Minicamp Day 1: Practice Report

Before I go into today’s report, I want to circle back on the “good news” from earlier—middle linebacker Jon Beason does not need surgery on his broken foot.

Having had an opportunity to think about that and some other things on the drive home, I’ve come away with a couple of new perspectives.

First, I don’t blame a player for now wanting to be sliced open, regardless of the body part we’re talking. Having had a few surgeries myself, I know all too well that you’re never quite the same as you were before another set hands start manipulating inside of your body.

From Beason’s likely perspective, he probably figures that he’s going to be out of action for 12 weeks regardless. If the surgery had been able to expedite his recovery time, I suspect he might have considered it. However, it probably didn’t so he opted to skip it.

But here’s where I have just a tiny bit of concern. What happens if the injury doesn’t heal as quickly as everyone is hoping?

I think back to quarterback Eli Manning’s ankle issue—yes I know it’s a different part of the body, but stick with me on this thought for a minute.

Manning tried rest and rehab to get his ankle right, but when it wasn’t healing as quickly as he would have liked, he resorted to the surgery.

From what little I know about Beason, he’s a thorough thinker whom I’m sure investigated his options, brought numerous questions to the doctor and weighed the decision very carefully. There’s optimism he’ll be okay, and given the Giants’ training staff’s reputation for being ultra conservative, they won’t let him out on the field until it’s unanimous that his injury is 100 percent healed.

Let’s hope that it will be the case, because even though there is confidence in Jameel McClain to handle Beason’s responsibilities in the middle, I think it’s probably safe to say that most people would rather have Beason on the field rather than in the trainer’s room as soon as possible.

 

INJURY REPORT

No change in the statuses of left tackle Will Beatty, who today told reporters that he will be on the field for training camp, though he didn’t specify if it would be for the start of camp. Until then. Beatty will continue working with a trainer.

Chris Snee continues to sit out, the issue, per head coach Tom Coughlin being Snee’s elbow. Snee doesn’t sound like he’ll be working at all this camp.

“No, we won’t be in a rush in that regard. He’s played enough, we can get him healthy and get him right back to where he was,” Coughlin said. “We know what we have.”

Odell Beckham, Jr. also remains limited. He can do the individual drills, but the medical staff continues to hold him out of the full team drills.

“He was able to go; whether he could hit that top speed was another question,” Coughlin said. “Why take a chance on it right now?”

I understand the point but still, for a man who always preaches the importance of practice, it was surprising to hear him kind of gloss over the situation.

Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn and tight end Daniel Fells both were carted off the field, but Coughlin said that both players were just not feeling well and that the high heat didn’t help the situation.

Quarterback Curtis Painter no longer is sporting a wrap on his knee, but he’s also still behind Ryan Nassib at this point.

 

SOMETHING NEW

I actually spotted a couple of new things today, but I’m going to save one until tomorrow just in case.

I’m also going to point to the defense, led now by Jameel McClain at middle linebacker. When the defensive huddle broke, they let out a loud “Woo!” before lining up for the play. I’m not much of a WWE fan these days—I haven’t watched it since the days of Hulk Hogan and the Iron Sheik—but my understanding from my colleagues who remain familiar with WWE is the loud “Woo!” channeled Ric Flair.

Anyway, after practice, McClain said it’s something he picked up while in Baltimore, though you could just tell that he was really tempted to take credit for it.

 

PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS

* There has been a LOT—and I do mean a LOT—of three-step drops so far, which is to be expected with such a strong focus on screens. While the passing was better on the whole, there were still some instances—Ryan Nassib, I’m looking at you—where a lack of touch on a ball meant that it would fall incomplete as the intended receiver didn’t get out into his pattern in time.

* Undrafted free agent hopeful Kerry Wynn, a defensive end out of Richmond, has a nice quick first step and recorded a “sack.” I couldn’t tell who he beat but it he showed a beautiful quick first step on the play.

*Safety Nat Berhe did a nice job of disguising the blitz and then leaping into the air to knock down a pass thrown by Eli Manning. Linebacker Devon Kennard, lined up at outside linebacker, had the other batted pass for the defense.

*Speaking of knock-downs, I’ve noticed that the defensive front is doing a much better job so far if getting their hands up when it’s a pass play. Last year there weren’t many batted passes by the defensive front – of the 92 total, 28 came from the front seven.

That was actually a frustrating thing to watch last year, as with opponents getting rid of the ball faster, it was surprising that the Giants didn’t’ get their hands up in the air to try to knock down more balls if they were being denied by the protection.

*It looks like running back Andre Williams is going to get a lot of work as the short yardage and goal line back. He took the bulk of his snaps in those roles today, and looked good in the process.

* Nice job by Manning to connect with receiver Marcus Harris despite Damontre Moore’s attempt to bat down the pass. I couldn’t quite tell if Moore tipped the ball, but the pass made it to Harris who darted into the end zone.

*One thing I’ve noticed about these practices is that they are being run at a much quicker pace, which is what McAdoo promised when he spoke with reporters back at the end of February.

*Practice ended with safety Antrel Rolle picking off a pass, a play that actually came about when Mathias Kiwanuka managed to get pressure against Geoff Schwartz to force the early throw.

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