EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants are prohibited from wearing pads in their minicamp practices, so center Jon Feliciano saved his hard hits for a post-workout meeting with reporters. And they were directed at his own offense.
Though they were delivered with a smile and in a lighthearted manner, it was clear Feliciano was displeased with the unit's performance against Wink Martindale's defense.
"You know, Wink came out with some Wink stuff today," Feliciano said. "I think the defense won today. You know, we'll be able to grow from it.
"Let me tell you, going against Wink's defense is going to be great for us in the long run. But I'm not going to lie to you if it doesn't get frustrating sometimes, you know what I'm saying? Which is great, but not right now."
What makes Martindale's scheme so difficult to face?
"I mean, you have (safety Julian) J. Love on the frickin' line of - sorry - in the A gap as a safety playing linebacker.
"There is so many people that are playing in positions that you don't expect them to play in. It gets a little hard when you have to identify and you're not actively scheming for it like leading up to the week."
Quarterback Daniel Jones offered a different assessment of the offense's performance.
"I think one drive wasn't as clean," Jones said. "I thought the other two times we moved the ball pretty well. I think there is always going to be plays you want to have back. We're seeing a lot of looks for the first time. I think our defense does a good job mixing up pressures and bringing guys from different spots.
"We've just got to look at that and correct some things, but kind of up and down. I think certainly some things we want to clean up."
Many Giants have faced Martindale's defense during the four years he was the Baltimore Ravens' coordinator. On Dec. 27, 2020, Jones threw for 252 yards, but the Giants were held to 54 rushing yards in a 27-13 loss in Baltimore.
Three weeks later, Feliciano started at right guard for the Buffalo Bills in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Ravens. The Bills' line coach was Bobby Johnson, who now holds the same position on the Giants under Brian Daboll.
"We had a good week of learning it, and I think Bobby did a great job and the guys over there to scheme some things," Feliciano said. "If I can remember correctly, I'm pretty sure we stayed away from some things because it would cause some problems in his defense."
Though they represent opposite units, Feliciano and Martindale have bonded since joining the Giants.
"I talk to him before almost every practice," Feliciano said. "Just kind of what do you got for us today kind of thing. Today, he wasn't lying when he said he got something special. It's going to be great for us."
View the best photos from mandatory minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
*Feliciano was just as freewheeling in describing Daboll, with whom he spent the last three seasons in Buffalo (where the Giants' first-year coach was the offensive coordinator).
"I was in Buffalo this weekend and with a couple guys and they were asking about Dabs," Feliciano said. "Coaches, when they get their first head coaching job, sometimes change and try to be someone else and someone they're not.
"Dabs, that hasn't happened. I think he kind of doubled down on being Dabs. I was going to say a dirt bag from Buffalo, but..."
"What is Dabs," a reporter asked.
"A dirt bag from Buffalo," Feliciano said. … "I think he's just authentic. He's going to shoot it to you straight and he's gonna be out here and have juice and have fun. He's okay with people making mistakes as long as you're making them full speed and as long as they don't become a habit.
"So that freedom as a player and his juice, it just all combines to being a happy player."
Isn't Dirt Bag Feliciano's nickname?
"Yeah, I'm trying to throw it on someone else," he said.
*The Giants expect to host the Jets for a joint practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in August.
"(The) plan is right now we're going to do it," Daboll said. "I think it's good to practice with the guys from down the street, play in a different conference. I know (Jets) coach (Robert) Saleh. He's a really good coach. We've had some good talks.
"I think it's a good chance to come out here and be competitive against some other players that you're not practicing against throughout the summer, as long as you do it the right way. We want to treat those guys that they're just like our teammates when you're practicing. So, I think that Coach and I have had some good conversations and looking forward to it."