(Albany, NY - August 4, 2009):
The Giants' offense struggled Tuesday morning, as the defense made numerous impressive plays during drills.
Here's some quick observations:
After grabbing five interceptions during the first day of practice, the Giants' defense picked off two more Tuesday morning. Both were against David Carr, who had a bad practice.
On one of Carr's first passes during 11-on-11 drills, he greatly underthrew Mario Manningham down the sidelines, and the ball landed right into Terrell Thomas' hands.
Carr's other interception was more David Tyree's fault than his. Carr delivered the ball right to Tyree, but the seven-year pro couldn't handle it, and linebacker Danny Clark grabbed it.
Carr's other passes weren't any better. Most of his telegraphed passes were easily swatted by defenders, who broke towards the ball whenever they saw Carr's eyes locked in on a receiver.
With Carr struggling, Rhett Bomar just might back his way into the backup spot.
Though he mislocated some early throws, Bomar and Eli Manning were the most impressive quarterbacks on Tuesday. Bomar placed most throws right they needed to be, including a beautiful ball on a comeback route where only receiver Derek Hagan could grab it—but Hagan dropped the pass.
With Andre Woodson struggling to even grab the ball from center, and Carr seemingly unable to deliver the ball to receivers, Bomar should find himself on the second team.
The Giants might need to go out and grab another backup center. Though there weren't nearly as many faulty exchanges between center Adam Koets and the quarterbacks, Koets still had trouble delivering the ball with consistency. Tom Coughlin was not pleased.
As a matter of fact, Coughlin was disappointed with the offensive performance in general.
"It's early, but I'm not very patient and I would like to see some progress," he said after practice. "On offense, it's got to be more than good play, bad play. We can make a big play everybody remembers. But to me, it's come back and let's get the next play."
There are a few rookie free agents that have impressed thus far. Defensive end Tommie Hill from Colorado State has made an impact during camp, as he batted down a Bomar pass during practice on Tuesday.
Safety Sha'reef Rashad from Central Florida, safety Vince Anderson from Webber International, and cornerback Bruce Johnson from Miami (Fla.) all made plays in the defensive backfield Tuesday.
Another defensive back, Travonti Johnson, atook part in the play of the day.
On a well-covered Carr throw to Sinorice Moss deep near the end zone, Johnson attempted to make either a one-handed interception or a deflection. Nonetheless, the ball bounced off of Johnson's outstretched hand, skimmed Terrell Thomas' hands, and into Moss' chest for Carr's only touchdown of the day.
Returning back to the sideline, Johnson's misplay humored the other defensive backs, including safety Michael Johnson, who imitated the former Central Florida Knight and asked if he "was trying to make it on NFL Network."
The most disappointing performance of the day came from Steve Smith. The usually sure-handed Smith, who is expected to compete for the No. 1 wide receiver spot, had two consecutive ugly drops.
He first dropped a Manning pass on a short comeback route. Then, he ran right by cornerback Kevin Dockery on a post route and dropped a well-thrown ball by Manning 40 yards down field.
That truly showed that the offense, as a collective unit, was downright awful during the session.
The defensive line was one of the most impressive units on Tuesday. Defensive end Robert Henderson, a sixth-round draft pick in 2008, beat offensive tackle Orrin Thompson with a quick move and stopped a run play in the backfield.
Defensive end Dave Tollefson also got into the backfield and stopped a counter run by Danny Ware. In coverage, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka deflected a Carr pass attended for David Tyree.
Today was the last day players competed in shells, as they will get a day off tomorrow before playing in full-pads on Thursday.
"In the third practice, you saw that it's almost time to get the pads," Coughlin said.