Sidelines Notes

Sideline notes: Big plays on D kick off minicamp

The first mandatory minicamp practice is in the books, with more to come on Wednesday and Thursday.

As with the previous OTAs, no contact is allowed with the players in helmets, jerseys and shorts. Here's what i saw from the sidelines:

*It was a big day for the defense getting its hands on the ball. Linebacker B.J. Goodson read a Kyle Lauletta pass intended for wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who was running a slant during half-line pass drills, and stepped into the passing lane for the interception. In the subsequent red-zone period, he got his hand on an Eli Manning pass intended for Rhett Ellison and broke it up. Goodson has been splitting first-team reps with Tae Davis, with Goodson taking most of the reps when the team is in its 3-4 base defense, and Davis jumping in when the team goes nickel (five defensive backs on the field).

*Cornerback Grant Haley made a nice play of his own during half-line pass work, staying with wide receiver Russell Shepard on a deep out and knocking away a well-thrown Daniel Jones pass. Haley is trying to hold onto the starting slot corner spot ahead of rookie cornerback Julian Love, but he also got reps at outside cornerback with the third team.

*On the second play of red-zone drills, a deflected Eli Manning pass intended for Shepard was intercepted by Antoine Bethea. After the pick, Shepard stayed with the play and was able to knock the ball out of Bethea’s hands and recovered the fumble without the ball hitting the ground.

*Later in red-zone drills, a Jones pass intended for Bennie Fowler was knocked up into the air by linebacker Jonathan Anderson and into the arms of rookie defensive back Julian Love, who downed the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Two plays later, Jones hit wide receiver Cody Latimer on a beautifully thrown fade pattern over the head of Antonio Hamilton for the touchdown, though there was some controversy over whether he got his feet in bounds.

*Manning’s best throw came on a deep play action crossing route to Sterling Shepard that could have gone for a touchdown on the first play of blitz period. Eight plays later, Daniel Jones made his best throw of practice, a perfect deep face route over the outside shoulder of wide receiver Reggie White Jr., who was covered well by cornerback Tony Lippett.

*On the very next play, the Giants’ defense made a play of their own. Another Jones’ pass for White, this time over the middle, was a little high and went off White’s hands right to cornerback Ronald Zamort for the interception.

*Alex Tanney had a nice day, hitting a perfect post route to rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton, who beat double coverage during half line pass drills. Later on during blitz period, Tanney hit wide receiver Corey Coleman on a perfect sideline deep route.

*The offense ran some read-option, one of which led to quarterback Daniel Jones keeping the ball and running for a long gain. He has legit speed for a quarterback.

*After playing with the first team last Friday, cornerback DeAndre Baker was there again on the first day of minicamp, opposite Janoris Jenkins. He got his hand on a few passes, including a great play on a slant route where he anticipated wide receiver Sterling Shepard’s route and beat him to the spot to knock the ball away. Ironically, Baker deflected the ball to Golden Tate, who got to it before it hit the ground. Shepard had a very productive day, including a couple catches that would have yielded big plays. Baker, meanwhile, continues to prove why he is a first-round pick.

*With Markus Golden on the bike, Kareem Martin was with the first-team defense at outside linebacker (edge rusher) opposite Lorenzo Carter.

*Corey Coleman got a lot of reps as the third receiver with the first team.

*Defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and B.J. Hill were both active near the line of scrimmage, with the former batting away a pass and the latter with penetration on run and pass plays.

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