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Cover 4

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Cover 4: Biggest takeaways from first week of camp

COVER-4-DABOLL

The Giants.com crew discusses the biggest takeaways from the first week of training camp:

John Schmeelk: Wan'Dale Robinson is going to be a big part of what the Giants do on offense if Spring practices and the first week of training camp are any indication. If fans want a clue as to how they are going to use him, look at the different ways he was used when he played for Nebraska and Kentucky.

The offensive is going to be creative in getting the football into the receiver's hands. Robinson can be used like a running back, a traditional outside wide receiver or as a possession-focused slot receiver. Saquon Barkley and Kadarius Toney have the ability to be used in similar ways, which should give head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka the ability to use formation, player placement and motion to keep defenses guessing.

Dan Salomone: When the Giants announced the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, 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.

"I would say I think that's pretty great; I'm not going to lie," Toney, also known as Yung Joka, said. "I need to focus right now. I'm focused on ball right now."

On the field, Daboll has a lot planned for Toney and all the receivers.

"You learn the inside, you learn the outside, you learn the Z, you learn the X," Daboll said. "There's injuries all the time, and people have to step up. I was just meeting with KT this morning about position flex and saying, '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, Daboll said.

The Giants put on the pads for the first time this season as training camp ramps up.

Lance Medow: The players wore full pads for the first time on Monday and are just settling back into the flow, so there's only so much you can read into training camp practices following the first few days. That's why my biggest takeaways have more to do with how players are lined up and what they say when interacting with the media. On the offensive side of the ball, it's hard to overlook the constant pre-snap movement with personnel hustling across the line of scrimmage and from the backfield to the line in order to get a better read on the defense or make the opposite side of the ball think a bit more. Both the Bills and Chiefs' offenses showcased these characteristics, so it's not necessarily surprising that Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka are implementing that aspect within this new offense.

This is why training camp practices are so crucial because if you're going to involve a great deal of movement before and during the snap, players need to be on the same page and very comfortable with their assignments. This is the time to experiment, see what works and allow the personnel to fully grasp those concepts. It's also a valuable exercise for the defense to be exposed to looks they might see from opposing offenses throughout the season. Speaking of that side of the ball, the most interesting tidbit from Don Martindale's unit is that Xavier McKinney is wearing the green dot on his helmet in order to communicate with Wink. While it's not unheard of for secondary players to assume that role, the more popular choice is a linebacker. However, Martindale leaned on safeties in that spot when he was with the Ravens, so it's simply a continuation of what he's previously adopted. Players such as Chuck Clark and Tony Jefferson are examples of safeties who took on that assignment in Baltimore.

Matt Citak: Following some of the team's off-season roster moves, it was clear that the secondary would be a position group to watch at training camp. Of course we're only one week into camp, but so far the team must be happy with what they've seen from the young defensive backs.

Darnay Holmes has been one of the stars of camp, with an interception in each of the first three practices, a forced fumble and numerous pass breakups. Holmes is competing for a spot in the starting lineup, and so far is off to an impressive start.

"He is out there doing his thing," Adoree' Jackson said this week about Holmes. "Like I said, every day it's not like he is worried about the past or the present. He is just trying to focus on the day by day and getting better. That's what we preach. If you ever hear him talk or ever hear him speak, you know how he carries himself you can tell that's a smart intelligent man. He goes out there and carries it the right way on the field and off."

Holmes isn't the only young DB on the team making a good impression. Aaron Robinson is also facing an opportunity for a more substantial role in 2022, and has made several strong plays throughout the first week of practices. Jackson has been impressed with Robinson's "competitiveness" and work ethic, and there's a decent chance the pair could end up being the Giants' starting outside CB duo this season. Despite being used primarily in the slot at UCF, Robinson spent a lot of time in press coverage, preparing him for the move to the outside.

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2022 offseason.

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