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Giants training camp, 8/21: David Sills, Alex Bachman, Darnay Holmes, Javon Leake stand out in scrimmage

Giants run first of three schedules intra-squad scrimmages

New York Giants Training Camp
Giants players stretch before Friday’s practice.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants held their first of what will likely be three training camp scrimmages on Friday, working a variety of 11 on 11 situations for nearly 90 minutes at their Quest Diagnostics Training Center facility.

“I was pleased with the way everyone came out and worked today,” said head coach Joe Judge. “You want to see how guys perform in these situations because this is the closest simulation we can have to a game.”

Judge said the communication between his newly-assembled coaching staff and players “went well.”

“I thought the coaching staff did well. We’ve got to remember, this is really the first time this coaching staff on either side of the ball have worked together in this kind of situation,” Judge said. “There’s a lot of communication as coaches we have to work out as well.”

Quick hits

  • Statistically, a so-so day for Daniel Jones, 10 of 22 with an interception.
  • Really nice day for undrafted running back Javon Leake, who showed an explosive burst on two or three occasions.
  • Rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes had the interception of Jones, and appeared to work exclusively throughout the day in the slot.
  • Call it good news for the various offensive line groups or bad news for the pass rushers, but the four quarterbacks (with red jerseys not allowing them to be hit, of course) did not appear to be under much duress during the scrimmage.
  • Wide receivers David Sills V and Alex Bachman, practice squad players a year ago, each had nice days.
  • Undrafted wide receiver Derrick Dillon had a couple of easy drops on back-to-back throws.
  • A very active Dexter Lawrence dumped Saquon Barkley on back-to-back plays early in the scrimmage. Barkley didn’t appear appreciative as the two seemed to exchange some pleasantries.

Now, let’s dive into a few more details.


Here’s Judge’s overall assessment:

“There were some right there I thought they played better than not. I thought they ended the day on a high note with some good drives going down the field,” Judge said.

“For a first day of going out there in a live situation of just calling plays, running plays I was pleased with the effort today, I was pleased with the urgency. There’s a lot of things we have to clean up going forward.”

Daniel Jones’ day

Jones completed just three of his first 10 throws. He picked it up as the session went along, though.

Judge spent much of his time behind the offense and when I asked him if he was pleased with Jones’ command of the newly-installed offense, he said “very much so.”

“I was standing behind the huddle, behind the offense the entire time. The things you can’t see on film are the command, you can’t see on film the way he is in the huddle, you can’t see on film the presence our players have at the line of scrimmage,” Judge said.

“I was very pleased with the tone he [Jones] set in the huddle. He does it every day in practice. but he went out there today in a competitive situation and really stepped up.”

Who’s at center?

Nick Gates, bidding for the starting center job, had a clean day Friday in his work with Jones.

“He’s done a good job,” Jones said. “Playing a lot of center. I thought he’s done a good job.”

David Sills V and Alex Bachman stand out

Practice squad receivers a year ago, both Sills and Bachman continued to stand out on Friday. Sills caught a touchdown pass from Daniel Jones while lined up against James Bradberry, perhaps taking advantage of safety Jabrill Peppers cramping. Still, that was one of several nice plays by Sills.

“This guy busts hit butt every day he comes out,” Judge said. “He’s shown up a lot for us already on offense, he shows up in the kicking game.”

“He’s a guy out there you can trust,” Jones said. “A guy who’s in the right spot a lot of the time and can get open and make plays. He’s a good player.”

On Bachman, Judge said:

“He’s productive in drills, he’s productive in team periods, it’s no surprise to see him making plays.”

Running back Javon Leake flashes

On his first touch of the day, the undrafted free agent from Maryland took a handoff up the middle, made a quick cut at the line of scrimmage and suddenly found himself in the secondary. It was one of at least three explosive plays for Leake, competing to try and earn a backup running back job.

“He’s a guy that’s really coming on right now,” Judge said. “He’s feeling more comfortable within the system and the scheme. He’s doing a good job taking the coaching points from Burton [Burns] to the field.

“Today’s a day where he had an opportunity to go out there and just play. He went out there and just played some ball and made some plays for us.”


Rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes made a terrific play when he intercepted Jones while covering Golden Tate. The fourth-round pick appears to be a player who will play a big role in the secondary at the beginning of the season.

“He’s a real competitive guy, comes to work every day with a full head of steam,” Judge said. “He’s very attentive, so I’m not surprised to see him improving day by day. I was pleased with the way he played today.”

After Holmes’ interception, though, he did have the ball poked away by Andrew Thomas. Judge appreciated the hustle, but added “Darnay’s gonna get ripped for fumbling the ball.”

Other notables on defense

  • Linebacker Devante Downs, an afterthought a season ago, is a player to watch. He seems to have caught the eye of this coaching staff.
  • Rough day for cornerback Grant Haley. He was beaten several times by Sills and Bachman, though he did have one nice pass defensed while covering undrafted free agent receiver Austin Mack.
  • Cornerback Dravon Askew-Henry had back-to-back pass breakups on throws from quarterback Cooper Rush that were intended for wide receiver Tony Brown.

Special teams

New Giants placekicker Graham Gano went 6 of 6 in field-goal attempts throughout the scrimmage. As those kicks were on the far end of the field away from media it was impossible to track distances. It appeared, though, that the last one may have been from 50 yards or more. Gano, incidentally, is wearing No. 6 for the Giants. He has traditionally worn No. 9, but with the Giants that number belongs to punter Riley Dixon.

Sitting out

Linebacker Ryan Connelly, wide receiver Corey Coleman and safety Xavier McKinney did not participate. They rode bikes and worked on the side. “We just thought they had a really strong load,” Judge said. “We thought it was best to just go ahead and rest them.”