Five takeaways from the Giants media availability following Friday's practice:
1. MCADOO LIKES THE TEAM CHEMISTRY
Before breaking until training camp, the Giants have three more practices next week during mandatory minicamp. After the 10th and final OTA on Friday, Ben McAdoo, who is entering his second season as head coach, singled out team chemistry as something he's seen grow throughout the offseason workout program.
"It is good to have eight weeks in. We are looking forward to minicamp next week, but we got a lot of teaching and learning done," he said. "That is the goal, and it looks like we have some chemistry going."
When asked what makes him say the chemistry is coming along, McAdoo responded, "Well, we have a lot of new players that we introduced to the offense, defense and special teams systems, and [they] are making progress and learning to work together.
2. FEWER 'BLANK STARES' FOR ENGRAM
Rookie tight end Evan Engram admitted that coaches and veterans have seen a blank stare on his face once or twice when he doesn't know what's going on, but the first-round draft pick is starting to get more comfortable in one of the more complicated schemes in the league. Comfort turns to confidence, and Engram has been starting to hold his own against elite defensive backs, including All-Pro safety Landon Collins.
"Everybody says iron sharpens iron," Engram said. "Landon was messing with me a little bit. He was man coverage, and I got pretty excited about it. I love competing and those guys, he's one of the best in the league, and there's a lot of guys best in the league on that defense, so I take advantage of every opportunity that I get to compete with those guys."
Engram added: "[The blank stares] are getting less and less each and every day. Those first couple of days, there was a good amount, but as the practices went on, as the corrections were made, they're starting to disappear."
3. FLOWERS IS IN 'TREMENDOUS CONDITION'
Left tackle Ereck Flowers spent a lot of time in the weight room this offseason and worked on his conditioning in preparation for his third NFL season. McAdoo has seen the results.
"He is in tremendous condition," McAdoo said. "You can see it as practice goes on and especially in a no-huddle period when the ones run back out there for a second time. He is in better condition, so his feet move a little bit better, his technique is a little bit better and, again, it is still early and we need to get the pads on these guys, especially the big guys, and see how they come along with their fundamentals, but it definitely shows."
Losing fundamentals is often a result of fatigue, and that's why Flowers stressed conditioning this year.
"All the time. When they get tired, they lose it," McAdoo said. "They lose fundamentals and they lose the bendability, the timing, the rhythm in their technique, the pad level. It all suffers."
4. VEREEN SEES PROGRESS IN RUN GAME
Shane Vereen wasn't surprised when McAdoo named Paul Perkins as the starting running back for 2017. Vereen, who is primarily a weapon on third down and played in only five games because of triceps injuries, was impressed by what Perkins did as a rookie late last season.
"I think we have a young guy in Perk who's getting a lot better this year," said Vereen, who has been limited but plans to be ready for the season. "The O-line is getting stronger each and every year that I've been here, they've made improvements. We're taking the step in the right direction, so I think the sky is the limit right now and we're just going to keep working and improve that part of our offense."
5. LET THE COMPETITIONS BEGIN
McAdoo warned this is not the time of year to evaluate performance. Rather, it's about teaching. But eventually we'll see how much the players have learned as competitions heat up this summer. The Giants return most of their core players, especially on defense, this year, but the incoming rookies -- as well as players who were injured or spent time on the practice squad in 2016 – will make it an interesting training camp.
"I like our first-year players and I like our rookie crew right here," McAdoo said. "I think that we have a bunch of young players that are going to make a push for playing time and create a very competitive camp. To single a guy out right now, I am going to make sure we get pads on before I start doing that."