EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Victor Cruz’s limited participation in Tuesday’s practice was the big story on the first day of mandatory minicamp for the New York Giants. It was not, however, the only one. Let’s look at some of the other things we learned during practice.
Your hockey-style injury report
Tom Coughlin used to hate running down the injury list every day. He would grudgingly do it, giving at least enough detail so media would be able to report that a player had a hamstring injury, or elbow, or whatever. Apparently, Ben McAdoo isn’t going to give even that much information, preferring the hockey-style injury updates. That means it seems that pretty much what we’re going to get is “lower body” or “upper body” injury, and not much more.
Here is the rundown of players who did not practice: Linebacker J.T. Thomas, safety Mykkele Thompson, defensive tackle Montori Hughes, running back Orleans Darkwa and offensive lineman Ryan Seymour.
Thomas missed time last season with a knee injury and Thompson missed the season with a torn Achilles tendon. All McAdoo would say Tuesday about either of them was that they have “lower leg” injuries. Seymour underwent hand surgery, which we only know because he posted it on Instagram.
“We’re gonna hold onto those guys until camp,” McAdoo said.
Minicamp a “super-charged OTA”
Watching the Giants practice in shorts and t-shirts on Tuesday the work looked pretty much like what they had been doing in OTAs. McAdoo, in fact, said the minicamp is really a “super-charged OTA.”
“We’re just trying to build on some of the things we accomplished in OTAs, really take it to the next step that way” McAdoo said. “Finish the offseason strong heading into camp.”
Rookie Paul Perkins playing catch-up
Fifth-round pick Paul Perkins was unable to participate in OTAs due to a league rule prohibiting players from working until their college class graduates. Perkins’ UCLA class graduated June 10, and he took part in Tuesday’s workout.
McAdoo said the Giants were able to send Perkins video of each practice, and that running backs coach Craig Johnson was able to communicate with the rookie about what was happening.
“Certainly it’s not as good as being here,” McAdoo said. “He has some catching up to do.”
Who’s in the slot?
The expectation when he was selected 10th overall by the Giants was that Eli Apple would spend much of his first year in the slot with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins on the outside. That hasn’t really been the case thus far. Apple has spent the majority of his time on the outside. Tuesday, DRC played in the slot while Apple matched up outside.
Trevin Wade and Donte Deayon also took some reps in the slot.
“We want to train a variety of the guys inside. I think it helps with versatility. It also helps to learn the complete picture of the defense,” McAdoo said. “I think if they can play outside and inside, it helps understand what the other positions are going through and we have a variety of guys who can do both.”
Here are a few highlights from the offense vs. defense portions of practice.
- Darian Thompson took first-team safety reps alongside Landon Collins.
- The very first play of 7-on-7 showed why Collins may still be better off playing in the short area. Lined up one-on-one with running back Shane Vereen, who was split wide, Collins was beaten badly as Vereen caught a deep ball down the left sideline from Eli Manning.
- Early in practice, linebacker Jonathan Casillas dropped an easy interception on a ball Manning threw right to him.
- Tight end Ryan Malleck had the catch of the day, leaping over linebacker Brad Bars to catch a seam route from quarterback B.J. Daniels.
- Offensive lineman Bobby Hart worked at both right tackle and left guard with the reserves.
- Sterling Shepard made a diving sideline catch in front of Rodgers-Cromartie on a low ball from Manning.
- Fullback Nikita Whitlock limped off the field at one point, but returned for special teams drills and a walk-thru portion of practice.
- Owa Odighizuwa lined up inside in some pass-rushing packages.
- With Thompson sidelined, Trevin Wade took some reps at safety.