With the temperature rising, the New York Giants wrapped up a lengthy second week of training camp on Saturday. The players will be off on Sunday, and then it's all systems go for the preseason opener one week from today. The team will also hold practice at the 2021 Giants Fan Fest presented by Quest Diagnostics at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m.
Both will be the first time the Giants have played in front of their home fans since Joe Judge took over as head coach – and they're preparing for noise.
"That's actually a large part of how we're going to focus," Judge said. "We went through this initial install. You guys hear it all the time with music being at practice. That's not just for noise and trying to get the juices going; that's for forced communication. So, we build it in through our individual teaching periods and starting next week we're going to carry it over a lot to the team periods, as well. Anything that's going to come up in a game, whether it's crowd noise or blasting noise, just forces extra communication.
"Whether it's ball security, we put the grease balls out there early in practice, make sure they're extra slick so that we handle the ball in the worst conditions. When it's any type of situation that's going to come up, we're going to always make sure we present it to the players in as challenging a situation as we can, so when they have the opportunity to execute it in a game they've already been through it in as much of a simulated pressure situation possible. We've got to try and make sure that we put them in a position where when they have that experience in a game, they've already had that experience in practice."
View the best photos from the first two weeks of training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Here are standouts from Saturday's practice:
CB Darnay Holmes
The second-year pro made the highlight of training camp (so far) with a diving interception during team drills. He followed it up later with another pass defense. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured active Giant, noted earlier in camp that he takes Holmes aside after reps to give him pointers on how to make it tougher on receivers.
"That's just that big brother mentorship that we've got going on," Holmes said. "At the end of the day, I practice, and I'm always right by him. I ask him different questions of what I should have done and what I shouldn't have done, so just having him in my circle is something that's a blessing to have for sure."
QB Daniel Jones
While Holmes made the play of camp, Jones had perhaps his best throw of the summer, threading the needle through the defensive front to hit John Ross perfectly in stride. The speedy receiver took it from there, turned on the jets, and ran up-field for a score.
DL Leonard Williams
Big Cat made his way into the backfield on multiple occasions, just like he and linemate Dexter Lawrence did a few times on Friday. After a career year, one which helped him land a contract extension, Williams said the next step in his progression is becoming more of a leader and improving on his adaptability.
"I think that's something that [assistant head coach/defensive coordinator] Pat Graham talks about a lot is adapt or die, and it just goes to show the way he coaches and the way he plays his defense," Williams said. "We change our defense mid-game sometimes, we change our defense every week, week in and week out, depending on who we're playing. We have to learn how to adapt and quickly, and that's how this league is. I think that's just what I have to learn, how to adapt faster and elevate my game more."
WR David Sills
Sills put an exclamation point on practice with a late touchdown from backup Mike Glennon, which in turn capped off an impressive week for the receiver who spent the entire 2020 season on injured reserve after fracturing his foot in training camp. Sills has made plenty of plays this summer, and the head coach has taken note.
"Sills is a guy who does everything you ask, and he does it 100 percent," Judge said. "He's definitely a guy you've got to tell, 'Hey, slow it down a little bit.' This guy's commitment off the field in terms of what he's done in the offseason, basically this guy followed Daniel [Jones] around the country. Wherever Daniel was, he was going to be there to catch passes. That's someone who you can tell has really invested in himself to give every shot he has."
RB Devontae Booker
Booker has stepped up with Saquon Barkley still rehabbing, but the team views him as more than a placeholder for the Pro Bowl running back. Booker had a big day on Saturday with a pair of goal-line touchdown runs.
"I just go out there every day and just try to be a better running back and be better on how I can help our group be better," Booker said. "I don't know what else is going to happen. I just go out there and work hard. Like I said, just try to be the best I can be every day, and just do whatever I can do to help our team out."
Jones hit WR C.J. Board for a short touchdown…CB James Bradberry made a nice play to force an incompletion…WR Alex Bachman caught two touchdowns from Glennon...K/P Ryan Santoso showed his leg with a few long-range field goals.