Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Release For Plax

For all those who thought the Giants might re-sign Plaxico Burress to shore up this year's receiving game upon his participation in a prison work-release program, well, sometimes plans just don't work out. Burress was denied work release today, and cannot re-apply until he becomes eligible for parole on June 6, 2011. His two-year sentence runs until September, 2011, and by the way his rejection letter sounded, he might be staying the whole term.

Burress, you may remember, helped wreck the 2008 season by shooting himself in the thigh with an illegal handgun during an evening of partying at the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan.

"The serious and negative impact illegal guns have on the community coupled with dangerous nature of the weapon discharging in a public place renders him unsuitable for work release participation," according to the denial letter sent to Burress. Burress has served 10 months of his two-year sentence.

Here's the whole story.

EP

Bomar For Now

Tom Coughlin said the Giants have been looking at potential backup quarterbacks since Jim Sorgi went down with a shoulder capsule injury that will most likely require surgery. But the decision on bringing in somebody from the outside hasn't been made yet, and may not be finalized either way until after Thursday's preseason finale.

"Well, it depends on what the availability and what the cost is," Coughlin said. "I’m not saying we’re doing that, but our people are not caught by surprise by this. Our guys have been working on this for a couple of weeks.

"I just think that we’re investigating all of our options, whatever those options are. If it comes that the decision is made after the game, fine. If it comes that the decision is made before that, fine, but all of the options are open, of course. Depending on if (Bomar) goes in there and plays well on Thursday night, we’ll certainly have good evidence to think that he can do it."

Whatever the future holds, Bomar is going to get plenty of playing time Thursday. He won't get the whole game, as he did against Pittsburgh, since Eli Manning will take the first couple of series. But he'll likely play into the fourth quarter.

Bomar hasn't had a bad preseason, actually. He's 29-of-53 for 374 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. And he's also scrambled six times for 43 yard, which gives the Giants a nice run dimension should Manning go down.

But even the second-year player knows he has much to learn. So it's a matter of taking advantage of every bit of playing time the Giants throw his way.

"I'm way more comfortable since camp started," Bomar said. "I just gotta work on some things, cut down on a few mistakes. Nothing specific. Just work on things and be perfect."

He seems to have lost little sleep over the possibilities of being replaced by an outsider before the Sept. 12 opener.

"It's not scary," Bomar said. "I've said it a million times, I can only control what I can control. My job on Thursday is to go out there and play to the best of my ability. Help the team whenever I get my opportunity."

----------------------------------------------

TE Travis Beckum had come back for a practice Monday, but was out again yesterday with a sore neck. He'll undergo further tests. But T Kareem McKenzie, who sat out yesterday with migraines, received some medication and was out there for the whole practice today.

The same couldn't be said for DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who spent the latter part of the pass rush drills taking a knee with director of medical services Ronnie Barnes with a heat-related issue. After resting and drinking some Gatorade, he rejoined his linemates for some handwork drills.

EP

Carr?

For anybody thinking about bringing David Carr back here as a backup, well, he's still in San Francisco. But it sounds like he's only holding on by a hair.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Mike Singletary was none too happy with Carr's 7-for-17, 53-yard passing effort against the Raiders Saturday night. Whether he's on his way out, though, is another story. And it's unlikely he'd be cut before Saturday's deadline, if even then. But if he does get whacked, he'd be an ideal choice to bring back here, since he's the only guy out there who knows the system.

He'd probably come in as a third-stringer, though, since Bomar has done the work to become the primary backup. And let's face it, if Manning goes down early, the Giants' season will be basically wrecked, anyway.

EP

Down To 75

To get to today's 75-man limit, the Giants placed WR Sinorice Moss (groin), QB Jim Sorgi (shoulder), and LB Adrian Tracy (elbow) on injured reserve, and placed G Kevin Boothe (pectoral) on the reserved/PUP list. They also waived rookie receiver Nyan Boateng.

Boothe will have to miss the first six weeks of the season because of the move.

Next stop is the cut to 53, which must be done by 6 p.m. Saturday.

Moss, who went to Philadelphia for a second opinion on his groin injury yesterday, underwent surgery for a sports hernia this morning. Dr. William Meyers at the Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia performed the surgery.

The loss of Sorgi means that, at least for now, second-year player Rhett Bomar will serve as Eli Manning's backup. Bomar has had a good preseason with a maximum of playing time, having played most of the Pittsburgh game while Manning recovered from his 12-stitch gash in his forehead. Having Sorgi would have been better, simply because of his seven years of experience. But Bomar showed a strong arm and times and far more mobility than either Manning or Sorgi possess.

Tracy underwent surgery yesterday to repair ligament damage sustained when he dislocated his right elbow last week in Baltimore. Dr. Robert Hotchkiss performed the operation at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

The loss of Tracy marks the second of the Giants' seven draft picks to go down with injuries, though only one of them came on the playing field. Third-round safety Chad Jones sustained serious injuries to his legs in a June 25 car crash in New Orleans, and wound up on the reserve/non-football injury list.

As for Boothe, the guard can begin practicing for 21 days beginning Tuesday, Oct. 19. During that period, the Giants can evaluate where his rehab stands, and either activate him, release him, or place him on IR. That decision must be made by Nov. 9.

EP

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Absence

Guard Chris Snee's absence at practice today wasn't because he incurred any swelling in his knee. He had permission. It would have been news if he didn't, as his reason for skipping practice was to attend the birth of his father-in-law, Tom Coughlin's, 10th grandchild. The child is Snee's third.

Meanwhile, Sinorice Moss was getting his second opinion on his groin/pelvic/abdominal injury in Philadelphia. No update on him yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the parties come to an injury settlement if the injury is deemed serious enough. As it is, Moss is hanging onto a roster spot by a thread.

EP

Manning And Sorgi

Eli Manning said he's over his head injury, but backup Jim Sorgi said he's not sure how long it will be before his injured shoulder capsule allows him to get back to practice.

That means, for the time being, that the Giants had better be very comfortable with Rhett Bomar as Manning's primary backup. That, or go out and get a veteran quarterback. But that would make for a tough go, since that player would have to come in and learn an entire offense in short order. He'd probably need a few weeks to absorb everything, anyway, in which case the Giants would have to use Bomar anyway as Manning's backup.

When asked today if the shoulder felt any better, Sorgi said, "A little. Very slow. I have never had it so I don’t know how it’s supposed to feel or how quickly it’s supposed to get better. I know it’s different in a quarterback, a thrower, than it is in other positions. We’re trying to keep that in mind and it’s just the timing of when it happened and the timing of when it’s supposed to get better by is bad timing for both sides."

Sorgi said he plans to see the doctors for a re-evaluation in the next few days, as he's been on a regimen of anti-inflammatories and ice. He said he was hopeful the injury is not as serious as a similar one that ended Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington's season in late September of last season.

"I don’t know exactly what his was," Sorgi said. "I don’t know if his came out or what not. I don’t think mine tore enough to dislocate the shoulder or it come out of the socket at all. I know you need time for it to get down and the scar tissue to heal and stuff like that. I’m assuming that if it doesn’t get better over however much time, four or six weeks, then I’ll have to get it taken care of."

Until then, the Giants had better get ready to live with Bomar as backup.

Meanwhile, WR Ramses Barden returned to practice and appeared to be doing more than individual drills. But G Chris Snee (knee), C Shaun O'Hara (ankle), T Kareem McKenzie (migraine), WR Sinorice Moss (groin), and CB Aaron Ross (foot) remained out.

EP

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Bad "Effort"

Tom Coughlin made some comments after last night's game about a lack of effort, which sort of brought back some bad memories from the end of last season. But today, he backpedaled a bit.

"I expected more," Coughlin said. "You know, I did. I can give you page after page about effort. But what I’m going to say is there’s effort and then there’s the kind of intensity that a guy brings to the table when you’re playing the game to solidify your team and your circumstance and your own individual position. So I just think that, yeah there was effort. I’m not going to challenge or say there wasn’t that."

To be honest, I didn't see a lackadaisical form of play last night. What I noticed was a lack of execution and the cropping up of some of the problems that undermined last season, like the linebackers' inability to cover a tight end. None of that was due, for the most part last season, to lack of effort. Lack of talent? Maybe.

Still, the fact that no less than Justin Tuck also hinted at a lack of effort by some individuals, indicated that heart problems were, at least, considered as a reason for the horrible showing.

"There was an awful lot of importance attached to the game for a lot of players, so I’m not going to say that (effort) wasn’t there," Coughlin said. "I am going to say that it can be better. And that I hope there was an experience of learning here, and that those that are well aware of the difference between what happens in a regular season game and a preseason game and why there’s so much significance attached to the third game, I hope they’re able to share their feelings with their teammates."

Anybody here think the Giants played without effort, or that the effort was substandard?

EP

Some Stuff

The Giants probably won't make their cut to 75 until tomorrow, but there was still some interesting personnel news to come out today.

WR Sinorice Moss is having a second opinion on that strained groin/abdomen to try to figure out exactly what's ailing him. That simply doesn't sound like good news for the fifth-year veteran, and I can easily see the Giants going the IR or waived/injured route with him in the next day or two. That said, there was nothing on special teams last night that warranted jettisoning him. With Aaron Ross out, he may still be the team's best overall kick return option despite having done nothing concrete in the preseason to warrant such praise.

Also, DE Adrian Tracy, who went out with a dislocated right elbow, is having an MRI and could miss two to three weeks. And QB Jim Sorgi, still recovering from that shoulder capsule injury, will not practice tomorrow.

LB Gerris Wilkinson (groin) is having tests, and his status is undetermined. DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who sat out the game, will return to practice tomorrow on a limited basis.

EP

Some Observations

Just looked at the tape and have some initial observations.

