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Giants vs. Bengals practice report & analysis

Posted Aug 11, 2015

Five things we learned during the Giants first joint practice with the Bengals

1. Training camp intensity went up a notch in Cincinnati.
For the first time in a decade, coach Tom Coughlin’s Giants held their first of two joint practices against another team on Tuesday in Cincinnati. Over the offseason, he and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who took over his team one year before Coughlin in 2003, hammered out the details, which are coming to fruition this week.

>> GIANTS VS. BENGALS PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

“It has to be someone you trust because obviously there is an awful lot at stake when you work [with another team],” Coughlin said on the practice field outside Paul Brown Stadium. “But it is good for your team to work against someone else, the intensity goes up a notch and they realize all the drills are meant for their own improvement and to get a handle on where your team exactly is. I think from that standpoint, I thought the Bengals did a good job preparing for us and things went well.”


2. New-look offensive line took its toughest test yet.

While some of the faces are the same, the Giants headed into the 2015 season with five players playing five different spots on the offensive line. They’ve been building chemistry throughout organized team activities, minicamp, and training camp. But until this week, the line was going against players in blue. Today and tomorrow it’s facing players in black jerseys with Bengal-stripe helmets before they meet in the preseason opener on Friday night.

>> WHO STOODOUT AT PRACTICE?

“I thought the offensive line did well,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “We did some no-huddle stuff, we did some stuff at a good pace, and I think that helped us. It seemed like we had some good runs and the protection seemed to be good on most of the plays. I’ll go back and look at the film but sitting right here, right now, I feel like we had a good practice.”

3. Odell was Odell.

In one short year, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has gone from a 12thoverall pick who missed his first four NFL games to a player who draws attention everywhere from everyone. That included the unique setting on Tuesday when two NFL teams, the Giants and Bengals, shared a sideline for the first joint practice in Cincinnati. On one field, the Giants’ offense went against the Bengals’ defense. On the other that sits parallel, it was vice versa. In between, it was organized chaos. But all eyes turned to the 1-on-1 competitions, which are always must-watch events even when it’s teammate-on-teammate. Beckham made two catches against Cincinnati’s top corners Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick while wide receivers Corey Washington, Geremy Davis, and Rueben Randle and tight ends Adrien Robinson and Daniel Fells also had some highlight grabs.

“I thought Pacman (Jones), Kirkpatrick, both of those guys are good in press coverage, and we tried to get over the top,” Manning said. “We had to throw some back shoulder balls and they were all pretty well contested. I think we may have completed one but they covered a couple of them as well. I thought that was good work for 1-on-1, going against different corners, and different techniques. I thought there were a lot of contested throws and guys going for the ball and that’s what you want.  “
4. Randle limited with knee tendinitis.

While Victor Cruz, who is returning from a 2014 season-ending knee injury, practiced in the Giants’ portion of practice, fellow wide receiver Rueben Randle had to leave early to ice down his knees. Afterwards, Coughlin said he has tendinitis.

5. Amukamara “probably won’t” travel to Cincinnati; injury notes.

Standing on the practice field in the shadows of Paul Brown Stadium, Coughlin was asked about the venue’s namesake. Paul Brown, who is largely credited as making pro football coaching the science it is today, founded the Bengals after building the Cleveland Browns dynasty that won four All-America Football Conference titles and three NFL crowns, recording only one losing season in 17 years.

“When I was 12 years old, after a game, probably a Giant playoff game, I sent him a note and he sent one back,” Coughlin said. “That was the highlight, of someone of his stature of that time reacting to me sitting there critiquing his game at the age of, like, 12. Tremendous history. All you have to do is think about the man’s success and his career, way back in the beginning, high school.”