At last, the wait is over. NFL training camp began on July 27, ending the offseason drought and kicking off the football calendar.
The New York Giants arrived at camp on July 27 for an eventful week of pads-free practice. COVID-19 protocols still linger — no fans were in attendance and the media was not allowed within six feet of the players — but things are starting to look much more normal.
For the Giants, training camp revolves entirely around Daniel Jones. And while it is important not to read too much into limited-contact practice, Jones’ accuracy did not seem much improved from last year. He overthrew his receivers on multiple occasions and was intercepted twice on Friday.
Jones’ impressive work ethic was on display though. He stayed behind after the first practice to continue running routes with Kenny Golladay, and the pair were joined by Austin Mack and David Sills on Thursday.
Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay working on end zone fades post-practice. They had trouble connecting on these during practice pic.twitter.com/h3xVfgHLjq
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) July 28, 2021
Andrew Thomas was the biggest standout on offense. Looking to improve on a disappointing rookie season, Thomas made short work of Azeez Ojulari and Carter Coughlin in pass protection drills.
The rest of New York’s stars were scarcely seen. Saquon Barkley is still rehabbing an ACL tear and was limited to some short sprinting and footwork drills. Kadarius Toney is recovering from a case of COVID-19 and practiced with a trainer separately from the team.
The Giants’ defense did not produce many headlines, which is a good thing for a unit that returns nearly every starter from the group that allowed 22.3 points per game last year. Safeties Jabrill Peppers and Xavier McKinney were standouts. Cornerbacks Darnay Holmes and Rodarius Williams each had interceptions.
The group was also quick to come to Head Coach Joe Judge’s defense after a drama-filled incident with Kelvin Benjamin Wednesday night.
“He’s entitled to his opinion,” James Bradberry said. “I definitely think Coach Judge is tough. But football is tough. There’s a lot of pressure being in our shoes, so I don’t expect him to give us our way all the time. Tough coach, that’s how you build structure. That’s how you build discipline.”
The week’s big scare came when offensive lineman Shane Lemieux was carted off the field with a knee injury on Thursday. Thankfully, an MRI ruled out any structural damage and, and Head Coach Joe Judge confirmed that “the worst-case scenario has been avoided.” Lemieux played nine games at left guard last year as a rookie is expected to once again be the starter.
Blake Martinez spent the week on the COVID-19 list.
Featured image courtesy of Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com