When the final whistle blew on the Giants' win Thursday in Cincinnati, the team had three practices before their preseason finale against the Patriots. The first of those three was Sunday, and featured good competition between the offense and defense. In addition to getting ready to play the Patriots, Pat Shurmur indicated he will use the week to begin getting the players on a practice/meeting schedule that mimics the regular season.
Here's what happened on the field today:
*Jabrill Peppers was around the ball for most of practice. He had what would have been a sack of Eli Manning on a delayed blitz and was in the backfield on a couple of run plays that would have resulted in tackles for loss. Peppers lines up all over the field.
*Ryan Connelly continued to play with the first team in place of Alec Ogletree, alongside linebacker Tae Davis. Ogletree was in uniform, but I didn't see him take any snaps in the team portion of practice. When only one linebacker was on the field, it was Connelly, who is considered the MIKE linebacker and calls the play for the defense in the huddle.
*DeAndre Baker was back taking team reps. He split time with the first and second teams with Corey Ballentine. Baker has been sidelined for the past couple weeks with a knee injury, and it will interesting to see if the coaches think he needs more game action before taking the field against the Cowboys in Week One. Sam Beal did individual work for the first time since injuring his groin/hamstring a few weeks ago.
*There was a near miss in practice during half-line pass drills. Eli Manning hit Evan Engram over the middle for a completion, somehow getting the ball past Michael Thomas. Thomas came down quickly on Engram, and it looked like there was going to be a big collision but Thomas managed to avoid the tight end at the last moment. It is a fine line for the defenders to react properly to the play but not be so aggressive that they cause too much contact and risk injuries on the practice field. On this play, it was no contact, no harm, no foul.
*During those same half-line pass drills, Alex Tanney made the best throw of practice, hitting TJ Jones on a deep pass over the middle that would have gone for a long score.
*Despite the best weather day of the summer with temperatures in the mid-70s, the practice wasn't particularly sharp. There were too many dropped passes and not enough successful plays on either side of the ball. Pat Shurmur announced Eli Manning will rest for the final preseason game with Daniel Jones getting the start.
*Janoris Jenkins had a chance at an interception when Sterling Shepard slipped on a comeback route, but he couldn't come up with the catch. Jenkins was called for a defensive pass interference penalty on Bennie Fowler, who would have had him beat deep without the penalty. As he ran back to the defensive huddle, he said to the official, "I'll happily take that one." Sometimes, taking a penalty is the right play. Otherwise, Jenkins played tight coverage and is clearly the team's best cornerback.
*The Giants were working on run blocking early in practice. They were practicing two offensive linemen double-teaming a defensive lineman before one of the linemen released to the second level to get a block on a linebacker. It is part of the small details in the run game that every team needs to execute well.
*Aldrick Rosas made five of six field goal attempts, missing one with the backup snapper (Taybor Pepper) and holder (John Townsend) running the pre-kick operation.
Check out the best photos from Sunday's practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center