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Sideline View: Practice observations (8/24)

mathews-42418.jpg brings you practice notes and observations straight from the sidelines:

It was great to be out on the practice field for the first time in 2018. The Giants' voluntary minicamp began today under rules governing Phase 3 of the offseason program.

>Giants take the field for minicamp
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>Minicamp press conference quotes
>Best photos from minicamp practice
>The Players Lounge: Kareem Martin

To keep it simple, the team can run drills featuring offense vs. defense, but contact is not permitted. There are a lot of new numbers and names to learn as the offseason kicks into high gear.

Here are some things I saw at practice:

• Everyone was excited to see Davis Webb, who was splitting quarterback reps with Eli Manning, but Pat Shurmur warned the media earlier in the day about making more of this opportunity for Webb than it is. Like everyone else on the roster, Webb is just trying to learn the new offense and get his feet wet. After a couple of failed exchanges with the center early in practice, Webb made some very nice short throws in tight windows to the tight ends (including one very nice hands catch by Jerell Adams). Webb was credited with an interception, but it came off a pass that was on target to his receiver but was dropped and tipped up in the air. He showed the same arm strength that he flashed last spring and summer. It was a good start to the offseason for Webb as Manning's backup.

• Sterling Shepard seemed extra motivated. He was running full speed and made a couple of really nice plays on the ball. He was into it big time. The best play of practice came in the final period, with Manning firing a missile to Shepard in a very small space between William Gay and Darian Thompson more than 20 yards down the field. It was a great throw by Manning.

• Roger Lewis, who played outside for most of last season, saw a lot of reps working out of the slot. It will be interesting to see how his quickness plays inside. Gay, an offseason acquisition, was the slot corner with the first-team defense, a position he played in Pittsburgh. B.W. Webb was the second-team nickel back.

• We saw wide receiver Cody Latimer for the first time and he found himself playing outside. He showed some speed to get a step on cornerback Janoris Jenkins on one play, but the pass was overthrown. Latimer was a second-round pick for the Broncos, and the Giants hope they can figure out a way to utilize that talent.

• The Giants' new-look offensive line featured only one starter in the same spot as last year: Brett Jones at center. Newcomers Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh manned left tackle and left guard, respectively, while Jon Halapio and Chad Wheeler played right guard and right tackle.

• Alec Ogletree and B.J. Goodson were the two starting inside (and nickel) linebackers, with Kareem Martin and Olivier Vernon at the outside linebacker positions. Goodson showed off his sideline-to-sideline speed when he and Andrew Adams stretched out a Jonathan Stewart run all the way to the sideline.

• Webb threw a nice back-shoulder ball to tight end Ryan O'Malley, but second-year linebacker Calvin Munson got his hand in there and knocked the ball away as O'Malley tried to tuck it away. Nice defensive play.

• Defensive tackle Josh Banks, who made the team last year before being placed on injured reserve, flashed a couple times in practice. He has some quickness to him and I saw him in the backfield a couple different times.

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