July 30, 2019 BBI New York Giants Training Camp Report
It was a hot and very muggy day today. Temperatures were in the mid-nineties and the air was heavy with moisture. It was seemingly going to be a brutal day out on the training field. The press corps gathered at the barriers to get escorted onto the field. I was surprised to see that the entire team was already out there in groups of twos, threes and fours practicing position drills. Directly in front of us were the four quarterbacks in their red shirts practicing in what looked like choreographed unison. They were taking fake snaps, taking three steps back and then stepping to the side and releasing a fake pass. As I started looking around the field to see what the other position groups were doing, a siren went off. It’s the lightening siren our chaperones said. No outside practice today. The players all stopped what they were doing and proceeded to trot over and into the indoor practice field. I’m sorry to say that practice was suddenly closed to the public today.
Inside the Quest Diagnostic Center Practice field we were huddled into a corner. The players formed into two groups. The offensive and defensive lines away on the far side from us and the rest of the team in front started stretching and did their warm ups in unison. The linemen doing a different set of stretches and warmups from the rest of the team.
There were essentially five full, 11-on-11 practice sets with 12 plays run in each set. It was preceded by hitting and rolling for the defense, squatting into position and starting initial post-snap footwork for the offensive line, then they added hitting the man in front of them, shagging passes for the rest of the offense, and backtracking, swiveling the hips and running and catching for the backfield. Special teams practiced in between a few of the sets and the coaches ran through some walk-through scenarios between another series of sets.
The sets took place sometimes in front of us and sometimes at the back of the field going towards us at the other end. I decided due to my position that I better focus on something, as I had my compact Nikon binoculars with me, and for some period of time I focused on the right side of the line and for another period the defensive line.
There is a non-story to tell this year. We haven’t been hearing much about it. The non-story is the offensive line. I know it’s just practice. I’m tipping my hat to BB’56 here. But there is a quiet confidence in the starting offensive line. It is palpable. The press isn’t even talking about it because there is nothing else to say right now. They all feel this line is better. To my eyes this is probably the best offensive line the Giants have fielded since 2011 if not longer. I argue that it was 2011 the year Seubert and O’Hara were cut and David Baas was signed to replace O’Hara. Baas never really worked out and Seubert was never effectively replaced.
Remmers looks good out there. He is playing three out of every four snaps right now. In the current scheme, the right tackle appears to be making the assignment calls. He and Zeitler look good together. Will Hernandez is the meanest sob on the line for my money. He looks mean and he is actively going after everything in front of him. It doesn’t matter how big they are, they are all eating dirt when he’s finished with them. He is downright big and scary looking. Did I mention that he scowls a lot? Solder looks very active out there. He too is playing three out of every four snaps for the first team. The last time I saw Wheeler, he was a gangly looking rookie. This year the player guide says he is up 12 pounds to 318 from his rookie playing weight of 306. I called Sy’56 up and asked him to take a look at this because I don’t believe it. Wheeler looks 20 or even 30 pounds heavier to me. His body looks radically different. He’s beefy. He’s tall, and doesn’t look like he can be pushed around that easy (nor was he). The wrap against him two years ago was “light in the pants.” Brian Mihalik is the second-team left tackle, who comes in for Solder on the fourth set. He is 6’9” and another very beefy and active dude.
This leads me back to a comment I made above about big bodies. The Giants prototype appears to have evolved into a lot of big men in tights out there. The starting defensive line are all big men: Tomlinson, Lawrence and Hill. Lorenzo Carter is also a very big man behind them, and he rotates into that front three. Golden is not as big, but he is beefy and he plays big. Kareem Martin is a big man. McIntosh is a big man. Ximines, Ogletree and Moss are not quite as big but they are all pushing 250+ and 6’3”. So these guys are all Giants. I’m not taking a lot away from the first practice after the first off-day, but this is overall a bigger, beefier set of guys and they are all very active out there on defense.
- The defensive backfield played well today overall – a bunch of pass breakups.
- Corey Ballentine made a great play out there today, going up and grabbing the first interception against Daniel Jones. It was something Shurmur made sure to talk about with the press corps after practice, when he took and unscheduled casual walk over to chat.
- Bennie Fowler made an outstanding sideline catch right in front of us that got a few gasps.
- Saquon Barkley made an outstanding physical run right up the middle that he broke and would have been a long touchdown. This is the first time I’ve seen him up close and he is an awesome specimen.
- Daniel Jones didn’t have great day today but my general notes on him are that he looks very natural out there. He did make some exaggerated motions today later in practice, but he has a nice release and a lot of power. It’s been said before, but his best throw appears to be the screen pass. He puts a nice touch on the ball. He threw a great looking screen to Paul Perkins.
- Speaking of Paul Perkins, there is a body of sentiment out there that he’s the best pass catching back outside of Barkley and that he’s winning himself a spot on the team this camp.
- Eli looked pretty sharp out there to me.
- Kim Jones and Charlie Casserly were standing a few feet away from me when they started taping a spot with each other and he was gushing over Oshane Ximines. He said that he reminds him of Osi Umenyiora, and he thinks he has the most potential out of all the 2019 picks and that they have a similar body type.
- Shurmur said there was some individual work they cut out of practice today. He also said that most importantly that they got all their play sets in and that the team looked sharp for the first day back from the first day off of camp and he was pleased with that.
- WR Russell Shepard didn’t look so good today, made a couple of gaffes.
- TE Engram made a nice play, but in this current scheme his body type doesn’t look as beefy as a lot of the other WRs.
- TE C.J. Conrad looks good and made a few nice plays today. He looks good blocking.
- WR Reggie White is a big beefy fellow.
- Rhett Ellison made a nice play up the middle.
A couple of notes. Sy and I have very tight schedules this year but each of us is committed to five camp reports. I did finally talk to him this evening about Wheeler but I’m going to let him address that. In the next two weeks, Dave will be at camp tomorrow, and I will be there on Friday. I think we will both be at camp together next Tuesday, August 6, and then we will have coverage that Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, August 11-13 and we will again reunite on August 13.