EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Odell Beckham Jr.’s absence continued to be the main story as the New York Giants continued OTAs on Thursday. Beckham did not attend any of the three voluntary practice sessions held this week.
Defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Owamagbe Odighizuwa were the only other players not in attendance for Thursday’s session, the first that was open to the media.
“You want all your players here, especially your great players,” head coach Ben McAdoo said. “It’s a time to build fundamentals and communication and chemistry and trust, so you want all your players here, especially the great ones. They facilitate a lot of those things for you, but you coach who’s here.”
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall didn’t sound concerned by Beckham’s continued absence.
"When he's been here we've gotten great work. He's a special talent. Of course it's always good when you have your full team there, but he's out working hard,” Marshall said. “I know he’s handling his business. He’ll be ready when he comes in.”
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins didn’t sound worried about either Beckham or Vernon not being in attendance.
“We know those guys are very talented and we know that this is a business and they are out there working and it is not a big concern to the team,” Jenkins said. “When they get back they are going to come in here like they always do and we will have fun and continue to practice.”
Beckham reached out to Kim Jones of NFL Network and said he will attend the mandatory mini-camp next month.
Odell Beckham to me from LA: “I love my team & am excited about the season.” At future OTAs? “No comment." I'd expect him at mandatory camp.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) May 25, 2017
Following up on on my @nflnetwork report, Odell Beckham Jr just told me he will attend #NYG mandatory minicamp "for sure." Begins June 13.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) May 25, 2017
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Brandon Marshall Stays on the High Road
Marshall once again refused to take the bait and react to recent comments from Sheldon Richardson of the New York Jets that the team’s locker room is a better place without Marshall.
“I am not a perfect guy, but I worked extremely hard to get into the position that I am in today,” Marshall said. “The first couple years of my career were rough and a lot of it I did myself, hurt myself and since that point, once I figured things out, I have worked extremely hard to be a better person and extremely hard to be a better teammate, a better father, a better husband, and I am proud of where I am at today.”
- Darian Thompson, working his way back from a foot injury that limited him to two games last season, did individual drills but did not participate in the 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 portions of the practice.
- Eli Apple left practice early with appeared to be a foot or thigh issue.
- Fullback/tight end Rhett Ellison is “sore,” according to McAdoo and didn’t work.
A few observations from Thursday’s practice.
- Marshall and cornerback Janoris Jenkins will have some nice battles. Marshall beat Jackrabbit down the sideline for one deep completion, but Jenkins came back later in practice to deny Marshall on an in-cut.
“It was great competition and I appreciate that because I am not going to come out here and be embarrassed,” Marshall said. “So I know that he is going to bring it every day and that means that I have to do the same or I am going to be on the film and not looking too hot.”
- Cornerback Michael Hunter, who played in two games last season, had a noticeable day. He batted away a trio of passes.
- Josh Johnson took most of the snaps with the second team as Geno Smith is currently limited as he recovers from knee surgery.
- Rookie quarterback Davis Webb worked from both the shotgun and under center during his reps with the third team.
- Scrums between players happen sometimes in training camp, but rarely in an OTA where players are in shorts and t-shirts. Still, starting guard John Jerry exchanged words — and a few shoves — with someone on defense on two occasions Thursday. From the sideline, we couldn’t make out who Jerry was unhappy with, but it certainly was unusual.
- Mark Herzlich did work both at linebacker and tight end. During a 7-on-7 drill, Herzlich made a nice move to beat rookie safety Jadar Johnson off the line of scrimmage and caught a crisp pass from Webb while running down the seam. Just like a real tight end.
- It is virtually impossible to learn much about offensive line play in this type of setting, but there was interest in Ereck Flowers. The third-year offensive tackle did appear to be a bit leaner, and McAdoo was complementary:
“Ereck did everything we asked him to do in the offseason. He’s in tremendous condition, he looks quick on his feet,” McAdoo said.