It was a much more temperate day for OTA #5 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center with temperatures in the high 60s and overcast skies.
• The gray skies ended up foreshadowing the overall play of the offense today. It was sloppy, with a lot of incompletions, turnovers and penalties. It just didn't look smooth out there as all the quarterbacks had trouble finding completions. Eli Manning had the most success on throws to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, but nearly everything else was a struggle. There were far too many pre-snap procedural penalties (and some on the defense, too) that would make any coach unhappy.
• Of course, if the offense struggled, that meant the defense had a great day. Mike Jones had an interception on a Davis Webb pass during half-field passing drills, and then he picked off Kyle Lauletta during the next practice period: red zone team drills. The interception of Webb came on him breaking on a ball, while the interception of the Lauletta pass came on an overthrow. Jones is a 5'9 undrafted free agent rookie cornerback out of Temple and is trying to make the team this offseason.
Photos from the Giants fifth OTA practice!
• Eli Apple made a nice play during half-field passing drills. Both the slot and outside receivers on his side of the field ran go routes. Lauletta overthrew Alonzo Russell in the slot, but Apple saw it from his position covering the outside receiver and came over to grab the interception. It was excellent awareness for a player that in past years had some issues getting his head around and tracking the football in the air.
• B.W. Webb made a couple plays during team drills on consecutive throws from Webb. First, Webb tracked a receiver on a post-corner route and got his hand in to knock the ball away. On the next play, he jumped the slot receiver's route and snagged Webb's pass for what would have been a pick six. They were two very nice plays from the veteran cornerback.
• The final play of practice was the best throw of the day for Lauletta. In a fourth-and-goal from the four-yard line scenario and needing a touchdown to win, Lauletta threw a PERFECT fade route to Amba Etta-Tawo to beat Jeremiah McKinnon for the score.
• The prior play, under identical circumstances, Webb tried to squeeze a pass into tight coverage, but Curtis Riley got to it first and forced the turnover with the interception.
• Great man coverage from Janoris Jenkins down the field on Cody Latimer. Eli Manning tried to hit him deep, but Jenkins was step for step and positioned himself between the ball and the receiver. It was textbook coverage with no separation.
• Ray-Ray Armstrong showed off a nice spin move in pass rush drills I hadn't seen before. Armstrong had a nice pass deflection later on in practice.
• Kerry Wynn got caught in coverage on a zone blitz but did a nice job following the receiver on a slant and knocking it away.
• Aldrick Rosas was 7 of 8 kicking field goals today, including three makes from 50+ yards.
• The Giants continue to use Saquon Barkley out of the backfield, as well as split out wide as a pass catcher. He had his first drop of the spring today on a little circle route from Manning. He made up for it at the end of practice in a goal-to-go situation from the four-yard line, catching the same pass for what would have been a game-winning touchdown.
• In seasons past you usually don't see officials on the field until mandatory minicamp, but there have been five officials (an increase from the four used last season) at every OTA making sure the players aren't committing penalties. The penalties are tracked during practice and then used as teaching tools in film study.