*Giants.com's Dan Salomone highlights five takeaways from Thursday's press conferences: *
1. McADOO: IT'S NOT WHERE YOU START; IT'S WHERE YOU FINISH
The New York Giants held their first practice of training camp today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. It was the team's first time on the field since mandatory minicamp in mid-June. While full-speed reps were limited, it was a day to dust off the players as they gear up for Sept. 10 in Dallas.
"We haven't seen them for six weeks," the second-year head coach said. "So we're starting like we do, really, the offseason program – just a little quicker. … Tomorrow we'll crank it up a little bit more and then we'll do that one more time before giving them a day off, giving them a chance to recover and come back and put some uppers (shoulder pads) on. So we're going to start small and we're going to build our way up. It's not where you start in this business, it's where you finish."
The Giants have open practices on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, before a players' day off on Monday.
2. SNACKS STARTING SLOW; THOMAS TO PUP
Damon "Snacks" Harrison reported to camp in good shape, but the Giants are starting slow with the All-Pro defensive tackle with regards to the number of practice reps. "He's a little bit sore," coach Ben McAdoo said. Meanwhile, the Giants placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, where he joined running back Shaun Draughn (ankle). Thomas tore his ACL in the 2016 season opener and missed the rest of the season.
"We're playing it smart with him," McAdoo said. "We'll see how it goes. He's making progress. He's not where we want him to be yet. Hopefully it's not anything that takes too long."
3. FLUKER CHALLENGING RIGHT SIDE OF OL
Whether it's tackle or guard, D.J. Fluker is challenging the right side of the offensive line. The former No. 11 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft signed with the Giants this offseason after four years in San Diego, where he started at right tackle for his first two seasons before moving to guard. On the Giants, all five of their starting offensive linemen return in 2017, including right guard John Jerry and right tackle Bobby Hart.
"We'll see how we develop here," McAdoo said. "We're going to give guys opportunities to contribute, and we'll see how that unfolds as we move forward. … I see [Fluker] as a right side player for now. Things could change in a hurry in this business."
4. ELI LEARNING BY TEACHING
Ask any teacher. The best way to learn something is to teach it. Eli Manning is taking on that role in the quarterbacks room, where he has three other players going through their first training camp with the Giants: Josh Johnson, Geno Smith, and rookie third-round pick Davis Webb. They are all vying to be his backup.
"That's a little different, just having that many young guys," Manning said. "We have great conversations between the coaches in there and the players just asking questions, asking me questions. So I enjoy it. I enjoy that part of it. The great way to learn an offense is to be able to kind of teach it a little bit and you can really communicate the reads in conversations and how you want to go over, whether you're calling the play or letting a receiver know what his route is and what his responsibilities are, I think it better helps me prepare for the season as well."
5. PITCH COUNT NOT JUST ABOUT THE ARM
Manning is 36 years old and "proud of it." He said that today after his workload at training camp has become a topic of conversation. Like the Giants have done with the franchise quarterback and other veterans in recent years, they're going to be strategic with how they acclimate and de-acclimate the players.
"It's not just the arm," McAdoo said. "The arm is a small part of it. It's the legs. It's the legs."
"Nothing new, I've been on pitch counts before," Manning said. "I don't know if I'm on an actual pitch count, but there's been a system since McAdoo has been here, kind of having a system of having a heavy throw day following with a little lighter and then a heavier load. So there's always been a system."
View the best photos from Friday's Training Camp practice