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Pat Shurmur: Giants in pads for next three days, more takeaways

Giants coach talks about practice schedule, fights, Jon Halapio and more

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
Offensive line play will be a focus of the next three practices, all of which are expected to be in full pads.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur has said throughout the spring and the first couple of days of training camp, all unpadded work for players, that he wants practice to look like real football.

Well, that is going to get easier over the next few days.

Shurmur indicated Saturday morning that the team’s next three practices are all likely to be in full pads.

“Certainly with the shoulder pads and pants on we can start to get some of the final pieces of our evaluation, especially for the guys up front,” Shurmur said. “We’re going to try to find the guys that can play football.”

Shurmur said there won’t be any full tackling, though he wouldn’t completely rule out the idea of doing it at some point.

“We’ll just have to see as we go,” he said.

Full tackling is something I’m not sure I have seen in any Giants training camp practice dating back to 2007.

“Boys will be boys”

With pads on and temperatures soaring it is virtually certain that at some point tempers will flare and there will be extra-curricular activities between players. Shurmur doesn’t seem bothered by that at all.

“Boys will be boys, and it’s competitive,” he said. “Part of what makes our players special is they embrace the contact, they look for it and they’re super-competitive, so they never want to lose.’

Shurmur said players are “emotionally injured for a little bit” after a fight.

“We try to separate the guys, cool ‘em down, be like walking off an ankle injury and then when we’re assured they’re OK then we put ‘em back in and get to work.”

Communication key to rise of Jon Halapio

Shurmur told media in the spring not to read into Jon Halapio getting all first-team reps at center. That has continued during the first two days of camp, making it obvious what the plan is at the position. Halapio is the starter and Brett Jones appears relegated to the backup role.

What do Shurmur and the Giants like about Halapio, a 27-year-old who has bounced around the league and saw his first regular-season action last season?

“The closer you are to the ball the more you need to communicate. I think he’s done a good job communicating, getting us going in the right direction,” Shurmur said.

“We’re fortunate in practice to be able to see a lot of looks which will help us. It will serve us well as we move forward. He’s done a good job with that. He also has to do what every lineman does, block his guy and then work in conjunction with the guys next to him and he’s done a good job with that as well.”

What Giants are looking for at free safety

Darian Thompson and Curtis Riley have taken first-team free safety reps the first two days. Andrew Adams is also in the mix for that job. What are the Giants looking for?

“Safety is No. 1. They’ve got to be able to communicate. So you’re looking for a guy who has those skills, and does it well within our scheme. Obviously then you’ve got to be able to play what a safety plays. You’ve got to be able to play half the field, gotta be able to play quarters, and then you’ve got to be able to play the middle of the field. Lastly, you’ve got to be able to play low, in the box.”

Not ready to anoint Davis Webb as the No. 2 quarterback

It has been apparent throughout the spring and early part of camp that second-year man Davis Webb has the jump on rookie fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta in whatever competition there may be to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Eli Manning. Shurmur, though, isn’t ready to commit to a pecking order behind Manning.

“In my mind we have Eli and we haven’t really structured the depth chart beyond that,” Shurmur said. “I think it’s important that the guys come out here, use the reps that they get to get better. That’s probably a question better for later in camp ... We’re in that phase right now where we’re trying to develop all the players.”