Three Giants wrtiers give their first impressions of the team following OTA Week 1:
Last week the Giants held three Organized Team Activities which will continue for the next two weeks until mandatory minicamp wraps up Phase Three of the offseason program.
Before the team re-takes the field Tuesday, we asked the Giants.com staff to detail their initial takeaways from the first week of OTAs?
It rains a lot in May? Aside from that I'm not sure you can learn a ton from a week of non-contact practices. One main takeaway from practice is that Ben McAdoo is all about maintaining pace, focus, intensity and competition during even spring practices. Aside from the "TV Timeouts", the players are always moving quickly from drill to drill and hustling. There is no wasted time between plays or reps. He is putting a big focus on how quickly the team can work. He also brought out the noise machines at an OTA last week, which will naturally raise the intensity.
I'm particularly enjoying watching the Giants talented secondary do battle with the Giants receivers. Both sides are proud and have a lot of skill. Both have won individual battles and it has been a fun back and forth. It is part of the culture of competition that the Giants want in their team. The competition not only takes place between offense and defense but also within position groups, with players fighting for roster spots and positions on the depth chart.
Continuity is a valuable thing in sports, and the defense has it. Two years ago, the system was new. A year ago, a lot of the core players were new. This year, both aspects stayed constant, at least as much as possible in today's NFL. And it's showing in OTAs. With the exception of defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, all of the key starters return in 2017. They look like a well-oiled machine right now in May, and the unit is playing with a lot of confidence.
That includes cornerback Eli Apple. Like Landon Collins a year ago, Apple enters his second season with starting experience as a rookie. Now we'll see if he can stay on the same path as Collins and break out as a sophomore. There's no reason this defense can't top what it did in 2016.
It's only OTAs but we're already getting a glimpse of what Brandon Marshall will bring to the offense: a physical wide receiver who can stretch the field on the outside. Marshall has been building chemistry with Eli Manning each day and it's fun to watch Marshall go up against corner Janoris Jenkins. Those two seem to be bringing out the best in each other as they look to one-up one another. The whole defensive unit seems to be feeding off of Jenkins' competitive fire.
The other thing that's jumped out to me during the first week of OTAs is the continued development/progress of the 2016 draft class. Corner Eli Apple, wideout Sterling Shepard and running back Paul Perkins all look more comfortable within the scheme, safety Darian Thompson is moving around well after missing the majority of last season with a foot injury and tight end Jerell Adams is showcasing some nice burst as he runs his routes. It seems as if the Giants are taking a real close look at the tight end and running back depth charts. They're shuffling personnel in and out during team drills and experimenting with various combinations to test what players can do in various situations. The competition is well underway across the board.