There were several takeaways from the first few full-team practices at New York Giants training camp this last week.
After a long offseason that saw several changes to the roster, the New York Giants reported to training camp last week looking to make the second year of the Dave Gettleman–Pat Shurmur era a successful one.
During the first two days of practice, the team performed in their shorts and practice jerseys. However, over the weekend, the training sessions intensified, as the team practiced in pads before their day off on Monday.
As the Giants head into their second week of training camp, here are the takeaways from their first four days of camp.
There's no quarterback controversy
Early in the spring, Shurmur hinted that there would a quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones. But this was not evident last week as Manning took all the first-team reps. Jones, on the other hand, worked with the second-team offense.
With the exception of a few misfires here and there, Manning threw the ball well all four days. Jones was impressive during the first three days but struggled a bit on Sunday.
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) July 27, 2019
It’s clear that Manning is the starter while Jones is his backup. Alex Tanney is the third-string as he took third-team reps. Second-year man Kyle Lauletta is fourth on the current depth chart.
The competition to be Saquon Barkley’s backup is wide open
The Giants offense will go through the quads of Saquon Barkley this season. But the Giants know they can’t run Barkley into the ground and wear him out. That makes it imperative that his backup can also be productive.
Paul Perkins takes the hand off with the second team offense. pic.twitter.com/TmP3tR6xAq
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) July 28, 2019
From what we saw last week, the competition is wide open as to who’ll be Barkley’s primary backup. Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith and Paul Perkins all took reps with the second-team offense last week. Perkins, who missed all of last season due to injury, looked rejuvenated and eager to get back to his 2016 form when he averaged 4.1 yards-per-carry.
Cody Latimer is ready to make the most of his opportunity
The Giants receiving corps appeared to be cursed last week as Sterling Shepard fractured his thumb, Corey Coleman tore his ACL, ending his season, and Golden Tate is appealing his four-game PED suspension. It’s possible the Giants will be without three of their receivers for the season opener.
But one receiver showed a good rapport with Manning last week and that was Cody Latimer. The veteran made several nice catches throughout the four-day practice sessions, particularly on Sunday.
Manning connecting with Cody Latimer again. They’ve both been very solid today. pic.twitter.com/KtdK75Xl0I
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) July 28, 2019
In last year’s season finale against the Cowboys, Latimer had four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. If he has to be Manning’s primary wideout for Week 1 against the Cowboys, he seems up to the task.
Lorenzo Carter is in regular-season form
One of the reasons to be excited about the Giants defense this season is to watch the progression of Lorenzo Carter in year two. Although the contact was limited in camp, Carter was making plays all over the field from chasing down receivers on reverses and intercepting screen passes.
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) July 25, 2019
You don’t want to overstate what goes on in training camp, but Carter looks like he could be one of the most improved players on the team, if not in the entire league.
Giants are rotating players in with the first and second teams
After what we saw happen with the receiving corps, the Giants need to have a next-man-up mentality. They seem to be ready to adapt mentally for the other positions as well. Several players are rotating in with the first and second-team offenses and defenses.
Some examples include Grant Haley playing nickel corner with the first-team defense and playing right corner with the second-team defense. Michael Thomas took reps at strong safety with the second and first-team defenses, as did rookie linebacker Oshane Ximines. Even rookie offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei saw a little action with the first-team offense.
Rotating players in the first-team defense and offense will bode well for the Giants if and when a player goes down with an injury.