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"Carter has been one of the best players in camp"


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Carter's camp performance could land him #3 receiver spot; Hasselbeck shines.

By Michael Eisen, Giants.com

 

Training Camp Report for Friday, August 4

Read this story from your BlackBerry, phone or other wireless device at http://giants.com/wireless

 

August 4, 2006

 

ALBANY, N.Y. – In his first four seasons with the Giants, Tim Carter’s production lagged behind his vast potential. Despite a sculpted body, superb athleticism and blazing speed, Carter has caught just 50 passes and scored one touchdown since the Giants selected him on the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft.

 

If Carter’s performance in this training camp is a harbinger of the regular season, he is headed for a big season. Carter has been one of the best players in camp, displaying his impressive physical attributes and seemingly catching every pass thrown his way. He put on another show this morning at the University at Albany, hauling in an Eli Manning pass and later making a nice grab on the left sideline of a Rob Johnson throw.

 

“I definitely think it’s my best camp, mainly because of consistency,” Carter said. “I’m more consistent about everything. I’m focused on the details and the small things, but also the major things, the ability to make the plays I need to make.”

 

Injuries have been a major culprit behind Carter’s lackluster stats. A torn Achilles’ tendon limited him to five games as a rookie. In 2003, his season ended after 12 games because of concussions. Two years later, he again played in five games again because of a hip injury. Last year, he played in a season-high 15 games before a hip injury sidelined him for the finale and the NFC Wild Card Game.

 

06_0804_84.jpg

WR Tim Carter runs down field during a recent workout.

When the Giants reported here last week, it seemed Carter would again be held back by injury. Coach Tom Coughlin announced that Carter was suffering from patella tendonitis in his left knee. The following day, Carter said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to practice. Before the opening workout, Carter seemed to be falling behind rookie Sinorice Moss in their expected duel for the No. 3 wide receiver job.

 

But a funny thing happened on the way to that foregone conclusion. Carter not only was on the field for the first practice, he starred in it. Since then, he has continued to perform like a player eager to make amends for four disappointing seasons. And his knee “has been getting strong in this camp,” Carter said.

 

Moss, meanwhile, has hardly practiced because of a strained quad muscle.

 

“I don’t feel good about that,” Carter said. “He’s a very talented player and he’s a great addition to the team. I think he’s going to contribute. As far as me getting better during this camp, I’m definitely happy and excited about that.”

 

Carter would probably be having a terrific camp even if Moss was healthy. He was extremely disappointed with his production in 2005, when he caught only 10 passes – for 186 yards and no touchdowns – in those 15 games. Carter learned last year that being out on the field is only half the battle – you have to make plays and help the team, otherwise you’re just running around.

 

“I was definitely disappointed in my production last season,” Carter said. “It was hard to go through the year like that. Everyone wants to contribute more to the team. It’s a team game. We have to push through it. We were winning and definitely contenders. This year, we’re trying to take it to that next level. I’m definitely stepping up my game. I’m going to make big plays out there for this offense and we’re definitely going to take it to the next level.

 

“I came into this camp extremely determined. I was determined coming in last year, too. But I was extremely limited. I came off a hip injury and I just wanted to be able to run. Last year was tough. I didn’t get the type of training I wanted. Everything was so rushed. I was able to stay healthy, but I wasn’t able to produce like I wanted to. To go through what I did last year made me that much hungrier to have a dominant presence every time I step on the field. That’s my goal.”

 

Carter had an opportunity to leave the Giants this offseason. As a free agent, he talked to several teams. Carter visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the one franchise that intrigued him more than any other.

 

“Coach (Jon) Gruden is a very exciting coach,” Carter said. “My visit was interesting. They have Cadillac Williams, my teammate in college. That’s my hometown and it was a good visit. There were a lot of positives involved with Tampa Bay, but they weren’t as strong as my desire to be here and playing for Coach (Tom) Coughlin and this team.”

 

Always a workout warrior, Carter has intensified his training the last two years. In addition to participating in the team’s offseason program, Carter also works with Joe Carini, the former competitive powerlifter with whom Tiki Barber has worked. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger,” Carter said.

 

Carter has also improved his eating habits, which, frankly, could not have been worse. Early in his career, the then-single Carter's main source of food was Wendy’s.

 

“(Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie Barnes would say to me, ‘That’s not healthy for you,’” Carter said. “Now I eat a lot better, mainly because I’m married. My wife (LaShell) takes care of me and she cooks really well. I eat a lot better than I did in previous years, when I ate Wendy’s three times a day."

