Daniel Jones delivered touchdown strikes to receivers Wan’Dale Robinson and Kenny Golladay on Saturday, and head coach Brian Daboll said it was too early to make any definite judgments entering the Giants’ fourth practice of training camp.
“We’re in day three without any pads on,” Daboll said. “So we got a long time to evaluate here … There’s an old ball coach who’s been pretty successful who used (to say), ‘Let’s not be an instant evaluator.’ Three days of practice, we’ll give these guys a little bit of time here.”
Daboll’s message was clear: He views these early practices as situational tests to build a foundation for what the Giants will put on the field in Week 1 at Tennessee.
He doesn’t expect it to be perfect, so he’s not overreacting to the offense’s slow start. It seems the aim is still to give Jones the best opportunity to succeed when the lights get bright against the Titans and beyond.
“There’s so many different things that happened yesterday, like a lot of really good things: hots, breaking off routes,” Daboll said. “Were there some miscommunications? Absolutely. For some of those guys, it’s the first time in this offense where they’re practicing with Daniel. It’s their third practice. So we’re kind of day-by-day. Get better each day, have a positive mindset, and correct the things you’ve got to correct.”
It’s only fair to Jones for the Giants to remain patient, too.
He has a new offensive line, a new playbook and didn’t get to throw to most of his top receivers in live drills all spring. Even Saturday, Kadarius Toney’s workload was dialed back after three full practices to open camp.
Toney, who had an offseason knee procedure, didn’t run a single route in 11-on-11 drills.
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Still, Daboll’s urgency no doubt is increasing as the Giants inch towards their first practice in pads on Monday.
The first-year coach was animated over a substitution issue for a second straight day, this time on defense. He was angry at edge Oshane Ximines for rolling into Jones on an early pass rush, creating dangerous traffic at the quarterback’s legs.
The offensive line struggled badly with center Jon Feliciano sidelined a second straight day by what Daboll had called “heat and hydration” related.
With Jamil Douglas struggling as Feliciano’s fill-in, Daboll even tried moving left guard Shane Lemieux to center for some snaps, with rookie Josh Ezeudu plugged in at left guard.
That led to the Giants’ first true dust-up of training camp, with Lemieux, defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, and right guard Mark Glowinski in a pile near the goal line.
“Yeah,” Lemieux said with a smirk. “I was playing center. It was hot. We’re competing.”
The defense continued making impressive takeaways. Rookie safety Dane Belton made a leaping interception of Jones in the end zone on a pass intended for David Sills, and corner Darnay Holmes stripped Saquon Barkley for a fumble that Julian Love returned for a TD. Barkley also had a fumble early in camp that officials generously had called incomplete, after Blake Martinez and Jihad Ward had ripped it out … Rookie corner Cor’Dale Flott did not take any 11-on-11 reps after practicing the first three days. Similar to Toney, it seemed to be part of a plan to dial back his workload temporarily … Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones remained sidelined a second straight day along with Feliciano … Everyone else practiced. Inside backer Darrian Beavers, who’d rested on Friday, logged heavy snaps next to Tae Crowder and gave Martinez a lighter day … The Giants tried out running back Devontae Booker on Friday. They cut him in March and saved $2.1 million on the salary cap, but Booker was their best running back last season, and they still need a back who can pass protect on this roster.