The New York Giants only held a walk-through practice on Wednesday afternoon as they look toward Friday night’s scrimmage, but it proved to be an eventful training camp day nonetheless.
- There was the news that safety Xavier McKinney and linebacker David Mayo will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering injuries that will require surgery.
- There was the revelation that practice started late because the Giants were discussing as a team social issues in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
- There was the decision to hold practice in MetLife Stadium, where the coaching staff worked on establishing in-game communication.
Jacob Blake reaction
The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks boycotted a playoff game to protest the shooting, which happened in their home state of Wisconsin. The Detroit Lions cancelled a practice. The Giants discussed the situation, chose to practice, and reaffirmed their commitment as a team to continue their player-driven community outreach efforts.
“This wasn’t a distraction by any means. This was a conversation we wanted to make sure we had as a team. There’s some things that are very important within the locker room, the culture and making sure the players understand that, look, we’re concerned about them ... We want to make sure they know that we support them.”
Practicing in MetLife Stadium
The Giants practiced in MetLife Stadium, rather than across the parking lot at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. This was the first time they had done so in front of media, but Judge said they have nightly walk-throughs in the stadium.
Coaches wore headsets Wednesday, with some assistants upstairs in the coaching booth as though it were a real game.
“This isn’t just the players first time going out together, it’s us as a coaching staff as well,” Judge said. “We’re building in opportunities to talk to each other on the headsets, to start creating the communication we’re going to have in a game situation.”
Daniel Jones and popping his pads
Judge was asked to elaborate on how he intended to get the Giants quarterback ready for contact.
“I got the strength staff downstairs putting bars of soap in socks and we’re just gonna take him out back and just wail him for a while,” joked the coach.
Judge then gave a more serious answer.
“It’s our responsibility to get every player ready to play ... putting him in a live tackling drill? No. Is it something you’re going to bang around a little with a pad, yes.
“You can’t get yourself ready mentally to be hit full speed. Your body has to learn how to absorb that hit ... you’ve gotta learn again the feeling of going to the ground.”
Toeing the party line
Offensive line coach Marc Colombo gave the party line Spencer Pulley and Nick Gates are competing for the center job answer when asked on Wednesday, even though it’s painfully apparent while watching practice that Gates in going to win that job.
“I think both guys have been doing a tremendous job at center. Spencer’s (Pulley) really smart, he’s tough, he’s played the position for a while. Nick’s (Gates) also smart, tough, just learning the position. They both are very physical football players and they’re battling for that starting job right now,” Colombo said. “I can’t be happier with the competition that’s going on. Love what I’ve seen from both of those guys. They both bring a lot of strong traits to the table and they come. That’s what we’re looking to do ultimately around here is just keep competing.”
Did not practice
In addition to McKinney and Mayo, center Spencer Pulley and linebacker Ryan Connelly were once again sidelined. For Connelly, that makes roughly a week since the last time he has been on the field.
Media and practice schedule
Thursday, Aug. 27
9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Practice
Approx. 11:50 a.m. – Head Coach Joe Judge Available
Approx. 12:25 p.m. – Player Interviews