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2024 Spring Practices

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Touchdowns & Takeaways: Rookies get on the board


Minicamp is underway at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Primarily a continuation of organized team activities (OTAs), Tuesday and Wednesday mark the final two practices of spring football before the team breaks until training camp in late July. It also concludes the offseason workout program, which began April 15.

"What we'll do is have some extra meetings," coach Brian Daboll said about the difference with minicamp. "We'll meet after practice, go through the tape. We'll have a couple of NFL meetings we'll do now rather than in training camp. Most of the stuff, we had an extra walk-through today. Most of everything else is consistent."

The head coach decided to forego 7-on-7 drills on Tuesday and instead ran full 11-on-11 in team periods. Naturally, his competitive quarterback was none too pleased to hear that news. As part of his rehab progression, Daniel Jones had been participating in 7-on-7s all spring and then turning the keys over to the backup quarterbacks for 11-on-11.

"No, I wasn't pumped up," Jones said with a laugh. "I'm not a coach, I don't make those calls. I understand. Dabs wanted to get a lot of team work, and that's what they did. Yeah, wasn't my favorite thing, but that's not my job."

Daboll said it's part of the plan to have Jones and everyone else ready for the first day of training camp.

"He's really right on point with where he needs to be," Daboll said.

"I expect to be ready to go the first day of training camp," said Jones, who added that his cuts have felt "sharper" and "cleaner" as his explosiveness returns.

That was all part of a busy Tuesday at minicamp. Here are the touchdowns, takeaways, and top plays from the day:

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


Wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson had a productive day, beginning with a catch-and-run that could have been a touchdown in a live situation. The third-year pro turned on the afterburners to split the final level of the defense after catching a Drew Lock pass in stride.

Jalin Hyatt showed his trademark speed later in practice to beat the defense to the goal line. Lock also delivered that pass.

"I think he's made a ton of improvement this offseason and was really dialed in on some of the smaller details of route-running, understanding how defenders are trying to play him and how to gain leverage and gain separation," Jones said of Hyatt. "He's worked tremendously hard this offseason, and I think it's shown up on the field this spring. It's been really fun working with him. He's an extremely talented guy obviously, and he's only getting better."

The final score of the day came on a connection between Tommy DeVito and rookie tight end Theo Johnson. The defense might have something to say in the film room, however, as there could have been a sack on the play. Nonetheless, tight end has been a topic of conversation following Darren Waller's retirement announcement this week.

"I would say the first thing with Darren is my concern for him is more of a person than anything, Daboll said. "I'm glad he's doing well. Spoke to him yesterday. Communicated with him throughout the offseason. That's his decision. We were going to respect the decision and give him as much time as he needed. Wish him well. Here for him if he needs anything. That's what happens in the NFL sometimes."

On Johnson, Daboll said, "We just drafted Theo because we thought he was a good player. He has good measurables. Obviously you know what his testing was. He's smart. We thought he would be a good addition to our team."


Rookie cornerback Dru Phillips, a third-round pick from the University of Kentucky, got on the board with an interception on a tipped pass.

Notes & notable plays

Rookie wide receiver Malik Nabers recorded a handful of catches as the first phase of his young career is nearly complete. The sixth overall pick was asked after practice what kind of first impression he has made this spring. "I believe a good impression," he responded. "When I'm out there on the field, the level of competition rises at its highest – because my competition, I bring the dog, I bring the juice when I'm out there."

He certainly brought both the dog and the juice in last Thursday's practice. A couple of high-flying catches with the media in attendance reminded everyone how he has the ability to take over.

"You know, that's just me," Nabers said. "When I'm out there on the field, just everything I do is just me. I can't really say, 'I can bring it to the NFL.' I can only just play at my level of competition. That was one of those days I was playing at a high level. I'm just glad I got to showcase that with the team. That was really it."

Outside linebacker Brian Burns would have recorded a strip-sack in live action, serving up another appetizer to what could be coming when the season begins. Linebacker Bobby Okereke is certainly excited to have him. "Makes my job a lot easier," Okereke said. "Quarterback has to get the ball out quicker."

As the quarterback of the defense, Okereke shed light on how the new defense is coming together under Shane Bowen.

"It's fun," Okereke said. "I get to play a little bit more coverage. The way Shane calls it, we're going to be multiple. We'll be able to combat the offensive strengths, so we we'll have a good mix of everything. … It is early. I think we can be as good as we want to be. We have very talented pieces and we're just working every day to get better."

Okereke also spoke on the difference between the old and new schemes.

"Wink [Martindale] kind of wanted you to play hard and fast, just play physical, downhill, figure it out," Okereke said. "Here it's a process of elimination. If this guy goes vertical, you check two; if two does this, you check three. You kind of put it in buckets, and that's the process of decision-making I was talking about."

As for the defensive front, Okereke said it is "prolific."

"You've got Dexter Lawrence, Brian Burns, Kayvon Thibodeaux," Okereke said. "Dex is a Pro Bowler. Brian has been Pro Bowler. Kayvon is tracking towards that. Those guys can be as good as they want to be."

Staying on the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Deonte Banks showed once again he has the tools to be a No. 1 corner in his second season. The former first-round draft pick played perfect coverage to force an incompletion on a deep pass.


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