5 things we learned at Training Camp (8/2)

Posted Aug 2, 2016 highlights five takeaways from the latest Training Camp practice:

Coach Ben McAdoo ratcheted training camp up a notch on Tuesday with what he called a “thud tempo” practice.

Players strapped on the shoulder pads for the first time this year, and they were popping.

“When you get pads on in camp, reps are like a bar of gold,” McAdoo said. “It's not really how long you are out there, it's how smart you are with incorporating the reps. The seven-on-seven with offensive and defensive lines mixed in with the half-line, got a ton of reps there. The route receivers over there one-on-one, we'll mix that in pretty good and get some quality work.”


Here are five things we learned today at camp:


Unsurprisingly, the best competition of the day came in the trenches, where defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison returned from the physically unable to perform list. The former Jet and a key piece of the Giants’ haul in free agency got his feet back under him against center Weston Richburg and company.

“Rich is a great, young center,” said Harrison, who was on PUP while dealing with a knee problem. “I think he is really underrated in this league. He’s quick, and it being my first day back, I told him he got the best of me today -- which he had some help now. It wasn’t just him by himself. It was 77 [right guard John Jerry] and [left guard Justin] Pugh helping him.”


Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was cleated in Sunday’s practice and suffered a “cut or two” on the play. Following a day off for the players on Monday, the Giants limited him today because he was “a little tender, had some swelling” in the lower leg, McAdoo said.

Meanwhile, linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (offseason ankle procedure) still have “a little ways to go” before they can come off the PUP list. Middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley is also dealing with a slight hamstring but has been practicing and working to keep it loose. Wide receiver Victor Cruz caught another pass today with the pads on and “seemed to do fine” physically. “I didn't notice anything,” McAdoo said.


With Beckham out, the wide receivers all moved up a notch in reps.

Sterling Shepard, the second-round pick out of Oklahoma, responded with his most productive day yet. The 5-foot-10, 194-pound rookie hauled in a handful of passes from Eli Manning, including some in tight windows in the red zone. However, McAdoo wouldn’t let the rookie off that easy. He wanted to see more from him on special teams.


“I didn’t like his kickoff return drill,” McAdoo said. “Kickoff, kickoff return drill; we talked about that. As a receiver, I think that he played strong today.”


Eli Manning has a long track record of turning undrafted tight ends into productive players on the team. Matt LaCosse is trying to be the next one. While Larry Donnell and Will Tye have caught their share of passes in camp this year, LaCosse had the play of the day on Tuesday. Manning hit him over the middle and the Illinois product turned it up the field for a big gain. The tight end competition will be one to watch all summer.


After the Giants didn’t draft an offensive lineman for the first time since 2008, McAdoo said “the story is yet to be written on the right side of the offensive line.” But for all of spring workouts and training camp so far, it has not changed with Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. However, there’s still going to be a competition, and Bobby Hart is on his heels.

“No question,” McAdoo said. “Bobby is going to have the opportunity to start… [He has to prove] that he can do the job. He's just got to win the job. It's there for him.”

NEXT UP: The next practice open to public will be on Thursday at 10:40 a.m.