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2023 Training Camp

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Adoree' Jackson pays it forward with Deonte Banks, Tre Hawkins III


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Adoree' Jackson is paying it forward.

When Jackson, now a seven-year veteran with the Giants, was a rookie first-round draft choice – 18th overall - with the Tennessee Titans in 2014, he had a cadre of veterans in the secondary who helped him become an NFL cornerback on the field and a professional football player off it. The group included Logan Ryan – who was later his teammate on the 2021 Giants – Kevin Byard, Deshea Townsend, Da'Norris Searcy, Brice McCain and LeShaun Sims.

"I had some great guys to be able to learn from and help me," Jackson said. "They welcomed me with open arms, man. I couldn't be more appreciative of having those guys."

Now Jackson has flipped roles. With 77 regular season and postseason games of experience to draw on, he has become a mentor to the Giants' young defensive backs, notably the two corners selected in the 2023 draft, Deonte Banks (first round) and Tre Hawkins (sixth). Jackson is the veteran voice among a group of cornerbacks that also includes Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson, Cor'Dale Flott and Nick McCloud.

"You always hear about 'each one, teach one,'" Jackson said. "Those guys treated me like a little brother, which was pretty great. I think it makes it easy for me to be the same, just be who I am and let them be them. And I feel like that's what those guys did. They didn't try to change me at all. They let me be myself and tried to teach me and help me as best as they can."

As Jackson is now doing with the Giants' young corners, notably Banks and Hawkins.

"I see those guys being attentive to detail, willing to learn, wanting to learn and just going out there and playing football," Jackson said. "So, I'm liking their progression and what they've been doing through camp."

Banks was selected 24th overall and has lined up with the first-team defense since he arrived in the spring. The Giants believe Banks can become an elite player, but he arrives with just 30 games and 23 starts of collegiate experience at the University of Maryland. Banks has become a devotee of Jackson's teachings.

"It's very helpful," Banks said. "Me and Adoree' have a good relationship going on and we're starting to build it. He helps me with how I should play this route, or where I should line up – just certain things you need to know to play corner. For him to say he's willing to help me, it's love. It's going to make us be a better duo."

As often happens with rookies, Banks' transition to the pros has included a few tough moments. Jackson has helped Banks work through them by dispensing the kind of advice he got from his mentors.

"I go off what Deshea Townsend used to tell me when I got to Tennessee," Jackson said. "'Well, they get paid to make plays, too. At the end of the day, you learn from the mistake. Don't be a repeat offender.' I think having Dick LeBeau (then the Titans' defensive coordinator), even if we did something and you made a mistake, he would always have a story to top your mistake. It wasn't that bad if Dick LeBeau is a Hall of Famer. I think that was cool to have and to see and to be able to just not beat yourself up over something. Understand that at the end of the day all you can focus on is doing your technique, doing your job, executing your keys. In a sense, you want to make every play, but sometimes it's a great throw and catch. If you do get beat, understand that maybe you probably had bad odds, you had the wrong leverage. You know when you're on your P's and Q's and things can be different, so even though you may lose a rep, you take the wins within it."

Hawkins soaks up as much knowledge from Jackson as he can.

"Adoree' is a very intelligent player," Hawkins said. "Everything he does, I ask him why he does it or what do you see, literally everything. So, it's just the fact he's an experienced player and I want to learn from somebody who has been in the league a long time, who is going to last in the league."

Banks and Hawkins also help each other while competing at the same position.

"That's my rookie brother, we came in together," Hawkins said. "He's been a big help to me as in I come to him in plays, asking him what I could have done. We just kinda go back-and-forth on each other. He's a big help, though, most definitely."

Practice today was significant for both young corners. Banks made his first big play of camp, stepping up to break up Daniel Jones' pass on an out route to Darius Slayton.

"I think he's done a good job," coach Brian Daboll said of Banks. "A young player, competitive. We kind of throw a lot at them, whether that is throw a lot at them on defense, throw a lot at them on offense. He's a good young player. But he falls into the category of all the young players that we talked about. Tre, you guys (reporters) asked about. Or (Darrian) Beavers or some young receivers. That's what this time of year is for."

Jackson, who normally plays outside, took his first camp reps in the slot before heading to the sideline for a partial rest day. Hawkins played first-team corner each time.

"He's done a nice job with the opportunities that he's given," Daboll said of Hawkins. "He'll get some more. A lot like the young guys, some good, some stuff to improve on. Good young man who works hard. So, he will get some more chances."

Banks and Hawkins benefit from Jackson's presence not just listening to him but watching him as well.

"It's kinda fun watching Adoree'," Hawkins said. "He's super smart. Every time you get to watch a smart player, it's intriguing. Like, why did they play it this way and things of that nature?"

"We all have different skills and I think it's what we do as a group," Jackson said. "You see someone doing something well, watching them in press, taking tools and watching them do different things. At the end of the day, they always talk about what you see here and there. I think that just goes with being one of the older or the oldest corner in the room and having experience and having them ask me why I'm doing this, why I'm doing that. Just being able to give them different knowledge and tools. At the end of the day, they both have a unique skill set and giving them a different tool in their brain to make it a lot easier instead of just watching film with each other. Being in there and how we see things, being able to talk and communicate."

That teamwork in the secondary is certain to help all three players – and the Giants.

Catch up on all the action from training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

*Backup center J.C. Hassenauer, a four-year veteran who was signed as a free agent on April 6, tore his right triceps in practice yesterday, will undergo surgery and be sidelined "long term," Daboll said.

*Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who practiced for the first time yesterday, was off today.

"(He's) down today, then we will just monitor it every day," Daboll said. "After this first one, we wanted to give him a day off the next day."

Tight end Darren Waller and Jackson had partial rest days, participating early in practice before sitting out the later team drills.

*The configuration of the three interior players on the offensive line has changed each practice. Today, rookie John Michael Schmitz played center for the second consecutive day, Joshua Ezeudu lined up at left guard and Ben Bredesen – who was the center or left guard in the first four practices – switched to right guard, where incumbent Mark Glowinski lined up with the second team.

*Daniel Jones and Jalin Hyatt hooked up for a crowd-pleasing completion as the rookie wideout just kept his feet inbounds on the right sideline against tight coverage. Jones also prompted loud cheers with touchdown passes to Daniel Bellinger and Parris Campbell.

*Outside linebacker Jihad Ward and tight end Ryan Jones (knee) missed their second consecutive practice.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2023 roster as it currently stands.



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