Manning passing camp draws 6 players, 5 Giants
Eli Manning's lockout passing camp ended much like the last two seasons for the New York Giants. It ran out of gas.
The workout on Thursday drew Manning, four other Giants and free agent hopeful Dan DePalma for roughly 90 minutes of agility drills, running and throwing at Hoboken High School.
There seems to be some question whether Manning and company will be back next week. Wide receiver Michael Clayton said the players are scheduled to return for three days early next week. Tight end Kevin Boss said nothing was planned.
Manning again was unavailable to clarify things. The Super Bowl MVP refused to be interviewed on any of the first five days of the passing camp and nothing changed on Day 6.
He waved to the media driving in and drove out without even rolling down the window of his SUV.
Over the two weeks, a dozen Giants participated in at least one day of the camp along with DePalma, who played last season at West Chester University.
Clayton wasn't disappointed with the turnout, which is small compared to some other teams around the league.
''This is a time right now where they are on their own schedules,'' Clayton said. ''Obviously a lot of things are going on in the world and a lot of guys have to take care of family. That is totally understandable. This is strictly for guys who can get away and need to get with their quarterback and other things. It's a plus to be there.
''If not, I know the guys who aren't here still have their regimen in their own hometown, so that is good,'' Clayton added.
Boss also said not to make too much of the attendance, noting the workouts can't be compared to a practice. He said it's just players getting together during the lockout to throw the ball around and have some fun. No big deal for a team that blew playoffs chances the past two seasons with weak finishes.
''If this continues to go on, we might put together a few more workouts and ask the defense to get involved, the offensive line,'' Boss said. ''It depends on how long it goes. For now, it's good to get among the quarterbacks and wide receivers. If this keeps going we might get more guys involved.''
The biggest beneficiaries of the workouts are fringe players such as Samuel Giguere and DePalma, who hopes to get an invitation to a training camp after not being drafted.
Giguere spent most of last season on the Giants' practice squad.
''Last year, during the season, I was doing mostly scout teams,'' Giguere said. ''I never got a chance to take reps with Eli and do the Giants' offensive plays. I am getting a chance to get a feel for the plays and to ask Eli how he wants the routes to be run, and since we're not in a hurry I have all the time in the world to ask him questions.''
Boss, Clayton, DePalma and Giguere were the only receivers for Manning and backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels on Thursday. The workout ended with most of the players wearing sweaty T-shirts.
The final throws by Manning and Rosenfels were roughly 30-yard passes directed at Clayton as he sat on an ice chest.
While tired after the workout, Giguere wasn't complaining.
''There weren't many of us,'' the Montreal resident said. ''It's too bad, but for me it's a great opportunity.''
Giguere said the Giants were able to give players a copy of the offseason workout program and he has been following it.
After attending all six days of the camp, Boss was satisfied, noting Manning did a good job of leading the players through drills and getting them used to hearing football terminology again. He wasn't expecting anything more.
What he would like is a new collective bargaining agreement.
''It's been frustrating, not something we expected to go this long,'' Boss said. ''Hopefully, we can get back to work sooner than later.''
The other Giants who attended the camp over the two weeks were receivers Hakeem Nicks, Duke Calhoun, Victor Cruz and Ramses Barden, tackle David Diehl, return man/receiver Darius Reynaud, and running back DJ Ware.