AUGUST 14, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT… (by Sy’56)
Beautiful day at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. It has been a warmer-than-usual summer and last week at this time, you could tell the heat was getting to the guys. Not nearly as hot today. The first standout component to today’s practice were how many guys were out (whether it was a scheduled day off or injury). Several starters and second-stringers at WR, OL, OLB, ILB, and S. It led to some ugly football to say the least.
I opted to put a little more focus on the DB vs WR matchups today and I am glad I did. With Shane Lemieux and Joshua Ezeudu both out, Ben Bredeson was at left guard. It wasn’t pretty, even with Leonard Williams out. Dexter Lawrence was in the backfield and breaking the pocket the entire practice. This should not surprise anyone and it wasn’t worth spending more effort zeroing in on. I wanted to see these defensive backs work.
-Corner Adoree’ Jackson probably had the best practice performance of the day. Multiple pass breakups and an interception. He nearly had another on a throw near the end zone. He was jumping routes and sticking to the likes of Richie James, Collin Johnson, and Wan’Dale Robinson like a glove.
-Darnay Holmes had the play of the day with a one-handed interception in the end zone while defending tight end Austin Allen. He continues to shine.
-Aaron Robinson was tested several times on corner fade passes to Kenny Golladay. The second-year corner from UCF won every single one. While Golladay + Jones may not be the best metric to measure against, he got the job done with great techniques and ball location. Golladay did not come down with any of the targets thrown his way. Robinson was tested physically via positioning more than athletically down the field. The thing I look for here is timing and accuracy. Timing to get after the ball at the right moment, accuracy with his hands to get the ball and avoid penalties. He passed his tests there over and over.
-The Julian Love + Xavier McKinney duo was fun to watch from my angle. These two may be the two biggest assets to the defense if they start creating pressure and confusing the opposing quarterbacks. They look fast, explosive, and balanced. They both were lining up all over the place and McKinney got home on a blitz for an easy sack.
-Corners Cor’Dale Flott and Rodarius Williams were out. So, I got to see a little extra of Darren Evans and Gavin Heslop on the outside. Both guys really look the part, but it is Evans who has more of my attention. The size and smoothness he shows when he turns and runs upfield can be a factor, something nice to build from. His issues show up in ball location and overall eye discipline, but the tools are there. He should take one of the Practice Squad spots, maybe even on the final 53 if a couple injuries are not overcome by Week 1.
-The thinness at safety is possibly opening the door for Trenton Thompson. He had a few snaps with the 1’s today.
-Up front they were without Leonard Williams and Justin Ellis and then lost Elerson Smith and Jihad Ward. The name that keeps jumping out at me is Ryder Anderson. One of my top graded UDFAs around the league. They are finding ways to use him on special teams as well. I think they want to create a spot for him but if not, he is a sure thing for the Practice Squad. He showed high level run defense today with his quick recognition and natural power presence. His size stands out too.
-Carter Coughlin was back out there today. He had a couple wins, as did Micah McFadden, on pass rush drills vs RBs and TEs. Their hand work looked excellent. In team drills they located the football in a hurry and filled their lanes.
-Azeez Ojulari went full speed in individual drills, but I don’t think he played in the live team offense vs. defense. He looked good. Clearly a different level of burst and bend from the other guys (Oshan Ximines, Jihad Ward, Quincy Roche).
-Daniel Jones had a horrific day. I don’t have an exact stat line for him (although the beat guys do a really job of that, you can see what they had there). The macro-level takeaway was he looked overmatched. He held on to the ball forever and seemed to throw two incomplete passes for every completion. The ones he did connect on were almost all check-downs or immediate passes that looked pre-determined. Jones also threw two interceptions. The internal clock wasn’t there and that was another difference between him and Tyrod Taylor. 2.5 seconds is the approximate time you want a QB to get the ball out, Jones was probably over 4 seconds (that still did not connect) on probably more than half of his throws. Taylor, on the other hand, got it out much quicker.
