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2022 Training Camp

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5 things we learned from training camp (8/2)

ADOREE-JACKSON-FORD

Training camp rolled on Tuesday as the Giants took the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Head Coach Brian Daboll spoke to the media before practice, revealing that the time would be focusing on third-and-10+ situations. Following the session, Dexter Lawrence and Tae Crowder spoke to reporters.

The team had a special visitor on the sideline today as two-time Super Bowl MVP and Giants legend Eli Manning stopped by. Manning spoke to the team following the conclusion of practice.

"Just come out and trust in the process," Dexter Lawrence said of Manning's message to the team. "Being a good teammate and being a good person to people you're around every day, competing. You know, if you're not getting better, you're getting worse type of thing. Just having that mental thing going through camp is good."

Here is what we learned today:

1. Daboll wants 'position flexibility' on O-line

The Giants' offensive line went through a big transformation this offseason. Left tackle Andrew Thomas is the only player who started 10+ games in his spot last year to return. Evan Neal was selected with the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, while veterans such as Mark Glowinski, Jon Feliciano, Jamil Douglas and Max Garcia, among others, were added in free agency. The team has used some of these linemen in different spots through the first week of practice, as Daboll wants to create some position flexibility across the O-line.

"We're going to keep rotating the players around," Daboll said. "There's obviously certain guys that – Andrew Thomas is our left tackle. But I think the more guys that can get reps, you know, if Andrew Thomas comes out in a preseason game, then who's going to go ahead and go in for him? And the more position flexibility they can create for themselves – and maybe you find something, a good combination that works – but right now we're going to mix and match. And eventually we'll settle on the five that are out there; I think that's important to have some good communication with one another. But I think when you work with other guys, that helps the communication process as well."

In addition to Neal, the team also drafted Joshua Ezeudu (No. 67) and Marcus McKethan (No. 173) in this year's draft. The former North Carolina teammates have been getting good reps over the last week, including Ezeudu seeing some time at LG with the first-team offense.

"Much like everybody else, some good, some bad," Daboll said about the two middle round picks. "They're working hard. They're trying to do the things the way we're asking them to do. They have good physical demeanor about themselves. They pick things up well. There was a lot of good reps out there for them, and some they probably wish they had back, but that's for all of us."

2. Jackson steps up big

One day after speaking to the media for the first time this summer, Adoree' Jackson enjoyed his strongest practice. Jackson read a route perfectly during 7-on-7s at the start of practice, jumping in front of a pass for an interception. Later during a 2-minute drill, Jackson got his hands on the ball to break up a pass. He finished his practice on a high note, intercepting another pass on the goal line and returning it the other way for a big gain.

The team's new top corner has played well this summer, but reiterated Monday that his focus remains on getting better each and every day.

"We are all just taking it a day at a time," Jackson stated. "Just trying to gain our strides when we can. So, for us it's not about yesterday or tomorrow it's just about today to see what we did wrong. Although things make look well there are always corrections. Wink always says, nothing is as good as it seems, nothing is as bad but in the middle lies reality. So, for us, it's just trying to figure out where we can improve each day."

3. Saquon 'looks explosive'

Saquon Barkley made one of the top plays of Tuesday's practice. The running back made a great adjustment on a pass towards the goal line, making a diving catch to bring the ball down to the 1-yard line. Barkley entered training camp fully healthy and ready for whatever role Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka see fit.

The head coach has been very happy with what he's seen out of the 25-year-old running back.

"He looks explosive," Daboll said this morning. "You know, he hit one yesterday and got out into the open field. I don't know what his GPS numbers were, but it was high. He was moving pretty good. He's explosive. He's quick. He's strong. He looks good to me."

View photos from a jam-packed training camp practice, which ended with a special talk from Eli Manning.

4. Lawrence showing great leadership

The defensive front appears to be one of the strengths of the roster this season, with Azeez Ojulari, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, among others, leading the way. Lawrence has nine sacks through his first three seasons, adding 30 quarterback hits and 14 tackles for loss. The fourth-year lineman has looked spry through the first week of camp, getting into the backfield at least once seemingly every practice.

"I'm just getting more knowledgeable about my position, understanding how to manipulate things and how to win more type of thing," Lawrence shared about his approach this year. "That's what I've got to do as a defensive lineman is just learn the position and grow from there."

In each of his last two seasons, Lawrence has earned very solid marks from Pro Football Focus, including pass rush grades of 74.0 (2021) and 73.2 (2020) and an overall grade of 79.7 (2020). Daboll praised the young defensive lineman Tuesday, alluding to his talents both on and off the field.

"He's looked good. He's powerful," said Daboll. "He came in in shape. He's a very smart player. I've been very impressed in the defensive meetings as he sits down and Wink (Martindale) goes through the defense. And he just doesn't know the front part of it; he's got some awareness of what's going on behind him. He's got a great attitude. I think he adds tremendous leadership for our team. He's practiced really well since he's been here. Glad we have him."

5. Belton to miss some time: injury updates

The Giants were dealt with a blow to the secondary this week when rookie safety Dane Belton went down with an injury. Belton made a standout play during Saturday's practice with an interception in the end zone, and was in competition for the team's third safety spot. Daboll told reporters Tuesday that the rookie safety will not require surgery and would continue to take part in meetings and walk-throughs, even with his left arm in a sling.

"You feel terrible for guys that that happens to. But he is smart," the head coach said. "He was having a really good camp, and doing a really good job with (Julian) Love and (Xavier McKinney) X when we were throwing him in there. He's diligent. I'd say he's out there. He's out there at walkthroughs. He's out there at practice. He's really good in the film room. Does it hurt that you're not out there? Absolutely. But he's really mature for a young player, too. So, as soon as we can get him out there, that will be great. But until then, we'll work with whatever we can with relative to the meetings, the practices, the time on task is always helpful."

Despite not participating in full team drills, Jon Feliciano (heat-related) was back on the practice field today for the first time since Thursday. Additionally, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones did not take part in practice for the second consecutive day.

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