the New York Giants the mandatory mini-camp is now over. Here are some observations from a light Thursday practice and the three days in general.
Competition? Not this week
Head coach Joe Judge said at the end of May the players knew the team would work through the voluntary spring practices and the mandatory mini-camp “with their safety in mind.” He added that “we want to avoid collisions in this part of the camp” and that the training will be done at a controlled pace with little competition.
At the start of the mandatory mini-camp, the judge reiterated this, saying the goal was “the # 1 goal is to build our football movement, to get the players in shape”.
The judge kept his word.
There was hardly any competition during the three-day mini-camp. The practices at the moment are without pads and are non-contact.
The Giants did some work 7-7 and 11-11, but they did it without any physics. There was little contact between the offensive lineman and defenders. The defensive backs simply followed the receivers and in no way challenged the catches.
“I understand what OTAs are,” said cornerback James Bradberry. “It’s about building those reps, getting that chemistry, and also learning defense. You also don’t want anyone to be hurt. When you have games where you have guys coming in full speed and breaking passes, there is a risk of injury. We don’t have tampons.
If you’re looking for things like mini-camp “remarkable players” or undrafted bubble guys / free agents that could have improved their chances of making the squad, I can’t give you any. There just wasn’t enough live action to make a credible judgment on these kinds of issues.
The Giants played man-to-man coverage just 23 percent of the time last season, according to Sports Info Solutions. It is the 26th of the championship.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham didn’t want to come right in and say it. With Adoree ‘Jackson and Aaron Robinson added to the cornerback, healthy Xavier McKinney and Logan Ryan with the squad since the start of the season, that ratio, however, will almost certainly change.
“I know we didn’t play a ton of man last year, but we picked places to play man. Again like these guys last year they did a great job at what we asked them to do. As if we had mixed more area then we had a man in the pass. But again, I don’t know yet what the recipe will be for this year, ”Graham said. “But I don’t want to be – I’m not saying you were, but I don’t want to disrespect the guys who were here last year who aren’t here.” I mean, Adoree ‘brings another element, Aaron Robinson, Darnay, they bring another element. Will we probably be more of a man? Perhaps.
“But it’s always good to have this problem, so we’re going to try to do what’s best for this game, this game plan. But you’ve got to play man-to-man cover in this league, period, point blank and obviously six wins last year, we didn’t do enough on defense, so too bad; we’re looking at all the options, whether it’s blitz plus, blitz minus, less area play, more man play, we need a lot of options. Six wins will not be enough.
Graham will not receive complaints from Jackson if he is charged with many difficult man-to-man assignments.
“The NFL is a passing league, so whether it’s man-to-man, zone, game, whatever it is, you just need to be able to play it and be versatile,” Jackson said via Zoom on Thursday. . “Almost everything on the pitch turns into a man anyway… it really doesn’t matter, you just have to have good eyes and try to make plays.”
Jackson said that “the best part of the defense is the 1-on-1 game with a wide receiver.
A note from Daniel Jones
Wide receiver Darius Slayton said Jones was “jacked” and “actually has cuts to his arms.”
These things may be new. One thing that is old and still seems boring is that Jones displayed some reluctance to get rid of the ball on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I’m not glad I didn’t bring it up on Wednesday, to be honest. Pat Traina of Giants Country and I were discussing Jones’ indecision when she to put a stopwatch on half a dozen of his throws.
Punt return options
Jabrill Peppers did a good job returning punters for the Giants last season, averaging 12.5 yards on 15 returns.
This year, Peppers has company. First-round pick Kadarius Toney was a great returner in Florida. Adoree Jackson also returned punters.
Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said this week that the Giants would not hesitate to use Peppers, but they are obviously intrigued by the possibilities of the “electric” Toney.
McGaughey has been clear this week, however, that Toney is going to have to win the punt return job.
“Kadarius, you saw him on tape. He is what he is. It is electric. He can do certain things. But right now he’s just got to come in here with all the rest of the rookies and get used to what we do and how we do it, ”McGaughey said. “You saw his tape in college. You know his abilities and what he can do with the ball in his hands, but right now he just needs to get in here and gain the trust of his teammates. This job as a punt returner in this league is a huge job and a huge responsibility.
Goodbye for now
When Tom Coughlin was the Giants’ head coach, he usually sent his players out of spring practice with a reminder to remember they were representing the Giants even when they were away from the facility. Call it soft, or maybe not so soft, “behave” speech.
There is still some OTA practice and rookie work to do, but the spring work is now mostly done for the Giants. So I asked Joe Judge, concluding his first off-season schedule on the field as Giants head coach, what his message would be to the players as they left for their summer vacation.
The judge’s response was more technical than impressive.
“There is going to be a lot of things that we will talk about today logistically, as we prepare for camp. Generally speaking, we are going to talk to the training team, to be in good shape, to make the right decisions off the pitch. There are a lot of resources for us in this building and it is important for us to stay connected throughout the summer. When they need something, we are always available. In general, that’s the message, ”said the judge. “We will meet with our players individually by post and find out what their plans are for the summer. We’ll end with summer goals, training camp goals. It won’t be the last time we see everyone. We will still have OTAs next week Monday and Tuesday and we can meet a lot of guys here as well. “
Giants players and coaches have avoided discussing the COVID-19 vaccine. The judge, Evan Engram and others said there had been little discussion about whether or not players should get the shot, despite the loosening of protocols.
Cornerback James Bradberry was asked about the vaccine on Thursday. You will recall Bradberry missed a game last season as a close contact with someone with COVID-19.
“I haven’t spoken to any of the guys on the immunization team. Of course, this is a personal matter. These guys can make whatever decision is best for them, ”Bradberry said. “I always try to get all the information about vaccines and all that so that I can make a decision. Of course, I don’t want to miss any game I could miss – injury or whatever, COVID. “
Bradberry admitted that the vaccine “would have certainly” helped him not to miss a game last season.
“I have to get all the information. You still have to make a personal decision. It will be a personal decision for me, ”said Bradberry. “I haven’t found answers to that yet. “
Thursday practice observations
- After a full practice on Wednesday, first-round pick Kadarius Toney was exempted from practice on Thursday due to a family emergency.
- Riley Dixon was hitting weird punts Thursday on purpose. Along with AP Giants reporter Tom Canavan, the only description we could find was “helicopter kick”. Dixon dropped the oblong ball to the side and struck with a spin that resembled a helicopter blade. The effect was to make the ball act like a golf fade, meaning a stroke from a right handed player moving to the right in flight. These seemed incredibly difficult to judge and catch. Darnay Holmes would probably agree as he dropped two and barely held onto a third.
- Pitch kicker Graham Gano did his only mini-camp job at the end of Thursday’s practice. He tried and appeared to score about four or five field goals.