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OTA No. 4: What we’ll be watching Tuesday at Giants practice

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Media access gives us a chance to check out Big Blue today

NFL: New York Giants-OTA
Safety Sean Chandler dives to intercept a pass intended for Ryan O’Malley during an OTA last week.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason continues to churn along for the New York Giants on Tuesday, when they gather for their latest voluntary OTA. Media has access to this practice. What can we look for?

What we learned last week

There is media access to one OTA each week. Last week, we learned that Davis Webb is currently handling second-team quarterback duties and fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta is beginning as the No. 4 QB, behind Alex Tanney. We also learned that Ereck Flowers is working as the first-team offensive right tackle and that cornerback Eli Apple appears to have a much different outlook than he did a season ago.

Where is Snacks?

OTAs are voluntary. Big-name players across the league have reportedly not been in attendance at workouts held by their teams. It’s not the end of the world if a guy doesn’t attend, but there is added importance to OTAs with a new coaching staff and new schemes. The Giant who hasn’t been in attendance is Damon Harrison.

No knock on Harrison, I just wish we knew why. He lives locally in Bergen County.

“I know why he’s not here,” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “I will just leave it at that.”

A competition at center?

The Giants official website provides reports of what happens at OTAs on days media isn’t in attendance, and one notable thing is that Jon Halapio apparently took some first-team reps at center last week. No reason to overreact to how reps are distributed at voluntary workouts in May — as Shurmur says there is no depth chart — but it does make you wonder if there will be a competition between Halapio and Brett Jones for the starting center spot.

Where does Russell Shepard fit?

The Giants signed wide receiver Russell Shepard last week after he was released by the Carolina Panthers. Will he end up being a legitimate contender for the No. 3 wide receiver role?

Bradley Smith of SB Nation’s Panthers website, Cat Scratch Reader, doesn’t think Shepard is really a full-time receiving option.

“He’s a good special teams player and probably good enough to be the 4th or 5th guy on the depth chart,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Shepard spent four years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Gil Arcia of Bucs Nation said that Shepard “was the Bucs’ special teams ace and a somewhat reliable target on offense.”

Rule change reaction

Without question. veteran Giants players will be asked for their reactions to the league’s national anthem policy. Let’s focus, though, on the helmet and kickoff rules.

I am curious to see what the reaction is to the new rules, and what the kickoff work looks like if that is something they do on Tuesday.

Remaining schedule

OTA Offseason Workouts: May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Mini-camp: June 12-14

Phase Three consists of the final four weeks of the program. Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs.” No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.