Giants OTA notes: May 23, 2012

First the bad news:

Brian Witherspoon was injured today.  According to Tom Coughlin, it is believed to be an ACL tear.  If so, that would be his second ACL tear in as many years.  Apparently Witherspoon is thought of as a good guy.  Tough break.  There’s a good chance his NFL career is over.

Some house cleaning:

1′s at LB are as follows: Michael Boley is the WILL, Chase Blackburn is the MIKE, and Mathias Kiwanuka is the SAM.  The 2′s were Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich, and Jacquian Williams.

Domenik Hixon and Jerrel Jernigan were the 2′s at WR.  Ramses Barden and Reuben Randle were the 3′s.

OK, the good stuff:

  • Martellus Bennett is listed at 6’6, 270.  We can see those numbers and know that he’s a big guy.  But sometimes you don’t really grasp how enormous a player is until you see him in 3D.  Bennett is one of those guys. I hadn’t really planned on paying too much attention to Marty, but I wound up watching him quite a bit.  His athleticism is everything as advertised.  It’s impressive how well he moves for a guy his size.  However, (and I’ll say this bluntly)… His route running sucks.  On 2 consecutive plays, I watched him run a little 10 yard stop.  Both times, he got to his spot quickly, but executed a very lazy turn back to the QB.  I could have flipped around more quickly.  On that kind of route, when you hit your spot, you want to turn your body sharply back to the QB and give him a big target.  Bennett’s turns were slow and lazy.  In a weird way, I think this should be looked at as a positive.  From what I saw, Bennett’s deficiencies are fixable.  Last year, the Giants took a complete unknown in Jake Ballard and turned him into a guy that would contribute 604 receiving yards.  In terms of pure talent, Ballard doesn’t touch Bennett with a 10 foot pole.  It’ll be interesting to see what the Giants can do with him.
  • Speaking of TEs, the one guy that really did want to see today, wasn’t there.  That would be Adrien Robinson.  His college, Cincinnati, is still is school, so no Robinson just yet.
  • In 11 on 11′s, a RB I didn’t recognize exploded through the hole.  Before I could see his number, my first thought was “That has to be David Wilson.”  Sure enough, it was. Eli Manning talked about Wilson after practice. Eli and I seem to be on the same page:

“You see talent and you see speed, and quickness, so those are obviously important things.  But for a running back it’s learning technique, footwork.  Protections are going to be a big deal, knowing what to do. If I’m changing protections and changing plays, is he going to be ready for that? And also routes.  Routes versus every concept, knowing where to be and all those things.  Those things are what usually take the longest and sometimes holds up a running back from getting on the field.”

Continued after the jump…

  • Eli Manning is obviously a guy nobody in NY is worried about, and he’s basically Teflon right now, but he threw some ugly looking ducks today.
  • Jayron Hosley is smooth.  Natural ability.  Smooth footwork, no wasted motion.  Right now, he’s buried with the 3′s, but this kid definitely has talent.
  • I like that the Giants spend a fair amount of time working on back shoulder throws.  I’ve never seen a lot of that at Eagles practice.  It’s a play that demands timing and the QB/WR being on the same page.  Difficult to execute, but when you get it down, it’s nearly impossible to defend.
  • Giants practices are extremely efficient.  Great tempo.  I’ve seen four NFL coaching staffs run practices: The Eagles, Redskins, Vikings and Giants.  The Giants do the best job of not wasting any time, by far.
  • It’s always interesting to me to see the personalities of the players off the field.  Highly impressed by Terrell Thomas.  Politely answered questions with his hands folded for about 10 minutes.
  • This has nothing to do with Giants practice, but when I heard that the NFLPA is suing the NFL for collusion, my immediate thought was “Eff.  Effing eff.  I have no interest in educating myself on all the legalities of this stuff.”  You almost have to have a law degree to be an NFL fan.  It sucks.  I think I’ve made the executive decision to flatly ignore all this legal garbage, even though the Cowboys and Redskins are at the core of these issues.  We’re going to talk about football here, not legal bullshit.

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  10. Plax says:

    haha just reading jimmy’s articles saying good things about his hated giants make me smile.

    Love that jernigan is with the 2′s. really hope he steps up this year and contributes. he was the enitre Troy offense 2 years ago hes got rediculous talent.

  11. ct17 says:

    Thanks for the LB and WR pairings. It’s good to know where the coaches think the players stand right now. Greg Jones started last season as the MIKE, now he can’t even crack second string, although that is Rivers’ fault.

  12. Troy O says:

    Great write up Jimmy.

