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OTA No. 1: Giants are "learning and improving"

DRC is a no-show and we learned that Victor Cruz may not practice until training camp during Monday's first OTA

New York Giants v New Orleans Saints
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants completed their first of 10 OTAs on Monday. No jobs were won. No jobs were lost. Perhaps most significantly, no players appeared to be injured during the nearly 90-minute on-field session at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

"The objective for OTAs is really learning and improving. You want to develop the fundamentals the best you can without pads on, work on communication," coach Ben McAdoo said.

"Guys are really jockeying for position as far as where it goes for reps in training camp and preseason games."

McAdoo said "everything counts" in terms of competition for roster spots, but that "You need to be cautious evaluating players when they're just running around in their underwear."

Let's look at some of the notable story lines from Monday's workout.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie a no-show

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the lone veteran no-show for the voluntary OTA. The Giants, of course, drafted cornerback Eli Apple in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. There has been speculation that the Giants might consider trading Rodgers-Cromartie, though no actual discussions about doing do have been reported. There has also been speculation that the Giants, who have already paid the guaranteed portion of DRC's five-year, $35 million contract, could move on from him after the 2016 season.

Head coach Ben McAdoo didn't elaborate on why Rodgers-Cromartie wasn't in attendance, or when he might show up.

"DRC wasn’t able to make it today. We look forward to getting him back as soon as we can," McAdoo said. "It’s a voluntary opportunity. If he’s here we’ll coach him, if he’s not we wish him nothing but the best."

Rookie running back Paul Perkins, a fifth-round selection, was also not in attendance. Perkins can't practice due to a league rule stating that he can't participate until his class at UCLA graduates later this summer. The Giants ran into this situation with tight end Adrien Robinson a few years ago.

"It’s gonna be tough for Paul. He’s a smart conscientious young man," McAdoo said. "I know he wants to be here, he’s chomping at the bit, but he’s gotta take care of his business out in California."

Victor Cruz unlikely until training camp

Wide receiver Victor Cruz, coming back after missing the last season-and-a-half with a torn patella tendon and calf surgery, did not take part in any drills. He was on the field with his helmet on and did some running on his own, but nothing more than that.

McAdoo didn't officially say that Cruz would not participate in OTAs, but he certainly made it sound as though the Giants weren't planning to turn Cruz loose until training camp.

"Right now we’re working for him to get back here, and he’s working to get back for training camp," McAdoo said. "Small steps."

Other players who didn't work during team drills are running back Orleans Darkwa, coming back from a small fracture in his tibia, and offensive lineman Byron Stingily.

Rookie report -- Eli Apple gets picked on

With Rodgers-Cromartie home, or wherever he was spending his time away from East Rutherford, first-round pick Eli Apple ran with the first team on the outside. Eli Manning tested him several times, including the first pass of the offense vs. defense portion.

"I guess they were trying to pick on me a little bit … just gotta be ready for anything out there," Apple said. "I think I held my own. Just gotta focus on every play and make sure I play the ball every time."

Manning said testing Apple "wasn't the intention" and that he was just "going through my progressions."

Apple lined up once against Odell Beckham Jr., but the ball didn't go to Beckham on that play.

"It was interesting, for sure. He runs his routes well. He’s a fast guy. It was fun going against him," Apple said. "They didn’t throw the ball his way when I was going against him, but you can tell with his explosiveness and how he gets out of breaks. It’s impressive."

Hold off on buying your Sterling Shepard No. 87 jersey. Shepard indicated after practice that he may be switching numbers before the season begins.

Third-round pick Darian Thompson worked with the second unit, teamed with Bennett Jackson. Nat Berhe teamed with Landon Collins on the first team defense.

Offensive line update

It was status quo Monday on the right side of the offensive line. John Jerry was the starting right guard and Marshall Newhouse the starting right tackle. Second-year man Bobby Hart worked exclusively at right tackle with the reserves.

McAdoo: Make 'em uncomfortable

Maybe this offers a hint on which young players the Giants see as potential starters. Maybe it means nothing. McAdoo was asked if, because of the shortened offseason, veterans get placed ahead in the pecking order or if young players get pushed into slots more quickly than in the past.

"You used to believe that way. The offseason got a lot shorter and I think you need to be aggressive with young players and put them out there and see what they can do and see how they handle being in a pressure situation and see if they’ll respond," McAdoo said. "You used to have a lot more time in the offseason. You used to have five more weeks, I believe it was, in the offseason. Training camp used to be a lot longer and you used to get on the field a bunch more in training camp than you (do) now. I think you may have to push some guys into some situations that are uncomfortable and find out who’s comfortable being uncomfortable.

Remaining OTA schedule

Tuesday, May 24

Thursday, May 26

Wednesday, June 1 (media accoess)

Thursday, June 2

Friday, June 3

Monday, June 6 (media access)

Tuesday, June 7

Thursday, June 9

Friday, June 10

Mandatory minicamp will be held from June 14-16 (media access)