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Giants OTAs: Takeaways from Thursday’s practice

Kadarius Toney, Daniel Jones, Shane Lemieux, more notes

Syndication: The Record
Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard at Thursday’s OTA.
Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Inclement weather forced the New York Giants inside for Thursday’s OTA 3, the first one attended by media. Here are some of the takeaways.

Kadarius Toney update

After missing the early part of the voluntary offseason program, second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney has apparently been making a good impression on the Giants’ new coaching staff.

Below, we see Toney catching passes off the JUGGS machine at the beginning of practice.

“he’s been really attentive in meetings. He’s doing all the right things on and off the field. I love his personality. He’s one of those guys that brings a smile to the room. He has a bright personality. He’s been great to work with,” said offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. “He’s a dynamic player. He has play-making ability on the perimeter, inside, downfield, in short area. He’s one of those guys that you look for to make plays for us.”

Plays of the day

  • Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor had the throw of the day. He lofted a deep ball down the left sideline for a touchdown to wide receiver Robert Foster. It was unclear from my vantage point who was in coverage, though it might have been Aaron Robinson. Of significance in regards to Robinson, he was aligned outside with Adoree’ Jackson on the other side and Darnay Holmes in the slot.
  • Julian Love intercepted a Daniel Jones pass over the middle. It was unclear if there was a miscommunication, or if this was an example of Jones following Daboll’s instructions to take some chances in practice, to be willing to “turn it loose” on occasion.
  • Placekicker Graham Gano went 8-of-10 on field-goal tries, missing two attempts from roughly 50 yards before making his third.

Saquon the receiver

Saquon Barkley did not have any notable receptions on Thursday. What was notable, though, was the number of times the Giants lined Barkley up as a wide receiver, both outside and in the slot. There was one play with Barkley lined up in the slot with running back Matt Breida in the backfield.

Changing defensive backfield

Over the last two days the Giants have added four players to their defensive backfield. Players added are Michael Jacquet, Maurice Canady, Henry Black and Khalil Dorsey.

“I don’t want to give you too many thoughts right now,” Daboll said. “We’ve got to get them in our system, get them in our culture, let them do things. Some of them have some familiarity with some of the coaches. We needed some numbers there at corner relative to where we were at, so I think we’ve added, what, three, four secondary guys.”

Another development in the secondary is that it appears Jarren Williams, in his third season, is moving to safety full time. Williams played cornerback his first two seasons.

Offensive line notes

The first-team offensive line at this point appears to be Andrew Thomas (T), Shane Lemieux (LG), Jon Feliciano (C), Mark Glowinski (RG), Evan Neal (RT).

The interesting name in there is Lemieux, the third-year guard returning from a partially torn patellar tendon that limited him to one game last season.

We learned that new offensive line coach Bobby Johnson has nicknamed Lemieux “Frenchie.”

“Frenchie’s doing a great job,” Johnson said. “His last name’s Lemieux, he’s got a cheesy little mustache, that’s just what I call him. He probably won’t like that.”

Johnson sounded on Thursday like a coach who is high on the former fifth-round pick.

“I liked Shane when he was coming out of Oregon,” Johnson said. “I had a very high grade on him and I really wanted the opportunity to coach him.

“He’s doing everything that I’m asking of him right now.”

Johnson said Lemieux “looks great” and “has no physical limitations that I’m aware of.

A couple of other offensive line notes:

  • Andrew Thomas, coming off ankle surgery, was wearing a red jersey and did not appear to participate in the team periods.
  • Ben Bredeson [90-man roster profile] was working as the backup center.

Will bigger be better?

Coming off an eight-sack rookie season, edge defender Azeez Ojulari is noticeably bigger and stronger than he was a year ago. Ojulari said he is up to 255 pounds after playing at about 245 in 2021.

“I just felt like trying to improve my game, my weight to just hold up. I just feel good. Just wanted to get bigger,” he said.

Staying power

Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey has worked for the last three Giants head coaches — Pat Shurmur, Joe Judge and now Daboll.

What’s the secret to his ability to stick around?

“You know, all I try and do is treat people right and do my job. To me, I think that’s the bottom line,” McGaughey said. “I think you take care of the people in the building, you handle yourself the right way, you try and be as good a servant as you can to the organization, and that’s just been my mentality, just trying to help out guys and give. What you give grows; what you keep, you lose. So I try and give as much as I can to everybody around me.”


Rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson was absent from Thursday’s practice. Daboll said he was attending a rookie symposium. Daboll added that tight end Ricky Seals-Jones and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence were excused for personal reasons.

More than a dozen players, including wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Toney and Kenny Golladay, were wearing red “non-contact” jerseys.

Inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who tore an ACL last season, participated in team periods while wearing a non-contact jersey. Martinez is not wearing any protection on his surgically-repaired knee.