Congratulations to the G-Men for finishing training camp. Those of you who never played football have no idea how much they’ve been looking forward to this day – good for them that it’s over, and they can go back to the Tri-State and get ready for the season.

It seems like it was a good camp – certainly more small injuries than we would have liked, but nothing devastating, and the team looks like it’s showing progress. Hey, don’t take it from me, take it from Colonel Tom: “It was a good camp. It’s a good, solid opportunity for us to spend a lot of time together. It’s never perfect, but you make good progress. Overall, I feel good about it. I think our players feel good about it.” Ah, Colonel Tom, ya gotta love him! His quotes have become strangely endearing in their own way.

  • Here’s the rest of Mike Garafolo’s article about the optimistic atmosphere that surrounded the end of camp. It should be an interesting game tomorrow (or today, for many of you reading this) – many of the starters will play the first half and then come out again for a series or so in the second, an attempt to simulate the halftime changeover. Shaun O’Hara, Rich Seubert, Luke Petitgout, Carlos Emmons, and Sinorice Moss will all miss Friday’s game. But according to Garafolo according to Coughlin, Moss’s health is rapidly improving.
  • Here’s Garafolo’s blog, which runs down some of training camps pleasant surprises and disappointments. Among the pleasant surprises were R.W and Corey Webster, the latter of whom Garafolo described as having made “astounding” strides with his field awareness. E.J. Underwood, the corner who flunked out of Ohio State before his senior year and transferred to an NIAI school, seeing his draft stock plummet as a result, was another pleasant surprise. On the other end of the spectrum were Rob Johnson, Guy Whimper, and surprisingly, Michael Jennings. Jennings a disappointment? Garafolo noted his failures as a receiver, but he seems more valuable as a punt returner. Maybe Willie Ponder will survive…. Cut day will be very interesting.
  • Some dense pieces of information from Arthur Staple’s blog. First, Barry Cofield is starting in place of William Joseph at DT, and he’s been working with the first team in Joseph’s spot all week. Second, Gerris Wilkinson is starting at weakside linebacker, at the spot that Brandon Short started at last week. And as Staple writes, “If Wilkinson excels, that could mean trouble for Emmons or Short.”
  • This is somewhat buried in John Altavilla’s article, but this kid Tyson Smith has looked really good in camp and has a spot of making the roster. At this point, it seems pretty likely that Emmons or Short won’t be on the final roster.
  • An excellent, excellent job by Giants 101 about the guys on the bubble. A strongly suggested read.
  • Also from Giants 101, the Giants still appear to be interested in Donnie Edwards, and might possibly part with Chad Morton to obtain him. I don’t like it. Edwards is a very good player, but Wilkinson is an exciting prospect and Emmons, Short, and even Blackburn round out what should be a pretty decent weakside linebacker stable. They cite Michael Jennings’ emergence as a reason why Morton will be expendable, but the jury’s still out on whether or not Jennings will even make the squad. Even if he does, I still like Morton as a returner. Last year, he was one of the best return-men in the league. This year, he’s a year away from his knee troubles and should be even better. The drop-off that we’ll suffer from going from Morton to Jennings/Ponder is greater than the gain we’ll get by upgrading Emmons/Short/Wilkerson/Blackburn for Edwards. Plus, I still thing we should sign Brentson Buckner, and we don’t want to kill our cap space.
  • Arthur Staple writes that Jared Lorenzen will be the first guy off the bench to replace Eli against the Jets. Let’s hope the Hefty Lefty, and his “surprisingly quick feet,” to quote Staple, snag this number two job. Also, Sam Madison is back from the minor hamstring injury, and will play against the Jets.
  • Despite encouraging auditions, David Tyree remains buried on the depth chart at wide receiver. From what we’ve seen of Tyree, there’s every reason to think he can be a good receiver – as Colonel Tom says in Arthur Staple’s article, “He’s just a good football player. He can do a lot of things.” But maybe his day will come, if not this year then next. Who knows what will become of Toomer? Who knows about the health of Tim Carter? He’s not that far away from being in the rotation. With Tyree, you get the feeling he’d be a solid contributor at receiver if he were on another team.
  • The Giants are trying to build a training camp complex near their new home in East Rutherford, and want to have it ready by 2010.
  • Corey Webster the emerging star, writes Paul Schwartz. Tim Lewis sums up the excitement that everyone’s feeling about a second-year man who had a terrific camp: “He’s tall, he’s fast, he’s explosive, he’s quick, he’s instinctive. When we rank defensive backs, there’s a criteria we’re looking for, and he’s got all of those.”
  • Nice piece by Ernie Palladino about Sam Madison and the Giants secondary. Reviews of Madison’s performance thus far have been lukewarm, but everyone, including Madison, claims that Frank Walker and E.J. Underwood have been very impressive. Walker always has the talent, but as Madison says, “He was very raw.” If this guy can harness some of his great speed and ball-hawking instincts, he can be a good one. The immediate concern, though, is Madison. It’s great to teach the young guys a thing or two, but let’s hope he’s not over the hill himself – we need him to be big this year.
  • Vinny DiTrani takes on the same subject, referring to Walker as a “changed man” from the guy that displayed talent, but a lackadaisical attitude. DiTrani also notes that rookie free agent Kevin Dockery may have surpassed E.J. Underwood (another rookie free agent) on the cornerback depth chart. Interesting. And what about Curtis Deloatch? If he gets cut, I don’t think Giants fans will miss him too much.
  • Nice little recap by DiTrani on Giants training camp. Because of Tim Carter’s emergence, the disappointment of Sinorice Moss’s injury hasn’t gotten that much attention. Apparently, the Giants were so excited to have Moss aboard that they designed plays specifically for him. Alas, they kept the plays, but they’re being run by different players
  • It takes many attributes to be a truly great receiver, not least which is an extremely high perception of one’s self-worth. Tim Carter’s got that, writes Ralph Vacchiano. And great speed.
  • Ralph Vacchiano’s blog points us to some things to watch for in the upcoming game against the Jets: LaVar’s health, Eli making his reads, the Hefty Lefty, and the secondary, which will be a question mark until it proves otherwise.
  • And finally, Tiki might retire after this year. Really, you read that correctly. As of now, there seems to be a good chance that Tiki might retire after this year. Check out the comments by his agent. I’m speechless, but if he goes, I will miss him. Cherish him, Giants fans – he’s the greatest offensive player that we’ve seen. Ah, the Chiefs game last year was his finest hour. Check out these YouTube clips.