Sudden onsets of ominous clouds followed by thunder and lightning cut the August 1st practice short, but not before a few things were noticed. August 2nd practice proved to be a bit more productive for the New York Giants.
- The talk of WR Jerrel Jernigan isn’t for naught. He’s All In and focused. In brief flashes, he could’ve been the former #12: Steve Smith. Someone knows the chances that are before him and appears to be in the thralls of grasping for them.
- Ramses Barden (don’t scoff) has something different about him this year. He, too, is more focused, but it’s showing in a leader-like way with his teammates. With WR Hakeem Nicks on the sideline, he’s letting his play on the field show what he can be, but it appears that there’s also a maturity that came to camp with him.
- WR Isaiah Stanback and WR Julian Talley both had fans asking: “Who’s #18? Who’s #3?” respectively. Few nice catches with speed afterward, but let’s see if there’s consistency into the preseason. Same goes for WR Brandon Collins. Could very well be the strong camp competitions going on with the wideouts. It’s serious out there.
- Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden all made crazy catches in Thursday’s camp. Add draftee wideout, Reuben Randle to the list with an athletic sideline catch over a blanketing Bruce Johnson. Mention that the competition here is serious?
- TE Martellus Bennett is huge. He’s the biggest tight end on the current roster and carries himself quite athletically. TE Adrien Robinson was his shadow much of Wednesday and he’s a slightly smaller version.
- TE Bear Pascoe was with Eli Manning, David Carr and Ryan Perrilloux doing their quarterback drills with Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon and Ahmad Bradshaw. Pascoe is also out with the 1’s and getting more face time in pass-catching and looking more nimble doing so (although there is work to be done).
- TE Christian Hopkins had a nice, agile fake move on DB Justin Tryon—enough to make the corner slip & allow a completion.
- TE Larry O’Donnell also had a few nice catches—one being a physical sideline catch that elicited a “Who’s #46?” from the crowd. The competition at this position isn’t going as hard as the one at receiver is.
- RB Ahmad Bradshaw looks healthier than ever and is primed to take his leader role.
- Although 1st-Round pick RB David Wilson is getting more carries, RB D.J. Ware looks solid and continues to get time in with the system he’s familiar with (including blocking). Quite a few older fans compared Wilson (more than once) to li’l Dave Meggett. On his kick returns, he was fast and low, a la Meggett. It’s not insane to compare the two there…
- RB Andre Brown looks to be the odd-man unless the Giants carry four backs.
- Usually, there’s a friendly rivalry between Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell and Safeties Coach Dave Merritt to see who’s louder on the blue side of the field. It’s been all Fewell. He is so into his side of the ball, it shows (anyone that’s watched film with him on the sidelines can see how animated and hype he gets—it’s not an act).
- Prince Amukamara is practicing with the 1’s (opposite C-Web) and really trying to take everything in. He is shadowing the older DBs and listening to them.
- In brief drills, Mathias Kiwanuka batted down a pass and got the crowd going. He’s moving around, even with Michael Boley sidelined.
- Boley, by the way, grabbed his hamstring while walking just a few steps across the field at one point. Don’t expect him to play preseason.
- Some fans, by the way, voiced excitement on Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell remaining with Big Blue. Fewell was amped during Thursday’s practice and plays like Jayron Hosley’s sideline interception of QB David Carr only raised his level of enthusiasm.
- Antrel Rolle was lined up actually on the line at times, playing more man (when he wasn’t being sent as blindside blitzer, as was LB Keith Rivers). Some new looks may come from this defense if health remains.
- OL Kevin Boothe has slimmed down! He, Jim Cordle and David Baas were the three centers that practiced center-quarterback snaps with the three quarterbacks.
- A few “shockers” on Wednesday’s returns to P Steve Weatherford’s Special Teams/punting drills: WR Victor Cruz back with WR Domenik Hixon doing said punt returns with CB Jayron Hosley. Not a well-received sight.
- Thursday was K Lawrence Tynes doing Special Teams drills on kick returns and that crew consisted of: WR Randle, WR Jernigan and RB Wilson (who looked comfortable back there).
- On Wednesday, GM Jerry Reese was out walking where the crowd walks and although casual as ever (stopped to shake hands/chat with appreciative fans); he still remains focused on what’s going on with his team. On Thursday, he was hanging back on the field and waved to the appreciative fans that chanted “Jerrrrryy!” Some other General Managers should take note.
- One huge non-change: Tom Coughlin. His camp approach seemingly will never be altered: walk around with some play calls and a roster in his hand or back pocket and hands-on-hips as he “observes.”
Overall feeling going into a third day of watching camp/practice is one of focus from every one of the New York Football Giants. This team is stern about maintaining what they have had going since Week 14 against that other New York team. No joke; All In again.
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