Eye on the Prize: Offense

As always, TGI is up in Albany for every practice session. Here's a position-by-position breakdown of all the goings-on in the state capital of the Giants' Offense.


Looking back: Eli Manning led the Giants first-team offense out of the gate in impressive fashion. He's mostly thrown the ball well and seemed in better command during camp's early going. He also appears to be much more comfortable with the calls and checks and leading the club in his second full season as starter.

Looking ahead: While no one has said as much, it does appear that Rob Johnson and Tim Hasselbeck are fighting for one roster spot this summer. Neither has done a whole lot to separate himself from the other at this point. Johnson is more fleet afoot and seems to be slightly more accurate so far, but Hasselbeck has more knowledge of the Giants system.

Best sight: The Giants opened camp with a Manning bomb to Amani Toomer. On the first 11-on-11 snap, there was Manning dropping back and firing a beauty to Toomer, who had streaked right by Sam Madison down the left sideline. Toomer laughed when asked if he was the one in charge of calling the play.

Worst sight: Nothing all that bad as of yet, fortunately. Of course, there are some throws that go awry – that's part of the practice process and also not always the quarterback's fault. Yet, through the first 10 days, the QBs certainly have had quite an edge over their DB counterparts, despite Manning's occasional flutterball.

Eye opener: Jared Lorenzen came to camp lighter than he's been and has really thrown the ball well. The rocket-armed Lorenzen certainly has every chance in the world to end up as the team's third QB. One thing you can say about Lorenzen – he's the only QB that throws a near-perfect spiral on every pass.

Running Backs

Looking back: And we all thought that Brandon Jacobs was impressive last summer. The big back has looked faster, quicker, smoother and more in control this time around. He clearly has put a lot of emphasis on running lower and the results have been obvious.

Looking ahead: The Giants have to clean up the backup RB situation behind Tiki Barber and Jacobs. It's obviously Derrick Ward's job to lose, but Little John Flowers shows more spark at times. New York also has to do a good job of keeping Barber on his feet and Jacobs from peaking too early.

Best sight: Seeing Jacobs catch the ball out of the backfield. He's worked on that and has shown obvious improvement. That could add so much to the Giants offense. Also, any time Barber has the ball in his hands it's a treat to watch. He's still just amazing.

Worst sight: Backup fullback Greg Hanoian was leveled by linebacker Nick McNeil during a non-contact drill. Hanoian never saw McNeil coming and was sent flying. For his efforts, McNeil received a lengthy tongue-lashing from Tom Coughlin.

Eye opener: The most amazing sight of camp is how well fullback Jim Finn flies under the radar. He's been the starter for four years now and you would barely even know he's on the team. He just goes about his business, doesn't make any noise and very few mistakes, yet Finn is almost as indispensable as anyone on the offense. Wide Receivers

Looking back: Amani Toomer has been the receiving star of camp's early days, by far. He looks as fresh and fast as ever and as usual catches anything that hits his hands. If only the same could be said for Plaxico Burress, who has made some impressive catches but dropped some routine passes as well.

Looking ahead: Tim Carter's health and Sinorice Moss' injury/ineffectiveness has thrown a surprising curve into the third receiver spot that was all but certain to be Moss'. Carter has looked great and Moss hasn't, leaving this as a spot to watch going forward.

Best sight: It's hard not to root for Michael Jennings. The pleasant, polite kid from Florida State is as unique as they come. From his gold-capped teeth to having his jersey number 15 shaved into the back of his head to his mid-80s Chevy Caprice with 26-inch rims that he rides around in Albany to his iron-on shirts including one that has a picture of Coughlin and says ‘Put me in, Coach,' Jennings, who's the club's fastest receiver, is truly a sight to see.

Worst sight: Burress' body language. No he's never going to be Jeremy Shockey, the club's igniter and motivator. But after all the offseason nonsense, you would like to see less laying on the ground after a poorly-thrown pass and more excitement running back to the huddle from Burress, who's had a pretty good camp thus far, regardless.

Eye opener: On reporting day, Tim Carter said he didn't think he'd be good to go once practice started due to a knee injury. Obviously, the media believed him – and added a few good-natured jokes in for good measure. Yet as the Giants took the field for the first time this summer the next day, there was number 84, who's looked very good and as of this writing, has yet to miss any time.

Tight Ends

Looking back: All eyes, as always, are on Jeremy Shockey, who hasn't disappointed. Before suffering a concussion, Shockey had been extremely impressive. He was catching most everything, getting open with regularity and keeping his offense into practices, both verbally or physically.

Looking ahead: The Giants need to figure out the pecking order behind Shockey during camp. Visanthe Shiancoe is the shaky incumbent and Boo Williams the experienced challenger. Both have had their moments, but the early nod has to go to Williams.

Best sight: It still has to be watching Shockey run down the seam, catch a pass over his shoulder in stride and lower his shoulders as he heads downfield. He's still as dangerous a weapon as the Giants have, which is why everyone's hoping he'll be back on the field and back in action as soon as possible.

Worst sight: The ball heading toward Visanthe Shiancoe. It, more times than not, is going to end up on the grass. Shank hasn't had the greatest of receiving camps, unofficially leading the team in dropped balls. This isn't to say he hasn't made some nice catches, but certainly not as many as he's let get away.

Eye opener: With Shockey sidelined, there were extra reps for someone to make an impression. That fellow turned out to be Central Florida rookie free agent Darcy Johnson, who has good speed and a nice set of mitts. If Johnson can keep producing while the door's open, he might just stick.

Offensive Line

Looking back: It's a beautiful thing to see all five starters return, even better when you consider some of the talented depth the Giants OL possesses. They've more than held their own so far in camp and are a main reason the offense has started so quickly.

Looking ahead: The only questions that need answering are when/if Shaun O'Hara will receive a contract extension and how quickly and well the backups will emerge. The progress of Guy Whimper, steadily at best in the early going, is one of the OL's main focus points.

Best sight: Rich Seubert's back to his usual, feisty ways. Anyone that didn't have Seubert in the office pool as far as the first to exchange haymakers in camp just hasn't been paying attention. He mixed it up with both Eric Moore and Mathias Kiwanuka during camp's first week.

Worst sight: Seeing Chris Snee emerge from a short-yardage drill shaking his hand in pain. Fortunately for the Giants, Snee was fine and didn't miss any time at all. He's probably the Giants' highest-regarded lineman around the league and one of the key cogs to the OL machine.

Eye opener: Bob Whitfield pushing Frank Walker way out of bounds during an 11-on-11 drill. That just typifies the type of attitude the Giants' OL has. They're looking to initiate the contact and not only start but finish all engagements with their defensive counterparts.

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