The New York Giants began spring practices on Monday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. For the first time this year, the full team hit the field together – veterans and rookies, offense vs. defense. Each club is allowed to hold 10 organized team practice activities (OTAs), but no live contact is allowed.
Here are the standouts from OTA No. 1:
S JABRILL PEPPERS: After two years in Cleveland, the former first-round pick from East Orange, N.J., has returned home ahead of his third NFL season. Peppers lined up on the first team at safety and grabbed the first interception of team drills. Cornerback Sam Beal (more on him later) tipped a pass in the front right corner of the end zone, and Peppers caught it in stride and took it up the left sideline. That's how you start what could be a breakout season.
"He made an impact today," coach Pat Shurmur said. "He had an interception there. He is the kind of guy that if you don't know him, I always admired his style of play. Super competitive, loves football and communicates really well. He is really good in coverage. He got his hand on a ball and almost got his hand on two more. He is out there and you can see he is excited about playing football. When you have guys in the lineup like that, it rubs off on other guys."
View the top images from Monday as the Giants take the field for OTAs
CB SAM BEAL: The Giants essentially used their 2019 third-round draft choice a year early when they took Beal in the supplemental draft. As it turned out, they had to wait until this spring anyway after Beal missed all of his first season with a right shoulder injury. Well, it looked pretty healed today. Beal made the play that led to Peppers' interception, doing a 180 in air and fully extending his right arm to tip the pass at the goal line.
"First day out there, he looked good," Shurmur said. "His movement skills were great last year when we saw him; it was just a short period of time. He looked good out there today. It is like anything; he is coming back. They all have to get their legs back a little bit. You saw him stumbling just a little bit. His movement skills are good. It looked like he competed. We will go back and watch the film and see how close he was in coverage but he looked pretty good."
It wasn't the only tip drill of the day. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins had an interception off a tipped ball by linebacker Alec Ogletree, who led all NFL linebackers last season with five picks. Defensive back Tony Lippett got in on the action by securing a ball that went off the hands of rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton, who had a couple of highlight catches earlier in practice, including an over-the-shoulder grab on a perfect ball from rookie Daniel Jones. Linebacker Tae Davis also had an interception in one-on-one drills.
TE EVAN ENGRAM: While the defense forced a handful of turnovers, Monday's practice wasn't devoid of offensive highlights. Engram, who is entering his third season with a major opportunity in the pass game, was often at the center of those plays. One in particular stood out. There were no defenders on him at the time, but Engram made a reverse, one-handed catch. He didn't stop there and was productive during seven-on-seven work.
"Everyone has to go out and do their jobs," Manning said of the Odell Beckham-less offense. "It doesn't change. Last two years we played a decent number of games without him. End of last year, we played the last four or five games without him. We've just got a lot of playmakers. Everyone has to do your job, make plays, win matchups and we will be fine."
Remaining OTAs: May 21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, June 10-13. Mandatory Minicamp runs June 4-6.