The training camp portion of the New York Giants’ preparation for the 2017 season is over. That doesn’t actually mean much to the players or coaches, who will continue to report to Quest Diagnostics Training Center for work each day. It does, however, mean no more public practices.
It also means it is time to hand out some training camp “Kudos & Wet Willies.” So, let’s do that.
Kudos To ...
Odell Beckham Jr. — He danced his way through training camp while also making a number of spectacular catches. He has also looked and sounded comfortable with everything that comes with being Odell Beckham Jr., more comfortable than he seemed a year ago.
The D.J. Fluker Interview — After Fluker gave a passionate interview early in training camp, I dared anyone on the roster to give a better one during camp. As far as I’m concerned no one did.
Players Whose Stock Went Up — Darius Powe, Orleans Darkwa, Jerell Adams, Jay Bromley, Calvin Munson, Eli Apple and Michael Hunter come quickly to mind. There are probably others, but that’s a good start.
The McAdictionary — This came from ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan, and if you haven’t read it you need to do so. Giants coach Ben McAdoo has a language all his own, filled with go-to cliches like “heavy-handed football team,” “never say never” and a host of others. Ranaan is now the keeper of McAdictionary. Oh, hey Jordan. You missed “prep-cation.” I’ve got other suggestions, too, if you want them.
Mr. Big Blue View Fan — This is a shout-out to the gentleman who yelled to me Tuesday that he was a big fan of Big Blue View. Thank you, my fine man.
Wet Willies To ...
Offensive Line — It would be too easy, not to mention incorrect and not fair, to just give this “WW” to Ereck Flowers. He hasn’t been alone in struggling. The offensive line was an issue last season, but the Giants chose not address it in any significant way during the offseason. They pinned their hopes, instead, on improvement from the pieces they already had in place. Thus far, it’s really difficult to make the case that they are getting it.
Flowers’ ups and downs have been well-documented. The run-game blocking has been spotty. There were two first-quarter runs by Paul Perkins for negative yardage in the preseason opener, and too many defenders in the backfield during practices. At least Bobby Hart has looked better.
Five Hours In The Car — It’s a personal thing and you don’t care, but it’s a two-and-one-half-hour drive each way for yours truly to get to and from Giants’ practice. It’s wearing me out, and stuff keeps happening while I’m in the car, which makes it even more aggravating.
Players Whose Stock Has Gone Down — Those would include Josh Johnson, Roger Lewis Jr., Will Tye, Donte Deayon, Valentino Blake, Duke Ihenacho. Some, or all, of those guys might make the 53-man roster. They need, however, to pick up the pace.
Turning Away Fans — I was not at Sunday’s training camp practice, but it was a beautiful day and so many people showed up hoping to watch the free, open to the public practice that the Giants ended up turning away fans. I know there is limited seating, space and parking, but turning away fans — which means turning away autograph-seeking kids — is an awful thing. It’s an illustration of why training camp at the Giants’ Quest Diagnostics Training Center facility is just not a fan-friendly experience. Training at their own facility, where they already have everything they need, is perfectly understandable. It simply doesn’t provide anything close to the experience fans got when the team trained in Albany.