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August 7, 2009



Week 1 Training Camp Thoughts

By Rich O'Callaghan





Like many of you, I have been closely following Giants training camp all week long and am in full football mode right now. I am so excited to get this season started, get the bad taste of that Eagles playoff game out of my mouth and watch this team take the field. The offense has potential and the defense will probably be the best Giants defense we have seen since 1990. These are my quick hit thought after the first week of Giants camp:


  • The Giants defensive line is going to be amazing. They have the potential to go down as an All-Time Great unit. Just think about the variety of personnel and looks the Giants can put on the field at any given time. Scary. Osi, Canty, Cofield, Tuck, Kiwanuka, Robbins, Alford, Bernard. I am so excited to see this.
  • Prediction: Fred Robbins starts the year on the PUP List. I love Robbins and he has been GREAT for the GMen, in fact I could argue he should have made the Pro Bowl in 2008, so let him get healthy and bring him in for help midseason.
  • I would like to give props to the early camp MVP Terrell Thomas. The second year cornerback is all over the field, making tackles and intercepting passes regularly. Word is Thomas could push and even overtake Aaron Ross as a starting cornerback opposite Corey Webster.
  • The Giants secondary is young and full of potential, and playing behind the Giants pass rush will make them that much better. Think about it, this is probably the most talented young secondaries in the entire league. Also, the Giants have the tallest secondary in the league - Phillips and Johnson are both 6'2 while Ross and Webster are both 6' and all of them can leap.
  • Judging by the way he is playing in camp, I stand by my prediction that you will learn to love Michael Johnson as a future star in this secondary. He may never be a Pro Bowler, but he will be a solid player the Giants can count on to make plays consistently.
  • The safety next to Johnson, Kenny Phillips, becomes a superstar in 2009. I think he puts it together in his second year and makes many big hits and amazing interceptions. Be ready for the spotlight, Kenny.
  • It is being widely reported that defensive tackle Jay Alford has been one of the most impressive players at Giants camp. After a rookie year where he showed a lot of promise (and put the icing on the cake by thumping Tom Brady to end the Super Bowl victory) Alford was nonexistent last season. He trained with Osi Umenyiora this offseason and it has shown as he is blowing up runs in the backfield and rushing the passer effectively throughout camp.
  • Bryan Kehl, good work. You saw an opening (due to Boley's injury/suspension) and you made the most of it. Gerris Wilkinson was the favorite to win the weakside job, and you blew him away in training camp by all accounts. Kehl made plays whenever he was on the field last season, and I am glad he is going to win this job. (I would like to add that I called this the second Boley got hurt).
  • Clint Sintim - You have a fanbase buzzing. The Giants were a franchise defined by their linebackers for years, now they are defined by their defensive linemen. We all think you can change that. I get so excited when I read about Sintim blowing up a run in the backfield or getting through on a blitz in training camp. I also think he is closer to being ready to contribute than I originally thought, as he looks GREAT in coverage.
  • Sinorice Moss continues to impress the entire team on a few plays, then look awful on a few plays (like his two drops in practice last night). The fact that we are counting on Moss so much this season worries me, because he has proven to be unreliable in the past.
  • Mario Manningham is exploding off of the line of scrimmage and burning defensive backs with double moves. Could he burst onto the scene in 2009? I am ready to label him the offensive X-Factor.
  • Ramses Barden is struggling to get off of jams and get downfield, but he is doing one thing very well. He is running shorter patterns out of the slot and using his big body and long reach to box defenders out for the football. He is also catching everything. He may have a role this season after all.
  • Hakeem Nicks, you are progressing. You are not owning training camp and taking over the two spot, like I thought you might, but you are getting the job done.
  • Travis Beckum is improving every day and showed today that he is a physical receiver who can run through tackles. He may have a bright future at H-Back/Tight End/Slot.
  • I am predicting a HUGE year out of Kevin Boss. He is physically and mentally more ready for this season than any other and will be a go to target for Eli Manning early on.
  • Eli looks ready and sharp, and practicing against this defense day in and day out will only make him better. One report said Manning looks better at selling play fakes than ever before, and I am glad to hear he found Nicks on some long completions today.
  • Brandon Jacobs. Big. Tough. Pissed off. I see a huge year for Jacobs. I think Bradshaw is ready for the change of pace back job too.
  • Adam Koets moving to center sounds like an awful move, considering he has fumbled about 80 snaps.
  • All of the backup QBs are having rough camps as well, I think Andre Woodson should be working on his resume for the USFL.
  • The O-Line looks solid. The backs look solid. The run game will be solid as long as the receivers can keep the defense honest.











