As I said in an earlier post, it's really hard to tell how good a player will be just by judging his performance in practice. They all look like HOF-ers before they get onto the field in a real game. Fran Tarkenton, old time HOF QB, they said was the worst practice QB anyone had ever seen. His arm strength was poor and while his accuracy was always good on the medium and short throws, he never looked good in practice. Roll him out there on Sundays, however and he looked great. He might be an exceptional case because he was the original scrambling QB and that just doesn't get put on display when you're wearing the red jersey and nobody can touch you. Nevertheless, he was famous for looking like garbage in practice. Conversely, Kent Graham looked like an absolute stud in practice. He had a really strong arm, had a great football body and in practice, when both sides are not quite going at game speed and he didn't have to worry about a pass rush, or about making the proper reads against a defense he knew from playing against every day, he would be zinging balls all over the place and looked like the second coming of John Elway. However on Sunday.... not so much, to use the colloquial expression.
So we should certainly consider the source when we hear about great performance on the practice field. But we can at least be optimistic about good training camp performances and hope that it translates to success come game time. Giants lost a very productive player from last year's passing game in Manningham. There seems to be a lot of talent to fill in for Manningham and it's nice to hear that some of those players are stepping up. Randle is having a good camp as is Barden. Hixon is playing very well from all reports. Jernigan, last year's third round choice is having a very strong camp, which is very encouraging since he showed nothing last year. Jernigan is playing well both in the slot as well as outside, which gives flexibility to the lineup. Some of the lower end WRs, Douglas and DePalma are also having a great camp and they were not really expected to compete for a roster spot. I am most excited about Jernigan and am very anxious to see how he plays in the preseason.
I have not heard much about the TE situation, which is somewhat worrying to me. I would not be surprised if FB Hynoski plays a more active role in the passing game this year to account for somewhat lesser production form TE position.
The other position of great interest to me is the LB group where we seem to have a lot of players. Paysinger and Herzlich are both having very good camps, particularly Herzlich who might beat out Blackburn as the starter at MLB. I can't wait to see them perform during the preseason games.
At RB, Wilson is getting a lot of reps and is showing his speed, but Giants are always very slow to bring rookie RBs along until they show they can pick up blitzes so they keep Eli safe. We'll see. I'd like to see the Giants use Wilson the way the Saints (and Chargers before them) use Sproles. He can't block either, but somehow they get him the ball and burn the defense when they blitz with him in the game. Two words: screen pass. Games start this weekend. Can't wait.