The Day at Camp: August 4, 2013

Fresh from his whirlwind trip to Canton last night to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony of his former boss, mentor and good friend Bill Parcells, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who showed no signs of fatigue despite returning in the early hours of the morning, was asked about the experience after today’s practice.

Coughlin, who takes pride in being a motivator, spoke of how Parcells’ acceptance speech moved him, all the while perhaps thinking of ways that he might incorporate new methods to instill the values that Parcells spoke about in the current Giants locker room.

“I thought with Bill Parcells’ talk … at the end when he talked about the locker room — that was a huge message there,” Coughlin said. “Not only for athletics; for life, for the world that we live in.

“You know, you have all kinds of guys from all different backgrounds, all different races and creeds, and they come together and the one thing that works is if everybody’s there for the same purpose, for the common good. I thought that was a very, very good statement.”

It’s a message that Coughlin, who perhaps might one day find himself being considered for the Hall of Fame, continues to preach to his team, and that is to put aside any differences and to focus on a common goal, which is to win.

If the players buy into that message with no questions asked, it’s going to be fun to watch this team in 2013.

Status quo on receiver Hakeem Nicks (groin), cornerback Corey Webster (groin) and offensive lineman Justin Pugh (concussion).  Nicks, who was doing some running on the side, and Webster could be back on the practice field as soon as Tuesday, barring any setbacks

Meanwhile, Pugh was out on the field to watch the beginning part of practice, held outside in bright sunlight. So let’s take that as a sign that he’s getting better as usually concussion patients can’t handle being out in bright sunlight.

Let’s also take it as a positive sign that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who’s currently on PUP recovering from back surgery, was out on the field for the first time to watch practice. Why is that significant? Because it shows that Pierre-Paul can physically tolerate standing on a grass field, even if it was just for a bit.

Rueben Randle looked like he might have had some trouble with his right knee. At one point, when the team was doing special teams work, Randle went off to the side to ride the stationary bike, but he later came back on the field to resume practice when the team finished its special teams drills.

Speaking of PUP, I continue to get the feeling that we could see Chris Snee come off the PUP list as soon as Tuesday when the team returns from a  day off.

Linebacker Dan Connor received some snaps with the first team, in place of Mark Herzlich. Also given some first team reps was Jacquian Williams in place of Spencer Paysinger.

On the defensive line, Mike Patterson, who’s quietly had a solid camp, got a few first team reps ion place of Linval Joseph, and James Brewer took some first team reps at right tackle, sharing time with incumbent David Diehl.

The first team nickel package looks like it might be Williams and Paysinger at linebacker, Aaron Ross in the slot, and Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley as the outside corners.

After practice, Coughlin explained that they were installing some of their third down packages today, which probably explained the shakeup we saw. But I’m sure that there were also some substitutions made just to see how certain guys who were working with the second string would function with the starters.

* I’ll start out with the highlight of the day, which was a beautiful deep touchdown pass thrown by Eli Manning to tight end Brandon Myers. Myers did a great job of putting a double move on the defensive coverage – I’m not sure who was supposed to be back there deep, but I did see Stevie Brown try to hustle over to make the stop, to no avail. With Myers scoring, practice ended.

* What’s a Giants practice without an interception from cornerback Prince Amukamara? The third-year cornerback did it again, picking off Eli Manning’s pass intended for Louis Murphy, when Murphy slipped on the grass. On the next play, Manning was very nearly picked off again, this time by Antrel Rolle, who had the ball in his hands and dropped it.

* Later in the practice, Amukamara was all over Rueben Randle after the receiver made the catch, with Amukamara continuously trying to knock the ball loose from Randle’s grasp. And Amukamara knocked away a pass intended for receiver Kris Adams.

* A couple of premature starts in this practice. The first was on offense by Jamie Childers, who would have been flagged for a false start. Then on defense, Mathias Kiwanuka moved early, the play going in the opposite direction.

*On kickoff returns, David Wilson, Rueben Randle, Charles James, and Michael Cox all were given chances. Cox still appears to hesitate as he approaches the hole, as if he’s not quite sure if the hole is going to be there. Once he’s through it, he turns up the jets, but it seems to struggle with what he sees initially.

* Also on kickoff returns, Jacquian Williams gave returner Charles James a nice little pop which stunned James.

* In 9-on-7 drills, David Diehl made a nice block to push his man inside, clearing a hole for André Brown to exploit.  David Wilson, however, didn’t have as good of luck as he was strung out wide by Adrian Tracy and a linebacker whose number I didn’t get.

* Tracy came back with Johnathan Hankins to create congestion on an inside run attempt by Ryan Torain, who picked up a yard at the most on the play.

* Defensive end Damontre Moore whiffed on a running play when he went too wide and had to reach back, only to end up grabbing at air. I don’t think I’ve seen him miss too many assignments thus far in camp.

* Linebacker Dan Connor did a nice job of mirroring Michael Cox as the runner tried to go wide and turn up field. Connor held his ground and Cox had nowhere to go. But on the next play, Cox quickly exploited the hole that developed when Justin Trattou fell down.

* Moving to 11-on-11s, receiver Louis Murphy had a nice block on the outside that André Brown managed to take advantage of. Murphy told me in this article that he loves to block and be physical, and he certainly gave it his all on this play.

* Safety David Caldwell and defensive end Justin Trattou also teamed up to string out a running play. Trattou actually showed nice hustle in coming across the field to help make the play.

* For some unknown reason, Ramses Barden, who was running a route over the middle, slowed down despite having a step against the coverage. The ball, thrown by Curtis Painter proceeded to sail over his head and fell to the ground incomplete.

* Good hustle shown by defensive tackle Mike Patterson in breaking into the offensive backfield and forcing quarterback David Carr out of the pocket.

Yesterday, tight ends coach Mike Pope spoke about youngsters Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell, and when asked if both will get on the field this year, Pope said, “Absolutely.”

Now obviously “getting on the field” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the playing field, nor does it mean that it will be the regular season playing field. It could be that Pope was talking about the practice field and giving both young tight ends more reps as the summer draws on.

But assuming he’s not … assuming he’s talking about the playing field. Then what?

The Giants have never kept four tight ends under head coach Tom Coughlin. So why would they even consider keeping four now?

Maybe that’s not the plan right now. After all, there are still four preseason games to see what these guys bring to the table, and a lot can happen.

Best guess as of right now? Assuming there are no injuries, Robinson making the final 53 and Donnell going back to the practice squad.

“The depth chart is a political thing, something that they have to put out there so the fans and other teams will know. You know, like I said, it’s mostly for the media.” – Running back David Wilson, who is listed along with André Brown as the starting running back on the team’s unofficial depth chart that was distributed earlier in the week. Brown and Wilson have been taking turns taking the first handoff from scrimmage in practices.

The Giants are off on Monday and return to the field Tuesday through Thursday, all of which are scheduled to be open to the public.  All practices begin at 1:30 p.m.

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