 

Carter has also grown up on the field. No longer does he simply use his sprinter’s speed to try to run past defensive backs. Now he uses his brain as much as his legs.

 

“I use different angles coming out of the break on certain routes against different coverages,” he said. “Sometimes I take a high angle and if the ball is thrown at a flat angle, you can adjust to it. If you read the defense properly, you’ll know to take the flat angle. Your timing is better when it’s along those lines. Both ways I would still make the play. But it makes the game that much better and that much easier.

 

“The more you see stuff and the more repetitions you get makes it easier. You understand the offense to a higher degree, so it gives you that experience. It definitely helps my ability to make plays.”

 

The Giants and Carter are counting on that ability carrying over to the regular season.

 

NOTES

 

- Jeremy Shockey again missed practice because of a concussion, but he continues to increase his workload. Coughlin said Shockey’s situation can’t be compared to Moss’.

 

“Shockey has done it before,” Coughlin said. “He’s a veteran player. He’s been in the system. Moss has no idea, he’s just learning on a daily basis. It’s a situation where the more he misses the more difficult it is going to be. Jeremy has been out enough now to need to get back in the harness as well.”

 

- Carlos Emmons remains sidelined with a burner…Safety Gibril Wilson returned to practice after missing yesterday’s workout with a hip flexor.

 

- Coughlin disputed a suggestion by a reporter that the offense has been outperforming the defense in camp.

 

“I don’t see that; that’s not what I see,” Coughlin said. “It’s kind of the same way it always is in camp. You will have one period somebody will do….like today the offense was okay early and forget it later on, so whether that’s the defense, whether the offense stalls out, whether the match-up of the defensive front and coverage against the pass that’s called, it’s just scripted. It’s all said and done. The defense scripts their stuff and the offense scripts their stuff. Sometimes one group meshes on the other and the other way around. So I have not seen anything to tell me that that is the case. There have been flashes, there have been good drills on both sides, but there certainly is no one side of the ball doing better than the other side.

 

“If anything, for example you take a couple of days ago in the nickel work, which is not unexpected don’t get me wrong, there were many people running free and the protection showed up the next time we practiced and things looked a little bit better. We just have to keep working. We are still throwing a lot of stuff at these people and they have to absorb it and bring it on the field and that’s why it is so critical when you start talking about these young guys that are missing time.”

 

Coughlin was asked whether the offense has been consistent.

 

“No, it hasn’t,” he said. “It has been more like maybe a slow start better finish, fast start not so good finish, catch fire and really have a good drill and then the defense gets going the next drill, so in that respect it’s a typical preseason in terms of one side of the ball doing a better job on a certain drill or a certain day then the other side of the ball and you try to encourage the competitiveness as much as you can. We are still teaching young guys how to practice in shells and then in uppers and things like that and that’s a full time job right there, it really is.”

 

- Backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck made several nice throws in the morning practice, most notably a deep ball down the middle to Amani Toomer. Hasselbeck also perfectly placed a pass to David Tyree down the seam on the right side…Offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer and defensive tackle Jonas Seawright had a brief skirmish.

 

- Linebacker Brandon Short, a former and current Giant, joined the chorus of those thrilled that Harry Carson will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow.

 

“He’s one of the best to ever play the game,” Short said. “I was (number) 53 here in my first stint with the Giants and he was number 53, so we had a little bit of a special relationship because of that.”

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Let him get through a preseason game before I even think about getting excited about him. I've been hearing his praises for 4 years now, and he's one of the best players never to get off of IR.

No kidding. Isn't Tim Carter related to Ike Hilliard?

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Hey, Carter was pretty much forgotten about. So while he's doing great in Camp, if that translate into on-field performance come the regular season, I say more icing on the cake.

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Let him get through a preseason game before I even think about getting excited about him. I've been hearing his praises for 4 years now, and he's one of the best players never to get off of IR.

 

As usual he'll look good and everybody will get excited until he has a season ending injury scratching his balls.

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Anyone else feel Plax, Carter and Moss might be our best trio? Toomer did make some serious Circus catches, but frankly he isnt that fast or shifty anymore. :cwy:

 

I mean, I know we havent seen Moss on the field, but, I dont know, I just get the feeling. :unsure:

Toomer, from the reports I've seen, has had a good camp as well. I get the feeling, and it is a feeling, nothing more, that he's going to have a better this year than last, since his receiving skills haven't diminished (his speed may have), and I don't think Manning is going to be as shy to throw it to Toomer as he was early last year.

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