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2023 Spring Football

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Touchdowns, takeaways & top plays as OTAs kick off

Organized team activities (OTAs) are officially underway.

Over the next month, the New York Giants will hold 10 practices before wrapping up spring ball with a minicamp from June 13-15. After that, the team breaks until training camp in late July. But there's a lot to be done between then and now.

Here are the highlights from OTA No. 1:

View photos of the first organized team practice activity (OTA) at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.


🔹 The Giants made one of the biggest trades of the off-season when they acquired tight end Darren Waller in a deal with the Raiders. It was part of an off-season plan to surround Daniel Jones, who signed a long-term contract, with more weapons. Monday was the first glimpse at that.

Waller, wearing No. 12 in blue, started 7-on-7 drills with two red zone touchdowns from Jones. Waller used all of his 6-foot-6 frame to elevate on the second one. Jones and Waller hooked up for a third score later on, also from close range as the Giants practiced most of their live reps well inside the 20.

🔹 Waller wasn't the only tight end to get involved. Second-year pro Daniel Bellinger, sporting the black shield stemming from the eye injury that he suffered as a rookie, caught two touchdown passes from Jones during full-team work in the red zone. Dre Miller also caught a pair from undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito.

🔹 Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor got on the board, throwing two touchdowns to Jamison Crowder and another to Collin Johnson.

Crowder, 5-9 and 177 pounds, was a veteran addition in March. He has played in exactly 100 regular-season games with 51 starts for the Bills (2022), Jets (2019-2021), and Commanders, who originally selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. His career numbers include 415 receptions for 4,667 yards (11.2 yards per catch) and 28 touchdowns. He also threw a 43-yard touchdown to Braxton Berrios with the Jets in 2020. Crowder is a seasoned specialist. He has returned 95 punts for 777 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown. Crowder played in just four games last year in his lone campaign with the Bills before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

Meanwhile, it's a positive step for Johnson, who tore his Achilles tendon in training camp and missed all of last season.

🔹 Darius Slayton found the end zone on a pass from Jones, who was a big reason why the wide receiver re-signed this off-season.

"Ultimately, I think the best football decision for me was being back here with Daniel and continuing to grow with him in [coordinator Mike] Kafka's offense," Slayton said in March.

🔹 Slayton added, "It would've been kind of crazy to leave after somewhat building all these bricks, and as soon as we get the thing build, just jump off the top. Would've been kind of crazy. But I definitely wanted to stick around and be at the top and take in the view myself. I think just some of the guys we've been able to sign and go get, it's a testament to what we've been able to build here and what Kaf and Dabs and those guys have been able to bring to us."

🔹 Rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, a third-round draft choice from Tennessee, found the end zone in 7-on-7 drills late in his first OTA. So did wide receiver David Sills V on a pass from Jones.


🔹 The lone takeaway was a tip drill in the end zone. Rookie safety Gervarrius Owens, the seventh and final selection by the Giants last month, deflected a pass up in the air, and outside linebacker Tomon Fox came down with it.


🔹 With extensive work close to the goal line, every pass deflection was a potential touchdown-saver. The defensive backs who got on the board in that category included top pick Deonte Banks, Cor'Dale Flott, Adoree' Jackson, and Nick McCloud.


🔹 May 23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, June 8-9, June 13-15 (minicamp)


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