The Giants ended Thursday’s practice with a two-minute drill that wasn't nearly two minutes.
Lined up at their own 26-yard line, the offense made it inside the defense’s 20 with two quick passes from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Domenik Hixon—the second of which was a miraculous diving catch over cornerback Prince Amukamara along the sideline.
The only problem was, it worked too well.
“You’re looking for multiple two-minute type calls, ball goes down the field in three plays and that’s your drill,'' coach Tom Coughlin said. "That’s not exactly what we had in mind. The first time you do it you’d like to run some plays.”
Coughlin wasn’t actually upset that his offense looked so good, although he did second-guess himself.
Hixon is coming off a torn ACL, and since cornerback Terrell Thomas has already injured his surgically repaired ACL, Coughlin wondered aloud if he had inadvertently put his receiver at risk of doing the same.
“Well, you know he’s going to try to make the play,” Coughlin said. “This guy is something else. He has no fear. He just went up there and he got it. If I had scripted it I wouldn’t have done it that way. I probably wouldn’t have had him in there.”
Hixon did pop back up and appeared to be fine.
The Giants practiced with the replacement officials on Thursday, and there was plenty of yellow flying around the University of Albany practice field.
Manning was in top form with his cadence, bringing the defensive front offsides on more than a few occasions.
Other than that, Coughlin felt the “mental errors seemed to be down a little today.”
There was plenty of pushing and shoving after the whistle as well (tight end Martellus Bennett vs. Mathias Kiwanuka and Brandon Bing vs. Brandon Collins), but Coughlin wasn’t overly concerned.
“When it’s legitimate, but you don’t like to see grabbing of jerseys and stuff like that,’ Coughlin said. “They quickly parted.”
Temperatures exceed 90 degrees on Thursday, which wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but it was the first truly hot day of training camp so several players suffered from heat exhaustion.
Cornerback Jayron Hosley started cramping up and had to leave on the cart. He should be okay though.
Earlier in the day, Hosley discussed the chances he has of earning snaps at nickelback—something cornerbacks coach Peter Giunta said is a possibility—and he had a rather interesting quote when asked about his efforts to learn the playbook.
“I’m like that green banana trying to stay green and keep learning before I get ripe,” he said. “I don’t want to feel like I’m satisfied or complacent.”
Hosley did not play much nickel at Virginia Tech, instead mainly staying outside, “on the island,” as he put it.
Antrel Rolle has also seen time at nickelback and even though he clearly prefers to stay at safety in nickel situations, he’s willing to do whatever it takes.
“A ball player is a ball player,” Rolle said. “It doesn’t matter what position you are at. And if I have to go down there and do it again, then so be it.”
Rolle did admit that he was hoping to move back to safety and then followed that by insisting, “if I have to play [nickelback], then so be it.”
Second-year linebacker Jacquian Williams saw some time in Deon Grant’s old role as a hybrid linebacker/safety in the nickel formation.
Williams added 20 pounds in the offseason to bulk up to 240 and both he and coach Tom Coughlin said it hasn’t cost him his legendary speed. Williams is considered among the fastest linebackers in the game.
Williams also said the technique to play the LB/S role in the nickel is something he’s “already familiar with.”
On Wednesday Coughlin praised former Arizona wide receiver David Douglas for having a “a heck of a preseason.”
On Thursday, Douglas made Coughlin look pretty smart when he hauled in a diving, one-handed catch from third-string quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. The improbable catch occurred down th
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