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OTA Report

Mike Garafolo has his OTA Report from today:

It appeared everyone was in attendance Thursday for the ninth of the Giants’ OTAs. They have one more Friday before veteran minicamp, which runs Tuesday to Thursday next week. (I think at one point recently I wrote Wed-Fri. My bad on that one.)

Some players were out of action: CB Corey Webster, who hurt his shoulder recently and wasn’t out because of the hip flexor that kept him out last week, and DTs Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins (knee surgeries). Also, CB Aaron Ross left early with a slight ankle sprain.

As for the action, let’s start with passing 1-on-1s, which included strong performances by QB Eli ManningTE Kevin Boss and WR Mario Manningham:

Manning hit WR Steve Smith on the first play. Smith made a diving catch past CB Kevin Dockery. Manning then found Manningham on a post past Ross (who would soon bow out). Manningham had to reach back and turn a bit to make the catch. He later made a similar catch — this time on a fade down the sideline with Ross in coverage.

Over on the other side of the field, there were some pretty good battles going on between the LBs and the TEs and RBs. LB Danny Clark absolutely mugged TE George Wrighster to the ground as he tried to run a pattern. A little bit of a hold on Clark’s end? Eh, not in June. RB Danny Ware streaked past LB Zak DeOssie for a completion down the middle and LB Michael Boley, back after missing last week with a hip flexor injury, played great coverage on a stop-and-go for TE Michael Matthews. Rookie RB Andre Brown did a good job to fight out of a jam by LB Jonathan Goff for a quick out. But don’t count it as a loss for Goff, as he forced Brown to run a shorter route. “The coaches won’t be happy with a 3-yard route,” special assistant (and car dealer) Jessie Armstead yelled.

WR Domenik Hixon beat CB Rashad Barksdale on a go for a deep ball from QB Rhett Bomar. But Hixon fell as he reached out for the ball and looked like he could have stayed on his feet for extra yardage. Speaking of Hixon and falling, there was a play late in practice when he tripped over the defender as he made a cut on the slant. While falling down, he nearly made the catch, which would have been his second falling catch in as many weeks after he made the play of the day last week. All I’m saying is if he makes a great catch while falling this season, remember it all started at OTAs.

Wrapping up 1-on-1s: S Sha’reff Rashad broke up a ball for Wrighster on an out, RB Allen Patrick made an easy catch after he ran right by LB Gerris WilkinsonRB Dwayne Wright had an easier catch after he beatLB Bryan Kehl on a stutter move, TE Kevin Boss ran a couple of nice routes for completions and WR Micah Rucker ran a gorgeous post route to turn CB Stoney Woodson.

Moving on to 7-on-7s, Manning hit three of his first four throws: a deep out to Boss outside of LB Antonio Pierce and in front of S Michael Johnson a deep in to Manningham in front of Johnson and an absolute gem of a throw toWR Sinorice Moss deep down the sideline past Barksdale. Moss did a nice job of looking over his shoulder to catch the ball in stride. I’m calling that the play of the day. (Manning’s miss in his first four throws was a deep sail route for Manningham that was just out of his reach.)

WR David Tyree (leg) was back in action after sitting out last week. He caught a bullet from QB David Carr on an in route in front of S Travonti Johnson.

Where are the DB highlights, you ask? Well, CB Terrell Thomas posted one when he held great position on a fade from Carr to Manningham and knocked the ball away. Good technique. And Pierce batted away a pass over the middle from QB Andre’ Woodson to Wrighster. Boley had a shot at the INT, but it went off his hands, resulting in much ribbing from RB Brandon Jacobs, who yelled, “You talk all that smack and then you can’t get the pick.”

Bomar was looking for WR Ramses Barden on a sail route late in practice. The ball went off Barden’s hands, though Stoney Woodson, who reached up in front of him, was clapping, so it appeared he had gotten a piece of it.

In red zone drills, the best catches came when TE Darcy Johnson and Hixon made toe-tapping grabs at the back of the end zone.

And finally, after practice, the QBs and WRs worked on deep balls “on air,” meaning no defenders. Manning and Bomar threw the best balls that hit the receivers in stride and didn’t force them to drift toward the sideline or inside. And Rucker made a nice adjustment on one throw when he looked up late and saw he had to shift his body outside. I talked to Carr in the locker room and he said that’s a drill they haven’t done in the past but have instituted this year to work on deep accuracy. I’ll have more on that at some point during minicamp, with plenty of excellent details from Carr and thoughts from Manning.

(My take: Again, it’s great that Manningham is impressing. He will be a big addition to the offense. Secondary seems to be playing strong. But remember, it’s early. Really early. Hard to know how this will translate into the season.

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