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New York Giants Training Camp, Aug. 5: Practice Takeaways

Big day for Engram, Michael Strahan visits, more

Sterling Shepard (87) stretches with teammates on Saturday.
Photo by Ed Valentine

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There was a glimpse of something new and exciting (first-round pick Evan Engram catching touchdown passes) and a touch of something old and unforgettable (Hall of Famer Michael Strahan speaking to the team) during Saturday’s New York Giants training camp practice.

Engram Shows What He Can Do

When the Giants drafted Engram with the 23rd overall pick, they were hoping he would help them in the red zone and in the middle of the field. Saturday, he showed his red zone potential.

“He’s a target down there, we all see that, we all see the skill set,” said head coach Ben McAdoo.

Sterling Shepard Works

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard wasn’t in full pads like his teammates. He was, however, on the field early in Saturday’s practice. That’s a good sign after his injury scare earlier in the week. Shepard stretched with teammates, then went to the side and did some sprints and some agility drills. He appeared to be moving fairly well, perhaps with only a slight limp.

Ereck Flowers

Everyone wants to dissect each and every rep Ereck Flowers takes. There are good reps, there are occasionally bad reps. The only certainty is that when Flowers speaks, as he did Saturday, there will be few words.

Flowers appeared to have a pretty good day Saturday, with only one obviously awful rep where he got his left hand wrapped around the neck of Oivier Vernon.

“Today was a good day. I think it was one of our longer practices,” Flowers said. “I think it went pretty good.”

Good Times With DRC

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie enjoyed himself during practice on Saturday, and then entertained reporters afterwards. (Full Story)

Michael Strahan Stops By

Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan spoke to the team at the end of practice.

“He talked about the love of the game; he talked about the pride in the Giants organization; about how his team, the team that he was on, is connected to the team that we have here today; what a special place this is; and don’t have any regrets and make sure you get everything you can out of camp and have no regrets moving forward,” McAdoo said.

Strahan also concluded practice with a chant that included a very noticeable expletive.

Backup QB Stuff

I didn’t chart exact “unofficial” completion numbers for Geno Smith and Josh Johnson on Saturday.

Johnson threw a touchdown pass to Kevin Snead, but Smith appeared to have the better day. Smith hit Jerell Adams with a beautiful seam route and had running back Khalid Abdullah drop (yes, the daily Abdullah drop) a sure touchdown pass by the left pylon. He did throw an interception when Mark Herzlich gathered in a pass tipped by running back Wayne Gallman.

From my perspective, there is little thus far to differentiate between the two backup quarterbacks. Preseason games are likely to tell the story, not the daily practices.

Rookie Davis Webb once again took his only reps during the 7-on-7 “opportunity” period. He went 5-of-7.

McAdoo’s Take

The Giants’ coach was happy with his team’s work Saturday, including the fact that the Giants got done early.

“It was a good day of practice today. Situational football was cranked up a little bit, the players responded. We had a nice day out there today,” he said. “We finished about seven minutes ahead of schedule. The tempo was outstanding, we had good physicality in there, good intensity. A lot of tight work down there and when you’re playing down there tight – it’s a game of anticipation, can’t have any hesitation and we played with good speed on both sides of the ball. I thought it was a great day for special teams for us. We took a step in special teams. We had a competition – we split up some veteran guys, we split up the young guys. We kept score and they really competed their tail off today.”

Quick Hits

  • Snead had a touchdown catch and showed his speed by getting the corner on a kickoff return and forcing kicker Mike Nugent to drive him out of bounds.
  • Defensive end Devin Taylor had two “sacks” on the day. Saturday marked Taylor’s first real work since early in camp.
  • Eric Pinkins intercepted a Josh Johnson pass intended for Matt LaCosse.
  • Shane Vereen was in full pads, but appeared to only work during the end-of-practice jog-thru.
  • Neither Nugent nor Aldrick Rosas attempted any field goals on Saturday.