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5 things we learned at Training Camp (8/3)

5-things-template-small-8317.jpg's Dan Salomone highlights five takeaways from Tuesday's press conferences:


> Optimism for Sterling Shepard
> JPP welcomes healthy scratch at practice
> Latest updates from Training Camp
> Top photos from Giants practice
> Watch post-practice interviews

Coach Ben McAdoo updated the status of second-year wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who left Wednesday's practice after rolling his ankle. "He was sore today, was a little stiff when he woke up," McAdoo said, "but we sent him for an MRI." Fellow receiver Tavarres King had a similar situation today and rolled his ankle while covering a punt.

Additionally, linebacker Keenan Robinson is in the concussion protocol and missed practice. McAdoo also said running back Shane Vereen and defensive end Devin Taylor, who were both sitting out with lower leg soreness, will start being worked back in tomorrow.


In a vote of confidence, the Giants returned the same starting five on the offensive line this summer. However, that's not to say there isn't competition, particularly on the right side.

"I think the offensive line had a couple of good runs the last two days," McAdoo said. "I thought it was physical. I thought the defense was physical today. I thought the offense was a little bit more physical yesterday, but the defense responded today and set the tone. That's encouraging to see, and I think we have some young players on that second offensive line group that have a chance to push people for jobs, which I like."

Left guard Justin Pugh, who is the elder statesman in the room, broke down what's he seen from the backups and who is standing out.

"[D.J.] Fluker – obviously you put pads on, he's the biggest human being I've ever seen," Pugh said. "Brett Jones, probably one of the smaller guys I've seen in the NFL, but both of those guys are going out there and putting on a good show. Adam Gettis is just a veteran that's consistently just always doing good work. Those are a couple of names that come to mind as of right now. But all of the guys, even the young guys who are coming up, [Adam] Bisnowaty's a tough guy, Chad Wheeler, a kid that we brought in, has done some good things, moves his feet well. So, I'm excited about this group as a whole."


Left tackle Ereck Flowers, who is entering his third season, drew praise from his coaches and teammates for the physical improvements he made over the offseason. Now that training camp is here and the Giants have practiced with the pads on a few times, they can start to see the difference as it translates to the field.

"As far as his hands, his hands are getting better," said defensive end Olivier Vernon, who often lines up across from Flowers. "As far as technique, he's improved a whole lot, I'll say that. I know with Flowers, he's always working on his technique and asking questions about what he's doing wrong or what he's doing good on. So, that tells me he's somebody just trying to get better."

Vernon added: "We talk all the time. He's asking what, as far as what techniques, as far as what he can give you. Anything to help each other get better."


For the second day in a row, the Giants were in full pads, and linebacker B.J. Goodson has been doing a few quality control tests to make sure they worked properly.

"It's a thud tempo, and B.J. is good at thudding," McAdoo said. "The backs need to feel it. The linebackers need to feel it. There has to be contact there."

That's one thing today's practice was not missing.

Earlier in the week, All-Pro safety Landon Collins said Goodson's physicality is setting the tempo for the defense. Last year's fourth-round draft pick from Clemson is running with the first team at middle linebacker after playing only 13 defensive snaps as a rookie.

"Oh yeah, you know B.J., he's flying around, he's moving," Vernon said. "If he's not on special teams, coming straight off special teams, coming to the periods and he's full go. You know, we all see that. And he's hungry, so we like that.

"He's been hungry for a while and he's coming in and trying to take that role. He's going to be physical, that's what we like. To be a part of this defense, you've got to be physical."


As per tradition, the Giants drafted a defensive tackle in the second round this year to keep the lineage going. After Linval Joseph and, most recently, Johnathan Hankins signed elsewhere as free agents, Dalvin Tomlinson is next in line. The Alabama product is competing for a starting job with Robert Thomas, who has mostly been running with the ones.

"You look at Tomlinson, D-tackle we brought in, he's fit right in with that group," said Pugh, who lines up across from him. "There's no drop-off from when the ones go out and he comes in. Obviously, I know he's got to learn the scheme and learn his role within the scheme, but he plays at a great pad level, impressed with him."

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