EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A second straight day of physical, fully-padded practice in the sweltering heat led to a huge brawl during Monday's New York Giants training camp.
The festivities got started on a run play during an 11-on-11 period when Saquon Barkley and cornerback Aaron Robinson came together, with Robinson apparently not appreciating an extra bump from the running back. That led to some pushing and shoving.
On the next play, running back Gary Brightwell was rudely tossed to the ground by a defensive back. On the next play, Brightwell took a hard hit from Blake Martinez, but that massive scrum started away from the line of scrimmage.
Linebacker Cam Brown, center Jon Feliciano, offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and others were in the middle of the scrum. Brown eventually dragged Feliciano out of the pile, an action to which Feliciano responded by jumping up and throwing a punch. Brown also appeared to throw a punch.
When everyone was separated, coach Brian Daboll gathered the team on the field for a lengthy meeting.
Great photo showing exactly what set off the fight https://t.co/EA89bvM3PJ— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) August 8, 2022
Veteran edge defender Jihad Ward deflected from the hostilities with humor.
“I just seen a lot of people just coming together as one. Lot of love. Lot of wild love. Coulda sworn somebody said I love you,” Ward said with a smile. “I mean, everything got a little hectic with the wild hugs and stuff like that.”
Ward said there will be no after effects in the locker room.
“I’m pretty sure everybody in that joint is giggling, laughing, playing music, chilling and worrying about meetings. This ain’t nothing. This jawin’s small, man .. ain’t nothin’ goin’ on. We gonna laugh at it in the locker room. But I ain’t see nothing.”
“When it’s 95 degrees outside stuff is going to happen, but it just showed a good physicality for us today,” said rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger. I think it was a good sign for us just going out there and being physical.”
What was Daboll’s message?
“He says that, ‘losing teams do that,’ so, at the end of the day we’ve got to come out there and be physical, but we’ve got to be smart as well,” Bellinger said. “He liked the physicality part. He wants to keep going and playing hard, just play smart as well.”
Defensive back Julian Love said he wasn’t angered by the Barkley lowered shoulder into Robinson that seemed to ignite the eventual brawl.
“No, I mean I’m excited to see him run that hard. It’s something we want. He’s Saquon Barkley. He’s a number two pick. He’s a guy who’s big, strong and they call him, ‘Quads.’ That’s the type of running we want, really,” Love said. “It got a little hot out there, obviously, but when you cool off in the locker room, that’s the energy we want to see from him. I know we won’t get caught sleeping again, when that comes.”
Love was asked if center Jon Feliciano or anyone else had crossed a line during the fight.
“I don’t know. I don’t think any of us have crossed a line. I don’t think, we know Jon and he’s not crossing the line at all,” Love said. “It gets intense and things happen and we’re going to respond. They can expect that, we can expect that from them. We don’t take it personally or at heart. Everybody is in there in the locker room right now just going on as normal. You defend your guys – that’s what it comes down to.”
The best blow-by-blow account of the fight that I have seen comes from Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Rodarius Williams, David Sills, Carter Coughlin, Andre Miller and Joshua Ezeudu did not practice on Monday. Seals-Jones, a tight end, has not practiced since early in training camp.
Wide receiver Austin Proehl limped off the field after catching a pass from Davis Webb and going to the ground.
Rough day for Daniel Jones
Unofficially, I have the Giants quarterback as only 5 of 16 on the day. Jones was intercepted twice. He put too much air under a deep shot intended for Collin Johnson, giving safety Xavier McKinney time to break on the ball and pick it off. He also overshot Johnson on another pass, with the ball landing in the arms of Adoree’ Jackson.
By my count Tyrod Taylor was 7 of 9 and Davis Webb 11 of 14.
Taylor, incidentally, got a single rep on Monday as QB1. Hard to tell why, but it was interesting.
Wide receiver competition
This continues to be one of the interesting storylines of training camp.
- Collin Johnson has been trending up, and had a big day on Monday. He caught a long touchdown pass from Taylor, blowing past cornerback Gavin Heslop. He also made a diving catch of a Jones pass under tight coverage from Robinson, and had several other catches.
- Darius Slayton had two big catches while working second-team with Taylor. He caught a long back shoulder throw, and had a big gain on a crossing route. Slayton got two first-team reps.
- Robert Foster, who played for Daboll in Buffalo, got a couple of first-team reps. That’s the first time I recall seeing that.
Thomas McGaughey: ‘Dabes trusts me’
Really interesting quote from special teams coordinator Thomas mcGaughey on Monday when asked if anything was different for him with Daboll having replaced Joe Judge, a former special teams coordinator, as head coach.
“Dabes trusts me. It’s been really good. Kind of going back to how it was before when me and (Assistant Special Teams Coach Anthony Blevins) Blev were here,” McGaughey said. “It’s been really good. It’s been fun because we’ve got a new group of guys, there was a lot of turnover so now we’re trying to start back from square one and get them to understand how important this third phase is and how it effects the game.”
Implicit in “Dabes trusts me” is that perhaps Judge did not.
1-on-1 blocking drill
The Giants did a 1-on-1 blocking drill on Monday involving tight ends and running backs vs. linebackers and edge defenders.
- Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger had a rough go, losing a par of reps to both Cam Brown and Darrian Beavers.
- Rookie tight end/fullback Jeremiah Hall whiffed on an effort to pick up an inside blitz from Micah McFadden.
I don’t know what was going on with Kadarius Toney on Monday, but he was having a hard time holding onto the ball. He dropped back-to-back throws during warmups, then two more during 11-on-11 drills.
Placekicker Graham Gano went 9 for 9 on field goal attempts. His kick ranged from 33 to 53 yards.