For the first time since reporting to training camp on Monday, the New York Giants were wearing their shoulder pads on Friday afternoon. And while full pads won't come until Sunday, it didn't stop the team from making sure things were cracking under the warm summer sun. It was a familiar, yet very much missed sound — the first true signal that football has returned.
As far as participation went this afternoon, only wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) sat out. However, he did some work on his own, catching light passes from the JUGS machine. All other players, including linebacker Jameel McClain (foot), participated on at least a limited basis.
After their simulated halftime (ie. water/heat break), wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee) was riding the stationary bike, but eventually returned.
- Rookie linebacker Dan Fox ended the first tackling drill of the day by bringing down General Manager Jerry Reese (playfully, of course).
- Devon Kennard looked like a man ready to destroy someone, nearly decleating Bennett Jackson during an early Special Teams drill.
- Despite being crushed by Kennard, Jackson actually had a solid practice with 2-3 passes defended.
- Following a Trindon Holliday drop, a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie dropped INT, a Mario Manningham fumble and a Kendall Gaskins fumble, Tom Coughlin's head nearly exploded. In more crude terms, and his face more than red, he told the team to "stop dropping the *bleeping* ball!"
- Ben McAdoo followed in Coughlin's footsteps, lighting up Michael Cox late in practice after he bounced one outside and failed to hit his gap. Although his choice of words were a bit more suspect than Coughlin's: "Shove it up in there!" said McAdoo.
- One negative of the short pass offense is beginning to come to light, as Eli Manning and other quarterbacks have had a lot of passes batted down at the line thus far.
- Other than a few batted passes and one overthrow, Manning looked relatively sharp and a bit more comfortable than he has in recent days. He also threw a few more passes beyond 15-yards than we've seen this week.
- Where Manning once again looked good, Ryan Nassib did not. He truly appears to be struggling out there and needs to turn it around quickly.
- Meanwhile, Curtis Painter also found himself tossing some INTs today (including one to Mark Herzlich). The Giants really just need to make sure Manning never gets injured. Ever.
- Brandon McManus was perfect on his field goals again today and has not missed one — from any distance — since camp started.
- One impressive thing about DRC: when a wide receiver believes they have him beat, they really don't. Several times he "got beat" and came back to break up the pass, get a hand on it, etc. It's almost as if he uses himself as a decoy.
- The offense as a whole is still very much behind the defense. It's early, but Ben McAdoo & Co. clearly have a lot of work to do if they want to compete in 2014. At this rate, don't expect a tremendous showing against Buffalo. But don't overreact to a bad one, either.
- It's difficult to get a feel for the offensive line as they learn this new offense and adjust to all the new faces, but they've done a good job holding their own and appear to be slowly coming together as a unit. They've been bookended by good play from both Will Beatty and Justin Pugh.
- On the defensive line, there's a lot of focus on stopping the run. As JPP said, they feel stopping the run will lead to more quarterback pressures.
- Another Eli note: the connection between he and Rueben Randle appears to be like night and day from only a season ago.
- Defensive end Jordan Stanton may be a guy you want to watch. He had several pressure today and seemed to be quite active during his reps.
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Tags: Bennett Jackson, Brandon McManus, Devon Kennard, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Manning, Football, Mario Manningham, Michael Cox, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Odell Beckham Jr., Ryan Nassib, Tom Coughlin, Will Beatty