JULY 30, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
JADAR JOHNSON RETIRES…
The New York Giants announced on Sunday that undrafted rookie free agent safety Jadar Johnson (University of Clemson) has left training camp and decided to retire from the NFL. Johnson did not practice on Saturday as Head Coach Ben McAdoo said he was “ill.”
“After seriously weighing his options, Jadar has decided to retire from football today to pursue other interests,” said Johnson’s agent. “This was not an easy decision for him to make, but it is the right decision for him. He has new ventures that he wants to pursue and he values his health. Jadar is very grateful to the Giants’ organization for the opportunity they provided him.”
“I had a conversation with him, a personal conversation,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “They released a statement, he and his agent, and we’ll leave it at that.”
BALTIMORE RAVENS SIGN LARRY DONNELL…
The Baltimore Ravens have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent Larry Donnell. The Giants had no interest in re-signing Donnell, who began the 2016 season as the starting tight end but was benched after the bye week. He started to receive more playing time again late in the season. Donnell ended up playing in 14 games with six starts, and finished the regular season with just 15 catches for 92 yards (6.1 yards per catch) and one touchdown. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent the 2012 season on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell has regressed since his breakout 2014 season (63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns). His numbers were down in 2015 (missing half the season with a neck injury) and down again in 2016.
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.
Running back Shane Vereen left practice early with a “lower body” injury. “He was sore and we were smart and held him,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He could’ve gone back in, but we decided to hold him.”
SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Picture Perfect day. 80 and sunny with no humidity. Very comfortable with no breeze. Another day of “full speed” 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills where the guys got to compete. For obvious reasons, the defense holds back a tad in congested situations but for the most part, we got to see these guys fight it out.
I wanted to get some more attention on the defense today…but also got to see kicker Aldrick Rosas get four attempts in. Distance isn’t exact, but they were all roughly 30-40 yards I believe. We got to speak to him after practice as well, nice kid, very relaxed and calm. Laid back. A few interesting notes about him…he played in a National Championship Game (NAIA) for Southern Oregon in 2014. Tore his ACL in that game and even with two years left of eligibility, he turned pro. He spent the 2016 preseason with Tennessee and lost out to veteran Ryan Succop. NYG signed him in January and as of now, he is the lone kicker on the roster.
- I still don’t have much of an opinion on the fullbacks, and I won’t until later in the week after we them bang heads with the pads on. Initially I think Jacob Huesman is a slightly better athlete with more power coming from his legs.
- WR Kevin Snead is a guy that keeps jumping out at me. Besides Odell Beckham, he has the best burst and short area change of direction of all the WRs. At 5’10/175, he is fighting an uphill battle but the UDFA from Carson Newman offers ability that his fellow backups do not. Remember, this is a guy that was clocked sub 4.25 at the Tennessee pro day, that is Jon Ross-caliber. If he can prove to be a factor on special teams and improve underneath route running, don’t overlook his chances.
- I put the eyeball on OT Jarron Jones today. Massive and yes, likely better built for the OT position than DT. Obviously he has a ways to go. Naturally his hands are way too wide on contact with his man and I can see there is a lot of struggle for him to avoid over-leaning and lunging. I’m curious to see if he even gets looks during preseason at OT, just doesn’t look ready but we will find out more Tuesday.
- The TE battle is as entertaining to watch as any spot on the team. Matt LaCosse has impressed me each day with his ball skills. Such a natural receiver that can grab and turn upfield with more than enough fluidity. Can he hack in the trenches? Jerell Adams is a second-year draft pick and his upside alone is worth keeping him around. But I’ve seen him trip over his own feet a few times and there doesn’t seem to be the natural player in him. That said I think he may be further along as a blocker than everyone other than Rhett Ellison. Speaking of Ellison, I like how he moves after the catch. Strong, powerful, aggressive, low to the ground. He may factor there. Evan Engram…man he’s fast. When he opens up his stride in space he is faster than most of the WRs.
- Another name I’ve been drawn to all three days is the UDFA RB Khalid Abdullah. Powerfully built, fast in the open field, assertive change of direction with all the balance and body control. NYG has a crowded backfield in front of him but hey, you never know when it comes to injuries. I can’t wait to see him carry the ball in preseason games.
- QB Davis Webb got some extra 7-on-7 work with the 3rd string. He looks the part, shows excellent lower body technique. Throws a very tight ball.
- Linebackers were my main focus early on. I’m saying this right now, B.J. Goodson is gonna be a guy we all like. He, more than anyone, is drooling at the thought of getting the pads on. In drills where these guys were working on taking on and shedding blockers, he was the only one that got off the dummy pad and physically wrapped up the coach acting as the RB. He is a quick, explosive, powerfully-built kid.
- LB Curtis Grant has really stood out to me athletically. He and Deontae Skinner play very fast…maybe even too fast for their own good. Athletically they are very impressive and the attention Antonio Pierce gave them today will hopefully provide needed progress from a skill perspective.
- DT Robert Thomas: He is still getting the first-team looks next to Damon Harrison. They are both high energy and play low to the ground. Stout, powerful, hard to move and they are both quick enough to penetrate. I am sticking with my prediction of him being the week 1 starter.
