ESPN ranks Giants among most improved teams
The Giants made several key acquisitions this offseason, and one major media outlet is praising the team for their moves this week.
ESPN recently ranked the NFL's most improved teams this year, and Big Blue landed at No. 7 on the list.
As ESPN's Mike Clay notes, Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman "added help for QB Daniel Jones in the form of (Kenny) Golladay, (Kyle) Rudolph, (Kadarius) Toney and John Ross, while adding (Adoree') Jackson as a running mate for James Bradberry, which gives New York one of the league's best corner duos."
Along with the players mentioned above, Clay also highlights the additions of linebacker Azeez Ojulari, defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, defensive tackle Danny Shelton and the return of veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder as significant moves.
ESPN is not the only media outlet to praise the Giants' offseason. Earlier this summer, Pro Football Focus named the Giants' secondary among the league's best, noting that the combination of Bradberry and Jackson has the potential "to be one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL."
PFF also complimented the Giants' offensive weapons, naming the overhaul of the team's pass-catchers as one of the NFL's biggest offseason storylines. The analytics site praised the unit for having "top-five potential," while later calling Saquon Barkley "one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL" when healthy.
View the top photos from Tuesday's practice which featured pads for the first time at training camp.
Standouts: Daniel Jones shines as Giants put pads on
The first padded practice of training camp is always eventful, but the Giants took it to another level on Tuesday.
Some extracurricular activity capped off what was a practice full of highlights as the Giants ramped up the intensity with 11 days to go until the preseason opener. Joe Judge's message was anything that occurs after the whistle can cost the team during games. Still, there was plenty of action that occurred between the whistles.
Here are the standout players and plays from the practice:
QB Daniel Jones
Veteran defensive back Logan Ryan admitted the offense had its best day yet, a good sign for the unit on the first day with pads. Leading the way was Jones, who was on fire throughout the day and especially during 1-on-1 drills. He also racked up the completions during team periods near the goal line, including a touchdown pass to wide receiver David Sills (more on him later). Jones also used his legs for another score.
"The offense moved us up the ball a little bit," Ryan said. "They had, in my opinion, their best day today, so we get to get them back tomorrow. We're all Giants and whoever comes in here this year, hopefully, we have a homefield advantage with the fans and we're going to be a chippy, grimy group."
"I think for one, the energy and the excitement and willingness to compete and wanting to compete is all positive," Jones said. "I think regardless of who it is – people who are excited to be here, people who want to play football, who want to compete. Right now, the opponent's the defense. Their opponent's us, so we're competing against each other."
Joe Judge sends message after competitive practice
Logan Ryan was asked after practice if he had ever seen Joe Judge as mad as he was on Tuesday. His response: "Yeah."
This is the veteran defensive back's sixth season around the head coach, four of which came during their time together in New England when Judge coached the Patriots' special teams. The question today was raised after Judge ordered the Giants to the goal line late in practice – the first one in full pads – following some extracurricular activity that carried past the whistle. He made them run 200-yard sprints, down and back, in addition to pushups. Then he did it again.
"We had a competitive practice," Ryan said. "Guys getting after it. First day of pads, it gets physical, it gets chippy. Obviously, can't have penalties. It's unfortunate, but I think everybody's protecting their sides and just trying to establish physicality the first day, but we've got to keep it within the rules."
Ryan added, "I regret any penalty. If I would've cost my team any yards, I would regret it."
Therein lied Judge's problem.
"There's consequences for that kind of stuff, and that's the way it is in the game," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "If you lose your cool, there's consequences, and that hurts the team. So that was the message, and everyone understands that."
"It's part of football, things happen," said linebacker Blake Martinez, who was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the morning. "We're all brothers out there. You have little fights here and there, but you always come back as a team and finish strong."
Giants Training Camp Report: First day of pads
Check out Bob Papa and Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora on 'Training Camp Report presented by Investors Bank' as they break down the first padded practice of camp on Tuesday.