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Well, that was quick. In the final installment of the New York Giants mandatory, three-day mini-camp, practice was over essentially before it began. The Giants took the field, practiced kick return, stretched, huddled and broke. It also began to rain.
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) June 19, 2014
Off went Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and others for a 32-day break before the team comes together again for training camp on July 21. Without further ado, here is your practice report:
- The Giants practiced a full-team kickoff. The returners? David Wilson, Michael Cox, Odell Beckham Jr., Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps. I guess, because this was the only portion of practice other than stretching, you could say Beckham and Wilson were full participants. So, there’s that.
- Coughlin spoke to the media afterwards and said that the team did a walk-through before the media got out there.
THE INTERVIEWS While many players ran out with heel clicks knowing their summer vacation started a couple hours early, a few stuck around. As was the case this week, everyone headed on into the locker room to catch whomever was still around.
- Coughlin talked at length and said he plans on taking a vacation with his family. He also made a really nice quote that stuck out: “The NY never comes off.” He said he told the players to make sure they didn’t get in trouble. Essentially, if Will Hill would do it, don’t you do it.
- I had a great conversation with undrafted Notre Dame linebacker Dan Fox, who is loving every second of being a Giant. Fox said when the team called and he signed, he got a second call from Bennett Jackson, his teammate who the Giants drafted in the sixth round. Fox, who suffered a knee injury his senior year, said that playing hurt last year was one of the reasons he went undrafted. We’ll have much more on him later this evening.
- Talked to Prince Amukamara as well for a few minutes who said he is enjoying the married life. As far as his proposal, see below, not many on the team got on him too much aside from Jason Pierre-Paul and Eli Manning. Amukamara also said the secondary is striving to be the best in the NFL.
- Michael Cox said he was “hoping” to get a chance to play as a rookie last season, but didn’t really know. This year, Cox said the biggest difference is he understands the game and “knows everything a lot better.” He also is around the same weight as last season. Didn’t gain much more, or lose anything.
THE COACHES For the first time this offseason, the Giants made their assistant coaches available to the media. From new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, to linebacker’s coach Jim Herrmann, all spent time with reporters. Below you will find some interesting tidbits pulled from those interviews.
TOM QUINN (Special Teams Coordinator)
- Quinn seemed extremely happy about not only his new returners, but gunners as well. The coach spent time praising free-agent acquisition Zack Bowman, along with Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps.
- Holliday, who has struggled holding onto the ball throughout his career, is being taught “high and tight” according to Quinn.
- It seems as if all returners are going to be dual returners, working both on kicks and punts.
- Personally, when I saw Temple rookie Brandon McManus’ name on the Giants’ roster, I assumed it was nothing more than a leg to give Josh Brown a break. According to Quinn, that isn’t really the case. It looks like McManus will be given every chance to win the kicking job. Quinn raved about the 22-year-old’s accuracy and ability to kick in cold weather.
BEN McADOO (Offensive Coordinator)
- McAdoo seemed to echo what Tom Coughlin said a few weeks ago, the offense is a work in progress. Has there been progress? Yes. Is it “mastered?” No. It’s going to take time, but the first-year play caller seemed excited about where things are headed.
- As of right now, McAdoo isn’t exactly sure where he will be calling plays, just that he will be. McAdoo said he expects to be on the field, but that’s not certain.
- Trindon Holliday, who has impressed in camp, hasn’t just taken reporters by surprise, but the coaching staff, too. McAdoo said he’s making plays and looked good as a slot receiver. “He’s been a pleasant surprise.”
- In offenses across the NFL, the fullback position has slowly but surely been disappearing. That apparently won’t be the case in New York. While the exact role is in the air, a fullback will be used: “The way I was raised, the full back was a big part of the things you do.”
KEVIN GILBRIDE JR. (Tight Ends Coach)
- Gilbride, the son of former Giants’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride Sr., said his dad is doing well and enjoying life away from football. Jr. said his dad has been taking time to speak at football clinics and high schools, something he always wanted to do but wasn’t able to when coaching.
- As far as Adrien Robinson, Gilbride said he’s been extremely active in the meeting rooms. The biggest issue with Robinson is that when the coaching staff tries to teach him too much, he forgets some of the basics.
