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Cover 3: Takeaways from first week of Giants camp


The crew breaks down the first week of training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

John Schmeelk: The focus on red zone work early in camp has to do with protecting players and limiting injuries. Players often get hurt early in camp when they open up and sprint full speed for long distances. Red zone work prevents those types of situations before the players are ready for it.

With all that said, the secondary has been very active. It makes sense they've been able to get their hands on the football given the condensed area they are operating in during red zone drills. There have been pass break-ups or interceptions from Adoree Jackson, James Bradberry, Julian Love, Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, Montre Hartage, Chris Milton and others. The group looks sharp and are anticipating routes in the end zone to make plays on the ball.

Giants receivers have also spoken about the challenge of going up against two very effective but also different cornerbacks in Bradberry and Jackson. Bradberry is bigger and a bit more physical, while Jackson is a bit quicker and faster. Both players have been covering different players throughout camp.

View the top photos from Tuesday's practice which featured pads for the first time at training camp.

Dan Salomone: Two-time Super Bowl champions Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Mathias Kiwanuka were at the facility as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the 2011 championship team, but they did more than reminisce about the glory days. They spoke extensively to the 2021 Giants. As veteran defensive back Logan Ryan revealed, part of their message was that great teams respect and take the identity of their head coach, but the players run the locker room. In their case, it was Tom Coughlin. For this generation, it is Joe Judge.

Tuesday's practice – the first one in full pads – was a microcosm of that.

Judge ordered the Giants to the goal line late in practice following some extracurricular activity that carried past the whistle. He made them run 200-yard sprints, down and back, in addition to push-ups. Then he did it again. All the while, the only sound heard was the rustling of jerseys on pads – no grumbling.

"If our nucleus, our key veterans, are together, the locker room will follow," Ryan said. "Just like the great defensive linemen and the great linebackers and the great leaders of this team in the past – you don't think they had chippiness about them? You don't think they had griminess about them? We play in New Jersey, man. There's going to be some chippiness. There's going to be some griminess, but we're leaving it within the lines, and I'll take a team like that. I'll take a team like that every single day."

When Judge took over, he said he wanted the team to reflect the area. It is also reflecting him, as evidenced by the first week or camp.

Lance Medow: At this stage, there's only so much you can take away from activity on the field, so the biggest developments from Week 1 were more at the podium. There seems to be a lot more comfort across the board with respect to the schemes. You can tell all the players returning from last season feel they're further along now in comparison to where they were at this time last year and that's a product of continuity.

Daniel Jones is working with the same offensive coordinator for the second straight year for the first time in his professional career and the same can be said for some players on the opposite side of the ball. For example, Julian Love is operating in the same defensive scheme in back-to-back seasons for the first time since high school. Love had four different coordinators in three seasons at Notre Dame.

Speaking of the secondary, that unit has provided some great looks for the receivers. Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton have emphasized how beneficial it is to go up against the likes of James Bradberry and Adoree' Jackson, who have different styles and physiques. It's a very good test for the variety they'll ultimately see during the regular season.

The Giants are clearly keeping their eyes on the free-agent market to constantly bolster the roster and upgrade the level of competition; hence, the additions of offensive lineman Joe Looney (Dallas) and running back Alfred Morris. They have familiarity with Jason Garrett's scheme and Morris actually spent last season with the Giants.

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