EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. and Jason Pierre-Paul were absent for the voluntary OTA the New York Giants held on Wednesday. Coach
"I don't think there's anything positive when someone can't be here. We'd like to have everybody here," McAdoo said. "They reached out, they communicated, that's what we ask. These are voluntary practices and when they can't be here we just ask that they communicate that."
While you're wondering, no Beckham wasn't blowing off practice to hang out with Khloe Kardashian. Check his Twitter feed and you see that his beloved dog died. No confirmation on this from the Giants, but perhaps he was attending to that.
What else went on Wednesday during the fourth of the Giants' 10 OTAs?
Nat Berhe, Darian Thompson split first-team reps
Third-year player Nat Berhe, coming back from missing all of last season following calf surgery, and third-round pick Darian Thompson split first-team reps during Wednesday's workout.
"Nat looks good. He's moving around fine, he's playing high, he's playing low and seems to have a good grasp of things," McAdoo said.
Thompson recovered a fumble after Jonathan Casillas stripped tight end Matt LaCosse.
McAdoo said that Thompson, vocal during rookie minicamp in terms of lining players up and making calls, has not changed while working with the veteran players.
"He hasn't backed down from the communication part of things," McAdoo said. "You see that. It's evident. He also has a nose for the football, whether it's picking the ball off or being able to scoop and score."
The big question since he was selected by the Giants with the 10th overall pick has been whether or not Eli Apple would play in the slot. Wednesday, Apple played some on the outside and some in the slot. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also slid into the slot for a few plays as the Giants are likely just mixing and matching to see how things look. Undrafted free agent Donte Deayon [one-on-one interview] also seemed to get a high number of reps in the slot, and had one pass that he deflected away from receiver K.J. Maye.
Justin Pugh defends John Jerry, Marshall Newhouse
The Giants, as we know, did not draft an offensive lineman or sign a big-name one in free agency. So far they seem set on leaving John Jerry at right guard and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Once again Wednesday there were no changes to the first unit on the line.
Left guard Justin Pugh, entering his fourth NFL season, said Wednesday he is "not surprised" by that.
Pugh passionately defended Jerry and Newhouse, the oft-criticized veterans who comprise the right side of the line.
"John Jerry's gotta be one of the most underrated guards in the NFL. If you look at the way he plays and the way he carries himself, literally every game he stepped out there and played at the drop of a hat ... he's a guy that I look up to. He's all business. He comes out here, doesn't say anything, not griping about not being the starter at the beginning of the season. I really think what he brings to the table is invaluable. I think a lot of people should recognize the value that he brings to this team."
"Marshall's a great player. He's been in this system and he knows how to play in this system ... I'm very, very confident in Marshall as our right tackle. He's a helluva player.
"Everyone wants to try to get on the right side of the line, but I have no worries whatsoever. I know what those guys bring to the table."
[More on Pugh's thoughts about the offensive line]
Wide receiver Victor Cruz, as expected, did not practice. Cruz ran briefly by himself and McAdoo said once again that the Giants are targeting training camp for him to return.
Running back Orleans Darkwa, fractured leg, was not out on the field at all. McAdoo also said that the target for Darkwa is training camp.
We have noted in the past that there are differences in the drill work the Giants do with McAdoo now in charge. Another subtle difference, and one I like, is that during 7-on-7 drills the Giants actually do line up with a full 11 players on the field. The offensive and defensive linemen simply get set, then listen to the play call. The mental rep has to be beneficial. In the past, the linemen stood off to the side and watched.
- Just to get this one out of the way, today's practice musical play list included some Billy Joel, some Stevie Wonder, The Who, a couple of country tunes -- at least, that's what yours truly recognized.
- The Giants list undrafted free agent Ishaq Williams as a defensive end, but he appears to be working exclusively at linebacker. Wednesday it looked like he was lining up as a WILL.
- Linebacker B.J. Goodson made a juggling interception of a pass from B.J. Daniels. The play was far away from our vantage point and who the pass was intended for was unclear.
- Rookie tight end Jerell Adams allowed a high pass from Daniels to sail right through his hands for an incompletion.
- LaCosse had the aforementioned fumble. A couple of plays later, though, he caught a deep ball from Eli Manning down the right sideline, using his 6-foot-5 frame to take the ball away from a well-positioned Landon Collins.
- Sterling Shepard caught a deep ball from Manning on what appared to be a busted coverage between safety Mykkele Thompson and cornerback Tramain Jacobs.
Remaining OTA schedule
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)