- I don’t want to over step any boundaries when it comes to discussing formations…but I saw a few things the way these guys lined up today I haven’t seen before. I like the idea of different fronts that play to these guys’ strengths. This DL as a whole really is deep and versatile.
- It looks like Owamagbe Odighizuwa is on the bottom looking up, but I could be wrong there. As a player, he seems manufactured. Good athlete, great frame but he lacks some of the twitchiness and feel that these other guys have.
- Landon Collins looks studly so far. He made an EXCELLENT, high-level pass break up on a pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham (I believe). He can make those 5-7 yard breaks out of his backpedal as fast as anyone. Instincts are a major plus for him, arguably the most important part of playing safety.
- LB Keenan Robinson has a more natural feel in coverage than the other LBs. He makes quick decisions and he simply just looks more comfortable whether he is moving laterally or vertically. He will have an important role within this defense despite not being one of the starters.
- LB Mark Herzlich is Mr. Team Player and I think this NYG coaching staff wants this guy around the team in the worst way. Solid backup inside LB, excellent special teamer. Even saw him run a few routes as a TE and caught a ball on the move in the flat from Webb. If he actually offers depth on all three phases, he’s a lock to make this team.
- LB Stansly Maponga looks a little out of place as a LB. When it comes to drills, he is often the one looking most uncomfortable and I don’t think he can factor in coverage.
- CB Michael Hunter. Excellent day for the long, speedy cover man. Hunter played physical at the point of attack but also showed more fluidity as he mirrored some of the backup WRs. He made two outstanding reach around pass deflections. We all know these #4 and #5 CB spots are up for grabs. Yesterday Donte Deayon stood out; today it was Hunter. I think Hunter offers a ton of upside and could be a much needed backup for the outside spots.
- CB Eli Apple. I’ve noted him a few times for his athletic prowess. Just an excellent package of size, speed, and strength. He was challenged a few times in team drills and he made a few excellent plays on the ball, two times were on deep throws to Beckham. Apple stayed in his hip pocket from start to finish.
- QB Josh Johnson. While he has the upper hand on experience with the scheme in comparison to Geno Smith, Johnson appears to be cementing himself as the team’s top backup. He is very consistent. Throws a great ball, very accurate, excellent touch. He makes life easier for the pass catchers. He just seems much more fluid than Smith but Smith does deserve a little handicap considering he is still new to the scheme and surroundings.
In addition, below is the video link to our surface level notes, interview with kicker Aldrick Rosas, and clips from practice! We were missing a mic, so we had to pass the one back and forth…sorry for the crackling.
Some snippets from various media sources:
- Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-4 on his field goal attempts (reporters said he went 4-for-4 but an official said he missed his last kick, which was from 45 yards out).
- Quarterback Josh Johnson was the second-team quarterback on Sunday. He and Geno Smith appear to alternating each day at the #2 spot.
- In 7-on-7 drills, wide receiver Roger Lewis beat cornerback Michael Hunter deep down the left sideline.
- Quarterback Geno Smith badly overshot tight end Matt LaCosse, who had beaten linebacker Deontae Skinner.
- Wide receiver Tavarres King made a sliding catch in front of cornerback Eli Apple. Quarterback Eli Manning then just missed King deep, who was well-covered by Apple.
- Wide receiver Travis Rudolph saw some reps with the second-team in the slot position.
- Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and tight end Evan Engram all scored in red-zone drills.
- Cornerback Eli Apple knocked down a deep post pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Apple then had blanket coverage on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. deep, who Manning overthrew.
- Safety Landon Collins knocked away quarterback Eli Manning passes intended for tight end Evan Engram and wide Odell Beckham, Jr.
- Cornerback Michael Hunter deflected a quarterback Geno Smith pass that safety Nat Berhe picked off.
- Defensive back Mykkele Thompson broke up a quarterback Davis Webb deep pass to wide receiver Kevin Norwood.
- Quarterback Davis Webb threw a pass to linebacker/tight end Mark Herzlich.
— New York Giants (@Giants) July 30, 2017
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:
- Sideline View: Practice observations (7/30) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
- 3 standout players at Training Camp (7/30) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com
- 5 things we learned at Training Camp (7/30) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com
- Giants teammates Janoris Jenkins and Eric Pinkins have ‘dust-up’ | Practice report by Dan Duggan for NJ.com
- Ben McAdoo has a lot of offensive options, but figuring out what works is the key by Pat Leonard of The Daily News
- How the Giants plan to handle Geno Smith and the backup QB competition by Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com
- Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham give Eli Manning a dynamic duo by John Healy of The Daily News
- First real look at Brandon Marshall is everything Giants want by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post
- D.J. Fluker enjoying playing for Big Blue by Michael Eisen of Giants.com
- Giants CB Michael Hunter hungry for more after taste of NFL last season by Dan Duggan for NJ.com
- Giants CB Donte Deayon determined to earn a roster spot by Tom Rock of Newsday
- Everybody in NFL now knows Giants’ Pro Bowl safety name by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post
- Giants’ Nat Berhe past concussions, believes he can win starting job by James Kratch for NJ.com
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The fourth training camp practice will be held on Tuesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.