EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants concluded their full-squad offseason work today and announced they will have two reporting dates for their first training camp under Pat Shurmur.
Rookies, selected veterans, and the quarterbacks – including 15-year pro Eli Manning – will begin camp on July 22. The rest of the squad will report on Wednesday, July 25, or 15 days before the preseason opener vs. Cleveland.
“Done this in the past,” Shurmur said. “It’s a great way for the rookies to get a lot more reps. It is a good way for the quarterbacks to get going. Those can be a very productive two days.
“It is just really extra days. I think there is an advantage to it, especially when you have a rookie quarterback (Kyle Lauletta) and he gets a chance to get a bunch more reps.”
The Giants will leave their headquarters at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center to practice with Detroit at the Lions’ training facility in Allen Park, Mich. from Aug. 14-16. The teams will meet in the second preseason game in Ford Field on Friday night, Aug. 17. Shurmur has participated in several joint practices during his 20 years as an NFL coach.
“It can be very productive, especially for the younger players to get a lot of reps,” he said. “In terms of the training camp schedule, for the most part we will have walkthroughs in the morning and practice in the afternoon. There will be a handful of practices where we practice in the morning. We will just change it up a little bit. It was a very productive offseason. I told the players we have come a long way, but we have a long way to go in all areas.”
*Odell Beckham, Jr. didn’t participate in team drills during the team’s three-day minicamp, but he did individual work as well as post-practice one-on-one sessions with Manning.
“They’ve spent time together,” Shurmur said. “I’ve noticed their relationship is real strong and that’s typical of what players do. They work together. Odell’s been able to do a lot here full speed and as I mentioned, he’s been cleared to practice. Guys that end the year with injuries come back at different rates and get involved with more and more of the drill work. So, for him to spend that extra time with Eli, I think is great.
“(Beckham) loves to play football, and he gets it as well. When I see him in the meetings, when I see him on the field, regardless of what he’s doing, when I see him on the field, he’s really engaged and you can see, just by him running routes versus air and some of the drill work we’re doing, that he can really help us.”
*Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple are the Giants’ top two cornerbacks. Who will join them on the field in the sub packages will be decided in training camp and the preseason. The contenders include 12-year veteran William Gay, Teddy Williams, B.W. Webb, Chris Lewis-Harris and Donte Deayon.
“It’s competitive,” Shurmur said. “We were talking about it this morning. I was sitting with (defensive coordinator) James (Bettcher), just going back over the roster. It’s going to be competitive to see who’s going to be, in my mind, our third, fourth and fifth corner. We’ve got some candidates who are doing some really good things. And then they’re going to have to have a role. Certainly, when teams are in base and we’ve got Jackrabbit (Jenkins) and Eli out there. But then when teams go to nickel, which is more than half the time, there’s going to have to be a guy step up. And we’ll just have to find the role, and whoever that guy is, we’ve got to do the things that fit what he can do best.”
*Shurmur on young quarterbacks Davis Webb and Lauletta: “I think they’ve both made great progress and I’m looking forward to them continuing that when we get here in training camp.”
*Shurmur followed the tradition of past Giants coaches – and coaches around the NFL – by cutting short the final spring practice – and then delivering a message to his players before their five-week break.
“We’ve talked to them about all the work that we’ve done to this point, and with five weeks to go, it’s not time off, it’s time away,” Shurmur said. “So to continue with their preparation. We’re always talking to them about being a good citizen, and we say New York Giants pride for a reason. So be very smart. Be good husbands, good fathers and be good citizens. We talk about that constantly. I think it’s just part of something we do and we encourage them to do the right thing in every area of their life.”
“If you take a step back in the next five weeks and you’re not pushing to get better and increase your conditioning and getting mentally prepared for the upcoming season, you’re going to be behind,” veteran left tackle Nate Solder said. “I think that if I need to communicate that, then maybe some young guys don’t understand that, but I think that is something that you have to pick up and you have to roll because there is no such thing as an offseason.”