Despite yesterday’s cheap shot at Eli Manning, Ed has graciously invited me back to share my observations from Detroit Lions/New York Giants joint practice on Wednesday. And in case you missed it, my name’s Jeremy Reisman and I manage the Detroit Lions blog Pride of Detroit. I’m here to bring a new, fresh perspective on Giants practice and potentially annoy a passionate Giants fan or two. I promise to focus more on the former today.
Odell vs. Slay: Round 2
Unfortunately, the billing of Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Darius Slay didn’t live up to the hype on Wednesday. Slay got an early pass breakup during 7-on-7s, but the two didn’t really face off much more after that.
That being said, Beckham still looks extremely explosive and Lions Pro Bowl safety Glover Quin lost him by a good three steps on an easy touchdown for the Giants.
Webb commands better
It continues to look like JDavis Webb is the bonafide backup in New York. Webb bounced back after an iffy practice on Tuesday. In fact, while the first-team offense struggled to move the ball very well, Webb was leading the second team up and down the field against the Lions’ backups.
In one of the final drills of the day, both teams ran one-minute drills using their backup quarterbacks with the first-team offense. Webb was able to easily get the team into field position with enough time for a field goal. Though the kick missed the Lions’ extra-skinny goalposts, it would’ve been good with regular uprights.
Kyle Lauletta got his own crack at the drill with the second team offense and looked considerably more flummoxed. He threw two straight incompletions to start the drive — one a pretty bad overthrow. On third down, he held the ball for quite some time before finding a lane to scramble for 16 yards … but he failed to get out of bounds. He finally found his first completion late in the session, connecting with Russel Shepard for a big gain. Although the Giants players thought Shepard broke free for a touchdown, officials ruled him down around the 20-yard line (there was no live tackling), and time ran out before the Giants could get a field goal off.
I thought Webb was clearly the better quarterback on Wednesday.
Eli Apple puts an end to the DB struggles
For most of both practices, the Lions receivers have gotten the better of the Giants defensive backs. It’s not necessarily that the Giants secondary is in a bad position, but the likes of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. have used their height and athleticism to outjump and outmuscle guys like Eli Apple and Curtis Riley for balls. The only time in camp I saw the Giants defensive backs thoroughly beaten was on a single rep Wednesday when Marvin Jones slipped by both Apple and William Gay for a deep ball. Matthew Stafford overthrew everyone, unfortunately (well, fortunately for y’all).
But Apple got the last laugh. During the aforementioned one-minute drills, Apple jumped in front of a pass from Lions backup Jake Rudock and would have taken it to the house.
Flashbacks for Ereck Flowers
Chances are you haven’t forgotten about Ereck Flowers’ performance against the Lions last year. I know I haven’t, but in case you need a reminder, Ezekiel Ansah racked up three sacks against him lined up at left tackle.
Today must have felt like déjà vu for him, as it was former Giant Devon Kennard who gave him fits on the right side. Kennard slipped by Flowers with an outside move, then did it again with an inside move just a few snaps later during 11-on-11s.
In fact, it was a rough overall day for the Giants’ offensive front, especially in the run game. After having their way with Lions defenders on Tuesday, there was nowhere to go for Jonathan Stewart, who spent most of his day running into the backs of his own offensive linemen.
- Kalif Raymond stuck out during kick return drills. He had one rep that may have gone for a touchdown had there been live tackling.
- Cody Latimer had a heck of a catch over Lions No. 1 corner Darius Slay in 7-on-7s but came down just out of bounds.
- For the second straight day, the Giants’ defensive line gave the Lions hell. Though the Lions were mixing around combinations because of an injury to starting center Graham Glasgow, the Giants were plugging running lanes and getting some pressure on the quarterback. Olivier Vernon: Still good.
- Rhett Ellison popped up a few times in my notes as a guy the Lions had trouble covering. He had a long TD catch on a perfect throw from Webb in the corner of the end zone.
If you want to read my observations from the Lions’ point of view, head over to Pride of Detroit.
Thanks to Ed for the opportunity to write for you this week. Good luck in Friday’s game, and I hope both teams can escape without any injuries!