* The offensive line was horrible, especially Will Beatty at right tackle for migraine-inflicted Kareem McKenzie. Also, Rich Seubert got badly pushed back at center on that fourth-and-1. The good news is that, God willing and the creek don't rise, this is not the offensive line that will start against Carolina. With any luck, Shaun O'Hara will be back at center by then, and McKenzie will be back at right tackle. Understanding the need for interchangeability among offensive linemen, you can overdo it at times. All the injuries up front have created a hodgepodge up there, which has translated to bad communication, missed assignments, and soft play.

* Justin Tuck looks to be all the way back from his shoulder issues of last year, which is good news. He was active, and came up with two sacks. Osi Umenyiora was also active, though he didn't really show up in the stats. And it was interesting to see Linval Joseph in there with the starters, in place of Chris Canty. Thought the second-rounder held up fairly well.

* The linebackers were a different story. Same old story from last year. Nobody seems to know how to cover a tight end. Todd Heap ran right past Jonathan Goff a couple of times. On virtually every tight end catch over the middle, Goff was so far from the tight end that he had no chance of breaking up the pass. The fact that Antrel Rolle had a horrible game didn't help matters, either. But Rolle, a proven veteran, presents far fewer worries than the linebackers. He'll be there when it counts. Can't say the same about Goff or Michael Boley or, certainly, Clint Sintim, who didn't appear to figure in much of anything.

* Courtney Brown? No. But again, he was only out there because Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross weren't there. Worry about Ross' heel. Don't worry about Thomas' calf. Thomas will be there on opening day, and he won't be schooled as easily as Brown. Corey Webster had a very nice game with several breakups and an interception.

* Somebody find a kickoff returner. Andre Brown fumbled one, and Tim Brown was a non-factor. And punt coverage needs a lot of work.

*Eli? Rusty. Off-target. But the interception at the end of the half wasn't his fault. Steve Smith has to reel that thing in. Both players will be fine, though, although Manning can use better protection.

*That new personal foul for hitting a defenseless receiver needs revision. Can't be calling that stuff on bang-bang plays like that. What's the remedy? Perhaps giving the DB a one-step grace area, something like the safe area around a punt returner? If they're going to call it like that the whole season, we're going to see millions of penalty yards and countless drives extended. Bad rule the way it's called now.

EP

That Was Special

Just sitting down to watch the tape of last night's fiasco, but can say this right off the top. When the sole offensive highlight is an undrafted hopeful like Victor Cruz -- as dynamic as the kid seems to be -- catching a touchdown pass with the second unit, a team has problems.

Looking forward to hearing what Tom Coughlin has to say today. Meanwhile, what say you? Anybody out there feeling comfortable about that Sept. 12 opener against Carolina?

EP

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

It's dress rehearsal time in Baltimore tonight. First off, no live blog because I'll be addressing some other issues. But you guys don't need me to tell you how important this one is, especially with some of the injury stuff the Giants have been going through.

As we noted yesterday, there's a small battalion of Giants who won't play in this game. But who will play, and where, is just as important. Starters go three quarters tonight and, aside from perhaps two series against New England in Thursday's finale, wrap up their preseason. Also, five guys as yet unknown to us will be cut after this game.

Some things to watch:

* Eli Manning makes his return after missing the Pittsburgh game with that Grand Canyon-sized gouge in his head. He's got a new helmet, seemed comfortable during the practice week, and should have no problems taking the whole three quarters. He needs it. He'll want to work out his timing with Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, and Derek Hagan, something that has been limited to one quarter of play so far. Don't be surprised, either, if outstanding rookie prospect Victor Cruz gets a shot with Manning. As long as Eli tells everybody what his plans are -- it was his decision to change the play without advising his teammates that caused Week 1's collision -- he should get everything accomplished.

* Chris Snee is back at right guard. Rich Seubert is back, but not at left guard. He'll start at center for injured Shaun O'Hara. The bet here is that the game Seubert will do a credible job, but it will still be interesting to see how the inside blocking holds up. It shouldn't be too bad, since David Diehl has played at left guard before. Guy Whimper and Mitch Petrus will rotate in there if Diehl switches out to left tackle for Will Beatty.

* Tim Brown of Rutgers is only 5-foot-8, but Tom Coughlin likes his kickoff return potential. He'll probably get a good shot tonight after Andre Brown finishes his work. The little guy had better point himself upfield and go, since this is virtually his only shot at making the team.

* Punter Matt Dodge must show the consistency he has been lacking throughout the preseason. It's getting to the point where the coaches will get awful worried if he shanks one, especially if that one comes from behind his own goal line. They have made no moves to bring in a punter, but the funny thing about those guys is that punters come a dime a dozen. You can bring one in anytime and put him right to work. Dodge should keep that in mind as he thinks hangtime and direction rather than line-drive distance. A bad showing here could force the Giants to pull the trigger on him.

* Keith Bulluck played outside linebacker all week after taking the beginning of training camp in the middle. That could mean they've lost faith in Clint Sintim. Or it could be just a move to increase versatility and interchangeability. As a matter of fact, stay alert for any and all substitution patterns. Perry Fewell has put everybody everywhere, playing defensive ends inside, defensive tackles outside, and standing up defensive ends as linebackers. Osi Umenyiora took a couple of plays at linebacker Wednesday. DE Dave Tollefson played inside part of the same practice, and CB Corey Webster looked to be playing a safety position for a couple of plays. Fewell has experimented with having three defensive tackles on the front as well as three defensive ends. This could be a first, good look at a true mix-and-match, situation-based defense.

Interesting stuff all around.

EP

Friday, August 27, 2010

Injuries

These players, as previously noted, are not expected to play in Baltimore: WRs Ramses Barden (back) and Sinorice Moss (groin), DT Chris Canty (groin), C Shaun O’Hara (ankle/Achilles), OL Kevin Boothe (pex/PUP), RB D.J. Ware (concussion), TE Travis Beckum (neck), QB Jim Sorgi (shoulder), S Michael Johnson (back), CBs Aaron Ross (foot) and Terrell Thomas (calf) and LB Chase Blackburn (knee). Also, DE Jason Pierre-Paul is questionable with a groin, but will make the trip.
EP

Greenbacks

WR Hakeem Nicks got fined $10,000 by the league for his fight with Pittsburgh DB Ike Taylor last week, an action that had Nicks' agent fuming.

Mikey G. tells us that Peter Shaffer was appalled by the fine, and plans to appeal.

"Every player I've talked to has said Hakeem was just blocking downfield and then Taylor starts throwing haymakers. How can you get fined for defending yourself?" Schaffer said. "We will appeal this to the full extent of the collective bargaining agreement. Hakeem did not throw a punch. He was merely defending himself."

Ten grand is a pretty healthy fine, considering players make just less than $1,500 per game in the preseason. Mike also notes that the two fines together don't equal the $25,000 the league hit Chad Ochocinco for tweeting during the Bengals game. Loads of mixed messages there on either end.

EP

Ramses and Sinorice

The first cut to 75 comes Tuesday, which doesn't mean much in terms of the eight wide receivers who will be in uniform tomorrow night in Baltimore. With undrafted UMass free agent Victor Cruz having ostensibly made the squad, and Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and Derek Hagan assured of spots, the guys who must show something are Nyan Boateng, Tim Brown, and Duke Calhoun. They'll probably get that chance, too, since Ramses Barden and Sinorice Moss are sidelined with respective back and groin problems.

While Barden's and Moss' issues may be a godsend to the three rookie roster hopefuls, they certainly aren't doing the two receivers much good. Barden was expected to make a major leap this camp, but the fractured transverse process in his back has stopped what, in most respects, has been an inconsistent camp, anyway. At 6-foot-6, 227, he should be a threat in the Red Zone, but he hasn't been anything close to that this camp.

And Moss, heading into his fifth season, may be at the end of the line here. Tom Coughlin sounded slightly exasperated when informing the press that Moss would undergo tests to determine the exact extent of his nagging injury. One has to think that unless Moss gets back quickly -- a longshot at this point -- he might just find himself among the final cuts the Sunday after next Thursday's preseason finale.

But you'd have a hard time convincing Moss of that.

"Why would this jeopardize my chances?" Moss said. "They know me. They know what I can do. But I want to show them more. That's the competitive spirit in me. I want to make plays for them on a consistent basis."

That would be something fans haven't seen out of the oft-injured Moss the past four seasons. And that's exactly the reason he may be headed out if he doesn't get back on the field in short order.

Barden may be a slightly different story. The question is whether the Giants want to give up on the 2009 third-rounder so quickly. They knew when they picked him out of Cal Poly that he'd be a project. The fact that he did nothing in the Jets game, due partially to the fact that he had already hurt his back in practice, could doom him to another year on the gameday inactive list. But it seems as though the Giants are willing to stick with him for another year at least.

He said the pain is improving every day. Once it's gone, that's the signal to return to the field. In the meantime, trainers have him working in the pool and doing an exercise regimen to build up the muscles around the fractured process.

While Brown, Boateng, and Calhoun get their opportunities to hang on, Moss and Barden wait. The question is how long will the coaching staff wait on them?

EP

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last Practice

Here's some video of the final practice before the dress rehearsal in Baltimore. Note that Eli Manning is throwing just fine in his new helmet.


EP

O'Hara Out

On top of all the other Giants injuries, news came today that C Shaun O'Hara's preseason is most likely done.

O'Hara had that troublesome left foot placed in a hard cast yesterday, and that will stay on the next three to five days in hopes of settling his case of Achilles tendonitis and ankle swelling. While no surgery is indicated, it appears that O'Hara will have to deal with this the entire season.

Rich Seubert, once thought endangered at left guard due to the Will Beatty-David Diehl battle at left tackle, took all the first-team snaps at center today and will start there Saturday in Baltimore. Tom Coughlin said he'll take 20 to 25 snaps, after which second-string center Adam Koets will come in.

"It’s just something I’ve been dealing with pretty much all through camp,” O’Hara said. "I’ve had some good days and some bad days. It’s been something we’ve been kind of coping with and working through. It’s reach the point where we decided we need to just try to isolate it and give it some complete and total rest."

