Posted by: giantspeculation | 08/10/2010

Camp Review

The staff here at GiantSpeculation have returned from Giants training camp in beautiful  Albany, NY informed, enthused, and infested with disease. At this point doctors say I am more virus than host.

Things I learned (about the Giants)…..

  • The most significant difference between this year’s camp and last year’s (besides the stifling absence of Darcy Johnson) was the tempo on defense. Perry Fewell loves football as much as Bill Sheridan loves quiet moments of contemplative solitude. This dude was all over the field; barking orders, blocking on interceptions, doing back flips, instructing spin classes, slapping player’s asses. And his energy was infectious. The defense looks good.
  • The secondary is going to eat lightning and crap thunder this year. With the addition of Antrel Rolle, the expected return of Kenny Phillips, and improved play at corner the secondary has gone from our biggest liability to our biggest strength. Now granted I predicted CC Brown was going to be a solid starter last year but we all make mistakes (see last year’s other mistake). Antrel Rolle brings a refreshing aggressive attitude to last year’s meek secondary. During camp he broke up several passes including a deep pass from Eli to Nicks. Kenny Phillips returns today and he looked eager to contribute from sidelines all camp. He listened in on every huddle and just generally looked like he had an itch to contribute. Another player that looked good at camp was Michael Johnson. Last year he did not play well but hopefully that was just CC’s infectious stink. With Deon grant providing reliable depth and leadership the safety position is locked down. Sorry Michal Greco.
  • The corners looked superb (just Adam Schefter who was at camp this weekend). Long are the days where Corey Webster was a question mark at corner and now he is simply an after-thought. He has the top spot locked down and deservedly so. He looked solid on Saturday with a pick six off Eli while covering Nicks. The other starting corner spot is possibly the best position battle in camp. I assumed after Terrell Thomas’ breakout season last year he had it locked down. And he still looked good with a PD on Eli while covering Ramses the Pharaoh. But Aaron Ross is arguably the stud of the camp. I was worried how he would perform under Fewell’s defense but he is thriving. He was making plays all over the field and has looked the healthiest of his career. Thoughts of him moving to safety are long gone. But it does still concern me that he has been returning punts alongside Moss, Tim Brown, and Rolle.

