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Takeaways from Day 2 of Giants rookie mini-camp

Giants conclude the on-field portion of 2022 rookie mini-camp

NFL: New York Giants Rookie Minicamp
Evan Neal (70) goes through a blocking drill on Friday.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants held their second and final on-field workout of rookie mini-camp on Saturday. Let’s go through some of the takeaways.

Rooting for the Rangers

When he was in Buffalo, head coach Brian Daboll might have preferred the Buffalo Sabres. Now, though, when it comes to hockey Daboll is all-in on the New York Rangers.

“Heck, yeah,” Daboll said when asked if he was fully invested in the Rangers’ playoff run. That [the Rangers beating Pittsburgh Friday night] was a great game.”

Daboll sounded like he was angling for tickets when he said “I’d love to be” at Game 7 on Sunday night.

“Really good example, though. You’re down 3-1 in the series, 2-0 in Game 5 and 2-0 in Game 6 and everybody is writing you off, and what do they do? They just keep competing. Put one in right after the other, then the other team comes back, scores right away, lose a little bit of momentum, and finish off the game strong. That’s [a] pretty cool team to watch right now,” he said.

“Look at the Kentucky Derby the other day. Horse wasn’t even in the race, was it, until the last day? That’s athletics. That’s sports. You go through a lot of tough times. Got to stay mentally strong.”

The Rangers took note.

I’m guessing Daboll will be at Madison Square Garden for Sunday’s game.

Don’t argue with the head coach

This is something I forgot to mention on Friday. Coaches from Tom Coughlin to Joe Judge have always made a fuss about where media should be stationed to watch drills, especially when practice is on the back field at Quest Diagnostics. It’s always “keep ‘em behind the ball,” where there is a line of players in the way and we can’t see a thing, or “keep ‘em on the patio” where we are 100 or so yards, if not more, from what is actually going on. That, generally, is for the protection of players and media members. It’s understandable, though annoying.

Well, with practice on that back field both Friday and Saturday this happened. Just as the Giants were about to do their 14-play 7-on-7 period on Friday, we were ordered by PR to move back and get behind the ball. A minute or so later, Daboll came by and told us we could move up in front of the ball so we could see better.

Well, some dumb, shocked scribe (OK, me) yelled “but PR just moved us back here.” To which Daboll responded that he was overruling and we could go wherever we wanted to get the best vantage point.

Saturday, I made sure to tell Daboll during his presser that I wasn’t going to argue with his directives during practice this time. The coach did, though, ask me before 7-on-7 if I was OK with media moving in front of the ball.

So, yeah, at least for now the head coach is pretty loose.

A little more action on Saturday

Saturday’s practice mirrored Friday’s in format. Walk-thru pace for much of it and a heavy dose of individual work during the 75-minute workout, along with a 14-play 7-on-7 period.

The difference on Saturday was that the ball went down the field a handful of times. On Friday, all of quarterback Brian Lewerke’s passes were underneath, several of the check down variety. Saturday, there were several deeper shots.

  • Daylen Baldwin, a 6-foot-2, 218-pound tryout player from Michigan, had the catch of camp. He extended to catch a high throw from Lewerke on a seam route 20-25 yards down the field.
  • Undrafted free agent tight end Jeremiah Hall caught a well-thrown ball from Lewerke on a wheel route roughly 20 yards down the field. Hall was tightly covered by linebacker Josh Watson, a three-year NFL veteran.
  • Tight end Daniel Bellinger, the team’s fourth-round pick, got open for a big play down the seam.
  • Linebacker Darrian Beavers made the defensive play of the 7-on-7 session, knocking away a quick out intended for Bellinger.

Here is Daboll on why the Giants kept things as simple as possible on the field during the two days:

“The more stuff you have in your head the slower you play. These guys are pretty anxious as it is coming in.”

School in session for Wan’Dale

Second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson received more attention than any other player I noticed during the two days of practices. That comes with the caveat that defensive linemen and linebackers, as well as offensive linemen, were practicing far away from where.

Daboll always seemed to be around when Robinson was catching punts or running routes, and wide receivers coach Mike Groh seemed to have more to say to Robinson — good and bad — than just about anyone else. Also, conveniently, whenever Robinson’s turn came up in a receiving drill is was Lewerke, not GM Joe Schoen or another coach, throwing to him.

That is perhaps a small indication that the Giants have big plans for the 43rd overall pick.

One QB in camp?

Everyone got a kick out of seeing GM Joe Schoen throwing to receivers on Friday. Why, though, did the Giants have only one quarterback at the mini-camp? Daboll said he “just thought that was the best thing.”

Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan had the rest of the story.

Players to watch

Here is Daboll on a couple of the noteworthy undrafted free agents:

Running back Jashaun Corbin ...

Athletic. Got some quick twitch. He had a pretty good day yesterday [Friday]. Kind of stood out a little bit ... there’s only so much you can see out there. But the individual drills, a lot of them, you’re almost going out there on pro days or individual workouts. Some of the drills that we even do out here are some of the drills that we do when we work guys out so you get a good feel for them. You can compare kind of apples to apples.

Tight end Andre Miller ...

“He’s got good size. Obviously he played on the perimeter a lot there in Maine. He has good size and he has some skill set that we can maybe develop here a little bit in the inside part of the offensive formation, wherever that may be, whether it’s attached and off the ball a little bit in the slot, maybe some in the backfield.

“Just trying to find a role. Has some athleticism. Ran well. Hopefully he can contribute on special teams when he’s here. Just a guy that has some athleticism, want to take a look at in that role.”

Offseason schedule

The OTA portion of the Giants’ offseason schedule begins on Monday. That will mix rookies in with veterans for on field work for the first time. Here is the schedule:

OTAs: May 16-17, May 19, May 23-24, May 26, May 31-June 3
Mandatory mini-camp: June 7-9

The first OTA media access will be on Thursday, the 19th.