EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants worked in shoulder pads on Tuesday, the first time this season they have worn pads of any kind. It didn’t take long for the action to get heated.
On the very first play of 7-on-7, Eli Manning completed a short pass to Sterling Shepard, who was slammed to the ground by linebacker B.J. Goodson, Shepard didn’t like it, since there was supposed to be no tackling and no one knocked to the ground, and got in Goodson’s face to tell him about it. Nothing else came of it, though, and the rest of the workout proceeded without incident.
"I thought we worked well together. It was good to get the half-line drill going early in practice. Productive drill,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We went down a couple times, but for the most part we stayed on our feet. ... It was a good start."
The half-line drill uses, as it indicates, half of the offensive line, with a tight end and fullback. It is a pure running-game drill.
"That's a big part of the game today. You have to make sure you maximize your reps in pads, your time in pads,” McAdoo said. “We're gonna be smart about how we load the practices, how much time we're on the field and what we ask the players to do, but at the same point in time when we're out there we need to squeeze all the juice out of the orange and make sure we get it to look the way we want it to look."
Kevin Snead’s Misadventures
Undrafted free agent speedster Kevin Snead, a former track star from Carson Newman with limited football experience, is trying to make the roster. Tuesday won’t help his cause.
Snead attempted to field five punts during a special teams drill. He dropped three of the first four, then appeared to misjudge the last one and watch it sail at least five yards over his head.
- Wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris left practice with what coach Ben McAdoo said was a shoulder injury.
- Running back Shane Vereen and defensive end Devin Taylor were limited, with McAdoo saying they had lower body soreness.
Fullbacks Lead The Way
The Giants did not have a true fullback on their roster last season. They have two in camp currently, and Tuesday’s practice was the first real chance for Jacob Huesman and Shane Smith to show what they can do.
Smith was a blocking fullback at San Jose State. Huesman is a former college quarterback who has bulked up to play the fullback spot. Tuesday, Huesman’s only noticeable play was when he got destroyed by linebacker Jonathan Casillas on an attempted lead block. Smith appeared to throw a couple of nice leads blocks, one on Casillas and another when he sealed linebacker Keenan Robinson out of a hole.
Darius Powe Has Nice Day
Among the young wide receivers competing for roster spots, Darius Powe appears to have jumped in front. Powe caught several passes Tuesday, including a couple from Eli Manning while getting first-team reps during offense vs. defense portions of practice.
“It was definitely nice,” Powe said after practice. “Feels good to get reps with the ones.”
Powe, an undrafted free agent from Cal, nearly made the 53-man roster last season. He spent the entire year on the Giants’ practice squad.
Gallman’s Up And Down Day
Fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman had an up-and-down practice. He dropped the first two passes that came his way during the individual drills portions of practice. He got a decent amount of work during the half-line and team drills.
"Saw a young guy that got knocked around a little bit today, but bounced right back up and made a couple nice plays later on in practice,” McAdoo said. “He's a young player, has a lot to learn, has a long way to go."
Putting The Pressure On Rosas
The signing of veteran placekicker Mike Nugent means Aldrick Rosas officially has competition. McAdoo indicated adding a kicker at some point has always been the plan.
"We thought it was a good time. We thought at some point in time that we were going to add a kicker to create some competition, we just weren't sure when we were going to pull the trigger,” McAdoo said. “We thought it would be a good idea this spring to get Aldrick all the kicks, get a good foundation underneath him and provide competition at the end."
Nugent didn’t kick Tuesday, but Rosas had an odd day. Using only a kicking holder, Rosas made just 5-of-8 kicks from 50 yards. He spent a lot of time between kicks talking to special teams coordinator Tom Quinn. Later, during a team session, he went 4-for-4 from 32-39 yards.
Ereck Flowers Update
I will give you this because I know that otherwise you will ask. I can’t give you details on every rep Flowers took. He did get driven back into Manning once by Olivier Vernon, and could have been flagged for holding (in my view) while trying to seal Devon Kennard on a running play in the half-line drill.
Eli And Brandon
Brandon Marshall talked recently about how the relationship between himself and Manning is still developing, and Tuesday was an example. Manning completed a couple of nice throws to Marshall, including one where Marshall found a soft spot in a zone and caught a pass that would have gone for roughly a 15-yard gain. The duo missed connections on a red zone in-cut that would have gone for a touchdown, with Manning throwing the ball too far out in front for Marshall to reach it. Bad throw? Bad route? Don’t know, but it was a missed opportunity.
Let’s Play Some More
Landon Collins showed up to speak to the media with shoulder pads still on. This was 30-40 minutes after practice ended.
- Tight end Jerell Adams caught a long ball from Geno Smith on the left sideline in-between two defenders.
- Nat Berhe made a nice play to knock a Smith pass away from Evan Engram.
- Romeo Okwara pushed left tackle Chad Wheeler backwards on one bull rush.
- Jarron Jones, converting to left tackle from defensive tackle, is a work in progress. He held Kerry Wynn on one play, practically spinning him around. On the next snap, he did a nice job staying with Owa Odighizuwa and pushing him around the pocket.
- Robert Thomas and Jay Bromley both got some first-team work at defensive tackle.
- Undrafted free agent running back Khalid Abdullah dropped a softly-tossed swing pass from Smith during 11-on-11. In every practice I have been to, dating back to OTAs, Abdullah has dropped at least one pass during the team portions of the workouts.