New York Giants
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New York Giants training camp practice on Monday was the most physical practice of the Pat Shurmur era. Here are four significant takeaways.

Monday was the third consecutive day that the New York Giants practiced in pads and it was by far the most physical of the practices.

Just as the previous two days of practice, the team went through their usual warmups, position drills, special teams drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. But there were four things that stood out in Monday’s practice.

Camp fights

It’s normal to see fights break out during training camp, and on Monday we saw the first tussle in training camp. The first fight occurred when Olivier Vernon slammed running back Wayne Gallman to the ground during 11-on-11 drills. Gallman responded by throwing the football at Vernon and the two engaged in a shoving match that was quickly broken up by their teammates.

The second scuffle occurred towards the end of practice between Jarron Jones and Kristjan Sokoli who got in a shoving match following a play involving the third-team offense and defense.

The fights were minor and broken up quickly, but it’s an indication that the Giants will be a more physical team on both sides of the ball this year.

Defensive front seven is winning the battle of the line of scrimmage

While Eli Manning and the receivers are winning the battle in the air against the secondary, the defensive front seven has won the battle with the offensive line at the point of attack. This was evident on Monday.

Saquon Barkley has been sensational when it comes to catching passes out the backfield, but when the first-team offense has tried to run the ball against the first-team defense, Barkley has seldom seen a running lane.

At Monday’s practice, Giants defenders were in the backfield often and wrapping up Barkley and Gallman for little to no gain. When practice resumes on Wednesday bet that the emphasis will be on the offensive line improving at the point of attack.

The defense used three safeties

We saw a new wrinkle in the defense on Monday as midway through practice, the Giants had three safeties on the field with the first team defense (Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, and Andrew Adams).

Thompson and Adams were at free safety and strong safety, and Collins was up by the line of scrimmage across the offensive tackle positioned as a linebacker.

It was speculated that Collins could line up all across the field in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s defense, and Monday we saw a glimpse of that. In this aggressive defense, Collins is poised to have his best season yet.

Jalen Simmons and Robert Martin shine as Jonathan Stewart sits

Veteran running back Jonathan Stewart was in attendance but did not participate in practice on Monday. The reason he did not practice is not believed to be injury related.

With Stewart sitting, second-year running back Jalen Simmons and rookie running back Robert Martin got more reps on Monday and they made the most of it.

Simmons who has been impressive since OTAs was involved in the most talked about play of the day as he took a handoff up the middle and ran over linebacker Calvin Munson. He also had some nice catches coming out of the backfield.

Martin, who played four years at Rutgers, also had an impressive day at practice as he showed quickness and power coming out of the backfield. Just like Simmons, he too had several catches coming out of the backfield.

The play and progression of Simmons and Martin will be something to watch for when practice resumes on Wednesday as they continue their push to make a roster spot. 

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.