EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Near the end of Tuesday’s practice, Evan Engram and Brandon Marshall gave the Giants a glimpse of what they could mean to the team’s offense.
In their final team period of the day, coach Ben McAdoo set up a two-minute drill. The situation was this — ball at midfield, Giants down eight points, 57 ticks left on the clock, one timeout remaining. The job was to get a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie.
Engram provided the first part, hauling in a touchdown pass of roughly 20 yards (I couldn’t see exact yardage from my vantage point behind the play, with Giants players in front of my watching). The play is the final one on the video above from Giants.com, and it shows Engram beating middle linebacker B.J. Goodson down the seam and catching a pass at the goal line before safety Darian Thompson could get there.
“Coach McAdoo is always on me about playing fast and just going, and I played fast, took the middle of the field, and had to make a great play for my team,” Engram said. “Plus, we were in great position. We were in a situation where it was the last 50 seconds, we were trying to tie the game up, so I just had to make a play.”
What leapt to mind immediately on the play was what McAdoo said when the Giants drafted the 6-foot-3, 236-pound Engram 23rd overall:
That was really a place the Giants couldn’t attack last season with their tight ends. They can now.
What was McAdoo’s reaction to the play?
“He (Engram) had some opportunities today to make some plays and he came through in the two-minute drill, which was nice to see,” McAdoo said.
Of course, Engram’s touchdown still left the offense needing a two-point conversion. They got it when Eli Manning lobbed a 50-50 ball to the corner of the end zone for Marshall. He put a move on Janoris Jenkins, who fell down, leaving Marshall open for an easy score.
Regardless of Jackrabbit’s post-practice protestations that while Marshall made “a good move” perhaps the corner would have fought a little harder and perhaps simply committed a penalty to stop Marshall in a real game, it was still a play that showed one of the reasons Marshall is now a Giant. The Giants really didn’t have a big-bodied receiver who could win on a route like that a year ago.
In the end, it was just a couple of plays in training camp that will eventually be forgotten. It was a sequence, though, that offered a glimpse into what could be down the road.