The question here is whether anyone out there would feel comfortable with Seubert or Koets there over the long run. Moving to Koets has its obvious dangers. But Seubert has taken practice snaps at center throughout his career. He said he was even inserted there for a two-minute drill in Carolina in 2006.

Hate to be a pessimist here, but O'Hara's condition is probably going to haunt him all season. Wouldn't be surprised if he's in and out of the lineup. But Seubert is a gamer, willing to play just about anywhere. Whether he can do a credible job over the long run is the issue.

In another piece of news, DT Jay Alford sat out with swelling in his surgically-repaired left knee, but said he expects to play Saturday. The knee acted up on him after he went full-out on it Monday, and Coughlin was surprised when he was out there practicing Wednesday. But the trainers decided to rest him today.

"It does get sore, but I've got to learn to fight over it," Alford said. "Every day is not going to be the greatest."

Others missing practice included WR Sinorice Moss (groin), Terrell Thomas (calf), DT Chris Canty (groin), CB Aaron Ross (heel), QB Jim Sorgi (shoulder), WR Ramses Barden (back), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), RB DJ Ware (concussion), and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (groin), and S Michael Johnson (back).

S Sha'reff Rashad was back at practice after missing the last three days with a concussion.

EP

Here Again

Here we are again. Practice soon, Coughlin and the players later.

While we're waiting, has anyone noticed Clint Sintim out there? He's been given a real shot here at strongside linebacker, but hasn't made much of a splash at all. In fact, Keith Bulluck's move this week to the outside could be an attempt to light a fire under the second-year player.

Sintim is saying all the right things -- that he's doing everything he can to improve as a player, that he's happy Bulluck is there sharing his knowlege with him. But to me, it hasn't shown up on the field. Anyone else feel the same way? And is it worrisome?

EP

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rest Easy

The new helmet fit perfectly fine on Eli Manning's head, and he said he'll go with that the next couple of games until his lacerated forehead heals completely. This one has the chinstrap buttons at the top, as opposed to the sides.

"It’s just a different helmet, nothing special about it," Manning said. "There’s no new padding or anything. Just a little bit different helmet with a chinstrap that buttons a little different than the way I used to, just to ensure that it’s on tight.

"I’ve always had both of them on the side. I’ve done this before on a helmet, but not in the past couple years. It’s just to ensure that the helmet stays on, so I’m going to go with that the next couple of weeks, see if we like it, maybe we’ll stick with it. If I don’t, and once it heals up better, if I want to go back to the one on the side, we can do that also. Nothing I’m really concerned about."

Unless something horrible befalls him in tomorrow's final practice, expect to see him out there with the starters Saturday in Baltimore. Chances are, he'll go the whole three quarters.

EP

Some Injury Stuff

First of all, Eli Manning went through practice with a new helmet that had his chinstrap snaps higher up so it would be harder for them to become unfastened with a big hit. He also had some extra padding over the gash, and proceeded through practice with no problem.

Not so with Aaron Ross. His swollen heel will be in a cast for 10 days, according to Tom Coughlin, which means he's out for the rest of the preseason. Whether his limited action in the first two games was enough to get him ready for the season remains to be seen. For now, the Giants just need to worry about getting him back ASAP. But at least tests revealed that there is no ligament tear.

DT Chris Canty had an MRI on his sore groin, but Coughlin said there was "nothing of great significance." And cornerback Terrell Thomas is suffering from a sore calf.

EP

Helmets For Everybody

Including Eli Manning. The quarterback is expected to try to practice with a helmet today. We'll see how that goes, with what surely will be an extra pad or two over that big gash. He went through practice yesterday with just a baseball cap and didn't come close to having a mishap. So I expect today's practice will go smoothly.

Back later with more.

EP

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bulluck's New Spot

Middle linebacker Keith Bulluck began working at a new spot Monday. On the outside, where he played most of his 10-year career with the Titans. It's too early to tell yet whether this will be a permanent move, or just a temporary one to get him used to a different spot in the Giants' free-wheeling system, thereby increasing his versatility. But here's what he had to say about it.


video

He had more to say. One of the most interesting things was about the terminology the Giants use. Apparently, strong side to them means playing over the left tackle, while weak side means playing over the tight end. That's directly opposite the traditional nomenclature we all use. Whatever they call it, though, Bulluck said he's playing on the weak side as we all know it.

As to whether he expects a permanent shift after playing the last month in the middle, Bulluck had no idea.

"I think they're just seeing what options they have," Bulluck said. "If I start, I'll take advantage of all the reps I can. If not, I know I'm too talented not to play."

He said his surgically repaired left ACL is no longer an issue, though he was held to just six snaps in Saturday's game against Pittsburgh. He could see more time in Baltimore, however. At the same time, he'll be trying to discern if Perry Fewell has a definite job for him.

"I don't know what my role is," Bulluck said. "I don't portray myself as a starter or anything other than just a guy learning the system."

That could be Fewell's system at work. Fewell likes his players to be multi-faceted, so it's quite possible that he'll be switching Bulluck from middle to outside by the series, the better to create chaos and more advantageous matchups. Though he wouldn't carp about it, he did say he's never been one to complain. Which could mean he's not totally comfortable with the idea.

Still, at least he has plenty of experience there. And the Giants are taking measures to make sure he stays healthy enough to explore all options.

"I wanted to play more, but the doctors and coaches know best," Bulluck said. "I'm appreciative. A friend of mine had surgery around the same time as I did, and his team had him out on the field running three months later. He's already been back in for a scope."

It may not be a perfect scenario, but Bulluck isn't complaining too much.

"If everything was perfect, I'd never come off the field," he said. "But you roll with the punches. I'm very fortunate."

EP

Working It

Here's some practice video.





As for the stuff you didn't see:



* The offensive line went through many incarnations today with the absence of center Shaun O'Hara and the limited work of right guard Chris Snee. At one point, Will Beatty and Guy Whimper manned the right tackle and guard spot, respectively, with Beatty moving over after nearly a full camp at left tackle. The left side of that line was manned by David Diehl at tackle and Mitch Petrus at guard, with Adam Koets at center. Koets, in fact, was the only player consistently in one position with the first unit. Can't say he isn't getting an opportunity this camp to prove he deserves to be active on gameday. Another alignment had Petrus at right guard with incumbent starter Rich Seubert at left guard. This is, after all, still training camp, so it's a good time for experimentation. Besides, the object of any offensive line is interchangeability, so it's good that players get experience in other positions.



* Apparently the same is true with the defense. Perry Fewell shuttled a variety of players into the lineup, even going at one point with three tackles (Barry Cofield, Linval Joseph, and Rocky Bernard) in the four-man line, with Mathias Kiwanuka moving back to linebacker on an obvious passing down. Looks like Fewell is going to use a real mix-and-match scheme that involves a near-constant rotation based on down-and-distance.



* Bear Pascoe, a decent blocker, continued to make a case for himself as a pass-catcher with a couple of good grabs, including a crossing pattern from Rhett Bomar and wonderful catch from Eli Manning over MLB Jonathan Goff in heavy traffic. He dropped the next two, though. But then he beat Courtney Brown on a nice end zone pattern for a touchdown off a Manning throw. Another tight end, Scott Chandler, followed that up with a touchdown catch of his own. But he seems to be headed for the practice squad.



* Victor Cruz continued to look strong, making a wonderful catch over John Busing and Courtney Brown for a first down in the two-minute drill run by Rhett Bomar. Alas, Bomar couldn't get his team into the end zone, or even in decent field goal position, in two tries.


* Brandon Jacobs worked a limited number of snaps but seemed to move well. He later said he's pretty much over the neck problems that cost him last week's game.


EP

Some Practice Stuff

The list of Giants injuries grew today to include first-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul, who missed practice with a groin injury that cropped up during the Pittsburgh game Saturday. Tom Coughlin said he tried to work yesterday, but had to pull himself out. But Pierre-Paul said it was a minor issue, and he expects to play in Baltimore this week.

So, too, does Kenny Phillips. After being pulled out of last week's game after seven plays (one a penalty), he said he's hoping for more work this time around.

"I'm hoping I can play a full game if they let me," Phillips said, who more realistically should expect to play perhaps double the snaps of last week. "I've been working hard at the rehab. I've showed them everything -- breaking on the ball, running, cutting. I can't do it in practice. So I'm going to beg for a little more to say I'm back."

Phillips said he needed "a little game experience" between this week and next to be ready for the season.

Eli Manning said he's on schedule to try to work with a helmet tomorrow. But Coughlin said it wouldn't be a big deal if Manning held off another day to allow further healing of his 12-stitch gash.

"Not for me, it isn't," Coughlin said. "The next couple of days we'll do some carded stuff trying to get ready for the weekend, but just the fact that he can get comfortable in it. He's definitely getting the work. He's taking all the snaps he can get."

RB DJ Ware (concussion), S Sha'reff Rashad (concussion), CB Aaron Ross (heel), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), and C Shaun O'Hara (ankle) all sat out practice. Coughlin said both Ware and Rashad were feeling better, though neither had the green light for practice. It's possible, however, that Rashad will return faster, considering the doctors will be extra careful with Ware because he had a concussion last season.

Coughlin said Ross' swollen heel showed no improvement, but he did go to Charlotte for a second opinion with orthopedic specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. He came back wearing a boot. "He'll be a good few days, anyway," Coughlin said.

----------------------------------------------------

The Giants waived S Michael Greco injured and signed former Bucs safety Matt O'Hanlon. And due to a shortage of safeties, O'Hanlon went right into team drills, where he broke up a pass headed for Victor Cruz. O'Hanlon originally signed April 30 with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska, but was cut and picked up by the Bucs. He led the Huskers with six interceptions last season, but concerns about his speed prevented him from being invited to any of the all-star showcases.

