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David Sills is focused on improving in practice — and winning on Sunday

Sills has opened eyes as he’s ascended the Giants’ depth chart

David Sills Thursday against the New York Jets.
New York Football Giants

New York Giants wide receiver David Sills V is having a fantastic August.

He’s made highlight-reel plays throughout training camp and has flashed in the Giants’ two preseason game. Both Sills and (recently injured) Collin Johnson have taken advantage of the opportunities that came their way and have ascended the wide receiver depth chart. By the time the Giants’ pre-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals came around, Sills was routinely running with the starters.

The 6’33, 211-pound receiver caught everybody’s eye in that game by catching 5 passes on 7 targets for 56 yards (11.2 per catch). While he didn’t get in the end zone, Sills had one of the signature moments of the game with a leaping catch down the left sideline.

Fans and commentators took notice, but Sills had already caught the eye of Head Coach Brian Daboll, who said “Collin Johnson, David Sills, they’ve stepped their game up. And they’re right in the mix, not just to make a team but to play.”

That’s a resounding quote and vote of confidence for a former undrafted free agent as he tries to be a regular contributor on game day.

For now, however, Sills is trying to build on the chemistry he’s show so far with his quarterbacks.

“We feel like we’re kind of getting in a groove right now,” he said, “I feel like we are on the same page. That’s something that is very encouraging, especially going against someone other than our guys.”

In particular, Sills has put in extra work with starting quarterback Daniel Jones. The two have stayed after practice to work on their timing and communication.

“It’s all timing and it’s reps and it’s things that I think we’re just trying to continue to develop our game,” Sills said. “Most of it is just DJ seeing it, seeing what we are going to do, us knowing where the ball is going to be. Obviously, in the red zone everything gets tighter, so if you can get on the same page in the red zone – which is really what we are trying to work on there at the end of practice – I think it will be a huge weapon for our offense.

“That’s kind of the conversations of what our timing looks like, what we think if we get this look, what he’s expecting if we get that look, what he’s expecting. It’s that constant communication back and forth between DJ and the receivers.”

The Giants offense got off to a fast start in their joint practice against the New York Jets. The ball barely touched the ground in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 periods, and the passing offense was efficient from the beginning.

“I felt from that first 7-on-7 period, I felt really good about how we started,” Sills said. “Dabes (Brian Daboll) always talks about starting fast. I feel like we kicked off practice with a good period and that kick started us throughout the whole practice. It was a good thing to see as an offense.

“I didn’t really notice it [that the ball didn’t hit the ground] when I was out there. I knew the first 7-on-7 period was pretty good. I didn’t see anything on the ground there and guys were excited about that. Like I said, starting fast is huge because I think it gives you momentum throughout practice and throughout the game. It was definitely very encouraging to see that. (We’ll) try to carry that over to the game on Sunday.”

The opportunity to practice against another team — against another set of starters with unfamiliar skill sets — is valuable for every team. Both Brian Daboll and Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh hope the joint practices become a yearly custom for the teams.

Sills echoed the sentiment, saying that things were “different” when he wasn’t practicing against his teammates.

“Obviously,” he said, “you want to put your best foot forward. There’s a little bit more adrenaline. In meetings we were pretty hyped up, we had music going in the meetings, so guys were excited about it. I think we kept that energy throughout the whole practice. We did a good job feeding off each other. I know we had some guys limited today and they were really giving us motivation like, ‘keep going, keep going.’ It was awesome to see all of us pushing each other. We all have a really good relationship in that room, so it was exciting to see that today at practice.”

But while the two teams kept things “respectable” (as Sills put it) during practice, the Giants are going out with the intention of winning on Sunday.

“Over the four years I’ve been here, I know I guess it’s a rivalry between New York and everything,” Sills said. “I kind of just can sense that it means a little something. We play them every year in the preseason, so we take a lot of pride in going out there and we want to win this weekend.”