Beautiful day, 80-plus and sunny with a slight breeze. Two days before a game, the intensity was slightly down but I for the most part they were still competing. No pads, but they were in shells.
Small not about the layout of practice and this teamís approach to Special TeamsÖa TON of time is spent on this phase. Gidie made a note that the Coughlin era did not spend near this amount of time on specials and that McAdoo appears to run a much more organized, regimented practice. It is a very smooth process start to finish.
-K Aldrick Rosas has such a powerful leg. There is a trend in the league right now with kickers. They are MUCH better athletes than I remember watching growing up. Rosas fits the mold, he definitely spends time in the weight room and the trajectory of his kicks shows. He has the inside track for the number one job as long as he doesnít mightily struggle in preseason games.
-The talk of the day from the ďstoryĒ side of things will be Chad Wheeler and his short stint with the number ones. I donít think there is any speculation deserved on him being in an under the radar competition for the starting LT spot. He has been impressive, which we have noted a few times, but no way is this team giving up on Flowers yet. Wheeler was beat badly on Vernon on his first play, and may have gotten away with a hold on the next. However this is important for his maturation process, to see what a top half of the league DE actually plays like. He is one of m focal points for Friday night, something he is really pumped about.
-The newly signed OL Corin Brooks looks like a guard, that is my first impression based on just checking him out and going through individuals. I donít think he got on the field with the offense today.
-WR Sterling Shepard looks to be getting better each day, he faced off in some one on one drills. He made a nice body-adjusting catch where again, he seemed to have zero hesitation on his ankle.
-WR Darius Powe and Roger Lewis are competing for a spot. There is a chance both will make the roster but I think itís slim. Powe offers more size and strength and I think more reliable hands. Lewis is the better, looser-hipped athlete that will make the big-play that raises eyebrows. He has also been good for obvious drop pretty much every day and appears to be mis-reading defenses on his option routes. If it comes down to special teams, Lewis will win out.
-TE Evan Engram lined up split out wide against LB Jonathan Casillas one play in 11 on 11. He didnít get the ball thrown his way but it was a very simple 4-5 steps before he was running deep leaving Casillas in his rear view mirror. If this kid can get matchups like that in spaceÖ.
-TE Matt LaCosse with ANOTHER impressive catch. No, you arenít reading yesterdayís report, or the one before that, or the one before that. This kid is getting it done every day. I hope he gets some first team looks in games over the next few weeks. While we are discussing backup TEs, I am still waiting on Colin Thompsonís first drop because it hasnít happened yet.
-The offense had a bit of a sloppy day. Eli didnít see DE Vernon on a zone blitz as he dropped in to coverage, throwing a near INT on a 5 yard pass. Weston Richburg sailed a snap over Manningís head soon after, and Perkins dropped an easy pass in the flat later on.
-RB Wayne Gallman isnít getting a ton of reps, but he showed a jump cut today that most backs canít do. LeSean McCoy is the master of the jump cut if you need a visual, and Gallman caught a ball while twisting in the air, landed, and jump-cut his way to a TD. Not sure many people even noticed it but again, most backs canít move like that.
-RB Khalid Abdullah Ďs main weakness is unplanned movement. He looks strong and explosive when he is running straight ahead without adjustment. But when he has to innovate on his own, react to a defender, or turn his body to get a pass away from his body he looks very unnatural.
-Soon after I spoke about not knowing or understanding if LB Stansly Maponga can fit in this scheme, he goes out and has a day. He showed a strong pass rush presence against OT Adam Bisnowaty. He gets his pad level really far down and his weight plus lower body strength makes him hard to alter. He may get caught in the numbers game but he does have versatility on his side.
-DT Damon Harrison seemed to uptick a bit today despite not being in full pads. I will stand by my statement I made a few weeks ago. He is the most important player on this defense. If he stays healthy, he alone will keep this run defense competitive.
-And I hate to sound like I am wearing blue-colored glasses, but I strongly believe this defense can be the best in the league. There are stars and potential stars everywhere. Seeing Harrison eat double teams with ease, then watching the DEs Jason Pierre Paul and Olivier Vernon rush the edge, with arguably the best top three CB combo in the league and a budding star in Landon CollinsÖI think NYG fans need to soak this up. This might be the best defense in a long time that this team has had.
-Two LBs at the bottom of the depth chart looking up are Deontae Skinner and Curtis Grant. Both are straight line guys with stiffness when moving laterally. In addition, I donít see the quick, easy reactions to the offense right after the snap. They are a step behind. The contrast between them and a guy like BJ Goodson when it comes to instincts is blatantly obvious.
-DE Olivier Vernon looks great, albeit against tackles that may be a step below what he will face most Sundays. What I like about him, and something I always look for in pass rushers during the scouting process, is his ability to stay low, balanced, powerful, and quick. He values run defense as we saw last year and I predict we will see more sacks than what he put out in 2016. They have him standing up on some plays, something I think he prefers.
-Did S Duke Ihenacho move up on the depth chart over Andrew Adams? Looked like he was 2nd string guy today. I donít have much on him but he does have more experience than every safety on this roster and a lot of coaches around the league like a guy back there like that.
-CB Donte Deayon: I can tell Spags really likes this kid both from how he treats him in practice and what he says about him to the media. There are guys that some coaches quietly root for, and Deayon is one of them. He plays all out, all the time. He follows his assignments. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He is rarely out of position. That sounds good for a 5th/6th corner. His size limits him in a lot of areas but there isnít a guy on this team that can stick to Odell Beckham the way Deayon has showed.
-QB Eli Manning: Itís time we talk about him a tad. He has become some reliable and consistent year to year that NYG fans likely take him for granted. McAdoo said this has been Manningís best camp when it comes to understanding the offense and itís intentions, completing passes, and teaching others. I think it is fair to suggest this may be his best year yet. It was nice to see Manning walk off the field with TE Engram after 11 on 11 talking about what to do when he starts checking down/scrambling. That relationship will be HUGE for this offense.
-TE Rhett Ellison: When Ellison was drafted by MIN, the primary focus was him blocking and aiding the Adrian Peterson show. He never quite got to expose himself as a receiver consistently. Knowing how much Manning uses the TE in any scheme heís in and how reliable Ellison looks like as a route runner and pass catcher, I think he may be THE safety blanket that Manning could have used last year.
August 9 Video and Interview