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2024 Spring Practices

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Next stop, training camp: Takeaways from final day of spring football

Next stop: training camp.

The New York Giants wrapped up spring football on Wednesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. They began the offseason workout program on April 15, ramping up from strength and conditioning to 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Now the team will break until reporting for training camp in late July.

"Well, we had a lot of new people," said Daboll, reflecting on the past 10 weeks. "We installed our systems. Again, it's a teaching camp, so you try to overload them with as much information as you can so that when they're able to come back, put the pads on and really be evaluated, you can play fast, not think as much. So I think the coaches did a good job of that. The players came out and competed and worked hard to pick up some new systems and some young players learning, getting more reps. So it's been a good camp. … It's been a productive camp."

View the best photos as the Giants take the field for minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Coordinators and players also met with the media for the final time this spring. Here's what you need to know:

Healthy Wan'Dale Robinson hit GPS numbers that he 'hadn't hit ever' before

At this point last year, wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson was still rehabbing a torn ACL that he suffered during a nine-catch, 100-yard game in Week 11 of his rookie year. Robinson started to find his stride again down the stretch last season, setting the table for what could be a productive 2024 campaign.

"I would say it's completely night and day," Robinson said. "Last year around this time I wasn't running routes, barely sprinting. To come out here now and be able to go for a full practice and not worry about my knee at all, it's like I said, night and day."

Robinson said he isn't just back to his old self; he might even be better.

"I would say in this offseason I hit some [GPS] numbers that I hadn't hit ever, so it was pretty nice to see that," Robinson said of the devices that players wear to track speed and distance. "Hopefully being able to hit those numbers fully in pads and just show that explosiveness out there on the field."

'New is over' for the defense

Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen addressed his players before the final practice of spring football. He had a message for them.

"New is over," he told them. "I don't want to hear new no more. It's not new anymore. We are still figuring it out and we're learning every single day and it's been great work this spring seeing things, but the Giants' defense is going to continue to evolve based on our personnel and what our guys do best."

Bowen saw the defense take "some big strides" this spring and set the tone for what he expects to be a competitive training camp next month.

"I've seen improvement; I would say not enough," Bowen said. "Like right now this spring, I would say not enough. Again, it's 7-on-7 basically out there, and the rules and everything else that come into play, I think it's going to be more telling come August. But there is a lot of positions within our defense right now where the competition hopefully will continue to drive that. But I want to see guys grab these opportunities and run with them."

Just like Dexter Lawrence, Bobby Okereke, and Brian Burns did once upon a time.

"These guys that have played at a high level in this league, they're not only great players, but they're really great dudes," Bowen said. "They're great teammates. I think there is a correlation. The guys that have success in this league usually are the ones that work the hardest, that want to take every single ounce of coaching that you give them, right, and they go and they apply it.

"There is a reason they get to the level they're at because of that. And having those as your leaders, guys that aren't afraid to be vocal also where it's not just show by example. That's a tremendous asset to me and a tremendous asset to our coaching staff, and ultimately to the younger guys we're trying to get ready to go."

Offense is 'collaborative' no matter who calls the plays

Brian Daboll, an established play-caller in his previous posts, might take back the duties this season but said a decision won't be made until the end of training camp. Assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said today "it's pretty typical around the league of head coaches doing that, so whatever decision Dabs wants to go with, I fully support."

Even if he won't be calling the plays, Kafka said the game plan will be a "collaborative" effort each week.

"We would be working together," Kafka said. "So the way Dabs would handle it -- and this could change -- but you kind of piece it out to certain guys in the group. We would all talk through those certain areas, whether it's third down, red zone, guys would detail out what their thoughts were, and we would put it together as an offensive staff. We would put it together and make sure it all matched and we felt good about that plan versus that specific defense."

Kafka added, "I'll kind of lean back on my experience in Kansas City a little bit where Coach [Andy] Reid is the primary play-caller, and then the coordinators that were under him, whether it's Eric Bieniemy, Matt Nagy, like those guys are super involved. So I have that experience of being in a system like that."

Kickoff returns will now 'look more like the offensive run game than people think'

Michael Ghobrial and 31 other special teams coordinators around the NFL have now had two months to tinker with the new kickoff rules in an on-field setting. So, how will it change the game?

"It's going to look more like the offensive run game than people think," said Ghobrial, who was hired in January after spending the previous three seasons on the Jets' staff. "The NFL has taken the speed and space out of it, and there is just less space to necessarily get as creative with your blocking schemes as you would think.

"Because as things sit right now, especially with teams that will have good get-offs on both sides, the biggest thing is, yes, there is an element that it may look like some more offensive run game. But the thing I've always coached our guys on is it is the first offensive play of the series, and it's our job as the kickoff return unit to put our offense in the best position to have success."

Ghobrial added, "People can't necessarily leave until the ball has landed in the landing zone or the returner catches it. So, if you think about what's really irrelevant right now, it's hang time. You're going to see a lot more lower kickoffs, which is going to cause returners to have to cover more ground. What allows you to cover more ground is potentially putting two back there. Now, there is still going to be elements where people will still put one returner there, in which case you've just got to really challenge your returners, see how much ground he can cover, and see if you can get away with it."

Ghobrial was asked about Tyrone Tracy Jr. and Dante Miller, two rookie running backs with skills to be returners.

"You talk about two young bucks that I'm excited to see what they do in preseason," Ghobrial said. "Both of them just tremendous human beings, number one, and so excited, so eager to put their best foot forward. Both have such a skillset to be good returners in this league.

"So it's funny. It's like whenever you are interacting with a new player or anybody potentially coming from the college game, you want to see how quickly their skillset translates. Fact of the matter, the rule change is different and there aren't a lot of similarities, so it will be unique to see everybody, whether you're a rookie or veteran, what they potentially do."

To commemorate their 100th season, the New York Giants today unveiled a "Century Red" uniform, which the team will wear for up to two games in 2024.


Giants 100: A Night with Legends

Join us on June 20 for Giants 100: A Night with Legends presented by Verizon at The Theater at MSG, featuring panel discussions with over 20 legends, artifacts from the Hall of Fame and 100th season merchandise.

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