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Giants Now: Secondary ranked among NFL's best

GIANTSNOW_HEADLINE_6.11

Giants secondary ranked among NFL's best

The Giants defense put up a strong performance in 2020, finishing 9th in points and 12th in yards allowed in the league. However, if you look closer the numbers get even more impressive. Patrick Graham's unit ranked 5th in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed, while the defense's red zone percentage of just 50.8 percent touchdowns allowed finished 2nd.

Since the end of the 2020 campaign, the secondary added some new faces with the signing of cornerback Adoree' Jackson and the drafting of cornerback Aaron Robinson, just to name a few. Between these additions, along with a full offseason of workouts for the entire defensive backfield, it is no wonder the group is garnering praise from media outlets.

Pro Football Focus recently put together their ranking of the NFL's best secondaries, and the Giants' new-look group came in at No. 7.

"[James] Bradberry's 79.9 coverage grade last season ranked seventh among qualifying cornerbacks in his first year with the Giants," PFF's Ben Linsey writes. "[Adoree'] Jackson's 82.5 mark in 2019 in his last full season of action ranked sixth. The potential is there for this to be one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL.

"Those two — along with a deep safety group that includes Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney — give defensive coordinator Patrick Graham a lot to work with on the back end."

As Linsey notes, Bradberry is coming off his strongest season in the NFL in which he was named to his first Pro Bowl. The fifth-year corner matched his previous career-high of three interceptions, while setting new personal bests with two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 18 passes defensed, just two behind Miami's Xavier Howard for the league lead. Meanwhile across the 2017-2019 seasons, Jackson's outside coverage grade of 85.0 ranks as the 8th-highest in the league, and he is racked up 29 pass breakups during that span. PFF recently ranked the two among the league's top corners.

Linsey was sure to highlight the Giants' trio of talented safeties - Peppers, Ryan and McKinney - as well. It is important to remember that heading into last season, Ryan was not signed to the team until right before the start of the regular season. In addition, McKinney suffered a foot injury during camp that held him out for the first 12 games of the season. All three safeties are now healthy and participating in offseason workouts, which should help build chemistry in the secondary.

5 things we learned at Giants Minicamp

The Giants concluded their three-day mandatory minicamp on Thursday as they near the end of the offseason workout program. The team still has two more organized team activities (OTAs) next week, after which they will break until training camp at the end of July.

"There are going to be a lot of things we talk about today logistically, getting ready for camp," coach Joe Judge said about the plan for the summer. "Generally speaking, we are going to talk to the team about training, being in shape, making the right decisions off the field. There are a lot of resources for us in this building, and it is important for us to stay connected throughout the summer. When they need something, we are always available."

Here is everything you need to know from minicamp:

Judge is pleased with Kadarius Toney's progress; Giants are working on his position flexibility.

Judge stressed the goal for rookies this time of year is "just give them an opportunity when they get to training camp to be able to compete with the vets in front of them." That includes first-round pick Kadarius Toney. The electric wide receiver got his legs under him during minicamp.

"He's getting better every day," Judge said. "One thing we are trying to build is position flexibility with him, and he's handling that well right now from a mental standpoint. Like all of our players, the more we get them on the field, football movements and the conditioning improves, the better he will play. He did enough stuff that we can build on. There's things we had to correct and make sure that we can help him do it more efficiently going forward, but I'm pleased with the progress he made.

The Giants take the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for Day 2 of minicamp

Giants in talks to hold joint practices with Browns, Patriots

Joe Judge today confirmed that the Giants are scheduled to hold joint training camp practices in August with the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots. The workouts will take place before the Giants face those teams in preseason games.

"I am a big fan of them," Judge said. "I think it's a great time in training camp to break the monotony, to get some competition against a friendly opponent."

The Giants will work with the Browns at their camp in Berea, Ohio and play them in their second preseason game, on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. in FirstEnergy Stadium. The following week, they will practice with New England, most likely at the Patriots' practice area behind Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The teams will square off in the preseason finale in MetLife Stadium on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m.

Those workouts will be a homecoming for Judge, who was a Patriots assistant coach under Bill Belichick from 2012-19. Judge is also friendly with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.

"With both programs, the Browns and the Patriots, I've got great relationships with both coaches, known them both for a sustained period of time," Judge said. "In all of our conversations, I think one of the things you try to find in this are not only teams that are going to schematically help you with some of the things you are going to see throughout the season but most importantly you want to make sure you go out there and have a good, quality practice. The guys are going to compete. You want to make sure you keep it between the lines, the guys are not doing anything dirty, outside the whistle. So, it's important you know the coaches and what kind of program you are going against. I think it's great for the team, it helps you get exposure to different schemes you may not see from your own team in training camp outside having to draw cards or scout teams."

Judge said practicing with another team can help decrease the physical demands on the players late in camp.

"It is actually a way to take something off your players at a certain time." Judge said. "You kind of ramp them up and build them the first few weeks of training camp and then when you go ahead and do a cooperative practice with another team, you've got to figure it's no longer the offense is always going, the defense is always going. When our offense is on the field, our defense is on the sideline resting, making adjustments, talking to the coaches and then vice versa, so actually, it breaks it up for them a little."

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