AUGUST 15, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT… (by Sy’56)
Another beautiful weather day. Sunny but not too hot. The dryness we have seen in the NE this summer is not good for my lawn, but it is beneficial for the practice operation to be outside this often. The mere difference in space provides the option for all the position groups to work with plenty of room.
Anyway, the roster cut downs are coming up soon. NYG will be letting go of just a couple guys tomorrow and another 5 next week. Because of that, I am trying to put a little more focus on the backups and roster battles. I’m not sure if this discussed often here, as most of my time away from camp and reports revolves around the college scouting work that I am about to dive in on. But there will be a few very hard decisions made when the roster cuts go down. Not necessarily because there is an abundance of talent (however there are some deep spots on defense). There are players from the previous regime who are respectable assets but simply do not fit into the new scheme and/or they were not brought in by the new regime. That will be the primary focus of today’s report, although I will still give some feedback on the starters (what’s left of them) at the bottom of each side of the ball. Hint, the defense won.
-The guy I am going to go out on a limb for is Ryder Anderson. The defensive end from Indiana has been mentioned in my camp reports a few times. I have really focused in on him the past 2 days and it looks like the coaches are too. He is drawing a lot of praise from the staff via special teams and the skill set he brings to the table gives them options along the DL. He plays heavy handed with good bend on a very long frame. Putting him on the Practice Squad (PS) is a risky proposition, as every team has a clear shot at him from there. I am leaning toward him getting a spot and seeing a surprise veteran cut (Jalyn Holmes? Nick Williams?).
-Khalil Dorsey is impressive from the slot. He plays ultra-sticky and has a power presence to him that gives him nickel-potential behind Holmes.
-Outside corners Darren Evans and Zyon Gilbert both made nice plays on the ball in team drills. Their length and catch-up speed show. Both are getting beat on vertical routes as they are too late to find the ball, if at all. I assume that is a major no-no in the Martindale scheme.
-With Carter Coughlin back, this is an incredibly tough ILB group to figure out. Martinez and Crowder are the ones and Beavers is quietly creeping through Crowder’s shadow. Another solid run stuff by the rookie that resulted in a TFL where he torched Max Garcia. Micah McFadden continues to do all the little things right and gets to the ball on nearly every play. Cam Brown is the top special teamer on the squad and Austin Calitro is right behind but has shown more at ILB defensively. Do all these guys make the team? That is a lot of inside linebackers in a scheme and era where nickel + dime packages are taking over.
-Justin Ellis and rookie D.J. Davidson appear to be the backup NTs. Some schemes only carry one backup, but I think this scheme will carry two. David Moa and rookie Christopher Hinton continued to struggle to penetrate. Their lateral range isn’t there either.
-The OLB group is another tough one to figure out. With Azeez Ojulari back and Kayvon Thibodeaux an unquestioned starter, the battle between Oshane Ximines, Elerson Smith (injured, however), and Quincy Roche will likely only produce two out of the fire (unless Smith’s injury lands him on IR). I think it would come down to the latter two. Roche had another strong day today and I think his run defense is becoming noticeably better. More stout, better hand work, and more precise with his positioning. The point I am getting at? Ximines may have a really hard time making this team. He doesn’t win enough 1-on-1’s as a pass rusher and he got sealed off on an outside run (one of NYG’s top gains of the day).
-I don’t have a very strong feel at S partially because Dane Belton has been out for nearly all of camp. Trenton Thompson has popped a few times, but Yusuf Corker seems to do more for the defense.
-When it comes to the starters, I stood there today thinking this group has the strong likelihood of being a very formidable defense. Take away the fact they are up against a struggling offense. There is proven talent at every level. They have a new scheme that the opposition will not have tape on, making it a bit tougher to plan against. And they have potential superstars (top 5 at their position in league) at multiple spots in the middle in Leonard Williams and Xavier McKinney. They are fast, physical, and show excellent anticipation. Darnay Holmes and Julian Love both made spectacular reads on short balls. Holmes turned his into an INT. Thibodeaux looks like he is getting through the pass protection more often than not. Ojulari was back out there with the 1’s in live action and beat Neal on a couple of running plays for what would have been TFL. If this side of the ball stays healthy and considering their schedule, games will be kept close. No question.
-The OL is very banged up. Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, Jon Feliciano, Jamil Douglas, Joshua Ezeudu were all out. Don’t forget about Nick Gates, too. I’ll discuss the starting group in a moment, as I want to keep focus on roster hopefuls. If all of those guys above come back relatively soon (minus Gates, and Peart looks close), there may not be many spots even open. But the one I have been impressed by the most is Devery Hamilton. He has played both LT and LG, but I think his best spot is inside. He stays on his man, he shows proper hip extension and footwork, and he looks athletic enough to handle late lateral looks by the defense. Will Holden is the other one I would feel safest with out there. Garrett McGhinn and Roy Mbaeteka look over-matched when it comes to speed and change of direction.