He worked basically in the same alignment with Michael Johnson, who got back to limited work today after missing last week's game with lower back pain.

EP

EP

Out Here

We're at the TPC training complex for the first time this year, so expect some practice stuff at least. Gonna try to get up some video later in the day.

Sounds like Eli Manning had a decent day of practice sans helmet yesterday, so we'll see if he can repeat that today. I'll also be keeping an eye on Brandon Jacobs to see if he's all the way back from his neck problems.

As for Aaron Ross' bad tape job, I'm wondering why, if it was so uncomfortable, that he apparently didn't let the training staff know immediately so they could have remedied it on the field. Instead, he played on it, and wound up with what Tom Coughlin called "a big, swollen heel." Sounds like this injury, unlike the hamstring problems that ruined last year for him, was entirely preventable. A shame.

EP

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Whole Rundown

Here's the entire rundown of the day at Giants camp, which was one of comings and goings, by Giants.com's Mike Eisen.

EP

Some Go, Some Leave

Just as the Giants appeared to be getting healthy, out goes Aaron Ross with plantar faciitis, a foot inflammation that is very painful, usually long-lasting, and makes it virtually impossible for a cornerback to run. Eli Manning had it last season, but the quarterback doesn't run nearly as much as a corner.

Looks like this will give Victor Cruz yet another opportunity to show his stuff on punt returns, since Ross will be out this week and possibly for much longer. Tough break for a hard-working kid who missed most of last year with hamstring problems. He's proving very, very fragile, which is never good for a pro football player. That will also mean Bruce Johnson will likely move up to the nickel spot on defense.

Oh, and if you're keeping score, WR Ramses Barden has a fractured transverse process. That's that little flange thing that comes out from the veterbrae. Usually takes several weeks to heal, but doesn't usually require surgery. He's already been out a week, and will sit out this one. Coughlin said he could be back next week.

EP

Going Back To Work

Eli Manning said he expects to play Saturday in Baltimore, but how long will be left up to Tom Coughlin.

For now, he's just happy to be back at practice, even if it involves wearing just a baseball cap.

"It’s no fun sitting out in our practices last week," Manning said. "Last week was a short week and I didn’t miss too much. I like being out there for the games, and it’s preseason so just trying to be smart and get it to healed up now where you have a little time so you don’t have to keep dealing with it week after week."

Manning said he hasn't tried putting on a helmet yet, but that could come Wednesday. The 12 stitches in his forehead came out last week, and he has mostly left the wound exposed to the air for healing purposes. But once he puts the helmet on, he'll undoubtedly have an extra pad in there to keep the gash from re-opening.

"It really stayed open," Manning said. "I put a little Band-Aid on before I went out. The walk through, I’ll have a little bandage on today just because I’m wearing my hat and don’t want any rubbing or anything. But basically since Friday, it’s been open and just letting it kind of heal on its own.

"I mean it feels fine. The stitches are out. I’m not wearing a helmet today for practice so I’ll just be in a hat. It feels fine. It’s not hurting. It’s closed so as long as I don’t get hit today I should be all right."

As for getting the helmet back on, Manning said it's still in the planning stages.

"Well we’ll work with it," he said. "We’ll get a little plan. I haven’t put a helmet on yet, but kind of plan to put the helmet on Wednesday. We’ll figure out a best the plan to get it protected."

EP

Andrews Working

As of yesterday, the Giants' braintrust was unsure about where they'd practice new signing Shawn Andrews. He originally made his name at right guard with the Eagles, where he became a two-time Pro Bowler. But once the discussions were settled, the Giants decided to put him to work, at least initially, at left tackle and left guard.

Seems a bit odd, considering they already have two solid people battling there in Will Beatty and David Diehl. But this is a definite hedge against Rich Seubert's broken hand. If Seubert re-injures the hand -- he is supposed to practice this afternoon and should see playing time Saturday in Baltimore -- at least they'll have an experienced player to come in behind Diehl, or play next to him, in the preseason rotation.

In other news, Brandon Jacobs said he expected to practice today after neck stiffness caused him to miss the Steelers game. And safety Sha'reff Rashad said he feels "normal" after Saturday's concussion, but has yet to undergo the testing necessary to get him back on the playing field.

EP

Osi's Commitment

We all saw the stop Osi Umenyiora made in the first quarter against Rashard Mendenhall, the one where he blew into the backfield and dropped the running back for a seven-yard loss.

It was his only tackle. But then, he didn't play much past the first quarter. Afterward, Mathias Kiwanuka said noted Umenyiora's renewed attitude in defensing the run, saying he's made great strides.

"I can't say enough about how his mindset has changed against the run," said Kiwanuka, who is in direct competition for Umenyiora's starting job.

My question to you is, do you think Umenyiora has made the necessary improvements to be an adequate run-stopper and a three-down lineman? Or was that play simply an isolated moment? Who will win that job?

EP

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bad Barden

Wondering if we'll ever get to see any of the potential Ramses Barden could bring to that offense. He's not expected back this week, as he's suffering from lower back pain that involves some structural issues, according to Tom Coughlin.

It's a shame. This is a kid who really needed a chance in the offense, and now he can't even run. And no one seems to have a timetable on his return. Time is wasting, and if the 6-foot-6 Barden doesn't get over his problems, he could well be headed for the waived/injured list or the IR, especially in light of the emergence of Victor Cruz as a legitimate roster candidate.

The same can be said of safety Michael Johnson, who is suffering from similar issues. Of course, we all know that last year, Johnson's major talent was watching receivers run between him and C.C. Brown.

Coughlin said both men are making progress, but it's a slow go. And right now, time is of the essence for everybody.

EP

Eli's Coming Back

Tom Coughlin said Eli Manning could be back at work as early as tomorrow, but he won't be wearing a helmet. He'll do whatever drills he does in a baseball cap to give that lovely 12-stitch gash more time to heal.

Could make for some interesting situations if he participates in team drills. Of course, all quarterbacks wear the red shirts in practice, which means hands off. But there are plenty of times where an errant hand comes across the facemask. Coughlin said he'll tell his defense to be especially careful about those things.

"Most of our guys are good at, if they do get free up the field, they get past the quarterback," Coughlin said. "The guys are pretty much aware. You have to be sharp, and I’m sure we’ll pick our spots in that first practice, anyway, as we get a feel for what’s best."

Coughlin said Manning should get some playing time against Baltimore next Saturday in the third preseason game, the contest that traditionally serves as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Starters usually go three quarters or longer in that one, but it will be interesting to see how long Coughlin lets Manning work. Remember, those head gashes tend to stay raw for a while, and even with extra protection they could open easily if the helmet rubs it the wrong way.

The other good news is that guards Rich Seubert (hand) and Chris Snee (knee) are expected back, and that should give the offensive line a little more stability than the version that got Rhett Bomar sacked twice last night. That one had Will Beatty and David Diehl at left tackle and guard, and Guy Whimper at right guard. Diehl, by the way, will remain available for work at both tackle and guard.

Coughlin also said Kenny Phillips and Keith Bulluck should get significantly more than the six snaps each took against Pittsburgh. Bulluck has become especially important to this team, as the linebacking continued to be spotty. Also coming under the microscope is strongside backer Clint Sintim, as Coughlin described the strong side spot as having "a ways to go." Sintim made two tackles.

Brandon Jacobs is also expected to return after sitting out the game with a stiff neck. He was still suffering from what Coughlin described as "flexibility and movement issues" today, but he could be out on the field tomorrow. An MRI showed no structural damage, so the medical staff believes it's all a muscular thing caused by Jacobs doing shoulder shrugs in the weight room. "The expectation is he’ll be able to practice," Coughlin said. "Don’t ask me how this was provoked. This is the first time we’ve ever seen this."

EP

And You Think Osi's A Problem

Get a load of what's happening down Washington way with Albert Haynesworth.

EP

More Thoughts

We'll have our conference call with Tom Coughlin later this afternoon. In the meantime, a few additional thoughts from last night's game.

* Victor Cruz looked wonderful again in stiff-arming the cornerback on his way to a 21-yard completion. But he didn't do himself any favors in the punt return race with Aaron Ross when he muffed one at the Giants' 1. It's becoming more and more evident that Ross will be the guy back on punt returns, while every effort is being made to have Andre Brown the main guy on kickoffs. Brown actually didn't look bad after taking some criticism last week. "They got on me last week about it, so this game I just wanted to show my burst," Brown said.

* Adrian Tracy, though playing against the second and third-stringers, played a very strong game. He had nine tackles overall, two for losses. Now, none of that secures a spot on the roster for him, but it was an encouraging sign from someone who only had occasional mention in the daily training camp reports.

* Whether it was because Rhett Bomar was in charge, or whether Kevin Gilbride was hiding some stuff, but the goal line offense looked like it needed a lot more work and a lot more imagination. Once they got down to the 2, it took them five plays, helped along by an unnecessary roughness and a pass interference call, for Brown to punch in from the 1. There was the possibility of seeing a Victor Cruz scoring fade, but Bomar's throw was too high. But that was negated anyway by the interference call.

* Coughlin said afterward that he saw improvement in Matt Dodge's punting. But, wow! The more I see him, the more I see Rodney Williams. That's not a good thing, folks. He hit six punts for a 43.2-yard gross, but only a 36-yard net. Those two big hits of 53 and 60 yards were brought back for healthy returns because they didn't hang up there long enough for the coverage to get down there. And then, when the Giants were pinned inside their 10, he hit a perfectly atrocious punt out of the end zone. The good thing is, you can get a punter anytime, so Coughlin and Tom Quinn will probably put up with Dodge's inconsistency until the end of camp and evaluate the situation from there. He's got a long way to go.

Any other observations out there?

EP

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Some Quick Facts

Just a few post-game facts and figures from the 24-17 loss to Pittsburgh for you to munch on overnight.

