Manning puts on passing exhibition
NFL writer Peter King was chosen as the pool reporter for New York's Super Bowl XLVI practices by the Pro Football Writers of America. Here is his report from Thusrday's session:
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw had an encouraging second straight day of practice and quarterback Eli Manning, on target throughout the Giants’ second Super Bowl XLVI practice of the week, highlighted a smooth workout Thursday as New York continued to get healthier.
Bradshaw (foot) and defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) were the only Giants among all active and practice squad players who were listed as limited for the 88-minute practice on the University of Indianapolis’ FieldTurf indoor practice field. The other three players who had been limited in Wednesday’s workout — cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (shoulder) and special-teamer/linebacker Jacquian Williams (foot)—practiced fully on Thursday.
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Bradshaw tripped going through the line on one running play early in the session. But he hopped up and was able to continue, and he showed no signs of limping with the nagging foot injury, completing practice as normal. “It looked like he tripped over the fullback’s foot. But he’s fine,’’ said Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who noted that he didn’t remember Bradshaw practicing on consecutive days all season.
Overall, Coughlin said, “We did fine. The energy level, the enthusiasm, the excitement is all there, as it should be, as it was yesterday. They’re really excited to practice for the game. I think they’ve done very well. This was a good day of preparation.’’
Manning was sharp. In the final two first-unit offensive possessions of the day, the second a two-minute drill, he completed 10 of 11 throws. Manning was particularly effective in the two-minute drill, held against the Giants’ first-team defense, moving the offense briskly downfield with only one incompletion. He appears to be in peak form heading into the second Super Bowl of his eight-year NFL career.
The play of the day came from Nicks, one of Manning’s favorite targets. Early in the practice, Nicks made a twisting, one-handed catch of a line drive from Manning on the left sideline, corralling the ball easily and then turning upfield.
In all, the Giants appeared to be in good shape, physically and mentally, for the rematch of the Super Bowl four years ago.
The NBC television crew that will handle Sunday’s game — play-by-play man Al Michaels, analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, producer Fred Gaudelli and director Drew Esocoff — were on hand to watch the Giants work, a day after they’d observed the Patriots work out at the Colts practice facility.
Coughlin also said the Giants will not switch hotels Saturday night to a more secluded venue, which some teams often do to get away from the Super Bowl Eve clamor. The Giants didn’t do it in their previous Super Bowl appearance under Coughlin, but that time was different because the Giants were at a hotel removed from downtown Phoenix. This year, the Giants are at a hotel in downtown Indianapolis, a short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium. But Coughlin said he is satisfied the venue will be suitable for players to get undisturbed rest Saturday night.
The Giants will return to the university’s practice facility for another workout Friday, concentrating on short yardage, red-zone and goal-line work. They’ll also have a short walk-through workout Saturday in their final prep work for Sunday’s game.