Practice Report: August 26, 2013

Ever since former Giants safety Kenny Phillips was released by the Eagles, I’ve been asked nonstop if the Giants have interest in possibly bringing him back.

As far as I know, at least as I write this, there is no interest. While that’s subject to change, my opinion is I don’t see the Giants re-signing Phillips.

The two sides were cordial to each other during free agency, but I never really got the impression that either was really pushing for a re-up.

The Giants have since added Ryan Mundy, who will move into the starting lineup for Brown. They also drafted Cooper Taylor, who may or may not end up on the active roster depending on how this week goes.

Phillips? He was cut by the Eagles because he couldn’t’ get on the field due to a quad injury. So why would the Giants, who have precious little cap space right now as it is, spend on a veteran minimum contract on a guy who not only has been able to get on the field, but who ever since suffering a major knee injury, has been a shell of his former self?

I realize the depth at safety looks scary right now, but I think what people are forgetting is that this team will have Will Hill by Week 5 once he serves his suspension, and Hill should be capable of filling that third safety role.

Tyler Sash looks like he’ll be the fourth safety, and cornerback Aaron Ross can also play a little safety, if needed, as can Terrell Thomas, if he makes it all the way back.

Head coach Tom Coughlin didn’t sound too excited by the idea, saying that he hadn’t heard anything, but then adding, “I’m sure our personnel people look at everything.”

So to hopefully answer the question once and for all, assuming there are no more injuries at the position, no, I don’t see the Giants bringing Phillips back.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (back), who is now off PUP, did some individual drills. It sounds like Pierre-Paul will be limited for this week, which is to be expected.

Safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) also increased his reps as he works toward being ready for the start of the regular season. Rolle was seen taking reps both in team drills as well as in individuals.

Fullback Henry Hynoski (knee) was very limited in individual drills and in team drills, taking maybe one snap per series.

Defensive end Damontre Moore (shoulder) was back doing some individual drills but he probably won’t play this week. Cornerback Corey Webster (groin/knee) and defensive end Adrian Tracy (dehydration) were also back at work, as was receiver Ramses Barden (knee).

Not practicing were the now bootless receiver Victor Cruz (heel), whom Coughlin said is making progress but that we shouldn’t expect to see him tomorrow; cornerback Jayron Hosley (ankle); receiver Louis Murphy, Jr. (leg), who was sporting a huge wrap on his right leg; center David Baas (knee); tackle David Diehl (thumb); and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (knee/PUP).

As expected, the Giants shook up their starting offensive line, moving Kevin Boothe over to center and inserting James Brewer at guard. Coughlin  indicated that he’ll probably stay with this line for this week to allow it a chance to work together.

Also as expected, safety Ryan Mundy remained with the starters for Stevie Brown. Not expected, though was receiver Kevin Hardy alternating on some snaps with Jerrel Jernigan from the slot with the first-string offense.

For those wondering, the days of full pads are over, for now, as starting next week, teams will only be allowed to wear full pads in practice once per week for the first 12 weeks. In the final five weeks of the regular season, teams can only practice in pads one day a week in only three of those weeks.

* Cornerback Corey Webster, who returned to practice after missing time with a groin and a knee issue, looked nimble in breaking up a pass intended for Hakeem Nicks in seven-on-seven drills.

* Tight end Brandon Myers easily beat linebacker Spencer Paysinger in coverage, getting a couple of steps on him.

* Tight end Larry Donnell had a ball go off his hands. On this one, he had linebacker Kyle Bosworth playing him tightly, and in looking back over my notes, there seems to be a trend developing in which Donnell has trouble finding the handle on passes coming his way in which a defender is within sniffing distance.

*I couldn’t quite see who tipped the ball – I think it was Antrel Rolle – but whoever it was, the pass ended up in Prince Amukamara’s hands for the pick-6. Rolle, by the way, moved very well and didn’t at all seem to be bothered by his ankle injury. It will be interesting to see what he is able to do tomorrow; hopefully he won’t have any setbacks.

* Bear Pascoe, working from the tight end spot, got a couple of steps against safety Tyler Sash to make the reception. But then a few plays later, linebacker Mark Herzlich broke up a pass intended for Pascoe, who had a step against him. Herzlich actually had to lunge just a bit to get a hand on the ball, but his effort was successful.

* In the blocking game, Pascoe, as the fullback, took a poor angle against Jacquian Williams, who got around him with ease.

* Linebacker Kyle Bosworth came up the middle untouched on a blitz and would have had a sack had it been a live drill. I couldn’t tell if there was a miscommunication by the offensive line but there was a gaping hole there for Bosworth to exploit.

* Adewale Ojomo looked like he was the guilty party who had issues with playing his gap, thereby allowing the running back to get through the hole

* Guard Eric Herman had trouble handling Shaun Rogers and had to resort to grabbing fistfuls of the big defensive tackle’s jersey for what would have been holding in a live game.

* Prince Amukamara made a nice pass breakup of a ball intended for Reuben Randle, but it might have been borderline pass interference as Amukamara had his arms wrapped around Randle’s waist about 15 yards down field.

There’s a lot of panic going on right now among the Giants faithful bout the state of the offense, particularly its inability to score so far this preseason in the red zone, and its struggles in short yardage and down by the goal line.

But Easy E, quarterback Eli Manning, wants everyone to know that there is a completely logical explanation for what’s happened.

“The game planning is not as extensive as it is in the regular season.,” Manning explained. “But some of it is not really game planning. It’s, ‘Hey, we’ve got a one-on-one matchup.’ We’ve got to win those matchups. We haven’t done it well enough so far, and we know where we have to improve.

In other words, some of the problems we’ve seen in the preseason are a result of the Giants not adjusting to what the defense is showing, then right?

Sort of.

“We got to play better,” Manning said. “We got to do better in the red zone and converting third downs. There is room for improvement.

“I thought this past week against the Jets, we did a good job of picking up some of their blitzes, overload blitzes and a lot of different looks, things that we hadn’t exactly prepared for. They showed some things that we hadn’t seen on film but we made adjustments and gave ourselves some opportunities to make plays, and we just didn’t quite make them, a lot of them in the passing game.

“That is what the preseason is for. You got to learn from these things and make adjustments and make sure they carry over to the practice field and we are practicing at a high level and a fast pace. We got one more preseason game and a few more days of practice this week to correct some things and make sure we are working on getting improvement and getting ready for Dallas.”

* * *

In case you haven’t heard, former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, who signed with the Bucs only to experience a toe problem, is one of the players who was affected by the  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak that recently hit the Bucs’ facility.

Well apparently the infection, which reportedly started in Tynes’ toe, is a little further along, as the veteran kicker, a married father of two young boys, is now looking at more advanced treatment to help rid his body of the disease, this according to a tweet from Tynes’ former Giants teammate, Brandon Jacobs:

Tynes’ battle should be a reminder to all those who are worrying about the Giants offense, the defense, the linebackers, or whatever else, that there are some things that are more important in this world.

* * *

“My first training camp we’re in the meeting room and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool, you’re doing some great stuff,’ and he says, ‘don’t’ do what I do.’” – Giants safety Ryan Mundy, recalling his time spent in Pittsburgh where he learned the finer points of the game from Troy Polamalu.

The Giants will have one more shorts and shells practice on Tuesday, and will travel to New England on Wednesday for their preseason finale before their preseason finale against the Patriots on Thursday night.

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