It’s a dog day of summer in New Jersey, sunny, warm and humid, and the Giants will take the field at 5:40 in the evening, sharing the Metlife footprint with Jet fans, who will be filing in for their team’s preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts. The practice will not be open to the public due to the event at the stadium, the second closed practice in three days, however, media access will allow Camp Notes to be compiled.
Tom Coughlin opened his afternoon press briefing with an injury update, and said that left guard Geoff Schwartz will be returning to practice today and is expected to play on Saturday. Left tackle Will Beatty, while practicing, will be held out of the game as a precaution. Coughlin shared that Kelcey Quarles injury is an ankle sprain, and he will not practice today, nor play in Saturday’s game. Asked about his plan for the starters in Saturday night’s game, Coughlin said they will play about as much as versus Buffalo, perhaps a bit more. The starters were in for three series last Sunday night, so we can expect to see then three or four series against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Discussing the tight end race, Coughlin said no player has a clear lead, despite Larry Donnell’s practice performances. He added that veteran Kellen Davis will see some extended action against the Steelers, but that the tight ends will be rotated. The daily Odell Beckham injury report has the first round draft pick, “Close, getting there, and doing more things.” Coughlin was more upbeat on Jon Beason, saying that his running was a positive sign.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell spoke with the media and cautioned that while the defense looks good on paper, they have a lot of work to do. He said he’s seeing flashed of the “Old JPP” from defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul’s ability to be the key to the Giants’ defense’s ability to truly dominate games this season – if he returns to his pre-injury form, it bodes well. Fewell said that the defense is adding new schemes and the infusing the new players and “Learning each other.” Team cohesion will lead to better overall play. One are that Fewell sees as improved is linebacker, where he singled out fourth year player Jacquian Williams as having “Taken a leap forward,” and rookie Devon Kennard as “Exceeding all expectation.” Another nickname is born, as slot cornerback Walter Thurmond is called “The Quiet Assassin” by his teammates. Fewell spoke of defensive end Damontre Moore, saying that he is looking to give him more reps against first team offensive linemen. Moore is poised to ascend as a pass rusher this season.
The offensive star of camp so far, wide receiver Marcus Harris, addressed the media, and said that while on practice squad last season, he dreamed of taking reps with the first team. Not satisfied with his progress, despite praise and recognition, Harris wants to improve “everything” about his game and believes wide receivers can improve every day. Harris changes his number from 13 to 18 to honor his grandfather, born in 1918, who passed away during OTAs. Wide receiver Louis Murphy wore 18 last season. Asked about his nickname, “Soup,” short for “Super,” Harris revealed that Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, a high school teammate. Harris joked that it was because he likes soup, but the origin story is out there, “Super Harris.” One of the big discussions of the day on Twitter is Harris’ not being included in the 2015 version of Madden football. If (when) he makes the final roster, there will certainly be a roster update available.
Beckham spoke with the media and confirmed what Coughlin as been saying, he’s close to returning. He also said he’s not playing in Saturday’s game. Beckham added that there is no timetable for his return and he’s currently unable to hit his top speed but he is running and cutting. The good news is, that the main concern is not bringing him back too soon for fear of re-injury, and therefore Beckham would not commit to a return next week. He added that his focus now is strengthening the muscles around his hamstring.
The team out for practice in shells following a fully padded practice yesterday. Daniel Fells, Xavier Grimble, and Trindon Holliday remained sidelined, along with Peyton Hillis, who shed his walking boot. Beckham was running 3/4 on a separate field from the rest of the team, planting, cutting, and catching passes. He also shagged punts along with Jerrell Jernigan, Preston Parker, Victor Cruz, and Rueben Randle.
Jernigan, who sat out yesterday’s practice with a sore knee, may have wished he sat out today as well, as he dropped a punt. Despite his return, Harris received more time with the first unit, as did running back Andre Williams, who impressed by catching some passes during a screen pass drill.
Henry Hynoski took some turns at running back, as Coughlin had indicated was possible earlier in the week. He made a few nice catches out of the backfield, too.
Charles Brown and Weston Richburg were substituted liberally at left tackle and left guard, respectively. Brown got beat on back-to-back plays by Pierre-Paul for would be sacks.
The tight end ascending today was Davis, as he took the majority of snaps with the first team.
The interception portion of practice featured Zack Bowman intercepting Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib, and Charles James intercepting Eli Manning. Painter bounced back to throw a touchdown to Adrien Robinson.
The last part of practice featured the two minute drill with Painter at quarterback. On a 4th and 2, he hit Cory Washington over Chandler Fenner for a long touchdown.
The team does not practice tomorrow and has their game Saturday Night against Pittsburgh. Check here Saturday morning for some things to watch and Sunday for a game summary.