The reason Brandon Jacobs was out was a stiff neck caused by what the Giants suspect was a set of shrugs in the weight room. He went for an MRI, but it came out negative, according to Tom Coughlin. And GM Jerry Reese said Jacobs' problem is not considered serious, especially since the Giants know what caused it. Still, it kind of threw the coaching staff when he walked in today with neck stiffness. "It came out of nowhere," Coughlin said.

Meanwhile, Reese said he wouldn't be surprised to see Eli Manning return to the playing field next week against Baltimore. The 12 stitches that closed his head wound are out, and the healing process is well under way. "I wouldn't be surprised (to see him play)," Reese said.

Coughlin was none too happy with Hakeem Nicks, who was ejected on the fourth play of the game along with Pittsburgh DB Ike Taylor for throwing punches. "All I saw was a to-do on the field," Coughlin said. "Hakeem said he was in position for blocking (it was a DJ Ware run) and the guy started swinging, and he swung back." The lesson, Coughlin said, is to walk away. "It's easy to be provoked. It's not easy to walk away. But you walk away and you're still playing." Nicks said he regretted his actions. "I've never been ejected from a game in my life until tonight," he said. "I was blocking downfield and trying to finish my block, and the next thing I knew, he was throwing punches, so I tried to defend myself. I'm disappointed because I let my coaches and teammates down."

For a third-string quarterback who receives minimal snaps in practice, Rhett Bomar did a commendable job taking his first entire game of work. He was 13-of-26 for 167 yards and an interception, but he showed both mobility and toughness. He was especially tough in rising from the third-quarter roughness call on DE Ziggy Hood, who hit him around the knees. He continued the 12-play, 74-yard drive, threading a nice throw to Sinorice Moss for a first down deep in Pittsburgh territory. And Andre Brown finished it off with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Brown wound up with 61 yards on 13 carries while working in every quarter. Ahmad Bradshaw would have started, as would have safety Antrel Rolle, but both missed a meeting and remained on the bench until after the first series. Sha'reff Rashad started for Rolle. Still, Bradshaw had 28 yards on six carries, including a 9-yard touchdown run.

Rashad and DJ Ware had concussions and will be evaluated in the coming days.

Kenny Phillips and Keith Bulluck both got about six snaps each, just enough to "get their feet wet," according to Coughlin. Reese took special pleasure in seeing them both out there after major knee surgery. "We're eventually going to have the best players out there, but it was good to see them get snaps," Reese said. "I was very happy to see them out there."

Though the Steelers rushed for a total of 161 yards, a lot of that came against the second and third teams. The first defense improved greatly in that area over the Jets' game, with both Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck making two wonderful stops behind the line. There are still some kinks to be worked out, especially up the middle, but it looks like Perry Fewell's system is beginning to take shape. Also, it's significant to note that the Giants were in the game at halftime, down 10-7 after Bruce Johnson got beat on a 68-yard touchdown pass to speedster Mike Wallace. The game got out of hand in the second half, when the backups were in.

EP

Steelers-Giants Game

Tonight's Game

Hey, we're live blogging again! So don't tire out your little fingers before the 7 p.m. kickoff with Pittsburgh.

The starters go a little longer in this one, perhaps a half. But count on third-string quarterback Rhett Bomar to go most of the way, only because he's the only experienced quarterback active for the game. Eli Manning and Jim Sorgi will both sit, of course, as Manning recovers from that nasty collision last week and Sorgi rests a partially separated shoulder.

This is a good thing for Bomar, who showed he can both pass and run last week against the Jets. That quarterback draw that set up Victor Cruz' final touchdown reception, actually a 23-yard scramble up the middle, was a thing of beauty. Now he gets an entire game to make a push for that primary backup spot. If he has any potential at all, he'll need to take full advantage of this opportunity. After Bomar is done, probably somewhere in the fourth quarter, new signing Dominic Randolph may get a few snaps. The Holy Cross passer was signed Wednesday, and looked the best of the quarterbacks who were cut after rookie minicamp.

Here are some things to watch:

WR: Victor Cruz, the star of last week's game with three touchdown catches, appears to have made the roster. But a few grabs in this game won't hurt his case, either. We know the undrafted UMass product can be spectacular. Now the coaches need to see consistency. It also might be wise to put him back there as the starting punt returner over Aaron Ross for a bigger test. Steve Smith will be out there after a groin injury, so it will be nice to see him knock some of the rust off. Cruz certainly earned a shot with the starters, so let's see if the coaches feel the same way.

RB: Andre Brown took a step ahead of DJ Ware last week, but Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs rightfully will remain as the starters. Bradshaw showed some of his classic moves last week, but Jacobs looked rusty. If the Giants get to the goal line, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride would do well to let Jacobs have the ball and just power up the middle to establish the big guy's confidence. Then again, wouldn't it be interesting to see Bomar work a play-action down there?

DBs: Kenny Phillips will get his first playing time since Game 2 of last season, and it will be interesting to see how he moves. If the coaches are wise, they'll limit his play to a handful of downs, leaving the rest to playmaker Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant. Mike Greco, an undrafted free agent, will also be out there.

LBs: Keith Bulluck also makes his first appearance at middle linebacker, and the coaches will be watching closely as he works on his surgically-repaired left knee. The Giants had loads of trouble stopping the run last week, despite starter Jonathan Goff making some early tackles. If Bulluck can plug some holes and stifle the Steelers' running game, the staff will know it has its starter/leader there.

DL: Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph both looked good in their initial outing, with Joseph getting penetration at times. Consistency is the key here. And let's see if Osi Umenyiora takes more than the handful of plays he took last week.

OL: With both starting guards out, the line will look much different than last year. Will Beatty and David Diehl will start at left tackle and left guard, respectively, while Guy Whimper will likely get the start over fifth-round rookie Mitch Petrus at right guard. Friday's new signing, Shawn Andrews, will probably land at right guard next week if Chris Snee's knee doesn't get any better, but he's not ready to play yet.

P: Matt Dodge had an inconsistent day and an inconsistent week of practice. If he doesn't snap out of it tonight, the Giants may have to give some serious thoughts about either bringing in a punter from the outside or begging Jeff Feagles to come out of retirement and save the day.

EP

Friday, August 20, 2010

Six Years

That's how long Shawn Andrews' contract with the Giants runs. Here's Ralphie's story on the whole thing.

EP

Shawn Andrews

Have no idea how this is going to work out, but the Giants signed former Philadelphia offensive lineman Shawn Andrews early this morning.

Andrews, a Pro Bowler in 2006 and 2007, and once regarded as one of the top linemen in the NFL, lost all but two games of the last two seasons to back injuries. He's 6-4, 330, and could certainly be a great addition to an aging line. But the reason the Eagles released him was a failed physical in March, and it's a question whether Andrews' back will hold up to the stresses of a season.

"Our personnel staff has been monitoring Shawn's progress for awhile now," general manager Jerry Reese said. "He looks great and had a very good workout for us yesterday. He can play both guard and both tackle positions. We just have to take him slow for the rest of the preseason to get him into game shape. Shawn is very excited and grateful for this opportunity to play for the New York Giants."

Andrews was an Eagles first-round pick in 2004 and immediately won the right guard spot. But he fractured his fibula in the opener against the Giants and spent that season on IR. He played all 16 games in 2005, earning Pro Bowl alternate status before becoming a full-fledged Pro Bowler in 2006 and '07.

The Giants waived OL Cliff Louis to make room for Andrews. Now, the question is, if healthy, what do you do with him. Assuming he can still play, he'd certainly be an automatic depth upgrade over Guy Whimper. The Giants said he wasn't signed because they are worried that the injuries to Rich Seubert (hand) and Chris Snee (knee) are more serious than first reported. So, we'll take them at their word and say, for now, that Andrews is here simply for depth purposes.

---------------------------------------

Camp broke today with a jog-through in preface to tomorrow night's game against Pittsburgh. Will Beatty and David Diehl went at LT and LG with the first team. Could be significant.

EP

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Well, Hello Kenny!

Kenny Phillips will make his first appearance in live action since Game 2 of last season when he takes the field for the Pittsburgh game Saturday night. My guess is he won't play a whole lot, but just enough to test out that microfracture surgery on his left knee in game conditions.

The other good news is that Keith Bulluck will also play at middle linebacker, marking his return to action after ACL surgery in January. WR Steve Smith (groin) and Corey Webster (glut) will also play. Here's the whole story from Mikey G.

EP

Eli and Jim

Eli Manning is out for the Pittsburgh game after Monday's head gash, but primary backup Jim Sorgi will miss even more time with his sore shoulder.

Sorgi is expected to miss two to three weeks, according to Mikey G.'s spies. An MRI revealed damage to the joint that was not related to the torn labrum the Giants knew he had when he signed in the offseason. He can thank Jets LB Lance Laury for that, as Laury caused the injury when he hit Sorgi while delivering his second touchdown pass to Victor Cruz.

With only Rhett Bomar left on the depth chart, the Giants re-stocked that spot by signing Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph. Injured TE Jake Ballard was waived to create the roster spot.

EP

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

See-Saw Practice

Last week, tight ends were in short supply. Today, it's quarterbacks.

Thanks to that gaping hole in Eli Manning's head and Jim Sorgi's sore shoulder, the whole practice went to Rhett Bomar. But that was sort of expected. The good news is four tight ends are practicing. The only one out was Jake Ballard, but Travis Beckum, Scott Chandler, and none other than Kevin Boss came a-runnin' when offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride called for a tight end. No word from up north on whether Dave Tollefson is taking any more snaps there.

Also sounds like Jeff Feagles went right to work on inconsistent punter Matt Dodge, and he responded by hitting several gorgeous ones. And then he shanked one. Inconsistent. In all, eight punts for 48.4-yard average and 3.74 hang time. Not bad, but has to get rid of the bad ones. He was lucky to get 44 yards out of that flopper Monday night.

