AUGUST 25, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE REPORT… (by Sy’56)
The air was thick today and felt a little extra humid at the practice facility. We’ve had hotter days than this, but not many. After seeing NYG practice vs NYG for weeks, I will say the vibe when walking into the facility was incredible. Different uniforms, twice the number of players, coaches, personnel, support staffs…the energy was different. Easy to see why coaches like to do this toward the end of preseason. The change in atmosphere is stimulating for someone standing on the side with a notepad and I must think the intensity within the players reached another level.
One catch here before I move forward; NYG is strict with where they let us stand. I understand why and respect it fully. However, I essentially had to choose to watch NYG offense or NYG defense. There was not an option to walk back and forth, as they were on opposite fields. Split second decision, I went with the NYG offense vs the NYJ defense.
-Start off with the most important component. Daniel Jones was near-perfect when it comes to completing passes. Very few traveled more than 10 yards down the field (maybe 3?) and none went deep. All but 2 of his 15-16 passes were completed. Like I have seen in recent exposures to him, he got it out fast and accurate. Were there a couple that would have been sacks? Probably, yes. But when it comes to the evaluation of him maneuvering through pocket with quality ball protection, keeping eyes downfield, and hitting his spots with both his footwork and ball placement, he was great. My macro-level take away here is that he looks much more confident than he did just a couple weeks ago.
-The NYJ defensive front is LOADED. They have a star in Quinnen Williams, a pressure-machine in Carl Lawson (coming off Achilles’ injury), and a 1st rounder in Jermaine Johnson as the main pass rushers. But beyond that is what impresses me. Their 2nd and 3rd stringers are big, physical, and quick. They just rotate these guys in and out to stay fresh.
-I bring that up because I thought the NYG offensive line held their own. I got close to 1-on-1s before team drills, and I also kept an eye on the offensive line during the live 11-on-11. Andrew Thomas was dominant. His twitch and adjustment speed are a level faster than what we have seen on tape so far. Is it a healthier foot/ankle? More confidence in his craft? Whatever it is, he looks like grizzly bear protecting its cubs. He beat Lawson 2x in one-on-ones and buried Bradlee Anae into the ground on another rep. Again, in pass protection 1-on-1’s. You don’t see that often.
-Evan Neal stonewalled John Franklin-Myers twice. The starting NYJ defensive end was not happy about it and tried to start with Neal. The rookie did not react and just motioned the veteran DE to keep running his mouth. Neal was beat twice in 11-on-11s, one ended up with QB Jones on the ground. Everyone took an extra second or two to breathe there. His ugly reps are consistent with what I have discussed several times. His feet stop moving, he gets off balanced, and does not have the recovery speed. I will say that the defenders who tried to bull rush him quickly found out he won’t be beat like that. His movement off the ball as a gap run blocker is a weapon.
-The middle of the line was inconsistent. Jones had a lot of trash at his feet against the NYJ 4-man rushes. Jon Feliciano and Devery Hamilton had a couple bad beats at the hands of Quinnen Williams and Solomon Thomas, both former top-5 overall picks. Mark Glowinski had a bad beat in 1-on-1s and allowed a pressure in team drills, but he is a faster-than-you-think run blocker who converts speed to power. He was the one guy I saw get into a scuffle with the Jets after an undersized linebacker took a cheap shot at RB Antonio Williams.
-Interesting day for the receivers. Sterling Shepard worked in individual drills and 7-on-7. He did not participate in 11-on-11, I believe. He certainly looked full speed and full effort. It is amazing how easy it is to see the difference between him and the other receivers I have seen live on this team when it comes to burst, suddenness, and snap in both route running and ball skills.
-Kenny Golladay is picking up some steam. He made a high-level catch near the sideline in 7-on-7s where he had to use every inch of his height and reach. He also out-muscled NYJ first rounder Sauce Gardner for a ball underneath.
-David Sills V remains hot. He must have caught half of Jones’ completions. All were underneath or intermediate, but not all were easy. He adjusted to the ball high and low very well. This kid has some size to him too, don’t forget that. He and Jones are always near each other other discussing plays when they’re on the sideline.
-I am still struggling to see where Wan’Dale Robinson is fitting into the offense right now. It is possible they aren’t showing much at this point and saving it for the season.
-Darius Slayton is either really good or really bad. Today, it was the former. He made an excellent catch where he had to out-leap a NYJ corner and twist back away from his momentum before just barely getting his feet down in bounds.
-Alex Bachman caught a touchdown from Tyrod Taylor (Taylor’s second on the day). He shows a great feel for finding vacant windows when against zone coverage.
-Running back Matt Breida was back in action. Different level of speed and straight-line burst than all of the other backs. He just makes his mind up and goes for it every time. He will create his fair share of big plays. He also had a top-shelf block on blitz pick-up.
-I did not see much from the tight ends today. Seeing Jeremy Ruckert in green, however, was tough. I think NYG missed out big time there last April. The new signing, Tanner Hudson, caught a long touchdown via busted coverage by the backup NYJ secondary (from Tyrod Taylor). His twitch and overall speed is at a higher level than what NYG has at TE.
-The one backup who I had multiple positives from was Eric Smith. He competed well in the 1-on-1s, beating Solomon Thomas and Tanzel Smart. I am working on a projected 53-man roster right now and there is a situation I see Smith making it and being active on gameday. His versatility will help him. Jamil Douglas was solid as well, he stood out.
-The overall feel of the backup offensive line was positive. Against guys who will be on teams in a few weeks, NYG won the battle up front.
-The last observation is from the punters. I watched NYJ punter Braden Mann and was impressed with the hang time. Jamie Gillan was next and it was a night-and-day different how low his ball was and how quickly the NYJ returner had the ball in his hands. Something worth watching as NYG special teams unit has struggled in the first two preseason games.
While I wish I could have seen some of the NYG defense, it was good to see the offense click quite a bit. Once again, they were on time, taking what the defense gave, and avoiding negative plays. Offensive talk can be made complex, but it really is a simple goal. Move the ball forward, don’t turn it over, avoid negative plays. They did exactly that against a team that can coach and play defense at a high level.
The Jets lost two players to injury today from what I was able to see. Initially they both looked serious, but afterward I saw both jogging. DE Jermaine Johnson with an ankle and CB D.J. Reed with a knee. Overall, the team looked a little sloppy and tired once they got into it deeper. I think these guys are ready for real football just as much as the fans are. Playing this game below 100% but above 50% is not easy and it does not feel real.
Looking forward to the game on Sunday.
AZEEZ OJULARI HURT…
LB Azeez Ojulari (leg/ankle/foot) injured himself running sprints at the end of practice. He could not walk off the field under his own power. The New York Post is reporting that the injury is not believed to be serious.
The Giants officially confirmed that they have signed tight end Tanner Hudson, who was cut by the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday. To make room for him on the roster, the Giants waived center Chris Owens, who the Giants signed last Friday after he was waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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 on Friday from 11:45AM to 1:15PM. Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.