August 10, 2011 Practice Report
Osi Goes Through the Motions
Just when I think we have the Osi Umenyiora situation figured out, along comes another twist.
This time, the twist in the on-going saga involving the unhappy defensive end was that he was out on the practice field going through his pass rushing motions under the watchful eye of the team’s medical staff.
Umenyiora, who is supposed to be headed to Atlanta to meet with an orthopedic specialist about his left knee, went through about 15 minutes of performing various pass rush moves. From what I could tell, he didn’t appear to have any difficulty moving around.
On one play, however, he appeared to lose his balance and fell to the ground only to pop back up.
Umenyiora is currently involved in a contract dispute with the team. According to multiple reports, a decision will be made on whether he has surgery to repair what is believed to be a torn meniscus in his left knee after he meets with the specialist on Thursday.
According to multiple reports quoting Umenyiora’s agent, Tony Agnone, if the orthopedic specialist he’s about to see gives the green light for him to resume practicing, Umenyiora could be back on the field for the Giants when the team resumes its training camp next Monday, though it remains to be seen if his contract issue gets in the way of that.
Meanwhile head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that last year the team, who held Umenyiora out of practice at least once a week in the beginning, did so to help manage the defensive end’s hip injury, for which he had off-season surgery this year.
The injury list appears to be shrinking. Unable to practice were LB Clint Sintim (knee), C Jim Cordle (knee), DB Brian Jackson (back), DB Joe Burnett (hamstring), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), and WR Sam Giguere (groin). C Adam Koets (knee) and WR Ramses Barden (ankle) remain on PUP.
DT Marvin Austin (hip flexor) was back doing individuals. Also, WR Devin Thomas returned to practice after missing a few days to let his dislocated pinky heal, and OT James Brewer, who suffered a leg contusion during Monday night’s practice, was back at work.
CB Prince Amukamara had surgery to repair his broken toe. However, head coach Tom Coughlin declined to give a timetable for the rookie’s return. Amukamara could miss anywhere from 6-8 weeks, depending on how rapidly he heals.
• Believe it or not, the best receiver today in practice was … wait for it… Darius Reynaud. Yes, that Darius Reynaud. He was catching nearly everything thrown his way, and had a couple of very pretty plays, including an over-the-shoulder catch in which he turned to block out the defender, and a nice grab of a fade in the red zone drills for the score. Reynaud also made several nice leaping grabs over the heads of the defenders. Excellent showing by the receiver, who seems to have found new life after switching from jersey number 15 to Amani Toomer’s 81.
• After a big night on Monday, the defensive backs picked up right where they left off. Kenny Phillips picked off a pass intended for TE Bear Pascoe in seven-on-seven drills by simply outmuscling the big guy. Then it was Aaron Ross’ turn to knock away a pass by reaching over the receiver and swatting it away at the last second. Corey Webster fell short of completing the trifecta in that series of drills as Darius Reynaud beat him cleanly for the catch. However, Webster would make up for that later on by knocking away a pass intended for Domenik Hixon later on in the 11-on-11s.
• Rough practice today for Will Beatty, who this time had trouble with Jason Pierre-Paul and ultimately needed some help with keeping Pierre-Paul out of the backfield. Beatty seemed to be too upright at times, thus losing his leverage. And when he lost that leverage, he grabbed onto defenders out of desperation. On one play, he grabbed a fistful of LB Michael Boley’s jersey when Boley beat him around the edge on a blitz. On another play, the defense sent the corner blitz in action and Beatty seemed confused by what he saw as DJ Ware tried (unsuccessfully) to pick up the blitzer.
• There probably won’t be room for QB Ryan Perrilloux on the roster, but the kid has a very impressive arm. He just throws a deep ball on a rope and it’s usually a nice, tight spiral. While his accuracy isn’t quite as consistent as you’d like, he makes for an intriguing developmental prospect.
• FB Henry Hynoski continues to throw some gorgeous blocks. On one, he stood up a charging linebacker (I think it was Kenny Ingram). Hynoski got low and under the defender’s pads and was able to toss him aside like a rag doll. On another nice block, Hynoski cut back and nailed DE Dave Tollefson with a kickout block that helped spring DJ Ware on an outside run to that side.
