With the CBA limiting the amount of time a team can spend on the practice field, head coach Tom Coughlin, if he had his druthers, would probably prefer to use every single minute allowed to put the players through reps.
Today, however, he cut short the practice by about 30 minutes after it was determined through data gathered by a gyroscope device measuring the players’ biorhythms that a longer post-stretch recovery period would be beneficial to help with avoiding soft tissue injuries.
“I’m doing the best I can, how about that?” he said with a smile when he was asked about having to give up precious practice time for the extended stretching.
Yes, getting the team ready is important, and yes, those practice reps are precious and few, especially considering it’s a new offense that needs every rep possible.
However, after last season, a season which, per a report done last season by Rick Gosselein of the Dallas Morning News, the Giants had the most (91) starters lost due to injuries out of the 32 NFL teams, isn’t an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?
Receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring) remains unable to practice in the team part of drills. Coughlin, who is clearly not pleased with the rookie being sidelined, bristled when asked if there was a timetable regarding Beckham’s return.
“You know as well as I do. I mean, let’s face it. I don’t want it to be like it was in the spring. We need to get him back here and on the field.”
Linebacker Jameel McClain was a full-go at practice, his foot injury apparently under control.
“I’m not going to lie; seeing (Justin) Tuck gone is on my mind a little bit but at the end of the day I don’t worry about it. When I’m on that field, family matters or whatever, off-the-field issues, I’m not worried about it. When I’m on the field it’s all about my brothers and what I do best. Off the field, when you go home or whatever that’s when you think about that stuff.”
–Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on if he ever thinks about the future beyond this season.
–Cornerback Zack Bowman continues to be one of my most underrated players on the team. He played textbook coverage against receiver Jerrel Jernigan, swatting a pass away at the last second.
–Defensive end Damontre Moore had no trouble getting around left tackle Charles Brown for an easy sack. A few plays later, Brown looked like the culprit who gave up a sack to rookie linebacker Devon Kennard, who was working on the strong side with the starters.
–I thought Mathias Kiwanuka got the better of Justin Pugh today. Kiwi knocked down a pass at the line of scrimmage—it’s good, buy the way, to see the defensive linemen getting their hands up to try to knock down balls after not really doing much of that last year. Kiwi also managed to get a second pressure later in the practice.
–Receiver Victor Cruz had a pair of touchdowns today, but he was also the intended target on an Eli Manning interception by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cruz also easily separated from cornerback Walter Thurmond, who tried to cover him in the slot to no avail for a long gain.
–It was a mixed bag today for running back Andre Williams. I took note of him taking wide lateral steps when trying to work through some traffic; the bad thing about that is that it appears to slow him down a bit. He also had a dropped pass that should have been a touchdown, and he missed picking up a charging Damontre Moore, who was charging in from the joker spot.
—Ryan Nassib connected with Jerrel Jernigan on a nice comeback route, drawing praise from offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. However, the rest of his day was a mixed bag. He missed a wide open Mario Manningham deep, instead settling for nearby tight end Kellen Davis.
–In the field goal department, it was Josh Brown’s turn today. From where I was standing, it looked like he went four of four.
–We’ve been starting to see a little more from the fullbacks. Today, both Henry Hynoski and John Conner each were given one ball to carry. Conner seemed a little clunky in his footwork, especially when trying to cut back through traffic, but he managed to get through the hole. I couldn’t fully see Hynoski’s play develop because of a wall of players partially blocking my view, but he did get through the pile and tacked on an extra 20 yards. Given how little the fullbacks have been used to date, it was nice to see them get a little love.
–Nassib attempted to connect with Mario Manningham, and was successful in doing so. However, Manningham just couldn’t separate from the defender and looked to be fortunate in catching the ball.
–Speaking of Nassib, there are times when he’s taking a little too much time in making his decisions on where to go with the ball. Sometimes when he decides where to go with it, he tries to make up for lost time by zipping the ball to the receiver, such as what he did with tight end Larry Donnell, who saw the bullet fly right through his hands in a seven-on-seven drill. Then on another play, he let his focus waver when he stepped away from the huddle to pick up a white piece of debris near the play and tossing it aside before lining back up under center.
–Good job by linebacker Mark Herzlich to hustle over to the flat and keep running back Rashad Jennings from turning up field following a reception.
–Cornerback Travis Howard knocked down an Eli Manning pass intended for receiver Trindon Holliday. However a few plays later, Howard ran right past receiver Travis Harvey, who scooped a low all from his knees for the reception.
–By my count, there were three “sacks” that came as a result of tight coverage by the defensive secondary. The defensive backs are really flying around out there, making some nice plays and taking control of things.
–Receiver Preston Parker came up with a nice reception by shielding the ball from safety Quintin Demps.
–There’s still no clear-cut leader I the tight end race, though I was glad to see Donnell get a bunch of snaps with the starters today. I still believe Donnell, who looks like he’s going to be a solid blocker, is the best of an otherwise even bunch; his problem in the past was being consistent. Once he becomes consistent, he just might surprise a few people.
–The play of the game came near the end when receiver Corey Washington, one of my sleepers on offense, made a beautiful reception despite being double covered by safety Kyle Sebetic and cornerback Bennett Jackson. Washington really took advantage of his 6-4 height to outleap the two defenders, both of whom are 5-11 and 6-0 respectively for the perfectly thrown long ball by quarterback Curtis Painter.
THE FINAL WORD
The acclimation period is over. Tomorrow the Giants will done uppers for their practice. After a day off on Saturday, they’ll then be in full pads for Sunday’s practice, at which time we should be better able to tell where the defensive line, offensive line, fullbacks and tight ends are.
We’re one step closer to real football, ladies and gentlemen. Sit tight!