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5 things we learned at OTA practice (6/3)

Posted Jun 3, 2016

Giants.com highlights five takeaways from Friday's OTA practice:   


The New York Giants wrapped up the week with their sixth of 10 organized team activities (OTAs) on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Despite it being the third OTA in as many days, coach Ben McAdoo liked the pace of today’s practice inside the fieldhouse, where a couple of draft picks flashed on both sides of the ball. Players will be back on the field June 6, 7, 9, and 10 before mandatory minicamp runs June 14-16.

READ: 3 STANDOUT PLAYERS

Here are five things we learned from OTA No. 6:

1. HIGHLIGHTS

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard led the highlight reel with a short touchdown from backup quarterback Ryan Nassib. A few plays later, fellow rookie Eli Apple broke up an Eli Manning pass intended for wide receiver Myles White in the end zone. However, White would later get on the board with a nice diving catch over the middle on a throw from Nassib. There were no interceptions today as Manning also threw a few darts to Odell Beckham Jr. and Geremy Davis, who continues to break out this spring. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul also had a good day. More on him later.

2. MORE ‘GREEN’ ZONE WORK

After being promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator by Ben McAdoo, Mike Sullivan said the two areas that must improve  this season are the red zone, or the “green” zone as the Giants call it, and on third down. The Giants went heavy on installing both this week, beginning with “third down day” on Wednesday. Practices on Thursday and Friday both began in the green zone, where Shepard and Apple made their plays mentioned above.

>> WATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM PRACTICE

“We’re trying to get the situations in early,” McAdoo said, “and when we get a chance to emphasize it, we really emphasize it.”

3. JPP SPOTTED IN THE BACKFIELD

Non-contact OTAs make it tough for coaches to evaluate linemen on both sides of the ball, and that’s why preseason games become so important for them. Nonetheless, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul made his way into the backfield on a few plays today, holding up to avoid running into the quarterbacks dressed in red non-contact jerseys.

>> READ: LINEMEN ON NON-CONTACT PRACTICE

“I see why he has been good for a long period of time,” said fellow defensive end Olivier Vernon, the headliner of the Giants’ haul of free agents this offseason. “He is very talented and is a good leader as well. As far as coming into the building, he has been nothing but inviting [to me]. He makes everyone feel comfortable. It is a pleasure to play on the other side of the ball with him.”


4. MYKKELE THOMPSON WORKED WITH FIRST TEAM

The Giants continued the safety competition to identify the starter opposite Landon Collins, rotating Mykkele Thompson in with the first team today. Nat Berhe opened OTAs on the top unit before rookie third-round draft pick Darian Thompson took over earlier this week. Berhe, Mykkele Thompson and Bennett Jackson were a trio of young safeties who missed all of last season due to injuries.

“It’s essentially their first year all over again,” McAdoo said this week. “The difference is they have a year in the system, so they were able to get their hands around it mentally last year and now they have a chance to go out and perform.”

5. COUGHLIN HOSTED JAY FUND SUNDAE BLITZ

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund hosted its annual “Sundae Blitz” today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The Giants’ former two-time Super Bowl champion head coach, his wife Judy and the entire Coughlin family welcomed approximately 180 children with their siblings and parents to tour the facility and meet with current and former players. Created in 1996 in honor of Jay McGillis, who passed away from leukemia while a member of Coughlin’s team at Boston College, the Jay Fund pledges to be there for families tackling childhood cancer with financial, emotional and practical support.