It was perfect weather for OTA No. 5 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, with overcast skies and temperatures under 70 degrees. It was another good day of work.
Here’s what I saw from the sideline:
• This practice featured the longest two-minute situational period of OTAs thus far. The offense was given the ball on its 25-yard line with 2:04 on the clock, three timeouts and needing a touchdown to win. The defense kept the offense out of the end zone both times, registering wins and flashing big play potential.
• The first team got the ball down the field on a long catch-and-run from Saquon Barkley, who got separation on a circle route over the middle for 40-something-yard gain down to the 24. The offense then stalled and committed a false start penalty, putting the unit in a third-and-long. Eli Manning got a lot of it back on an intermediate sideline throw to wide receiver Bennie Fowler, but Fowler tripped on his fourth-and-short route, leading to an incomplete pass and a win for the defense.
• Daniel Jones led the second group and got into a third-and-10 situation. On a play where edge rusher Oshane Ximines put pressure on him, Jones tried to throw it over the middle, but undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Mark McLaurin jumped the route for the interception. The offense caught a break when two defensive penalties (including one in the defensive backfield that could have led to the interception) yielded an automatic first down. Jones directed the offense inside the opponent’s 20. But the clock hit zero before the offense could score. It was a great experience for Jones to run through such an extensive scenario.
• Even though there are typical rookie mistakes, Jones continues to make some big-time throws to the sideline. He hit Corey Coleman on a beautiful sideline fade over the outside shoulder and tight end Garrett Dickerson on a flag route during half-line pass drills.
• Coleman had the best day among the wide receivers. He made a couple of impressive catches, including extending to catch the football for a touchdown. His hands have been consistent as OTAs have progressed, and he continues to get separation. Fowler was active again, catching several passes.
• I mentioned the play in the two-minute situation section, but Barkley’s burst and acceleration to get from zero to 60 in the snap of a finger is still amazing to behold. He is a big play waiting to happen every time he touches the ball.
• Ximines continues to display the athleticism to be an effective edge rusher. Undrafted rookies Jake Carlock and Jake Ceresna have flashed some ability as well.
• There’s a lot of friendly chatter going on between the offense and defense that adds energy to practice every day. Wide receivers Russell Shepard and Bennie Fowler are constantly encouraging their teammates and sparring with safety Jabrill Peppers, who gives it right back. Everything is good-natured with both sides making the other laugh an awful lot.
View the top images from Wednesday as the Giants take the field for OTA No. 5