except for the Back up QB's

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except for the Back up QB's



Yep. I'd like to add that I was also all about Kehl very early. Kehl is a player, if you just watched some of the plays he made last year when he got on the field, you just knew he was ready for this.

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heres a nice article on kehl:










ALBANY -- Bryan Kehl insists he is the strongest linebacker on the team and yet he knows he is far from the toughest. In fact, at a position where players regularly offer macho characterizations of their style, Kehl flashes a wide smile and admits he's not all that physical.




This is the favorite to be the starting weak-side linebacker on opening day?


"I wasn't a physical force last year. The coaches told me that and I realized that," Kehl said recently at training camp at the University at Albany. "I knew coming out of college that was one of my weaknesses, that I don't play physical football. That's something I'm addressing this year."


Non-physical linebackers, like non-accurate quarterbacks or meek offensive linemen, are endangered species. The Giants sought outside help when they leaped into free agency by signing Michael Boley from the Falcons, guaranteeing $11 million of his five-year, $25 million deal. He was imported to start at weak-side linebacker, but he will miss all of training camp following hip surgery. And, even if he's ready, he will not play in the regular-season opener because he has been suspended for one game by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the league's personal conduct policy, stemming from a domestic-abuse arrest last year in Atlanta.


A position in flux all of last season is again unsettled. Kehl and oft-injured Gerris Wilkinson, entering his fourth season, are battling for the starting job, with utility linebacker Chase Blackburn an option if the other two falter.


"We don't want to give anybody the impression the job is theirs," said defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, who certainly knows the players involved, having coached linebackers last season. "We want to make it very competitive.


"All those guys have strengths but none of them have ever nailed down a starting position."


After nearly a week of practice Kehl -- a fourth-round pick out of BYU who started two games and appeared in all 16 as a rookie last season -- appears to be the favorite. On the first day in full pads, he had his best practice, holding up at the line of scrimmage and showing his athleticism by tracking Brandon Jacobs on a pass route down the right sideline and then casually deflecting Eli Manning's pass harmlessly to the grass.


"Coach Sheridan told me come in and have the mindset I'm going to go in and win the starting spot," Kehl said. "I just want to fly around and hit people. That's something I need to improve upon and I think I have."


Engaging, personable and well-groomed, Kehl has star-in-the-making qualities. At 6-foot-2 and a sculpted 237 pounds, he wouldn't look out of place on glossy magazine pages modeling clothes. He was an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment at BYU and says he bench presses 430 pounds, making him the strongest linebacker on the team -- for what that's worth.


"Antonio Pierce and Danny Clark were probably our most physical linebackers last year and they probably bench the least," Kehl said. "It's not about what you bench. If you would have asked any of the coaches, they would have said I was the least physical. It's not strength, it's a mindset. In college, I was not a physical, bash-'em, smash-'em linebacker; I was more of a speed, quickness, agility, finesse, shake blockers rather than run through them and it worked for me. I made a lot of plays in college doing that.


"Even my colleges coaches told me I needed to be more physical. I'm just trying to change my mindset this year. This is the NFC East, man. There's a time when you can skirt a block, there's a time when you need to put your helmet in his throat and go through him."




Source: NY Post

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There has been alot of positives coming out of camp


There are a few surprises so far (admittedly early in camp)


  • The secondary and LBs seem to be getting alot more interceptions than in previous years - is this due to inexperience in the passing game or a big improvement in the secondary (or both)
  • Chase Blackburn doesn't seem to be getting much mention in reports - he doesn't seem to be in the mix as a starting WLB anymore
  • The speed element at WR seems to be the biggest change in the team. Eli seems to have adjusted really well.
  • David Carr is alot more inconsistent that I would expect considering his talent and experience in the system.

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