- I like the way Giants start training camp practices. They do a lot of special teams work in the beginning of practice. The players are fresh and attentive early in practice. If you do special teams work at the end of practice when the players are physically and mentally spent, they’re not going to care about blocking assignments on special teams.
- Back in OTAs, I didn’t like the way Jerrel Jernigan was fielding punts. He was catching everything over his head. Rod Woodson used to do that, but he was Rod Woodson, so he could get away with it. Jerrel Jernigan is not Rod Woodson. Last preseason, Jernigan almost fumbled and muffed his way out of a job, but the Giants stuck with him, and he might pay off. Today, he took a punt to the house, although I’m not sure the Giants even sent 10 guys down the field to go get him. The crowd enjoyed that, but I was more interested in how he was fielding punts. Very much improved. He’s now cradling the ball in his stomach and making much more secure catches, and today was a good test since there was a decent amount of wind.
- I was impressed by David Wilson when I saw him in OTAs, and remain impressed. The lateral agility is obvious. On one play a hole closed up, and he made a really subtle, yet very quick (and effective) jump cut to the outside and got around the corner. Only a handful of NFL backs can do what he did on that play. However, I will note one quick thing I did not like with Wilson. On one play, while trying to hit a hole he left his feet. That’s a no-no. There was a running back for the Broncos back in the day named Gerald Willhite. He used to leave his feet all the time near the line of scrimmage, particularly on short-yardage plays. It drove Dan Reeves nuts. Leaving your feet around the line of scrimmage with so many bodies around leaves you open to big hits, and worse, fumbles. Also, if somebody hits you while you’re in the air, you’re going to lose that momentum battle every time. Look at what happens even to big guys like Brandon Jacobs when they leave their feet. And that’s out in space where it’s not as big of an offense. I have no idea if this is something that Wilson does often, and I should note I only saw it once. But if it is something he does a lot, he has to cut that out. You can get away with that in the ACC, but not the NFL. Otherwise, clear talent there.
- I watched a little of Sean Locklear today. He is filling in at LT while Will Beatty remains out. I don’t know if we see the best of Osi Umenyiora in August, but Locklear did a really nice job on him all day, which surprised me.
- David Carr is an interesting player. I hate his throwing motion. The ball comes out way too low, and he almost looks like he’s shot putting it. But it gets there. Good zip, and was mostly accurate today. He also has a great hard count. He got Marvin Austin and Adrian Tracy to jump offsides today.
- Will Hill got some reps with the 1’s today in 3-safety sets, but that didn’t last long. I didn’t see what he did wrong, but one of the coaches yelled at him, and part of the yelling was that he was getting chances with the 1’s and blowing his assignment. He got sent off. It’s typical for a coach to get on a rookie like that to see how they’ll respond. Otherwise, I liked the way Hill moved. He had a crappy pro day (ran something like a 4.65), but from my unsophisticated, untrained eye, he looked to me like a guy that might have some good range.
- Hakeem Nicks was walking around out there today with no limp. He was not in pads like the rest of the team, of course. It was interesting to see Reuben Randle standing by him quite a bit. I can’t say if Randle and Nicks were talking about football or not, but if there’s a guy on the team I’d want Randle to be around if I’m a Giants coach, it’s Nicks.
- I thought Michael Coe struggled today. One play that stood out was Victor Cruz smoking Coe on an out route. No shame in getting beaten by Victor Cruz, but Coe wasn’t even close. Coe is in the mix of players competing for playing time if Terrell Thomas’ injury is indeed serious. Tom Coughlin had an update on Thomas today. I’m sure 30 other Giants beat writers are all over it, so I’ll leave that to them, but the gist of it is that the injury may not be anywhere near as serious as originally feared and that Thomas isn’t experiencing any pain. I’m rooting for him. Really nice guy.
- Speaking of Victor Cruz… Let’s just say he is impressive. Nothing Earth-shattering there, but it’s still worth noting. He made a gorgeous catch down the sideline, in which he was able to bring in a pass over his shoulder while keeping his feet in bounds. Really tough play that he made look easy. There’s no way he’s going to match his numbers of a year ago, but I wouldn’t exactly count on a sophomore slump, either.
- First words out of Tom Coughlin’s mouth today at his presser were to offer condolences for Andy Reid and his family.
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