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Giants training camp: Week 1 'Kudos & Wet Willies'

Yes, it's time for a little 'Kudos & Wet Willies' fun.

We didn't ask Tom Coughlin what he thinks of 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' Maybe we don't want to know.
We didn't ask Tom Coughlin what he thinks of 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' Maybe we don't want to know.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports


Four days of practice. Yep, that's long enough. It's time for us to bust out our favorite feature here at Big Blue View, 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' Let's see who deserves praise and who, well, doesn't after the first few days of the New York Giants training camp.


Bennett Jackson -- The second-year man from Notre Dame has quickly become the front-runner to be paired with Landon Collins as a starting safety.

"See ball, get ball. When that kid sees the ball, he goes and gets the ball," safeties coach Dave Merritt said. "He's making plays, he's making production and production as Spags [defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] has said over and over production is at the ball.

"This kid has been to get his hands on a couple of balls and passes already here by far more than any other safety I've had in camp so far."

Merritt and the Giants won't anoint Jackson, playing safety for the first time, as the starter. We won't, either. Jackson, though, has stamped himself as a serious contender.

Geremy Davis -- We know the wide receiver depth chart is crowded, with more quality players than roster spots. Every time I watch Davis, the rookie sixth-round pick from UConn, though, I wonder how in the world the Giants could justify cutting him. He catches everything. He runs better routes that the scouting reports indicated he could. He has gotten deep a couple of times, another thing the reports said he could not do. He is a guy the Giants believe they can make into a top-notch special teams player. The kid has been impressive.

Eli Manning -- I mentioned it on Monday, but Manning has thrown the ball extremely well the first few days of camp. He looks poised to have a big year, and that is good news for the Giants.

Victor Cruz & Odell Beckham Jr. -- Both of them have practiced, fully, during the first four training camp sessions. They get 'Kudos' just for showing up. More than that, though, they both look good. Beckham is running well, showing no signs of the hamstring injury that sidelined him in the spring. Cruz maybe doesn't show the burst you hope he will eventually have as he returns from his torn patellar tendon. He has, however, caught the ball well, looked comfortable and bounced up after hitting the ground a couple of times. So far, so good.

Robert Ayers -- In his second season with the Giants, the Jersey City native is becoming the leader of the defensive line.

"Robert has played well," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "He's been a really good soldier, he's been a good teammate. He's grabbed guys and talked to them, whether it be in the meeting rooms or out here. He's worked hard. I've seen nothing but good things out of him."

Besides, he has to get 'Kudos' for his excellent story about getting an autograph from Michael Strahan.

Devon Kennard -- Mark this down. If Kennard stays healthy -- and that is a big if given his history -- Kennard will be the best player on this defense. The Giants are trying to maximize his skill set. Let's just hope he can stay on the field so they can do just that.

'Wet Willies'

Nat Berhe -- I'm a Berhe guy, but the second-year man has gone from a preseason favorite to be a starting safety to a guy who has barely gotten on the field during the first few days of camp. Berhe said he didn't think he was behind despite missing the entire spring with a calf injury, but it's obvious he is behind. Waaaaay behind. That's too bad because the safety competition remains wide open, and thus far Berhe really hasn't been part of it.

Cooper Taylor -- Taylor spent the spring working with the first team, and was still there the first three days of training camp. On Day 4, Taylor was paired with undrafted free agent Justin Currie on the third team. Taylor's size and athleticism are intriguing, but getting bumped all the way to the third unit is a major hint that the Giants are not liking what they are seeing.

Organizers of Friday's autograph fiasco -- You know what happened. A section of the raised bleachers buckled when out-of-control autograph seekers swarmed Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants did a great thing this year by raising the bleachers off the ground to improve the view, and adding additional bleachers. What was never a good idea was having fans stay in those metal bleachers, have to push and shove to get position to obtain an autograph, and have to lean over the railing to hand players items to be signed. There are plenty of open areas on level ground that could be roped off and used for autographs. The rules have been changed. Too bad they weren't more well thought out to begin with.

Training camp fights -- Donnybrooks like the one between Justin Pugh and Damontre Moore make nice video, and they are fun to talk about, but they really are pretty stupid. Nothing good is going to happen with two players -- absolutely critical players to the Giants at that -- swinging wildly at each other with helmets and shoulder pads on. I know it's been about 90 degrees for every practice, that players get hot and irritated with each other, but that stuff just can't happen. You just can't lose any more players than the Giants already have because of their own mistakes.

Jason Pierre-Paul -- Just because I can. Or maybe I feel like I have to. I think JPP stays on the 'Wet Willies' list until he signs his franchise tender.