EP

The Running Backs

Aside from nearly knocking his quarterback into next week (totally not Brandon Jacobs' fault, by the way), do you think Jacobs looked like he was over his problems from last year? I thought he showed some power, which is a good sign.

No need to talk about Ahmad Bradshaw. That 36-yard run of his showed exactly what he's capable of. Classic Bradshaw cut. But what about DJ Ware and Andre Brown. Of the two, which would you take to serve as the third running back? And did anything Monday night indicate to you that this year's ground game will be more effective than last year's?

The floor is open.

EP

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eli And Chase

Eli Manning was in New York doing tests on his injured noggin, the one that took 12 stitches to close a laceration incurred during last night's game with the Jets. Tom Coughlin would not say whether he'll play against Pittsburgh.

"The nature of the exact tests was not communicated to me," Coughlin said. "I would say this, whatever is available to the doctors in terms of…he’s in New York and he’s going to go through the battery of tests that any player has who experiences any kind of a head injury. They’re not going to leave any stone unturned so they are going to go ahead and do all of the tests, the MRIs, and all of those things and then at that point in time I’m sure they’ll get a hold of me.

"I texted Eli earlier this morning and I think that the normal discomfort that a guy goes through when he has stitches and what have you was the experience. He didn’t talk too much about pain, but I don’t have a whole lot of information because any time you have any injury that is a head injury they’re going to do all kinds of tests so they’re in the process of doing that right now."

“Initially, with Eli being the kind of guy he is, the idea for me going forward was, gee how are we going to make it so that he can practice and play with the stitches?” Coughlin said. “I think that there is naturally concern there from the doctor’s standpoint as well, because just the nature of where the helmet sits according to where the stitches are could create a problem in terms of healing and so I’m sure that that was brought up last night. (team physician) Dr. (Russell) Warren brought that up as well. Again, I’m just waiting to hear all of this information.”

Coughlin said Manning would probably need something to cover the stitches once he does get back into action.

"Initially, with Eli being the kind of guy he is, the idea for me going forward was, gee how are we going to make it so that he can practice and play with the stitches?" Coughlin said. "I think that there is naturally concern there from the doctor’s standpoint as well, because just the nature of where the helmet sits according to where the stitches are could create a problem in terms of healing and so I’m sure that that was brought up last night. (team physician) Dr. (Russell) Warren brought that up as well. Again, I’m just waiting to hear all of this information."

LB Chase Blackburn, meanwhile, suffered a sprained MCL. There will be no surgery, but Coughlin could not commit on a return date. It could be a couple of weeks, at least.

WR Ramses Barden is experiencing lower back issues and the medical staff is now trying to figure out whether it's muscular or structural.

EP

Cruzing The Jets

Victor Cruz certainly made a case for himself for the 53-man roster last night with a six-catch, 145-yard, three-touchdown performance. And, best for him, Tom Coughlin seems to be well onboard. In fact, he sounded downright ebullient in talking about Cruz' performance.

"Justice has been served," he said. "Cruz has had an outstanding camp. He works hard every day, he's made plays this past week, and he was outstanding tonight."

Unless he totally disappears over the next three games, one should probably pencil him in for a roster spot, perhaps at the expense of Sinorice Moss, who sits injured and incurring the impatience of the Giants' staff. He's been around for a while now and has done little to justify his second-round draft status, so Cruz might just be the excuse the Giants need to get rid of him.

Cruz, a New Jersey native, is a kid who sounds like he's got a good head on his shoulders. He's not guaranteeing himself anything.

"I hope it means a lot," Cruz said of his first preseason performance. "I just hope I can come out and make this team."

If he keeps playing the way he did last night, the Giants won't have any choice about it. A one-handed grab for a 60-yard touchdown was followed by a wonderful, twisting grab in traffic for a 16-yard gain. Compared to those two grabs, his others were routine. But one thing became apparent. He's a very good route-runner, with fine hands and good separation speed.

"He's an every day guy," Coughlin bubbled. "He's on every team, and he plays the scout team, too. I've been telling the writers up there, celebrate this guy. He deserves it. Go ahead, write stories about him. I'm glad he had a good game."

Coughlin would do himself a big favor by starting him Saturday against Pittsburgh. Need to see the kid with the ones.

Anybody else think he's a lock for the roster?

EP

Just A Quick One

Just a quick post-game blog to sum up Tom Coughlin's comments right after Victor Cruz caught three touchdown passes and grabbed six passes for 145 yards in the Giants' 31-16 win over the Jets.

On Eli Manning's injury, Coughlin said he'd have to wait and see if there is any swelling before Manning can get back to practice. If there is no swelling, he should be able to practice and play next week. Coughlin said the reason the injury happened was actually Manning's fault, as he attempted to throw a fade after calling a run and failing to call any adjustment. The line blocked for a Brandon Jacobs run up the middle, a middle burst as Coughlin called it, and Jacobs expected to get the ball. Instead, he collided with his quarterback. "I'm surprised the helmet flew off so fast," Coughlin said. "He's got four posts there (for the chinstrap). The nature of the play itself, it never should have happened."

Coughlin said he was surprised to see the extent of the blood flow from the three-inch gash. Doctors needed 12 stitches to close it. "His pants and shirt were bloody, so it squirted," Coughlin said.

Coughlin also said the defense had some communication problems on the Jets' first touchdown, the uncontested four-yard pass to Brad Smith. "It was a botched play," Coughlin said, adding that Smith went uncovered as a cornerback tried to get on the field. "At first, we had 12 men, then we had 10. I wanted the cornerback over the receiver and the other 10 on the line, but the corner was never able to get out there. It was a botched play."

EP

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Live Blog

Tonight's Game

They used to call Giants-Jets the game for town braggin' rights. But to use that term here seems kinda dumb, considering the starters will play only a quarter or so, as is the custom with preseason openers.

That's okay, though, since we'll all get a first look at some of the more important issues facing the Giants. Here's a rundown:

INJURIES: A small battalion will sit on the sidelines with injuries, including LB Keith Bulluck (knee), WR Steve Smith (groin), WR Sinorice Moss (leg), G Rich Seubert (hand), G Chris Snee (knee), S Kenny Phillips (knee), S Michael Johnson (back), WR Tim Brown (groin and hamstring), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), TE Kevin Boss (hamstring), TE Jake Ballard (hamstring), and possibly TE Scott Chandler (hip flexor).

THE STORYLINES: Running Backs -- We'll get our first look at how Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have recovered from their surgeries. Bradshaw has had by most accounts a very good camp, but he still needs to prove he can run and cut against heavy tackling. It will be interesting to see him take that first hit and see how he reacts. Also, we might get some small idea of how Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride plan to use each guy. If Bradshaw takes the first set of carries, there's a chance he'll be the starter. Look to see if Jacobs has that old power up the middle, and whether he hits his holes with authority.

DBs: Ought to be fun to watch Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant team up in the first quarter. But better to watch backups Mike Greco and Sha'reff Rashad, as they're battling injured Michael Johnson for the third spot. Rashad hasn't been mentioned much, but Greco made some plays early in camp. Aaron Ross should see time at cornerback after Terrell Thomas finishes up. And keep an eye on Bruce Johnson, who made some plays at the end of last week as he continues his own push at nickel.

OL: Will Beatty gets his first chance at left tackle, though David Diehl will start. With G Rich Seubert out, Diehl will probably get some work at left guard, where he ultimately could end up if Beatty wins the left tackle battle. Guy Whimper and Mitch Petrus will see work at both guards since Chris Snee is also out. The fifth-round rookie Petrus is having a good camp and, by some observations, looks like a starter in the near future. How close? We may get an idea tonight.

WR: Ramses Barden has made some spectacular catches in drills. Now he needs to do it in a game. Given that Steve Smith is out, he may get extended time and he needs to do something with it. The coaches would love to see him rise to active gameday status, but he has to find some consistency first. At the injury-depleted tight end spot, DE Dave Tollefson has taken some practice snaps there. Let's see if Coughlin uses him in a game.

Return Game: Andre Brown has been healthy all camp and will get his first shot at kickoff return, along with DJ Ware. Aaron Ross will return punts, as will Victor Cruz, the rookie wide receiver who burst into the forefront last week as he stepped up his game.

The Rookies: DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Linval Joseph will get a good look as a tandem. But more important, see if Pierre-Paul gets penetration against what should be comparable competition opposite him. He came into camp raw, but seems to be developing at a good pace. Joseph could make a great case here for a big role in the inside rotation. MLB Phillip Dillard has been all but invisible in camp. He'll probably get some time here, though. Sixth-round DE Adrian Tracy has made some plays. And seventh-rounder Matt Dodge will want to show some consistency of punts with that big leg of his. As for the undrafted, WR Victor Cruz, CB Seth Williams, and WR Duke Calhoun are all worth watching.

The Stadium: It's had plenty of shakedowns already with a college lacrosse tournament, Bon Jovi, and most recently Brazil-USA soccer. The hope is that most of the kinks, such as ill-placed directional signs, have been worked out and everything goes smoothly. Will be interesting to see how the exterior lighting works.

That's it. I'm going to put up the live blog so you guys can talk, so look for that just before gametime.

EP

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boley, Canty, And Bernard

Good story here on how last year's free agent "prizes" plan to rebound from a disappointing season.

EP

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Officially Out

Tom Coughlin termed the following players officially out for Monday's preseason opener agains the Jets: G Chris Snee (knee), TE Kevin Boss (hamstring), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), WR Steve Smith (groin), S Kenny Phillips (knee), LB Keith Bulluck (knee), S Michael Johnson (back), and WR Tim Brown (groin and hamstring). WR Sinorice Moss (leg) and G Rich Seubert (hand) might also miss the game.

EP

More Silly Talk

If any of you are still interested in the mini war of words between the Giants and Jets over this meaningless preseason game, here's a link to the whole story. I think the whole thing is a lot of silliness. But, hey, it fills space on a slow Saturday.

