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2024 Spring Practices

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Notebook: Brian Burns, Kayvon Thibodeaux 'bouncing a lot of ideas off of each other'


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Charlie Bullen has coached in the NFL for more than a decade and outside linebackers for the last eight years and has formed a conclusion about pass rushers that isn't exactly radical.

"The more rushers you can have, it helps all of them, no doubt," Bullen, the Giants' new coach of that position group, said today before the team's third OTA.

Bullen stepped into an enviable situation, because the Giants have multiple rushers, and he can unleash a pair of sack specialists that should give opposing quarterbacks many miserable moments in 2024.

Bullen inherited Kayvon Thibodeaux, the fifth selection in the 2022 NFL Draft who led the Giants with 11.5 sacks last season.

A month after Bullen arrived, the Giants traded for Brian Burns, a two-time Pro Bowler whose 46.0 career sacks rank third among players selected in the 2019 draft.

Thibodeaux and Burns will contribute a strong outside rush, while nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, a second-team all-pro the last two seasons when he had 12 sacks and provided steady interior pressure.

"Anytime an offense can key into one player, that challenges that particular player but also the scheme," Bullen said. "So now, having another proven rusher opposite Kayvon, someone has to get the attention. And Dex. There's three bona fide, experienced guys up front, and the offense can only choose a certain amount. If they start altering their protection and keeping guys in to protect, then the routes get limited downfield."

Defensive line coach Andre Patterson, who has more than 40 years of coaching experience, said he is also working with the edge rushers.

"He's a good coach," said head coach Brian Daboll. "I think him and Chuck (Bullen) do a good job, they work together. There's four-man rush patterns, games, things like that - they do a good job of working together, him and Chuck and BCox (Brian Cox, the assistant line coach) and Ben (Burress, the defensive assistant)."

Thibodeaux and Burns have formed a close partnership, on and off the field.

"Right now, we're just pretty much getting used to each other, bouncing a lot of ideas off of each other," Burns said following practice. "We just spend a lot of time trying to develop that chemistry. Also, healthy competition. We almost compete in everything we do, on the field, off the field. Having somebody to push me and I'm able to push, that's going to be a positive this year."

Thibodeaux said the two pass rushers can play off each other.

"It's funny, me and Burns go way back from me being in high school, him being in college, seeing him play," Thibodeaux said. "He hosted me on my college visit (at Florida State). I've always kind of compared myself to him as I continue my pass-rushing professional career. Being able to be with him was kind of like that full-circle moment. Yeah, the competitive spirit. We're chasing greatness every day. He knows a lot of things. He has been in the league a lot longer than I have. He got a lot of game, a lot of gems that's going to help my game. Continue to get with him on and off the field and continue to grow."

What has Thibodeaux, who is 23, learned from the 26-year-old Burns?

"He's a Florida boy," Thibodeaux said. "You talk about a little bit of city, a little bit of country. I'm from the West Coast, from L.A. You talk about the mix of the outdoors and the indoors, the big city and the wide-open country. It's a good mix. We've been able to get together, show him some things, he's shown me some things. Talk about culturally, music-wise. It's been a good time so far."

See all the action from spring practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

*The Giants did not re-sign Adoree' Jackson, leaving second-year pro Deonte Banks as the clearcut No. 1 cornerback. Is Banks ready for that responsibility?

"It's always a big difference between year one and year two," Daboll said. "Obviously, he's done it for a whole year in terms of how we do things here, learning some new things of what we're putting in defensively, but he has the right mindset, he's working extremely hard and trying to do as good as he can do."

*Daboll confirmed wide receiver Darius Slayton and tight end Darren Waller have not attended the voluntary workouts. Waller has said publicly he is contemplating retirement.

"I would say the same thing I said last month," Daboll said, "let Darren take what he needs to take and once the decision is made, we'll go from there."

Regarding Slayton, Daboll said, "I've spoken to Slay. Again, this is voluntary. If he wants to be here, great. If there's anyone that doesn't want to be here, that's their choice, that's why it's voluntary. … I would say whenever they decide, they decide. Darius is obviously under contract, so, again, whenever it comes up, we'll deal with it then."

*Daboll said the Giants will hold joint practices during training camp with the Detroit Lions and probably the Jets. In 2023, they practiced and then played their first preseason game in Detroit. This year, they host the Lions in the preseason opener.

"Were going to practice against Detroit and I would say most likely we're going to practice one day against the Jets at their place," Daboll said.

To commemorate their 100th season, the New York Giants today unveiled a "Century Red" uniform, which the team will wear for up to two games in 2024.


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