It’s time to start paying attention to Will Hill if you’re a Giants fan. He has been getting a ton of reps with the 1’s, and extra reps with the 2’s. It’s clear that the coaching staff really likes him. And how do I know that? Because they yell at him a lot. Before the play, during the play, after the play, you name it. “Be physical Will! Jam him up Will! Jam him up!” If they didn’t like him, he’d be running with the 3’s. They’ve been using him a lot in the box, and today he covered the slot receivers and TEs quite a bit. He may very well play a big role for the Giants’ defense this year, especially with the uncertainty of Terrell Thomas’ knee. At all 32 camps, reporters are prefacing questions by first saying “The NFL is changing with the usage of more athletic tight ends like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez…” and then they finish their question, usually asking how you stop those two TE sets. If there hasn’t already been that question posed with Will Hill in mind already, there will be soon. Here’s some tape of Hill in college at Florida against Georgia. He had himself a game:
It’s impossible not to notice David Wilson. He’s so fast, but there are things about his game that annoy the Giants. Today he muffed a kick return. That earned a “Catch the ball David!” from Tom Coughlin. He also dropped an easy one in the flat. But then later he got a crease, exploded through it, then made a devastating cut in between two defenders. After practice, Coughlin was asked about Wilson and Reuben Randle, and what he needs to see from them against Jacksonville this week. “We need to see ball security, we’d like to see David’s big play potential, and Reuben has been a guy that has caught the ball consistently all throughout camp. Very smooth, got himself open, caught the football, and I wouldn’t think that there’d be any reason not to expect him to continue to do that, but we’ll see how they do competing against someone else, other than our own people.” No surprise that “ball security” is the first thing Coughlin noted. Wilson is currently running with the 3’s behind Ahmad Bradshaw and DJ Ware, and you can kind of see why. Ware had a really nice blitz pickup on Chase Blackburn today. He’s a known, trustworthy commodity at this point. Wilson is not. I think that’s smart to have Wilson running with the 3’s. Make him earn a jump up the ladder when he does all the little things correctly. But again… obvious bigtime talent.
Much more after the jump…
Speaking of rookies, Jayron Hosley had a big day. Early in practice he had a nice PBU. Then later he picked off a pass in the red zone for pick 6. All the Giants players not in the play were lined up at the 40 yard line, so that’s where Hosley stopped on his pick 6, but Perry Fewell yelled at him to return it the entire way, and even ran with him. High comedy. Then, when Hosley got back with the rest of the team, they put him right back in on the next play. No rest for the kid.
Adrien Robinson has impressive size, and looks like a good blocker, but we kind of already know that from his college scouting reports. However, I thought he looked a little awkward running routes. Not a lot of confidence there.
Martellus Bennett has been good the last 2 days. Effort is far better than it was at OTAs. He made a nice fingertip grab in the red zone on an out route, and is blocking well. Bear Pascoe is running with the 1’s.
UDFA WR David Douglass (from the University of Arizona) is getting a lot of pub for his play up here. I don’t really see it. He’s making some plays, but I don’t really see anything special. If Victor Cruz were making the same plays that Douglass is making, it would be met with a “meh.” It’s the unexpected nature of a guy like Douglass playing well that messes with perception. I see it every year at Eagles camp. Some young WR makes a play here and there, and the fans get excited. But when you put that player’s body of work in camp up against a guy like Jason Avant, who destroys in camp every year, it’s not even close. You don’t hear a peep about Avant’s play, but you hear a ton about the new kid. It’s nice that Douglass is making a play here and there, but he is not a threat to make the team, in my opinion. (And this is where I should note that I’ve only been at Giants TC for just 2 days, so take my analysis on the kid for what it’s worth).
You know how in baseball when an inning is over and guys in the dugout throw baseballs to the defense coming off the field? The Giants do their own version of that. When DBs are coming off the field in between 11 on 11 or 7 on 7 reps, they get balls thrown to them by kicker Lawrence Tynes. It’s all about repetition. Smart. And it keeps Tynes involved in the practice. Remember last year when Eagles punter Chas Henry had a wide open, uncovered Colt Anderson against the Bears, and he babied a pass to him that fell incomplete? I wonder if that result had been different if Henry had been throwing passes every day in practice like the Giants’ kickers do.
Osi Umenyiora had himself a big day. Yesterday I noted that LT fill-in Sean Locklear did a good job on him. Not so much today. Osi burned him with ease around the edge on at least 3 occasions for a sack. If you’re an optimist, you’re glad that Osi is happy and making plays in training camp instead of riding a stationary bike. If you’re a pessimist, you’re worried about your OL depth. I think it’s a little of both. Osi also had the play of the day, in my opinion. The Giants ran a a play they have been running a lot of in which they roll the entire offense to the right, then throw a screen all the way back to the left. They’ve been doing that with RBs an TEs. They tried it again today. At first Osi didn’t recognize it, but he recovered in time got back in a hurry and picked off Eli for a TD going the other way. Pure athleticism.
I mentioned Jerrel Jernigan yesterday for his improved handling of punts. Today I took a few notes on his as a receiver. He had a deep ball thrown to him today. It was a patented Eli jump ball. Jernigan had great position, but Prince Amukamara was able to go up and knock it away. That’s where Jernigan is not going to be as effective as a guy like Mario Manningham, simply because of his size (or lack thereof). However, it appears that the Giants are trying to manufacture ways to get the ball in his hands. They ran one end around to him that didn’t go anywhere because it was played nicely by Adrian Tracy, but it was deserving enough of a mention, in my opinion.
Marvin Austin was drawn offsides for the second time in two days. He’s right over the ball. That’s unacceptable.
Mark Herlich had a nice day. He got himself a PBU, but of more interest to Giants coached, he got a batted pass at the line. Giants coaches love batted passes. Last year, Justin Tuck did a weekly interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, and Francesa asked Tuck about a TD pass from Vince Young to Riley Cooper late in the 4th quarter last night. Without mentioning Herzlich by name, Tuck was surprisingly honest and pointed in his criticism of his teammate.
It’s a case of a guy doing a little too much instead of just doing their job. We had a guy underneath it, went to jam a receiver, kinda took him out of his zone, and Vince Young made one of those throws that went between two guys. If our guy does what he’s supposed to do, without doing too much, he’s standing right in that throwing lane. But what happened is the guy a came around underneath, he’s trying to jam the receiver, takes him out of his lane, and (Young) throws it right behind him.
Here’s what Tuck is taking about:
Herzlich proceeded to have another bad showing in New Orleans the following week, and he never saw the field again. The Giants are very deep at LB, but they would love to see Herzlich take that next step mentally. Again, good day for him.
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