The Quest Diagnostics Training Center was buzzing Wednesday in the wake of the Giants' first victory of the season. They will look to make it two in a row this Sunday against the Redskins.
Here's what we learned today:
1. Jones remains even-keeled amid media frenzy. Much like his predecessor, quarterback Daniel Jones has been called everything under the sun – good and bad – since he became a Giant. Also like Eli Manning, the rookie quarterback has kept the same, level demeanor. "You're asking if he has a big head?" coach Pat Shurmur asked rhetorically in his Wednesday press conference. "Is that what you're asking? No. No. Not at all. I see the same player I saw last week preparing to play his first game."
Jones doesn't live in a bubble. He's aware of the hype "to some extent" that his starting debut generated, but he was quick to point out it was far from perfect, particularly his ball security. The biggest lesson, however, was that it takes all four quarters to win in the NFL.
"I think these wins, (with) any game in the NFL, and people talk about it all of the time, these games are going to come down to four quarters," Jones said. "Everyone is good in the NFL and you're going to have to compete and try to play a four-quarter game. We weren't perfect, by any stretch, but I thought we competed for four quarters and that's what helped us win."
2. Saquon getting second opinion on ankle. Star running back Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday's game and will likely be out weeks. Shurmur said Wednesday that Barkley will get a second opinion, which is typical. "They're just not as public as this one is," Shurmur added.
Also missing practice today were wide receiver Russell Shepard (foot), defensive lineman Olsen Pierre (hamstring), and linebackers Tae Davis (concussion) and Alec Ogletree (hamstring). Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter (elbow) and wide receivers Bennie Fowler (hamstring) and Cody Latimer (concussion) were limited.
3. Giants rallying around Gallman. Wayne Gallman will make his third career start on Sunday in place of Barkley, whom he has backed up the last two seasons. A 2017 fourth-round draft choice, Gallman has just seven carries for 30 yards this season, including a two-yard touchdown near the end of the Giants' Week 1 loss in Dallas.
"I view it as a big opportunity, an opportunity I've had since I came into the league," Gallman said. "It's unfortunate for my brother to go out, but this is what I've prepared for, this is what I have been preparing for, so I'm ready for it."
"He's kind of a twitchy guy," Shurmur said. "He does a good job of getting it up in the hole. He has good collision balance. He's improved catching the football. He's pretty good with our pass protection. He's a good all-around player, and he's going to be asked to do more."
4. Engram prepares for Collins. After he made three consecutive Pro Bowls with the Giants, safety Landon Collins signed with the Redskins as a free agent this offseason. Sunday will be his first game against his former team, and he will likely see plenty of Evan Engram. Boosted by a 75-yard touchdown in Week 3, Engram is the only tight end in the NFL with at least 20 receptions, 250 receiving yards, and two touchdown catches.
"(Practicing against Collins) definitely made me a better player versus man coverage and things like that, so it's going to be exciting playing against him," Engram said. "I saw him a couple weeks ago and definitely always wish him the best. It'll be fun this weekend."
"I think he's a tough, physical guy," Shurmur said. "Last year, I gained an appreciation for Landon. He was a captain, and so we met every Wednesday morning. I got to know him pretty well. He was a valued member of our team. Now he plays for someone else, and we wish him well, just like anybody that leaves. But what I expect is for him to come and play hard and try to fight for his team."
Shurmur added: "We have to certainly be aware of where he is. We have to know where he's at. We have an idea of where he's probably going to show up, but they change things up each week, so I don't know. Every week, you have something a little bit different. We just have to trust our rules and try to find him."
5. Keenum, Shurmur and the Minneapolis Miracle "thingy." Another Redskins player Shurmur holds in high regard is quarterback Case Keenum. As the offensive coordinator of the Vikings, Shurmur enjoyed a 13-3 record with Keenum guiding the offense in 2017, which included a 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs as time expired for a divisional round playoff victory over the Saints. Shurmur sent in the play call – Buffalo Right Key Left Seven Heaven.
"I have a lot of respect for Case," Shurmur said. "I was with him the one year we were in Minnesota, we went 13-3 and had the Minneapolis Miracle thingy. I have a lot of respect for Case. I know when Teddy (Bridgewater) and Sam (Bradford), when those guys got hurt and Case was there, he stepped in and he was a warrior. He was a significant reason why the Vikings that year won as many games as they did. I certainly know that he can play extremely well, because I've seen it firsthand."
Keenum has thrown seven touchdowns to three interceptions (plus two lost fumbles) and has a passer rating of an even 100 this season. While the team remains winless after three games, coach Jay Gruden is not making the switch to rookie Dwayne Haskins, the 15th overall pick. Jones went sixth overall.
"We felt like Daniel was the guy for us," Shurmur said. "We really, really liked Dwayne Haskins and what he had done in college. We had a very, very high opinion of him, and we spent a lot of time on him. We chose Daniel, but that doesn't mean that we didn't think very, very highly of Dwayne Haskins."
The Giants opened their Week 4 practices on Wednesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
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