With the first preseason game approaching, the Giants.com crew members discuss the major questions they had entering training camp and how they are being answered.
John Schmeelk: One of my biggest questions heading into training camp this summer was the Giants' crop of offensive weapons. I had no doubt they were talented enough to be a productive group with different physical traits and the ability to make big plays. I did wonder whether they would be able to remain healthy and be on the field enough to realize all that potential. So far, the results have been positive.
The Giants have a fairly large group with varied sizes, statures, and skills. Kenny Golladay is the big X-receiver that can win down the field and make contested catches. Kadarius Toney has all the talent in the world to be a top receiver, but injuries prevented him from getting heavily involved in the offense last year. He can do things with the ball in his hands to be used in a variety of ways around the line of scrimmage, but he is developing skills as a downfield traditional outside receiver, too. He has stayed healthy.
Wan'Dale Robinson has been a constant target even though he is a rookie that only stands 5-8. He has shown the ability to work from the backfield, all the way out to the sideline. Saquon Barkley has a similar skillset, but his size allows him to take a bigger pounding between the tackles. He has been healthy this summer.
If this can continue for the next month up until the start of the regular season, the offense should have all the weapons it needs to be explosive and score points. When Sterling Shepard can return from his torn Achilles tendon, it adds another option for Mike Kafka and the offense. So far, at least, the answer to my offseason question has been a positive one.
Dan Salomone: The biggest question was which players would be on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. When it was announced, the bigger story was about the players who weren't on it to start camp. In addition to those such as Kenny Golladay and Kayvon Thibodeaux, Kadarius Toney was among the group that shed the red non-contact jersey from the spring. It was a good sign for the former first-round draft choice, whose rookie season was best described stop-and-go due to injuries and time on the COVID-19 list. But it's a new era with new coaches and a new system. All parties involved seem to be embracing the clean state, down to Brian Daboll playing Toney's music at practice.
On the field, the Giants have a lot planned for Toney and all the receivers. Daboll said he was talking to him one morning and said, 'Hey, can I add another position for you? I'm moving you around to this spot. And do you feel comfortable with that? Or is it too much and it will make you play slow?'"
His response: "Oh, yeah. And he had that big smile."
Lance Medow: My biggest question heading into training camp was the state of the secondary, specifically roles at corner given the nucleus of that position is young and inexperienced. Questions came to mind such as: Who will emerge opposite Adoree' Jackson? Who has a leg up at the slot position? What unknown player could assume a significant role? Since training camp has started, Darnay Holmes has made his presence felt by recording opportunistic plays and making a strong case for the nickel corner spot. Now entering his third season in the league, Holmes appears to be coming into his own and seems to be motivated to hold off some of the recent additions to the position group through the draft.
Speaking of new faces, Cor'Dale Flott's length has been on full display and can be an extremely valuable feature as Wink Martindale relies on a lot of man-to-man coverage within his scheme. Aaron Robinson is another player that has separated himself from the rest of the pack, not just because he has some experience in regular-season games but because he has a comfort level in different roles based on his college days at Central Florida. It's also important to note that this is Robinson's first NFL training camp as he was on the PUP list last summer while recovering from offseason core muscle surgery.
Another move in the secondary worth highlighting is the signing of veteran Andrew Adams. He didn't join the team until right before the start of camp, and his presence will help at safety now that rookie Dane Belton is sidelined. It also doesn't hurt that Adams has plenty of experience through his time with the Bucs and first stint with the Giants. Unlike some other players on the roster, the coaching staff has a much better feel for what they can get out of Adams.
Matt Citak: Perhaps the biggest question heading into training camp was about the offensive line. It was clear that the unit was a priority for GM Joe Schoen upon his arrival, as two of his first significant moves in free agency were the additions of guard Mark Glowinski and center Jon Feliciano. Schoen then went and spent first-, third-, and fifth-round picks on Evan Neal, Joshua Ezeudu and Marcus McKethan, respectively, to provide the line with even more of a boost (unfortunately for the Giants, McKethan suffered an ACL injury Friday). The only returning player that saw significant time last season is left tackle Andrew Thomas, who is now the longest-tenured starting O-lineman.
Feliciano was forced to miss a few practices due to heat-related issues, which led to Shane Lemieux seeing some snaps at center and Ezeudu getting some time with the first-team offense at left guard. But with the veteran now back on the practice field, the O-line can pick back up where it left off during spring workouts and continue to develop the chemistry and communication between one another.
It's difficult to gauge fully how well an O-line or D-line is performing in training camp, so this week's preseason game should serve as the first opportunity to see just how far the line has come thus far. But one thing that has been evident with the unit in training camp is that Thomas and Neal should combine to create quite the dynamic tackle duo.
The New York Giants are bringing back their classic blue uniforms from the '80s and '90s this Sunday as part of two Legacy Games presented by Quest during the 2022 season.