first full-pads practice would be Sunday after they come back from Saturday's off-day.

Giants Camp Report: Day 2

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
10:00
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of training camp:
  • Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants' first-round pick, did not practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury. He did work some on the side with a trainer, and he stood talking to coaches while the rest of the team practiced, so those are a couple of signs that the injury isn't overly serious. If it's real bad, generally the player will stay inside. That said, the Giants are frustrated that Beckham's hamstring kept him from practicing as much as he should have in the spring and that it's already an issue in training camp. They need him on the field, getting reps in the offense, because he plays a key role as the "X" receiver who's supposed to stretch the field with his speed. It's still early -- remember, due to the extra preseason game, the Giants started camp about a week earlier than they usually do. But Beckham is a rookie who needs to practice.
  • Left tackle Will Beatty has taken more practice reps that I expected, and I asked Giants coach Tom Coughlin if Beatty had done more than he expected as well coming off the broken leg. "He's doing a little bit more, and that's very encouraging, and I'm giving him a lot of credit for this," Coughlin said. "He's not overdoing it, but he's doing more than what was expected. I hope he's able to continue to work his way back once he put pads on. I do know that he feels like he needs to be stronger, but I would say that that's normal." Beatty was a slow healer early in his career, so the fact that he's pushing to get back is encouraging to the Giants, as long as he stays smart about it.
  • One possible bit of good news that could help ameliorate the Beckham situation is that injured wide receiver Mario Manningham has been taking some reps and made a very nice catch on one of those reps Wednesday. Manningham's knee could be an issue all year (and for the rest of his career), but so far so good on his recovery.
  • Daniel Fells lined up as the starting tight end at the start of 11-on-11 drills for the second day in a row, but he, Adrien Robinson and Kellen Davis all took some first-team reps, though sometimes they were lined up in a fullback or H-back position in the backfield.
  • Brandon McManus is a legitimate threat to Josh Brown for the placekicker job. He can kick it a mile, and if he shows reliable accuracy on field goals, he could have the edge for what he might offer on kickoffs.

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