EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — New York Giants coach Brian Daboll promised a run-heavy practice on Monday, the first time the Giants worked on full pads.
On a misty, gray day at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center that is exactly what Daboll’s Giants delivered.
We saw a heavy dose of a mostly traditional NFL-style run game during Monday’s practice. We saw a high number of snaps (I did not count the exact total) with quarterbacks lined up under center. This was, in fact, the first time in training camp I can recall seeing quarterback Daniel Jones lined up under center. Jones, Tyrod Taylor and Davis Webb each spent considerable time under center as the Giants mixed inside and stretch runs, as well as a couple of pitch plays to the outside with some pass plays, a handful of shotgun runs and a few zone reads/designed quarterback runs.
“It’s all about fundamentals right now: leverage, hand placement, ability to separate when you’re getting grabbed and held. We’re allowing more things at practice: picks and twists up front, power rushes, attacking the defensive linemen when they jump up in the… Different things we’re allowing. So, this is where the game is played,” Daboll said. “But today we’re looking for good energy. We place, I’d say, rules on practice. We’re not bringing them down to the ground. We got to take care of our guys. But want to be physical. Want to be in good position. Play with good leverage. Play aggressive. Move the line of scrimmage. Stop the line of scrimmage.”
Here is Daboll before practice with more on what he was hoping to accomplish in the first padded practice.
Injury notes: Dane Belton sidelined
Four Giants were held out of practice. Starting center Jon Feliciano missed a third consecutive day after suffering heat-related/hydration issues at the end of last Thursday’s practice. Rookie safety Dane Belton did not practice, and was seen with his left arm in a sling. ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan reported that Belton has a broken collarbone and will be out “an extended period of time.” Tom Rock of Newsday wrote that Belton will probably be out until mid-season.
Safety Jarren Williams, who missed considerable time in the spring, and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones did not practice with undisclosed injuries.
The Giants did hold a player workout post-practice. Perhaps that could lead to a roster move involving Belton.
Where is the 7-on-7 work?
A staple of every training camp I have witnessed in recent seasons, whether it was run by Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur or Joe Judge, has been 7-on-7 work. Thus far in this camp, I don’t recall seeing the Giants run any 7-on-7. Practice periods have either been individual or 11-on-11.
I asked Daboll on Monday to explain.
“I like the quarterback to feel the people around him,” Daboll said. “There’s a time and a place for it (7-on-7). In some of those spots instead of 7-on-7 we’ve worked individual technique, whether it’s 1-on-1s, 2-on-2s, 3-on-3s … I think it’s important for a quarterback to feel the people around him, in particular.”
1-on-1 line drills: Oshane Ximine schools Evan Neal
One of the highlights of fully-padded practices is watching offensive and defensive linemen battle 1-on-1 without restrictions.
- Oshane Ximines, fighting to retain a 53-man roster spot, whipped rookie right tackle Evan Neal both times the pair were matched up. The first time, Ximines left Neal on the ground. The second time, he used a speed rush to get past Neal to the outside. Ximines also beat Nigerian rookie left tackle Roy Mbaeteka with an inside move. Ximines, though, did incur the wrath of Daboll for the offside penalty below. He had two of them on Monday.
- Andrew Thomas and Kayvon Thibodeaux matched up twice. Thomas stoned the No. 5 overall pick on both occasions. Thibodeaux did beat backup tackle Matt Gono around the edge.
- Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence both won reps with powerful bull rushes. Williams pushed Mark Glowinski into the backfield on one rep. Lawrence drove center Jamil Douglas back into what would have been the quarterback’s lap on a rep.
Shane Lemieux at center?
With Feliciano sidelined, Shane Lemieux took some first-team reps at center for the second consecutive practice. When he was drafted in the fifth round in 2020, there was some thought that Lemieux, exclusively a guard at Oregon, could play center. He did work there some during the 2020 preseason.
Daboll said Lemieux was “good” at center on Saturday.
“We want to try to create position flexibility for our front guys. And obviously with Jon out, you know with Ben (Bredeson) and Jamil (Douglas), we wanted to add Lemieux inside and get (Joshua) Ezeudu some work inside there with the ones against Leo (Williams) and Dexter (Lawrence) and guys like that,” Daboll said. “He did a good job.”
The Giants have no centers signed beyond this season. Could Lemieux be a long-term answer there, perhaps with Ezeudu, a rookie third-round pick, sliding in next to him at left guard?
“I haven’t gone down that road far enough. I just think position flexibility is so important, whether it’s for Marcus (McKethan) at guard and tackle. For Jon (Feliciano) at guard and tackle,” Daboll said. “The more you can do up front, the better off it is for the player. The more opportunities they get.”
Quote of the day
— Adoree’ Jackson on Darnay Holmes
I have been dreading posting these passing numbers, which is probably why they are 900 words into the story. These are all unofficial tallies based on my notes.
- Daniel Jones: 6 of 15, missing his last six throws. There were a couple of throwaways and at least two miscommunications with receivers.
- Tyrod Taylor: 8 of 11.
- Davis Webb: 2 of 4.
- Edge Elerson Smith blasted around right end for what looked like it would have been a sack of Tyrod Taylor. Ximines also had a pressure on Taylor that may or may not have been a sack in live action.
- Rookie linebacker Darrian Beavers made a run stop of Saquon Barkley in the backfield while working with the first-team defense.
- Thibodeaux got around Thomas once during 11-on-11 work to flush Jones out of the pocket.
- Undrafted tight ends Andre Miller and Austin Allen both got some first-team reps. Interestingly, Miller’s reps came lined up in the backfield as a lead blocker. Miller was a wide receiver at Maine.
- There was a bit of a shoving match at one point between running back Matt Breida and linebacker Cam Brown.
- Shotgun snaps were a massive problem on Friday and Saturday. The only bad snap of Monday’s practice came when Jamil Douglas sailed one high that Jones batted and corralled.
- The Giants ran an interesting play where Wan’Dale Robinson lined up as the Wildcat quarterback, with Jones in the slot. The two then moved to their usual spots before the snap.
- The best passing play of the day came when CJ Board made a nice catch of a Taylor throw across the middle while tightly covered by Michael Jacquet.
- Placekicker Graham Gano went 7 of 8 on field-goal attempts from 33 to 52 yards. His lone miss came from 43 yards.