EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today concluded their first week of training camp with a spirited afternoon practice and a pleased head coach.
"I thought it was good work," Pat Shurmur said of the week of work. "We got an opportunity to get the main installs in. It was good, competitive work. Now we'll get a chance to take a day (off) here, players get a little rest and come back and get after it again.
"This is a really good group in terms of how they work and how they approach practice. If we can continue to do that, then we'll make the improvements we need and be ready to play."
The full squad had four practices, the last two in full pads. How does Shurmur gauge progress from day-to-day?
"It's subjective, but you want to see good football," he said. "You want to see both sides making plays. You want to see individual players improving their techniques within the schemes. I think if you have a good, competitive team, and you're competing against one another, you'll have periods where each side will make plays."
The players are off tomorrow, but the coaches will put in a full day.
"We get ready for the next practices," Shurmur said. "We watch everything we've done, and then we get ready for the next group of practices."
*Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said he's seen no negative emotions after a spate of bad news hit his unit this week. Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Brittan Golden are sidelined with injuries; Corey Coleman was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL; and Golden Tate faces a potential four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
"There's no deflation at all," Tolbert said. "Actually, the guys have more excitement in the room, because those guys who normally hadn't had the opportunity to have a lot of reps get a lot of reps now. They can showcase their ability. There's a little bit more excitement in the room than I would expect there to be because the guys are more excited about the extra reps they'll be getting. I'm excited equally about coaching those guys. We'll give some other guys some other reps, who don't normally get as many reps. Now you get to coach them more, give them more reps, and it makes it exciting."
*Tolbert said Tate will continue to work as if his availability for the season opener in Dallas is not in question.
"In my mind, he will be ready for Week One," Tolbert said. "I know he has a deal going on, and an appeal and all of that. We'll let it play itself out, but I have to go with what I know today. What I know today is that he's out there, he's practicing with the ones, and he'll continue to practice with the ones. If something else changes, but up until then, I think it's coming up pretty quick, we'll know then and we'll make adjustments then. But as of right now, we're going to go status-quo."
Tate has 611 career regular-season receptions. The other 11 receivers currently on the active roster have totaled 447. What will the Giants lose if Tate is unavailable?
"His experience and his playmaking ability," Tolbert said. "He's a playmaker. All those guys are playmakers. They come here, and they've been playmakers before. If you happen to lose someone, regardless of who it is, but talking about Golden, you lose a playmaker. I hope that won't happen, but if things can be possible at this point in time we'll just let it play itself out with the league."
*Shurmur and defensive line coach Gary Emanuel have both been impressed with Dexter Lawrence, the 340-pound defensive lineman selected 17th overall in the NFL Draft.
"He's a big man, obviously," Shurmur said. "He's had an impact already. Watching the one-on-one pass rush, you can see that he's a guy that's going to be able to get some pressure. We feel good about him being able to play on all three downs. He hasn't disappointed us in any way and he's continuing to get better each day.
"He can line up on the nose. He can line up as a 3 (tackle), and he can line up as a 5 (on the outside), on the center, guard or tackle because of his size, his quickness and his length. Generally speaking, as you get further from the ball, length is more important, and because he's got such great size, he can do that for us."
"Dexter is a great physical specimen, he has some great tools to work with, so his size helps him tremendously," Emanuel said. "He's a good student of the game, he plays extremely hard, he loves football, he's a great young man. But he's improved in all the areas. He's getting better technique. For all players, particularly in the defensive line area, the biggest difference is playing with some technique because all the guys in this league are big and strong and the player with the best technique usually wins the game, and Dexter is improving his technique."
*Shurmur would prefer not to provide daily updates on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, but since he was asked today…
"I think he has made some strong throws," Shurmur said. "There were a couple of times yesterday in the blitz drills where the rush got on him a little bit, and he was able to snap it off and make pretty much an all-arm throw, which you're looking for. I know we're sort of taking his temperature every day, but I really feel like he's making progress. Each day is a new install. Each day is like 50 first dates. You start over, but you've got to move on. He does a good job with that. He's making progress. I'm pleased with where he's at."
*Sterling Shepard (thumb), Slayton (hamstring), Golden (groin), cornerbacks Sam Beal (hamstring/groin) and Henre' Toliver (ankle), and linebacker Mark McLaurin (foot) did not practice.
*Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan watched practice, as did two former teammates, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and guard Kevin Boothe.