Giants.com highlights five takeaways from Tuesday's press conferences:
1. INJURY UPDATES
Sunday marked the second off day for the Giants since the team reported for training camp on July 27th. After returning to work yesterday in shoulder pads, Big Blue cranked it up on Tuesday for a two-plus hour practice in full pads.
Afterwards, head coach Ben McAdoo provided an update on several players battling some injuries. Defensive tackle Robert Thomas (soreness) and linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger) have each missed the past two practices. Defensive back Mykkele Thompson is out with a quad, and rookie defensive end Avery Moss left today's practice with what McAdoo described as a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was back on the field for the second consecutive day but was limited. Fellow wide receiver Tavarres King remained sidelined with an ankle injury.
2. OFFENSE RESPONDED AFTER MONDAY
During Monday's practice, the Giants defense held the offense from scoring on three consecutive drives in two-minute drill situations. The offense responded today, including a game-winning drive by the first team. Eli Manning hit rookie tight end Evan Engram in the seam for the score that moved the offense within a point. On the two-point conversion, Brandon Marshall beat Janoris Jenkins on a double-move, and Manning hit Marshall in the back corner of the end zone.
"It's a drill that was simulated after our two-score plan," McAdoo said. "So we're down by ten, we kick the field goal first, you come out and go down for the touchdown for the possible two-point conversion to either win or tie the game depending on the score. The first group made a nice play and had a chance to get the ball in the end zone there. Then Brandon [Marshall] ran a nice double-move there for the two-point play, so that was good to see."
3. THIS DEFENSE LOVES TO COMPETE
Jenkins didn't seem too bothered after practice when asked about the two-point conversion play with Marshall, saying the offense is going to make their fair share of plays.
"It's cool, man," Jenkins said. "We have to understand they're going to make plays. What you guys (the media) call it, we don't call it beat. We call it competing. You have to finish a certain type of way in practice, so that's how I push back."
Added Jenkins: "You get to compete with different types of guys. Quick guys, big guys, fast guys strong guys… and then you get to work on technique and fundamentals. I feel like with the receiving corps that we have, we get to work on all of that."
4. JENKINS ON APPLE: HE CAN BE SPECIAL
It may seem like Jackrabbit is still a young player because he's only entering his second season with the Giants. But the six-year veteran who made his first career Pro Bowl in 2016 is one of the more experienced defensive backs on the Giants roster. Jenkins was asked after practice about the progress he sees in second-year corner Eli Apple and how good he can become.
"Oh, he can be good," Jenkins said. "As a matter of fact, he can be special. He's long, he's physical, he's fast. But once again, it's about fine-tuning the details of the game and understand what's coming and understanding formation. And once he gets that down, I think he'll be pretty special."
5. RUNNING GAME MAKING STRIDES
Veteran running back Shane Vereen spoke yesterday about his eagerness to return to the field after missing most of last season with a triceps injury. Vereen and the rest of the backfield will finally get a chance this Friday when the Giants host the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first preseason game. The Giants run game finished 30th in yards per carry (3.5) and 29th in rushing yards per game (88.3) last season. Even though they have yet to play a preseason game yet, coaches and players are seeing enough progress in camp to expect more production in 2017.
"I think the offensive line is developing confidence in each other coming off the ball," McAdoo said. "The tight end group is improving, and that helps. [Paul] Perkins is a young back who's grown but we have some other young backs who aren't afraid to hit the hole. There have been some shots of the offense knocking a hole in the defense and that's encouraging."
"I think we just understand the run game as a whole better," Richburg added. "We've had time in the offseason to talk about it and think it over, go over some things that didn't go well last year and put those things into practice this year. I think we've made some good strides so far."