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Cover 3: What to look for at Giants' spring practices


With OTAs getting underway this week, the crew discusses what to look for in spring practices:

John Schmeelk: OTAs are always tricky. I always get excited for them to start because it is the first on-field work that resembles football since January. At the end of the day, however, there's no contact because of the rules for this time of the year. Thus, it is difficult to make any true evaluations, especially on offensive and defensive line play. You can see some things on the perimeter where cornerbacks have to cover wide receivers, but until contact is allowed at training camp, wide receivers have a huge advantage.

But that doesn't mean there aren't things I'm keeping my eyes on:

How does Daniel Jones look? All indications from the team are that Jones is on schedule, and the quarterback participated in 7-on-7 drills in OTA No. 1.

I want to see Malik Nabers use his athleticism to get open and make plays all over the field. It will be hard for us to see it, but Nabers growing comfortable in the offense and building chemistry with his teammates will be key heading into the summer.

I know we won't get any real competitive reps, but I want to see Brian Burns' athleticism up close up because it's special.

Do we see any significant difference in offensive line drills and how the unit works together under new position coach Carmen Bricillo? Does Evan Neal look healthy? I want to see where players line up, including newcomers Jon Runyan Jr. and Jermaine Eluemunor.

Do we see more Dexter Lawrence at three-technique?

What does the depth chart look like at the outside cornerback position opposite Deonte Banks? Is Cor'Dale Flott with the starters? Who are the second and third guys lining up behind him?

If Darren Waller is not at OTAs, how quickly does Theo Johnson get up to speed?

Who is the second running back on the field after Devin Singletary?

These are all questions we might get some answers to during OTAs.

View photos from spring practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Dan Salomone: The Giants enter OTAs with eight coaches who were not on their staff last spring, including coordinators Shane Bowen (defense) and Michael Ghobrial (special teams), and position coaches Joel Thomas (running backs), Tim Kelly (tight ends), Carmen Bricillo (offensive line), and Charlie Bullen (outside linebackers).

So, while much of the attention has been on new players, OTAs will be the first time we get to see how the new coaches like to operate. We know that Bowen likes to find the right balance between scheming things up and just letting his guys play on instinct.

"I'm hoping it's going to be speed and aggressiveness," Bowen said this offseason of what he hopes will be the calling card for his defense. "Regardless of scheme – everybody's going to have scheme, we're going to have plenty of scheme – but I want to make sure our guys are lined up, they know what to do, and they can play fast and aggressive ultimately. I want to maximize their abilities. I don't want to paralyze them before the ball is even snapped by overthinking. They're all here for a reason. God has blessed them with the skillset to be here. I want to make sure we can maximize that skillset and they're able to maximize that skillset. But hopefully [it will be] fast, aggressive, you'll see some violence from us and ultimately guys making plays."

While the physicality won't necessarily be seen at non-contact OTAs, we will get a look at how everything starts to come together.

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.

Matt Citak: The Giants made a lot of moves this offseason, from the acquisition of Brian Burns to the free agent signings along the offensive line to their six-person draft class. For the very first time, we will see the transformed roster on the field all together running plays. While I'm excited to see the whole roster beginning to mesh, the thing I'm looking for most during this upcoming phase of the offseason workout program is the integration of the rookie class with the rest of the team.

While the rookies took the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the first time not too long ago at rookie minicamp, this is the first time they will get to practice with the rest of the team. That means we'll likely get our first Malik Nabers vs. Deonte Banks matchup, something I think we can all agree we are excited to see. Nabers will also get to take the field with Wan'Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt and the rest of the wide receiver corps for the first time as we watch how the sixth overall pick fits with the other receivers.

OTAs also serve as the first chance for players like Tyler Nubin and Dru Phillips to begin earning potential spots in the secondary. Theo Johnson, Tyrone Tracy Jr. and Darius Muasau should also get ample snaps during OTAs to show what they can do. I've spoken about this a few times already, but Tracy in particular is a player I'm going to keep a close eye on leading up to Week 1, starting with this week at OTAs. As a converted wide receiver, the 24-year-old has limited tread on his tires with only 146 career rushing attempts. However, Tracy looked explosive with his limited carries, especially during his one full season playing running back in 2023. Given his experience catching passes, Tracy could see his role eventually develop into an overall offensive weapon with time spent both in the backfield and lined up out wide. I can't wait to see what Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka have up their sleeves for the rookie running back. And it all starts this week at OTAs.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2024 active roster as it currently stands.


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