-One of the potential shortcomings of this offseason was the lack of talent added to the group of pass catchers. While I can’t say the decision-makers ignored the position, they just appear to lack juice. They don’t have a deep threat. They don’t have much size beyond guys who can’t get open on their own. And they don’t have seam busters or a tight end who poses as a real matchup problem. With Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard off the field, it really looked like an overmatched group against coverage.
-That said, Saquon Barkley looks better and better each day. The biggest play of the day was a well-engineered misdirection run that completely fooled the defense. It gave Barkley a slight window and head start into space and the burst he showed was stunning. We may forget sometimes just what kind of different-level this athlete really is. He also delivered the most violent pop of the day in pass protection on Tae Crowder. Big time contact that stunned the linebacker.
-I did not spend a ton of time breaking down the offensive line. It wasn’t pretty though. Hard to tell without seeing the tape if Jones just wasn’t finding the open man or what, but the OL shouldn’t be expected to hold their blocks for 4-5 seconds. That is an eternity.
-Richie James may have been the most targeted receiver, partially because he was often a check-down option. Anyway, his reach is just so limited. He can’t box anyone out and defensive backs easily reach around him.
-C.J. Board is an interesting player. As I start to put together the 53-man roster + Practice Squad projection, he seems like a near-must for this group. He is the one guy who can get behind the defense and make a play on the ball. He came down with two deep balls, however both ended with him not getting his second foot in bounds. His return ability helps his cause. It may come down to him or James for a roster spot and gun to my head right now, it is Board. James just adds yet another tiny body and I don’t see him making anything happen down the field.
In closing, sorry if this gets repetitive, but this team looks very injured. Just all around. The negative tone there is obvious. These guys need to get on the field. They need to play. The positive, however, is that the depth on this team may not be as bad as some think. Matt Peart (remember him?) appeared to be moving very well on the back field. Close to full-speed, straight-line movement. DT Justin Ellis was in full pads working on the sled by himself. Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard look fine with straight-line movement. Leonard Williams appeared to be fine, perhaps it was a scheduled day off. CBs Flott and Williams were cutting with ease. I don’t see many guys who appear to have long term issues beyond Shane Lemieux. While you always want these guys out there, they still have just under a month to get back to 100% for Week 1. I am optimistic on the overall health of the team.
LB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring) was activated from the Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List and he returned to practice.
The Giants also waived offensive guard Josh Rivas and cornerback Michael Jacquet, and terminated the contract of safety Jarrod Wilson.
The Giants signed Josh Rivas as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Giants signed Michael Jacquet in May 2022. The 6’1”, 203-pound Jacquet was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent time on both the Practice Squads of the Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.
The Giants signed Jarrod Wilson as a street free agent in early August 2022. The 6’1”, 209-pound Wilson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jaguars (2016-2020), New York Jets (2021), and San Francisco 49ers (2021).
WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), OC Nick Gates (leg), and OT Matt Peart (knee) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.
RB Matt Breida (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (knee/leg), WR Austin Proehl (leg/calf), TE Andre Miller (broken right foream), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OL Joshua Ezeudu (unknown), OL Jamil Douglas (ankle), DL Leonard Williams (unknown), DL Justin Ellis (unknown), LB Blake Martinez (returning from ACL), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (groin), CB Rodarius Williams (unknown), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone) did not practice.
“Shane won’t be out there today,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “He probably won’t be out there this week. We’ll see. We’ll kind of take it day-by-day… We’ll see (if it lingers into the regular season)… It’s something with his foot.
“(Ezeudu is) working back through some stuff, too. Same (with Flott). He’ll be working back. We’ll see where he’s at by the end of the week. So, we had some guys that got a little big dinged up. I don’t think anything real serious, but also trying to do right by the players to get them back as healthy as we can.
“Probably not (have Toney back this week). I think he’ll be rehabbing still. He could towards the end of the week. But early in the week, we’re not there yet.”
Linebackers Elerson Smith (lower right leg) and Jihad Ward (unknown) and center Jon Feliciano (right arm) left practice early and did not return.
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…
Training camp practices open to the public are over. The team practices again on Monday morning (10:00AM-noon). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.