By the way, the practice going on right now appears to be a walk-through, according to Mikey G., since nobody appears to be wearing shells.

EP

Andre Brown

Here's Ralph V.'s story on Andre Brown, who can't wait to step on that field for his first-ever game.

EP

Thomas Coming Back

Terrell Thomas sat out the last couple of days of practice, but said today the tightness in his right leg wouldn't keep him from playing against the Jets. He probably should get out there, since some of his comments about the men in Green haven't sat well with them. Jets LB Bart Scott, in fact, issued a "Who's Terrell Thomas," quote recently, to which the cornerback knocked hard today, "I'm Terrell Thomas. I could care less what he thinks or who he knows."

See what I did there?

Also, Steve Smith (groin) said he'll definitely return to practice next Wednesday, but won't play in the game.

EP

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something New

Thanks to injuries to four of the five tight ends on the roster, the defense is helping out the offense in tonight's practice. DEs Dave Tollefson and Tommie Hill are wearing offensive pullovers and lining up there along with the only tight end who walks without a limp or a list, Bear Pascoe.

Gotta love the Lend-a-Hand attitude. Hmmm. Wouldn't it be something if one of those guys flashed, turned into a fulltime convert, and extended his career a bunch of years. Not likely. But a heartwarming thought just the same.

Not so warm-and-fuzzy was the reaction Perry Fewell had when CB Bruce Johnson dropped an interception on a throw Rhett Bomar air-mailed over Duke Calhoun. Gotta learn to hold onto the gifts.

EP

Honeymoon Sprinting

Here's Mike Eisen's story on Aaron Ross from Giants.com in which Ross tells of sprinting in the Dubai sand on his honeymoon to prove his hamstrings were back to full strength after a season of trouble.

Also, a correction from an earlier entry. DJ Ware and Andre Brown are going to return kickoffs, while Victor Cruz, Ross, and a player to be named later return punts against the Jets. As for the playing time allotment Monday night, expect the starters to play a quarter or so before Tom Coughlin starts inserting the backups. That's pretty much the routine everybody uses for a first preseason game.

EP

Returning

Andre Brown, Victor Cruz, DJ Ware, and Aaron Ross will all get cracks at returning punts in Monday's exhibition opener against the Jets. But if you read anything into Tom Coughlin's statement today about his willingness to let Ross serve double-duty, sounds like he's in the lead.

Just wonder if the hamstring issues are fully behind him. Would hate to see him go back there, start upfield, and -- boing! But then, he has been working well on defense, so maybe everything will hold up for him this year.

EP

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Slow Recovery

Sorry for blogging so late, but I had a lot of trouble recovering from a big blast of hot air that came over my HBO hookup last night between 10 and 11 p.m. Hard-knocked me right on my back.

I'm okay now, though. Just...gotta...stay...away...from... that...Rex! By the way, coach, your Rex-proclaimed best player in the league is playing video games with me, in case you're wondering.

Anyway, looks like the Jets are having all the fun right now. The Giants added more injuries to the growing list today. Here's Mikey G.'s recap of practice.

So, Darrelle. Madden rematch? It's on, baby!

EP

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

As We Wait

As we wait for Hard Knocks, featuring that other New York team, here's a couple of tidbits from the evening practice that should make all you fans of defense smile.

Kenny Phillips, playing 22 yards off the line of scrimmage, flew over to the sideline to break up a deep pass from Jim Sorgi to Victor Cruz. Only moments before that, he was right there for what might have been a crunching tackle (had it been live action) on Derek Hagan on a seam pattern up the middle.

DE Osi Umenyiora, who undoubtedly will suffer from a sore hip all season, took the great circle route around LT Will Beatty for a sack.

S John Busing had an interception off Gerris Wilkinson's tip of a Rhett Bomar-to-Bear Pascoe throw.

And finally, Lawrence Tynes hit a 50-yard field goal in a 6-for-6 evening.

EP

Casted Seubert

The Giants' resident locker room pain in the neck, Rich Seubert, has made quite the impression with his casted hand. Before today's morning practice, he went around the locker room poking defensive players with the papier-mache appliance.

"You know how Richie is - a little grumpy old man,” defensive end Dave Tollefson said. "I don’t think he was checking to see if it hurt his hand when he did it to people, it was just to bug people. Rich is the type of guy that would put little thumb tacks on it or something and freaking poke you with it. He’s been here 10 years. He’s a tricky guy."

No so tricky that he's going to put the hand in danger of creating an even worse break, however.

"I’m going to try to get it off as soon as I can," he said. "So for now it’s for my safety, I really don’t feel like having the 20th surgery of my career. It hasn’t been 20 but it feels that way. So, as long as there’s no shifting or anything like that, I’ll be fine."

EP

Mike's Practice Report

Mikey G. has a pretty good practice report from this morning which outlines the eminent Victor Cruz' contributions. Also, it's worth noting that Tom Coughlin doesn't seem very interested in promoting the Jets' appearance this year on HBO's Hard Knocks. He's going to handle Monday's preseason opener the same way he'd handle any other preseason opener, by playing his starters a series or two and then using the rest of the game to evaluate the younger players.

In retrospect, as common sense as it is to have the Jets and Giants open the new stadium together the first week of the preseason, both teams will miss something by not having their matchup on the traditional third week, which is really the dress-rehearsal game for the season. There was always that little extra emotion out there, especially with the starters going past halftime, that helped in the final prep.

Agree?

EP

Seubert Back

They wrapped up Rich Seubert's broken hand and sent him back to work today. According to my double-secret source (no names, but his initials are Ralphie V.) Seubert didn't do much in practice this morning, but will do more in tonight's session.

Nice that he's getting back, considering the offensive line might be losing someone else before long. Coughlin said RG Chris Snee's knee is swollen and bears watching.

Put that together with four injured tight ends -- Kevin Boss (hamstring), Scott Chandler (hip flexor), Jake Ballard (hamstring), and Travis Beckum (hamstring) -- and WR Steve Smith (groin), and the offense right now has more holes than swiss cheese. But apparently Victor Cruz, an undrafted free agent wide receiver from UMass, is having himself quite the camp. That gave Tom Coughlin something to smile about.

"What do we need anybody for?" Coughlin said. "We've got Victor Cruz."

Oh, and Corey Webster will also sit out the evening practice.

EP

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Tight End

The Giants practiced this afternoon with one tight end, Bear Pascoe, as Kevin Boss (hamstring), Scott Chandler (hip flexor), Travis Beckum (hamstring) and Jake Ballard (hamstring) all sat injured. To fill out the depth, Tom Coughlin moved OL Herb Taylor to tight end, and actually sent him out on a deep throw by Rhett Bomar that eventually fell incomplete.

Taylor had never played tight end before.

"I thought that Bear Pascoe and Herb Taylor did an outstanding job with allowing our team to practice today, are you kidding me?" Coughlin said. "Basically, those adjustments are from this morning. When I picked up the medical (report) today, four tight ends were out. The most frustrating thing, no matter what anyone ever tells you, is that all the planning, all of what goes into your practices, and all you expect to do, and then you hear this part of it. I give credit to both sides. The defense was made aware of what the offense was practicing with, and the offensive team was made aware of how there would be some added circumstances in our practice."

EP

Not Dodging Punts

Matt Dodge is having a good practice, but then again, so did Rodney Williams a few years ago.

Dodge has hit four punts for an average of 58.3 yards, including sailers of 65 and 66 yards. That's okay, but observations from up north indicate he's only got so-so hang time. As Williams showed us all in 2001, it really doesn't matter if you can boom a punt 80 yards if you don't give your defense a chance to get down there and cover. More than once, he left us all agog with his tremendous foot, only to disappoint when he'd shank his next punt.

The expectation here is that, with the help of Jeff Feagles, Dodge will find some consistency. He'll need it, because Tom Coughlin won't tolerate a bunch of shanks for long. Also, he's preaching a directional philosophy, so Dodge will have to get in some heavy work on that. Despite everything, though, you might chalk up today as a good one for the seventh-round draft pick.

EP

Jacobs

Only a single afternoon practice today, so let's look at some of the things RB Brandon Jacobs had to say yesterday. Seems the big guy, fresh off knee surgery, is taking really limited snaps, so much so that one might think Ahmad Bradshaw has become the new No. 1.

But Jacobs said that's not the case. Just the fact that he's feeling good is reason for optimism.

"I feel better this year than I have felt since my third year in the league. I feel really good," Jacobs said. "I’ve done a couple things this offseason to prepare myself for the season, and doing certain core work and hip flexibilities. Things that I need to do. I don’t want to work on too much strength because I’m getting older and I don’t need strength. I’m getting older, and I want to keep my body durable and flexible to do this grind."

As for Bradshaw taking a lot of first-team snaps, Jacobs said, "I have no idea. I don’t know the reason, I really don’t know anything about it. I’m just out here to try and help us win. That’s about it. No matter who gets the first carry or what. I’m still there and I’m not dead, so we still have a chance to win it."

At this point, I'm wondering if some of those posters who opined it might be better to start Bradshaw and bring in Jacobs late to pound a tired defense might be right. Given how the running attack stuttered last year, it might be nice to have a quick guy like Bradshaw setting the tone, rather than vice-versa.

Judging by Jacobs' words, he might go along with that. No doubt, he and his roomie, Bradshaw, have broached the subject at night.

"No question. Every night we sit there, we play Call of Duty, and talk about us coming back and being a force that we need to be. We want to be up in the top two or three of the league, where we have always been. We built a house on the top of the hill. We need to go back and knock at that door, and New Orleans better let us in again.

"I didn’t have a good year last year. I wasn’t explosive, I was hurt and I couldn’t plant my right foot in the ground and push off. I didn’t have any strength in it at all. That whole year, I never went out and made an excuse, and I’m not doing that now. I’m just saying we had a bad season."