DANNY LANGSDORF (Quarterbacks Coach)
- Langsdorf said that he has been excited and pleased with Eli Manning. The coaching staff has worked with Manning on improving some of his footwork, accuracy, ball fakes and other mechanics.
- Ryan Nassib has impressed Langsdorf with his intelligence and praised the quarterback for getting people lined up correctly. Another attribute that Langsdorf credited was Nassib’s mobility, saying he has the ability to extend plays and take off.
PAT FLAHERTY (Offensive Line Coach)
- The Giants’ offensive line has been one of the more revamped positions in the offseason and Flaherty said it’s been a little different not seeing the same faces. As of today, the coach still doesn’t know who will start versus Detroit. It seems like an open competition.
- John Jerry, who has been sidelined with an injury, was brought in with an opportunity to potentially start according to Flaherty. If Snee isn’t able to go, looks like position is his. Side note, Flaherty did say he doesn’t know what he has with the line simply because the team isn’t in pads. He doesn’t seem to like the “no contact” rules.
PERRY FEWELL (Defensive Coordinator)
- Perry Fewell seems very excited about the secondary and what he’ll be able to do with it. The coach mentioned multiple times about the potential the group has with all the new acquisitions.
- Another area Fewell seems excited for is the linebacking unit, and in particular, the rookies. Fewell is very intrigued by rookies Devon Kennard and Dan Fox, saying both are extremely intelligent.
- Two players that have stuck out to Fewell: Johnathan Hankins & Marcus Kuhn.
JIM HERRMANN (Linebackers Coach)
- After three years, it looks like Jacquian Williams is finally starting to put everything together. Herrmann offered high praise to the linebacker saying he has taken the next step during the offseason. After playing strictly in the nickel package, Williams is now the starter in the base 4-3 as well. “He made a big jump this spring.”
- Herrmann, similar to Fewell, credited Dan Fox’s intelligence as a strong part of his game.
DAVID MERRITT (Safeties Coach)
- Merritt offered two big pieces of information: 1- Antrel Rolle has just begun to reach his true potential 2- Quintin Demps wants to play more in the box. Apparently when Demps signed, he went to Merritt with the goal and the coach told him he’d help him get there. After watching players like Eric Berry have success, Demps wants to try it out too.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED With practice essentially cancelled, questions regarding how certain players performed aren’t really able to be answered.
FROM MILTON – Which of the rookies have impressed them the most?
- Not too many players were made available, but from a coaching stand point it looks like it’s Devon Kennard. The fifth-round pick is presently running with the 1’s and few offer anything other than praise.
FROM GEORGE FROM PA – What position in your opinion still needs to be improved?
- It’s tough to say with these drills being zero contact. From a pure “paper” perspective, I still say offensive line. I like Geoff Schwartz and J.D. Walton a lot, but without Chris Snee or William Beatty… I still see a lot of holes.
FROM BOB IN TX – Does the staff see Ryan Nassib ready to be the No. 2 QB?
- Right now, yes. Nassib is getting all of the No. 2 reps and it’s really not close. Curtis Painter, the only other QB on the roster, get’s anywhere from 3-4 per drill.
FROM BC4LIFE – Once healthy where does Pat Flaherty see John Jerry?
- Asked him this question myself, his answer surprised me. Flaherty said that Jerry signed with the Giants because of his chance to start. From talking to him, looks like they view him as a starter. Where? That’s yet to be seen.
FROM AFNAVY – Will Ben McAdoo be calling plays from the field or from the booth?
- That’s yet to be decided. McAdoo did said they’re leaning towards having him on the field.
- McAdoo avoided any real questions about anyone specific, instead saying he likes the player’s in the tight end room. Said they’re “Big bodies.”
@Connor_J_Hughes i would love to get something on Kennard. Is he impressing at strong side? More of a MLB back up? Whatever you got
— Just Saying (@JustSayingPPL) June 19, 2014
- From my understanding, he’s impressing everywhere. The kid is looking very much like a steal in the draft.
@Connor_J_Hughes Is Rueben Randle focusing on the X or Z position? Does McAdoo plan to use any personnel featuring Jern/Randle/Cruz/Beck?
— Dan Schneier (@DanSchneier_NFL) June 19, 2014
- He’s moving all over the field. No one set position.