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Practice Notes (8/19): Observations from the sidelines

The Giants were back on the practice field for the first time since the team’s win against Detroit on Friday night. Head Coach Pat Shurmur had them in shorts and scheduled a slightly shorter practice in overcast conditions. There was very light rain, mist almost, at the start of practice but the team stayed outside for the duration. Here’s what I saw:

During half-field passing drills, the quarterbacks were looking for the deep ball early and often. Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard on a perfect deep ball near the sideline. Quarterback Kyle Lauletta was right on the money on a deep post to Alonzo Russell, who ran past cornerback Eli Apple. Quarterback Alex Tanney finished off the session in style with a long connection to wide receiver Kalif Rymond.

In red zone team drills, Eli Manning had two near completions, but Sterling Shepard and fellow wide receiver Cody Latimer couldn’t come up with balls that hit them in the hands. Latimer had to go down and try to scoop a pass off the turf, but he couldn’t keep it from hitting the ground. Shepard had to reach out for a fade pass thrown over his shoulder, but couldn’t bring it in with his fingertips.

Quarterbacks Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta both completed touchdown passes later on in team red zone drills. Webb found tight end Evan Engram on a slant between veteran defensive backs William Gay and Michael Thomas. The pass of the day came from Lauletta to tight end Garrett Dickerson, beating safety Orion Stewart on an out route. It was a tight window, but Lauletta squeezed it in for a touchdown. Lauletta and Dickerson hooked up for a touchdown on a slant during red zone seven-on-seven later in the day.

The third team period of practice was all third down plays. The quarterbacks were on the money, completing 11 of 12 passes. The only incompletion came from Davis Webb on a throw down the field to wide receiver Russell Shepard that soared over his head and was nearly intercepted by William Gay.

The play of the day goes to cornerback Leonard Johnson, who looked like he was beaten outside by wide receiver Jawill Davis. Alex Tanney put air under the ball, but not enough as Johnson undercut the route for the jumping interception and taking it back the other way. Cornerbacks Grant Haley and Janoris Jenkins also had passes defended in the period.

Ray-Ray Armstrong saw time as a first team nickel inside linebacker next to Alec Ogletree during the third down period of practice. He had an interception in Friday night’s game against the Lions.

Both Donte Deayon and Travis Rudolph were back on the practice field after dealing with injuries the last couple of weeks. After practice, Deayon was running some extra defensive back drills, and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. joined him. Don’t expect Beckham to play both ways anytime soon (though he could probably do it), but it shows how much he loves to play football. He could have easily been on the side chatting it up with his teammates. Instead, he was out there working and having fun.

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