Clouds hung overhead, threatening once again to drive the Giants indoors to practice on their second to last day of training camp. If it seems to have gone by quickly, you’re not alone in that feeling, camp is a mere shell of it’s former glory. Gone are the days of six or seven week marathon camps with twice daily practices interrupted only by the preseason games. Roster limits, a collective bargaining agreement restricting practice time and intensity, and highly paid players protected like family heirlooms have resulted in a paradigm shift. The players will check out of their hotel rooms and being a daily commute until learning their fate by the end of month.
Despite the morning rain and overcast skies, the team practiced outside this afternoon, wearing full pads for the second day in a row.
Mario Manningham, Super Bowl 46 hero, but player on the bubble in 2014, spoke with the media this morning, and is well aware of his need to earn his keep. He echoed the sentiment of other Giant receivers regarding the new offense, that it allows receivers to get the ball in their hands and make plays. Manningham is finally confident planting and cutting on his surgically repaired knee, and feel in shape to fight for a roster spot. Asked if he’s surprised by the fierce competition at his position, Manningham replied, “No, it’s not the 1960’s. There are good wide receivers.” Focused on the present, he would prefer no to talk about his most notable catch, the sideline grab that sparked the Giants game winning Super Bowl drive 3 years ago.
Asked about Manningham in his post practice press conference, Tom Coughlin said that he sees him working hard, “But thinks there can be more,” and refused to speculate about his chances of making the team.
Antrel Rolle, next up at the podium, is more than happy to talk about that spectacular grab. He also reminisced about former teammate Hakeem Nicks, now a member of Saturday’s opponent, the Indianapolis Colts. “Learning from Reggie Wayne is the best thing to happen to Hakeem,” expressed Rolle. He thinks the 2014 Giants defense will be aggressive and ball hawking and has done a good job in the preseason games keeping opponents out of the end zone. However, cautioned Rolle, they need to cut down on penalties. Coughlin will certainly agree with that assessment. Rolle spoke of new teammate Walter Thurmond, saying he will tell you he’s the best nickel cornerback in the league, but if asked if he’s satisfied with his game, he will answer “No.”
Travis Beckham, former Giants tight end who tore his ACL in Super Bowl 46, was signed by the New Orleans Saints today. Beckham was a third round draft pick by the Giants in 2009, and never lived up to his billing as a down the field receiving threat. He has not played a down since his injury in the Super Bowl. Beckham was signed and released by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year.
Jon Beason is on track to return to return for the season opener on September 8th. Picking out the correct orthotics from among the many available options is his biggest challenge. For now, he’s on the sidelines, working on eliminating “day after soreness,” and coaching up the defense. After doing agility work and “cutting” on the sidelines with trainers this afternoon, Beason will be checking for day after soreness tomorrow.
A new wrinkle in the team’s kicking battle, Brandon McManus signed with super agent Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus doesn’t sign just anyone, so he sees something promising in young kicker, and is likely buying low. Today was Josh Brown’s day to kick. He went 3 for 4, but the miss was way wide left. Rosenhaus was pleased.
A new addition to the Giants stationary bicycle team is Bowman. He joins Xavier Gimble, Trindon Holliday, Peyton Hillis, and Daniel Fells.
Rookie defensive tackle Jay Bromley worked with the second team, along with Markus Kuhn, behind Jonathan Hankins, a step up for the third round draft pick. Jerrell Jernigan returned to practice and reclaimed his spot with the starters.
The tight end carousel continued to turn, putting Kellen Davis with the first team, and Adrien Robinson with the second. The more time that goes by, the more it would seem that the biggest contributor at the position for the Giants is not currently on the roster. Asked if there is any separation among the tight ends, Coughlin replied, “No, not really.”
Three’s were wild this afternoon, and three passes into his third day backing up Eli Manning, Curtis Painter threw an interception to cornerback Chandler Fenner on a deep pass. And then another one to linebacker Mark Herzlich. Ryan Nassib may be promoted back to second string sooner than anticipated. Painter came back to his Victor Cruz for a couple of touchdowns on the goal line fade drill over cornerback Charles James.
Nassib came in and threw a completion to Travis Harvey who was promptly stripped of the ball. It was the third completion for any quarterback on 11 on 11 drills on a rough afternoon for the offense. Or perhaps just a dominating afternoon for the defense? He then fumbled a shotgun snap, with no apparent cause other than simply dropping it.
Odell Beckham took him first snaps in team drills and immediately caught a touchdown. Coughlin would not speculate if he would make his debut against Indianapolis, but does expect to see Will Beatty and Trumaine McBride for the first time this preseason against the Colts.
Devon Kennard, who has been notable in his absence in the past two weeks, lit up Andre Williams on a running play. Welcome back, Devon.
A shortened practice ends a Manning completion to Rashad Jennings for a touchdown. Manning finished with three straight completions. The team heads indoors for recovery stretches.
Tomorrow is the final day of training camps and therefore the final edition of 2014 Giants Camp Notes. Don’t miss it.