• I didn’t see WR Victor Cruz drop any passes today, but he did commit a blunder that drew some words from head coach Tom Coughlin. After Cruz beat Michael Coe on a deep post in 11-on-11s, Cruz was slowly walking back to the huddle and was met by Coughlin. The problem? The rest of the offense had already moved to the back field and Cruz, who was taking his sweet time with catching up, had to be reminded by the coach to have a little more sense of urgency in his step. After Coughlin said what he had to say, Cruz jogged to join the receivers on the far field.
• In watching RB Da’Rel Scott, he seems to constantly take a little hop when he approaches the line, perhaps to buy some time to find a hole or to let a hole develop. On a couple of runs, he looked uncertain about where to go. He also had a ball stripped away by DE Alex Hall as he failed to tuck it against his body.
• DE Justin Trattou beat Henry Hynoski to get to the ball carrier for a loss. In fact, Trattou, from Florida State by way of Ramsey, NJ, managed to get into the backfield a few other times on what would have been tackles for a loss for what was a nice practice.
• RB Charles Scott was a step too slow in picking up a blitzing LB Phillip Dillard, who darted into the backfield for the “sack.”
• On kickoffs, the Giants again had Matt Dodge handle the long ball (Lawrence Tynes did participate in practice on field goals and didn’t miss any attempts in ase you’re wondering. ) Dodge’s kickoffs had good height and distance so there could be something more to him just filling in for Tynes (quad) the other night.
• While on the subject of kickoffs, WR Jerrel Jernigan was the returner. He muffed the first kickoff, so for a few thereafter, the coaches just put the ball in his hands and told him when to go once the kicked ball reached a certain point. Jernigan eventually did go back to fielding kickoffs and didn’t muff any, but so far he seems to have had trouble cleanly fielding the ball at least once per practice.
• Terrell Thomas came oh so close to picking off a pass that I believe was intended for Mario Manningham on the opposite corner of the field. Thomas pulled up, slapped the side of his helmet and trotted back to the huddle.
• Eli Manning threw a gorgeous pass, threading the needle between two defenders to Bear Pascoe.
• DJ Ware failed to haul on a pass that, while thrown below his waist, was still catchable. It looked like he was ready to turn and run up field before he secured it.
• Nice job by Darius Reynaud, who used his body to shield the ball from (I think) CB Brian Witherspoon. By blocking the defender’s line of vision, Reynaud bought himself just enough time to make the catch and plot his escape route.
• Kenny Phillips broke up a pass intended for Victor Cruz.
• QB Sage Rosenfels badly missed WR Todd Watkins in the end zone. Watkins couldn’t have been any more open on the play. Rosenfels has struggle some with his accuracy the last couple of practices.
Running back s coach Jerald Ingram, on how the team plans on distributing the ball to Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and the winner of the DJ Ware, Da’Rel Scott, Andre Brown competition:
Obviously, you would love to have an even distribution or as much as you can. Whoever has the hot hand out of the first two, that is how it went to a certain degree and the certain plays that we had. Then you tried to fill it in and say hey, in this situation this is what were are doing. If we were throwing the ball an awful lot then it is going to be this guy because if you are not running the ball a lot and we are in three wides, we would want a little more scatter kind of guy. That is what you do but when you are in a power, pound it kind of situation, then you bring Brandon in. Then if you switch it up, the defense and the linebackers can’t really gauge who is in the game. Then Brandon comes in and he pops one and for a big guy, he has speed and actually turns the corner sometime. You are always trying to bang against the defense in a lot of different ways and certain plays but we do want more of an even distribution.”
LG David Diehl on the development of the Giants’ new-look offensive line:
It’s going well. David Baas is doing a great job of stepping in and really getting involved in the offense. We’re watching extra film, we’re working, we’re making sure that we’re doing a lot of verbal communication to get everything hammered out here throughout practice. We’re looking forward to finally play some live action. Obviously, when you’re using so much communication, our D-linemen have been around our offense for so long that we’re kind of giving them an advantage at times. But we’re going to do whatever we need to do to get things right right now.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin said that the visit yesterday between the team and unrestricted free agent WR Steve Smith went well.
He came in here really upbeat. The guys were excited to see him. We just have to see exactly…it’s going to be a long haul for him. Hopefully we can cut through some of that and see where it goes. That’s all I can say. He looks good though.”
However, Coughlin stopped short of saying whether the thought that Smith might be able to help the team this season. “As far as I know it’s August, but he’s got a ways to go.”
UPDATE: As you now doubt have heard by now, Smith has signed a one-year deal with the Eagles. So much for the meeting between Smith and the Giants going as good as coughlin thought it had.