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Jabrill Peppers, Rodarius Williams heat up camp


The New York Giants play a game one week from Saturday, and they're getting antsy.

"I think they're at a point in training camp right now that is very natural where they're tired of beating up on each other," coach Joe Judge said before Friday's practice. "I think they're waiting to get to another opponent. I think every team in the league is at that point now, while it seems like it's only been about two weeks of being in here, it's kind of like dog years. They come in every day, it's a little bit of Groundhog Day to get working. They do a good job. They work hard. I think you get to get a certain point where you may not be 100 percent ready for a full 60 minutes, but you're at that point where competition is driving you and you really want to go ahead and play against an opponent."

The Giants open the preseason on Aug. 14 against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The team will return to the practice field tomorrow before a players' day off, and then it's game week when they return on Monday.

Here are the standout players from Friday:

S Jabrill Peppers

Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was asked Thursday about how good the much talked about secondary could be this season. "As good as they want," he said. "As long as they don't screw it up, so that's how I see it. My job is to put them in the right position to make plays."

Well, neither coaches nor players screwed it up today in the defensive backfield. Safety Jabrill Peppers started things off and recorded the first of four interceptions for the group.

"I'm a coach, what happens between those white lines is really [the players'] defense, if that makes sense," Graham said about letting the proven group take ownership. "Right now, I'm holding the keys to a certain extent and I'm guiding a ship, but at some point, after you get the message across and you understand exactly what you're looking for and are able to convey that to them the right way, I give them the keys. Again, we don't have any operating outside the defense, but between those white lines, what they see is what they see. They get paid a lot of money to make those split-second decisions, decipher those plays and all those scenarios that come up."

CB Rodarius Williams

The sixth-round pick from Oklahoma State hasn't backed down from challenges in his first NFL camp; in fact, he is embracing them. Williams notched another interception during Friday's team drills.

"Mainly I was just thinking read the little hook, and as soon as I brought up the hands, just turn the jets on and undercut it and look for the ball," he said after practice. "That's something that we go over in film every day on the deep over routes and stuff like that because we're going to get in guys' faces and play man, so just have to do what coach says and come out with a reward."

General manager Dave Gettleman's core philosophy is a team can never have too many good players at one position, and Williams looks to be an example of that.

"It just put a fire inside me competitively, and I think every DB had the same fire underneath their butt in the room," Williams said. "We're a deep group, so everybody is looking for their one opportunity. Every day, I just show up and take advantage of whatever opportunity I get. I'm in coach's ear like, 'Coach, I'm ready.' Whenever my moment comes, I'm going to take advantage of it."

Defensive line

The success of the back end ties together with the big guys up front and vice-versa. Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence showed why they will be a formidable tandem to block this season as they both pressured quarterbacks at times on Friday. It is a good sign as Lawrence, who now has a few years under his belt, helps fill the void left by former defensive co-captain Dalvin Tomlinson, who signed with the Vikings in free agency.

"I expect more from myself," Lawrence said. "My main focus is helping the team win games. Whatever I can do to help the team win games is what I will do. I push everybody in practice, the whole D-line, we root for each other. We want to see each other be great, so that's the whole goal in the room is to help everybody be great."

Honorable mention

DBs Quincy Wilson and Joshua Kalu grabbed the third and fourth interceptions of the day. Kalu also broke up another pass…RB Corey Clement, whom Judge said was more than just a placeholder for the rehabbing Saquon Barkley, had a handful of big runs…WR C.J. Board made a tough catch in traffic…QB Clayton Thorson showed his legs on an outside run…Pro Bowl CB James Bradberry and LB Niko Lalos broke up passes.

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