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Welcome back, Giants fans!

That was the message the New York Giants offered to just under 29,000 fans in attendance for the team's "Fanfest" event in which head coach Joe Judge put the team through a padded training camp practice that ran just under two hours due to lightning being in the area.

Despite the stadium not being anywhere close to capacity, the energy was definitely off the charts.

"I can tell you today, there was definitely a different feel in the building getting ready for it," Judge said after the practice ended. "It felt much more like a game type day getting ready. We had two sets of buses, one that left at 5:55 and the other that left a little after six. I was on the late bus and it was me, one coach and one player--the team couldn't wait to get over here."

Indeed, the atmosphere was electric, even though it wasn't a traditional scrimmage. So here are some thoughts and observations from the first evening of Giants football in MetLife Stadium in front of the fans since the pandemic.


OT Nate Solder, who appeared to injure his shoulder during Tuesday’s practice, was suited up for the practice but didn't participate in the team drills. Earlier in the day, Judge said Solder was going to visit the doctor to see where he stood with his injury.

Receiver John Ross, offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison, defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo, and defensive back Jarren Williams were not spotted. Running back Gary Brightwell and cornerback Sam Beal also didn't participate in the practice, but it's unclear if that was due to a workload management day or dealing with something.

Rookie OLB Elerson Smith took part in the stretch line in what’s believed to have been the first time this summer. Smith has been dealing with a hamstring tweak suffered earlier in camp.

Receiver Kenny Golladay spent the early part of practice catching passes from the Jugg’s machine. Tight end Kyle Rudolph, one of two players remaining on the PUP list, was a spectator. According to Judge, Safety Jabrill Peppers had to leave early for an IV, while receiver Kadarius Toney and Saquon Barkley had their workloads dialed back.

“Obviously, today going into the stadium, third day in a row, we’re evaluating a lot of guys based on loads earlier this week and from last week,” head coach Joe Judge said earlier in the day, “so we’ll see periodically with individuals how we manage them tonight.” 

Practice Notes and Observations

Devontae Booker opened the first 11-on-11 period by trying to work his way through the middle of the offensive line. Booker looked tentative in hitting the hole, and to make matters worse, he fumbled the ball in what was not a good start to the evening.

Corey Clement has had a strong camp this summer, and it's certainly going to be interesting to see if Clement takes on more of the snaps into the preseason.

Quarterback Daniel Jones had a solid night. He went four of four in the first 11-on-11 period, with two of his passes going to receiver Sterling Shepard, who also had a strong practice. Shepard has been working from the slot and on the outside this camp as he looks to continue offering versatility to the offense.

Jones was also very impressive in a red zone drill. Sometimes he tends to have nervous feet in the red zone, as though he's on high alert to take off. But that's not a bad thing with Jones, as he did a nice job in deciding when to roll away from the pressure. On his two touchdown passes on one red-zone series, he did a nice job staying in front of his intended receiving target, waiting for him to get open.

The same can't be said of Mike Glennon, the backup quarterback. Glennon is fine in the pocket, but ask him to roll out or go on the move, and all bets are off. Glennon doesn't throw the ball well on the move at all. While he did complete some of his passes in the red zone drills, the passes weren't thrown on the money.

Want to know how serious things are getting with the offensive line depth?

At one point, when the team was going through individual drills, assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson, once an NFL offensive lineman, had to fill in at left guard for the second unit.

The crowd was in mid-season form when it came to tight end Evan Engram, who dropped a pass that hit him in the hands and was showered with a loud chorus of boos.

Kicker Ryan Santoso did the bulk of the place kicking this evening and, by my count, went seven out of eight, his longest coming from 54 yards. All of his field-goal attempts were straight down Broadway. The one he missed, from 58 yards, was wide left but had plenty of leg in it.

Unofficially, I had the Giants down for three sacks, including one by TJ Brunson off the edge against Glennon and the backup offense and one by Leonard Williams, who before the practice was entertaining the crowd with his best Hulk Hogan impression. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell who had the third sack, but it was a sack.

As expected, not too much in terms of fancy stuff with the defensive pass rush. I'm still curious to see how much better the starting offensive line does against stunts and twists, but that will have to wait.

Rookie Rodarius Williams continues to get reps with the first team when Adoree' Jackson gets a rest. With Beal and Williams sitting out practice this evening, Williams has taken full advantage of the extra practice snaps he's gotten.

Up Next

The Giants will practice without pads Thursday and then have a walkthrough Friday before returning to MetLife Stadium Saturday to host the Jets in the preseason opener.

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