A year ago, David Sills V was a star of training camp for the New York Giants. After spending 2019 on the Giants’ practice squad, Sills was making a strong bid for a roster spot until a broken foot late in camp forced him to spend the season on the injured reserve list.
On Thursday, Sills didn’t want to speculate on what might have been.
“It’s tough to tell (if I was going to make the roster.) I tried to come out there every day last year and put my best foot forward, do everything I could to help the team, help myself individually get better,” Sills told Big Blue View. “I think that’s the same mentality I have this year. Coach always talks about controlling what you can control so I think if I just come out here and put my best foot forward, focus on what the daily tasks are, how I can get better, how we can get better as a team everything will take care of itself.”
Last August, Giants wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert had referred to Sills, a former undrafted free agent who landed with the Giants after being cut by the Buffalo Bills in 2019, as a “rep stealer.”
“He has his reps, he’s going to go in and run his reps, then he’ll steal some other reps,” Tolbert said. ”If he sees guys running down the field, he’ll jump in there and say ‘I got them, I got them.’ I like that about him. He jumps in there, doesn’t matter what position it is. He goes in there and plays and executes his assignments.”
So far in this training camp, the 25-year-old is up to his old tricks. On Thursday, Sills was consistently first in line in receiving drills.
“I like to be (first),” Sills admitted with a grin. “I always like to be up front, like to be first. I played quarterback so that’s kinda how quarterbacks are. I try to keep that same mentality.”
Sills said he is just trying to maximize his opportunities.
“Coach says know all the positions. I’m a former quarterback, so I try to look at the offense that way, study positions that way. Whenever there is an open spot and Coach Tyke needs somebody I can just jump in there,” he said. “I don’t think I’m trying to take reps from somebody else, I’m just trying to, whenever he needs somebody go in there, put my best foot forward because camp is all about opportunities and getting the opportunities, so the more times you’re in there the more opportunities you get.”
When quarterback Daniel Jones needed a receiver to run some post-practice routes, guess who answered the call? Yup. Sills.
“We spent a lot of the offseason together, so we built up a very good relationship,” Sills said. “I like catching balls after practice, anyway, so if he wants to work on something he knows that I’ll run routes for him.”
Jones had said a year ago that Sills was “a guy out there you can trust, and a guy who’s in the right spot a lot of the time and can get open and make plays.”
Sills knows that trust Jones had in him a year ago isn’t guaranteed this time around.
“That’s a huge complement coming from a quarterback to a receiver. You want to be a guy that the quarterback can trust,” Sills said. “He said that last year. It’s a new year, different time, so I’ve got to regain that trust.”
Coach Joe Judge has said a number of times already that this is a new season and even players who were on the roster a year ago are starting over. While Sills said he gained some confidence from his work last summer, he knows he is starting over in his endeavor to finally make an NFL roster.
“Nobody has a job, everybody’s out here competing. We have a lot of talent in our room this year,” Sills said. “Just come out here every day, put my best foot forward, let the rest take care of itself. You’ve gotta live in the present day, you can’t look in the past.”
He isn’t playing the numbers game, trying to figure out how he makes the 53-man roster.
“You can’t look at that. You’ve gotta come out here and control what you can control,” Sills said. “It’s something you can’t really look at in camp. It’ll kinda veer you off of what your goal is.”
Sills’ goal is, obviously, to make the roster. After two days of practice in shorts it is impossible to know how good his chances are. What we do know is that Sills is going to continue to do everything possible to make the coaching staff notice him.