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2nd August - training camp notes

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2nd August - training camp notes

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:37 pm

here are training camp notes from

what do you think?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Training Camp Notables

Training Camp 2008 is more than one-third of the way through, so I thought on this, an off-day, I’d share some thoughts about what has transpired so far…

Biggest Surprises. Primarily a special teams player last season, Domenik Hixon has been taking loads of snaps with the one’s in place of Plaxico Burress, and he has not disappointed. Oh sure, he had that first day screw-up in which he ran the wrong pattern and was loudly and publically chewed out by the coaches, but ever since then, he’s been having a strong camp.

After undergoing intervention for a substance abuse problem, OT Shane Olivea is a man on a mission and appears on his way to earning a roster spot, perhaps even as a starter at some point in the not-so distant future.

I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from the two rookie linebackers this year, but Bryan Kehl has been very active in the defense and just seems to be moving along at a rapid pace. I’m not saying he’s going top crack into the starting lineup this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some snaps down the line with the starters especially if injuries star5t to pile on.

Biggest Disappointments. This is a tie between Sinorice Moss and David Carr. Moss can’t catch a break, let alone a pass, on a consistent basis. He needed to come in and show he can be consistent. So far, he hasn’t been able to do that.

Carr, meanwhile, has proven to be every bit of a work in progress as Chris Palmer tries o rehab his shattered confidence and get Carr to revert back to his first round draft pick form before he took his beating behind a porous Houston offensive line. Carr knows the offense, but he seems to be having trouble executing it.

Even head coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged during the week just complete that Carr is still adjusting. “He knows the offense pretty well. It’s just those situations, where he gets pushed out and you’re trying to make a play. Something pops up in your eye and you tend to have a tendency to go to it, but you have to realize all the problems that are out there, too.”

The No-Brainer Award. Ask any team and they’ll tell you that in an ideal situation, they want to have their first round draft pick contribute sooner than later. So when your first round draft pick is a safety and you’re looking to maybe upgrade that position over a guy who was up and down last year (and who was an undrafted free agent), well is it really any surprise that Kenny Phillips has been taking away snaps from the starter?

Biggest About Face. A week after telling the press that he was done negotiating with the Giants for now and wanted to concentrate on getting ready for the season, RB Brandon Jacobs would go on to tell the same media corps that if the Giants came to him with a reasonable offer, he’d sign it, even if it were mid-year. Now the question remains as to whether the Giants will approach Jacobs with a new deal this season. Something tells me that they won’t as they have not only gone on record as saying they’ll continue to use the running back by committee approach (which would not justify them paying Jacobs what he’s reportedly seeking). Further, when your own position coach won’t come right out and declare you the #1 guy, that speaks volumes.

Most Tiresome Question. “How will you replace Michael Strahan’s leadership?” Last I checked, there were other leaders on this team. And oh by the way, wasn’t Strahan no where to be found at this time last year?

Most Tiresome Situation. Okay, I know Plaxico Burress is a warrior who played through pain last year and had a pretty darn good season. And I know that he tweaked his ankle a couple weeks ago while running down in South Florida (though am I the only one who wonders why, if he’s so committed to being the best receiver in the league, he didn’t’ take the precaution of taping his ankle before he went running?) And I can even understand not wanting to practice if you’re hurting,

But here’s what I don’t understand. If Burress’ ankle is THAT BAD, why is he not inside getting treatment, which is what the Giants have done in the past? And second, once the pads go on, no one is ever 100 percent, so to use that excuse, to me, is lame.

Methinks Burress just isn’t a fan of training camp practices and perhaps he seeks any excuse to not have to go through the two-a-days. After all, when was the last time Burress, as a member of the Giants, made it through an entire summer without an "injury" that kept him sidelined for at least a week but which wasn't serious enough to ciut into his playing time?

Biggest Heartbreak. This is a tie between David Tyree, the Super Bowl hero whose recovery from knee surgery has been slow, and receiver Michael Jennings, who is trying to come back from an Achilles injury. In Tyree’s case, I suspect he’ll start the season on PUP (where he currently is) and then end up on IR. In Jennings’; case, despite his valiant attempts to stick, I don’t think he has a chance of making this roster which is a shame as he’s a hard working good kid.

Most Frustrating Player. LB Gerris Wilkinson is slowly turning into the new Wesley Mallard. Remember the talented but often injured linebacker whom the Giants finally gave up on? Wilkinson, whom many believed would be the starting “Will” linebacker this year, still has a lingering knee problem stemming from an injury suffered last summer, an injury which has him on the PUP list. And who know when he’s coming off of it? What I do know is Wilkinson is missing valuable practice time and the more he misses, the more likely he’s headed for the “break” in this, his “make or break” year.

Biggest Mystery. Ahmad Bradshaw. I’ve been gradually able to piece together what I think happened to result in Bradshaw’s having to serve jail time, but I sure do wish he and/or his attorney would issue a statement already to put to rest the speculation and just put it in the past for once and for all.

Best Interview. This one is always tough for me to decide because I typically get to a lot of guys early on, and this year I made it a point to go to those guys that you don’t read about much in the papers or guys who are new to the team. There was new linebacker Danny Clark, who is a pretty amazing young man what with his back story and the charity work he and his wife are doing. Danny has twin brothers who serve our country in the military action occurring in the Middle East, and noted that their commitment puts the game of football into perspective.

I also enjoyed getting to know a little bit about defensive lineman Dave Tollefson, who flew under the radar last year and who has thus far been having a solid camp. Tollefson will be a first time dad next week to a boy he and his wife plan to name Tucker. To hear of Tollefson’s journey to the NFL and his experience in the Super Bowl was very inspiring.

Kay-Jay Harris, a running back who has an uphill battle of sticking, has an interesting back story as well – and he actually shocked me when he knew my name.
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