  • I am making a prediction that flies in the face of my draft day drunken tirade but these rookie defensive linemen are going to be studs. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow but eventually (maybe Thursday) these two are going to dominate together. They are both freakish physical specimens. Joseph regularly blew up the 2nd team guard and/or center getting into the backfield on the regular. JPP is a litle less consistent. One some plays he looks like a man among boys, throwing tackles to the ground and disripting plays in the backfiel. And others he gets man-hanlded. Most of his struggles seems due to poor form and not a lack of skill. On one play in particular where he rushed inside, JPP’s stance was too low and he manhandled. But otherwise both show solid potential and should be able to contribute (Joseph on defense definitely and JPP on special teams and possibly passing downs). My only legitimate concern about them both is that the NFL suspends them when they discover that they are in fact escapees from some super-human government science experiment where JPP murdered the guards while Joseph fashioned a tandem bicycle out of toothbrushes and an old prison cot. That and injuries.
  • As for the veterans, it must be said that Kiwanuka and Osi are a couple of mensches. These fellas both have some beef with the way things are (Kiwi is looking for a contract extension while Osi is looking to be named the starter).  But both are saying and doing all the right things. While at camp Kiwi was moved to LB in the Giants big base formation which also features Osi, Canty, JPP and Tuck at the line. Of course Kiwi would prefer to stay at DE (that’s where he is going to get big money in a contract year) but he has said he is willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field and contribute to the team. Meanwhile, Osi has moved away from his threat of retirement if not made the starter and toward saying all the things you would hope a veteran, pro boweler would say. These two are excellent veteran examples for the two rookies.
  • I didn’t see much of the linebackers. Bullock wasn’t out there when we were around. I saw Wilkinson make a few solid plays. Same with Sintim. But not much to report here.
  • Eli of course looks steady. Nothing to report here. This dude is boring. For a change of pace Eli could go on a coke bender, kill a cadre of hookers, and then only watch game tape for 60 hours as opposed to 80. One of the more interesting battles at camp though is for the backup quarterback spot especially considering its unlikely the Giants will carry three quarterbacks. Coming in to camp I thought Bomar could surprise and beat out Sorgi but after our camp visit I am more lost. Sorgi has good size and a decent touch but didn’t see much deep throws and his knock has always been his arm strength. Bomar is a little undersized but has good athleticism and a strong arm. Sorgi looked unspectacular but more consistent. Bomar had a few nice throws but I saw a few times he completely overthrew a wide open receiver or threw into traffic. I think it comes down to who can wash Eli’s car the fastest because neither are reliable backups. You better believe if Eli goes down the first thing JR is going to do (after contemplating suicide of course) is get on the phone with Jeff Garcia’s agent. Either way neither Sorgi nor Bomar are proving to be good investments.
  • AB was getting all of the first team touches which may be Gilbride’s way of sending a message to Brandon. AB looked good and show no signs of the 18 off-season surgeries he had. BJ still looks like a monster but definitely a fitter monster. Let’s hope these changes mean the return of our old BJ. I love old BJs. Andre Brown seems healthy as well. He showed the same flashes he showed in last year’s camp before tearing his achilles (who knew this was vulnerable spot). Gartrell Johnton is a goner.
  • At WR the Giants are currently stacked. I think the strong secondary is benefiting from these strong receivers and vice-veras. Steve Smith was sidelined while we were at camp but all reports are that he has look good so far. Hakeem Nicks is going to make a gargantuan leap this year. At times he looked like a man among boys in camp. I think Smith and Nicks could become the Giant’s version of TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson. One an excellent route runner, possession receiver. The other an athletic field stretcher that requires double teams. Watching Ramses Barden I am more convinced that he still has a lot of work to do. His sheer size has fans salivating but mentally I don’t know if he is ready to hit the field. His route running did not look crisp and there were times where he was out jumped by a smaller corner. That can’t happen especially if he is going to become the red-zone, fading running specialists everyone hopes he will. Derek Hagan, my Kraut-Mick friend, looked solid and should continue to contribute on special teams. Manningham ran a few nice under routes and got wide open on deep pass which Bomar over threw. Another interesting battle is going to be Tim Brown and Mr. August, Sinorice Moss. Moss seems to be a lock  despite his lack of contribution on offense and special teams but other than that this guy is excellent. Tim Brown on the other hand looks real shifty and has definitely been the best punt returner in camp so far. Pre-season should prove this battle but my money is on Tim Brown.
  • Right now the offensive line seems to be at its most tumultuous in the JR era. Snee and O’Hara are the only locks. Everything else is up for grabs. At camp, Mitch Petrus showed some flashes but has been beat a few times by fellow rook Linval Joseph. I didn’t see much of Beatty or Diehl but the LT spot is arguably the most important roster battle considering it will be their job to guard our franchise’s blind side. But it’s hard to assess OL in camp since QBs are untouchable. But my guess is we will see a youth movement at the line this season.
  • The third TE spot is going to be interesting. I didn’t see much of Bear Pascoe and even less from Scott Chandler. Neither showed much in terms of receiving. I watched Bear get his ass handed to him by JPP a few times. But I would say this is definitely an area of weakness that JR will need to address in next year’s draft. Both Boss and Travis Beckum were sidelined over the weekend.
  • Finally, Matt Dodge is an riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a maze. This dude can boom 65 yarders and on the next play shank one for 20. Just see MG’s breakdown. He reminds of a more consistent, more white Rodney Williams. But I have to imagine this inconsistency has to be keeping TC up late at night.

Things I learned (non-Giants related)…..

  • Larry Tynes has more kids than Bebe or at least a large midget entourage who wears his jersey
  • Kevin Boss’s wife is smoking hot, possibly 15 years old
  • Jerald Ingram is a beer drinker, smells like angels
  • Mike Garafolo has landed a hot fiance’ somehow
  • Staff photographer, VP of marking, and senior golf correspondent Matt is surprisingly out of shape but can knock down 43 yd FGs in his sleep (which meant he got a lot of practice this weekend)
  • Adam Schefter is jacked-er and shorter than I thought
  • Rex Ryan signed the ESPN bus “Soon to be champs” which makes sense given the Jets were 9-7 last years and have added a ton of headaches who’s former teams did not want them anymore. One man’s garbage is another man’s garbage sandwich (especially if that man is Rex Ryan).
  • You can drink like a king in albany. Excellent beer diversity, cheap drinks, decent looking broads, and the ed-hardy-shirt-wearing-douche-to-human ratio is astronomically high
  • TC was right, the training camp field was craps
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