    Strangely I like the 2s at the LB position are better then the 1s. Really hoping Chase sucks it up and opens the door for Keith Rivers and Mark Herzlich to get more looks at the MIKE LB.

    Martellus Bennett measurables has Giant fans lactating at what could be. Same for Adrien Robinson.

    I also think T Thomas will not be a Giant next yr. allowing Hosley to move up to the 3 or 4th spot behind C Web, Prince and J Tryon.

  13. D3Keith says:

    Agree on the back shoulder throw.

    Also if you get single coverage and run a post, and the QB/WR are on the same page as to the placement of the ball, the DB has to go through the WR to break it up … nearly impossible if well thrown.

  14. Trueblue63 says:

    Thanks for the report. Glad to hear about Hosley and Wilson. Interesting that they have Jernigan in 2s. Love a report on the WRs.

    And yeah, Eli always seems to start out throwing some weird ones.

  15. giantsfan says:

    I guess it’s a good thing I have a law degree.

    1. Anders says:

      Can you tell me why the NFLPA is suing the NFL even tho its a part of the CBA that they cannot sue em for collussion?

      1. giantsfan says:

        I can’t tell you for sure, but just because it’s part of a contract doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legal or enforceable. There are plenty of rights you simply can’t contract away, I’m not sure if suing your boss for collusion is one of them – but I’m sure the NFLPA has an argument for why it is.

        Usually, the sophistication of the parties entering into a contract is a major factor in considering whether or not certain questionable clauses (like the one we’re talking about) are enforceable. Now the NFLPA is a pretty sophisticated party, which means they probably weren’t tricked into signing this contract and they probably knew what it meant when they signed it – so it’s entirely possible that the suit will be thrown out on the very grounds you cited.

        It’s also possible that the NFLPA is interpreting the contract differently than the NFL (or at least claiming a different interpretation). I haven’t seen the language of the contract myself but lawyers have all sorts of tricks for interpreting language so it’s not far-fetched to think that the NFLPA is claiming that they did not agree to waive their right to sue the NFL for collusion. That being the case, the judge will have to look at the language of the contract and the circumstances surrounding it to determine which interpretation is appropriate.

        Hope that helps.

        1. giantsfan says:

          Graziano had a write up on this issue on espn.

          http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/39388/fallout-from-skinscowboys-cap-case-continues

          Looks like they’re going to argue the second point I brought up: What does the contract mean?

          NFLPA says: We never agreed that we wouldn’t sue you over unknown transgressions.

          NFL says: That’s exactly what you agreed to and it is written in the contract.

          Ultimately, it will depend on whose reading of the contract is more reasonable and what the judge thinks they might have actually agreed to. Contracts are much mushier than most people think, lots of room for interpretation and argument, even when the language seems clear as day (and probably is).

        2. deg0ey says:

          Is it not also possible to argue that the NFL is a single organization, that each team is a separate ‘department’ and that the owners of each team are shareholders of the NFL? In such a situation, collusion between teams would be impossible because they are all part of the same entity, right? If that’s actually true (and it’s very possible that I’ve misunderstood) then unless the NFL were colluding with the UFL, the CFL and the AFL then there wouldn’t be case to answer?

          1. VR says:

            I don’t have the links now, but the NFL has repeatedly been ruled NOT to be a single organization for antitrust purposes, but to be 32 competitors. This was ruled in the original antitrust suit against the NFL (by Regiie White, and the union in 1990 or so) and more recently in a suit about endorsed products that happened under antitrust law.

            So, legally, you have to see it not as “the league” but as “the 32 teams colluding together”

            1. VR says:

              Should have added—the NFL has repeatedly tried to argue that it is a single organization (like you said) but has been shot down every time, in the most recent case unanimously by the US Supreme Court.

              Found one link
              http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5214509

              1. deg0ey says:

                Fair enough…I’m relatively new to this whole football thing, so hadn’t seen those before. Seemed like a logical argument for the league to try to make, but I didn’t think it was likely to hold up. Turns out I was right :p

  16. Willgfass says:

    Not worried about Eli, I think he pretty much always stinks up the joint in training camp. I’m guessing Coughlin’s military like regimen is responsible for the time efficiency.

    I completely agree with you on this legal mumbo jumbo. Sick of it!

  17. brisulph says:

    Well there is more of that patented Giants luck that everyone spouts off about… now we just need 6 more season ending injuries before the first snap of week one, and the SUPERBLOW will be assured!

    Thanks for the look in Jimmy, as the vast majority will never have the chance to do such a thing.

    1. Fiftyfourd says:

      Who are they “superblowing”?

      1. brisulph says:

        BBV in-joke, don’t worry about it.

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