With the Giants first preseason exactly one week away, an improved practice level was an absolute necessity — and they brought it hard. Thoughts and observations from the Giants first “full on” practice of training camp:
Jayron Hosley, the former third round pick who is suspended the first four games of the season, struggled mightily in 1-on-1 drills. He was either getting beat or flagged by the refs who attended today’s practice. Hosley might be lucky he is suspended the first four games, as I think his roster spot would be in serious jeopardy.
On the tight end front, it was a pretty quiet day. Kellen Davis made a couple of nice plays, especially one over the shoulder grab in the seam over rookie Nat Berhe. Adrien Robinson, “the JPP of tight-ends” continued to struggle with a couple of drops. On a number of occasions I saw the coaching staff getting on him for running incorrect routes. Robinson also looked to be carrying a little extra weight to me. After seeing him in person today, I can understand why he was buried on the first unofficial Giants depth chart.
Giants prized free agent addition, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, looks to be the real deal. He was blanketing everybody he was covering and his back pedal in 1-on-1 drills was tremendous to watch. What might have been even more impressive was watching him take time to give tips to some of the younger players on the proper techniques for press coverage.
During defensive drills against the scout team, injured linebacker Jon Beason was carrying the play sheet and making the play calls. Although he is still unable to practice due to his foot injury, it was good to see him keeping engaged with the team.
Speaking of memorable Giant’s Super Bowl moments: wide receiver Mario Manningham received a lot of love from the fans, as Giants’ fans never forget one of their heroes. On the field, however, he clearly lacked the explosion he used to have and dropped a couple of easy catches. He also looked very out of place wearing #86.
Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard, who has been having a tremendous training camp so far, met David Wilson in the hole for a violent collision. Thankfully, Wilson, who is coming back from major neck surgery, got right back up from the hit. I came away very intrigued by what I saw in Kennard as he certainly looks the part and could end up being a steal for the Giants in the fifth round.
Last year’s third round pick, Damontre Moore, continues to impress in practice. I loved what I saw in him last season and that continued today as he dominated the second string offensive line. Moore needs to stay healthy and translate his success to game days, but he could end up having a very nice season for the Giants.
Speaking of the run game, the new look offensive line was not doing a very good job of opening up holes for the Giants’ running backs. I was still impressed with free agent pickup Rashad Jennings, who looks very smooth when running. He’s not the fastest or biggest guy on the field, but he has good vision and should be a valuable piece of the Giants’ offense this season.
I spotted David Tyree chatting with Trindon Holliday whose knee was heavily wrapped up. Holliday was practicing normally earlier against the scout team and must have tweaked his knee. Tyree, of “Helmet Catch” fame, received a warm welcome from the fans that seemed to be very unfazed by the controversial statements he’s made in the past.
At receiver, Rueben Randle looks primed for a breakout year. He looked good all day and was even the only receiver I saw burn Rodgers-Cromartie. Victor Cruz, clearly the biggest fan favorite, looked tremendous all practice. Cruz is just a professional who never seems to have a bad practice. It amazes me how he has a knack for finding the open areas of a defense.