*1. Odell relishing training camp practices. *
While on a pitch count, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is doing something he didn't as a rookie: practice at training camp. Last year a hamstring cost him the spring, summer, and the first quarter of the season, making his record-setting numbers and Rookie of the Year honors that much more impressive. And now a week into Year 2, Beckham said the plan has him feeling good as practices have been going well.
"It's a lot more fun to be out there than when you watch, I can tell you that—that's for sure," Beckham said before Friday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "It's been cool just being able to go through practices and start to recover, and you feel what it feels like to go through these practices. Just being able to get back out there each and every day and take something new from every day—learn from it. It's been fun."
2. Offensive line deals with injuries.
In addition to Will Beatty, who is out for an extended period of time after tearing a pectoral muscle, offensive linemen Ereck Flowers, Weston Richburg, and Geoff Schwartz have all missed some time this week, forcing the unit to reshuffle after keeping it consistent in the spring and the first part of camp.
"I don't think it's frustrating," offensive line coach pat Flaherty said. "I probably have my feelings go towards those guys because I think, I believe, they want to be out there and they can't be out there for various reasons because they're injured. My feelings of whatever I have is really for those guys that they want to be out there and get better. As a group, we need them out there to get better. There are some things as a coach that you can control, there are some things you can't control. The one thing that I always want to stay focused on as a coach is do the best job with what we have to work with and what I can control. That's the players out there practicing at the moment."
3. Injuries create opportunities up front.
While more than half of the projected first-team offensive line is out, opportunities have opened up for players like Adam Gettis, Dallas Reynolds, and John Jerry, who all took first-team reps yesterday.
"If someone's not playing and they're not out there, that gives a chance to another guy," Justin Pugh said. "Adam Gettis can show what he has got. We've got rookies, young guys trying to get some reps. Bobby Hart, Sean Donnelly, Eric Herman—another guy that I came in with that's trying to get some reps. So that's huge for those guys. When you can show coach what you have and this is a big opportunity. Coming up next week is even greater because we're going to play Cincinnati and we get to get two practices—22 mods, coach has been talking about. It's exciting, I'm happy for those guys."
4. Flaherty: "We talk with our pads."
Mostly notably including Pugh, players have spoken about being tougher on the offensive line, using as an example the 2008 group that included Chris Snee, David Diehl, Shaun O'Hara, Kareem McKenzie, and Rich Seubert. Flaherty, who has coached the offensive line for Tom Coughlin's entire tenure with the Giants, was asked if he's seeing that progress.
"Yeah, I'm seeing that," he said. "You can't—we have a saying in our offensive line room and I'll share it with you, 'We talk with our pads.' I know they are sharing that with you, I heard that before and that's fine, but it's not going to get done just verbally talking about it. You have to do it with pads. One thing I have seen each and every day by these guys is they are coming off the ball better with their pads. We always have to work on our leverage on our pads and if we continue to progress like that, we are going to be a good offensive line. We are talented enough. I know sometimes we question that, but we are talented enough. Whether or not we do it, I'm part of that equation as a coach."
5. Defensive line moves on without JPP, awaits his return.
Defensive line coach Robert Nunn said he has been texting with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has not returned after suffering serious hand injuries during a July 4 fireworks accident. Including just this morning, the two have talked more about where Pierre-Paul is mentally and when he's ready, he'll be back. Until then, Nunn said they will prepare for the season without him.
"That's right now what we're doing," Nunn said. "As far as the group and everyone, we are all pulling for him in that room. Everyone in there is very close and stays in touch with each other. So we're all pulling for him to be back, but right now we've got a job to do and that's what we're doing."
6. Nunn feels good about rotation to fill JPP's void.
Before the accident, Pierre-Paul was primed for a big 2015 campaign coming off a year in which he started all 16 games at right defensive end and notched 12.5 sacks. But now a deep rotation will attempt to make up the difference.
"In certain areas, they've all jumped out," Nunn said when asked if any end have stood out at camp. "I really like where Robert Ayers has come in from a mental standpoint. Kerry Wynn, when he got his opportunity he made the most of it as far as production. Kerry Wynn, when the pads come on, he's a different player than when the pads are not on, and I've coaches players like that…They all do some things that the other ones don't."
7. Run defense won't show until live games.
As much as the offense stressed running the ball this offseason, the defense is putting a major emphasis on stopping it after allowing an NFL-worst 4.9 yards per carry in 2014. Asked if he has seen any early indication that those numbers will improve, Nunn said, "It's hard to tell until you get in real games. When real bullets are fired you is when find out. I know we challenged them, we've challenged them to come in here, and we have to be able to stop the run better than we did last year. I like where we are."
The Giants will travel to Cincinnati next week leading up to their first preseason game on Friday, Aug. 14.
Giants players talk to media before Training Camp