EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The first padded practice for the New York Giants was a different, almost eerie sort of an affair. No fans, of course. No bleachers. The sounds of buses waiting to transport players back to MetLife Stadium in the distance. Mowers taking care of the grounds and traffic could be heard going by.
It was, though, a football practice. The first one we have been able to see. Let’s talk a little bit about what we saw.
A little news first. We didn’t see a placekicker at practice Monday, and now we know why. Graham Gano is in and Chandler Catanzaro is out. [Full story]
Giants released veteran kicker Chandler Catanzaro, per source. Their kicking job belongs to former Panther Graham Gano, who reunites with former Carolina GM Dave Gettleman.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 17, 2020
Coach Joe Judge confirmed the release during his post-practice videoconference.
Cornerback Grant Haley worked on the side with a trainer. He appeared to be the only player who was not a full participant in practice.
It’s a rapid pace
We wondered what a Joe Judge-coached practice would look like. Well, what we learned quickly is that it’s fast-paced. There is little to no down time. Players get in and out of drills in a hurry and there is no wasted time. Even water breaks happen in the blink of an eye.
Another thing that keeps the pace up is that the Giants are running two groups at a time. It’s not one offensive group vs. one defensive group with everyone else standing around. There are two groups working simultaneously. Monday, that was on opposite ends of a single practice. That, of course doubles the players involved and pretty much doubles the reps players get.
“We just need to make sure, we have a limited time at practice, so we need to get as much out of that time as possible. Today we were limited to 90 minutes on the field. The way to expand that time is to expand the drills you’re running and make sure everyone is working at all times,” Judge said. “We’re trying to make sure everybody maximizes the time on the field, maximizes our reps, and gives us a chance to evaluate everybody, and for them to improve on their individual techniques.”
Oh, those laps
Did you play a high school sport? How many times did a coach make you run a lap when you screwed up? That particular way to get a player’s attention is common at that level, but not in the NFL. On a couple of rare occasions I saw Ben McAdoo make players run a lap after an egregious mistake.
That happened four times on Monday. Four times!
First, an entire offensive group got to run a lap. Alex Tanney and Wayne Gallman got to run a lap after fumbling a handoff. Offensive lineman Chad Slade did a lap, for what I couldn’t tell you. The fourth lap appeared to belong to run by Carter Coughlin, for an unknown transgression. At times, position coaches run, too.
“There are consequences on the field for making mistakes,” said coach Joe Judge.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard said he hasn’t done that since middle school, but if you don’t want to run “just don’t make mistakes.”
Saqoun Barkley can't remember the last time he saw teammates run punishment laps, but adds "little things matter."— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) August 17, 2020
Just so you know, there are also a fair amount of expletives flying around.
The Giants have numbers on their practice jerseys, but not names.
“We should know each other as coaches and players by how we move and the way we carry ourselves,” Judge said. “When a quarterback gets under center, I expect him to know, is that a safety in the box or a Will linebacker? I expect them to know, is that a sized defensive end on the outside or is that an outside linebacker walked up?
“The numbers and name stuff, we’ll do that on game day. Right now, we have numbers just to meet the rules laid out by the league. But to be honest with you, the identification of who the players are, we should be better than that as coaches and players by knowing our teammates.”
The New England Patriots apparently do the same thing. No surprise Judge brought that with him.
Pads, but ...
Maybe you were excited, expecting a lot of hitting and some things that approached real, aggressive football on Monday. Well, that didn’t happen.
The Giants were in full pads. There was some contact along the lines, but there wasn’t much in the way of all-out hitting. Lots of walk-thru sessions, some good 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 work, but nothing overly physical as players continued to ramp up toward the Sept. 14 opener vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rough session for cornerbacks
A 1-on-1 passing session with quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy alternating throws proved to be a rough one for Giants cornerbacks.
I counted 15 throws from the 2-yard line. By my count, 11 went for touchdowns. There were two holding penalties called and should have been more. There were only two clear incompletions, one with Darnay Holmes defending Golden Tate and one with Prince Smith defending Corey Coleman.
I counted eight passes from the 15-yard line. Five of those went for touchdowns and only one, with Jarren Williams covering Binjimen Victor, was incomplete.
The duo of Colt McCoy and wide receiver C.J. Board provided the highlights of the session. Below, a leaping catch by Board in the corner of the end zone over Williams. The two hooked up again on the final play of session, with McCoy throwing a terrific back-shoulder fade a sprawling Board grabbed for the the score with Smith in coverage.
A few other notes
- Holmes had an interception of Jones late in practice. Unfortunately, it was far away from media with a host of players aligned in front of us so it’s impossible to know exactly what happened on the play. All we really saw was Holmes come out of the pack with the ball.
- There’s always one guy. When teams run gassers, which the Giants did at the end of Monday’s practice, there is always one guy who wants to leave his teammates in the dust. That guy for the Giants on Monday was wide receiver Alex Bachman, a practice squad player a year ago.
- Saquon Barkley Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Can Brown shoves away a blocker Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Wide receiver C.J. Board had a nice day Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- That looks like football Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Christian Angulo Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Blake Martinez and Chad Slade Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Spencer Pulley set to snap the ball Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Sandro Platzgummer Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Golden Tate Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Josiah Tauaefa Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]
- Dalvin Tomlinson and Spencer Pulley Matthew Swensen [Giants.com]