“All we’re trying to do is get better,” Daboll said before heading out to practice. “We’re not looking to go out there and fight.”
There were no fights. There was some hard-hitting line play, some fumbles and a scare when Jets defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers was shoved into Daniel Jones’ legs, forcing the quarterback to fall backwards.
Overall, though, both sides seemed to get a good job out of the 90-minute practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
“Both sides acted professional,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said after practice.
“We both understood that we’re here to make each other better, here to compete and make each other better,” Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence said. The big defensive tackle admitted it was nice that “I got to hit some other people.”
Daboll said before practice that Giants-Jets practices could become a regular thing in upcoming seasons — as long as everyone plays nice.
“I think it’s important to be able to practice with each other. We’d like to do that for a while,” Daboll said. “We’re definitely going to try to do what we can to just have a good, competitive practice.
“It’s good to have a team here across the road to compete with. But again, you have to do things right, I think. Show respect to each other, work together to improve and play football. Not interested in going to see UFC or boxing matches or anything like that, although I love both. Just good, competitive football.”
Let’s look at some of the takeaways.
Azeez Ojulari injured
Of course the Giants couldn’t get through practice without injury.
As practice wound down the Giants ran sprints – 10, 20, 30 and 40-yards. Midway through the 40-yard dash Ojulari, the second-year linebacker who missed the first three weeks of camp with a hamstring injury, pulled up and walked off the field with trainers.
Initial reports are that it is a lower leg injury unrelated to the hamstring injury. Initial reports from the Giants are that the injury does not appear to be serious.
The Giants are already dealing with several injuries at edge defender. Kayvon Thibodeaux is out for the next few weeks with a sprained MCL, Elerson Smith has missed the past two weeks with a foot injury and Jihad Ward has also been out of action for the last two to three weeks.
Other injury news
- Sterling Shepard didn’t do much Thursday after returning to practice Wednesday for the first time since tearing his Achilles tendon.
- Wa’Dale Robinson was held out of team drills.
- While we’re on the subject of wide receivers, Thursday provided an optimistic sign for Kadarius Toney. Working his way back from an apparent right leg issue, Toney took a handful of 11-on-11 reps. Those are his first-team reps in about three weeks.
- Wide receiver Alex Bachman, who apparently left practice Wednesday with a toe problem, was a full practice participant.
- Darius Slayton, who was also out of several recent practices, worked with the second- and third-teamers during team periods. He drew a pass interference penalty on a deep throw by Tyrod Taylor.
- Center Jon Feliciano and interior offensive lineman Jamil Douglas participated in at least some of the team periods.
- Place kicker Graham Gano (concussion) was on the field in a red non-contact jersey.
- NOT PRACTICED: Kayvon Thibodeaux (MCL), Dane Belton (clavicle), Ben Bredeson (elbow), Rodarius Williams, Elerson Smith (foot), Cor’Dale Flott, Jihad Ward, Shane Lemieux (foot), Joshua Ezeudu, Garrett McGhin. CJ Board (ribs) ran on the sidelines. Ward did individual drills and conditioning sprints. Ezeudu did some individual work.
Good day for a DJ
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones looked better in his two preseason appearances than he did working against the Giants’ defense in practice. That trend continued Thursday.
Jones went 14 of 15. He did throw an incompletion on a play whistled dead because of the Jets’ offsides penalty. His only real blemish of the day was an interception by Bryce Hall of the Jets on a fade by Kenny Golladay in the left corner of the end zone. That, by the way, was Golladay’s only goal of the day.
“I thought overall it was a pretty good day,” Jones said. “I thought we did well against their stuff against a new defense.”
Jones admitted to feeling increasingly comfortable in the team’s new offense.
“I think we’re all a little more comfortable. That’s the process, that’s what happens,” he said. “As you get reps, you get time on assignment, you run plays, you correct them, you move on. Going through that whole process, you get more and more comfortable. We’re able to get a feel for putting guys in different spots and what guys do best .I think we are all a little more comfortable.
“That being said, I think we have a good job to do here before our first game in Nashville. We’re now focused on continuing that process and getting more and more comfortable.”
Big day for David Sills
Before Collin Johnson was lost for the season, coach Brian Daboll said Johnson and David Sills were not only pushing for roster spots, but for playing time.
On Thursday, with Shepard and Robinson not practicing and Johnson out of the picture, Sills had a big day. He ran with the first-team offense, lined up most often in a three-receiver package with Golladay and Richie James. Thresholds was on the receiving end of six of Jones’ 14 completions on the day.
“I think he’s done a great job for us this camp. He’s an extremely hard-working guy that you can count on to be in the right place,” Jones said. “He’s an intelligent footballer, he knows how to get open, he’s talented from a route point of view and someone I’ve worked with a lot. He’s been here for a few years, and I really enjoyed working with him. He made a lot of plays today, and he made a lot of plays this camp.”
The way practice was structured, the Giants offense worked against the Jets defense on one field, while the Giants defense and Jets offense squared off on the adjacent field. Media had to pick a field and stay there. Yours truly chose to look at Jones and the Giants offense. Here, however, are notes handed to me about the defense.
- Xavier McKinney and Olaijah Griffin had interceptions.
- The Giants were said to be dominant against the Jets run game.
“They are strong up front. shrewd It was good to go against them,” said Lawrence. “You feel like different things are going against different people. It’s good to have that kind of competition.”
All four of the new Giants – tight end Tanner Hudson, wide receivers Jaylon Brown and Baily Gaither, and cornerback Harrison Hand – participated in practice. Hudson caught a long pass from Tyrod Taylor as the Jets appeared to blow coverage.
- The two teams made an interesting punt. They did what looked like an 8 on 8 drill with the Jets punting and the Giants rushing. It looked like a live rushing/blocking drill, and there was quite a bit of physicality.
- The closest anyone came to an argument early came in practice when Franklin-Myers hit Evan Neal during a 1-on-1 blocking/rushing drill and ended the play with an extra point when the rookie walked away.
- Devery Hamilton, stationed at left guard, seemed to have a tough time in those 1-on-1 drills. He seemed to make pretty obvious holding penalties on both of his reps.
- According to my notes, Saquon Barkley had four rushing attempts and one reception during 11-on-11 work.