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5 Things we learned from practice (12/21)


Five takeaways from Thursday's team practice and media hour:


Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo has brought back a competitive period in practice where the starting offense goes against the starting defense, as opposed one side going against the scout team. And for the second consecutive day, rookie Davis Webb took snaps with the first-team offense for the first time since summer. He took six of the eight reps.

"Today was the same," Spagnuolo said after Thursday's practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "It was the same formula. We had eight competitive snaps. Four in the red zone. Four were all third down, which is a key down for the both those situational football are really important for us to win games and he had six of them. After watching the film I thought he did a pretty good job yesterday. There were a couple things in there that need to be ironed out. I'd have to see the film on it today."

Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan liked what he saw in the rookie's preparation.

"Davis did a lot of good things," he said. "He has things he needs to improve upon. The things that have stood out is all the preparation – things that he's done behind the scenes in the meeting room and you can tell that he's someone that was able to take that information and he didn't freeze up."


Did not practice: S Landon Collins (ankle), LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), WR Tavarres King (concussion), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger)

Limited: S Nat Berhe (hamstring), CB Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), LT Ereck Flowers (groin), DE Olivier Vernon (not injury related)

Full: TE Rhett Ellison (groin/finger), C Brett Jones (ankle), WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring), S Darian Thompson (knee)


While Orleans Darkwa has made 10 consecutive starts, rookie Wayne Gallman has quietly taken over in the backfield. Over the last two weeks, the fourth-round draft choice leads Giants running backs in rushing attempts (20), rushing yards (98), targets (16), receptions (13) and receiving yards (80). His 13 catches are tied with wide receiver Sterling Shepard for the most on the team in that span, regardless of position.

"Wayne is a guy that is explosive with the ball in his hands whether he's catching it or whether he's running it," Sullivan said. "He's shown an improved ability to grasp what we want him to do mentally in terms of the pass protection. That's the big thing we talk about, someone on third down or passing situations, is they got to make sure they know the adjustments. He does have a really good knack for catching the football and there are times we'll see him, whether it's in practice or in games, in terms of once he has the ball in his hands, you see just a great read then explosive cut and it's like you get excited."

Sullivan was most excited about Gallman's block that sprung Shepard's 67-yard touchdown vs. Philadelphia.

"I think the thing that really ought to be highlighted about Wayne Gallman that really was probably the most impressive is that on Sterling's long touchdown, I mean, he's the guy that after his route was over he pushed up the field and it was no hesitation," Sullivan said. "He had a block. So, lot of upside with the young man. Happy he's here for sure."


Last Sunday, the Giants became the first team since the 1991 Patriots to have an extra point, field goal attempt and punt blocked in the same game. The Giants had not had three kicks blocked since 1975.

"Poor fundamentals and that's on me," special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. "So I've got to get that corrected. The PAT, we missed that and then we ended up chasing those points all game, which makes it really tough to play. I thought the offense, defense played their butts off and we didn't come through."

Quinn added: "We prepared for what they were doing. So the first one they got us and the second one, we were kind of overcompensating for what they did the first time and they got us on the outside. So good rush by them, poor protection by us."


Former NFL player and executive and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick today became the third candidate to interview for the Giants' vacant general manager position. Riddick, 48, rose to director of pro personnel for both the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. Marc Ross, Giants vice president of player evaluation, and Dave Gettleman, the former Panthers general manager who previously spent 15 years in the Giants organization as a personnel executive, also interviewed this week. Riddick is the first candidate to interview with no ties to the organization.

View the best images from Thursday's practice

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