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Giants' Hixon catches praise on first unit

 

Receiver gets notice subbing for injured Burress

BY TOM ROCK |tom.rock@newsday.com July 28, 2008 41279263.jpg

Wide receiver Domenik Hixon, who caught only one pass last season, has filled in nicely for Plaxico Burress on the Giants' first unit. (AP Photo)

 

 

ALBANY - Domenik Hixon lined up wide right, broke off the line of scrimmage, was about to go into his route . . . and the play already was over.

 

The wide receiver, in his second year with the Giants, had missed a call. When the defense blitzed, he should have turned around earlier. Instead, he kept running down the field while Eli Manning's pass spiraled into the ground a few yards behind him - where he should have been.

 

That prompted an earful from offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "He did some very aggressive coaching," Hixon said with a smirk.

 

It must have worked. Later in the session, Hixon made an athletic diving catch on a low pass, then went up high to grab a fade pass from Manning at the 1 and turn into the end zone for a touchdown.

 

 

There have been more Hixon plays like those in this training camp than the one that fueled Gilbride's ire.

 

 

 

Hixon joined the Giants after the season began last year. He quickly had to get over the shock of being cut by the Broncos, grasp the Giants' playbook and deal with the demons of being the player who was involved in the near-fatal injury to Bills tight end Kevin Everett during a kickoff. It was a difficult time for him.

 

Now he's a starting receiver for the defending Super Bowl champions.

 

Sure, he's getting the opportunity only because Plaxico Burress is sidelined with an ankle injury, but Hixon said he is trying to take advantage of every chance he gets.

 

"It's something that you work towards," he said of taking snaps with the first unit. "I want to stay there, too."

 

Hixon is making his case. Has been for a while. Before camp started - before Burress' absence was known - Tom Coughlin pulled Hixon aside and told him he was pleased with the work he had produced during the spring. Not bad words for a guy who caught one pass for the team last season.

 

Hixon said he spent time with Manning this spring, and the quarterback gave him some words of advice and a few tips. Amani Toomer and Burress have done the same. It's been enough to get him noticed, which in training camp is only half the battle.

 

"Now you kind of set that level so he expects you to have a training camp the same way, so don't dip and dive," Hixon said of Coughlin's encouraging words.

 

Given the Giants' depth at wide receiver, dipping and diving is not the way to make this team. With Burress expected back later this week, Toomer already showing that he has no intentions of slowing down, Steve Smith continuing to improve on his impressive rookie season and third-round draft pick Mario Manningham also in the mix, receiver could be one of the hardest positions for the Giants to whittle down for the 53-man roster.

 

At this moment, though, Hixon is a starter. And while he's pleased with that, he's more concerned about his status in September, not July.

 

"It's something that you work towards. You try to put in all that hard work and let the coaches make that decision," he said of running with the first unit. "But the thing is, just because you're number one today, this is training camp. It's a long camp, this is only day two, so you want to be consistent every day."

 

Notes & quotes: The Giants signed DT Jeremy Clark to fill the spot of Nate Robinson, who was put on the waived/injury list after straining his hamstring Friday afternoon. Clark (6-2, 320) was on the Eagles' practice squad last season . . . S Dave Dahl, who tore his ACL in the regular-season finale last year, was on campus this weekend for a workout with the Giants . . . After a day of meetings and no practice yesterday, the Giants return to the field for two sessions today. They are scheduled to have eight practices before their next scheduled day off Saturday.

 

 

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Wow, this WR corps is turning into something special, and deep if this Hixon is for real. He's got great speed, and can get good YAC. Of course its due to Plax bein hurt, but hey, you get in where you fit in and make the most of it. Way to go Domenik!!

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Eh, I want to see it when it counts. I've read countless reports over the years about how good they look in camp only to look like drop prone players who can't make a play after the catch or go down in front of the marker and not getting the first down.

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Eh, I want to see it when it counts. I've read countless reports over the years about how good they look in camp only to look like drop prone players who can't make a play after the catch or go down in front of the marker and not getting the first down.

 

He's no Sinorice Moss......uh....I mean LOSS.

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Eh, I want to see it when it counts. I've read countless reports over the years about how good they look in camp only to look like drop prone players who can't make a play after the catch or go down in front of the marker and not getting the first down.

 

My sentiment exactly.

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I just can't see Sinorice Moss making this team right now. If Hixon proves to be more than servicable at wideout, he's also a good special teams player so he has value. Moss might make the team if there was lack of depth but as we can see, there's no lack of depth right now. I'd shop him around and take a 5th for him.

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I see us dropping Jennings and Tyree at this point. Tyree is on the PuP list and Jennings is nothing but a training camp "under dog" and with the competition we have at WR I doubt he will make the team this year. Tyree is looking like he won't be ready for the season and if he is still injured we are either going to put him on IR or release him which I think is more likely. So as I see it, Plax, Toomer, Smith, Manningham, Hixon and Moss make the team.

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I see us dropping Jennings and Tyree at this point. Tyree is on the PuP list and Jennings is nothing but a training camp "under dog" and with the competition we have at WR I doubt he will make the team this year. Tyree is looking like he won't be ready for the season and if he is still injured we are either going to put him on IR or release him which I think is more likely. So as I see it, Plax, Toomer, Smith, Manningham, Hixon and Moss make the team.

 

I'd rather have Tyree or Jennings than Moss. But what can you do w/ Tyree on the PUP list. Its a shame, the great SB he had, only to be released. <_<

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I'd rather have Tyree or Jennings than Moss. But what can you do w/ Tyree on the PUP list. Its a shame, the great SB he had, only to be released. <_<

 

Poor Tyree and your right on both counts. I remember seeing his after SB interviews thinking that he's going to be a SB hero but his shot at WR aren't very good. Also with Moss I hope they finally give up on him. He has had many more opportunities than both Tyree and Jennings and has shown nothing. If we need somebody with dismal YAC then they should give him a call.

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I see us dropping Jennings and Tyree at this point. Tyree is on the PuP list and Jennings is nothing but a training camp "under dog" and with the competition we have at WR I doubt he will make the team this year. Tyree is looking like he won't be ready for the season and if he is still injured we are either going to put him on IR or release him which I think is more likely. So as I see it, Plax, Toomer, Smith, Manningham, Hixon and Moss make the team.

 

 

Plax, Toomer, Smith, Manningham, Hixon, and Tyree.

 

Let Hixon try out returning kicks. Keep Tyree for his special teams play. Hasn't he been Special Teams player of the year on more than one occasion? I see no reason to keep Moss. Hasn't shown that he can stay healthy. Hasn't shown that he can be a consistent receiver. And hasn't shown an ability to return kicks. All things we wanted and thought we could have when he was drafted.

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I don't think Tyree makes the team, I think they put him on IR this year to

save the team from releasing a Superbowl hero so soon after it happened.

Yeah it would be weird Tyree is the current SI cover boy, 6 months after the super bowl but he is on the PUP list. We could go with Burress,Toomer,Smith,Manningham,Jennings and Hixon, we also have D.J Hall who the coaches seem impressed with and maybe want to keep for special teams.

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