AUGUST 8, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT… (by Sy’56)
Knowing I don’t get to watch the practice film, I have to try and focus on specific groups / position battles. I have put a lot of attention in the trenches so far, thus today I was almost completely focused on the skill positions.
-The two duds of the day were Kadarius Toney and Daniel Jones. Toney dropped two passes in full speed team drills and dropped THREE balls in half-speed positional drills. The ones he did snag were double catches, too much wiggle after contact. This was very bizarre to me. Like I always say, you can’t over-analyze the good or bad in camp (especially without the film) but this stood out. You see drops here and there, rarely from the starters, but three? He missed more than he caught at half speed without a defender in the area. He was shaking his finger after one, maybe he hurt it?
-Jones threw two interceptions. Both stemmed from mistakes I expect to see from a first- or second-year player. The first was a loft on a ball that did not need to be lofted. He had Collin Johnson open (loved the route concept) but simply did not put enough zip on it. My guess for the reason behind that was a lack of confidence in where the underneath coverage was. Great play on the ball by Xavier McKinney. The second INT was a slightly delayed decision but had more to do with poor ball placement.
-WanDale Robinson caught the ball in those individual drills the way I would want Toney to. He was quick with his hands, looked the ball in, and secured it upon contact. Kenny Golladay made a couple of nice grabs away from his body too. Golladay was targeted more during team drills. The separation isn’t there at all. They are trying to get him the ball on comeback routes, short-sudden throws. He did make a couple of physical grabs with Aaron Robinson all over him.
-Saquon Barkley with another strong day. The juice and power were on full display when he got in space. I am encouraged to not see him shy away from contact the way he was last year.
-Matt Breida was not practicing today. Antonio Williams (who I still believe is the most physical north-south runner) did not get enough going on the ground. There wasn’t a lot of room for him but he isn’t a guy who will create much himself. He runs tight.
-The backup receivers had a bit more success (albeit against the backup DBs). Collin Johnson has developed into a solid player from his days at Texas. He has clearly spent time in the weight room and there is a little more bend and flexibility to his frame that was very tight coming out of college. He appears to be the favorite of Tyrod Taylor and was getting looks with the 1’s.
-Robert Foster was the backup / roster hopeful who stood out the most. He made two outstanding acrobatic grabs and Richie James looked untouchable with the ball in his hands. Both of these guys will need the special teams coaches to like them in order to make the roster, but I like the playmaking potential they bring to the table.
-I got some looks at the tight ends and backs in a pass protection drill. While this is always tilted in the favor or the defenders, it was ugly. Daniel Bellinger got roasted on all three attempts I saw, and it wasn’t close. Cam Brown got him twice and Darian Beavers got him once. The best blocker of the group was the one who also made the best catch in team drills, Jordan Akins. I know the job will belong to Bellinger, but if I had to win one game and I needed my most reliable TE out there, it is Akins. I think we will see a TE signed in a few weeks.
-The final statement I will make may be premature. But I am removing any emotion from it. I hope you can do the same. If I walked in off the street and did not know who Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor were. If I did not know their age, when they were drafted, etc. I would, without question, say that Taylor looks like the better QB. Not just the interceptions. I am talking about the fluidity in the pocket, the ball placement, the quickness to get the ball out, the confidence. That is all on that for now.
-Xavier McKinney with the play of the day. I had a great angle on it and his read on the QB was excellent, the tracking of the ball was excellent, the burst to the ball was excellent, and he finished it off with a receiver-caliber grab.
-Darian Beavers is already making noise. I knew Martindale would like him. He was getting plenty of action with the 1’s when they took Martinez off of the field. The best run stop of the day was a goal line stop by Beavers who shot right through a front side crease with full power and gave a shock to Barkley. He knows what he is doing.
-Leonard Williams was abusing the interior offensive line. The new, confusion-based scheme may be an ideal fit for him. He has the plus quickness and elite-level power to take advantage of a blocker on his heels in a way most DTs do not.
-Aaron Robinson was sticky in coverage. He was often matched up against Golladay, so that isn’t saying much. But he passed the test of staying sticky without getting too grabby. He broke up a pass early in team drills without locating the ball. He stuck his hand out at the last second based on the receiver’s reaction to the pass, a high level play.
-Darnay Holmes appears to have a certain rapport with Martindale. Just watching the two interact, it looks different. Holmes looks confident in this aggressive role. They send him and Love on blitzes so often. Eventually Holmes will have to prove he can cover someone, but this role and this scheme may be ideal for him.
-Andrew Adams and Yusef Corker continue to stand out against the backups. I have to think those two easily have the backup jobs locked up based on their placements on the depth chart and overall performance.
-Julian Love sniffed out a jet sweep in an instant. He is sniffing out the play-action and misdirection well. A classic right-place, right-time player, which is exactly what you want from the position.
-The final note I’ll leave is a positive. Even though I spent most of my time there looking at the skill positions, Kayvon Thibodeaux stood out again. He had at least one sack against Andrew Thomas. I don’t think camp could have started better for him, and I mean that. He looks like such a natural on so many fronts.
Do some people overreact and pile on to the “offense is struggling” train? Sure. It is A LOT easier to look sloppy on offense than it is on defense in this environment. I think most teams experience it tilting in that direction this time of year. But this is concerning because it is beyond sloppy. Several drops, multiple turnovers, struggles at the line getting set up pre-snap. I would assume the general feeling inside that building is that side of the ball needs to be further along than where they are now. Nobody can put the nail in the coffin right now and anyone that does needs to sit down and relax with a beer. But with each day that we do not see improvement, the more momentum we get into the possibility that we will be hearing the boo-birds at MetLife during the regular season.
The frustration appears to be growing, as seen with the brawl and long talk from Brian Daboll afterward.
GIANTS SIGN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN…
The New York Giants have signed free agent offensive lineman Eric Smith, who was waived by the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. The 26-year old, 6’4”, 308-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Miami Dolphins after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Dolphins (2017-2018), New England Patriots (2018), New York Jets (2018-2019), Giants (2019-2020), Dallas Cowboys (2020-2021), and Cardinals (2021–2022). Smith has played in four regular-season games, including two with the Giants in 2019, but with no starts.
The following players remain on injury lists:
- Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), OC Nick Gates (leg), and OT Matt Peart (knee)
- Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring)
RB Matt Breida (maintenance day), TE Andre Miller (unknown), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), OL Josh Ezeudu (unknown), LB Carter Coughlin (unknown), CB Rodarius Williams (returning from ACL), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone) did not practice.
THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:
- Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka (Video)
- Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale (Video)
- Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey (Video)
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice Tuesday morning (10:00AM-noon). The practice is open to the public. The position coaches and select players will also address the media.