It was the final OTA today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The players had a longer practice today and now have four days off before three consecutive days of mandatory minicamp next Tuesday through Thursday. Here's what I saw at practice:
- I loved one play the offense ran during half-field pass drills. Saquon Barkley was sent out on a simple wheel route, but the receiver routes on the same side of the field caught up the linebacker assigned to him in traffic. The result was Barkley running free for a long touchdown down the sideline after an easy pitch and catch from Eli Manning.
- Kyle Lauletta hit wide receiver Russell Alonzo on the sideline for a wide open touchdown. Based on the fact that three defenders were looking at each other after the catch, there was some kind of miscommunication.
- Marshall Koehn kicked today and was a perfect 8 for 8, including three from 50-plus yards. Much like yesterday, on the final couple of kicks, coach Pat Shurmur called the whole team out on the field to surround him in an effort to distract him from his kicking. It didn't work and Koehn nailed two from beyond 50 under those conditions. It was his best day kicking the ball this spring.
- Good throw, and better catch by tight end Rhett Ellison down the seam during team drills. Davis Webb threw it a little high, but Ellison went up and got it, kept his feet, and would have had a gain for 20-plus yards.
- The offense was working on bubble screens today. It requires timing and coordination to get those right, so it was good to see them implementing those in the spring.
- Active day for linebackers Romeo Okwara and Alec Ogletree, as well as rookie defensive tackle B.J. Hill.
- Yesterday, the offense dominated red zone drills, but today it was the defense. All three groups on offense struggled scoring throughout the team period.
- The most fun today came during two-minute and the final "situation" portion of practice. During the two-minute drill, Eli Manning took a seat and allowed the younger quarterbacks a chance to lead the team down the field. Webb got to work with the first team, but his period ended quickly. On his first play, Olivier Vernon stormed in for what would have been a sack, but the play continued and Webb was intercepted by Ogletree, who anticipated the second-year quarterback's throw over the middle to Evan Engram. The second and third groups moved the ball well enough to set up game-winning field goals, which Koehn made.
- The "situation" period at the end of practice was the offense backed up on their own two-yard line, with three chances to get 10 yards and a first down. The defense won these battles. The first team offense got to third and two, but Manning mishandled the third down snap and the defense took the series. Webb completed a third down pass to wide receiver Kalif Raymond, but on the play before, a Mark Herzlich pressure would have resulted in an intentional grounding penalty close to the goal line. The third group also got it to third and short, but Lauletta was intercepted when Chris Lewis-Harris jumped a slant route.
I'll be out there next week for the three minicamp practices. Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Photos from the Giants final OTA practice from June 7th