As they have done everyday at camp so far the Giants began the practice dividing themselves up into their respective positional groups to get instructions from their coaches. Special teams was emphasized once again with time being spent on punt coverage as well as on the punt return unit. Punters Rodney Williams and Gabe Lindstrom got off some nice kicks, with Lindstrom being a little bit more consistent but kicking for a little less distance.
The O line, again without Jason Whittle and Dusty Zeigler, worked head to head against the defensive line in one on one drills, as well as unit versus unit working on point of attack in both run and pass blocking. For the most part the defensive line won the battle with Hamilton and Griffin looking very sharp. Mike Rosenthal and Luke Petitgout both had nice afternoons.
Later in the session Rosenthal, once again during a live scrimmage, got involved in an altercation with DE Michael Strahan. They were seperated after some punches were thrown and with both players on the ground.
As for the RBs, since there was actual contact today, Delvin Joyce seemed to struggle taking a pretty hard shot from Nate Coggins, FA rookie S from West Georgia. Coggins got into Fassel's doghouse later on by hitting a receiver late out of bounds during the scrimmage. Coach Fassel got in his face, as well as DB coach DeWayne Walker. Sean Bennett looked sharp and seemed to handle the contact well playing the H-Back position in several formations.
Rookie FB Charles Stackhouse made some of his first impressions this camp by putting two nice blocks on Giants defenders. Kick return specialist Antonio Warren, who is also a RB, had a few nice carries showing exceptional speed when he bounced a play outside for a big gain.
The QBs were limited in the afternoon with no exceptional pass plays since the majority of the offense in both 7 on 7 drills and during the brief live scrimmage concentrated on short yardage situations. Jesse Palmer got the majority of snaps and looked a little more sharp than he has so far, including a nice throw to rookie WR Tim Carter along the sidelines.
Of the WRs both Carters, Tim and Jonathan, had good afternoons and are starting to show some of the speed that is expected of them. With less than a week until the Giants play their first preseason game you're going to see a few more packages and a few more plays added to the WRs each day.
TE Dan Campbell, covered one on one by Strahan, showed some seperation on a couple of routes, and he seems to be very focused lining up as a FB and working with the O line on blocking schemes.
As for the DBs, Will Allen had another pick. The Giants also started to open up the defensive playbook with a lot more scheme being installed today than what was seen in past days. Ralph Brown played a great deal as a nickel back and continued to impress, breaking up a couple of plays as well as getting involved in some tackles. You also started to see the Giants move the safeties rather than just having them play center field.
Because of the excessve heat, and with the recent events of last year still fresh in the minds of the medical staff, a couple of hydration breaks broke up the session with plenty of Gatorade and water available.
Brandon Short looked to be the best LB on the field in both run stopping as well as dropping into pass coverage, and gone was the hesitation seen in previous camps.
Overall, the impression that I got today was that the defense clearly outplayed the offense, with the O line struggling more so in pass protection than with run blocking. One bright spot for the O line is that they are more athletic and quicker on pulling plays and plays to the outside in general.
There was some field goal work done with Owen Pochman showing a strong leg and he was perfect in all his attempts in the 20 to 40 yard range. Kicker Matt Bryant missed only one kick in is attempts.
With the signing this evening of Jeremy Shockey, the first round pick, Sean Payton will now be able to flesh out the playbook a bit more and open up the passing game in the next few days.
Coach Fassel addressed the squad for about 10 minutes after practice and appeared to harp on the issue of execution and playing smart, fundamental football. Once again several Giants did some additional work after practice with their respective coaches and on their own.