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Sideline View: Jones-Slayton duo in mid-season form


Today was the last padded Giants practice of the 2020 version of training camp. The final practice on Wednesday before Thursday's scrimmage will feature helmets only. Here's what I saw today:

* The Giants continued to do a lot of their work using "cards" with the offense or defense simulating a specific play or scheme to give the team the looks they will need to be ready for the start of the regular season.

* The Daniel Jones-Darius Slayton connection was in mid-season form, with the duo connecting on four deep passes. Jones' passes led Slayton perfectly, who ran past the defensive back on each occasion. Jones and Slayton also connected on a touchdown during red zone drills early in practice.

* Colt McCoy made one of the best throws of practice during early red zone work, putting the ball perfectly over Corey Coleman's shoulder in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown. McCoy hit Kaden Smith for a touchdown on the next play.

* The team continues to focus on the fundamentals of tackling and blocking. The first drill featured a ball carrier, one blocker and one defender. The defender is supposed to shed the blocker and get to the ball-carrier. It is a good way for both sides to practice how they are going to handle blocking, shedding and tackling in game situations. Austin Mack and Kaden Smith made particularly good blocks in the drill, while Corey Ballentine had an impressive shed and tackle. Ballentine also knocked a pass down during red zone drills.

* The other tackling drill featured a ball carrier in the open field. It was the job of the defender to prevent the runner from getting to the sideline by using proper leverage and getting in position to make the tackle. Joe Judge is very active in these drills coaching up every angle and movement by the tacklers in the drill. There is a clear focus on the fundamentals that the team thinks will help it win games.

* Saquon Barkley was active again in the passing game, catching a deep ball, and another in space over the middle with room to run. He should be a dangerous weapon in the passing game this year.

* Darnay Holmes made another impressive play, knocking a short pass away during carded drills.

* During the first "move the field" portion of practice that started just outside the red zone, Daniel Jones methodically moved the team inside the 5-yard line after a quick pass to Alex Bachman. On the next play he rolled out and found Saquon Barkley for a touchdown.

* Dexter Lawrence was powerful in one-on-one pass rush drills, driving offensive lineman into the backfield.

* Devante Downs had a pass breakup during team drills.

* Markus Golden had a strong pass rush during the no-huddle, move-the-field portion of practice, driving the offensive lineman into the backfield and into the lap of the quarterback, forcing a throw-away. He had a sack around the edge a couple of snaps later.

* After those two plays, Daniel Jones managed to convert a fourth down on his final deep throw to Slayton of the day. It set up a potential game-winning field goal.

* McCoy got his group into field goal range during his reps to close out practice, hitting Austin Mack with a perfect deep pass. The big gain set up a potential Gano game-winning field goal.

* Practice closed with a fun fumble drill. Groundskeeper Rob Davis took out a hose and wet a portion of the grass. All the rookies then had to dive into the wet area to recover a fumble. After about two reps, veteran players took over hose duties. A combination of Jabrill Peppers, Nate Ebner, Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson proceeded to not only soak the ground, but also the rookies themselves, as they tried to recover the wet ball in the mud. Rookies that failed on their first attempt had to try again. A handful of assistant coaches then performed the drill before the team chanted for Joe Judge to do it himself. He fell right on top of the football and cradled it for a recovery on his first attempt. Tomlinson, still holding the hose, along with the rest of the team converged on Judge to celebrate the recovery and soak him with water.

* Thanks for being with us for Sideline View throughout training camp. The regular season is right around the corner.


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