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Giants training camp: Random thoughts for an off day

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Observations as training camp turns a corner and the preseason nears

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
Eli Apple and Sterling Shepard
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday will be a day of rest for the New York Giants after their longest, most grueling practice of training camp. Let’s use the off day to catch our breath and offer some observations as we head toward the preseason.

  • I have no idea at this point who will win the last couple of wide receiver roster spots, but it’s turning out to be a heckuva battle. Geremy Davis, Myles White, Roger Lewis, Tavarres King and Darius Powe have been taking turns one-upping each other.
  • Coach Ben McAdoo said recently that it’s not easy completing passes against the Giants’ corners, and we saw that on Saturday. Highlight after highlight showed terrific work by Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins and others.
  • I don’t know how the running back depth chart is going to shake out past Rashad Jennings. I do know that if I was Andre Williams I wouldn’t be buying property or signing a long-term lease.
  • I get asked about the right side of the offensive line all the time. I still believe that the Giants will add one or two offensive linemen off the waiver wire before the season starts.
  • Speaking of the offensive line, right tackle appears to be a competition in theory only. The only first-team reps Bobby Hart has taken have come during walk-through portions of practice. Until he takes live reps where he works with the first line and actually has to block Jason Pierre-Paul, there is no competition.
  • Despite the signing of Leon Hall, I still think undrafted free agent Donte Deayon has a chance to make the roster. The kid just keeps making plays.
  • I might be wrong about Larry Donnell not making the 53-man roster. By all accounts, the veteran tight end is having a nice camp.
  • I love the physicality Ben McAdoo has asked for/allowed from his players during training camp. In recent years, Tom Coughlin’s practices had seemed anything but physical. You can’t prepare for football without at least coming close to the physicality you will experience during a game.
  • You’re dead wrong if you think the signing of Hall means the Giants are dissatisfied with Apple. The first-round pick is an outside corner, not a slot guy. They are vastly different positions. This allows the Giants to leave Apple outside, where his future is, and to let him develop.
  • McAdoo is more open than Coughlin with the media when he wants to be. Like Coughlin, though, he is becoming masterful at really blowing past a question or giving a “non-answer” answer when he gets a question he doesn’t want to discuss during his daily briefings.
  • Linebackers coach Bill McGovern said recently there is a “wide open” competition for playing time at that spot. I don’t believe that’s true. Devon Kennard will be the SAM. At this point, I’ll be stunned if Jonathan Casillas isn’t the WILL. The only real question is who is in the middle, and I believe that will either be Jasper Brinkley or Keenan Robinson.
  • If he emerges from the preseason healthy, third-round pick Darian Thompson will be the starting free safety. I think you can bank on that.
  • I believe Carl Banks was right the other day when he said that the Giants’ defense might finish middle of the pack statistically, but be an opportunistic group that generates lots of sacks and turnovers. That, actually, is the type of defense you want the way the game is played now. Defense is about the big play, the turnover, changing momentum. That’s what you hope to see.
  • I like the fact that McAdoo said he wouldn’t waste time preparing for or studying the Dolphins in advance of Friday’s preseason opener. Who really cares about a game plan or studying the opponent at this point. Take your limited practice time and work on making your team better.
  • McAdoo and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan keep deflecting the “who will call the plays?” question. If I was a betting man (I’m not) I’d bet this month’s mortgage that McAdoo will do that once the regular season begins.
  • It seems like defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul have done nothing to quell optimism about how dynamic they can be together.