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5 things we learned at Training Camp (7/30)

5things-73017.jpg's Dan Salomone highlights five takeaways from Sunday's press conferences:


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Ben McAdoo, a former tight ends coach in Green Bay, likes where the group is this summer. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the arrival of Evan Engram, the first tight end drafted in the first round by the Giants since Jeremy Shockey in 2002. The Ole Miss product made some plays today, but he's anxious to prove himself in the blocking game this upcoming week when the pads come on.


"That's the biggest curve I'm on right now," Engram said. "I'm comfortable putting my face in there, but it's a lot of technique stuff that I'm trying to get down and working on. So it's something I embrace, something I know I can get down. It's just a lot of technique, a lot of small things that go into being successful at it."


On one side of the safety tandem, Nat Berhe sees an All-Pro in Landon Collins. On the other, he sees competition. After two injury-plagued seasons that amounted to seven games with two starts, Berhe is once again tossing his hat in the ring. While competing with the likes of Andrew Adams and Darian Thompson, Berhe made his case today with an interception off a tipped pass from Josh Johnson.

"Well, frustration, for sure, I had a long offseason, did a lot of soul-searching and I'm cool," Berhe said. "It's like the stock market. You can't stay down for too long. Eventually, you know, you'll come up. So, I'm not worried."


Aldrick Rosas might not have any kicker to compete with on the Giants' roster, but he knows he's going against every kicker from the 31 other teams right now. The undrafted kicker from Southern Oregon spent time in training camp with the Titans last summer but has not played in a regular-season game. Today, Rosas took his first field goal attempts on training camp and made all four of them, or so McAdoo thought. The last one became a topic of debate.

"I never second-guess officials, we know that," McAdoo said deadpan. "So I'm going to go in and take a look at the tape. I thought that one snuck in there, but we'll take a look at it."

While there are plenty fans at training camp, the Giants won't know what they have in Rosas until they see him in a meaningful game.

"Put 80,000 people in the stands and watch him kick. That's the best way to put pressure on him," McAdoo said. "It's a great environment out here. Our fans are tremendous, they're out there and they're yelling some things at him, too, that helps put the pressure on him. So we do appreciate that, but there's nothing like kicking in games, even in preseason games. That's the best way to put pressure on him."


Steve Spagnuolo is entering the third year of his second stint as that Giants defensive coordinator, but it's his first time returning most of his core players. Linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who served as the defensive captain last year, said Spagnuolo is trusting the players more, and vice versa.

"Spags, I think since his first year to now, I think he's let his guard down a little bit," Casillas said. "He's let us, as the players, kind of dictate to him in what we like to do and what we're comfortable with. I think the first year, I don't know if that happened too much. In this offseason, I've seen it happen more times than not. Especially in training camp. Spags is definitely a guy that, he's willing to listen to players and even the coaches underneath him to get certain things ironed out.

"There's a lot of great offenses out there and all these offenses, they have certain plays to beat out defenses. And sometimes, it's like even though we're running it a certain way, if this play can expose us or expose or defense, we may have to manipulate it just a little bit. And Spags, he may not have been so open to it two years ago, but this year he's definitely listening and prepared to make some differences, some changes, or what have you."

This isn't the first time we've heard something along those lines. Between the end of the regular season and the playoff game in Green Bay, Spagnuolo said he sat back at times last season and delegated to the assistant coaches. It clearly worked. The Giants boasted the No. 2 scoring defense in 2016.


Mark Herzlich, one of the longest-tenured Giants, swapped numbers this offseason (from 94 to 44) while he prepares for a dual-role as a linebacker and tight end. Herzlich wears a blue jersey, like the entire defense, during most of practice but then switches to the white one when he runs drills with the offense. McAdoo talked about how he's handling it.

"Very well. He's a pro," the coach said. "I've been around a guy like him, a guy like Spencer Havner in Green Bay when I was there, he played on both sides in multiple positions on both sides. So those guys, guys like Mark, are truly unique and special that they can flip the jersey and flip the switch and go to the other side of the ball and be a contributor there. He made a couple nice plays for us."

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