Yesterday, I was finally able to take a trip to Giants training camp, at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, to view a practice in person. Tomorrow, I’ll write a blog about the overall experience, but I wanted to run down some of the developments from the actual practice as soon as possible.
Mishaps & Miscues
- Tight end, Larry Donnell, went down and immediately grabbed his leg after making a catch in offense vs defense team drills. It looked like a non-contact injury, which is never a good sign. The second year man out of Grambling was having a very strong camp and had a good shot at making the 53-man roster. In an earlier part of practice, the Giants offense was running drills in front of us and Donnell’s size impressed me so much that I tweeted, “Larry Donnell is gigantic, by the way”. There is some positive news this morning about Donnell’s injury as Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger tweeted, “From last night, sounds like there’s no tear for Donnell, per @WesBridgesEsq, so good news for the #Giants and for Larry.”
- The Giants offense was practicing mostly screen passes when they were working on their own right in front of where I was standing. The only drop I saw came from Ryan Torain, who is on the roster bubble.
Thought & Observations
- The offensive line was running drills close by and I was not very impressed with the size of first round pick, Justin Pugh. When the Giants selected Pugh, I was skeptical of his ability to play right tackle at the NFL level. From what I could see, I think he’s going to have to bulk up a bit.
- My favorite drill to watch up close was the quarterbacks practicing fade routes near the goal line. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks took turns as receiver and defender during the drill. Nicks’s hands are incredible, and Eli Manning threw some perfect fade passes.
- Josh Brown was consistently getting his kickoffs into the end zone, which would be a big help to the special teams coverage unit.
- It was hard to see the offense vs defense drills because they were on the far field, but one play that really stood out to me was a deep pass from Eli down the left sideline to Reuben Randle. It reminded me of plays Eli would hit Mario Manningham on. I think we could be seeing a lot of Eli to Randle deep connections this season.
- Antrel Rolle didn’t let his sprained ankle keep him from signing autographs. He had an obvious limp, but wasn’t wearing any type of boot, which is a good sign.
- As I mentioned above, the Giants offense was practicing many different screen plays right in front of where I was standing. One wrinkle that I actually really liked was a wide receiver screen where they split David Wilson out wide as the receiver. I think any play where the Giants can get Wilson’s speed and quickness out in space, can lead to very good things. I just hope Giants offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride, actually dials up some of these plays during the regular season.
- Near the end of practice there was a pretty large scrum at the end of a play. The players were far away, so I couldn’t tell who started it, but Ralph Vacchianno of the New York Daily News tweeted “Heck of a little scrum at the end of practice. DE Adewale Ojomo vs. …. An OL, I think. Couldn’t see from my angle.”
- After listening to just how much Giants fans love Victor Cruz, I don’t know how anyone ever really thought the Giants weren’t going to give him a contract extension. Cruz was easily the fan favorite with multiple “Cruuzzzzzzz” chants starting, even when he was just standing around.
Overall, for the most part, the team seemed to look sharp. They weren’t practicing particularly hard, probably because it was the last practice before a game, and it was pretty hot out with the sun. The big news is that it seems Donnell’s injury wasn’t an ACL tear, which is always a big worry with non contact knee injuries.
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