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Sideline View: Giants open practices with Patriots

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The Giants wrapped up their first of two consecutive days of practices at the Patriots' facility, which is adjacent to Gillette Stadium. It was hotter and steamier than either practice against the Browns last week in Cleveland, with a glaring sun adding to the 90-degree heat and high humidity.

* The first thing that is easy to pick up on is how similar both teams practice with similar periods and drill types. Joe Judge clearly picked up a lot of how he runs practice from his time with Bill Belichick in New England.

* The teams worked an interesting drill that I've never seen at practice before: two-on-two and three-on-three wide receiver drills. The point of the drill was to allow receivers to work on their releases from bunched and stacked formations, while defensive backs were forced to communicate as to who was picking up what receiver at the line of scrimmage. There were plays where some receivers were running free after they were not picked up correctly, proving the drill's worth.

* There were two "almost plays" by the defense. During a team session, safety Xavier McKinney accelerated and jumped in front of a crossing route. He leapt to grab the interception, but the ball came lose as he hit the ground. In a later period, safety Jabrill Peppers came down on a high throw to a Patriots receiver. He got his hand on the football but didn't make the interception.

* Lorenzo Carter had a pair of strong rushes around the edge that would have ended up in sacks. Ifeadi Odenigbo had another rep like that a few players later, with both players working against youngster Yodny Cajuste. On a slightly separate note, Trent Brown is one of the largest human beings I have ever seen.

* Daniel Jones' description of the offense's performance was apt: "Kind of up and down. Made some plays, didn't do some things great. We've got to look at a few things and clean it up. That's the way practice is sometimes, and you've got to be able to push through. We'll look to correct it going forward." It will be interesting to see how the group bounces back like they did after a similar first practice against the Browns last week.

View photos of the Giants practicing with the Patriots in New England ahead of Sunday's preseason finale.

* Darius Slayton was Daniel Jones' most frequent target, catching a lot of short and intermediate passes. David Sills had a couple of catches off of good routes in drills. Dante Pettis made the biggest play of the day for the Giants offense, making a contested catch on a third-and-eight during the two-minute period." He ran for a big gain after the catch and helped set up a Giants field goal.

* Jones kept the ball on several plays during practice. Some were designed read-options, while others looked like a natural reaction to strong coverage down the field.

* Evan Engram had a couple of touchdowns in red zone seven-on-seven drills early in practice on short and quick passes from Jones. Later in team red zone, Sterling Shepard and Nakia Griffin-Stewart caught touchdowns. Griffin-Stewart also had a tough bobbling and diving catch earlier in practice.

* Graham Gano made both field goal attempts to wrap up team drills, including one he boomed from more than 50 yards away. Riley Dixon put a pair of punts inside the five, one of which was downed by gunner Cam Brown.

* Saquon Barkley was not at practice due to personal reasons and is expected to be in a non-contact red jersey at Thursday's practice. The Patriots had a few players in those jerseys today, including tight end Hunter Henry.

* At the end of practice, in place of the usual conditioning runs, Joe Judge had his players run the famed New England hill at the back of the practice field.

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