As for No. 1 running back, even running backs assistant Jerald Ingram cautioned not to judge anything by the practice snaps.

"Well, no one is really the starting running back," Ingram said. "We‘re not going to get hung up on who’s the starting running back. It’s who does what when that play is called.

"From that standpoint, if we want an outside play, if we want to be in third down, if we want to be in two tights, or what is the defense's game plan going to be. We’re going to put, just like you saw the New Orleans Saints a year ago, you’re going to put that guy who does what's best in that situation. We’re trying to spread it out there. Everybody understands that they have a role in the game plan and we’ll just go from there. It will be based on who we play against."

That would be fine with Jacobs.

"I just want to win," he said.

EP

Monday, August 9, 2010

More On Phillips

Tom Coughlin indicated today that Kenny Phillips will not play against the Jets in the preseason opener Monday, but will have plenty of time to earn a starting spot before the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against Carolina.

Coughlin said he was pleased with what he saw of the third-year playmaker, who came off PUP this morning and flew around the field on his microfracture repaired left knee. Coughlin said he ran and cut with no difficulty, though he will be limited to one practice per day.

EP

Phillips Back

Kenny Phillips got back to practice today, and it looks like he's not going to be shy about throwing his body around. He's worked a few snaps with the first team, but I have a feeling that's just to get him acclimated right now. In the meantime, he made a diving breakup, and then stopped a run right after that. He lost his footing on another play, but popped right up.

We'll keep a cautious optimism about Phillips' progress.

Also, Corey Webster made an interception on an Eli Manning-to-Ramses Barden pass up the sideline, one play after Terrell Thomas broke up a Manning-to-Barden throw. Sounds like second-round DT Lival Joseph is also have a good practice. That depth potential up front is starting to look better and better. Really looking forward to seeing them in the preseason games, which start Monday in the stadium-opener against the host Jets.

EP

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Good One

Here's another good story, this one from the New York Times, about Bear Pascoe. Tight end by trade, cowboy by lifestyle, Pascoe has been getting some first-team work while Kevin Boss recovers from ankle surgery. The Giants have him marked as a blocking tight end, which was basically what he was last year. But he can catch passes too.

Oh, and if you need him to, he can lasso your steer.

EP

More Bradshaw

Somebody mentioned the article in today's Post that Paul Schwartz wrote on Ahmad Bradshaw. Here it is. Sounds very optimistic about Bradshaw being back to full strength, especially since he declined the option to practice just once a day.

Here's something else happening with the running backs. Sounds like Andre Brown is having himself a nice camp, as he stood out in a recent goal line drill. Anyone eager to see him as, perhaps, the third back behind Brandon Jacobs and Bradshaw? And should Bradshaw take over the No. 1 spot ahead of Jacobs?

EP

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bradshaw Coming

Ahmad Bradshaw appears to be coming back well from surgery on both feet and his left ankle. He's made several good plays over the first nine practices, and he appears to be getting as much, if not more, work than Brandon Jacobs.



Here's Mike Eisen's story on him from Giants.com.


EP

Minor Strain?

According to my eyes and ears up in Albany, aka the beat guys -- Steve Smith said the exam (he didn't need an MRI) on his sore groin yesterday revealed "a minor strain." But Tom Coughlin wouldn't go that far, saying Smith still needed to see the doctor for a final evaluation. Until then, the coach refused to put any timetable on Smith's return.

As for G Rich Seubert's hand, Coughlin said there will be no surgery for now. Looks like they're going to wait and see how things progress before they either put him under the knife or get him back to work. In the meantime, Guy Whimper took Seubert's first-team snaps until he pulled up lame in a goal line drill and was replaced by rookie Mitch Petrus.

And S Kenny Phillips is slated for only limited work in his one practice Monday.

For those who actually are working, Jason Pierre-Paul had himself a very good practice, at one point showing a lightning inside move on Jacob Bender for a stop on DJ Ware that left the 316-pounder grasping at air. And backup quarterback Jim Sorgi threw his best pass of camp when he hit WR Victor Cruz, who beat Bruce Johnson, down the deep sideline in stride.

Tim Brown, the tiny receiver from Rutgers, showed good speed in the non-contact punt return drill. If nobody else steps forward, he might be a keeper simply for that job.

OL Ruben Riley, who limped off the field yesterday, was waived and replaced by OL Cliff Louis.

EP

Friday, August 6, 2010

Injury Report

Tom Coughlin said both center Shaun O'Hara (ankle) and S Kenny Phillips (PUP-microfracture knee surgery) should be ready to practice Monday. Of course, everybody on this blog, along with the rest of the world, will be more curious to see how Phillips does in his first action since Game 2 of last season.

As far as recent injuries go, Coughlin said he's not going to speculate on how long LG Rich Seubert might be out with a broken hand. Coughlin said Seubert injured the hand while pass protecting, when he got it stuck in somebody's facemask. He continued the drill, but found out later it was broken.

Coughlin said he's not going to rush to judgement until the doctor sees him tomorrow. But he no longer buys the long-held concept that a broken hand is not the end of the world for an offensive lineman.

"That is one of the biggest fallacies in the world," Coughlin said. "There was a time when I thought the same thing that you did, ‘Oh yeah, broken hand, you just tape it up, put a cast on and you go play with it,’ but they don’t do that today. If the metacarpal twists, they have to do surgery and put a pin in it and then you could be out for six weeks. They have to be very careful with that.

"If they go light early, if they just allow that thing to heal a little bit for a couple weeks to the point where they don’t think that’s the risk and they put a cast on it, then the guy can usually play. The last few times that this has happened, and anything that I have been involved in, they have always done this, so we’re not going to let him go right back out."

But whether Seubert would be out one or two weeks, or longer, Coughlin would not say. What he did say he'll use different combinations on the left side while Seubert heals, putting David Diehl inside next to Will Beatty at times, while at others keeping Diehl outside while inserting Guy Whimper and rookie Mitch Petrus at left guard. Could be an interesting time for experimentation.

Coughlin also said Steve Smith's groin injury occurred when he made a move to get away from press coverage. "Probably got jammed up top and all of a sudden he was out," Coughlin said.

EP

Receiver Alert

Today apparently was a dangerous day to be a pass-catcher of any kind. While Mario Manningham and his sore groin did return to make a 60-yard grab, Steve Smith pulled out of practice early because of an apparent groin injury. So, too, did rookie TE Jake Ballard with a hamstring. And shortly after those two left, rookie WR Duke Calhoun was walked off the field with an unknown injury.

Meanwhile, looks like the eminent Guy Whimper has taken the injured Rich Seubert's place at left guard. Probably should expect to see him in there, since fifth-round guard Mitch Petrus is getting work behind Chris Snee on the right side. Make your own conclusions, but I would think the gut feeling on Whimper would be "Hurry back, Seubert!"

Also, the Giants waived WR Adam Jennings, who some people on this blog seemed to be high on as a potential kick returner, and signed WR Nyan Boateng from Cal.

EP

Seubert Out

Rich Seubert, already fighting for his job at left guard, received some bad news today. He has broken bone in his hand and could miss a week. That could mean that David Diehl will move over for some extensive first-team work at left guard while Seubert heals, with Will Beatty goes to left tackle.

Missing a week won't kill a veteran like Seubert, but it won't help his case, either. Meanwhile, Adam Koets gets even more of a workload at center while Shaun O'Hara manages his swollen left ankle.

EP

Good Read

Only one practice scheduled, for the afternoon, so here's a good piece by Paul Schwartz about Jason Pierre-Paul. Good reason for optimism here, as Pierre-Paul has had some good moments in camp. He's raw, but apparently quite talented. And you can't argue with a freakish body that includes an 81-inch wingspan. He's got a ways to go before anyone starts calling him Jevon Kearse, Jr. (Hmmm. The Big Blue "Kearse?"), but it sounds like he's off to a good start.

EP

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Evidence

Here's more evidence to use if you want to be optimistic about the defense. Antrel Rolle finished off the evening practice a few minutes ago with a pickoff of an Eli Manning pass to Steve Smith, and then returned it for a touchdown.

Michael Boley was also said to be looking good. And, lo and behold, this blog's favorite kicker, Lawrence Tynes, went 7-for-7 and is now 15-for-15 in training camp placements.

The offense had its ups and downs as Will Beatty, fighting David Diehl for left tackle, gave up a sack to Mathias Kiwanuka and then got beat by Dave Tollefson, prompting a chew-out by line coach Pat Flaherty. But apparently Adam Koets did a nice job filling in for Shaun O'Hara, who sat with a swollen left ankle.

EP

Nicks Back

Guess Jerry Reese wasn't kidding when he said Hakeem Nicks would be back for tonight's full-pads practice. He's out there working. Meanwhile, Travis Beckum, Shaun O'Hara, and Mario Manningham are out.

EP

Good Question

A good question was asked about S Kenny Phillips' availability and the depth chart at middle linebacker on the previous post. So here's an answer as best as I can discern.

Phillips remains out on PUP, but he's told reporters in Albany that he wants to stop predicting return dates. But he did say he felt like he could be back at practice at some point next week. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as Phillips has always been optimistic about his return from microfracture surgery. If I were you, I would put Phillips out of my mind until he actually steps on the field. Antrel Rolle is tearing things up at camp, and Deon Grant has quietly had a solid bunch of practices, so the safety spot appears in good hands right now.

As a matter of fact, when Rolle intercepted a Jim Sorgi pass to TE Jake Ballard, a couple of defenders shoved Ballard on the return and shouted, "We're Scorin'!" Just shows what kind of fire Perry Fewell has instilled in those guys.

Jonathan Goff has gotten a lot of work at first-unit MLB, but Gerris Wilkinson popped his head up today when he shut down a wide running play, garnering kudos and backslaps from three defensive coaches. That's nice for the kid, but barring a complete breakdown of Bulluck's surgical knee, count on him being in there as the starter.

EP