After a three-day weekend following minicamp, Giants players were back at it again on Monday for their seventh OTA. Constant rain forced practice inside the fieldhouse for the first practice in the final week of the offseason program.
Here's what I saw from the sideline:
*The offense started practice well, but then the defense took over and dominated the rest of the practice. The first competitive session of practice featured half-line run drills on one-half of the field, and one-on-ones on the other half. Despite the condensed field, which often gives an advantage to the defense, the offense was very efficient. Quarterback Alex Tanney hit Darius Slayton on a perfect throw to the back on the end zone. Tanney connected Corey Coleman on a fade later in the period. Eli Manning had his own perfect fade to the back corner of the end zone to Sterling Shepard, who dragged his feet for the touchdown. Reggie White Jr. almost closed the session on an identical play, but he couldn't get his feet in on a Manning fade and the play was called incomplete.
*After that play, the defense started tightening up on the receivers. It started with the situation period, which featured the second units. Daniel Jones' group started with the ball on their own 47-yard line with no timeouts, down 8 with 1:42 to play. The offense managed only one first down before the eighth play, a fourth-and-10, turned into a Julian Love interception. The rookie corner had at least one pass break-up earlier in the period and was constantly around the football. It may have been his best practice of the spring.
*Oshane Ximines was also very active, and would have had at least one sack if allowed to hit the quarterback. Safety Kamrin Moore would have had a sack during the period. too. I keep writing how active Ximines is and how much I can't wait to see him in pads against full contact.
*Not be outdone, Love's primary competition for the slot cornerback spot, Grant Haley, had a pass deflection during red zone drills, blanketing Sterling Shepard in the end zone.
*Safety Michael Thomas (who worked some in the slot last year) had a nice deflection on a pass that was slightly behind Garrett Dickerson during the final competitive period of practice. It was a big day for the slot players. Thomas nearly had a pass break-up on a pass to Corey Coleman down the sideline on the following play, but it was called a catch near the sideline.
*The defense forced three more turnovers before practice ended. During the team run/play action period, safety Kenny Ladler deflected into the air a pass intended for Garrett Dickerson. The ball was then picked off by undrafted rookie free agent inside backer Mark McLaurin.
*There were two more interceptions at the end of practice. Lauletta rolled out and tried to get the ball over a charging defensive lineman, but Alex Jenkins got his hands up and batted the ball high in the air. He ran underneath it and caught it for the touchdown. On the next play, Lauletta overthrew White on a deep out and the pass went right to Tony Lippett for the interception. It looked like two receivers ran routes to the same spot on the play.
*There were two offensive highlights later in practice. Rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton went high for an Alex Tanney pass down the sideline, caught it cleanly in both hands and landed with his in-bounds for the good catch. Russell Shepard's grab came down the middle of the field on a slightly underthrown deep post that he went up and high-pointed between two defenders.
*Two special teams plays also stood out. The group was working on keeping the punt out of the end zone to prevent a touchback. Both Love and Slayton made great plays batting the ball into the field of play to put the opposing team inside the five-yard line.