The New York Giants went through Day 1 of their three-day mandatory minicamp, a two-hour practice that can best be described as being run like a walkthrough but with a little more up-tempo.
Among the goals of the camp, per head coach Joe Judge is to help the players continue to focus on laying the groundwork in terms of communication.
"Again, the No. 1 focus is building our football movement, get the players in shape," Judge said before the practice. "Give them more exposure to our techniques and systems and schemes on the field.
"What I would really like this to do is just give these guys a jumpstart carrying into the five-week break until we head back to training camp, but they have got a feel for what they have to work on in that absence and also a feel for their conditioning and overall shape and strength they have to work on right now throughout the summer."
There wasn't much in the way of 11-on-11 --again, this is a non-contact camp. But here are a few takeaways from the day.
Toney Leaves Practice Early
Receiver Kadarius Toney, who reportedly did not attend any of the Giants' OTAs in person, finally made it on the field. Besides catching passes, he also fielded a punt which he proceeded to chuck down the field 50 yards on a rope, showing an impressive arm in the process.
Judge was asked about Toney’s absence, which some believe was due to his rookie contract not being finalized, and he hinted that while Toney was in the building taking part in some of the daily agenda items, there were some that the rookie didn’t take part.
“Not all our players are on the field every day for one reason or another,” Judge said before practice. “I would say in terms of the voluntary portion of the spring, I'm not going to comment on any attendance, who was or was not here across the board.
“We are going to work with every player we could virtually, in person, whoever was available to us. I think all of our guys have done a good job working getting to this point. I'm excited about working with everybody on the field today and excited to work with Kadarius on the field today, as well.”
Alas, Toney had to leave Tuesday’s practice early when, after catching a pass, he slipped on the grass one too many times and finally called it an early day, leaving the field with a trainer with bout 15 minutes left in practice.
Judge wasn’t available after practice to provide an update on Toney. Still, the Giants don’t have to provide injury updates on players during the spring, and it’s unlikely Judge would have shed that much more light on the situation anyway.
And while it’s still early in the young man’s tenure, needless to say, the start of his pro career has been rather interesting.
So Does Kevin Benjamin
Kelvin Benjamin continued to get some personalized coaching from Judge during the practice. Benjamin, trying to revive his NFL career as a tight end, also didn’t make it through the practice, leaving early to retreat into the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, accompanied by a trainer.
A Scare for a Giants Assistant Coach
Running backs coach Burton Burns had a scare at one point during the practice when he succumbed to heat exhaustion on a 90-degree day that felt closer to 100 degrees thanks to the humidity.
The Giants' medical staff treated the 68-year-old assistant coach before putting him on the golf cart. Burns is expected to be fine.
Kenny Golladay is Focused on Fitting In
New receiver Kenny Golladay has done minimal off-season work with quarterback Daniel Jones before. Still, with the pace of the mandatory minicamp practice upped ever so slightly, all eyes were on that Golladay-Jones pairing whenever the quarterback looked at Golladay’s way.
Golladay told reporters that his acclimation to life as a Giant is coming along.
“I mean, as of right now, I just love the energy. There's a lot of young guys including myself. We are out there right now with a lot of energy and I feel like it just brings excitement to everyone,” he said, adding that he’s been working on trying to build trust with his teammates and Jones in particular on the field.
Other Notes & Thoughts
With this being a no-contact practice, the pace reflected that, but there were a few more positives to come out of the practice starting with tight end Evan Engram, who has yet to drop a pass in the practices open to the media.
Granted, the defense wasn’t covering the offense tightly, but it’s still a positive development for Engram, who is in a big contract year.
I’m not sure if this is new or of interest to anyone other than me, but the kickers and punters are now wearing the red practice jersey, something I don’t recall seeing in the past.
The practice pace was more of an up-tempo walkthrough type of deal with no pads or contact, but I liked what little I saw of the offensive line. A former offensive line coach once told me that you want to see the five guys moving as one, like a choreographed kick line.
In the few drills I observed, you saw where they all moved together and, at the same time, a very encouraging sign.
Saquon Barkley and Kyle Rudolph weren’t outside with the team, but both were inside the facility rehabbing their respective injuries. Also not outside on the field were linebackers Cam Brown and Ryan Anderson and wide receiver John Ross. I was told those players were accounted for as well, but it wasn’t known why they weren’t at practice.
Running back Gary Brightwell showed a nice little burst during one set of drills where the offense was working against air. Brightwell, one of the Giants’ two sixth-round draft picks this year who might be a long-shot to make the roster, picked out the correct hole and hit it quickly.
The Giants are back on the field again Wednesday.
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