EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The first practice of New York Giants training camp is in the books. Let’s get to the takeaways from what we saw on Thursday.
Odell Beckham update
3:34 p.m. ET
What was significant about that time? That is when Beckham, participating fully in 11-on-11 drills, made his first catch of training camp. It was a simple short crossing route and ball he caught from Eli Manning in front of B.J. Goodson. Beckham followed that up with another short catch on the following play, and had a third reception later in practice.
Beckham, returning from a fractured ankle, didn’t do any work during team periods in the spring.
Coach Pat Shurmur had said earlier in the day that the Giants “going to be smart with how much we give him.”
Beckham also caught a few punts which, I’m sure, will have some of you going ballistic at the possibility of him returning punts in games. My guess? He caught a few punts to have something to do rather than stand around during special teams drills.
We also found out from co-owner John Mara that contract negotiations with Beckham will open “pretty soon.”
Let’s get right to it, since that’s the meat and potatoes of it.
The 37-year-old threw the ball really well all spring and said on Wednesday that his “arm feels great.”
Manning had a pretty good day Thursday, but if you want to be an alarmist there was one throw that was disturbing. Manning had Cody Latimer singled up with Janoris Jenkins on a go route down the left sideline. Latimer got a step on Jenkins, but the ball hung up, didn’t quite get there and Jenkins wrestled it away from Latimer for a pick.
The second-year quarterback was a bit erratic early in practice. I counted three balls that he air-mailed during the first 11-on-11 session, at least two that should have been easy completions.
In the second 11-on-11 session, though, Webb was different. There were several excellent medium-range throws. A dart he threw over the middle to tight end Jerell Adams just whisked past the finger-tips of linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong. To be honest, Webb is the only quarterback on the roster with the arm strength to complete that throw.
Throughout the spring Lauletta showed flashes of the accuracy and anticipation he was known for at Richmond, then made some wildly erratic throws. More of the same on Thursday.
His most concerning throw? With Russell Shepard a full two steps behind Eli Apple on a deep ball, Lauletta’s long toss didn’t get there and Apple was able to recover and break up the throw. The big question with Lauletta is whether or not he has the arm strength to make the deep throw.
His best throw? Lauletta threw a great ball to tight end Ryan O’Malley about 20 yards down field, dropping the ball perfectly between two defensive backs. O’Malley, though, was unable to make the play.
Sam Beal update
A day after it was reported that the rookie corner was done for the season after suffering a shoulder injury, the Giants appear to be holding out hope that the team’s third-round Supplemental Draft selection might play this season.
“We’re evaluating what’s happening with him. He was out here – and you saw him the last day of the rookie camp,” said head coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s got a little thing going on with his shoulder that might need to get fixed.”
Shurmur indicated that the Giants knew “there were some issues” with Beal’s shoulder when they drafted him.
Beal was in attendance at Thursday’s practice but did not participate.
What’s up with ‘Snacks?’
Damon Harrison was at practice on Thursday, but the big nose tackle was not a participant. Instead, he watched with a visor on. Shurmur said Harrison is being eased into training camp and should be on the field this weekend.
At the end of mandatory mini-camp, I told you watch out for wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo. Toward the end of the spring, Etta-Tawo was receiving a smattering of first-team reps. Etta-Tawo had an excellent day Thursday, with several nice catches.
The 6-foot-1, 194-pounder stutter-stepped off the line and beat Teddy Williams easily to haul in a deep ball from Manning. Later, he beat Chris Lewis-Harris with a nice sideline route, but Lauletta’s pass was wide of the mark. Etta-Tawo also beadly beat Grant Haley to haul ina . deep ball from Alex Tanney.
There are always guys who impress early and then fade away. Still, there is probably a wide receiver roster spot open. Etta-Tawo is making an early bid for it.
Olivier Vernon not playing favorites
There was a rep during 11-on-11 drills where Vernon, lined up at left defensive end, flew around the edge and embarrassed a helpless Ereck Flowers. The right tackle was left grasping for what would have been an obvious holding call.
Before you kill Flowers, maybe you should just credit Vernon.
Later in practice, lined up against Nate Solder on the other side, Vernon penetrated and used a snip move to leave Solder helplessly watching him burst to the inside.
So, OV got both Giants’ tackles on Thursday.