After all the talk about the heat, the Giants were forced to move indoors for Tuesday’s practice due to lightning in the area. They were in full pads again following a day off for the players.
Here are the standouts from today:
CB Corey Ballentine: Make that two for the rookie. Ballentine, who had an interception on Saturday, notched another today in what was the highlight of the day. Fellow rookie Daniel Jones tried to thread the needle in the back of the end zone, but Ballentine stretched out to intercept the pass on the bang-bang play.
“Each day, he looks a little bit more comfortable,” coach Pat Shurmur said of Ballentine, who was wounded by a gunshot hours after he was drafted this past April. “I would say it’s running parallel with two things. Obviously, coming back from the gunshot. And then also just becoming more comfortable in the defense. He made a play [Saturday] which was good, and he’s generally been in the right spot. He’s been competing. We’re sort of pleased to this point with his progress.”
QB Eli Manning: Shurmur scheduled nine practices in 10 days to kick off training camp, and the 38-year-old Manning has looked up to the task. To prepare for his 16th camp and another grind of a season, Manning switched up where and how he trained, and went into the “baseball world” to steal some routines. He led off today’s practice with touchdowns to tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Bennie Fowler (more on them later) during red zone drills. He also hooked up with wide receiver Golden Tate on some throws that showed his arm strength.
“I feel like it has paid off,” Manning said of his training. “I’m throwing the ball well. The arm is staying strong. [Staying after practice] three or four days after practice to not lose it which is what happens in training camp sometimes. You have four practices in a row, if you are not used to it, you can see your arm getting tired and it’s still feeling strong and coming out good.”
WR Bennie Fowler: After playing in 10 games and making five starts for the Giants last season, Fowler carried the momentum into spring and made as many plays as anyone else in the receiver room. On Tuesday, he once again helped his cause. After catching the red zone touchdown from Manning, Fowler made another sensational grab and hauled in the pass as he fell backwards near the sideline.
TE Evan Engram: A dynamic tight end like Engram can also shoulder some of the load for the wide receivers. Engram, who was limited this spring with a hamstring issue, looked like his usual self today and flashed his speed downfield a few times. He made his top play, however, with his hands. Manning fired a pass over the middle to Engram, who picked it clean with one hand for the touchdown.
“Spring was not much fun watching those guys out there competing,” Engram said as camp opened. “I am excited to get back, and to get out there with them.”
OLB Oshane Ximines: The rookie third-round pick changed up his look before reporting to camp and shaved his beard. He immediately regretted the decision. “I don't like it, my mom doesn't like it, and nobody likes it,” he admitted today. He might want to reconsider growing it back out, which he said he would do, because he looks aerodynamic and plays like it. Ximines flashed his natural quickness more than once today when he batted down another pass at the line of scrimmage and had a “sack” on another play.