Quest Diagnostics Center—-To have a successful season you have to be proficient in three phrases of the game—special teams, defense, and you have to be able to move the ball downfield, and put points on the field.
Starting with the offense first:
During the camp, quarterback Daniel Jones looks confident in the offense, making good decisions with ball and spreading it around to his array of receivers. It doesn’t hurt that he has #26 Saquon Barkley eight yards behind him. Lets not be deceive, Barkley can do it all and do it well. He runs hard, through tackles, and just makes crucial plays for the G-Men.
Plus the Giants has a great compliment of receivers and they are going to be fun to watch: Cole Beasley, Jalin Hyatt, Parris Campbell, Darren Waller, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Daniel Bellinger just to name a few.
Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka liked what he saw from Jones in his only drive of the last Friday. Jones led the G-Men on a touchdown drive of 10 plays and 75 yards. He completed eight of nine passes for 69 yards and a 4-yard scoring strike to tight-end Daniel Bellinger.
“He was in there, he was really decisive,” Kafka said. “I thought he got the guys in and out of the huddle quickly, we played with some tempo. So, those are things that I think he’s been doing really all offseason and training camp, just having a really good tempo with the guys.”
It takes a different mindset to play special teams, you have to be able to tackle well, tackle in space, be able to take on blocks, give up your body up so your team mate can make the play and last be least—-have to be discipline enough to stay in your assigned lanes. Some players that are standing out is rookie running back Eric Gray.
Gray is the heavy favorite to be the G-Men punt and kick returner. He has impressed special teams coach Thomas McGaughey with his patience as much as his play-making abilities.
“Just making good decisions, and he’s done that so far,” McGaughey said. “He’s done some really good things as far as decision-making. We always tell our guys, ‘Let the plays come to you; don’t chase them.’ The plays will come to you.”
The special teams coach also commented: “Every day, all he’s done since he’s been here is get better every day. You watch him. You know what it’s like out here, the wind, and then in the stadium the other day, their guys were struggling with the wind. Eric did a great job with it.”
The Giants defense upgraded tremendously from a year ago, they are faster, longer, more athletic, and they fly around to the ball.
The person that has done a great job during the pre-season is mike linebacker Bobby Okereke, he is very fast and processes alignments quickly, always around the football and plays with leaverage.
You have the two rookies defensive backs Tre Hawkins III and Deonte Banks locking down the opposing wide- receivers making them work for every reception. Dane Belton is just a ball hawk at the safety position.
“Really pleased with the effort we played with against Carolina. It was fun seeing the first group out there playing together. Not complete yet, but still it was exciting to get those guys on the field and to actually play in a game, which was fun to watch.” Giants DC Wink Martindale said.
Wink was asked about Bobby Okereke and this what he had to say:
With inside linebacker Bobby Okereke, nothing against the guys you had last year but you had young guys or a guy that came off the street at some point, to have a guy, he’s a proven player in this league, he’s had success. How big of an upgrade is that or how much better can this defense be knowing you have that lynchpin kind of in the middle of your defense?
A: I’ve always said this, philosophically, if you have a fast mike, then you have a fast defense and he’s a really fast mike. A lot of his success will depend on how we play up front and we have seen improvement there as well. I know you guys haven’t seen Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñes-Roches) and (defensive lineman) A’Shawn (Robinson) play in a game yet, but we’ve seen them in practice. We are starting to get (defensive lineman) D.J. (Davidson) back now, he’s been practicing. I like what I see from him and, of course, (defensive tackle) Jordon Riley, everybody has been talking about.
The NY Giants had a scare when tight end Tommy Sweeney suffered a medical event at the facility on Wednesday.
It is unclear what triggered the collapse, but he was tended immediately to on a side field and carted off.
“Tommy Sweeney had a medical event and is under the care of medical professionals in the Giants athletic training room. He is stable, alert and conversant,” the Giants said in a statement.
Sweeney is entering his fourth season in the NFL after spending three years on the Bills coming out of Boston College.
He signed a one-year deal worth $1.1 million with the Giants this offseason.