It’s a picture perfect day in New Jersey for the final official day of Giants training camp. Low humidity, temperatures only in the upper 70’s, a light breeze, no precipitation. Fans who want to catch a live practice, but procrastinated had their last chance today as this is the final day of public practice. Former Giant Rodney Hampton came to visit today, and wore a Hampton jersey.
Will Beatty is seen as the great savior of the Giants offensive line. He sat down on Big Blue kickoff this morning to talk about his broken leg, Saturday’s game, and that offensive line, which he believes is improved and will absolutely have a nastiness to it this season. Beatty’s injury allowed him to focus on the future and kept his mind off of the dismal 2013 season, but he say his leg doesn’t quite feel the same eight months after the severe fracture. While in great football shape, Beatty joked that he “Can’t dunk like he used to.” He will travel with the team to Indianapolis on for Saturday’s game, and considers playing a mark of how hard he’s in recovering from the injury.
After 4 months, including 4 weeks of intensive study in training camp, Victor Cruz reported that the Giants offense is finished being installed and ready to be fine tuned. The phase of the installation were some “Green Zone” packages that were put in earlier this week. Cruz also said that the season preparation is “Right on point” with where it should be at this stage in the preseason. He also sees it as a different offense with Odell Beckham on the field, as it has more speed and an explosiveness about it.
Fullback Henry Hynoski sat down with long time Giants broadcaster Bob Papa and talked about the Giants running game. The “Hynocerus” said the new scheme has a few similarities to the former one the team ran, but is “For the most part different.” He knew after the first scoring drive against Buffalo in the Hall of Fame game that the running game was improved. Asked about his competition with John Conner, Hynoski answered as expected, that competition brings out the best in a player and ultimately improves the team. He said his injury plagued 2013 was humbling and he couldn’t wait to get back on the field and start hitting some people. When asked about quarterback Eli Manning, Hynoski marveled at his even keel, saying that his demeanor in the huddle was the same in the final drive of Super Bowl 46 as it was in his first practice of training camp.
As the team took the field to stretch before practice, the stationary bicycle squad started pedaling on the sideline. Tight end Xavier Grimble, wide receiver Trindon Holliday, running back Peyton Hillis, and defensive tackle Mike Patterson were today’s riders. While not riding a stationary bike, Tight end Daniel Fells was working the trainers on the sideline as well.
Beckham was working with the team as he continues to inch his way back into game shape. Curtis Painter’s bad day yesterday didn’t see him demoted, yet, as he took snaps with the second team when they came on to the field. Mario Manningham’s penchant for dropping passes continued as he seems intent on playing himself off the roster. At his post training camp press conference, Tom Coughlin said the starters will not play the full first half on Saturday. Painter will be the next quarterback in following Manning. Beckham has been ruled out of the game, as has been speculated. Barring a setback, expect to see his first game action against the Jets next weekend.
As the team went into their two minute drill practice, it was Adrien Robinson’s turn in the tight end rotation. Later, Kellen Davis took his turn with the ones. Andre Williams took the snaps at running back. On the second play, Manning hit a wide open Cruz. He then hit Beckham an equally wide open Beckham for another touchdown, seemingly uncontested by the defense. Could it be that the new offense is starting to come together?
In keeping the pattern of mixing trick plays into practice, Manning pump faked a pass, then took off through a huge hole in the offensive line for a first down, showcasing his speed and agility. Or lack thereof.
Mathias Kiwanuka leaped in the air to deflect a Manning pass. And then the interception, by Zack Bowman for a touchdown the other way, after Rueben Randle doesn’t turn around for a pass. It appeared that Randle ran a streak while Manning expected a curl. Another miscommunication interception?
Patterson left the bike squad and got in a few snaps with the second team. The defense also worked on some unique combinations of front with more defensive ends on the line for pass rushing. The improved secondary will allow Perry Fewell to get creative with his pressure packages and is something fun to watch for in the games.
The kicking competition heated back up and Brandon McManus boomed a long kick that could have been 60 yards out and made all four of his attempts. Kickoff returns featured Quintin Demps, Michael Cox, and Preston Parker.
Third string quarterback Ryan Nassib flat dropped a shotgun snap for the second consecutive day, which will not help his chances of being promoted back to the second team. Beckham came back to catch a pass from him on a scramble during 11 on 11 drills, a good play for both. It’s promising to see Beckham in against defenders. He then caught a touchdown from Nassib with a defender climbing up his back.
Training camp ends with Painter hitting Parker for a touchdown. And the team gathers for a post practice stretch.
The first team tight ends against the Colts will be Larry Donnell and Davis, since Fells is still not practicing. Coughlin would like to see some temp and sustained drives from the offense and more out of the return game.
Keep checking back here and Twitter @hyprcaffeinated and @giants360 for your Giants news and notes as the team transitions from Training Camp into their regular season mode.