-Will NYG carry a fullback? They have one option right now and that is Jeremiah Hall. It is always possible someone shakes free from another roster, but BUF always used a fullback under Daboll. Hall got looks with the 1’s today and they do not use any of their TEs in the backfield.
-The TE group is still a spot I see the team needing to bring in outside help. Nobody knows the deal with Ricky Seals-Jones, but I am assuming he is just out of the picture for now. Daniel Bellinger and Chris Myarick seem to get the most looks with the ones and it is more of the same. Myarick does not have an upside, but he is gritty enough to get by. I think he is more of a #3 though. Bellinger is easy to like. I spent time watching the group run routes both against air and linebackers/safeties. The rookie is the smoothest mover in and out of his breaks and shows the softest hands. I don’t see Austin Allen being a 53-man guy though. Gotta love the height but his pad level is so up and down as a route runner. He has a hard time accelerating and changing direction, but he does have some stride speed. Certainly, someone you want to try and work with on the PS.
-The receiver group is a back-and-forth battle each day. Collin Johnson has separated himself. He made a great play on a ball from Jones in the team portion of practice, likely their top pass gain of the day. Richie James is all over the field and offers some in the return game. But as I have said, does he get bumped the second Shepard comes back? Jones seems to like to throwing to him and he does play a sudden game as a route runner. The radius isn’t there though and he continues to get thrown off his point in traffic. Size is really important for a receiver, and he is bottom tier there. NYG already has a guy like that in Robinson. One name I am interested to see how they handle is Marcus Kemp. NYG gets a bunch of passes downfield throughout each practice and he is the one that seems to come down with the acrobatic catches the most often. Robert Foster and Keelan Doss could not do it today.
-Lastly, the RB group is likely to carry four guys and it easy to figure out. Saquon Barkley-Matt Breida (still not practicing)-Antonio Williams-Gary Brightwell (out today). Jashaun Corbin is impressive and I do think he could beat out Brightwell, just not right away.
-As for the starting offense, my biggest positive was Ben Bredeson. He simply looks more efficient at center than he does at guard. I would love to hear him speak on that. He was making all of the calls and made a couple of key blocks on what appeared to be large chunk gains in the running game. Both Barkley and Williams had big runs.
-Daniel Jones and the passing game were better at being timely today. Jones had a few quick strike throws to Wan’Dale Robinson that I liked. It is bizarre to me how many times he tucks and runs the ball. That could be by the direction of Mike Kafka and Brian Daboll, however. And analytics do say the most efficient play in football is the QB non-designed run. Probably not the most ideal when it comes to keeping the QB on the field, though.
-Jones misfired on a short pass to Robinson (I think) and it got tipped up in the air for a Holmes INT.
-Tyrod Taylor had another off-day as well. He threw an INT where he simply lofted a ball with too much air underneath it. He also misfired on a ball where he didn’t set his feet and faded back as he released it. He air mailed it over the 6’8” tight end Allen – a hard guy to overthrow on a dump off pass.
-I’m not sure of the defense dialed it back a notch with the complex looks, but it did seem the NYG offense had more space to work with. Andrew Thomas looks rock solid, and Mark Glowinski looks like Mr. Reliable. Evan Neal was flagged for a false start and had a couple of ugly plays. He walked off the field very frustrated a couple of times. The speed of the game is too much for a guy in space to struggle with footwork and balance. Still have a ways to go there.
That is it for me this week. I am making plans to get to the joint practice next week with NYJ. The overall feel of this team is bizarre when looking at how many guys are not practicing. I track the NFL Depth Charts for Ourlads via practice reports and I can’t think of a team with this many 1st/2nd stringers on the sideline. I don’t say that to create a narrative, it is simply an observation. I also don’t think it is doomsday. It appears most will be just fine by September and if anything, it leads me to the notion this roster is actually pretty deep. We will see how well some of these guys actually play, but as I opened with, creating the 53-man roster is actually going to force some really hard decisions especially if they bring in a guy or two from another team when they make their own cuts.
ANDRE PATTERSON RETURNS TO THE TEAM…
New York Giants Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson, who has been on a leave of absence since camp started with an undisclosed medical issue, returned to the team on Monday. “Patterson’s back today,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. “Probably won’t be on the field but was in the building. So, it’s good to have him back.”
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), RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (knee/leg), WR Austin Proehl (leg/calf), TE Andre Miller (broken right forearm), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), OC Jon Feliciano (right arm), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OL Joshua Ezeudu (unknown), OL Jamil Douglas (ankle), LB Blake Martinez (returning from ACL), LB Jihad Ward (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (lower right leg), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (groin), CB Rodarius Williams (unknown), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone) did not practice.
When Head Coach Brian Daboll was asked about three players injured in practice yesterday (Feliciano, Smith, and Ward), he responded, “They’ll be okay. They probably won’t go today, but they’ll be alright… We should be alright with those guys.”
WR Darius Slayton (unknown), WR David Sills (unknown), DL Leonard Williams (unknown), DL Justin Ellis (unknown), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (unknown) were limited in practice.
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 team practices again on Tuesday morning (10:00AM-noon). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.